Albert BanduraAlbert Bandura is a world renowned psychologist, and perhaps the most well known living psychologist at age 92. He is best known for his social learning theory, and stemming from this his social cognitive theory. His most notable work was the Bobo doll experiment, carried out in 1961. Bandura is considered one of the most influential figures of modern psychology, he has published several books and has achieved many awards over his career. Contents: Early Life and Education.Career and Research.The Bobo Doll Experiments.Social Learning Theory.Achievements and Books. Early Life Albert Bandura was born in 1925 on december 4th in the small town of mundare, with only 400 inhabitants in northern Alberta in Canada. This town mostly consisted of people and immigrants from eastern europe, Ukraine and poland. Both Bandura’s parents come from eastern European descent, the father from poland and his mother from Ukraine, both moving to Canada when they were teenagers. Bandura came from humble beginnings, both his parents were hardworking and instilled a mindset within him which was to favour him in later life. His father worked on a railroad in Canada and his mother worked in a general store. Although both of them had little to none formal education they certainly placed emphasis on it and self educated themselves.Bandura’s education and highschool very much reflected the size of the town he was living in. The high school had very limited resources, examples of this was the fact throughout his whole time in high school he had one maths textbook, and the high school was run by only two teachers. This however created a small but a very much self driven class of students. Bandura and his classmates had to rely on their own initiative and through this it was proven to help him in later life and also his classmates who all went onto universities. His parents support and drive towards education, pushed him to experience new things, This led him to the university of british columbia. Bandura was mainly studying biological sciences and a chance encounter in the library led him to pick up a psychology course book and he decided to take the class. He graduated three years later in 1949. Banadura in order to earn his masters and doctorate wanted to find a university in which psychology was not only at the forefront but was known for it. He was guided towards the University of Iowa, an intense course which was described as taxing, However Bandura although at times finding it tough, ultimately found his time at Iowa university to be very rewarding. He received his masters from Iowa in 1951 and he earned his Phd in clinical psychology in 1952. Career and Research Following his graduation from Iowa University, Bandura interned at the Wichita Guidance Center. In 1953 he managed to secure a teaching position in Stanford University, where he has been working up to the present day. Bandura was originally influenced by the research of American, child psychologist, Robert Richardson Spears. His early research focused on the role of social modelling on human motivation, thought and action. Bandura worked with his first doctoral student, Richard Walters to carry out a series of studies on aggression and social learning. His primary objective was to analyze the principles of human learning and how prepared a child or an adult would be to copy the behaviour displayed by others. He particularly focused on whether people would copy aggressive behaviour, which was the basis for his famous BoBo doll experiment in 1961. Bandura and Walters’ study demonstrated the power of imitation in human behaviour and led to further research into observational learning. The work he did with Walters led to the development of his best known theory, Social Learning Theory, published in 1977. Bandura began to take a more holistic approach towards his view of human cognition in the 1980’s. Because of this he developed his Social Cognitive Theory, as an extention or revision of his previously known Social Learning Theory. In 1986, Bandura published a book entitled Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. In this he put forward the notion that human beings are self-organizing and self-regulating, which contradicted the popular idea in psychology at the time, that individuals are under the control of external forces. This work became the basis for his later research into self efficacy. In the 1970’s Bandura shifted his focus towards self-efficacy and the part it plays in how people function. He found that individuals with self efficacy beliefs were able to overcome their phobias and in 2004 found that the same beliefs could be utilized similarly to alleviate the fear response of people suffering from extreme trauma such as war veterans. Bandura’s study of self-efficacy stretched further and in 2008 he contributed to the study of its role in the education system, specifically on the role of self efficacy beliefs in students who were constantly having to keep up with new technologies. He believed that self regulating efficacy was key in being able to adapt to all of these changes and would be crucial for when the students entered the workforce. Bandura’s work altered the direction of academic psychology from behaviourism alone towards cognitive psychology. The Bobo Doll ExperimentsAlbert Bandura has had