Historical Context

On an Emory University website devoted to Bandura, there is a page that traces Bandura's "professional genealogy" back through six previous generations of psychologists. The line of descent goes like this:

• William James influenced

• James Rowland Angell at Harvard University, who influenced

• John Watson at the University of Chicago, who influenced

• Karl Spencer Lashley at Johns Hopkins University, who influenced

• Carney Landis at the University of Minnesota, who influenced

• Art Benton at Columbia University, who influenced

• Albert Bandura at the University of Iowa

POSITIVE

NEGATIVE

REINFORCEMENT 1

The frequency of a behavior is increased because of the behavior of the subject.

When a person receives reinforcement after engaging in some behavior, the person is likely to repeat that behavior.

When a person experiences a negative state and does something to eliminate the undesired state, the person is likely to repeat that behavior.

I PUNISHMENT 1

The frequency of a behavior is decreased because of the behavior of the subject.

When a person engages in a behavior and something negative is applied as a result, that behavior is less likely to be repeated.

When a person engages in a behavior and something positive is taken away, that behavior is less likely to be repeated.

(Courtesy Thomson Gale.)

(Courtesy Thomson Gale.)

Although this is a lighthearted exercise, it has a serious point: No scientist works in isolation. All scientists, including Bandura, are heavily influenced by the work of those who have gone before. In some cases, Bandura built upon the ideas of his predecessors. In other cases, he reacted against an idea by proposing an alternative.

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