Following in 1977. Bandura began to take

Following his graduation from Iowa University, Bandura interned at the Wichita Guidance Center. In 1953 he managed to secure a teaching position in Stanford University, where he has been working up to the present day. Bandura was originally influenced by the research of American, child psychologist,  Robert Richardson Spears. His early research focused on the role of social modelling on human motivation, thought and action. Bandura worked with his first doctoral student, Richard Walters to carry out a series of studies on aggression and social learning. His  primary objective was to analyze the principles of human learning and how prepared a child or an adult would be to copy the behaviour displayed by others. He particularly focused on whether people would copy aggressive behaviour, which was the basis for his famous BoBo doll experiment in 1961. Bandura and Walters’ study demonstrated the power of imitation in human behaviour and led to further research into observational learning. The work he did with Walters led to the development of his best known theory, Social Learning Theory, published in 1977. Bandura began to take a more holistic approach towards his view of human cognition in the 1980’s. Because of this he developed his Social Cognitive Theory, as an extention or revision of his previously known Social Learning Theory. In 1986, Bandura published a book entitled Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. In this he put forward the notion that human beings are self-organizing and self-regulating, which contradicted the popular idea in psychology at the time, that individuals are under the control of external forces. This work became the basis for his later research into self efficacy. In the 1970’s Bandura shifted his focus towards self-efficacy and the part it plays in how people function. He found that individuals with self efficacy beliefs were able to overcome their phobias and in 2004 found that the same beliefs could be utilized similarly to alleviate the fear response of people suffering from extreme trauma such as war veterans. Bandura’s study of self-efficacy stretched further and in 2008 he contributed to the study of its role in the education system, specifically on the role of self efficacy beliefs in students who were constantly having to keep up with new technologies. He believed that self regulating efficacy was key in being able to adapt to all of these changes and would be crucial for when the students entered the workforce. Bandura’s work altered the direction of academic psychology from behaviourism alone towards cognitive psychology.

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