zweikern Lexikon
Self Efficacy
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What is self-efficacy?


Self-efficacy is the personal belief and conviction in one's own abilities and competencies to successfully handle specific tasks or challenges. Individuals with high self-efficacy expectations have a strong confidence in their ability to overcome obstacles and achieve goals. This belief positively influences their motivation, persistence, and performance and can also impact their mental and physical health as they are better equipped to cope with stress and experience an overall higher sense of well-being.


The term "self-efficacy" originates from psychology and is attributed to the work of psychologist Albert Bandura. Albert Bandura is well-known for his theory of social learning and his research in the areas of self-regulation and self-efficacy. He coined the term to describe the concept of personal confidence in one's abilities to cope with tasks or achieve goals. The theory of self-efficacy is closely related to his work on self-regulation and the development of self-confidence. It was developed in the 1970s and has since gained significance in the field of psychology and other domains.


  • Self-confidence
  • Self-belief
  • Self-reliance
  • Self-competence

Additional Interesting Facts

Expansion of Definition and Origin

Self-efficacy is a central component of Albert Bandura's social-cognitive theory and is closely related to concepts like self-awareness and self-control. It plays a crucial role in various psychological models and therapy approaches and is relevant for the fields of education, health, sports, and organizational leadership.

Impact on Behavior and Decisions

Individuals with high self-efficacy expectations tend to set higher goals and demonstrate more commitment and perseverance in pursuing them. They perceive challenges as tasks to be mastered, rather than being intimidated by them, and are convinced they can effectively handle difficult situations.

Development of Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy can be developed through four main sources:

  1. Mastery Experiences: Successful experiences enhance self-efficacy, while failures can diminish it.

  2. Vicarious Experiences: Observing models or mentors who are successful can increase self-efficacy.

  3. Social Persuasion: Encouragement from others can strengthen positive beliefs about one's abilities.

  4. Physiological and Emotional States: Perceptions of one’s emotional states can influence self-efficacy.

Areas of Application and Importance

  • Education: Teachers can use strategies to enhance the self-efficacy of students, which can lead to better academic performance.

  • Health Psychology: Self-efficacy plays a critical role in managing illnesses and promoting health-related behavior.

  • Sports Psychology: Athletes can benefit from increased self-efficacy to boost their performance and deal with pressure.

  • Organizational Leadership and Occupational Psychology: A high level of self-efficacy among employees can lead to increased motivation, productivity, and job satisfaction.


While high self-efficacy is associated with numerous positive outcomes, it is important to maintain realistic assessments of one’s abilities to avoid overstraining and frustration. A balance between self-confidence and self-assessment is necessary to fully realize the benefits of self-efficacy.