III Seminário Internacional Teoria Social Cognitiva em Debate
Slides, video, and transcript of my keynote from Brazil.
1. Thank you very much to the organising committee for inviting me and making this trip possible. It is an honour and a pleasure to be here.
In this talk I would like to speak about self-efficacy in higher education, its power, how we measure it, the relationship it has with other constructs and factors in our lives, and how as educators we can influence the self-efficacy of our students.
2. Albert Bandura, the renowned Australian psychologist first introduced the construct of self-efficacy in 1977. This is a construct that is responsible for so much, I believe it underlies everything that we do. It is not the global construct of self-image, but a very specific belief in capabilities to carry out a task.
Bandura’s initial investigations were striking and not something researchers could directly replicate. He used psychotherapy patients and their fear of boa constrictors to test the accuracy of their reported self-beliefs. The task he gave them was to get progressively closer to the snakes. He asked: How confident are you that you can be in a room with a boa constrictor? How confident are you that you can hold a boa constrictor?
Each task had separate criteria, and through this initial investigation we see a clear demonstration of the power of these beliefs.
3. Bandura confirmed that self-efficacy beliefs have four main influences:
- Mastery experiences
- Vicarious experiences
- Verbal persuasion
- Physiological symptoms
These are presented in order of strength. Firstly, we are influenced by what we have accomplished: If I have done it, I can believe in my capabilities to do it again. Second most influential are vicarious experiences. These are observed experiences. If I have no mastery experience, then watching someone else complete the task will be the most influential for me. If I do have mastery of something, and have accomplished the task before, then even if one of the lesser influences is telling me I might not be successful, for example if someone tells me I cannot do it, that ‘verbal persuasion’ will be overridden by my own positive ‘mastery’ experience. Lastly are physical signs, and those are least influential. Today I am sure that my hands are clammy with nerves, but that will not stop me speaking with confidence to all of you.
Judging self-efficacy is not however as simple as following this list and asking, ‘Have you done it before? Yes? Ah, you’ll be fine.’ There are a complex set of factors that will influence any one of us as we carry out tasks in different times, and in different places.
4. Although other researchers could not directly replicate Bandura’s initial study, there was interest to explore the construct, but not all researchers understood the construct as Bandura defined it, and at that point, there were no established questionnaires or tools to measure self-efficacy. This produced confusion and gaps in understanding of the construct.
In the years following Bandura’s initial investigations self-efficacy was investigated through a variety of different means. Researchers invented their own questionnaires, or simply asked a single, blanket question to measure self-efficacy. Theorists began to question whether these early studies were investigating self-efficacy or a wider, global construct such as self-concept or self-esteem.
Bong, M., & Clark, R. (1999). Comparison between self-concept and self-efficacy in academic motivation research. Educational Psychologist, 34, 139–153.Bong, M., & Skaalvik, E. (2003). Academic self-concept and self-efficacy: How different are they really? Educational Psychology Review, 15, 1–40.
Schwarzer & Jerusalem created a general scale in 1979 that was originally created in German, however there was no construct validation study. Their scale is specifically designed to measure ‘general’ self-efficacy, but this is already at odds with the construct’s definition, BUT this was not clearly understood at the time.
We now know that self-efficacy has to be specific. It is not something general.
The Schwarzer and Jerusalem scale was made readily available and has been translated into over 33 languages. This has meant that many people have used it. Internal reliability reports are good, but it is general and I see this as a problem.
Sherer and his colleagues also created a general self-efficacy scale in 1982. This scale was created for use in academic settings. Like the Schwarzer and Jerusalem scale this was also a general scale, but it had a strong validation study. Because of this, I chose to use this scale as the basis for my research.
Sherer, M., Maddux, J. E., Mercandante, B., Prentice-Dunn, S., Jacobs, B., & Rogers, R. W. (1982). The self-efficacy scale: Construction and validation. Psychological reports, 51(2), 663-671.
