Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Curriculum and Instruction EdD

First Advisor

Ruth R. Murdoch

Second Advisor

George A. Akers

Third Advisor

Mercedes Dyer


Problem. One of the major concerns in education today is the improvement of behavior. Over the years various strategies have been proposed to modify human conduct. A careful review of these theories shows many similarities and divergences. Albert Bandura and Ellen G. White, two proponents from different eras and with widely disparate cultural and intellectual heritage, have strongly recommended modeling or example as the major factor in shaping human behavior. The present study sought to determine what, if any, similarities or differences exist in their modeling concepts.

Procedure. This investigation is a descriptive analytical study concerned with concepts and philosophies. The general procedure of the study is conceptually oriented, moving from a broad overview of behavior modification toward basic conceptual aspects of modeling. After an introduction and a review of literature, two chapters provide the reader with necessary background material. Bandura's conceptual framework and experimental studies are discussed in the next two chapters. Then follows a synthesis of White's philosophy of example. Chapter VIII concentrates on the comparison, with ten concepts in Bandura's writings and experiments as the frame of reference. Chapter IX reports the writer's interview with Bandura. The summary, conclusions, and implications of the study are presented in the last chapter.

Summary and Conclusions. The modeling positions of Bandura and White are based on entirely different frames of reference. They bring to their writings divergent approaches, purposes, and values, and non-corresponding philosophical orientations of human nature and reality. Significantly, in spite of these differences, Bandura's modeling concepts were found to corroborate the much earlier views of White. Commonalities exist in the following concepts:

1. Behavior is learned by observing the behavior of other human beings.

2. Real-life models are the basic sources of modeling influences.

3. Modeling is a potent means of behavior transmission and modification.

4. Modeling involves different complex variables originating in the observer and the model.

5. Words and deeds do not possess equal power for changing behavior.

6. Children's behavior results from an interaction of parental modeling and other models in the immediate environment.

7. Parents establish conditions for learning and value acquisition of children during the children's early years.

8. Children are receptive and vulnerable to shaping influences in their environment.

9. Children's learning is facilitated and increased in a warm and supportive atmosphere.

10. Symbolic models are nearly equal to real-life models in effecting behavioral patterns.

11. Aggressive responses result from dangerous thoughts generated by exposure to aggressive symbolic models and generalize to new settings.

12. Some human models are more imitated than others because of their position, competencies, and responsibilities.

13. People choose as models associates with similar values and conduct patterns to themselves.

14. Reference-group models are sources of attitudes and values which are imparted by example.

15. Reinforcement is facilitative, motivating, response strengthening, and informative.

Subject Area

Behavior modification.


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