Stanford psychology professor Albert Bandura has died | News | Palo Alto Online | – Palo Alto Online

Albert “Al” Bandura, the David Starr Jordan Professor of Social Science in Psychology, Emeritus, in the School of Humanities and Sciences (H&S), whose theory of social learning revealed the importance of observing and modeling behaviors, died peacefully in his sleep in his Stanford home on July 26. He was 95.

Bandura is internationally recognized as one of the world’s most influential social psychologists for his groundbreaking research on the importance of learning by observing others. In a 2002 issue of the General Review of Psychology, Bandura was ranked the fourth “most eminent psychologist of the 20th century” behind B. F. Skinner, Jean Piaget and Sigmund Freud.

He is best known for developing social cognitive theory (also known as social learning theory); the concept of self-efficacy – the idea that a person’s belief in their ability to succeed can shape how they think, act and feel; and his Bobo Doll experiments.

“Al Bandura was a giant in the field, whose influence spanned clinical, cognitive, affective and developmental psychology,” said Stanford psychologist Laura Carstensen, the Fairleigh S. Dickinson, Jr. Professor in Public Policy in H&S and the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity.

In 1961 Bandura began a series of experiments that became synonymous with his name and defined his early career. In these “Bobo Doll” experiments, children who observed an adult hitting and yelling at an inflatable doll, called Bobo, were more likely to display aggressive behavior toward the doll when playing with it later. The children