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self-regulated on students' interest ¡n a major have to learn and be tested over increasmgly Inrcjer

leaming The n e ws story, monitors students' am ount s of more complex material. W it h less
conscious and
purposeful use of reaction to the n e w lesson, com¬ parental and teacher supervisión, the ternptation to
one's cognitive pares her students' and her o wn put off studying or to do it superficially increases.
stciüs, feelings, and
actions to maximize performance against an internal Unfortunately, the damaging long-term conse-
the (eaming of standard, and rewards herself ¡f quences of poorly regulated academic behavior
Icnowledge and skiils
for 3 givsn tasft and she feeis that standard has been (low grades and diminished opportunities for higher
set of oondirlons. m et is illustrating the essence of education and employment ) are not immediately
self-effica cY The self-regulation. But students who apparent.
dagree to wnich have to be constantly reminded to 3. Because of the rapid pace of change in torJay's
peopie beíieve
they are capaDle or set aside sufficient t ime for home- worid, individuáis increasingly need to be selt-
preparad to handle wo r k and to elimínate distractions
oartiCvjiar tasics.
directed. autonom ous learners not just dunng their
are not demonstrating self- school years but over their tifetimes (Zimmerman,
regulated behavior. In essence, 1990, 2002).
self-regulation involves spontane-
Although the skill of self-regulation is important to
ously bnnging appropriate personal resources to bear on
a probtem. academic success, s ome students are better at it than
others. The characteristic that is m os t strongly related
to and best explains differences in self-regulation is per-
ceived self-efficacy. In the next section, we describe
self-efficacy and its relationship to self-regulation
consístently and p Q11 o o
Should the de velopment of self-
lefl to par-
spontaneously using U regulated learning skills be
n6TI6 CT ents and out-of-school experiences, or
various capabilíties should this be a primary goal of our education system?
in new situations If the latter, when should it begin?

The Role of Self-Efficacy

in Self-Regulation
W h e n applied to the classroom, self-regulated
Self-efficacy refers to ho w capabie or prepared we
learning involves, am ong other things, knowing under
beíieve we are to handle particular kmds o< tasks
what circumstances to use particular learning tech-
(Bandura, 1997, 2001, 2002). For example, a student
niques and why they work (part of the metacogniíion
may have a high level of self-efficacy for mathematical
concept we introduced in the previous chapter), analyz-
reasoning—a feeling that she can master any math task
ing the characteristics of learning tasks, using various
she m ight encounter in a particular course—but have a
techniques for learning n e w Information, using various
low level of self-efficacy for critical analysis of English
techniques for remaining calm and confident, estimat-
ing ho w much t ime it will take to com plet e a task, moni-
toring one's progress, knowing wh e n and f rom whom
to seek help, and feeling a sense of pride and satisfac-
tion about accomplishing one's learning goals (Paris & Self-regulation is
Paris, 2001: Pressiey & Hilden, 2006: Schunk, 2001, im p o r t a n t because
Zimmerman & Kitsantas, 2005).
students are exp ected
Being able to regúlate one's cognitive processes is
a critically important capability for students to acquire to become increasingly
for at least three reasons: independent learners
1- As students get oider, and especially wh e n they get as they progress
into the middie and high school grades, they are
expected to assume greater responsibility for their
through school.
learning than in earlier grades: thus, they receive
lesa prompting and guidance f rom teachers and Self-efficacy beliefs occupy a central role m soctal
parents. cognitive theory because of their widespread and sigmfi-
2. As students mov e through the primary, elemen- cant effects. They help influence wh e t h e r people think
tary, middIe school, and high school grades, they optimistically or pessimistically, act in ways that are

