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Albert Bandura (born December 4, 1925, in Mundare, Alberta, Canada) is a

psychologist specializing in social cognitive theory and self-efficacy. He is most famous for his
social learning theory.

• 1 Education and academic career
• 2 Research
• 3 Notes
• 4 References
• 5 External links

[edit] Education and academic career

Bandura graduated with a B.A. from the University of British Columbia with the Bolocan Award
in psychology, and then obtained his M.A. in 1951 and Ph.D. in 1952 rom the University of
Iowa. Arthurs D Benton was his academic adviser at Iowa. [1] Upon graduation, he participated in
a clinical internship with the Wichita Kansas Guidance Center. The following year, he accepted a
teaching position at Stanford University in 1953, which he still holds today.[2] In 1974 the
American Psychological Association elected him to its president.
[edit] Research
Bandura was initially influenced by Robert Sears' work on familial antecedents of social
behavior and identificatory learning, Bandura directed his initial research to the role of social
modeling in human motivation, thought, and action. In collaboration with Richard Walters, his
first doctoral student, Bandura engaged in studies of social learning and aggression. Their joint
efforts illustrated the critical role of modeling in human behavior and led to a program of
research into the determinants and mechanisms of observational learning (part of which has
become known in the history of psychology as the "Bobo doll experiment"). The program also
led to Bandura's first book, Adolescent Aggression in 1959, and to a subsequent book,
Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis in 1973.
In 1963 Bandura published his second book, Social Learning and Personality Development. In
1974 Stanford University awarded him an endowed chair and he became David Starr Jordan
Professor of Social Science in Psychology. In 1977, Bandura published the ambitious Social
Learning Theory, a book that altered the direction psychology took in the 1980s.[citation needed]
In the course of investigating the processes by which modeling alleviates phobic disorders in
snake-phobics, Bandura found that self-efficacy beliefs (which the phobic individuals had in
their own capabilities to alleviate their phobia) mediated changes in behavior and in fear-arousal.
He then launched a major program of research examining the influential role of self-referent
thought in psychological functioning. Although he continued to explore and write on theoretical
problems relating to myriad topics, from the late 1970s he devoted much attention to exploring
the role that self-efficacy beliefs play in human functioning.
In 1986 Bandura published Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive
Theory, a book in which he offered a social cognitive theory of human functioning that accords a
central role to cognitive, vicarious, self-regulatory and self-reflective processes in human
adaptation and change. This social cognitive theory has its roots in an agentic perspective that
views people as self-organizing, proactive, self-reflecting and self-regulating, not just as reactive
organisms shaped by environmental forces or driven by inner impulses. Self-efficacy: The
exercise of control was published in 1997.
Bandura has lectured and written on topics such as escaping homelessness, deceleration of
population growth, transgressive behavior, mass communication, substance abuse, and terrorism.
He has explored the manner in which people morally disengage when they perpetrate
inhumanities, and he has traced the psychosocial tactics by which individuals and societies
selectively disengage moral self-sanctions from inhumane conduct. He desires and works for a
civilized life with humane standards buttressed "by safeguards built into social systems that
uphold compassionate behavior and renounce cruelty".
A 2002 survey ranked Bandura as the fourth most-frequently cited psychologist of all time—
behind B.F. Skinner, Sigmund Freud, and Jean Piaget—and the most cited living one.[3]

Social learning theory or SLT is the theory that people learn new behavior through overt
reinforcement or punishment, or via observational learning of the social factors in their
environment. If people observe positive, desired outcomes in the observed behavior, then they
are more likely to model, imitate, and adopt the behavior themselves.

• 1 Theory
• 2 Criminology
• 3 Serial Murder and Social Learning Theory
• 4 Applications
• 5 References
• 6 External links

