Self-Efficacy Believing in Oneself Term Paper

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Self-Efficacy

BELIEVING IN ONESELF

Self-efficacy is a person's perception or belief of, and in, his ability to organize and perform acts towards the attainment of a goal (Bandura, 1994). This belief in himself determines how he thinks, behaves and feels (as qtd in Cherry, 2010). Almost all people know they want to achieve or change but acting on it is not always automatic or easy. The Self-Efficacy theory proposes that a person's inherent concept of his capabilities strongly shapes how he will proceed in achieving a goal, performing tasks and responding to challenges (Cherry). If his self-efficacy is strong, he will be more confident in his capabilities to behave in a way, which will make him achieve the goal (Bandura). Self-efficacy consists of what a person thinks he can and cannot do to make things happen in his or someone else's life. It does not predict concrete outcomes but declares what he can accomplish, using his skills (Holmes, 2010). Not only does he achieve the goal. He also does better than he thought before. The theory further explains that, because of strong self-efficacy, a person generally attains more than others by viewing obstacles and setbacks as encouraging challenges (Holmes). This belief in one's capability to achieve leads him to put in more and better effort into tasks and persists in these tasks (Beckman et al., 2007). A high level of self-efficacy also allows corrective experiences to reinforce that self-efficacy further (Bandura, 1994).Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Self-Efficacy Believing in Oneself Self-Efficacy Is a Assignment

Belief in one's efficacy or capability can be developed from four main sources. These are a mastery of one's experiences, vicarious experiences of social models, social persuasion, and the reduction of stress reactions, accompanied by a change in negative emotional misinterpretation of one's physical state (Bandura, 1994). The building or strengthening of self-efficacy comes out of perseverance in overcoming obstacles. The person treats obstacles as learning tools, which make him stronger and able to rebound from setbacks quickly. Having social models inspires and convinces a person that he too possesses the qualities for success. But there should be sufficient similarity between the model and the person following the model's standard and success. A person who is verbally persuaded that he possesses the capabilities to achieve is likely to actualize his potentials and success. He will, if he prefers to dwell on the probability of success rather than of his limitations and the risk of failure. And reducing stress reactions and changing negative emotional misinterpretation of physical states will strengthen self-efficacy (Bandura).

Self-Efficacy Beliefs

These are a person's own and subjective judgment of his capabilities to organize and execute specific courses of action needed to accomplish certain objectives (Pajares. 2002). These beliefs develop from the four main sources earlier discussed. They serve as the springboard of motivation, well-being and personal accomplishment. Unless he believes that his actions can produce the results he wants, he will not be inclined to pursue and persevere in the task. Substantial evidence now supports Bandura's argument that self-efficacy beliefs affect every aspect of every person's life. A person thinks productively or not, pessimistically or optimistically, his motivations and discouragement and the major choices he makes in his lifetime according to the level of his self-efficacy. Self-efficacy also determines self-regulation (Pajares).

Self-beliefs of efficacy affect human function through four major psychological processes (Bandura 1994). These are cognitive, motivational, affective and selective processes. Most courses of action begin and are organized at the thought or cognitive level. Thought enables a person to predict events and develop ways of controlling things that affect his life. A person is motivated by the thoughts he generates. Through the belief in what he can do, he anticipates probable outcomes from suitable actions. He sets his own goals and courses of action aimed at achieving those goals. A person who believes he can control threatening or difficult situations does not invite or dwell in disturbing thought patterns. This is the affective process. He avoids anxiety through thought control. He thus develops a stronger sense of self-efficacy and is able to engage in difficult and threatening activities. As the types of activities and environment he chooses opens more choices to him, the selective process operates. He is able to cultivate different competencies, interests and networks, which determine the course of his life. Career choice and development are a typical example. The higher his level of perceived self-efficacy, the wider his range of career options (Bandura).

Self-Efficacy in Personal Life

According to Bandura, every person has a self-system (Cherry, 2010). That self-system consists of his attitudes, abilities and cognitive skills from childhood. It develops as he matures, depending on his experiences and perceptions of these experiences. These elements dictate how he perceives situations and behaves in response to them If he has a strong sense of self-efficacy, he will view problems as tasks to be overcome and mastered. He will be deeply interested in the activities he participates in and form a strong commitment to these activities. He quickly recovers from failures and disappointments (Cherry).

On the other hand, a person with a low or weak perceived self-efficiency will not only avoid these situations, activities and a commitment to these (Cherry, 2010). He also easily gets stressed and depressed (Maciejewski 2000). Results of a longitudinal Americans' Changing Lives study showed that dependent live events of a person reduces or damages his perceived self-efficacy. The study analyzed the responses of 2,858 adult Americans throughout continental United States. It concluded that the self-efficacy of those with prior depression was negatively affected by dependent stressful life events at 40% (Maciejewski).

A sense of personal efficacy chooses certain actions not only to produce certain effects (Bandura, 1994). These actions are performed because they are an inherent part of the person different from those of others. The actions are different because the person is different from other persons through their respective and individual experiences. From infancy, the person is treated distinctively from others. This continues as he grows up and becomes the symbol of his uniqueness and distinction from everybody else (Bandura).

Self-Efficacy in Teams and Groups

As the person matures, he becomes part of a group or team. Each member has his own sense and level of self-efficacy. Besides individual self-efficacy, the group or team needs to develop collective efficacy in order to achieve the collective goals of the team (Katz Navon & Erez, 2005). Each member of the group has a different task to perform and tasks of all the members become interdependent. The outcome of each task by each member is affected by that of every other member of the group. A recent s conducted on a sample group of 120 engineering students to test the different effects of self-efficacy against collective efficacy. It found that collective efficacy became solid and influenced team performance only when the members closely interacted and coordinated efforts to perform a highly interdependent task. Self-efficacy was stronger under low-task interdependence conditions, which emphasized individual performance (Katz Navon & Erez).

In his lifespan, the person eventually becomes part of an organization under which he continues to seek individual satisfaction (Chowdhury et al., 2002). Organization research revealed that individual satisfaction towards the different aspects of a member or employee's job influence the health of the organization in the long-term. Team performance and individual satisfaction and performance do not always come together, however. A team member may perform highly in a poorly performing team. Or a team member may perform poorly in a highly performing team (Chowdhury et al.).

If the group or team consists of members with low efficacy, the group is unlikely to cause things to happen (Holmes, 2010). They believe that they are incapable. They resist any change or anything new by way of vision or ways. They use negative creativity so that the goal may vanish. This is opposed to positive creativity, which asks how a goal can be achieved. The group leader can help the team increase self-efficacy by building opportunities for them through which this can happen. The group leader can increase his own self-efficacy as he exposes the team to the opportunities (Holmes).

Self-Efficacy in Top Management

The person eventually reaches the top at the organizational ladder and becomes part of management. At that level, he encounters complex knowledge sharing (Endres et al., 2007). That knowledge consists of subjective insights, intuitions, hunches and know-how. Sharing means transferring these information to the organization. The sum of organizational knowledge is a valuable resource and source of capabilities and competencies for innovations and new product development. Organizational knowledge, in turn, consists of these information, technology, know-how, and skills. And individuals in the organization can be motivated to share complex, tacit knowledge through the self-efficacy theory model. Studies found that knowledge sharing subject to the same influences as self-efficacy. These are mastery of experiences, vicarious experience, and persuasion. Self-efficacy theory considers the complexity of the task of knowledge sharing, the person's ability and experiences in performing this task, and support from the organizational environment. The support may come from supervisors… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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