5. In 1996, there was an important theoretical shift proposed by Dale Schunk at a meeting of the Annual Educational Research Association. Although this was not a formal, empirical study he presented the theoretical argument in line with Bandura’s definition of self-efficacy, that because self-efficacy is specific, there should be different types of self-efficacy. I believe this is very important to the way we investigate self-efficacy.
6. In music there were no specific studies before 2003, and then McCormick and McPherson produced an influential study where they showed the link between self-efficacy and performance. They also said: “However, we still do not understand properly the mechanisms whereby students come to believe in their own capabilities to perform well.”
The issue with this study was how self-efficacy was assessed. They asked one question, and it is very difficult to measure a complex construct with a single question.
7. The same researchers carried out another empirical study in 2006, and this time they improved the questioning, by breaking down the overall task of ‘exam’ into its component parts, but this still did not assess various aspects of the construct, it was not a questionnaire, but a single question.
8. At the same time, another very influential book was published. This offers advice on questionnaire construction, considering:
The chapter by Mimi Bong is very good and there is a chapter by Bandura himself reinforcing the need for correspondence with a task and specificity of questions within a questionnaire to question aspects of self-efficacy. There are examples of questionnaires from various domains, and the strengths and weaknesses are discussed.
9. This leads us to the qualities of people with high self-efficacy. They are persistent, they use higher cognitive strategies, they do not give up when faced with challenge or even failure, and in the end they achieve more. These qualities point to someone who is resilient, and self-efficacy is a quality that employers cite as very desirable.
In my research I have worked to demonstrate various aspects of self-efficacy and how it impacts people’s choices, processes, and outcomes.
First I created and validated separate questionnaires to assess self-efficacy for learning and self-efficacy for performing.
10. I’d like to take you through the links I found with self-efficacy for performing and achievement.
11. I carried out a study with 155 music students at university and conservaroire to see what the relationship was between their self-efficacy, their practice time, and the quality of their attainment. In the study students were asked to assess their own performance by giving a predicted mark, and all the performances were video recorded and their quality was assessed by professionals.
12. Self-efficacy scores were related to the marks, or grades, given by the professional assessors. For the university students self-efficacy was responsible for predicting about 10% of both their own marks and the professional’s marks.
13. The predictive power of self-efficacy increased with conservatoire students. Their self-beliefs predicted 17% of the assessed mark, and even more, 25% of their own predicted mark. A possible reason behind these differences can be understood when looking more closely at the other data that was collected. The students on the conservatoire course had performance as their main focus, whereas the university students also had a significant amount of academic work to undertake.
14. You can see that on average the conservatoire students practiced 2-3 times as much as the university students. Finding this was interesting. It also had implications for both understanding and assessing self-efficacy. For the students who had spent more time in preparation for the task, self-efficacy was more predictive. This suggested that if you are at a higher level, self-efficacy is more predictive.
It also makes sense in terms of the understanding of the construct. Self-efficacy beliefs relate to a criterial task. In order to have accurate self-efficacy beliefs, the task and all its component parts need to be understood.
15. Taking this one step further and looking at the conservatoire students practising and self-efficacy beliefs, together they predicted over 30% of the awarded mark for their performance. This breakdown has implications for how people attend to a task, and it affirms earlier research, by Collins (1982) which was in an academic setting, studying mathematics, which found people need both skill and belief in order to succeed.
16. This study showed self-efficacy to predict performance quality, and it emphasised that the level of predictivity was greater with a higher level of expertise. The other important result was an understanding that simple practice time is not enough. You cannot simply predict how well someone will do by measuring how much time they spent in preparation. In this study, practising was a secondary predictor.
Ericcson famously stated, in 1993, that 10,000 hours of ‘deliberate practice’ is necessary to reach an expert level. It is not enough to put in the hours, there has to also be the belief that you can do the task.
Time is very important, and in learning we do spend countless hours learning to accomplish tasks. In higher education educators work to teach students skills that would be useful for their future careers and for life.