188 Chapter 9: Social Cognitive Theory

Antecedents Effects senous reading or tfiink;ng about
FI GU RE 9.1 Antecedents the subject or to spend much
a nd E f f e c t s of S e l f - E ffi c a c y Selectton prodesses t im e preparing for tests. Such stu-
(coflege maiof, courses.
dents are often referred to as iazy,
caseer, spons, social
aciivitiesl inattentive, lacking initiative, and
dependent on others. They often
find t hems elv es in a vicious circle
Cognítit/e processes
as their avoidance of chalienging
(use of high-level üiought
Verbal tasks and their dependence on
processes to solve complex
persuasión problems. imagining a others reduces their chances of
successful perfofmaFKe) developing self-regulation skills
and a strong sense of self-efficacy
Motivational processes (Bandura, 1997; Pajares, 2009).
Emotional arousal (level oí effort and degiee Self-efficacy can be affected
(feelings of anxiety, of pefsistence, particitiarly by one or more of several fac-
Self-efficacy in the tace of probíetns. tors and, in turn, can affect one
setbacks, and frustrationsi
or more of several important self-
reguiatory behaviors (see Figure
Aífectiva processes 9.1).
(iBvel of anxieiv. depression, Factors That Affect Self-
elation exijerienced in taxing
siiuations; ability ra cope E f f i c a c y Four factors that affect
wítti risky (aste) self-efficacy are s ho wn on
the "A nt ec e de nt s " side of
Figure 9.1.
beneficia! or detrimental to achieving goals, approach Performance accomplishments. One obvious way
or avoid tasks, engage tasks wi t h a high or low level in which we develop a sense of what we can and
of motivation, persevere for a short or lengthy period cannot do in various areas is by thinking about ho w
of time wh e n tasks are difficult, and are motivated or well we have perform ed in the past on a gtven task
demoralized by failure. These beliefs are often called the or a set of closely related tasks. If, for example,
single m ost important factor that affects the strength of my friends are always reluctant to have me on their
a person's sense of agency. team for neighborhood baseball games, and if I strike
out or ground out far more often than I hit, I will
probably conclude that I just do not have whatever
skills it takes to be a competitive baseball player.
Conversely, if my personal history of performance in
Self-efficacy: how school includes mostiy grades of A and I consistently

capable one feeis rank among the top 10 students, my sense of aca-
demic self-efficacy is likely to be quite high.
to handie particular
Verbal persuasión. A second source of influence
kinds of tasks mentioned by Bandura—verbal persuasión—is aiso
fairly obvious. We frequently try to convince a child,
student, relative, spouse, friend, or cowork er that
he or she has the ability to perform som e task at
an acceptable level. Perhaps you can recall feeling
Students who belleve they are capable of success- s om e wh at more confident about handiing som e
fully performing a task are more likely than students task (such as college classes) after having several
v\/ith low leveis of self-efficacy to use such self-regulating family m em bers and friends express their confi-
skills as concentrating on the task, creating strategies, dence in your ability.
using appropriate tactics, managing t ime effectively,
monitoring their own performance, and making what-
ever adjustments are necessary to improve their future
S e lf - e ff ic ac y beliefs
learning efforts By contrast, students who do not
betieve they have the cognitive skills to cope wit h the influence the use of
demands of a particular subject are uniikely to do much self-regulating skills.

