Self-efficacy, one's self- judgments of personal capabilities to initiate and successfully perform specified tasks at designated levels, expend greater effort, and persevere in the face of adversity. (Bandura, 1977; 1986)
A student when asked, "How much is ten divided by one?" wrote eight. When asked how he arrived at the answer, the boy replied, "Well, I knew the answer was ten, but our teacher always tells us that when you divide, the answer has to be smaller than the number you started with. So I figured if ten wasn't right, the answer must be nine.“ "But you wrote down eight," said the puzzled teacher. "Why was that?" " Well," replied the boy, sheepishly, " everybody always tells me how stupid I am. So I figured if I put down the right answer, they would think I was cheating."
It influences: The EFFORT we put forth How long we PERSIST when we confront obstacles (and in the face of failure) How we FEEL The CHOICES we make
Successes build up a strong sense of efficacy. Failures undermine a sense of efficacy. If people experience only easy successes they expect quick results and are easily discouraged by failure. Strong Self-efficacy requires overcoming obstacles through perseverant effort.
Experience provided by social models. Seeing models similar to oneself succeed through effort, raises one’s beliefs that they too possess the capabilities to master comparable activities. Observing others’ fail despite high effort, lowers one’s perceived self-efficacy. NOTE: the greater the assumed similarity to the model, the more persuasive will his/her successes and failures be.
People who are verbally persuaded that they possess the capabilities to master activities, will mobilize greater effort and sustain it. Those who harbor self-doubt and dwell on personal deficiencies when problems arise will not make the extra effort needed to succeed. NOTE: It’s more difficult to persuade positively and instill high beliefs of personal efficacy by social persuasion than undermine it.
Reducing people’s stress reactions. Affective arousal is viewed as an energizing factor. Relying on somatic and emotional states in judging one’s capabilities.
People who regard themselves as highly efficacious act, think, and feel differently from those who perceive themselves as inefficacious. They produce their own future, rather than simply foretell it. - Albert Bandura
ACTION is organized initially in thought. (we create an anticipatory scenario) HIGH SENSE OF EFFICACY scenarios provide guides and supports for performance LOW SENSE OF EFFICACY Visualize failure scenarios and dwell on what can go wrong.
It is widely assumed that beliefs in personal determination of outcomes create a sense of efficacy and power, whereas beliefs that outcomes occur regardless of what one does result in apathy. - Albert Bandura
Through forethought people motivate themselves anticipatorily. People form beliefs about what they can do and anticipate likely outcomes. They set goals and plan courses of action.
a) Causal attributions (attribution theory) Failures are attributed to insufficient effort. Failures are attributed to low ability. b) Outcome expectancies (expectancy-value theory) A course of behavior will give a positive outcome. Self doubt about capacity makes people slacken efforts and give up quickly when faced with obstacles. c) Cognized Goals (goal theory) Explicit, challenging goals enhance and sustain motivation. Self-efficacy beliefs contribute to motivation in: determining the goals people set for themselves, how much effort they expend, how long they persevere in the face of difficulties, and their adaptability to failures. Not pursuing an attractive option because one judges he lacks the capability for it.
Those who believe they cannot manage threats experience high anxiety arousal. They perceive an inability to turn off disturbing thoughts, this produces depression and anxiety. People who believe they can exercise control over threats do not conjure up disturbing thought patterns. They regulate stress and depression. Routes to depression: unfulfilled aspiration, low sense of social efficacy (not developing supportive relationships), no control over ruminative thoughts.
PROVERB: “ You cannot prevent the birds of worry and care from flying over your head. But you can stop them from building a nest in your head.”
CHOICE OF ACTIVITY AND ENVIRONMENT Belief of personal efficacy Cultivation of competencies, interests and social networks Promotion of values and interests
Newborns come without any sense of self. Through exploratory experiences infants learn that actions produce effects. Infants who experience success in controlling environmental events become more attentive to their own behavior and more competent in learning efficacious responses. Parents who are responsive to their infants’ behavior, and create opportunities for efficacious actions (providing an enriched physical environment and permitting exploration. Infant accelerates social and cognitive development. Parents respond, increasing cognitive development Infant accelerates social and cognitive development.
Peers serve several important efficacy functions: the more experienced provide models and age-mates provide informative comparisons. Children tend to choose peers who share similar interests and values. Selective peer association will promote self- efficacy in directions of mutual interest, leaving other potentialities underdeveloped. School is the primary setting for the cultivation and validation of cognitive competencies. Children acquire problem-solving skills essential for participating effectively in a larger society.
In young adulthood people learn to cope with dew demands: lasting partnerships, marital relationships, parenthood, and occupational careers. Entering adulthood with poor skills and self-doubts will bring stress and depression in adult life. Teens must assume full responsibility for themselves in almost every dimension of life: mastering new skills of adult society. Adolescence strengthen their efficacy by dealing successfully with potentially troublesome matters.
By the middle years people settle into established routines that stabilize their sense of self-efficacy in the major areas of functioning. Still, middle agers find themselves pressured by younger challengers where they must compete. Many physical abilities decrease as people grow older – self-efficacy needs to be reappraised for activities in which the biological functions have been affected. Major life changes require new interpersonal skills to be cultivated. Self-efficacy must be sustained!
Self-Efficacy BeliefsSelf-Concept Beliefs Self-Efficacy: Assessment of Competence – an individuals judgment of his or her capabilities to perform given actions. Self-Concept: vicarious dimensions that individuals attribute to themselves, typically accompanied by a self-evaluative judgment of self-worth (self esteem). Judgment of confidence Context sensitive Can be task specific In reference to a goal A question of CAN (Can I do this?) Judgment of self-worth Not context sensitive Not task specific Independent of goal A question of Being / Feeling (Who am I? How do I feel?)
"If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done." - Vince Lombardy
“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning." Mahatma Gandhi
"Let us not confuse ourselves by failing to recognize that there are two kinds of self-confidence—one a trait of personality and another that comes from knowledge of a subject. It is no particular credit to the educator to help build the first without building the second. The objective of education is not the production of self-confident fools." Albert Bandura Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control, p. 65
The Little Blue Engine by Shel Silverstein The little blue engine looked up at the hill. His light was weak, his whistle was shrill. He was tired and small, and the hill was tall, And his face blushed red as he softly said, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” So he started up with a chug and a strain, And he puffed and pulled with might and main. And slowly he climbed, a foot at a time, And his engine coughed as he whispered soft, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” With a squeak and a creak and a toot and a sigh, With an extra hope and an extra try, He would not stop — now he neared the top — And strong and proud he cried out loud, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!” He was almost there, when — CRASH! SMASH! BASH! He slid down and mashed into engine hash On the rocks below... which goes to show If the track is tough and the hill is rough, THINKING you can just ain’t enough!