17. I wanted to investigate self-efficacy for learning. This separation between types of self-efficacy was proposed decades ago, and differences were shown in the original validation study for my questionnaires, but I was interested in how it worked in practice. Self-efficacy for learning is about skill acquisition. I wondered if someone was trained with certain skills, and they have learned how to use them in some particular setting, could these skills transfer to another setting? Would they believe in their capabilities to use the skills? If the underlying skills were the same, potentially, learners might be able to use them to learn a new task more efficiently.
I had theorized that even though self-efficacy was tied to a criterial task, if the processes involved with carrying out another task were similar, then the underlying skills should transfer to another setting. This study showed this to be partly true, but also highlighted how dangerous it is to assume that any learned skill will automatically transfer from one task to another, as there needs to be both an awareness and ownership of the processes involved in order for that transfer to take place.
18. A very important construct that proved to be very important in this study was self-regulated learning. This was investigated in a series of studies in the late 1980s and early 1990s by Zimmerman, Bandura, and Martinez-Pons where they examined self-regulation, the behaviours, and learning methods people used. Self-regulated learning behaviours relate to aspects of self-efficacious people: They involve seeking assistance from others as learning progresses, finding source material from different locations, rearranging the order of materials to optimise learning, and these are all higher cognitive strategies that lead to a more resilient approach that strategically avoids pitfalls and works toward successful completion of a task.
With self-regulation, students take an active role in initiating, choosing, and carrying out learning, as opposed to following a pre-determined path and reacting to set, external instruction. The strategies students adopt depend on their resourcefulness and capability for engaging with cognitive processes; if students either do not understand or are not proficient with a method, they are unlikely to use it.
Novice performers have been shown to lack key self-regulatory skills, and in music some learners also show poor self-awareness of their practice behaviours. Some students also demonstrate a gap between knowledge and use of strategies. Even though many teachers discuss practice strategies with their students, in a study by Kostka in 2002, over half of the students of those same teachers reported that their teachers had not discussed practice strategies with them. This suggest that novice learners require additional assistance to promote their use of self-regulation.
I wanted to find out how this worked within music learning.
19. I carried out a semester-long intervention teaching adults to play musical instruments. All the participants were either university students, who were either second or third year students, or people who worked as teaching assistants or administrators. They all had experience with university and had experience learning. They were used to having new tasks to learn and carry out to a good standard in their own disciplines. None had experience with these instruments and none had any significant level of previous musical accomplishment on any instrument.
Over the course of the semester, the 22 participants were divided into two groups – a control group and an experimental group. Everyone learned to play a string instrument and they were allowed to choose between violin, viola, and cello, so there were no issues of anyone learning an instrument they did not chose.
Every week participants had group lessons for an hour, learning in groups of 5-6, they were taught the basic technique of the instruments and they learned to play various scales and songs. The study controlled for as many factors as possible. The students always met in the same room, they had the same teacher, the content of the lessons for all the groups was the same – and these were video recorded so a research assistant could view sections of any of the lessons to compare that the content was actually delivered in the same way.
There was a small difference in the lesson, in that the experimental group had a verbal explanation to go with newly learned material, whereas the placebo group was taught the material, but it was not ‘re-explained’ to reinforce it. The big difference was in how the students were learning outside the lessons. I was working with a sport practitioner who had experience working with self-regulation and in order to help students take charge of their learning, the experimental group had a worksheet to complete each time they practiced. Students were asked to detail what time they practiced, what they actually did – for example did they play scales, did they play the beginning of a song repeatedly checking for intonation, did they run a song, did they only work on a certain passage. Then they had to list the methods they used and comment on the effectiveness of their practice. They were meant to set goals for each 5 minutes of practice. This isn’t as bad as it sounds as each participant had agreed to practice 15 minutes four times a week.
The placebo group also had a written task, but it had nothing to do with self-regulation. They were also asked to complete a worksheet, but their task was simply to list some music they heard in the week and write down ‘how it made them feel’.