Chaptef 9. Social Cognitive Theory '8 9

greatest weight. As important as it is to feel calm and
be free of crippling fear or anxiety, to have parents,
peers, and teachers express their confidence in us, and
to have successful modeis to observe, actual failures
are likeiy to override these other influences. In other
words, our feelings, the comments of others, and the
actions of modeis need to be confirmad by our own
performance if they are to be effective contnbutors to
■ The four
Types of Behavior Affecied by Setf-! '¡-r.,
types of behavior that are at least partiy influenced by
an individual's level of self-efficacy are shown on the
"Effects" side of Figure 9.1.
1 Selection processes. By the term selection pro-
cesses, we mean the way a person goes about
selecting goals and activities. Individuáis with
a strong sense of seíf-efficacy, particularly if it
A person's self-efficacy for a particular task is influenced extends over severa! areas, are more likely than
prímarilv by past performance but aiso by encouragement others to consider a variety of goals and particípate
from others, emotional reactions, and observation of others.
in a vanety of activities. They may, for example,
think about a wide range of career options, explore
several majors while in college, take a vanety of
Emotional arousal. A third source of influence is
courses, particípate in different sporting activities,
more subtie. It is the emotions we feel as we pre¬
engage in different types of social activities, and
pare to engage in a íask. Individuáis with low self-
have a wtde circle of friends.
efftcacy for science may become anxious, fearfu!, or
restiess prior to attending chemistry class or taking
an exam in physics. Those with high se!f-efficacy
may feel assured, comfortable, and eager to dis- Self-efficacy influences
play whaí they have learried. Some individuáis are
acutely aware of these emotiona! states, and their goals and activities,
emottons become a cause as well as a result of cognitive processes,
their high or low se!f-efficacy.
Vicarious experience. Finally, our sense of self-
and emotions.
efficacy may be influenced by observing the suc-
cesses and failures of individuáis with whom we
identify. This is what Bandura referred to as vicari-
ous experience. If I take note of the fact that a ?. Cognitive processes. Individuáis with high seff-
sibling or neighborhood friend who is like me in efficacy, compared with their peers who are low
in self-efficacy, tend to use higher-level thought
many respects but is a year oider has successfully
adjusted to high school, I may fee! more optimis- processes (such as analysis, synthesis, and evalua-
tic about my own adjustment the followtng year. tion) to solve complex problems. Thus, in preparing
We will have more to say a bit later in this ohapter a classroom report or a paper, students with low
about the role of observing and imitating a model. self-efficacy may do littie more than repeat a set of
facts found ín various sources. In contrast, students
with high self-efficacy often discuss similarities and
of your own expenence,
p- jbasis differences, inconsistencies and contradictions, and
n do you agree that personal experience
make evaluations about the validity and usefulness
n 0116Ct is the most important factor affecting
of the information they have found. Another cogni¬
self-effícacy? What steps can you take to raise the prob-
tive difference is that people high in self-efficacy are
ability that your students will experience more $uc-
more likely to visualize themselves being successful
cesses than failures?
at some challenging task, whereas individuáis low
in self-efficacy are more likely to imagine disaster.
Of these four self-efficacy factors, personal accom- This leads to differences in the next category of
plishment )s the most important because it carries the behaviors—mottvation.

190 Chspter 9; Social Cognitive Ther

FIGURE 9.2 Phases and Categories Now that we have established the importance ot
of The Self-Regulation Cycie self-efficacy to self-regulation, we can turn our atten-
SOuRCrS Zifnm&rnujn (2000. 20081: Zimnerman tion to the nuts and bolts of self-regulation. Let's do this
& Kiissnias !200&/.
by asking the following question: tf we were to build an
ideal model of a self-regulated learner, what capabilities
would it include and at what points in dealing with a
task would they be used? The model we describe
here comes largeíy from the work of Barry
Zimmerman (2000, 2002), a leading social
L cognitive theorist and researcher,

