from the world's big
Rock Star Psychologist Bandura Receives National Medal of Science
He formed social learning theory. He made self-efficacy a game-changing concept. And he really did a number on Bobo the Clown. Albert Bandura is the Keith Moon of psychology.
Albert Bandura, one of the most famous psychologists of all time, has just received the National Medal of Science. According to a 2002 study, Bandura is the most eminent living psychologist and the fourth most cited of all time.
His famous Bobo doll experiments in 1961 and 1963 are some of the most influential psychological studies ever, as their findings have been replicated by numerous studies since. In the study, one group of children watched as adults threw Hulk Hogan-style smackdowns on an inflatable clown doll and used kid-friendly verbal aggression against the doll. Another group of children were not exposed to the clown punching. The children who were exposed to the violent adults were much more likely to imitate the behavior, by kicking, punching, and pummeling the doll. The results confirmed Bandura’s theory of social learning: that we learn through observing, imitating, and modeling. Before this experiment, psychologists believed witnessing violence would “purge” one of their aggressive instincts. Bandura proved them wrong. He reran the experiment in 1963, this time with children watching filmed violence instead. The results were the same — children imitated the aggressive behavior. This research blazed the trail for studying how kids react to violent media.
Bandura’s theories evolved in later decades, as he began to see humans as self-regulating and not at the mercy of external forces. His studies ranged from the late 1970s to 2004, and showed that self-efficacy, or the belief that we have control over our experiences and reactions, could ease the symptoms of phobias and traumas. The idea that we are not just reactive organisms, but that we have the power to self-regulate, to choose, to control, was revolutionary. When we believe things are out of our control, we feel helpless. When we believe there are things we can control, we are empowered. This theory doesn’t undermine the Bobo experiment. We may want to act aggressively when we witness violence; it may even be our go-to reaction. But we have a choice, we have the power to self-reflect, to pause and decide how to respond. That’s a very powerful insight.
Bandura has received 16 honorary degrees, and has been graced with dozens of awards and honors throughout his illustrious career. In 1974, he was named president of the American Psychological Association. Now at 90, he is still teaching and researching at Stanford University, and has one more award for his immeasurable contributions to the field of psychology.
PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Ochs Archive
Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.
- The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
- The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
- It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
The Red Sea area where Neom will be built:
Saudi Arabia Plans Futuristic City, "Neom" (Full Promotional Video)<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c646d528d230c1bf66c75422bc4ccf6f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N53DzL3_BHA?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Are we genetically inclined for superstition or just fearful of the truth?
- From secret societies to faked moon landings, one thing that humanity seems to have an endless supply of is conspiracy theories. In this compilation, physicist Michio Kaku, science communicator Bill Nye, psychologist Sarah Rose Cavanagh, skeptic Michael Shermer, and actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell consider the nature of truth and why some groups believe the things they do.
- "I think there's a gene for superstition, a gene for hearsay, a gene for magic, a gene for magical thinking," argues Kaku. The theoretical physicist says that science goes against "natural thinking," and that the superstition gene persists because, one out of ten times, it actually worked and saved us.
- Other theories shared include the idea of cognitive dissonance, the dangerous power of fear to inhibit critical thinking, and Hollywood's romanticization of conspiracies. Because conspiracy theories are so diverse and multifaceted, combating them has not been an easy task for science.
A growing body of research suggests COVID-19 can cause serious neurological problems.
- The new study seeks to track the health of 50,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.
- The study aims to explore whether the disease causes cognitive impairment and other conditions.
- Recent research suggests that COVID-19 can, directly or indirectly, cause brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage and other neurological problems.
Brain images of a patient with acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis.
COVID-19 and the brain<p>A growing body of research reveals alarming neurological complications among COVID-19 patients. On Wednesday, for example, researchers from University College London published a <a href="https://academic.oup.com/brain/article/doi/10.1093/brain/awaa240/5868408" target="_blank">study</a> in the journal Brain that describes how some patients have suffered temporary brain dysfunction, strokes, nerve damage, and other neurological problems concurrent with COVID-19.</p><p>Some patients suffered brain inflammation as a result of a rare disease called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which can cause numbness, seizures, and confusion. One patient in the study even hallucinated monkeys and lions in her home.</p>
Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images<p>A separate study published in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198407/" target="_blank">Journal of Clinical Neuroscience</a> notes that some COVID-19 patients have also suffered neurological complications like impaired consciousness and acute cerebrovascular disease. The study notes that past viruses like MERS and SARS also seemed to cause neurological problems.</p><p>A troubling finding among this growing body of research is that some patients seem to suffer neurological damage even when respiratory symptoms aren't obvious. Additionally, scientists aren't sure whether damage from the disease will be permanent.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Given that the disease has only been around for a matter of months, we might not yet know what long-term damage COVID-19 can cause," Dr. Ross Paterson, joint first author of the University College London study, said in a <a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/ucl-iid070620.php" target="_blank">press release</a>. "Doctors needs to be aware of possible neurological effects, as early diagnosis can improve patient outcomes."</p><p>If you've been diagnosed with COVID-19 and want to enroll in the study, visit <a href="https://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study" target="_blank">cambridgebrainsciences.com/studies/covid-brain-study</a>.</p>
Coronavirus layoffs are a glimpse into our automated future. We need to build better education opportunities now so Americans can find work in the economy of tomorrow.