在20世纪60年代，Bandura和他的同事们开展了一系列着名的观察学习研究，称为Bobo Doll实验。在这些实验的第一个中，学龄前儿童接触到侵略性或非侵略性的成人模型，看他们是否会模仿模型的行为。模型的性别也各不相同，有些孩子观察同性模型，有些观察异性模型。在激进的情况下，该模型在儿童面前对于充气的Bobo娃娃进行口头和身体攻击。在接触模特后，孩子被带到另一个房间玩一系列极具吸引力的玩具。为了让参与者感到沮丧，孩子的游戏在大约两分钟后停止了。那时，孩子被带到第三个房间，里面装满了不同的玩具，包括一个Bobo娃娃，在那里他们可以在接下来的20分钟内玩耍。研究人员发现，处于侵略性状态的儿童更有可能表现出口头和身体的攻击性，包括对波波娃娃的侵略和其他形式的攻击。此外，男孩比女孩更容易咄咄逼人，特别是如果他们暴露于侵略性的男性模特。随后的实验使用了类似的协议，但在这种情况下，攻击性模型不仅仅是在现实生活中看到的。还有第二组观察了一部侵略性模特的电影，以及第三组观看了一部具有侵略性卡通人物的电影。同样，模型的性别也各不相同，孩子们在被带到实验室玩之前会受到轻微的挫败感。与之前的实验一样，三种侵略性条件下的儿童 表现出比对照组更具侵略性的行为，而攻击性条件下的男孩表现出比女孩更多的攻击性。这些研究成为现实生活和媒体观察学习和建模思想的基础。特别是，它引发了关于媒体模式如何对儿童产生负面影响的争论，这种影响至今仍在继续。 1977年，Bandura引入了社会学习理论，进一步完善了他对观察学习和建模的看法。然后在1986年，班杜拉将他的理论重新命名为社会认知理论，以便更加强调观察学习的认知成分以及行为，认知和环境相互作用以塑造人的方式。社会认知理论的一个主要组成部分是观察学习。班杜拉关于学习的想法与像B.F.斯金纳这样的行为主义者的观点形成鲜明对比。根据斯金纳的说法，学习只能通过采取个人行动才能实现。然而，班杜拉声称观察性学习，人们观察和模仿他们在环境中遇到的模型，使人们能够更快地获取信息。
In the 1960s, Bandura and his colleagues conducted a series of well-known observational learning studies called the Bobo Doll experiment. In the first of these experiments, preschoolers were exposed to aggressive or non-aggressive adult models to see if they would mimic the behavior of the model. The gender of the model is also different, some children observe the same-sex model, and some observe the heterosexual model. In the case of radicals, the model makes verbal and physical attacks on inflatable Bobo dolls in front of children. After touching the model, the child was taken to another room to play a series of very attractive toys. In order to frustrate the participants, the child’s game stopped in about two minutes. At that time, the child was taken to the third room, which was filled with different toys, including a Bobo doll, where they could play for the next 20 minutes. Researchers have found that children in aggressive conditions are more likely to show aggressiveness in head and body, including aggression and other forms of attack on Bobo dolls. In addition, boys are more aggressive than girls, especially if they are exposed to aggressive male models. Subsequent experiments used similar protocols, but in this case, the aggressive model was not only seen in real life. There is also a second group to observe a film of aggressive models, and a third group to watch a movie with aggressive cartoon characters. Similarly, the gender of the model varies, and children are slightly frustrated before being brought to the lab. As in previous experiments, children under three aggressive conditions showed more aggressive behavior than the control group, while boys in aggressive conditions showed more aggressiveness than girls. These studies have become the basis for real life and media observation learning and modeling thinking. In particular, it has sparked debate about how media models have a negative impact on children, and this impact continues to this day. In 1977, Bandura introduced social learning theory and further improved his views on observational learning and modeling. Then in 1986, Bandura renamed his theory as a theory of social cognition, with a greater emphasis on observing the cognitive components of learning and the ways in which behavior, cognition, and the environment interact to shape people. A major component of social cognitive theory is observational learning. Bandura’s idea of learning is in stark contrast to the behaviorist views of B.F. Skinner. According to Skinner, learning can only be achieved through personal action. However, Bandura claims observational learning, where people observe and imitate the models they encounter in the environment, enabling people to access information faster.