Renowned psychologist to speak at CLU

Albert Bandura developed social learning theory

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Albert Bandura will discuss his now-classic idea of social learning and his efforts to apply this theory to global problems.

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - March 29, 2012) Albert Bandura, the most-cited living psychologist, will present a free public lecture at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, at California Lutheran University.

Bandura will discuss his now-classic idea of social learning, that people learn largely from observing others, and his current efforts to apply this theory to global problems. A question-and-answer session will follow the talk in Samuelson Chapel.

The emeritus professor of psychology at Stanford University is often described as the most influential psychologist of our time. He is responsible for bridging the gap between 1950s behaviorism and current research into cognitive processes.

Bandura is best known for his famous Bobo doll study, in which he demonstrated that a child watching a video of a woman beating up a doll was likely to behave in exactly the same manner. This important research, which countered the belief that children need to be directly rewarded or punished for behaviors to learn from them, led to years of study on media-modeled aggression in children. Bandura testified before congressional committees about the effects of television violence on children, which helped lead the Federal Trade Commission to pass new advertising standards.

The renowned psychologist also studied self-efficacy, or belief in one's capabilities, and the idea that it can influence a person's environment and outcomes. "He coined the term social cognitive theory, holding that a person's behavior, environment and inner qualities interact, rather than one of them being predominant in explaining how people function," according to Stanford Magazine.

Bandura has consulted on improving the status of women in traditional cultures, preventing the spread of HIV and increasing the use of birth control.

He has also studied moral agency, a person's ability to make moral judgments and act on them, and how people turn off the self-regulatory mechanism that normally keeps their behavior in check. His findings indicate that normal people can do extraordinary harm when techniques such as euphemistic labeling and displacement of responsibility are engaged.

Bandura received the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award and Thorndike Award for Distinguished Contributions of Psychology to Education and the American Psychological Foundation's Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Psychological Science. His books include "Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control," "Social Learning Theory" and "Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory."

The chapel is located south of Olsen Road near Campus Drive. For more information, contact Seth Wagerman at or 805-493-3974.