a wealth of knowledge, content and research published. However one of his most well known and most studied experiments are his bobo doll experiments, which began in the 1960’s. Bandura sought to find out if the way a child acts socially, specifically in regards to aggression, will mirror what they see and experience. In other words, will they imitate these aggressive behaviours.Bandura, Ross and Ross gathered a sample of seventy two children from Stanford University’s nursery, thirty six girls, and thirty six boys. All of these children were measured on aggression and aggressive behaviour prior to the testing, on a scale of one to five, and they were grouped together into groups accordingly, All of these children were between the ages of three and six.Each child would play in a room for 10 minutes by themselves and then The doll or bobo doll, is a large inflatable doll and it was tested under three different conditions, twenty four children would sit and watch by screen an adult sit with the bobo doll and be gentle not harming it, twenty four would not watch anything at all these being the control, and twenty four would watch an adult beat up or attack the doll, in some cases using weapons like a hammer and knocking it over. Each child was then individually brought into another room with various toys, however this room also contained toy guns, the bobo doll, and hammers. They then recorded the behaviour of each child, with the purpose of measuring “delayed imitation”.What happened next gave great insight into the development of aggression in children. Multiple results were found, the ones that were exposed to the violent behaviour had higher imitation rates, boys were more likely to copy male adults in imitation, Boys were more physical in their imitation then the girls. This is linked to Bandura’s social learning theory as he believes that children learn how to act through observation and imitation. Social Learning TheoryBandura’s social learning theory was backed up thoroughly by the bobo doll experiment, Bandura took note of previous behaviourist theories, such as operant conditioning, by B. F Skinner, an idea where an action will be repeated if reinforced positively and also the opposite applies for the negative reinforcement. He was somewhat in agreement with the idea of classical conditioning, which is learning by association, however, Bandura added two new elements to these theories. One, that there is a process in between the learning and what the individual is learning from. Bandura believes that there is cognitive processes which occurs, that factors in consequences before something is learned. In other words, when imitating the models, i.e the adults, in the bobo doll experiment, between witnessing the violence and the imitation there is a thought or mental process and the individual does not just automatically imitate.This differs from Skinner’s approach which denied the middle process. Bandura believed there were four processes during this cognitive ‘mediation’. If the child is not paying attention they cannot fully imitate what happened or what occured. Stemming from the last point, if the child does not remember the events it once again can not learn the behaviour or imitate it. The person will reproduce the skills or things they have previously learned,And finally motivation plays a factor in this as, if we see someone reaping a reward for their actions we will be more motivated to do the action. Bandura also added to these prior behaviourist theories that we learn from our environment by a process of “observational learning”.To sum up, Bandura believed learning was not purely based on behaviour and that there is a thinking process involved, He believed unlike skinner that learning was not that heavily based on reinforcement, both positive and negative, however he still did think they played a part and also that there was far more cognition when it came to learning and other factors such as your environment affected this learning.Bandura later added to this theory in 1987 and amended some of its ideas regarding the environment in which learning takes place.Achievements Over his career Bandura has accomplished many feats. He has been given over sixteen honorary degrees from Universities across the globe including Alfred University, the University of Rome, the University of British Columbia, the University of Lethbridge, the University of Catania, the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, the University of Athens, the University of Salamanca and Penn State University. In 1974 Bandura was elected for president of the American Psychological Association and in the same year was awarded a chair by Stanford University and became David Starr Jordan Professor of Social Science in Psychology. He has been given several awards from the American Psychological Association over his career. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2014 “for his foundational contributions to social psychology, notably for uncovering the influence of observation on human learning and aggression”. President Barack Obama awarded Bandura by naming him as one of nine recipients of the National Medals of Science in 2015. Bandura is widely viewed as one of the most influential figures of modern psychology, and is cited fourth after Skinner, Freud, and Piaget.