Albert Bandura’s influence on the field of psychology

Albert Bandura is an influential social cognitive psychologist. He is probably best known for his social learning theory, the concept of self-efficacy, and his famous Popo doll experiment. He is an emeritus professor at Stanford University and is widely regarded as one of the greatest psychologists alive.

A 2002 survey ranked him as the fourth most influential psychologist of the 20th century, second only to BF Skinner, Sigmund Freud and Jean Piaget.

Albert Bandura rises to fame

Albert Bandura is known for his work in the following areas:

Basic principles of social learning theory

Albert Bandura’s early experience

Albert Bandura was born on December 4, 1925 in a small Canadian town about 50 miles from Edmonton. As the last of six children, Bandura’s early education included a small school with only two high school teachers. According to Bandura, due to limited access to educational resources, “students must be responsible for their own education.”

He realized that although “most textbooks are perishable… self-directed tools will work well over time.” These early experiences may help him to emphasize personal agency later. importance.

Bandura became fascinated by psychology soon after entering the University of British Columbia. He started with a major in biological sciences, and his interest in psychology was formed by accident. While working night shifts and commuting to school with a group of students, he found that he arrived at school earlier than before the start of the course.

In order to pass the time, he began to participate in “cram school” in these early mornings, which made him finally discover psychology by accident.

Bandura explained: “One morning, I wasted time in the library. Someone forgot to return the course catalog, and I looked through it trying to find a supplementary course to take up early time. I noticed that a psychology course can provide an excellent Filler. It sparked my interest and I found my career.”

He obtained a degree from the University of British Columbia in 1949 after only three years of study, and then went on to pursue postgraduate studies at the University of Iowa. This school was once the home of Kenneth Spence, who worked with Yale’s mentor Clark Hull and other psychologists including Kurt Lewin Home cooperation.

Although the project is very interested in social learning theory, Bandura believes that it focuses too much on behaviorist explanations. Bandura received his master’s degree in 1951 and his doctorate in 1951. Obtained a doctorate degree in clinical psychology in 1952.

Occupation and Theory

After receiving his doctorate, he was offered a position by Stanford University and accepted the position. He started working at Stanford University in 1953 and has been working at this university ever since. It was during his research on adolescent aggressiveness that Bandura became more and more interested in alternative learning, modeling, and imitation.

Albert Bandura’s social learning theory emphasizes the importance of observational learning, imitation, and modeling. Bandura explained in a book on the subject published in 1977: “If people have to rely solely on the influence of their behavior to tell them what to do, then learning will be very laborious, let alone dangerous.”

His theory integrates the continuous interaction between behavior, cognition, and environment.

Bobo doll research

Bandura’s most famous experiment was the 1961 study of Popo dolls. In the experiment, he made a movie that showed an adult model beating a Bobo doll and yelling aggressive words.

Subsequently, the film was shown to a group of children. After that, the children were allowed to play in a room with a Popo doll. Those who have seen movies with violent models are more likely to beat dolls and imitate the actions and words of adults in movie clips.

The study of Bobo dolls is of great significance because it deviates from the behaviorist insistence that all behaviors are guided by reinforcement or reward. The children are not encouraged or motivated by playing dolls; they are just imitating the behaviors they observe.

Bandura called this phenomenon observational learning, and described the elements of effective observational learning as attention, retention, reward, and motivation.

Bandura’s work emphasizes the importance of social influence, but also emphasizes the belief in personal control. “People who have a high degree of confidence in their abilities see difficult tasks as challenges to overcome, not threats to avoid,” he suggested.

Is Albert Bandura a behaviorist?

Although most psychology textbooks put Bandura’s theory and behaviorist theory together, Bandura himself also pointed out that he “…never truly conforms to orthodox behavior theory.”

Even in his earliest work, Bandura believed that reducing behavior to a stimulus-response cycle was too simplistic. Bandura explained that although his work uses behavioral terms such as “conditioned reflex” and “reinforcement”, “…I conceptualized these phenomena as operating through cognitive processes.”

“The author of the psychology text continues to incorrectly describe my method as rooted in behaviorism,” Bandura explained, describing his own views as “social cognitivism.”

Bandura’s Featured Publications

For the past 60 years, Bandura has been a prolific author of books and journal articles, and the most cited living psychologist.

Some of Bandura’s most famous books and journal articles have become classics in psychology and continue to be widely cited today.His first professional publication was a paper titled “‘Main’ and’Minor’ Suggestions” published in 1953. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology.

In 1973, Bandura published Aggression: Social Learning Analysis, It focuses on the origin of aggression.His 1977 book Social learning theory He introduced his theoretical basis, namely how people learn through observation and modeling.

His 1977 article entitled “Self-Efficacy: Towards a Unified Theory of Behavior Change” was published in Psychological comment And introduced his concept of self-efficacy. This article immediately became a classic of psychology.

Contribution to psychology

Bandura’s work is considered to be part of the cognitive revolution in psychology that began in the late 1960s. His theory has had a huge impact on personality psychology, cognitive psychology, education and psychotherapy.

In 1974, Bandura was elected president of the American Psychological Association. APA awarded him Outstanding Scientific Contributions in 1980, and again awarded him the Outstanding Lifetime Contribution Award in Psychology in 2004.

Today, Bandura is often regarded as the greatest living psychologist and one of the most influential psychologists of all time. In 2014, Bandura was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Obama.