Sources of Self-Efficacy (A guide)

This blog lays emphasis on the sources of self-efficacy. Before we move on to the sources of self-efficacy let’s find out more about the term “self-efficacy”.

Keep reading the blog to find out more facts about self-efficacy.

What Is Self-Efficacy?

Self-efficiency is the belief that we have in our own skills, explicitly in our ability to meet the big challenges of us and effectively complete the task (Akhtar, 2008).

General self-efficacy refers to our ultimate belief in our ability to succeed, but there are also many more specific forms of self-efficacy (e.g. academic, parenting, sports). 

Although self-efficacy is connected to our sense of self-esteem or value as a human being, there is at least one significant differentiation.

All these come under Self-awareness and one should be well aware of the importance of self-awareness to live a confident, harmonious life.

People who need autonomy try to become more self-efficient so they don’t have to ask for someone else’s assistance and can control their actions themselves.

Sources of Self-Efficacy

According to the originator of the theory, Albert Bandura, the following are the sources of efficacy beliefs.

1. Mastery Experiences

The first and primary source of self-efficacy is the knowledge of mastery. Yet nothing is more effective than providing a clear experience of mastery to improve self-efficacy.

Seeing the success, for example in mastering a task or managing an environment, will create self-confidence in that area, whereas failure will undermine the belief in performance.

Having a resilient sense of self-efficiency requires experience in overcoming challenges through dedication and hard work.

2. Vicarious Experiences

The second source of self-efficacy emerges from our experience of the people around us, particularly the people we see as role models.

Having people like ourselves excel in their concerted effort strengthens our confidence that we too have the capacity to master the activities needed for success in this field.

3. Verbal Persuasion

Impactful people in our lives, such as parents, teachers, managers, or coaches, will reinforce our confidence that we have what it takes to succeed.

Being assured that we have the capacity to master those tasks ensures that we are more likely to make an effort and maintain it when difficulties occur.

4. Emotional & Physiological States

The state you ‘re in is going to influence how you evaluate your self-efficacy. Depression, for example, can diminish confidence in our capability.

Stress or stress responses are viewed as indicators of vulnerability to poor performance, while optimistic feelings will improve our trust in our skills.

5. Imaginal Experiences

Psychologist James Maddux proposed a fifth route to self-efficacy by “imaginal encounters,” the art of visualizing yourself in a given situation, whether passively or successfully. 

By reading about Sabrina Cohen Hatton you can get inspiration on how one shouldn’t lower his self-esteem and always believe in self-efficacy.

5 Examples of High Self-Efficacy  

High self-efficacy can represent as one or more of the following characteristics and behaviors, among others: 

  • A student who is not especially gifted in a specific subject but trusts in his own capacity to study well; 
  • A man who has had bad luck with his relationship so far, but still has a good outlook on his ability to interact with his upcoming date;
  • An expectant mother who is nervous about caring for a new baby, but believes that she has what it takes to succeed, no matter how difficult or frightening it is; 
  • A new graduate who takes on a high-profile, high-level job she’s never done before, but feels she can prosper; 
  • An entrepreneur who pours his heart and soul into setting up his company, but quickly moves on to his next brilliant idea when his company is struck by an insurmountable and unforeseen challenge.

The following is a list of some books on self-efficacy. These books are a great source of knowledge.

All of these books are easily available on the Amazon Store.

Just click the book you wish to study and you will be redirected to the page from where you can access it.

What are Bandura’s 4 sources of efficacy beliefs?

The 4 sources of efficacy beliefs according to Bandura are Performance Accomplishments, Vicarious Experience, Social Persuasion, and Physiological and Emotional States.

What is the most influential source of self-efficacy?

Research has shown that enactive mastery experiences are the most impactful source of information about efficacy because they provide the far more direct, accurate measure that an individual can collect the personal resources needed to succeed.

What are the two types of self-efficacy?

The two types of self-efficacy are perceived self-efficacy and self-regulation. Perceived Self-Efficacy relates to the assumptions of individuals regarding their capacity to generate outcomes and Self-Regulation is the practice of control over one’s own inspiration, thought mechanisms, mental conditions, and behavior habits.

What is self-efficacy according to Bandura?

Self-efficacy relates to a person’s confidence in their abilities to implement activities expected to deliver particular success milestones (Bandura, 1977-1997). Self-efficacy reflects trust in the ability to exercise control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment.

How do you build efficacy?

Self-efficacy can be built in the following ways:

  1. Use moderately-complicated tasks 
  2. Use peer model  
  3. Teach practical techniques for research 
  4. Capitalize on the desires of the students 
  5. Let students pick their own
  6. Encourage learners to try it  
  7. Provide frequent, concentrated feedback
  8. Foster clear attributions

How can I make my sense of self stronger?

Sense of self can be made stronger in many ways such as by connecting with oneself, differentiating self from others rather than comparing with clothes, seeing challenges as a way of increasing self-awareness, and applying these actions into your life.

This page explained in detail the concept of self-efficacy and the sources of self-efficacy.

If you have any questions or queries regarding this blog, let us know through your comments. We will be glad to assist you.


What is Self-Efficacy Theory in Psychology? (+PDF) by Courtney E. Ackerman (2020)

What is Self-Efficacy? Bandura’s 4 Sources of Efficacy Beliefs

Self-Efficacy Theory: Bandura’s 4 Sources of Efficacy Beliefs 

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