Self-efficacy– One’s belief in the likelihood of goal completion can be motivating in itself (Van der Bijl & Shortridge-Baggett, 2002). "Self-efficacy refers to people's judgements about their capability to perform particular tasks. Task-related self-efficacy increases the effort and persistence towards challenging tasks; therefore, increasing the likelihood that they will be completed" (Barling & Beattie, 1983, as cited in Axtell & Parker, 2003, p. 114).
Self-efficacy beliefs are an important aspect of human motivation and behavior as well as influence the actions that can affect one's life. Regarding self-efficacy, Bandura (1995) explains that it "refers to beliefs in one's capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations" (p. 2). More simply, self-efficacy is what an individual believes he or she can accomplish using his or her skills under certain ...view middle of the document...
Employee B has only average ability and only a small amount of experience in creating graphs, yet has great confidence that she can work hard to create a high quality graph for the same conference. Because of Employee A's low self-efficacy for graph creation, he lacks the motivation to create one for the conference and tells his supervisor he cannot complete the task. Employee B, due to her high self-efficacy, is highly motivated, works overtime to learn how to create a high quality graph, presents it during the conference, and earns a promotion. Self-efficacy has influence over people's ability to learn, their motivation and their performance, as people will often attempt to learn and perform only those task for which they believe they will be successful (Lunenburg, 2011).
Judgments of self-efficacy are generally measured along three basic scales: magnitude, strength, and generality.
* Self-efficacy magnitude measures the difficulty level (e.g. easy, moderate, and hard) an individual feels is required to perform a certain task (Van der Bijl & Shortridge-Baggett, 2002). How difficult is my class work? Are the quizzes easy or hard?
* Self-efficacy strength refers to the amount of conviction an individual has about performing successfully at diverse levels of difficulty (Van der Bijl & Shortridge-Baggett, 2002). How confident am I that I can excel at my work tasks? How sure am I that I can climb the ladder of success?
* Generality of self-efficacy refers to the "degree to which the expectation is generalized across situations (Lunenburg, 2011).
The basic idea behind the Self-Efficacy Theory is that performance and motivation are in part determined by how effective people believe they can be (Bandura, 1982; as cited in Redmond, 2010). The theory is clearly illustrated in the following quote by Mahatma Gandhi:
"If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning" - Mahatma Gandhi