A The Components
of a Self-Regulatory System
Self-regulatory processes and their
related beliefs can be grouped into one
of three categories, each of which, ide-
ally, comes into play at different points
in time in the course of pursuing a goal
(see Figure 9.2). Notice how we qualified
the first sentence of this paragraph by
saying that the various categories of self-
regulatory processes ideally come into play
at different points during the process. Keep
in mind that learners can, for example, cycle
back to the forethought phase from the perfor¬
mance phase before going on to the self-reflec-
tion phase, begin a task without doing a task analy-
sis, or make self-judgments and self-reactlons at any
point in the process IMuis, 2007).
Forethought Phase As its ñame implies, the fore¬
3. Motivational piocesses. Those who rate their capa-
bilitíes as higher than average can be expected to thought phase occurs prior to the beginning of a
task. At this point we would like to see learners think
work harder and longer to achieve a goal than those
about what they want to accomplish (set goals) and
who feel less capable. This difference should be
how they are going to achieve their goals (formúlate
particularly noticeable when individuáis experience
frustrations (poor-quality instruction, for exannple) strategies).
These initial steps, as well as the ones to come
and setbacks (such as a serious illness).
later, will be of littie valué to learners if They aren't moti-
Affect¡ve processes. Finally, when faced with a
vated to use them. This is why self-motivational beliefs
challenging task, the individual with high self-effi- are part of this phase. Self-efficacy beliefs, as you can
cacy is nnore likely to experience excitement, curi-
probably guess from what you read earher, pertain to
osity, and an eagerness to get started rather than how capable people believe themselves to be about
the sense of anxiety, depression, and impending
using self-regulatory processes. Outcome expectations
disaster that nnany individuáis with low self-efficacy
refer to predictions about the consequences of achiev-
ing a goal (such as praise, prestige, increased respon-
Before leaving this discussion of self-efficacy, we
sibility). Intrinsic interest can maintain motivation for
would like to make one last point about its role in self- self-regulated learning in situations in which external
regulated behavior. As important as self-efficacy is, you rewards are either unavailable or unattractive. Goal
should realize that other factors play a role as well. In onentations can be learning oriented or performance
addition to feeling capable of successfully completing oriented. Individuáis who have a learning orientation
a particular task, students aiso need to possess basic are interested in learning pnmarüy for its internal
knowledge and skills, anticípate that their efforts will be rewards (better understanding of the world in which
appropnately rewarded, and valué the knowledge, skill, they live, increased competence) and are more apt to
or activity that they have been asked to learn or conn- be motivated to use self-regulation processes than are
plete (Pajares, 2009). performance-oriented individuáis, whose goal is

Cnnpmr 9' Social Cognitive Theory 19-

to achieve a higher score or grade than others. familiar?). The first part of this phase is to approach
Epistemological beliefs refer to what a person believes the task in a disciplined manner. This involves focusmg
about the nature of knowledge and how we come to attention on the task (ignonng distractions, executing
know things. W e can beíieve, for exannple, that knowl¬ the task at a slower pace than normal, and not thmking
edge is certain (there is a correct, clear-cut answer for about prior mistakes or failed efforts). descnbing either
every question or probiem that, once known, does not silently or out loud the steps involved in carrying out
changa) or that it evolves as scholars conduct further the task, and using specific tactics to either memoríze
inquiries. We can believe that the acquisition of knowl¬ information in verbatim form or comprehend ideas and
edge occurs either quickly or gradually. W e can believe how they relate to one another (we discuss these later
that authority figures are the solé source of all knowl¬ in this chapter).
edge or that knowledge is aiso acquired through per¬ The second part of this phase, self-observation (aiso
sonal observation, experinnentation, and reasoning. And known as self-monitoring), involves keeping track of
we can believe that knowledge is composed of mostly one's performance and the conditions that affect it and
unrelated pieces or that ¡t is organized, like schemas, trying out different self-regulatory behaviors.
into integrated and interrelated bodies.
The significance of epistemological beiiefs is that
they have been shown to affect all aspects of self-reg- Self-regulated learners
ulated learning. For example, students who believe that focus on the task, process
knowledge is a collection of mostly unrelated facts are
more likely to use rote rehearsal tactics than are stu¬
in fo r ma t io n me a ningfully,
dents who believe that knowledge is best thought of and m o n it o r themseives.
as interrelated bodies of information whose structure
is likely to change over time. In the course of doing a
research project, students who believe that knowledge
Self-Reflection Phase Once the task has been com-
IS certain and unchanging may see nothing wrong with
pleted, the learner should take stock of what was
Consulting out-of-date reference materials. Students
done, whether the results were acceptable, and
who believe that learning either occurs quickly or not at
whether changes are called for. In ai! likelihood, the
all are less likely to persevere with difficult tasks or to
first thought that will cross the student's mind ts, was
try a different approach when their first approach fails
the result acceptable? A fair question. but one that can
than are students who believe that learning occurs grad¬
be answered in different ways. One answer may be in
ually and with effort (Muis, 2007).
terms of how well the student mastered the teacher's
Performance Phase At this point, the learner is faced objectives. Another answer may involve a companson
with the task and actually has to do something (sound with the student's past performance. A third answer

