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Self-Efficacy & its influence




1.      Abstract

Self-efficacy has been in research for a while. It has been analyzed from theperspective of psychology, cognitive science, and management principles. Self-efficacy is defined as a person confidence in using his/her skills, thinking, cognitive resources in executing a task aimed to achieve the desired goal. Self-efficacy has aninfluence on a person thinking, on analysis of how to use cognitive resources and in making desired goals. It is seen that high self-efficacy makes a person confident, motivated and take up challenges in a tactful manner. High efficacy yields better performances. Thus, it is necessary that self-efficacy development classes be given to students so as to make a better individual.

2.      Introduction


Self- efficacy is the person’sability to judge their capabilities in organizing and exercising various course of actions taken to reach the desired place or attainedthe desired performance. It reflects aperson’s confidence in using his or her abilities in motivating, utilizing conativeresources and executing an action to execute a task. Thus, it is one’s belief in capabilities and organizing them in an appropriate manner to attain the desired goal. Self-efficacy can also be understood from thesocial cognitive perspective as a mediator in between social experiences,behavior, and person thinking. It is the fundamental mechanism that defines human behavior. Self-efficacy makes a person hold to his /her beliefs in executing a work. It allows them to set more challenging objectives for themselves. It helps them to persist longer and deal better in the tough times (Mickelson, 1990). A highly efficacious person are thus expected to make better utilization of the resources, environment and deal the situations in challenge scenarios. Such persons also are bale to solve difficult situation properly and fight to their best abilities to reach the desired set goals.

Impact on human functioning

Self –efficacy behavior helps in producing impacts with the utilization of cognitive process, motivational process, non-physical process and selection process. Human goals setting is highly influenced through self-assessment and appraisal of humans capabilities. Thus, it is self-efficacy that helps and individual to make choices and take up for particular tasks. An individual carries a future analysis of positive and a negative factor on the basis of his/her self-capabilities defines a goal to be achieved (Turner et al., 2009). Thus, self-efficacy affects the human cognitive process. Self-efficacy also has animpact on themotivational process of a human being as motivation is again cognitive generated. Self-efficacy effects on how much a person can put effort into a task and how long that effort can are sustained (Elliot et al., 2005). It includes that way a person thinks of his /her abilities and thus makes them to either continue the task or quit it. Other factors like stress, anxiety, and depression are also influenced by self-efficacy as it is the way a person perceives his/her self-efficacy in dealing any challenges. Self-efficacy also has influence in the way a person interacts with their environment and take a decision based on the environmental factors. Thus overall self-efficacy influences the overall human thinking, behavior and social interaction (Turner et al., 2009).

3.      Literature review

Over the years, many researcheshas been carried out to understand the concept of self-efficacy. The starting of this concept is associated with the works of psychologist Albert Bandura. He gave the theory of self- efficacy. According to the concept, self-efficacy comes as a part of the social cognitive theory. Social cognitive theory includes social psychology and behaviorism and gives emphasis to social learning thus understanding an individual behavior within a given social context and relationships (Bandura, 1986). A multi-dimensional model of the human cognition, environmentalfactors, and human behavior was developed by Bandura. Self-efficacy thus is one factor that acts as a mediator in balancing the individual’s thinking, behavior, and social experiences. Thus according to Bandura what a person thinks, believes in and feel impacts on how they behave in the society and self-efficacy underpins the human behavior (Bandura, 1991).

According to (Bandura, 1986).Self-efficacy originates from following sources:

  1. Through experiences: experiences gained in overcoming challenges through consistent efforts and beliefsdevelop self-efficacy ((Bandura, 1989).
  2. Through modeling: social models which reflect stories of persons who succeeded in similar situations provide teaching skills transfer of knowledge and social beliefs. A person relates to such models and these similarities help the person to make a strong belief and thus self-efficacy.
  3. Through verbal persuasion which helps in overcoming an individual’s self-doubts
  4. Self-analysis of physicalfactors: a self-analysis of physical factors like stress, depression, mood etc. helps in understanding oneself and thus helps in influencing their self-efficacy (Bandura, 1991).

How self-efficacy effects human has always been a point of research over the years. A research carried out by Australian researchers aimed at studying the relationship between human attitude and academic achievement.  The study explored the relationship between student’s attitude and the effort they put into studying the subject of mathematics. The research used a survey based on questionnaire wherein 56 secondary school students were asked questions related to their attitude and the effort they gave into the subject of mathematics.  On the basis of this quantitative analysis, the results concluded that the attitude towards mathematics was associated with the effort the students would spend on the subject (Hemmings and Kay, 2010).

Another literature conducted in Spain(Valle et al., 2009) aimed at studying the relationship between student’s self-efficacy and their effort in case of performance and learning in the university. The research concluded that students who possess high self-efficacy are more likely to put more efforts in their studies (Valle et al., 2009).

Thus, on combining both above research one can state that student attitude is associated with the effort given to the student for his/her performance and the effort is going to be more or higher if the student has high self-efficacy.

