Albert Bandura, a renowned psychologist whose name has become nearly synonymous with his 1961 Bobo doll experiment, passed away today at age 95, due to congestive heart failure.
The psychologist will be remembered for his theories that brought a new phase in the field of psychology and education all along. He had completed his bachelor’s in psychology in 1949 from the University of British Columbia where he won the Bolocan Award in psychology. Bandura went to the University of Iowa where he completed his master’s, and later in 1952, he received his PhD degree. Later on, Bandura began his research in his respective field which helped him gain recognition.
He explored the foundations of human learning. He observed that children imitate the behaviour they observe from others. His Bobo doll experiment has demonstrated the actual concept of observational learning. His work came to be one of the most popular psychology experiments.
Bandura was born on 4th December 1925, in a small Canadian town located approximately 50 miles from Edmonton. The youngest of six children, Bandura’s early education consisted of one small school with only two teachers for high school. According to Bandura, because of this limited access to educational resources, ‘the students had to take charge of their own education.’
A 2002 survey by the American Psychological Association (APA) ranked Bandura as the fourth most-frequently cited psychologist of all time, behind B. F. Skinner, Sigmund Freud, and Jean Piaget.
In 2014, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for his foundational contributions to social psychology, notably for uncovering the influence of observation on human learning and aggression. In 2016, he was awarded the National Medal of Science by president Barack Obama.
Dr C. George Boeree, a professor emeritus at Shippensburg University, described Bandura as someone who ‘has had an enormous impact on personality theory and therapy.
‘His straightforward, behaviourist-like style makes good sense to most people. His action-oriented, problem-solving approach likewise appeals to those who want to get things done, rather than philosophise about ids, archetypes, actualisation, freedom, and all the many other mentalistic constructs personologists tend to dwell on.’
The APA said: ‘Albert Bandura was not only one of the most influential leaders in psychology, but also one of the most important social scientists in history.’