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Albert Bandura

Albert Bandura

“People who believe they have the power to exercise, some measures of control over their lives are more healthier, more effective, more successful than those who lack faith in their ability to effect changes in their lives.” – Albert Bandura

It is not wrong to say that Albert bandura is a living legend in the world of psychology, He is truly a living legend who has proposed theories that proved his mettle against and claimed him fame to the levels of B.F Skinner, Sigmund Freud and Jean Piaget. His name is mentioned against some famous psychologists, including the likes of Sigmund Freud, for his works encompasses around the major contributions in the major spectrums of psychology ranging from social cognitive theory, therapy to personality psychology. Born in Mundare, Canada in 1925 and brought up in a small farming community in Canada after doing his elementary school he had no higher learning opportunities in that city to quench his thirst for knowledge so that lead him into becoming a self motivated learner. He did his BA from University of British Columbia. Then he did his MA from University of Iowa in theoretical psychology.

His first book is based upon the theories and observations behind adolescent aggression. He conducted ‘Bobo doll experiment’ in 1961 which gained fame among the internationally acclaimed psychologists, he conducted this experiment on a young woman spanking a doll, this a kind of doll which sways back and forth when hit by any object as in hammer ,more commonly known as bob clown. The woman objected the clown to physical abuses and shouting out “sockeroo!”, Bandura filmed this video and showed it to a bunch of kids in kindergarten who liked it a lot as per their natural instincts, so they were give a set of bobo dolls and little hammers in front of a bunch of observers to watch on their behaviors. Naturally the little started hammering the bobo dolls with all enthusiasm, so by his experiments he concluded that there is a phenomenon known as observational leaning or modeling, He coined the term social learning theory as an inference for this experiment. The bobo doll experiment provided the basis for child psychology which says that a child learns by observing and repeating what he sees and perceives in the environment.

According to the social learning theory there are some necessary traits that are to be adopted while learning in a social situation, these traits are attention, retention, reproduction, motivation and self-regulation. His ground breaking book based on social learning theory published in 1977 set a new direction for modern psychology in 1980’s. His acclaimed publication in 1986 Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory, in which he proposed that human beings are in control of themselves and have a proactive approach in dealing with life situations and with the choices they make for themselves. He also wrote a book on self-efficacy which is the art of practicing self-control which got published in 1977.

Albert Bandura is a major psychologist of this era who has contributed a great deal in the history of modern psychology. His honorable accolades includes the most youngest president of the American Psychological Association (APA) where he served as the 82nd president of the prestigious association, member of editorial board of the nine psychological journals and Grawmeyer award winner in psychology. His ground breaking theory in self regulated learning earned him the award for distinguished scientific contributions from APA. He also received 16 honorary degrees from universities of repute. As a higher recognition of his works American Psychological Association awarded him with a gold medal recognizing and appreciating his lifetime contributions towards psychology.

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