[edit] Theory
Social learning theory is derived from the work of Cornell Montgomery (1843-1904) which
proposed that social learning occurred through four main stages of limitation:
• close contact,
• imitation of superiors,
• understanding of concepts,
• role model behaviour
It consists of 3 parts observing, imitating, and reinforcements
Julian Rotter moved away from theories based on psychosis and behaviourism, and developed a
learning theory. In Social Learning and Clinical Psychology (1954), Rotter suggests that the
effect of behaviour has an impact on the motivation of people to engage in that specific
behaviour. People wish to avoid negative consequences, while desiring positive results or effects.
If one expects a positive outcome from a behaviour, or thinks there is a high probability of a
positive outcome, then they will be more likely to engage in that behaviour. The behaviour is
reinforced, with positive outcomes, leading a person to repeat the behaviour. This social learning
theory suggests that behaviour is influenced by these environmental factors or stimulus, and not
psychological factors alone.[1]
Albert Bandura (1977)[2] expanded on Rotter's idea, as well as earlier work by Miller & Dollard
(1941),[3] and is related to social learning theories of Vygotsky and Lave. This theory
incorporates aspects of behavioural and cognitive learning. Behavioural learning assumes that
people's environment (surroundings) cause people to behave in certain ways. Cognitive learning
presumes that psychological factors are important for influencing how one behaves. Social
learning suggests a combination of environmental (social) and psychological factors influence
behaviour. Social learning theory outlines three requirements for people to learn and model
behaviour include attention: retention (remembering what one observed), reproduction (ability to
reproduce the behaviour), and motivation (good reason) to want to adopt the behaviour.
[edit] Criminology
In criminology, Ronald Akers and Robert Burgess (1966) developed social learning theory to
explain deviancy by combining variables which encouraged delinquency (e.g. the social pressure
from delinquent peers) with variables that discouraged delinquency (e.g. the parental response to
discovering delinquency in their children).
The first two stages were used by Edwin Sutherland in his Differential Association Theory.
Sutherland’s model for learning in a social environment depends on the cultural conflict between
different factions in a society over who has the power to determine what is deviant. But his ideas
were difficult to put into operation and measure quantitatively. Burgess, a behavioral sociologist,
and Akers revised Sutherland’s theory and included the idea of reinforcement, which increases or
decreases the strength of a behavior, and applied the principles of Operant Psychology, which
holds that behavior is a function of its consequences and can be really bad in some cases.(Pfohl,
Functionalism had been the dominant paradigm but, in the 1960s, there was a shift towards
Social Control Theories, Conflict Criminology, and Labeling Theories that tried to explain the
emerging and more radical social environment. Moreover, people believed that they could
observe behavior and see the process of social learning, e.g., parents watched their own children
and saw the influence of other children on their own; they could also see what kind of affect they
had on their own children, i.e. the processes of differential association and reinforcement. The
conservative political parties were advocating an increase in punishment to deter crime. Unlike
Labeling Theory, Social Learning Theory actually supports the use of punishment which
translates into longer sentences for those convicted, and helps to explain the increase in the
prison population that began in the early 1970s (Livingston, 1996).
Unlike situational crime prevention, the theory ignores the opportunistic nature of crime (Jeffery,
1990: 261-2). To learn one must first observe criminal behavior, but where was this behavior
learned? The theory does explain how criminal behavior is ‘transmitted’ from one person to an
animal, which can explain increases in types of crimes, but it does not consider how criminal
acting can be prevented (Jeffery, 1990: 252) although it may be fairly assumed that the processes
of learning behaviors can be changed.
There is also a definite problem. What may be reinforcement for one person may not be for
