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Self-Efficacy and Motivation

 

Self-efficacy is an important aspect of motivation; self-efficacy is the belief or view that one has about his ability to achieve. What one believes about his abilities is powerfully linked to the amount of effort he will put forth to accomplish a task or goal. In effect, awareness and assuredness in one’s ability can drive one toward action. According to Albert Bandura, the founder of the theories of self-efficacy, people are more likely to engage in behaviors and face challenges when they believe they are capable of performing the behaviors or objectives successfully. There is a distinction between self-efficacy and self-esteem in that one’s self-esteem is a fairly steady state, and not associated with any particular objective or ability. Self-efficacy is one’s perceived ability to do a certain thing. For example, someone can have high self-esteem, but they may not perceive themselves to have the ability to play basketball. They will probably not exert much effort to the goal of being a great basketball player, because they simply do not see it as their strong suit, and may consider it a waste of time.

 

Self-efficacy affects one’s choices of activities, their goals, effort and persistence, and learning and achievement. As in the basketball example above, one chooses activity that they believe they can be successful at doing. Individuals set goals based on what level of achievement they believe they can attain. If one believes they are only “cut out” for low level work or to be a follower, not a leader, they will not set their goals for the corner office. Self-efficacy is a major determinant of how much effort one puts forth, and their persistence in the face of adversity and setbacks. With high self-efficacy, one tends to work more effectively, study more efficiently, and to delay-gratification while in pursuit of their goals, therefore, they can learn and achieve more. Without a sense of self-efficacy, people can be both distracted and paralyzed from reaching toward achievements.