25 Albert Bandura Quotes For Analyzing Human Behavior

Take a moment and check out our Albert Bandura quotes and find out why he was regarded as one of the world’s most influential psychologists. 

Alberty Bandura left an indelible mark on the world of psychology. 

If you are a fan of psychology or want to learn more about self-efficacy, you will enjoy our Albert Bandura quotes. 

Who was Albert Bandura?

Albert Bandura was a social cognitive psychologist known for his social learning theory, the concept of self-efficacy, and his Bobo doll experiments. 

He was Professor Emeritus at Standford University and is considered a powerful figure in the world of psychology. 

Check out these Albert Bandura quotes below:

  • Bandura was born in Canada. 
  • Until he died in 2021, Bandura was the most widely cited living psychologist.
  • A 2002 survey ranked Bandura as the fourth most influential psychologist of the 20th century. 

What is the Bobo Doll Study?

Bandura’s most famous experiment occurred in 1961 and was called the Bobo doll study. 

In the experiment, he made a film where an adult model was shown shouting at and beating a Bobo doll, or inflatable plastic clown. 

The film was shown to an audience of children. 

Afterward, the kids were allowed to play in the room with the Bobo doll. 

Bandura found that the students who saw the violent film were much more likely to beat the doll, yell aggressively, and imitate the actions of the adults from the film clip. 

Before this experiment, behaviorist theory was popular in psychology. 

The Bobo doll was groundbreaking because it departed from the behaviorist insistence that all behavior is directed by reinforcement or rewards. 

Since the kids received no encouragement to beat up the doll, it proved that they were imitating what they had observed. 

What did Bandura contribute to psychology?

Bandura’s work is considered part of a new wave of thought that revolutionized psychology. 

His theories have impacted many fields of study, including education, personality psychology, cognitive psychology, and psychotherapy. 

In 1974 he was elected as the president of the America Psychological Association. 

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The APA awarded him for his distinguished scientific contributions in 1980 and 2004. 

To learn more, check out our Albery Bandura quotes below. 

Short Albert Bandura quotes about the nature of humanity

Bandura has been studying human behavior and has discovered some interesting things about us. 

1. “Very often we developed a better grasp of the subjects than the overworked teachers.” — Albert Bandura

2. “Fortunately, most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling from others.” — Albert Bandura

3. “Most of the images of reality on which we base our actions are really based on vicarious experience.” — Albert Bandura

4. “Some of the most important determinants of life paths arise through the most trivial of circumstances.” — Albert Bandura

5. “Given appropriate social conditions, decent, ordinary people can be led to do extraordinarily cruel things.” — Albert Bandura

Albert Bandura quotes and sayings about success, failure, and reputation

Bandura believed that failure was a self-defined principle in our lives. 

6. “Once established, reputations are not easily changed.”— Albert Bandura Encyclopedia of Human Behavior

7. “Success and failure are largely self-defined in terms of personal standards.” — Albert Bandura, Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social-Cognitive Theory

8. “Gaining insight into one’s underlying motives, it seems, is more like a belief conversion than a self-discovery process.” — Albert Bandura, Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social-Cognitive Theory

9. “The higher the self-standards, the more likely will given attainments be viewed as failures, regardless of what others might think.” — Albert Bandura, Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social-Cognitive Theory

10. “Psychology cannot tell people how they ought to live their lives. It can, however, provide them with the means for effecting personal and social change.”— Albert Bandura, Social Learning Theory

The top Albert Bandura quotes about ability and performance

Bandura reminds us that our capabilities often go overlooked. 

11. “Ability is not a fixed property; there is huge variability in how you perform.” — Albert Bandura

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12. “People’s beliefs about their abilities have a profound effect on those abilities.” — Albert Bandura

13. “As we develop the moral aspect of our lives, we often adapt standards of right and wrong that serve as guides and deterrents for our conduct.” — Albert Bandura

14. “In order to succeed, people need a sense of self-efficacy, to struggle together with resilience to meet the inevitable obstacles and inequities of life.” — Albert Bandura

15. “It’s in our ability to selectively engage and disengage our moral standards, and it helps explain how people can be barbarically cruel in one moment and compassionate the next.” — Albert Bandura

The best Albert Bandura quotes about self-efficacy and managing your life

Bandura was a fan of the power of self-efficacy, and these quotes remind us why. 

16. “Self-belief does not necessarily ensure success, but self-disbelief assuredly spawns failure.” — Albert Bandura,  Self-efficacy: The Exercise of Control

17. “By sticking it out through tough times, people emerge from adversity with a stronger sense of efficacy.”— Albert Bandura, Encyclopedia of Human Behavior

18. “Self-efficacy is the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the sources of action required to manage prospective situations.” — Albert Bandura, Self-Efficacy in Changing Societies

19. “If efficacy beliefs always reflected only what people can do routinely, they would rarely fail, but they would not set aspirations beyond their immediate reach nor mount the extra effort needed to surpass their ordinary performances.” — Albert Bandura, Encyclopedia of Human Behavior

20. “People’s beliefs about their abilities have a profound effect on those abilities. Ability is not a fixed property; there is a huge variability in how you perform. People who have a sense of self-efficacy bounce back from failure; they approach things in terms of how to handle them rather than worrying about what can go wrong.” — Albert Bandura, Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control

Famous Albert Bandura quotes about social cognition 

21. “We are more heavily invested in the theories of failure than we are in the theories of success.” — Albert Bandura, APA address, 1998

22. “People not only gain understanding through reflection, they evaluate and alter their own thinking.”— Albert Bandura, Social Foundations of Thought and Action

23. “A theory that denies that thoughts can regulate actions does not lend itself readily to the explanation of complex human behavior.” — Albert Bandura, Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory

24. “People with high assurance in their capabilities approach difficult tasks as challenges to be mastered rather than as threats to be avoided.” — Albert Bandura, Encyclopedia of Human Behavior

25. “People who perceive themselves as a highly efficacious act, think, and feel differently from those who perceive themselves as inefficacious. They produce their own future, rather than simply foretell it.” — Albert Bandura, Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory

How do Bandura’s studies on observational learning impact us?

Classical and operant conditioning are two psychological theories suggesting direct experiences, reinforcement, and punishment drive our learning. 

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Bandura’s work emphasizes that much learning occurs indirectly. 

A classic example is how a child observes adults waving goodbye to one another and immediately copies the behavior. 

At the moment when the child copies the behavior, an impressive amount of learning occurs. 

Psychologists refer to this process as observational learning. 

Observational learning is also referred to as shaping, modeling, or vicarious reinforcement. 

It can occur at any time in our lives, but it is essential during childhood. 

Bandura’s experiments and research revolutionized how psychologists understand observational learning. 

Children learn how to behave and respond by observing their parents or caregivers. 

Observational learning plays a vital role in socializing, understanding the world around us, or even creating an identity. 

Do you have a favorite Albert Bandura quote?

Please, be sure to let us know in the comments section below. 

Clifton Sankofa has Master's degrees in English, Teaching, and School Leadership. He is a veteran educator and school leader. Clifton has built his career around teaching language arts, social-emotional learning, hip-hop(e), and vegan cooking. Across the country, Black and Brown communities die over preventable diseases. Clifton's aim is to help reverse this trend through cultural shifts. Using hip-hop and cultural-centered activities, he educates young people on how to reclaim their health and heritage through sustainable vegan eating, cooking practices, and literacy skills.
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