Self-efficacy measurement : a comparison of general, domain, and task-specific measures and their interaction with task experience



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The purpose of this study was to extend Bandura's (1977a 1982b, 1986) self-efficacy theory by comparing the effectiveness of three types of efficacy measurement and examining how manipulation of a situational factor would influence the relationships between these efficacy measures and the performance indicators. It was hypothesized that a person's current familiarity with a task would interact with their various self-efficacy beliefs in predicting persistence and performance. Four novel tasks, from two ability domains, were chosen for subjects to perform: solving anagrams and cyclical graphs, balancing on a stabilometer, and bouncing tennis balls on a racquet held in the non-dominant hand. As a group, subjects (N=112) completed the general self- efficacy questionnaire (Sherer et al., 1982) and motor and cognitive domain efficacy scales (Harter, 1982). Subjects then reported individually for testing. Task familiarity was manipulated as the number of practice trials (0, 1, 2, or 3) that they were randomly assigned to receive. After subjects completed the practice, they assessed their efficacy for the four specific tasks (Bandura, 1977a) and then did the actual test trials, during which performance and persistence scores were collected. Multiple regression analyses indicated no significant interaction between practice and efficacy measurement in any of the tasks. After covarying the influence of previous task experience, task-specific efficacy was the only significant predictor for performance in all tasks but the anagrams. Practice seemed to be the most important factor in determining stabilometer performance. There was also a significant relationship between general self-efficacy and stabilometer persistence. A comparison of the bivariate correlations among the predictors and the dependent measures and a commonality analysis lent further support to the regression results that task-specific efficacy was the best predictor of performance across tasks. The inconsistent findings across tasks, the difficulties with measurement of persistence, and the inadequecies of the general and domain efficacy measures are further discussed.



Performance, Self-actualization (Psychology)