So the intention was that the experimental group would realise how to learn, would self-regulate their learning and practice, and would come out achieving more in the end. This was tested by asking everyone to play two pieces of music at the end of the study, one piece they were taught in the weekly lessons and the other piece they were never taught – but it was performed to them at the beginning and near the end of the semester.
20. The results were striking and not what we expected. The study began in September and finished in December. At the outset everyone was assessed to make sure they actually couldn’t play these new instruments and away we went. Within the first month, over half of the control group dropped out. They just quit.
It was very unexpected that people would drop out and, as researchers, we had expected that the experience that people had in learning at university in general would transfer over to learning in music. We were certainly wrong there. If people were not aware explicitly of the strategies and how they transfer, the transfer did not happen. Those who dropped out reported that they didn’t know what to do when learning, even though they had the same lessons with everything shown to them.
Only 4 of the 11 from the control group completed the study, whereas 9 of 11 in the experimental group finished the semester of learning. Between the two groups, the time they spent practising was dramatically different. The very interesting thing is that regardless of the group people were in, they attained the same level of performance in final performance exam. How was this possible?
All of the participants in the placebo group exceeded the recommended 540 minutes total practice, and surprisingly five participants in the intervention group practised less than half of the recommended time across the whole semester. What this showed was those who didn’t know how to learn worked over two times as hard to achieve the same result and those who did know how to learn. Those who knew how to learn could achieve the same in far less time.
21. One potentially important factor in these results is that the placebo group, those who ended up working twice as hard, had higher self-efficacy for learning beliefs than the experimental group at the outset of the study. I wonder what would have happened if those numbers had been reversed.
As students accomplish tasks and begin to integrate taught strategies into their learning, they also build their self-efficacy beliefs, but this is not an automatic process.
22. Building aspects of self-efficacy equips students as they set out to take on tasks.
The benefits of having higher self-efficacy are obvious, but it is not so simple to create these beliefs, as they are specific to both the setting and task.
Empirical studies across domains have shown self-efficacy to link to performance, perseverance, and achievement, so it makes sense to work to build these beliefs in our students through their education experience.
How? It can’t be assigned as an essay or as homework, can’t make an exam that ‘requires’ it. How can we build it?
Go back to remember the four main influences:
- Mastery experiences
- Vicarious experiences
- Verbal persuasion
- Physiological symptoms
Within education settings there are so many opportunities to create experiences and work to build these beliefs, but it takes careful crafting at times.
There have been exploratory studies of the impact of these various influences and researchers have found that verbal persuasion must be carefully considered. In sport, Greenlees (1999) gave all participants in a study fabricated negative feedback, informing them of low levels of achievement. The scores of those who had low self-efficacy at the start of the experiment dropped further during the trials. However, the feedback did not have an impact on those with higher self-efficacy, who were able to maintain a consistent level of performance achievement throughout the trials.
Bouffard-Bouchard (1990) explored positive feedback in a study of verbal problem solving and she found those with higher self-efficacy to be boosted by the positive reinforcement.
What we say matters, and the proximity to the task, and the way in which it is said will impact people. Let’s consider some of the ways these influences are seen everyday in higher education settings.
23. Verbal persuasion is found in education as feedback, and it is all around us. Students will receive formal feedback on essays and assignments, but the problem with that is students are not often asked to repeat the same task after the exam or essay is completed. The idea of fostering and building self-efficacy suggests that we build it along the way, before the final task is completed. Then this ‘final’ task can act as a mastery experience.
