The Situationist

Albert Bandura wins Grawemeyer Award

Posted by The Situationist Staff on April 22, 2008

Albert BanduraFrom The Observer:

Albert Bandura was awarded [one of the] 2008 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Awards [for $200,000].

A native of Canada, Albert Bandura received his doctoral degree from the University of Iowa in 1952. He began his appointment at Stanford University in 1953, where he remains as the David Starr Jordan professor of social science in psychology. In 2002 Bandura was ranked the 20th Century’s fourth most eminent psychologist in a survey conducted by the Review of General Psychology, coming in behind only B.F. Skinner, Jean Piaget, and Sigmund Freud. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Bandura has received APS’s highest honors, the William James Fellow Award and the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award, in recognition of his lifetime of contributions to both basic and applied psychological science. In addition to the APS awards, Bandura has received the Gold Medal Award for lifetime contributions from the American Psychological Foundation.

Bandura’s list of distinctions, including the Grawemeyer Award, stems from his ground-breaking research on motivational factors and self-regulatory mechanisms that influence behavior. His famous “Bobo Doll Studies” of the determinants and mechanisms of observational learning led to the development of social learning theory; an approach later termed Social Cognitive Theory. Bandura showed that people’s attitudes, values, and styles of behavior can be shaped through the power of social modeling. the way we learn and act in the future can be shaped simply by watching others and modeling our behavior after them. His early later research focused on the role of self-efficacy in motivation, learning, and action. This emphasis on cognition is what set Bandura apart from other behaviorists at the time, who explained behavior solely in terms of its environmental influence effects.

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To watch a 93-minute video of Albert Bandura discussing his pioneering work in the area of social learning and social cognitive theory, including its direct influence on the design of the original entertainment education telenovelas in Mexico, click on the video below.

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