Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Norman H. Hamm

Second Advisor

C. Raymond Millimet

Third Advisor

Gene Freund


Imitative behavior was studied using 36 kindergarten children who were either reinforced or not reinforced for imitative behavior prior to observing a male model exhibit aggressive behaviors. The children were tested for imitative aggressive behaviors in an 8-minute freeplay situation using a five category rating scale. The results revealed that the reinforced group emitted significantly more physical, verbal, and nonimitative aggression than the nonreinforced group. A second test examined the retention of the model's aggressive behavior under an incentive condition. The incentive condition diminished the initial differences found in the first test, revealing a nonsignificant difference between the reinforced and nonreinforced groups. Hence, the study provided support for both the "contiguity" and "generalized imitation" theories of social modeling.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska at Omaha In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts.

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