Albert Bandura’s Self-Efficacy: Do you believe in yourself?

To understand what self-efficacy theory, I’m going to ask you a question. First think about a milestone you would like to achieve.

When you face the challenge, do you feel up to it and can you reach the goal? If you are one of those people who represents the famous phrase Barack Obama used for his political campaign that brought him to power in 2008: “Yes, we can!” (We can), you probably have high self-efficacy for that specific goal or task, and you rely on your skills to achieve that goal.

If, on the other hand, you think this challenge is too big for you or if you don’t trust your abilities to achieve it, you have a low perception of self-efficacy.

  • Self-efficacy is part of the axial components of the personality, according to Bandura. To find out more, 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 born in 1925. In 1986, he developed the theory of social learning, referring to the regulation of human motivation and action. , which implies three types of expectations: outcome expectations, outcome expectations of action and perceived self-efficacy Today I am going to talk about self-efficacy

Self-efficacy, or beliefs in your ability to cope with different situations that arise, play an important role not only in how you think about a goal or task, but will determine whether or not you achieve it. your goals in your life. The concept of self-efficacy is a central aspect of psychology, as it emphasizes the role of observational learning, social experience, and impact on a person’s personal development.

In Albert Bandura’s theory, it is argued that self-efficacy is a major construct for the conduct of behavior, as the relationship between knowledge and action will be significantly mediated by self-efficacy thinking. Self-efficacy beliefs, that is, a person’s thoughts about their ability and self-regulation to implement this behavior will be decisive.

In this way, people will be more motivated if they perceive that their actions can be effective, that is, if they are convinced that they have personal skills that allow them to regulate their actions. Bandura considers that he influences on the cognitive, emotional and motivational level. Thus, a high perceived self-efficacy is linked to positive thoughts and aspirations about successful behavior, less stress, anxiety, and perceived threat, as well as good course planning and planning. anticipation of good results.

The role of self-efficacy

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

Individuals with high self-efficacy they are very interested in the tasks in which they are involved, they see problems as stimulating challengesThey experience a high commitment to their interests and activities and quickly recover from their failures. In contrast, individuals with low or low self-efficacy: avoid difficult tasks or goals, think difficult goals are beyond their reach, and interpret failures as something personal.

Self-efficacy development

Beliefs in self-efficacy develop at an early age in childhood while having different experiences or situations. However, the development of self-efficacy does not stop in childhood or adolescence, but continues to evolve throughout life as people acquire new skills, knowledge or make a living from it. new experiences.

Beliefs in self-efficacy are formed from information provided by a total of four sources:

1. Successful execution

Past experiences are the most important source of information about self-efficacy because they are based on real domain verification. Repeating success in certain tasks increases positive ratings of self-efficacy while repeated failures decrease them, especially when the failures fail due to external circumstances.

2. Experience or observation by proxy

the modeling This is important because by seeing (or imagining) other people successfully performing certain activities, a person may come to believe that they have sufficient capacity to exercise with equal success. This source of self-efficacy acquires particular relevance in cases where individuals do not have a great knowledge of their own abilities or have little experience in the task at hand.

3. Verbal persuasion

Verbal persuasion is another important source of self-efficacy, especially in people who already have a high level of self-efficacy and only need a little more confidence to go the extra mile and succeed.

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 his own ineptitude. In general, people tend to interpret high anxiety states as signs of vulnerability and as indicators of poor performance. the humor o vaja Emotional states they will also have an impact on how we interpret the experiences.


In short, self-efficacy is the appreciation of one’s abilities and emphasizes the belief that you have the necessary resources and the ability to succeed in a given context. It is an important concept for psychology and personal development because it reinforces the idea that human beings can select or eliminate future activities through their own cognitive mechanisms, and offers a non-reductionist view of human beings and complexity. influences that affect their behavior.

Individuals are considered proactive I self-regulating of their behavior rather than reactive and controlled by environmental or biological forces.

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