Self-Efficacy: Definition & Theory

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Social Boundaries: Definition and Examples

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 The Power of Self-Efficacy
  • 0:51 Bandura's Self-Efficacy
  • 1:57 The Four Sources
  • 4:25 Self-Efficacy in Practice
  • 5:23 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Ron Fritz
Learn what self-efficacy is and how it affects your motivation to accomplish specific tasks. Learn about Albert Bandura's contribution to the concept of self-efficacy and how it has shaped contemporary psychology.

The Power of Self-Efficacy

There is an old and frequently told story of a track coach who wanted to teach his team to run faster. No matter what the coach did, no one seemed able to beat his or her best time. One night, unbeknownst to the team, the coach moved the finish line, effectively making the track 10 feet longer. The next day, the runners clocked slower times than they usually did (because the track was now 10 feet longer).

Discouraged, because they knew they could do better, the runners practiced and practiced until they could again achieve their old times. At this point, the coach let them in on the secret that he had moved the finish line and informed them that they were now running faster. The coach demonstrated that, when the runners thought they couldn't go any faster, they didn't, and when they knew they could do better, they did. The coach proved the power of self-efficacy.

Bandura's Self-Efficacy

Psychologist Albert Bandura defined self-efficacy as an individual's belief that he or she will be able to accomplish a specific task. He believed that an essential component to accomplishing something is our confidence that we can. Bandura referred to self-efficacy as the mind's self-regulatory function; it tells us when to try and when to stop. If you do not believe something is possible, you are less likely to attempt the task and more likely to give up early if you do.

Henry Ford Quote

Self-efficacy drives your motivation; just as you have different degrees of motivation depending on the task, so also do you have different levels of self-efficacy. You may have high self-efficacy when it comes to your job because you have done it for a long time. You may have low self-efficacy in regards to school because you struggled to make passing grades. The level of self-efficacy you have when you begin a task has a great deal to do with whether you will successfully complete it.

SE Graph

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support