Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Selena Tramayne & Xiaoyan Fan & Steven D. Brown
First developed in 1977, self-efficacy is an important component of Albert Bandura's social cognitive theory. Self-efficacy refers to people's judgments of their ability to perform necessary behaviors to produce desired outcomes in specific situations. These judgments are highly context specific and tend to influence which activities people will attempt, how much effort they will put into the activities, how long they will persist at them, and their emotional responses while involved in the activities. For example, adolescents who feel more efficacious about their writing abilities than their math skills will be more likely to (a) take writing classes and avoid math classes, (b) exert more effort in their writing classes than math classes, (c) experience more anxiety in math than writing classes, and (d) persist longer in writing than math classes when they encounter difficulties. Self-efficacy beliefs vary on three dimensions: magnitude, strength, and generality, although the strength dimension is ...