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Self-Confidence Can Make Us Better, Says Grawemeyer Psychology Winner

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- People who believe in themselves can raise their aspirations, motivation and accomplishments and are more apt to try new things by watching others do them.

So says Albert Bandura, a Stanford University professor of social science in psychology who has won the 2008 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology. He was selected for the eighth Grawemeyer psychology prize from among 31 nominations from five countries.

Bandura's ideas have helped define the way today's psychologists understand mind and behavior, award judges said.

He was the first to prove that self-efficacy, our belief in our own capabilities, affects the tasks we choose, how much effort we put into them and how we feel while doing them. He also found that we learn not only through our own beliefs and expectations but by "modeling" or observing others, an idea that led to the development of modern social cognition theory.

"He has had enormous impact not only on psychology, but on other disciplines as well," said his award nomination.

Bandura is the David Starr Jordan professor of social science in psychology at Stanford, where he has taught since 1953. In 2002, he was ranked in a Review of General Psychology survey as the 20th century's fourth most eminent psychologist.

A native Canadian, he received doctoral and master's degrees from University of Iowa after earning his bachelor's degree from University of British Columbia.

He is past president and board chair of the American Psychological Association and, in 2006, won the American Psychological Foundation's Gold Medal Award for distinguished lifetime contribution to psychological science.

The Grawemeyer Foundation at UofL awards $1 million each year -- $200,000 each for works in music composition, ideas improving world order, psychology, education and religion. Winners of the other Grawemeyer Awards also are being announced this week.

For more details or a photo of Bandura, contact Denise Fitzpatrick at 502-852-6171 or, or see

SOURCE University of Louisville
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