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Behav Modif. 2000 Jan;24(1):30-56.

Thinking about self-efficacy.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago 60607-7137, USA.


People's perceptions of their capabilities for performance, or self-efficacy perceptions, are a cognitive mechanism underlying behavioral change. This article addresses three questions in the study of perceived self-efficacy: Do self-efficacy perceptions generalize across situations? Do affective states influence perceived self-efficacy? Do people have a singular level of perceived self-efficacy in any domain, or are there multiple aspects to self-efficacy perception? These questions are answered by analyzing the cognitive processes through which people appraise their efficacy for performance. The research reviewed indicates that (a) self-efficacy perceptions generalize across idiosyncratic sets of situations relating to schematic personal attributes; (b) induced negative mood does not reliably influence perceived self-efficacy but does raise performance standards, creating efficacy-standards discrepancies; (c) distinct aspects of self-efficacy appraisal can be organized by distinguishing between perceived self-efficacy for executing strategies and for attaining goals.

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