Albert Bandura, a psychologist who reshaped modern understanding of human behavior with his insights into such questions as how people interact and learn, how they develop and in some cases violate moral codes, and how the belief in one’s ability helps determine success, died July 26 at his home in Stanford, Calif. He was 95.
The cause was congestive heart failure, said his daughter Mary Bandura.
Dr. Bandura, who spent his entire academic career at Stanford University, was known to generations of psychology students as the author of the seminal Bobo doll studies. The substance of those studies, if not Dr. Bandura’s name, is common knowledge to anyone ever acquainted with the folly of asking a child to “do as I say, not as I do.”
In experiments conducted in the early 1960s, Dr. Bandura presented preschool-age children with film footage of adults striking, kicking and otherwise abusing an inflatable clown called Bobo. Compared with children who did not see the footage, the children exposed to the violent example were more likely to abuse Bobo dolls when given the opportunity to play with them.
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