Students need to understand the various aspects of their learning, and having completed smaller related tasks in advance of the final assessment, there is time for students to adapt and reflect on their work before having to assimilate it into a final submission. They gain the experience of having practised the skills required in the final assessment throughout their learning. Accomplishing tasks does not necessitate that the student has reflected, understood, or attributed the experience to something they have personally achieved, all of which are necessary for both completing the learning cycle and for developing self-efficacy beliefs. Incorporating iterative feedback encourages student engagement and in turn, success. Providing a range of perspectives, experiences, and modes of articulation and evaluation, like written, face to face, video feedback, that students can relate to and absorb on different levels, facilitates communication and helps students gain an understanding of the processes involved in their learning.
Many students learn in a reactionary way, and to help students move from relying on and being guided by external influences to being internally motivated and responsible for their own learning, students need to accomplish tasks and begin to integrate taught strategies into their learning. This will build their self-efficacy beliefs, but this is not an automatic process. The awareness gained from reflecting on learning and progress can be used to formulate self-efficacy beliefs, but students need to be aware of processes and feel ownership for their actions and achievements. They cannot rely on a teacher to tell them what they have achieved. For some students this autonomy seems natural, while others struggle to find a sense of agency, and cling to the security and reassurance of a teacher’s strict guidelines and instructions. As self-regulation develops, the clarity of reflections, observations, and acknowledgement of successful experiences confirm positive self-efficacy beliefs. These positive beliefs feed into the learning cycle, perpetuating a loop that leads forward to meaningful choices and reinforcing students’ self-efficacy beliefs.
Reflection: Bandura (1993) reinforced that a person’s perception and understanding of their self-efficacy influence both goal setting and analytic thinking. In learning, thoughts come before actions, and with thoughts, preparation, and consideration come strategic decisions involving choosing methods and planning how to carry out an action. This can include choosing important markers to signal progress as new information is put into practice and skills are used.
As students begin to move from thought to action, if their motivation is focused on goals, it will be shaped by their perception and reaction to their performance. That is to say each time they arrive at the chosen marker, or checkpoint for progress, they reflect and reassess their self-efficacy in relation to their achievement so far. The next goal-marker can then be readjusted based on their reflections on progress and their revised self-efficacy views. A series of proximal goals will increase self-efficacy for learning by allowing students to actively reflect and measure their success in learning. This reflective process begins to create elements of an ideal learning situation where students consciously take responsibility for the processes of monitoring, reflecting, and eventually achieving their potential and self-efficacy manifests itself throughout the learning process when people effectively regulate and reflect upon their learning.
24. Modelling has great potential as a teaching method to influence self-efficacy beliefs. It is quite common for teachers to demonstrate or to include demonstrations in their sessions, and the way these are carried out can result in profoundly different impacts on students’ perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs. A very important aspect of modelling is that it is generally observational. The learning is watching. This does not mean the learner is not active, but observation is necessary. The teacher’s role in modelling ranges from being a facilitator to a role that is often active, and sometimes teachers do experience moments of vulnerability when demonstrating learning processes.
When students observe, it is an opportunity for vicarious types of experiences to take place. If students are able to make the connections between themselves and observed actions, then the knowledge from that experience can be directly added to their repertoire, and this can influence how they personally approach similar tasks. However, if the model they are watching or the actions they see are too far from something the learner can personally understand, then the transferability of the demonstration and its application to future learning may simply not happen.
25. There are four stages to the learning that occurs when observing modelling, and it is important not to assume that any of these can be skipped over.
Attention: Exposing students to modelled situations does not automatically mean that they will relate the demonstration to their future practice or in fact learn anything from it. For modelling to be effective, the students need to be aware of the specific processes being demonstrated, what strategies are being used, and of how this relates to their own learning or performing.
Retention: In this stage of learning, the observer is actively understanding, working to learn and commit the experience to memory. This may be superficial at this stage – when learning music I have all sorts of ways of initially learning – with numbers, mnemonics, the sound, the feel – and it is not until later stages of learning that it becomes meaningful in practice.
Production involves the experimentation with recreating the observed process or task. Successful reproduction requires the learner to have command of the skills necessary. This may involve time when a lot of other learning has to take place in order for the learner to have the capability to do the task that was presented. -and this can be helped by choosing the right type of model. I’ll talk about that in a moment.
