Did any of you ever have a parent instruct you to “Do as I say, not as I do.” I usually heard this when one of my parents was about to do something they didn’t want me to learn how to do. If they had seen the Bobo Doll videos they likely would have hidden from my view those things! I watched in awe at the violence the children perpetrated on the Bobo Doll, and as Dr. Bandura said in his interview, the children not only learned, but expanded on the violence they initially saw with some creativity. (Bandura, 1963)
Then I saw this video clip:
What could children (and soft-hearted adults like me) learn from the gentle modelling of affection we see in this video? Observational learning theory states that we learn based on what we see. We don’t imitate it exactly, but can creatively expand on the examples we see. Is it naive of me to suggest that we can flood our children’s and student’s world with behavior modelling how we want them to respond to others and that we might even see them being more kind and gentle if that is what we expose them to?
I don’t suggest that we protect children from all adversity or violence, but we can teach them decent and appropriate ways to respond to each other in life. And we can watch videos of monkey petting puppies when we need some good behavior modeled for ourselves.
Badura, A. (1963) Bobo Doll Experiment. Retrieved 3/27/2015 from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZXOp5PopIA&feature=youtu.be