0 Performance Assessment:
Student Presentation in
a High School English Class

Go to the Education CourseMate website and watch the video, study

the anifacts in the case, and reflect upon the following questions:
1. How do the class presentations in this Vídeo Case allow stu¬
dents to practice their self-regulation skills?
2. How does the peer assessment component of this literature
lesson illustrate the self-reflection phase of Zimmefman's

192 Chapter 9: Social Cognitive Theory

may involve a comparison with ciassmates. If the
task involved a group effort, a fourth answer may be
in terms of the student's contribution to the group.
The next step in this self-evaluallon process may be a
consideration of the tactors that played a major role ¡n
one's success or failure. This involves identifying what
are called causal attributions. Whether we judge our
performance to be a success or a failure will likely be
attributed to one or more of the following causes: abil-
ity, effort, task difficulty, and luck (we describe these in
more detail in Chapter 11). Self-reinforcement refers to
whatever positive thoughts and feelings we experience
as a result of meeting or exceeding our expectations.
Lastiy, the ideal learner draws some conclusions about
whether and how to improve his or her self-regulatcry
As we noted earlier, learnjng to become a self-
regulated learner (the terms self-directed, autonomous,
and strategic learner are aiso used) is one of the most
important outcomes of schooling, These skills are
essential to achieving success in school and in life. That
Students who are self-regulated learners tend to achieve
being the case, it's time to examine what you can do to at high leveis by using appropriate cognítíve and metacog-
help students acquire this critica! capability. nitive skills for particular tasks in the right way and at the
right time.

L 0 2 Helping S t u d e n t s Be c o m e
Self- Reg ulat ed Learners
Butler, & Roediger, 2009; Kornell & Bjork, 2007;
How Well Preparad Are Students
McDaniel, Howard, & Einstein, 2009; Peverly, Brobst,
to Be Self-Regulated Learners? Graliam, & Shaw, 2003; Winne & Jamieson-Noel. 2002,
We would like to be able to tell you that most students 2003). Because of its complexity, you can expect exper-
possess the self-regulated learning (SRL) skills we have tise in SRL to develop gradually over many years. Based
discussed, but unfortunately, we cannot. Although evi- on research on the development of related skills, it is
dence exists that students are more likely to use effec- estimated that students will need at least several years
tive learning skills as they get oider (Greene & Azevedo, of systematic strategy instruction to become highiy pro-
2009: W. Schneider, Knopf, & Stefanek, 2002) and that ficient self-regulated learners (K. R. Harns, Alexander,
some students behave strategically by using differ- & Graham, 2008; Pressiey & Hilden, 2006; Winne &
ent learning skills for different tasks (Hadwin, Winne, Stockiey, 1998). This chapter's Case in Print reveáis that
Stockiey, Nesbit, & Woszczyna, 2001), many do not do many students still seem to lack SRL skills when they
so either systematically or consistentiy. Their attempts reach college.
3t encoding rarely go beyond rote rehearsal (for exam- One reason for this state of affairs is that very lit-
ple, rereading a textbook chapter), simple organizational tle instructional time (about 10%) is devoted to teach-
schemes (outlining), and various cuing devices (underlin- ing SRL skills (Hamman, Berthelot, Saia, & Crowley,
ing or highlighting), and they have a poor sense of how 2000; Moely et al., 1992). Another reason is that teach-
well prepared they are to take a test (Bond, Miller, & ers sometimes make it difficult for students to formú¬
Kennon, 1987; Callender & McDaniel, 2009; Karpicke, late and use effective strategies by not aligning course

Self-regulated learners evalúate their performance,

make appropriate attributions for success and
failure, reinforce themselves, and make decisions
about where improvements are needed.

Ci�aplü' O Güüiai Coqniiive Theoiy ;93