Albert Bandura, awarded with the National Medal of Science
A well-deserved recognition to one of the most important theorists on learning.
Albert Bandurathe Ukrainian-Canadian psychologist and pedagogue who developed the Social Learning Theory, has been awarded the National Medal of Science Medal of Science. Bandura is professor emeritus at Stanford University, a position he has held since 1953.
The award is given annually and is presented 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. In addition to Bandura, this year's edition has eight winners including microbiologists, physicians and physicists. The awardees will receive their medals from Barack Obama in January at a White House ceremony.
Albert Bandura's contributions to psychology
Albert Bandura has stood out as a theorist and experimenter of social learning theory.. His work has been pioneering in the investigation of learning based on imitation or vicarious learning. He has also been important in understanding the process of intrinsic motivation and the regulation of one's own behavior, since in his theories he has paid attention to concepts such as expectations or self-efficacy beliefs.
In addition, he has also been interested in personality development and has promoted the so called socio-cognitive approach approach to personality development. Bandura introduced the concept of "reciprocal determinism", in which he explains that not only the environment influences the person, but that the person is also capable of influencing the environment.
On the other hand, Bandura has also been trained in Clinical Psychology and has contributed significantly to psychological therapy, since he is responsible for the structuring of cognitive-behavioral techniques based on the observation of a model, for example to cure phobias. Bandura took a step forward to leave radical behaviorism behind.
You can read the following articles if you want to go deeper into his theory:
"Albert Bandura's Social Learning Theory".
"Albert Bandura's Self-Efficacy: do you believe in yourself?"
"Albert Bandura's Personality Theory."
Studies on aggression: the Bobo doll experiment.
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 best known experiments in psychology is that of the Bobo doll.
Bandura used a doll named Bobo to demonstrate that learning depends on more than just rewards and punishments. After showing a video to a group of children showing an adult hitting a doll and yelling "stupid" at it, the children were left in a small room with a Bobo doll. The children's reaction was to whip the doll while shouting "stupid". On the other hand, a group of children who did not see the video were also left in the room, but they did not show aggressive behavior.
In this link you can visualize Albert Bandura's famous experiment.
Bandura explained that he was surprised by the influence his research has had, as it has been useful in addressing issues such as prevention of aggression by children. In fact, much subsequent research into the social patterns generated in the home, on television or in peer groups was prompted by his experiments.
Bandura feels very fortunate to receive this award.
Considered one of the most influential and important psychologists in history, his innovative line of research has enriched our understanding of learning and education. But in addition, other areas of application such as sport or coaching have also been nourished by concepts such as self-efficacy. The theory of self-efficacy has had a wide repercussion, as it has allowed us to learn more about our own learning and education.ues has allowed us to learn more about motivation, and has even been important in the field of wellness and health..
Despite his great professional trajectory, Bandura has been surprised. After learning that he will receive the National Medal of Science, he said in a press release, "After realizing that the call was not a joke organized by my colleagues, I feel fortunate to receive this award." He added, "The Medal of Science also recognizes the contributions of psychology to human betterment."
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)