Motivation: Once is not enough. Remember the 10,000 hours? Yes, studies have shown that original research to be flawed, but it would be crazy to think that someone could perform a complex task reliably without training their mind and body to be precise and consistent. This is a time when the teacher, or peers, can be useful by providing reassuring feedback when progress has been made.
Drawing upon the different sources that influence self-efficacy, the model is a vicarious behaviour, and this can be supplemented by the verbal reassurance of the teacher. Then when the student begins to master the behaviour, teachers can ensure that there is reinforcement so that it is a positive experience. Students do not have to be on their own throughout this process. There are various types of modelling that can be used at different points of the student’s learning.
26. The mastery model is a professional presentation and shows everything with ease and accomplishment. This can serve as either a positive or negative influence for students. Students will generally recognise the gap in skills and knowledge between their current state and the ‘master’ who is performing before them. A driven student will find strength and inspiration even when presented with these differences and will seek ways to use aspects of the demonstration even if it is very far above or below their current experience or performance level.
There is an element that these students can and will make progress and their strong sense of self-efficacy in their capabilities to learn carries them forward. If students are less assured and have low self-efficacy, then in order for the model to be influential, a direct and obviously non-threatening step-by-step plan connecting their current level to the goal presented by the master model needs to be presented in a way that does not challenge or threaten the students’ delicate self-beliefs.
27. A coping model details the ‘how’. It is as if the filter between the voice of internal thought has been removed and the observer could see, and hear, all the thought processes that are taking place. This model is not perfect, and everything is not done with complete ease. It is even possible that errors are built into the presentation and the processes involved in correcting the errors are fully demonstrated and explained. It allows the student to see the processes they might well encounter when they first attempt to recreate the task that is their goal.
A coping model allows students to see someone go through the difficulties of learning and persevere to the end. This can act as a very positive teaching tool and break the barrier of untouchable perfection that a professional presentation can have, to make the path of learning clearer and more approachable for the student.
28. Self-model is a fancy way to say reflection. This can be done once a student understands the processes involved in learning. If the skills and processes are not understood, it is not realistic to expect a student to be able to teach themselves. A regular feature of my own practice is to use micro-recordings. I will record anywhere from 15 seconds – 2 minutes and listen for specific things. As long as the criteria are clear and the processes are understood, a self-modelling approach can be incredibly effective. This can also be shared with a peer learning group to allow for greater accountability and to encourage clarity of analysis. If I know that I need to explain the technicalities of what I am doing, what I am looking for, and how I intend to improve to someone else, chances are that I will be far more attentive and reflective myself.
29. My most recent study focused on addressing the qualities demonstrated by self-efficacious people.
The Music Department at the University of Chichester offers a year-long, quite unique Professional Resilience module to undergraduate music students. This past year over 150 students were registered for this module. It introduces the tools to ‘bounce back’ and develop both professionally and personally by exploring a range of different strategies designed to offer support to the emerging arts practitioner, and also introduces a number of different methods and tools students can use to foster successful self-development through reflective practice. Topics covered throughout the year included active listening, conflict resolution and balanced thinking, positivity, nutrition, employability and careers, relaxation techniques, building resilience, goals, spirituality and wellbeing, yoga, Tai chi, Alexander technique, meditation, vocal health, and mindfulness. Throughout the year students engage in reflective thinking, discussions, and writing, as well as taking part in active sessions as part of the module. The rationale behind introducing the module is that the promotion of resilience training will have long-term benefits for the students, even beyond the context of the university setting.
Over the course of the academic year, students were introduced to topics, skills, techniques, given knowledge and methods. 50 students volunteered to complete questionnaires at the beginning, middle and end of the year on self-efficacy for learning, self-efficacy for performing, resilience, and wellbeing, and then at the end of the year they participated in exit interviews about their experiences and the module.
