Bandura joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology at Stanford University in 1953, where he has remained to pursue his career. In 1974 the American Psychological Association elected him to its presidency.
Bandura was initially influenced by Robert Sears' work on familial antecedents of social behavior and identificatory learning, Bandura directed his initial research to the role of social modeling in human motivation, thought, and action. In collaboration with Richard Walters, his first doctoral student, Bandura engaged in studies of social learning and aggression. Their joint efforts illustrated the critical role of modeling in human behavior and led to a program of research into the determinants and mechanisms of observational learning (part of which has become known in the history of psychology as the "Bobo Doll experiment"). The program also led to Bandura's first book, Adolescent Aggression in 1959, and to a subsequent book, Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis in 1973.
In 1963 Bandura published his second book, Social Learning and Personality Development. In 1974 Stanford University awarded him an endowed chair and he became David Starr Jordan Professor of Social Science in Psychology. In 1977, Bandura published the ambitious Social Learning Theory, a book that altered the direction psychology took in the 1980s.
In the course of investigating the processes by which modeling alleviates phobic disorders in snake-phobics, Bandura found that self-efficacy beliefs (which the phobic individuals had in their own capabilities to alleviate their phobia) mediated changes in behavior and in fear-arousal. He then launched a major program of research examining the influential role of self-referent thought in psychological functioning. Although he continued to explore and write on theoretical problems relating to myriad topics, from the late 1970s he devoted much attention to exploring the role that self-efficacy beliefs play in human functioning.
In 1986 Bandura published Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory, a book in which he offered a social cognitive theory of human functioning that accords a central role to cognitive, vicarious, self-regulatory and self-reflective processes in human adaptation and change. This social cognitive theory has its roots in an agentic perspective that views people as self-organizing, proactive, self-reflecting and self-regulating, not just as reactive organisms shaped by environmental forces or driven by inner impulses.
In his 1997 book, Self Efficacy: The Exercise of Control, Bandura set forth the tenets of his theory of self-efficacy and its applications to fields as diverse as life-course development, education, health, psychopathology, athletics, business, and international affairs. Bandura has lectured and written on topics such as escaping homelessness, deceleration of population growth, transgressive behavior, mass communication, substance abuse, and terrorism. He has explored the manner in which people morally disengage when they perpetrate inhumanities, and he has traced the psychosocial tactics by which individuals and societies selectively disengage moral self-sanctions from inhumane conduct. He has called for a civilized life with humane standards buttressed "by safeguards built into social systems that uphold compassionate behavior and renounce cruelty".
- Albert Bandura: A Biographical Sketch
- Albert Bandura Web Site
- Self-Efficacy Web Site: A Community of Scholars
- Easy-to-remember URL for Emory-hosted pages: www.albertbandura.org
- "Albert Bandura on Adolescence", a C S Hayden blog archive. Retrieved 2007-09-07.
- Bandura, A. (1973). Aggression: A social learning analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
- Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
- Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. ISBN 013815614X
- Bandura, A. (1989). Social cognitive theory. In R. Vasta (Ed.), Annals of Child Development, 6. Six theories of child development (pp. 1-60). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
- Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: W. H. Freeman. ISBN 0716726262
- Bandura, A. (1999). Moral disengagement in the perpetration of inhumanities. Personality & Social Psychology Review, 3, 193-209.
- Bandura, A., & Walters. Richard H. (1959). Adolescent aggression; a study of the influence of child-training practices and family interrelationships. New York: Ronald Press.
- Bandura, A., & Walters, R. H. (1963). Social learning and personality development. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.
- Evans, R. I. (1989). Albert Bandura: The man and his ideas: A dialogue. New York: Praeger.
- Haggbloom, S. J., Warnick, R., et al. (2002). The 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century. Review of General Psychology, 6(2), 139-152.
- Zimmerman, Barry J., & Schunk, Dale H. (Eds.)(2003). Educational psychology: A century of contributions. Mahwah, NJ, US: Erlbaum. ISBN 0805836810
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