another. Also, reinforcements can be both social involving attention and behavior between more
than one person, and non-social reinforcement would not involve this interaction (Burgess &
Akers: 1966) Social Learning Theory has been used in mentoring programs that should, in
theory, prevent some future criminal behavior. The idea behind mentoring programs is that an
adult is paired with a child, who supposedly learns from the behavior of the adult and is
positively reinforced for good behavior (Jones-Brown, 1997). In the classroom, a teacher may
use the theory by changing the seating arrangements to pair a behaving child and a misbehaving
child, but the outcome may be that the behaving child begins to be very bad.
[edit] Serial Murder and Social Learning Theory
Hale[4] (1993) applied the social learning theory to serial murder using case studies, and he
claimed that serial murder can be learned. The social learning theory suggests that people learn
new behavior through punishment and rewards. Hale argued that serial murderers must go
through some humiliating experience in the early development of their life (Singer and Hensley,
2004). But the serial murderer goes through a different process because most children go through
some sort of humiliation during their life. The child who becomes a serial killer is often
introduced to a humiliating experience, and cannot distinguish between a rewarding and non
rewarding experience, which is part of the social learning theory. This causes the child to look at
certain situations in a negative way, causing the child to become frustrated. When the individual
becomes frustrated from a humiliating experience from the past, the individual then choose
vulnerable outlets for their aggression (Singer and Hensley, 2004)[5]. The child learns to expect
humiliation or a negative situation from the past, which then causes frustration or aggression.
Case Examples: Ed Gein was humiliated early in his life and later turned his aggression out on
others. Gein was controlled by his mother, and rejected by his father as a child, and was often
abused (Hale, 1993). Ted Bundy chose his victims based on the resemblance to a former
girlfriend who had broken their marriage engagement (Hale, 1993). David Berkowitz had a sense
of rejection stemmed from being adopted, and it was said he felt rejected and humiliated by the
world. In this case, Berkowitz turned to fire starting the vent his frustration as a child. Later in
his life, Berkowitz obtained a sexual transmitted disease which created more hatred for women,
which he would later turn to kill random women (Fishman, 2006)[6]. In all of these instances the
serial killer was presented with some form of humiliation as a child, and learned to vent their
anger through aggression.
[edit] Applications
The applications of social learning theory have been important in the history of education
policies in the United States. The zone of proximal development is used as a basis for early
intervention programs such as Head Start. Social learning theory can also be seen in the TV and
movie rating system that is used in the United States. The rating system is designed to all parents
to know what the programs that their children are watching contain. The ratings are based on age
appropriate material to help parents decide if certain content is appropriate for their child to
watch. Some content may be harmful to children who do not have the cognitive ability to process
certain content, however the child may model the behaviors seen on TV.
Guided participation is seen in schools across the United States and all around the world in
language classes when the teacher says a phrase and asks the class to repeat the phrase. The other
part to guided participation is when the student goes home and practices on their own. Guided
participation is also seen with parents who are trying to teach their own children how to speak.
Portraitising is another technique that is used widely across the United States. Most academic
subjects take advantage of portraitising , however mathematics is one of the best examples. As
students move through their education they learn skills in mathematics that they will build on
throughout their scholastic careers. A student who has never taken a basic math class and does
not understand the principles of addition and subtraction will not be able to understand algebra.
The process of learning math is a portraitising technique because the knowledge builds on itself
over time.

