Alberta Bandura can be safely called the most influential psychologist of all time.
Childhood and early years
Albert Bandura, the youngest of six children and the only son in the family of small farmers, was born in Mandera, in the province of Alberta in Canada. His veins mixed Ukrainian and Polish blood.
The possibilities for getting an education in a tiny village were more than modest. His first knowledge Albert receives in a small village school. However, the boy is not limited to one school course, but actively engages in self-education to expand his knowledge and understanding.
Following the instructions of his father, Albert enters the University of British Columbia. It is here that he suddenly discovers academic psychology. Somehow, having come to class a lot earlier than the appointed time, the boy decides to fill something with a free morning. And, quite by accident, he gets a psychology course in his hands. Here it is a simple “pastime” and foments genuine interest in it, forming the direction of future activity. After studying for about three years, in 1949 Bandura is graduated from the university in a bachelor’s degree and goes on to graduate school at Iowa University, which was the heart of theoretical knowledge in psychology. In 1951, Albert received a master’s degree, and a year later – and a Ph. D.
Already at the university, Bandura deviates from the traditional theory of behaviorism that prevailed in the minds of that time. Instead, he focuses his efforts on describing a psychological process that will repeatedly be subjected to experimental study.
Focusing on the imaginary, he presents his own understanding of the relationship of the individual with the world around him. Instead of using psychoanalysis and studying the personality, he focuses his efforts on developing a practical theory that describes thinking processes through observational instruction and self-regulation.
After receiving a scientific degree, Pandora passes medical practice at the Consulting Center in Wichita, Kansas. Already in the next, 1953, he will take the post of lecturer at Stanford University, where he remains to this day.
At the very beginning of scientific activity, Robert Sears’s work on the topic of social behavior and identities has a strong influence on the views of Pandora. By joining forces with Richard Walters, Bandura begins to explore
the process of socialization and manifestations of aggression.
Based on the theory of socialization, he discovers that the training of the individual and the copying of his behavior is based on three principles: on the stimulus that forms the behavioral response, on the response that influences the behavioral response and on the cognitive functions of socialization, affecting the behavioral response.
After detailed studies of this issue, in 1959 Bandura publishes his first book, “Teenage Aggression.” This work completely rejects Skinner’s modifiers of behavior – rewards, punishments and positive and negative reinforcements – as key methods of dealing with children who manifest aggression. Instead, the author proposes to find out the reason for such excessive cruelty.
Further research in this field leads to the publication in 1973 of his second book, “Aggression: An Analysis of Social Learning.” Continuing her work, Bandura wrote a scientific work “Theory of Social Learning,” which radically changed the direction in which psychology developed in the 1980s.
Completely based on the practical experiments carried out by the author, which were easily verified, the innovative “Theory of Social Learning” became the first such work in psychology. It stood out sharply against the backdrop of the then prevailing theories of Sigmund Freud.
In 1961, Bandura conducts his famous experiment with the doll Bobo, who made a revolution in psychology, changing direction from behaviorism to cognitive behavior. Bandura, by experience, proves that the behavior of adults exerts a large influence on young individuals. In cases where parents were praised for manifestations of cruelty, children constantly beat the doll, imitating adults. However, when such behavior did not receive adult approval, the children stopped beating the doll.
Not limited only to the representation of the theory, Bandura gives a clear explanation of his own views on the cognition of the world by man in the context of social learning. And, ultimately, brings the theory of social learning to the formulation of social cognitive theory.
Reconsidering the accumulated experience from the position of representing a person as a person capable of self-organization, active action, self-analysis and self-regulation, Bandura refutes the traditional concept of the behavior model determined by the influence of external factors, and in 1986 he wrote the book “Social foundations of thoughts and actions: social cognitive theory “.
In this book, he deepens the concept of cognitive theory, suggesting that the individual, in addition to external factors, is also affected by his environment and personal qualities, including cognitive, emotional and biological processes.
In 1970, Mr.. Bandura is studying the influence of faith in the effectiveness of their actions on the activity of human activities. Despite the fact that this issue is considered by him and in the light of other factors, it is the effectiveness of Bandura that mediates all the changes that occur to the person, as well as the main source of emerging fears.
The theory of self-efficacy not only advanced the study of phobias, but also found application in the therapy of victims of natural disasters and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders. It was the sense of self-control that helped people who had experienced such traumas to recover from what had happened. And now, in 1997, Bandura highlights this issue in the book “Self-efficacy: training control.”
Awards and achievements
During his long life Albert Bandura became an honorary doctor of sixteen different universities in the world, including the University of British Columbia, the University of Alfred, the University of Rome, the University of Lethbridge, the University of Salamanca in Spain, the Indian University, the University of New Brunswick, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Leiden, Berlin, Postgraduate School of New York University, Jaime I in Spain, the University of Athens and the University of Catania.
In 1974, Bandura was elected to the post of 82nd president of the American Association of Psychologists.
In 1980 he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Science. In the same year, the American Psychological Association awarded him the “For Outstanding Contribution to Science” prize as the first scientist to seriously study the issue of self-regulation of the individual.
In 1999, Bandura was awarded the Prize. Eduard Li Thorndike “For outstanding contribution to the development of educational psychology.”
In 2001, Bandura was awarded the prestigious Prize for Scientific Achievements of the Association for the Development of Behavioral Therapy. A similar award was presented to him by the Western Association of Psychologists.
The American Psychological Society awarded Bandura with the James McKean Cattell Award, and the American Psychological Foundation awarded the Gold Medal “For Significant Achievements in the Science of Psychology”.
For his invaluable contribution to the development of psychology, Albert Bandura in 2008 was awarded the Greemeemer Prize at the University of Louisville.
Personal life and heritage
In 1952 Albert Bandura connected himself with the marriage of Virginia Varnes. This alliance was blessed with the birth of two daughters, Carol and Mary.
Virginia Warnes passed away in 2011
Albert Bandura is the greatest psychologist of our time, the first to offer the theory of social learning and laid the foundations of the theory of self-efficacy.