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The Self-efficacy of Albert Bandura: do you believe in yourself?

The Self-efficacy of Albert Bandura: do you believe in yourself?

June 12, 2024

The Self-efficacy of Albert Bandura

To understand what the theory of self-efficacy , I'm going to ask you a question. First think of some goal you would like to achieve.

When facing the challenge, do you feel that you are up to the task and can you achieve the goal? If you are one of those people who represent the famous phrase that Barack Obama used for his political campaign that brought him to power in 2008: "Yes, we can!" (We can), surely you have a high self-efficacy for that specific goal or task and You trust your abilities to achieve that goal.

If, on the other hand, you think that this challenge is great or you do not trust your abilities to achieve it, you have a perception of weak self-efficacy.

Self-efficacy is part of the Axial components of the personality, according to Bandura . To delve into it you can read:

"Albert Bandura's Theory of Personality"

What is Self-efficacy?

Self-efficacy is a concept introduced by Albert Bandura, a Ukrainian-Canadian psychologist who was born in 1925. In 1986, he developed the Theory of Social Learning, referring to the regulation of motivation and human action, which implies three types of expectations: expectations of situation-result, expectations of action-result and perceived self-efficacy. Today I will talk about self-efficacy

Self-efficacy, or beliefs in your abilities to deal with the different situations that arise, plays an important role not only in the way you feel about an objective or task, but it will be decisive to achieve or not the goals in your life . The concept of self-efficacy is a central aspect in psychology, since it emphasizes the role of observational learning, social experience, and the impact on a person's personal development.

In the theory of Albert Bandura, it is defended that self-efficacy is a main construct to perform a behavior, since the relationship between knowledge and action will be significantly mediated by the thought of self-efficacy. Self-efficacy beliefs, that is, the thoughts that a person has about their ability and self-regulation to implement such behavior will be decisive.

In this way, people will be more motivated if they perceive that their actions can be effective, that is if there is a conviction that they have personal skills that allow them to regulate their actions. Bandura considers that it influences on a cognitive, affective and motivational level. Thus, a high perceived self-efficacy is related to positive thoughts and aspirations about successful behavior, less stress, anxiety and threat perception, together with an adequate planning of the course of action and anticipation of good results.

The role of Self-efficacy

Everyone can identify the goals they want to achieve or the aspects of their life they would like to change. However, not everyone thinks that taking these plans into action is easy. Research has shown that the self-efficacy of each individual plays an important role when facing a goal, task or challenge.

Individuals with high self-efficacy they are very interested in the tasks in which they participate, they see the problems as stimulating challenges , they experience a high commitment to their interests and activities, and recover quickly from their failures. On the contrary, individuals with low or weak self-efficacy: avoid challenging tasks or objectives, think that difficult goals are out of reach, and interpret failures as personal.

Development of Self-efficacy

Self-efficacy beliefs develop at early childhood ages while experiencing different experiences or situations. However, the development of self-efficacy does not end in childhood or adolescence, but continues its evolution throughout life as people acquire new skills, knowledge, or live new experiences.

Self-efficacy beliefs are formed from the information provided by a total of four sources:

1. Execution achievements

Past experiences are the most important source of self-efficacy information, as they are based on the real domain check . Repeating success in certain tasks increases positive evaluations of self-efficacy while repeated failures decrease them, especially when failures can not to external circumstances.

2. Vicarious experience or observation

The modeling It is important because when you see (or imagine) other people successfully performing certain activities, a person may come to believe that he or she possesses sufficient capabilities to perform with equal success.This source of self-efficacy acquires particular relevance in cases in which individuals do not have a great knowledge of their own abilities or have little experience in the task to be performed.

3. Verbal persuasion

Verbal persuasion is another important source of self-efficacy, especially in those who already have a high level of self-efficacy and need only a little more confidence to make an extra effort and achieve success.

4. Physiological state of the individual

The multiple indicators of autonomic activation, as well as pain and fatigue can be interpreted by the individual as signs of their own ineptitude. In general, people tend to interpret elevated states of anxiety as signs of vulnerability and as indicators of poor performance. The humor or the emotional states they will also have an impact on how one will interpret experiences.


In summary, self-efficacy is the appreciation of one's abilities and focuses on the beliefs of having the necessary resources and the ability to succeed in a given context. It is an important concept for psychology and personal development since it reinforces the idea that human beings can select or eliminate future activities through their own cognitive mechanisms, and provides a non-reductionist view of the human being and the complexity of influences. that affect their behavior.

Individuals are seen as proactive Y self-regulators of their behavior rather than as reactants and controlled by environmental or biological forces.

Self Efficacy - psychobabble for "believe in yourself" (June 2024).

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