Bandura graduated with a B.A. from the University of British Columbia with the Bolocan Award in psychology, and then obtained his M.A. in 1951 and Ph.D. in 1952 from the University of Iowa. Upon graduation, he participated in a clinical internship with the Wichita Kansas Guidance Center. The following year, he accepted a teaching position at Stanford University in 1953, which he still holds today. In 1974 the American Psychological Association elected him as its president.
Bandura was initially influenced by Robert Sears' work on familial antecedents of social behavior and identificatory learning; Bandura directed his initial research to the role of social modeling in human motivation, thought, and action. In collaboration with Richard Walters, his first doctoral student, Bandura engaged in studies of social learning and aggression. Their joint efforts illustrated the critical role of modeling in human behavior and led to a program of research into the determinants and mechanisms of observational learning (part of which has become known in the history of psychology as the "Baby Clown Doll experiment"). The program also led to Bandura's first book, Adolescent Aggression in 1959, and to a subsequent book, Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis in 1973.
In 1963 Bandura published his second book, Social Learning and Personality Development. In 1974 Stanford University awarded him an endowed chair and he became David Starr Jordan Professor of Social Science in Psychology. In 1977, Bandura published the ambitious Social Learning Theory, a book that altered the direction psychology took in the 1980s.
In the course of investigating the processes by which modeling alleviates phobic disorders in snake-phobics, Bandura found that self-efficacy beliefs (which...