Biography • Albert Bandura was born on December 4, 1925, in the small town of Mundare in northern Alberta, Canada. • He received his bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia in 1949. • In the University of Iowa, he received his Ph.D. in 1952.
In 1953, he started teaching at Stanford University. • Bandura was president of the APA in 1973, and received the APA’s Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions in 1980 • He collaborated with his first graduate student, Richard Walters, resulting in their first book, Adolescent Aggression, in 1959.
behaviorism • With its emphasis on experimental methods, focuses on variables we can observe, measure, and manipulate, and avoids whatever is subjective, internal, and unavailable. All this boils down to a theory of personality that says that one’s environment causes one’s behavior. • He suggested that environment causes behavior, true; but behavior causes environment as well. He labeled this concept reciprocal determinism: The world and a person’s behavior cause each other.
He began to look at personality as an interaction among three “things:” the environment, behavior, and the person’s psychological processes. • He is often considered a “father” of the cognitivist movement! • Adding imagery and language to the mix allows Bandura to theorize effectively, about two things that many people would consider the “strong suit” of the human species: observational learning (modeling) and self-regulation.
ObservationalLearningormodeling • Of the hundreds of studies Bandura was responsible for, one group stands out above the others -- the bobo doll studies. • He made of film of one of his students, a young woman, essentially beating up a bobo doll.
The woman punched the clown, shouting “sockeroo!” She kicked it, sat on it, hit with a little hammer, and so on, shouting various aggressive phrases. • Bandura showed his film to groups of kindergartners. • These children changed their behavior without first being rewarded for approximations to that behavior!
He called the phenomenon observational learning or modeling, and his theory is usually called “SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY”. • Social learning theory focuses on the learning that occurs within a social context. It considers that people learn from one another, including such concepts as observational learning, imitation, and modeling.
General principles of social learning theory follows: • People can learn by observing the behavior is of others and the outcomes of those behaviors. • Learning can occur without a change in behavior. Behaviorists say that learning has to be represented by a permanent change in behavior, in contrast social learning theorists say that because people can learn through observation alone, their learning may not necessarily be shown in their performance. Learning may or may not result in a behavior change.
Cognition plays a role in learning. Over the last 30 years social learning theory has become increasingly cognitive in its interpretation of human learning. Awareness and expectations of future reinforcements or punishments can have a major effect on the behaviors that people exhibit • Social learning theory can be considered a bridge or a transition between behaviorist learning theories and cognitive learning theories.
Educational implications of social learning theory: • Social learning theory has numerous implications for classroom use. • Students often learn a great deal simply by observing other people. 2. Describing the consequences of behavior is can effectively increase the appropriate behaviors and decrease inappropriate ones.
3. Modeling provides an alternative to shaping for teaching new behaviors. Instead of using shaping, which is operant conditioning, modeling can provide a faster, more efficient means for teaching new behavior. 4. Teachers and parents must model appropriate behaviors and take care that they do not model inappropriate behaviors. 5. Teachers should expose students to a variety of other models. This technique is especially important to break down traditional stereotypes.
6. Students must believe that they are capable of accomplishing school tasks. Thus it is very important to develop a sense of self-efficacy for students. 7. Teachers should help students set realistic expectations for their academic accomplishments. In general in my class that means making sure that expectations are not set too low 8. Self-regulation techniques provide an effective method for improving student behavior.
Behaviors that can be learned through modeling: • Many behaviors can be learned, at least partly, through modeling. Examples that can be cited are, students can watch parents read, students can watch the demonstrations of mathematics problems, or seen someone acting bravely and a fearful situation. Aggression can be learned through models. Much research indicate that children become more aggressive when they observed aggressive or violent models. Moral thinking and moralbehavior are influenced by observation and modeling. This includes moraljudgments regarding right and wrong which can in part, develop through modeling.
Conditions necessary for effective modeling to occur: • Bandura mentions four conditions that are necessary before an individual can successfully model the behavior of someone else: • Attention: the person must first pay attention to the model. 2. Retention: the observer must be able to remember the behavior that has been observed. One way of increasing this is using the technique of rehearsal.
3. Motor reproduction: the third condition is the ability to replicate the behavior that the model has just demonstrated. This means that the observer has to be able to replicate the action, which could be a problem with a learner who is not ready developmentally to replicate the action. For example, little children have difficulty doing complex physical motion. 4. Motivation: the final necessary ingredient for modeling to occur is motivation, learners must want to demonstrate what they have learned. Remember that since these four conditions vary among individuals, different people will reproduce the same behavior differently.
Bandura mentions a number of motives: a. past reinforcement, ala traditional behaviorism. b. promised reinforcements (incentives) that we can imagine. c. vicarious reinforcement -- seeing and recalling the model being reinforced.
Self-regulation • Self-regulation -- controlling our own behavior -- is the other “workhorse” of human personality. Here Bandura suggests three steps: 1. Self-observation. We look at ourselves, our behavior, and keep tabs on it. 2. Judgment. We compare what we see with a standard.
3. Self-response. If you did well in comparison with your standard, you give yourself rewarding self-responses.
Recall that behaviorists generally view reinforcement as effective, and punishment as fraught with problems. The same goes for self-punishment. Bandura sees three likely results of excessive self-punishment: a. compensation -- a superiority complex, for example, and delusions of grandeur. b. inactivity -- apathy, boredom, depression. c. escape -- drugs and alcohol, television fantasies, or even the ultimate escape, suicide.
Bandura’s recommendations to those who suffer from poor self-concepts come straight from the three steps of self-regulation: 1. Regarding self-observation -- know thyself! Make sure you have an accurate picture of your behavior. 2. Regarding standards -- make sure your standards aren’t set too high. Don’t set yourself up for failure! Standards that are too low, on the other hand, are meaningless. 3. Regarding self-response -- use self-rewards, not self-punishments. Celebrate your victories, don’t dwell on your failures.
Self-control therapy • The ideas behind self-regulation have been incorporated into a therapy technique called self-control therapy. • Behavioral charts. Self-observation requires that you keep close tabs on your behavior, both before you begin changes and after.
2. Environmental planning. Taking your lead from your behavioral charts and diaries, you can begin to alter your environment. 3. Self-contracts. Finally, you arrange to reward yourself when you adhere to your plan, and possibly punish yourself when you do not.
MODELING THERAPY • The therapy Bandura is most famous for, however, is modeling therapy. The theory is that, if you can get someone with a psychological disorder to observe someone dealing with the same issues in a more productive fashion, the first person will learn by modeling the second.