Self-Efficacy and Agency

Self-Efficacy is defined as "a person's sense of being able to deal effectively with a particular task" (Woolfolk). 

Human agency is "The capacity to coordinate learning skills, motivation and emotions to reach you goal."

The difference between the two being that self-efficacy actually effects human agency...depending on how well you think you can do something, your human agency which controls making choices will be effected.

Are self-efficacy and self-esteem the same though?

No, just because you know that you are good at Math, this doesn't mean that you necessarily have high self esteem. It just means that in that particular area (Math, for example) you know that you are able to do it.

Bandura identified four sources of self-efficacy:

  1. Mastery Experiences - "Our own direct experiences" (This is the most powerful source)
  2. Vicarious Experiences - "Accomplishments that are modeled by someone else"
  3. Social Persuasion - "Specific performance feedback (a "pep talk")
  4. Physiological Arousal - "Excitement and a feeling of being ready (increases efficacy) and a sense of anxiety and foreboding (decreases efficacy)
So, through our own experiences, seeing other people's accomplishments after they perform a certain behavior, through pep talks, and through that initial "gut feeling," our self-efficacy, or feeling of being able to do something or not, is effected.
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