Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

2011 Edition
| Editors: Sam Goldstein, Jack A. Naglieri

Bobo Doll Experiment

  • Lynna Lan Tien Nguyen DoEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79061-9_379


The Bobo doll experiment was conducted by Albert Bandura in 1961 [1] and studied patterns of behavior associated with aggression. Additional studies of this type were conducted by Bandura in 1963 [2] and 1965. A Bobo doll is an inflatable toy that is approximately the same size as a prepubescent child.

The aim of Bandura’s experiment was to demonstrate that if children were witnesses to an aggressive display by an adult they would imitate this aggressive behavior when given the opportunity.

Bandura et al. tested 36 boys and 36 girls from a Stanford nursery school – aged between 37 and 69 months (mean = 4 years and 4 months). Their role models were one male adult and one female adult.

The children were matched on the basis of their pre-existing aggressiveness. They did this by observing the children in the nursery school and judged their aggressive behavior on four 5-point rating scales. It was then possible to match the children in each group so that they had similar levels...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.
    Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S. A. (1961). Transmission of aggressions through imitation of aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63(3), 575–582.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S. A. (1963). Imitation of film-mediated aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 66, 3–11.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical PsychologyWalden UniversityFremontUSA