Social Cognitive Theory, used in psychology, education, and communication, posits that
portions of an individual's knowledge acquisition can be directly related to observing others
within the context of social interactions, experiences, and outside media influences.

• 1 History
• 2 Overview
• 3 Morality
• 4 Observation of Models
• 5 Identification and Self-Efficacy
• 6 Applications
• 7 Variations in Morality
• 8 See also
• 9 References

[edit] History
Social Cognitive Theory stemmed out of work in the area of social learning theory proposed by
N.E. Miller and J. Dollard in 1941. Their proposition posits that if one were motivated to learn a
particular behavior, then that particular behavior would be learned through clear observations.
By imitating these observed actions the individual observer would solidify that learned action
and would be rewarded with positive reinforcement [1] The proposition of social learning was
expanded upon and theorized by American psychologist Albert Bandura from 1962 to the
The theorists most commonly associated with social cognitive theory are Albert Bandura and
Walter Mischel.
[edit] Overview
Social cognitive theory is a learning theory based on the ideas that people learn by watching
what others do and that human thought processes are central to understanding personality. While
social cognitists agree that there is a fair amount of influence on development generated by
learned behavior displayed in the environment in which one grows up, they believe that the
individual person (and therefore cognition) is just as important in determining moral
development [2].
People learn by observing others, with the environment, behavior, and cognition all as the chief
factors in influencing development. These three factors are not static or independent; rather, they
are all reciprocal. For example, each behavior witnessed can change a person's way of thinking
(cognition). Similarly, the environment one is raised in may influence later behaviors, just as a
father's mindset (also cognition) will determine the environment in which his children are raised
[edit] Morality
Main article: Social cognitive theory of morality
Social cognitive theory emphasizes a large difference between an individual's ability to be
morally competent and morally performing. Moral competence involves having the ability to
perform a moral behavior, whereas moral performance indicates actually following one's idea of
moral behavior in a specific situation.[2] Moral competencies include:
• what an individual is capable of
• what an individual knows
• what an indivual's skills are
• an individual's awareness of moral rules and regulations
• an individual's cognitive ability to construct behaviors
As far as an individual's development is concerned, moral competence is the growth of
cognitive-sensory processes; simply put, being aware of what is considered right and wrong. By
comparison, moral performance is influenced by the possible rewards and incentives to act a
certain way.[2] For example, a person's moral competence might tell them that stealing is wrong
and frowned upon by society; however, if the reward for stealing is a substantial sum, their moral
performance might indicate a different line of thought. Therein lies the core of social cognitive
[edit] Observation of Models
Social cognitive theory revolves around the process of knowledge acquisition or learning directly
correlated to the observation of models. The models can be those of an interpersonal imitation or
media sources. Effective modeling teaches general rules and strategies for dealing with different
situations [3].
As a result of the observations the indiorcement explains that the observer does not expect actual
rewards or punishments but anticipates similar outcomes to his/her imitated behaviors and allows
for these effects to work. This portion of social cognitive theory relies heavily on outcome
expectancies. These expectancies are heavily influenced by the environment that the observer
grows up in; for example, the expected consequences for a DUI in the United States of America
are a fine, with possible jail time, whereas the same charge in another county might lead to the
infliction of the death penalty.
In education, teachers play the role as model in a child's learning acquisition. Teachers model
both material objectives and underlying curriculum of virtuous living. Teachers should also be
dedicated to the building of high self-efficacy levels in their students by recognizing their
[edit] Identification and Self-Efficacy
Albert Bandura also stressed that the easiest way to display moral development would be via the
consideration of multiple factors, be they social, cognitive, or environmental [2]. The relationship
between the aforementioned three factors provides even more insight into the complex concept
that is morality. Further development in social cognitive theory posits that learning will most
likely occur if there is a close identification between the observer and the model and if the
observer also has a good deal of self-efficacy. Self-efficacy beliefs function as an important set
of proximal determinants of human motivation, affect, and action [which] operate on action
through motivational, cognitive, and affective intervening processes [4]. Identification allows the
observer to feel a one-to-one connection with the individual being imitated and will be more
likely to achieve those imitations if the observer feels that they have the ability to follow through
with the imitated action [3].
[edit] Applications
Social Cognitive Theory is applied today in many different arenas. Mass media, public health,
education, and marketing are just a very few. An example of this is the use of celebrities to
endorse and introduce any number of products to certain demographics: one way in which social
cognitive theory encompasses all four of these domains. By choosing the proper gender, age, and
ethnicity the use of social cognitive theory could help ensure the success of an AIDS campaign
to inner city teenagers by letting them identify with a recognizable peer, have a greater sense of
self-efficacy, and then imitate the actions in order to learn the proper preventions and actions for
a more informative AIDS aware community [5].
[edit] Variations in Morality
For the most part, social cognitive theory remains the same for various cultures. Since the
concepts of moral behavior did not vary much between cultures (as crimes like murder, theft, and
unwarranted violence are illegal in virtually every society), there is not much room for people to
have different views on what is morally right or wrong. The main reason that social cognitive
theory applies to all nations is because it does not say what is moral and immoral; it simply states
that we can acknowledge these two concepts. Our actions in real-life scenarios will be based on
whether or not we believe the action to be moral and whether or not the reward for violating our
morals is significant enough, and nothing else.[2]

Self-efficacy has been described as the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain
manner to attain certain goals.[1] It is a belief that one has the capabilities to execute the courses
of actions required to manage prospective situations. It has been described in other ways as the
concept has evolved in the literature and in society: as the sense of belief that one’s actions have
an effect on the environment [2]; as a person’s judgment of his or her capabilities based on
mastery criteria; a sense of a person’s competence within a specific framework, focusing on the
person’s assessment of their abilities to perform specific tasks in relation to goals and standards
rather than in comparison with others’ capabilities. Additionally, it builds on personal past
experiences of mastery.[3]

• 1 Clarifications and Distinctions
• 2 Generalizations of the Concept
• 3 Social cognitive theory
○ 3.1 How self-efficacy affects human function
○ 3.2 Factors affecting self-efficacy
• 4 Theoretical models
○ 4.1 Prosociality and moral disengagement
○ 4.2 Over-Efficaciousness in Learning
○ 4.3 Models of Health Behavior Change
• 5 See also
• 6 References
• 7 External articles and further reading

