Psychology Study Material: Albert Bandura and Humanistic Approach to Personality

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Albert Bandura

  • According to him, we possess the ability to foresee the probable consequences of certain of our behaviours in a given setting, without actually having carried out those behaviours or actually being in those settings. This so happens primarily as a result of “observational learning” i.e.. , having seen the outcomes of others (models) performing the same behaviours in same or similar situations.
  • For example, this is how we learn to be aggressive, sociable, or industrious.
    • Bandura also emphasized
    • Self-efficacy, and
    • Reciprocal determinism
Albert Bandura


  • Self-efficacy consists of learned expectations that one is capable of performing a certain behaviour or producing a desired outcome.
  • Self-efficacy is the underlying variable in people՚s faith in their ability to carry out a particular behaviour.
  • The higher the sense of self-efficacy in a person the greater will be the persistence in his behaviour, and also the greater will be the likelihood of his success.

Reciprocal Determinism

  • According to Bandura, the key to understanding behaviour lies in reciprocal determinism.
  • We can understand the personality and behaviour of a person by understanding the interaction between the environment, behaviour, and the individual; and how this interaction causes people to behave in the manner they do.
  • Environment affects behaviour and the behaviour in turn affects the environmental factors.

For example

  • A woman likes to make friends. She gets an opportunity to make friends at parties. She in turn arranges parties herself and invites people she likes, or those she thinks are potential friends.
  • Her desire for finding friends is satisfied as a result, at the same time she becomes confident that she can achieve what she wants by working on it. This causes persistence in her behaviour.

Humanistic Approach to Personality

  • The humanistic approach stresses that people possess a basic goodness and have a natural tendency to grow to higher levels of functioning.
  • They have a conscious, self-motivated ability to change and improve.
  • The basic goodness, and the natural tendency to grow, along with their unique creative impulses form the core of personality.

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