Albert Bandura, winner of the National Science Medal

Albert Bandura, The Ukrainian-Canadian psychologist and educator who developed the theory of social learning has been awarded the United States National Medal of Science. Bandura is Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, having held it since 1953.

The award is presented annually and is awarded directly by the President of the United States. The National Medal of Science recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science, technology and engineering. Besides Bandura, this year’s edition features eight winners, including microbiologists, doctors and physicists. Winners to receive their medals from Barack Obama in January at White House ceremony

Albert Bandura’s contributions to psychology

Albert Bandura he excelled as a theorist and experimenter in social learning theory. His work pioneered research into imitation-based learning or vicarious learning. He also played an important role in understanding the process of intrinsic motivation and the regulation of his own behavior, as in his theories he paid attention to concepts such as self-efficacy expectations or beliefs.

In addition, he was also interested in the development of personality and led the so-called sociocognitive approach of that. Bandura introduced the concept of “reciprocal determinism”, in which he explains that not only the environment influences the person, but the person is also able to influence the environment.

On the other hand, Bandura was also trained in clinical psychology and made a significant contribution to psychological therapy, as it is due to the structuring of cognitive-behavioral techniques based on the observation of a model, for example for cure phobias. Bandura has taken a step forward to abandon radical behavioralism.

You can read the following articles if you want to delve deeper into his theory:

  • “Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory”

  • “Self-efficacy of Albert Bandura: Do you believe in yourself?”

  • “Albert Bandura’s Theory of Personality”

Aggression Studies: The Bobo Doll Experience

Bandura was also interested in the study of aggression and tested his hypothesis that aggressive behavior can be learned by observing others. One of his most famous and well-known experiments in psychology is that of ninot Bobo.

Bandura used a doll named Bobo to show that learning depends on something more than just rewards and punishments. After teaching a video to a group of children in which an adult appeared beating a doll and calling him “stupid”, they were left in a room with a Bobo doll. The children’s reaction was to whip the doll at the cry of “stupid”. In contrast, a group of children who did not see the video were also left in the living room, but these did not show aggressive behavior.

In this link you can see the famous experiment of Albert Bandura.

Bandura explained that he was surprised by the influence of his research, as it has been useful in solving problems such as preventing child abuse. In fact, much of the research that has since been conducted on social models generated at home, on television, or in groups of friends has been driven by his experiences.

Bandura feels very lucky to receive this award

Considered one of the most influential and important psychologists in history, his groundbreaking line of research has enriched our understanding of learning and education. But in addition, other areas of application such as sports or coaching have also been nourished by concepts such as self-efficacy. The theory of self-efficacy has had wide repercussions, phelped to learn more about motivation and even played an important role in the field of well-being and health.

Despite his successful career, Bandura was surprised. After learning that he would receive the National Medal of Science, he said in a press release: “After realizing that the appeal was not a joke organized by my colleagues, I feel lucky to receive this award. . ” And he added, “The Science Medal also recognizes the contributions of psychology to human improvement.”

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