Home » Albert Bandura

Albert Bandura

Written by:  Jeannette L. Nolenwm
Albert Bandura, (born Dec. 4, 1925, Mundare, Alta., Can.) Canadian-born American psychologist and originator of social cognitive theory who is probably best known for his modeling study on aggression, referred to as the “Bobo doll” experiment, which demonstrated that children can learn behaviors through the observation of adults.

Early life and work:  Bandura was the youngest of six children born to parents of eastern European descent. His father was from Kraków, Pol., and his mother from Ukraine; both immigrated to Canada as adolescents. After marrying they settled in Mundare, Alta., where Bandura’s father worked laying track for the trans-Canada railroad.

After graduating from high school in 1946, Bandura pursued a bachelor’s degree at the University of British Columbia and in 1949 graduated with the Bolocan Award in psychology, annually awarded to the outstanding student in psychology. He then did graduate work at the University of Iowa, where he received a master’s degree in psychology (1951) and a doctorate in clinical psychology (1952).

In 1953 Bandura accepted a one-year instructorship at Stanford University, where he quickly secured a professorship. In 1974 he was named the David Starr Jordan Professor of Social Science in Psychology, and two years later he became chairman of the psychology department. He remained at Stanford for the rest of his career.

In 1961 Bandura carried out his famous Bobo doll experiment, a study in which researchers physically and verbally abused a clown-faced inflatable toy in front of preschool-age children, which led the children to later mimic the behaviour of the adults by attacking the doll in the same fashion. Subsequent experiments in which children were exposed to such violence on videotape yielded similar results.

Testimony on the effects of televised violence

In the late 1960s, prompted by the media’s graphic coverage of the assassination of U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy together with increased reports of children incurring serious injuries during attempted replications of dangerous behaviors depicted in television advertisements, the potential effects of television violence on children became a growing public concern. Owing to his related research, Bandura was invited to testify before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Eisenhower Commission, and several congressional committees as to the evidence that televised violence affects aggressive behaviour. His testimony played a role in the FTC’s decision to render as unacceptable portrayals of children engaging in risky activities—such as pounding one another in the head with mallets in an advertisement for headache medication—and subsequently to pass new advertising standards.

Later life and work

Bandura was the first to demonstrate (1977) that self-efficacy, or the belief in one’s own capabilities, has an effect on what an individual chooses to do, the amount of effort he puts into doing it, and the way he feels as he is doing it. Bandura also discovered that learning occurs both through those beliefs and through social modeling—thereby originating social cognitive theory (1986), which holds that an individual’s environment, cognition, and behavior all interact to determine how he functions, as opposed to one of those factors playing a dominant role.

Bandura received numerous awards for his contributions to the field of psychology, including the American Psychological Association (APA) Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology (2004), the American Psychological Foundation’s Gold Medal Award for distinguished lifetime contribution to psychological science (2006), and the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology (2008; carrying a $200,000 prize) for his groundbreaking work in self-efficacy and cognitive theory. Bandura also held many organizational memberships and positions, including APA president (1974) and American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) fellow (1980).Bandura was associated for many years with a variety of academic journals, including the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, Applied Psychology, Media Psychology, Cognitive Therapy and Research, Behavior Research and Therapy, and Social Behavior and Personality. He also authored, coauthored, or edited a number of books, including Adolescent Aggression (1959), Principles of Behavior Modification (1969), Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis (1973), and Social Learning Theory(1977). In 2002 the Review of General Psychology ranked Bandura as the fourth most eminent psychologist of the 20th century, following B.F. Skinner, Jean Piaget, and Sigmund Freud.
Nolen, J. (n.d.) Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/biography/Albert-Bandura

For a complete biography, visit:  http://stanford.edu/dept/psychology/bandura/bandura-bio-pajares/Albert%20_Bandura%20_Biographical_Sketch.html


  1. Monique dos Santos says:

    Bandura’s theory is completely correct, because many people can learning through behaviors of others especially when it comes to children which was the focus of his theory. Although, I also believe that people may have their own opinion and not learn from other behaviors, of course this phase is already in later life.


  2. Yasmin says:

    Bandura came up with the theory “social learning” in which states that people learn from observation, imitation and modeling


  3. Sayomi says:

    I believe a great deal of knowledge derives from observations and imitating.


  4. lillyanamayo says:

    I completely agree with Albert Bandura’s belief that children learn through observing adults. I also found the Bobo doll experiment interesting, however I was not too surprised by the results.


  5. Harman P Singh says:

    i agree with his idea of how learning is done through observation


  6. Melissa Morillo says:

    I agree with Bandura and thankfully he had helped to prevent more children from exposure to violence.


  7. Debbie Ross says:

    Bandura is the originator of social cognitive theory, children are able to learn certain behaviors by watching adults . His experiment and creation of the Bobo doll explains how children repeat what they view either from their parents or other adults that they watch.


  8. Lydia Li says:

    Bandura’s experiment with the Bobo doll is an accurate reflection of a lot of abusive relationships/families. For example, if a child is exposed to a abusive family, when he/she grows up, he will also treat his future family and friends the same way.


  9. andreachavezlopez says:

    Bandura believed everything was observational, and thought kids observing adults would help behaviors. It was a smart experiment for him to come up with.


  10. Kamilla DeFreitas says:

    Bandora was well awarded for his cognitive theory, with experiments from the bobo doll to later on the social experiment of observation from media on televisions and how those behaviors reflect on others, in this case violence.


  11. JingRen says:

    I agree with Bandura and thankfully he had helped to prevent more children from exposure to violence. This relates to observational learning, a method of learning from observing and modeling another individual, regardless of right or wrong.


  12. Abdi Abera says:

    Albert Bandura is the psychologist and the originator of social cognitive theory. and he is know by the an experiment called “bob doll”. he is a great psychologist.


  13. sheyla4801 says:

    I think his theory is true. I believe in it because now we see children learn things through adults because they see the type of stuff they do. read and understood


  14. JESSICA BRUNS says:

    I agree with baldura’s theory. We are who we want to be, I mean, what we believe, on our capacity. His experiment was genius, he could show, years ago, how children can learn seen other attitudes.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. eliza says:

    I agree with Bandura’s theory, children do copy behavior of adults and do apply them to their own situations. In my culture, back some years was common to hear say.. like the father… when a child did something that was used to see in the father figure at home.


  16. Kiana Jeanniton says:

    I liked what the experiment showcased and I agree that your capabilities depend on your own efforts and feelings, you are responsible.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Clarisse Noubissi Tchemwe says:

    Bandura’s approach is interesting because he demonstrated that children learn through observation.


  18. Olivia Filipowich says:

    I like Bandura’s approach to psychology because it considers multiple influences and attributes behavior to more than just one reason.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. kdhernandez11 says:

    Bandura discovered that learning occurs both through beliefs of ones own capability and through social modeling thereby originating social cognitive theory

    Liked by 1 person

  20. tatiana walker says:

    i feel that the Bandura experiment proves how young adults act with others in new environments, like in highschool, you will definitely be pressured into doing something because everyone else around you is doing that exact action.


  21. eguerrieo says:

    I think a lot of the eighties and nineties censorship on films and music was indirectly caused by this mans studies.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. anthonymansi001 says:

    My opinion of Bandura is that people, especially kids imitate what they see others do rather it be on television or there parents. Observational learning is definitely i feels plays a huge part in adolescents.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Fernando L Sousa says:

    The founder of Social learning theory, behavior can be learned through a group setting also reward and punishment which i do agree with if i know there’s a negative consequence to a behavior odds are i won’t do it I can’t speak for the rest of the class !! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: