Social cognitive theory Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as one's belief in one's ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task.
These efficacy beliefs are behaviorally specific rather than general. The concept of self-efficacy must therefore have a behavioral referent to be meaningful. We could refer to perceived self-efficacy with respect to mathematics, initiating social interactions, using a computer software program, or teaching children to read.
Because self-efficacy expectations are discussed in reference to a specific behavioral domain, the number of different kinds of self-efficacy expectations is limited only by the possible number of behavioral domains that are important for some defined purpose.
Self-efficacy expectations are postulated to have at least three important behavioral consequences: More specifically, low self-efficacy expectations regarding a behavior or behavioral domain are postulated to lead to avoidance of those behaviors, poorer performance, and a tendency to give up when faced with discouragement or failure.
If, for example, mathematics self-efficacy expectations were low in a given individual, we would expect that person to avoid mathematics course work and math tasks, to perform poorly on math exams or job-related materials based on mathematics, and to give up readily when faced with difficult math tasks and problems.
The first behavioral consequence, approach versus avoidance behavior, has a profound impact on career development because approach behavior describes what people will try, while avoidance behavior refers to things they will not try.
It thus encompasses both the content of career choice, that is, the types of educational majors and careers an individual will attempt, and the process of career choice, that is, the career exploratory and decision-making behaviors essential to making good choices.
The effects of self-efficacy expectations on performance can refer to effects such as performance on the tests necessary to complete college course work or the requirements of a job-training program.
Research over the past 25 years has shown that self-efficacy is, indeed, important in relation to career behavior, including choices, performance, and persistence. Reviews of this research are well beyond the scope of this entry, but it is fair to say that self-efficacy expectations regarding both career activities and the processes of career decision making and job search have an important relationship to the nature of educational and career choices and the effectiveness of career decision-making behaviors.
Self-efficacy is also an important concept in understanding and facilitating the functioning of employed individuals.
The next section briefly mentions domains of self-efficacy that have relevance to initial career choices and the effectiveness of career decision making. The earliest studies of career self-efficacy used efficacy beliefs regarding specific occupations, for example, law, engineering, teaching, and sales.
Typical categorizations of occupations as traditionally male dominated e. A number of studies have shown significant gender differences in self-efficacy with respect to these occupational groups and, more important, that low self-efficacy expectations reduced perceived career options.
A related area of research has employed a more focused set of occupational titles, specifically those in scientific and technical careers.
Other researchers have examined a more fundamental aspect of consideration of scientific and technical careers, and that is mathematics self-efficacy. Twenty years of research on this construct have suggested its vital importance to educational achievement and career options.
Measures of math self-efficacy, using everyday math tasks e. Empirical research has also supported the predictive relationship of math self-efficacy to math performance and achievement and the importance of math self-efficacy to the science- or math-relatedness of career choices.
There are now also a number of measures of self-efficacy for important dimensions of vocational activity, for example, artistic, business, and social areas. Other inventories assess self-efficacy with respect to narrower domains of vocational activity.
These domains include such activity areas as science, teaching, helping, leadership, mechanical activities, sales, data management, and using technology. Overall, research using such measures suggests that they too predict educational aspirations and occupational group membership.
Also increasingly useful in career research and counseling are parallel measures of self-efficacy and vocational interests in research and career counseling.Self-efficacy beliefs contribute to motivation in several ways: They determine the goals people set for themselves; how much effort they expend; how long they persevere in the face of difficulties; and their resilience to failures.
The value of studying the differences between students with career goals, and students without, will help us learn why students who set goals early have more self-confidence.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze, compare, and interpret numerous research studies on the effects of career goals on students. I gathered my data from .
Apr 11, · Thus, the relationship between goal setting and self-efficacy is reciprocal: goal setting helps to grow self-efficacy, while increased self-efficacy improves the quality of later goals.
Of course, in medical education, students are not always free to choose their own goals. Reviews of this research are well beyond the scope of this entry, but it is fair to say that self-efficacy expectations regarding both career activities and the processes of career decision making and job search have an important relationship to the nature of educational and career choices and the effectiveness of career decision-making .
Regardless of domain, research shows that self-efficacy helps to predict motivation and performance, and studies testing causal models highlight the important role played by self-efficacy. Dec 08, · Best Answer: Self-efficacy is a term used in psychology that means being able to believe that you have the ability to overcome a certain problem, or problems in your life.
This is useful in education and career related goals because if you believe you can do something, you are more likely to be able to do so with faith in yourself and Status: Resolved.