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Albert Bandura, awarded with the National Medal of Science

Albert Bandura, awarded with the National Medal of Science

September 7, 2022

Albert Bandur to , the Ukrainian-Canadian psychologist and pedagogue who developed the Theory of Social Learning, 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 delivered 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 winners will receive their medals from the hand of Barack Obama in January at a ceremony in the White House


The contributions of Albert Bandura to psychology

Albert Bandura has stood out as a theorist and experimenter of social learning theory . His works have been pioneers in the investigation of learning based on imitation or vicarious learning. It has also been important to understand the process of intrinsic motivation and the regulation of one's own behavior, since in their theories they have paid attention to concepts such as expectations or self-efficacy beliefs.

In addition, he has also been interested in the development of personality and has promoted the call sociocognitive approach this. Bandura introduced the concept of "reciprocal determinism", in which he explains that not only the environment influences the person, but the person is also able to influence 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 stepped 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"
  • "The Self-efficacy of Albert Bandura: do you believe in yourself?"
  • "Albert Bandura's Theory of Personality"

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 Bobo doll .


Bandura used a doll named Bobo to show that learning depends on more than just rewards and punishments. After teaching a video to a group of children in which an adult appeared hitting a doll and shouting "stupid", they were left in a room where there was a Bobo doll. The reaction of the children was to whip the doll to the cry of "stupid". On the contrary, a group of children who did not see the video were also left in the room, but these did not show aggressive behavior.

In this link you can see the famous Albert Bandura experiment.

Bandura explained that he was surprised by the influence that his investigations have had, since they have been useful to address issues such as the prevention of aggression on the part of children. In fact, many investigations that have been carried out later about the social models that are generated in the home, television or groups of friends were driven by their experiments.

Bandura feels very lucky to receive this award

Considered one of the most influential and important psychologists in history, his line of innovative research has allowed us to enrich our understanding of learning and education. But in addition, other areas of application such as sports or coaching have also been nourished by concepts such as self-efficacy. The theory of self-efficacy has had a wide impact, pues has allowed to know more about motivation, and has even been important in the field of well-being and health .

Despite his great professional career, Bandura has been surprised. After knowing that he will receive the National Medal of Science, he declared in a press release: "After realizing that the call was not a joke organized by my colleagues, I feel fortunate to receive this award." And he added: "The medal of science also recognizes the contributions of psychology to human improvement."


The National Medals of Science and of Technology & Innovation (September 2022).


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