“People’s beliefs about their abilities have a profound effect on those abilities. Ability is not a fixed property; there is a huge variability in how you perform. People who have a sense of self-efficacy bounce back from failures; they approach things in terms of how to handle them rather than worrying about what can go wrong” – Alberta Bandura
During this journey I need to remind myself not to worry about what can go wrong…
I have been interested in self-efficacy for many years. It began during my BA with my honours research project on memory self-efficacy (beliefs about one’s capabilities to use memory effectively in memory demanding situations). In my honours thesis, Relationships between implicit theories and memory self-efficacy in older adults, I cited Bandura’s 1989 work. Interestingly my favourite book of his these days is from 1997 – the same year I completed that BA thesis!
Since then, I have written a few papers on self-efficacy in the areas of childhood anxiety and life stressors. When considering a research topic for my MA thesis, I even emailed Alberta Bandura… and was thrilled to receive a response from him! You could say he is like a celebrity in my world. Although my MA research focused on self-regulation, there were many connections to self-efficacy that helped further my understanding.
Now I am back reading and writing about self-efficacy – this time in the areas of teacher education and professional development. Such interesting topics for me – both personally and professionally.
I have added a few sites in my “Links” section – one to Bandura’s (1997) book and another for more information on his social cognitive theory and self-efficacy. He came to Alberta last year, maybe he will return here again and I’ll actually get to meet him!