What ethics were correctly followed in Albert Bandura's Bobo Doll Experiment?

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  • 5 months ago
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    There is a debate about how ethical Bandura’s Bobo experiment was. There were many ethical issues in his study, a major one being the harm and well being of the participants. The children may have been distressed from the aggressive behaviour they witnessed and also, the aggressive behaviour they learned may have stayed with them. This issue is made worse by the fact that the participants were children aged 3-6 years and it means that they are very susceptible to both positive and negative external influence. It's not known if they were effected in any way by this study but there is a possability that they were.

    In terms of consent, the children could not give consent to take part, but a parent or teacher can and it’s assumed that the parents agreed (presumptive consent) and their nursery teachers agreed. So I guess you could argue that this was followed correctly because this was allowed. However, Bandura's paper suggests that consent was obtained only from the teachers of the children involved. Also, you can’t assume how a child may feel about the experiment or how it will impact them afterwards.The children could not withdraw from the study and no effort was made to debrief them afterwards. Though, it would be hard to explain to them that it was not real and the adults were just pretending. Also, telling a child not to be aggressive in the future won’t work. 

    As for confidentiality, everything must remain confidential unless the participants give consent to have it published e.g papers, videos etc. It should have been confidential as the participants were children but videos of the experiment were shown and I can only assume that the parents allowed this. The whole experiment was ethically questionable but Bandura would argue that the benefits to society outweighed the risks to any of the children that took part.

  • Anonymous
    5 months ago

    Bobo doll experiment, groundbreaking study on aggression led by psychologist Albert Bandura that demonstrated that children are able to learn through the observation of adult behaviour. The experiment was executed via a team of researchers who physically and verbally abused an inflatable doll.

    All things were good except for the violence.

    So it was a failure.

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