Monkey See, Monkey Do: Observational Learning

Albert Bandura is best known for his work on observational learning, where he showed how children could learn to punch a Bobo doll simply by watching another child do it. His work opened up the eyes of parents and teachers to the potentially harmful effects television shows like Popeye, Bugs Bunny, and the Roadrunner had on their children. We know now that children learn a lot by watching other people. What they see influences what they do. And, believe it or not, children begin imitating at an early age–somewhere around the end of their first year. For more on children and T.V. viewing, see the following inset.