• Canadian, born in northern Alberta
  • Behaviourism theory of the time stated that one’s environment causes one’s behaviour
  • Bandura agreed that environment causes behaviour, but he also believed that behaviour causes environment – he labelled this “reciprocal determinism” – that the world and a person’s behaviour cause each other
  • He studied personality as it interacted with environment, behaviour and a person’s psychological processes

Famous Bobo Doll Study:

  • A film was taken of one of his students beating up a bobo doll ( an inflatable egg-shaped balloon with a weighted bottom that makes it bob back up when knocked over – Bobo the clown)
  • The student punched the clown, kicked it, sat on it, hit it with a hammer, yelled at it etc.
  • The film was shown to kindergarten students – they liked it
  • They were let out to play – in the playroom was a new bobo doll, hammers etc, and observers
  • The kids beat the bobo doll, imitated the woman in the film, kicked, punched, shouted at it, etc.
  • The children changed their behaviour – called “observational learning” or “modelling”
  • Bandura varied the situation and this allowed him to identify the steps in the modelling process:
    • Attention – one has to pay attention to learn anything – things that put a damper on attention decrease learning (sleepy, drugs, sick etc.) – if a model is colourful and attractive, one pays more attention to it (ie. TV and effect on kids)
    • Retention – must retain and remember what you have paid attention to
    • Reproduction – reproduce behaviour – the ability to imitate improves with practice and when we imagine ourselves performing
    • Motivation – one must be motivated to imitate (reinforcement)  – negative motivation (punishment) is reason not to imitate
  • Self regulation – controlling one’s own behaviour is an important part of human personaliy
    • 3 steps i) self observation – keeps tabs on own behaviour, being aware of what

you are doing

ii) judgement – compare own behaviour with the standard

iii) self – response –  one rewards or punishes self in comparison with the


    • This results in self esteem being positive (meeting standards and rewarding self ) or negative (failing to meet standards and punishing self)
  • Bandura’s theory has made the public and political affairs realize that violence causes aggression in children.
author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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