[edit] Clarifications and Distinctions

Self-efficacy versus self-efficacy beliefs, assessments, or expectations. Self-efficacy as a
theoretically derived construct can be considered to be any or a combination of the above
definitions, but is generally the notion of one’s complete concept of his or her ability to perform
a type of task related to a particular context and domain. Self-efficacy beliefs or expectations,
however, are the item-specific tasks and measurements of one’s beliefs that such tasks can be
performed. Self-efficacy beliefs or expectations combine together to form one’s overall concept
of self-efficacy.
Self-efficacy versus efficacy. Unlike efficacy, which is the power to produce an effect--in
essence, competence--self-efficacy is the belief (whether or not accurate) that one has the power
to produce that effect by completing a given task or activity related to that competency. For
example, a person with high self-efficacy may engage in a more health-related activity when an
illness occurs, whereas a person with low self-efficacy would harbor feelings of hopelessness.[4]
Self-efficacy versus self-esteem. There is a distinction between self-esteem and self-efficacy.
Self-efficacy relates to a person’s perception of their ability to reach a goal, whereas self-esteem
relates to a person’s sense of self-worth. For example, a person who is a terrible rock climber
would probably have poor self-efficacy with regard to rock climbing, but this need not affect that
person's self-esteem since most people don’t invest much of their self-esteem in this activity.[5]
On the other hand, one might have enormous skill at rock climbing, yet set such a high standard
for oneself that self-esteem is low.[6] At the same time, a person who has high self-efficacy in
general but is poor at rock climbing might think that he/she is good at rock climbing, or might
still believe that he/she could quickly learn.
Self-efficacy versus confidence. Albert Bandura argues, “the construct of self-efficacy differs
from the colloquial term "confidence." Confidence is a nonspecific term that refers to strength of
belief but does not necessarily specify what the certainty is about. I can be supremely confident
that I will fail at an endeavor. Perceived self-efficacy refers to belief in one's agentive
capabilities, that one can produce given levels of attainment. A self-efficacy belief, therefore,
includes both an affirmation of a capability level and the strength of that belief. Confidence is a
catchword rather than a construct embedded in a theoretical system."[7] A helpful clarifying
example is that a person’s confidence statement may be that they are good at math; that same
person’s self-efficacy beliefs may be about the upcoming algebra exam and its particular
Self-efficacy versus self-concept. Self-efficacy is concerned with beliefs of personal capability,
they are judgments of one's capabilities to perform given actions. Self-concept, however, is
measured at a more general level of specificity and includes the evaluation of such competence
and the feelings of self-worth associated with the behaviors in question.[9]

[edit] Generalizations of the Concept

Social Self-efficacy. Social self-efficacy is “an individual’s confidence in her/his ability to
engage in the social interactional tasks necessary to initiate and maintain interpersonal
relationships.”[10] As a construct social self-efficacy has been variably defined, described, and
measured in the scientific literature as researchers began to generalize Bandura’s theory for
specific applications. For example, Smith and Betz measured social self-efficacy using an
instrument they developed and tested called the Scale of Perceived Social Self-Efficacy (PSSE),
which they described as a measure of self-efficacy expectations with respect to a range of social
behaviors. They argued that extant attempts to measure the construct (e.g., Scherer et al., 1982;
Fitchen et al., 1997) were either “psychometrically inadequate or somewhat narrow in definition
and scope”, particularly when applied to various target populations, and thus they created the
PSSE scale. Their instrument measured six domains: (1) making friends, (2) pursuing romantic
relationships, (3) social assertiveness, (4) performance in public situations, (5) groups or parties,
and (6) giving or receiving help. Additionally, Matsushima and Shiomi modified an instrument
used in a different study in such a way that they felt it captured and measured the construct of
social self-efficacy. Some of the item domains for this instrument included Self-confidence about
Social Skill in Personal Relationship, Trust in Friends, and Trust by Friends.[11] Both sets of
authors suggest that social self-efficacy is strongly correlated to the constructs of shyness and
social anxiety, the measure of self-efficacy having a heavy impact upon that of the others.
Academic Self-efficacy. Academic self-efficacy refers to a student’s belief that he or she can
successfully engage in and complete course-specific academic tasks, such as accomplishing
course outcomes, demonstrating competency skills used in the course, satisfactorily completing
assignments, passing the course, and meeting the requirements to continue on in his or her major.
Various empirical inquiries have also been conducting attempting to measure academic self-
efficacy. [13] [14] [15]
[edit] Social cognitive theory
Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as one's belief in one's ability to succeed
in specific situations. One's sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how one approaches
goals, tasks, and challenges. The concept of self-efficacy lies at the center of Bandura’s social
cognitive theory, which emphasizes the role of observational learning and social experience in
the development of personality. According to Bandura's theory, people with high self-efficacy --
that is, those who believe they can perform well -- are more likely to view difficult tasks as
something to be mastered rather than something to be avoided.
[edit] How self-efficacy affects human function
Choices regarding behavior

