Albert Bandur to , the Ukrainian-Canadian psychologist and pedagogue who developed the Social Learning Theory, has been awarded the National Medal of Science of the United States. 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 exceptional contributions to science, technology and engineering. In addition to Bandura, this year’s edition has eight winners including microbiologists, physicians and physicists. The recipients 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 the theory of social learning . His work has been a pioneer 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 behaviour, since in his theories he has paid attention to concepts such as expectations or beliefs of self-efficacy.

In addition, he has also been interested in the development of personality and has promoted the so-called socio-cognitive approach to it. 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 trained in Clinical Psychology and has contributed significantly to psychological therapy, since he is responsible for structuring cognitive-behavioral techniques based on the observation of a model, for example to cure phobias. Bandura took a step forward to leave behind radical behaviorism.

You can read the following articles if you want to deepen your theory:

  • “Albert Bandura’s Theory of Social Learning”
  • “Albert Bandura’s Self-Efficacy: Do you believe in yourself?”
  • “Albert Bandura’s Personality Theory”

Aggression Studies: The Bobo Doll Experiment

Bandura also became 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 the Bobo doll .

Bandura used a doll called Bobo to show 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,” the children were left in a room with a Bobo doll. The children’s reaction was to whip the doll to the scream of “stupid”. In contrast, a group of children who did not see the video were also left in the room, but they did not show any aggressive behavior.

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

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 on the social models generated by the home, television or peer groups was driven by her experiments.

Bandura feels very lucky to receive this award

Considered one of the most influential and important psychologists in history, his innovative line of research has allowed us to enrich 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 impact, p ues has allowed us to know more about motivation, and has even been important in the field of welfare and health .

Despite his great professional career, 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 lucky to receive this award. He added: “The Science Medal also recognizes the contributions of psychology to human betterment.