AP Psychology Paper Sample: Albert Bandura

Albert Bandura: What has he contributed to our understanding of social psychology?


We all want to know why people act in different ways. The science of psychology can help us to understand this. One of the most important scientists of this field is Albert Bandura. He is best known for his Social Learning Theory.

According to this theory people act copying other individuals, they learn from one another by imitation, observation and modeling. Bandura believes that social learning occurs as synthesis of psychological and environmental factors. His theory combines behavioral learning theory (learning is influenced by environmental stimuli) and cognitive learning theory (source of learning – psychological factors).

The author of theory said: “Social learning theory approaches the explanation of human behavior in terms of a continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, and environmental determinants” (Bandura, 1977).

This theory have changed science of psychology and helped to explain a variety of behaviors. It was illustrated at experiment with bobo doll (Bandura, 1961). The experiment showed that children usually copy adult’s behaviors.

“In many respects, this research helped create the shift in psychology from a behavioristic to a social-cognitive approach to learning” (Cathy Faye, 2012).

Nowadays we understand that people’s actions are modeling from environment, such as family, friends, TV and so on. The key concepts of Banduras theory we can observe in everyday life, and it helps us to understand the motives of people actions. As a result, we are able to improve our lives, and people’s well-beings.

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