In another research which aimed in examining the relationship between self-efficacy, job satisfaction and work engagement of a person in an organization. The research used a survey based analysis to understand the relationship between public accountant’s job satisfaction, work engagement, and the self-efficacy. The research used hypothesized model which was based on early research statements that general self-efficacy has a direct impact on job satisfaction as it helps in success on the job because persons which high efficacy are able to take upon the challenges effectively, are motivated and thus are likely to achieve outcomes through their persistent efforts. This thus helps them to achieve job satisfaction. The research made use of a self-efficacy scale, Minnesota job satisfaction scale and a work engagement scale and measured the opinions of accountants through a survey.A regression and correlation analysis was carried out. The results of the research indicated that self-efficacy highly affects job satisfaction and work engagement also affects job satisfaction. A highly self –efficious person is more likely to have ahigh degree of job satisfaction. Intrinsic job satisfaction is due to persons focused efforts and work engagement is an emotional factor affected by focused effort. The effort is a behavior and depends on the cognitive behavior, self-confidence and thus self-efficacy (Mustafa & Edril, 2012).

In another study related to self-efficacy (Strelnieks, 2005) it was found that self-efficacy has aninfluence on academic achievements but academic achievement also depends simultaneously on factors like gender and social economic status. Though the research gives a useful finding that self-efficacy has an impact on academic achievement

From the above literature, it can be thus proved that self-efficacy helps in building up of a positive human behavior. It helps an individual to utilize his/her cognitive skills, resources and environmental situations in performing and attaching an objective. Self-efficacy also impacts on individual effort given in any task. High efficious persons give more effort and are persistent in their actions to attain a goal. Self-efficacy defines an individual attitude such as self-confidence, emotional stability, persistence etc. these behaviors keep the individual motivated. Efforts and engagement towards work along with self-efficacy helps the person to achieve the set desired goals.

4.      Conclusion

Self- efficacy is one’s ability to judge their key skills which help them to organize and exercise various course of actions to achieve the set goals. It has aninfluence on person attitude, person motivation, person cognitive behavior and theperson thinking. It also influences how a person interacts in asocial context. It helps an individual to have self-assessment and thus, an individual can exercise self-management. Self-efficacy is also related to positive performance outcomes. It should be taught in the school as it shall help the students to carry self-management of them and influence on their individual behaviors. Thus, it is highly necessary to educate and learn more about self-efficacy. It is needed to understand how some behaviors can help in enhancing the self-efficacy. Such models can be used as training in imparting this new skill which can be beneficial for organizations and for overall human being.

5.      Part-B

Self- Efficacy is beliefs that imparts confidence and makes us believe that we are capable of performing a task or can easily manage a challenging situation. It helps us in remaining motivated and put in more efforts at the rough times. It helps us analyses our abilities and helps us in controlling our emotions and thus we can make better goals for ourselves. Through many experiences in life one can learn on the key decisions and abilities that can help them to succeed. In case of failures usually one gets disappointed but at those times it is self-efficacy that helps to preserve the one and helps an individual to come back in the life with a learned experience. Thus, self-efficacy is really important in one’s life. If a person self-efficacy is lower in one area it is likely that that person shall not indulge or challenge or take up that task. Yes, there have been occasion in my life where low self-efficacy has stopped me in attempting a task. I analyzed that I was not confident enough to undertake a test of mathematics. My thinking, experience and my abilities made me to decide that it is not a feasible solution to take the test. If I would have had early success in mathematics examinations it would have created positive instances and experiences which would have developed my self-efficacy for the subject. According to me I need to create positive experiences of success in the field of mathematics and undertake training so as to gain more confidence such effort will develop my self –efficacy.
















6.      References

Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Bandura, A. (1989). Human agency in social cognitive theory. American Psychologist, 44, 1175-1184.

Bandura, A. (1991). Social cognitive theory of self-regulation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 248-287.

Bandura, A. (1993). Perceived self-efficacy in cognitive development and functioning. Educational Psychologist, 28, 117-148.

Elliot, J.G., Hufton, N.R., Willis, W., and Illushin, L., (2005). Motivation, engagement and educational performance. Britain: Palgrave.

Hemmings, B. and Kay, R., (2010). Prior achievement, effort, and mathematics attitude as predictors of current achievement. The Australian Educational Researcher, 37 (2), 41-58.

Mickelson, R.A., (1990). The attitude-achievement paradox among black adolescents. Sociology of Education, 63 (1), 44-61

Mustafa, Y &Edril, O.(2012).Relationships Between Self-Efficacy and Work Engagement and the Effects on Job Satisfaction: A Survey on Certified Public Accountants. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences 58 ( 2012 ) 370 – 378.

Strelnieks, M., (2005). The relationship of students’ domain-specific self-concepts and self-efficacy to academic performance. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Marquette University, Wisconsin

Turner, E.A., Chandler, M., and Heffer, R.W., (2009). The influence of parenting styles, achievement motivation and self-efficacy on academic performance in college students. Journal of College Student Development, 50 (3), 337-346.

Valle, A., et al., (2009). Academic goals and learning quality in higher education students. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 12 (1), 96-105