• "Self-belief does not necessarily ensure success, but self-disbelief assuredly spawns failure." From Self-efficacy: The exercise of control, 1997.• "People not only gain understanding through reflection, they evaluate and alter their own thinking." From Social Foundations of Thought and Action, 1986.
• According to Albert Bandura, self-efficacy is “the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations” (1995, p. 2).
• Since Bandura published his seminal 1977 paper, "Self-Efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change," the subject has become one of the most studied topics in psychology.
People with a weak sense of People with a strong sense ofself-efficacy: self-efficacy:• Avoid challenging tasks. • View challenging problems• Believe that difficult tasks as tasks to be mastered. and situations are beyond • Develop deeper interest in their capabilities. the activities in which they participate.• Focus on personal failings • Form a stronger sense of and negative outcomes. commitment to their• Quickly lose confidence in interests and activities. personal abilities (Bandura, • Recover quickly from 1994). setbacks and disappointments.
According to Bandura, there are four major sources of self-efficacy.• 1. Mastery Experiences• 2. Social Modeling• 2. Social Modeling• 4. Psychological Responses
1. Mastery Experiences"The most effective way of developing astrong sense of efficacy is through masteryexperiences," Bandura explained (1994).Performing a task successfully strengthens oursense of self-efficacy. However, failing toadequately deal with a task or challenge canundermine and weaken self-efficacy.
2. Social ModelingWitnessing other people successfullycompleting a task is another important sourceof self-efficacy. According to Bandura, “Seeingpeople similar to oneself succeed by sustainedeffort raises observers beliefs that they toopossess the capabilities master comparableactivities to succeed” (1994).
2. Social ModelingBandura also asserted that people could bepersuaded to belief that they have the skillsand capabilities to succeed. Consider a timewhen someone said something positive andencouraging that helped you achieve a goal.Getting verbal encouragement from othershelps people overcome self-doubt and insteadfocus on giving their best effort to the task athand.
4. Psychological Responses• Our own responses and emotional reactions to situations also play an important role in self-efficacy. Moods, emotional states, physical reactions, and stress levels can all impact how a person feels about their personal abilities in a particular situation. A person who becomes extremely nervous before speaking in public may develop a weak sense of self-efficacy in these situations. However, Bandura also notes "it is not the sheer intensity of emotional and physical reactions that is important but rather how they are perceived and interpreted" (1994). By learning how to minimize stress and elevate mood when facing difficult or challenging tasks, people can improve their sense of self- efficacy.