People will be more inclined to take on a task if they believe they can
succeed. People generally avoid tasks where their self-efficacy is low, but will
engage in tasks where their self-efficacy is high. People with a self-efficacy
significantly beyond their actual ability often overestimate their ability to
complete tasks, which can lead to difficulties. On the other hand, people with
a self-efficacy significantly lower than their ability are unlikely to grow and
expand their skills. Research shows that the ‘optimum’ level of self-efficacy is
a little above ability, which encourages people to tackle challenging tasks and
gain valuable experience.[16]


People with high self-efficacy in a task are more likely to make more of an
effort, and persist longer, than those with low efficacy.[17] The stronger the
self-efficacy or mastery expectations, the more active the efforts. [18] On the
other hand, low self-efficacy provides an incentive to learn more about the
subject. As a result, someone with a high self-efficacy may not prepare
sufficiently for a task.

Thought patterns & responses

Low self-efficacy can lead people to believe tasks are harder than they
actually are.[19] This often results in poor task planning, as well as increased
stress. Observational evidence shows that people become erratic and
unpredictable when engaging in a task in which they have low self-efficacy.
On the other hand, people with high self-efficacy often take a wider overview
of a task in order to take the best route of action. People with high self-
efficacy are shown to be encouraged by obstacles to make a greater effort.
Self-efficacy also affects how people respond to failure. A person with a high
self-efficacy will attribute the failure to external factors, where a person with
low self-efficacy will attribute failure to low ability. For example; a person
with high self-efficacy in regards to mathematics may attribute a poor result
to a harder than usual test, feeling sick, lack of effort or insufficient
preparation. A person with a low self-efficacy will attribute the result to poor
ability in mathematics. See Attribution Theory.

Health Behaviors

Health behaviors such as non-smoking, physical exercise, dieting, condom

use, dental hygiene, seat belt use, or breast self-examination are, among
others, dependent on one’s level of perceived self-efficacy (Conner &
Norman, 2005). Self-efficacy beliefs are cognitions that determine whether
health behavior change will be initiated, how much effort will be expended,
and how long it will be sustained in the face of obstacles and failures. Self-
efficacy influences the effort one puts forth to change risk behavior and the
persistence to continue striving despite barriers and setbacks that may
undermine motivation. Self-efficacy is directly related to health behavior, but
it also affects health behaviors indirectly through its impact on goals. Self-
efficacy influences the challenges that people take on as well as how high
they set their goals (e.g., "I intend to reduce my smoking," or "I intend to quit
smoking altogether"). A number of studies on the adoption of health practices
have measured self-efficacy to assess its potential influences in initiating
behavior change (Luszczynska, & Schwarzer, 2005). Often single-item
measures or very brief scales (e.g., 4 items) have been used. It is actually not
necessary to use larger scales if a specific behavior is to be predicted. More
important is rigorous theory-based item wording. A rule of thumb is to use
the following semantic structure: "I am certain that I can do xx, even if yy
(barrier)" (Schwarzer, 2008). If the target behavior is less specific, one can
either use more items that jointly cover the area of interest, or develop a few
specific sub-scales. Whereas general self-efficacy measures refer to the
ability to deal with a variety of stressful situations, measures of self-efficacy
for health behaviors refer to beliefs about the ability to perform certain health
behaviors. These behaviors may be defined broadly (i.e., healthy food
consumption) or in a narrow way (i.e., consumption of high-fibre food).

