overviewPhD Presentation NOTES #11
link to pdf
[A list of references is provided in ~Notes #20]

  • Bandura's seminal work on self-efficacy (1997) has underpinned a substantial body of research in the areas of behavioural psychology and social learning theory, especially in relation to the roles that self-efficacy plays in shaping our thoughts and actions in learning environments. Self-efficacy is all about judgements we make about our personal cabilities and that these are the core factors of human agency.

  • In the field of human functioning and in particular in learning processes, Bandura argues that efficacy beliefs are core regulators of the way we interact and engage with learning opportunities and challenges.

  • SELF-EFFICACY is about judging one's capabilities to get something done. That is, it is a functional construct that is a conduit for competencies and skills that enable positive outcomes. Hence OUTCOME is a function of SELF-EFFICACY.

    • "Once I've got started on this essay about the role of mitochondria in cell energy factories I'm confident that I can make a pretty good job of it and finish it in time for the deadline"

  • This student is expressing a strong measure of self-efficacy in relation to this particular essay-writing task.

  • Self-efficacy is domain specific (eg: Wilson et al, 2007, Jungert et al, 2014, Uitto, 2014). The challenges of the task have been weighed up and the evaluation integrated with perceived capabilities - in this case, capabilities about writing academic essays.

  • Whereas outcome can be considered as a function of self-efficacy, so self-efficacy is a function of expectations.

  • The dimensions of self-efficacy are factors in this functional relationship in that we can think of the magnitude of self-efficacy expectations and the strength of self-efficacy expectations as the two primary dimensions.

  • Magnitude is about task difficulty and strength is the judgment about the magnitude: a strong self-efficacy expectation will present perseverance in the face of adversity whilst the converse, weak expectation is one that is easily questioned and especially doubted in the face of challenges that are thought of as difficult (Stajkovic, 1998)