30. Although universities equip students for the workplace with relevant skills and competencies, discipline-based knowledge alone is not enough to succeed in the professional arena. Beyond skill, this requires resilience: both good mental health and a strong sense of self. Other research has shown links between self-efficacy and resilience: Keye and Pidgeon (2013) highlighted the importance of self-efficacy in relation to resilience with their investigation of 141 university students. Hamill (2013) favoured self-efficacy over other factors related to resilience and showed self-efficacy to be an important factor in distinguishing resilience in 16-19 year-old high school students.
In this study we found self-efficacy increased overall over the course of the academic year. It was interesting that self-efficacy for learning was consistently higher than self-efficacy for performing. Of course we spend far more time learning than performing, and opportunities to develop our learning are also more frequent. Consider for yourself, how much time you spend learning a skill compared to the one time you present or perform and how quickly that is over.
Self-efficacy for Learning Beginning 79.84 Midterm 78.43 End of Year 84.31
Self-efficacy for Performing Beginning 72.32 Midterm 73.39 End of Year 81.56
31. Regression analysis were run and self-efficacy for learning and wellbeing were responsible for 51.8% of the variance in the resilience score. Self-efficacy for performing was not a significant predictor of resilience. When seeking related constructs and impacts they have on one another, this was a wonderful result.
Self-efficacy for learning beliefs self-beliefs reflect aspects of strength, adaptability, and the capability to navigate unknowns, which are all qualities directly related to resilience, and so it makes some logical sense that self-efficacy for learning, and not for performing, would significantly predict resilience. Wellbeing was also a significant predictor of resilience, but wellbeing is different to self-efficacy; wellbeing is a global construct, and not specifically tied to any given task. The combination of the wider construct of wellbeing and task specific self-efficacy beliefs work together to explain a large percentage of resilience in this study. Throughout the year, the overall levels of wellbeing did not change, but with the specific topics and methods introduced through the module the task-specific, criterial self-efficacy beliefs did.
32. The student testimonials were dramatically reassuring of the empirical results: (read text from slide)
I definitely think my confidence in performing has improved, and has made me a lot more comfortable and confident with myself. I never used to have any confidence and I was so scared of being judged but now I’ve just accepted myself and I just present myself a lot more positively.
I’ve became more aware of my mindset and how it’s stopping me from doing a lot of things I want to do.
I’ve become more comfortable in social situations, it’s definitely helped me confidence-wise with dealing with people and conflict with people, which has just been useful.
I’ve definitely become aware about the way I think about myself and becoming more positive about the way I think, like: ‘I can do this. I should push myself to do that.’
33. Overall the understanding of self-efficacy as a construct and how it relates to other variables, factors and constructs, in people’s lives has deepened over the years. One of the things I have learned is the need for understanding on the part of the learner or performer. When the criterial nature of tasks – the skills and processes and other influencing factors – is really understood, people have a far better chance of accurately assessing their self-efficacy.
With intervention work, I believe that it is through the awareness of skills and processes, the criterial nature of a task, and the reiteration of positive feedback, modelling, and mastery that people can increase their self-efficacy. However, this is something that people need to value and come to by themselves. It cannot be forced upon anyone.
34. Self-efficacy has been shown to be linked to everything, to employability through the articulated needs of industry, in research through the studies investigating the predictivity and relationship of self-efficacy to everyday functioning. We know the practical usefulness of having self-efficacy. It is useful in every aspect of people’s lives – learning, work, personal pursuits,
Establishing a strong sense of self-efficacy sets the foundation for a continuing pattern of learning and achievement, through professional development and an active pursuit of personal growth. The beliefs that have been built over the years of study are the residue of the experiences, and for each person, they are like clay that has been sculpted into the shape of confidence and a sense of security in what they can do. Having a solid grounding in their self-efficacy equips people with the skills to analyse, attribute, plan, achieve, and grow throughout their lives facilitating a positive career trajectory and keep perspective fresh and fitting with today’s fast-changing world.