The Destiny Idea

Bandura showed that people of differing self-efficacy perceive the world in

fundamentally different ways.[20][21] People with a high self-efficacy are
generally of the opinion that they are in control of their own lives; that their
own actions and decisions shape their lives. On the other hand, people with
low self-efficacy may see their lives as somewhat out of their hands.

[edit] Factors affecting self-efficacy

Bandura points to four sources affecting self-efficacy;
1. Experience

"Mastery experience" is the most important factor deciding a person's self-

efficacy. Simply put, success raises self-efficacy, failure lowers it.

"Children cannot be fooled by empty praise and condescending encouragement. They

may have to accept artificial bolstering of their self-esteem in lieu of something better,
but what I call their accruing ego identity gains real strength only from wholehearted
and consistent recognition of real accomplishment, that is, achievement that has meaning
in their culture." (Erik Erikson)
2. Modeling - a.k.a. "Vicarious Experience"

“If they can do it, I can do it as well.” This is a process of comparison between
oneself and someone else. When people see someone succeeding at
something, their self-efficacy will increase; and where they see people failing,
their self-efficacy will decrease. This process is more effectual when a person
sees him- or herself as similar to his or her own model. If a peer who is
perceived as having similar ability succeeds, this will usually increase an
observer's self-efficacy. Although not as influential as experience, modeling is
a powerful influence when a person is particularly unsure of him- or herself.

3. Social Persuasions

Social persuasions relate to encouragements/discouragements. These can

have a strong influence – most people remember times where something said
to them significantly altered their confidence. While positive persuasions
increase self-efficacy, negative persuasions decrease it. It is generally easier
to decrease someone's self-efficacy than it is to increase it.

4. Physiological Factors

In unusual, stressful situations, people commonly exhibit signs of distress;

shakes, aches and pains, fatigue, fear, nausea, etc. A person's perceptions of
these responses can markedly alter a person's self-efficacy. If a person gets
'butterflies in the stomach' before public speaking, those with low self-
efficacy may take this as a sign of their own inability, thus decreasing their
self-efficacy further, while those with high self-efficacy are likely to interpret
such physiological signs as normal and unrelated to his or her actual ability.
Thus, it is the person's belief in the implications of their physiological
response that alters their self-efficacy, rather than the sheer power of the

[edit] Theoretical models

A theoretical model of the effect of self-efficacy on transgressive behavior was developed and
verified in research with school children.[22]
[edit] Prosociality and moral disengagement
Examples of prosocial behavior are helping others, sharing, being kind and cooperative. Feelings
of self-efficacy (with respect to academic work, social interactions, and self-regulation) influence
prosocial behavior. Self-regulatory self-efficacy and academic self-efficacy have a negative
correlation with moral disengagement (making excuses for bad behavior, avoiding responsibility
for consequences, blaming the victim).[23] Social Self-Efficacy has a positive correlation with
prosocial behavior. On the other hand, moral disengagement and prosocial behavior have a
negative relationship.[24] The three types of self-efficacy are positively correlated.
[edit] Over-Efficaciousness in Learning
Research on learning has indicated that in certain circumstances, having less self-efficacy for a
subject may be helpful, as negative attitudes towards how quickly/well one will learn can
actually prove of benefit. One study[25] used the foreign language classroom to examine students'
beliefs about learning, perceptions of goal attainment, and motivation to continue language
study. Survey and interview results indicated students’ attributions for success and failure and
their expectations for certain subjects’ learning ability played a role in the relationship between
goal attainment and volition. It appears that over-efficaciousness negatively affected student
motivation. For other students who felt they were "bad at languages," their negative beliefs
increased their motivation to study.
[edit] Models of Health Behavior Change
Social-cognitive models of health behavior change include the construct of perceived self-
efficacy either as predictors, mediators, or moderators. Self-efficacy is supposed to facilitate the
forming of behavioral intentions, the development of action plans, and the initiation of action.
Moreover, self-efficacy can assist relapse prevention. As a moderator, self-efficacy can support
the translation of intentions into action. See Health Action Process Approach.
[edit] See also
• Educational psychology
• Illusory superiority
• Locus of control
• People skills
• Positive psychology