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Lecture 3

46-330 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Walter Mischel, Albert Bandura, Social Learning Theory

Course Code
PSYC 3300
Ken Cramer

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Textbook Chapter 8: Albert Bandura and Walter Mischel
Many of the men with whom he worked had fled to Alaska to escape creditors, alimony, and
probation offers. Working with such characters instilled in Bandura a keen appreciation for the
psychopathology of everyday life
Bandura began working on the familial causes of aggression with his first graduate student,
Richard Walters
It was this ^ research that he became aware of the importance of modelling and observational
learning for personality development
Bandura's Books: 1st book was Adolescent Aggression. 2nd book was Social Learning and
Personality Development. Subsequent books were Principles of Behaviour Modification,
Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis, Social Learning Theory, Social Foundations of
Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory, Self-Efficacy in Changing Societies, Self-
Efficacy: The Exercise of Control.
Attracted to psychoanalysis
Became a social worker working primarily with juvenile delinquents → caused him to doubt
the usefulness of psychoanalytic theory
Both Rotter and Kelly (whom Mischel became under the influence of) emphasized cognitive
events in dealing with the current situations and de-emphasized the importance of traits and
early developmental experiences
The influence of both men ^ can be seen in Mischel's work
Delayed gratification became one of Mischel's lifelong interests
Interests in personality theory and assessment were furthered by discussions with Gordon
Became a colleague of Bandura
Continues to pursue his life-long standing interests in delayed gratification, self-control, and the
cognitive processes
Consistency of Human Behaviour (Mischel)
It was assumed that how people act at one time in their lives will be more or less how they act
at other times, and that they will tend to respond to similar situations in similar ways
Theorists attempted to account for the consistency they assumed existed
Psychoanalytic Theory attempted to account for it by postulating repressed experiences,
complexes, fixations, or internalized values
Trait theory postulated enduring traits to explain why, learning theory emphasized the role of
The behaviour of any given individual tended to be consistent across similar situations and over
Mischel found that standardized personality tests designed to measure traits were weak
predictors of behaviour
Found that people are better predictors of their own behaviour than best personality tests
^ this work led to his book Personality and Assessment which reviewed studies designed to
measure consistency of behaviour across situations or to measure the relationship between
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