Bandura’s Bobo Doll Experiment22 February 2015
We get it. It’s so close to the end of the university year. You need a stress reliever before the crushing onslaught of exams drives you to despair or, even worse, not reading Farrago. Spice up your life with this handy, customizable version of the Bobo doll experiment, conducted first by Albert ‘my last name is sicker than pneumonia’ Bandura, and now conducted by you!
Step 1. Record two videos of yourself. In one video, play with the toys for two minutes in one corner of a room. Then, absolutely go to fucking town on the Bobo doll. Just fucking go for it. In the other video, worship the doll. Feel the doll. Be the doll. Also, ignore the doll, since that’s what happened in the actual experiment, but you can have a free pass if it’s Taylor Swift or something.
Step 2. Split your Unsuspecting Children into three groups: a “control group”, that gets to watch nothing, and two groups that watch one of your videos. If you have the time, or you really don’t want to study for that exam, try sorting the groups so that the children have relatively similarly aggressive instincts.
Step 3. Let the Unsuspecting Children loose in a room with some toys of various fun and excitement (but no Bobo doll!), and then TAKE THEM AWAY after a couple of minutes. Get them mad.
Step 4. Take the Unsuspecting Children to the experimental room. There should be toys in one corner, and the Bobo doll in the other. Sit back. Learn.
Step 5. If the children are especially aggressive upon introducing the doll, run. Don’t look back.
If all goes well, the go-to-fucking-town group of UCs will go to fudging town on that doll. The others won’t! Science is incredible. This original experiment formed part of the basis for Bandura’s social learning theory, which posited that children learn social behaviour through observation – such as watching media. Bobo dolls have been living in fear ever since.
*If you do not have a ready supply of children, you can easily substitute some honours students; they’re probably regressing to a childlike state in the face of their thesis deadlines.