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Perspect Med Educ. 2012 May;1(2):76-85. doi: 10.1007/s40037-012-0012-5. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

Academic self-efficacy: from educational theory to instructional practice.

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Preventive Medicine & Biometrics, Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, MD 20814 USA.


Self-efficacy is a personal belief in one's capability to organize and execute courses of action required to attain designated types of performances. Often described as task-specific self-confidence, self-efficacy has been a key component in theories of motivation and learning in varied contexts. Furthermore, over the last 34 years, educational researchers from diverse fields of inquiry have used the notion of self-efficacy to predict and explain a wide range of human functioning, from athletic skill to academic achievement. This article is not a systematic review of the empirical research on self-efficacy; instead, its purpose is to describe the nature and structure of self-efficacy and provide a brief overview of several instructional implications for medical education. In doing so, this article is meant to encourage medical educators to consider and explicitly address their students' academic self-efficacy beliefs in an effort to provide more engaging and effective instruction.


Academic achievement; Calibration; Knowledge and skill acquisition; Medical education; Motivation; Self-efficacy

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