Bandura and Adams Analysis of self-efficacy theory of behavioural change.
Aim To assess the self-efficacy of patients undergoing systematic desensitisation in relation to their behaviour with previously phobic objects.
Methodology A controlled quasi-experiment with patients with snake phobias.
Participants Ten snake phobic patients who replied to an advertisement in a newspaper. There were nine females and one males, aged 19-57 years.
Procedure Pre-test assessment: each patient was assessed for avoidance behaviour towards a boa constrictor, then fear arousal was assessed with an oral rating of 1-10 and finally efficacy expectations (how well they thought they will be able to perform different behaviours with the snake). Their fear of snakes was also measured on a scale, along with their own rating on how effectively they would be able to cope.
Continued... Systematic desensitisation: a standard programme was followed, where patientes were introduced to a series of events involving snakes and each were taught relaxation. These ranged from imagining looking at a picture of a snake to handling a live snake. Post-test assessment: each participant was again measured on behaviours and belief of self-efficacy in coping.
Findings Higher levels of post-tests self-efficacy were found to correlate with higher levels of interaction with snakes.
Conclusion Desensitisation enhanced self-efficacy levels, which in turn led to a belief that the participant was able to cope with the phobic stimulus of a snake.