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Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control

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With over 20 years of research by renowned psychologist, Albert Bandura, Self-Efficacy articulates his theory that believing one can achieve what one sets out to do results in a healthier, more effective, and generally more successful life.

604 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1997

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About the author

Albert Bandura

44 books158 followers
Albert Bandura OC is a psychologist who is the David Starr Jordan Professor Emeritus of Social Science in Psychology at Stanford University. For almost six decades, he has been responsible for contributions to the field of education and to many fields of psychology, including social cognitive theory, therapy, and personality psychology, and was also influential in the transition between behaviorism and cognitive psychology. He is known as the originator of social learning theory (renamed the social cognitive theory) and the theoretical construct of self-efficacy, and is also responsible for the influential 1961 Bobo doll experiment.

Social cognitive theory is how people learn through observing others. An example of social cognitive theory would be the students imitating the teacher. Self-efficacy is "the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations." To paraphrase, self-efficacy is believing in yourself to take action. The Bobo Doll Experiment was how Albert Bandura studied aggression and non-aggression in children.

A 2002 survey ranked Bandura as the fourth most-frequently cited psychologist of all time, behind B. F. Skinner, Sigmund Freud, and Jean Piaget, and as the most cited living one. Bandura is widely described as the greatest living psychologist, and as one of the most influential psychologists of all time.

In 1974 Bandura was elected to be the Eighty-Second President of the American Psychological Association (APA). He was one of the youngest president-elects in the history of the APA at the age of 48. Bandura served as a member of the APA Board of Scientific Affairs from 1968 to 1970 and is well known as a member of the editorial board of nine psychology journals including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology from 1963 to 1972. At the age of 82, Bandura was awarded the Grawemeyer Award for psychology.

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Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews
Profile Image for Kirtika.
17 reviews10 followers
January 24, 2016
Was pointed to the concept of self-efficacy by 'A Defining Decade', a book that I enjoyed. Scourging the internet did not teach me enough about self-efficacy as I would have liked, so I went straight to the source - this book, which is a compilation of Albert Bandura's research.
The book is actually a psychology textbook - an extremely 'heavy' academic work apparent from the language and the meticulous division into chapters. A good tl;dr version exists here: https://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Bandura/B... (this is in slightly more accessible, yet still academic language).

Update: Aded my own summary here: https://rkirti.wordpress.com/2016/01/...
Profile Image for Elaine Harpine.
Author 16 books
June 13, 2022
This is a "must read" book. Bandura's theory on self-efficacy, I think, is some of his best work. I incorporate his theory of self-efficacy into my own group-centered prevention programs. If the schools would drop their focus on "self-concept" and use "self-efficacy" instead, education would be in a much better place. Bandura's theory of self-efficacy says, if you really want to improve how the student feels about self, you must teach the student the "skills" to enable them to learn. Just telling a child that they are special is not enough. It is through accomplishment, knowing that the student can learn and be successful, that the student truly changes and grows into a mentally healthy person.
Profile Image for Il lettore sul trespolo.
196 reviews4 followers
December 5, 2021
Immaginate di essere in una classe di un liceo italiano, scienze umane per l'esattezza, all'ultima ora di un lunedì di autunno.
Lì, in ultima fila, c'è un ragazzo incazzato con il mondo che vorrebbe solo tornare a casa.
D'un tratto entra la professoressa di psicologia, sbatte la porta, fa la predica per le verifiche andate male e decide di interrogare a sorpresa.
Chiama proprio quel ragazzo in ultima fila che, già tra le nuvole di suo, e per di più innamorato, non ha studiato nulla, si ricorda solo vagamente di un video in cui dei bambini prendevano a pugni una bambola gonfiabile, un esperimento di un certo Albert Bandura.
La prof, spavalda, lo chiama in prima fila e, pensando di essere infame chiede proprio quel video.
A quel punto il ragazzo risponde con sicurezza prendendosi il plauso della classe e i complimenti della prof.
Due settimane dopo c'è di nuovo una verifica, un tema questa volta, e la traccia è proprio su Bandura.
All'interrogazione successiva l'autore è sempre argomento di programma e lo è ancora nella verifica successiva e anche dopo 7 mesi, ormai a fine anno, viene usato dallo studente come collegamento interdisciplinare per salvarsi delle sue scarse preparazioni.
Tutta la classe lo sa e ogni volta che Bandura viene nominato si crea subito un clima spensierato e scherzoso.
In una particolare interrogazione, in didattica a distanza, tre ragazzi consecutivamente lo usano come collegamento, con risultati eccellenti.
Poi passa il tempo, arrivano l'estate e le olimpiadi.
La madre del ragazzo stira mentre ascolta il commento tecnico alla televisione.
Improvvisamente si sporge tutta interessata a ciò che dice Julio Velasco, allenatore di quella generazione di fenomeni che l'ha fatta innamorare dello sport quando era alle superiori.
Dice qualcosa riguardo al cognitivismo sociale, qualcosa che il figlio sicuramente ha studiato.
"No, non ne so niente, ma di chi parlava?"
"Ah di uno psicologo morto qualche giorno fa, Bandura mi sembra si chiamasse".
All'inizio nel cuore del ragazzo c'è confusione e un filo di tristezza.
Quella sera torna in camera, ancora dubbioso di come si senta veramente, e cerca un video di un esperimento chiamato "Bobo doll" in cui dei bambini semplicemente imitano degli adulti che prendono a pugni una bambola gonfiabile.
Ebbene, finito il video scoppia a ridere e gli vengono in mente i flashback di quel lunedì di autunno in cui la vita era così divertente e si era tutti più felici anche se non lo si sapeva.
Chiude gli occhi e dice soltanto: "Grazie Bandura, grazie".
1,163 reviews10 followers
March 20, 2022
Väldigt spännande text. Det som undersöks - självförmåga - beskriver förmågan att möta situationer, i termer av förmågor som handlar om att orka igenom svårigheter och oklarheter. Därefter appliceras denna förmåga på olika sociala och yrkesmässiga sfärer.
Profile Image for Anthony Francavilla.
45 reviews11 followers
June 1, 2013
Exceptional book that really isolates why some people hold themselves back while others achieve.

Bandura comes off as unbelievably intelligent and even some of the throw away sentences are tremendously insightful.
Profile Image for Deb Davis.
57 reviews19 followers
April 28, 2008
I wasn't able to read the entire book since I have to return it to my psych professor, but what I was able to get through was freaking stunning. Definitely a must-have-someday.

Profile Image for Maggie lml.
23 reviews
May 26, 2018

According to studies people with higher self-efficacy and those that have a locus of control, they face situations better than those in situations acquire a pessimistic and hopeless vision.
11 reviews1 follower
September 8, 2018
A tour-de-force of integrated humanistic/cognitive/behaviourist/social psychology. Absolutely worth it as a textbook for a course, or as a book to read for those exceptionally interested in the human condition. Social Workers, Teachers, Psychologists, Counsellors, Medical Professionals, and others would all benefit from a better understanding of Bandura's work. There are hundreds of peer-reviewed references making this extremely useful if writing a literature review. Personally, I feel modern psychiatrists would especially benefit from this book due to the extreme emphasis on pathology in medical school, which often skips past fundamental understanding of human psychology in order to provide pharmacological treatments based on a DSM-defined checklist.
Profile Image for Sherry Yang.
15 reviews
November 19, 2020
Read the abridged version: https://www.uky.edu/~eushe2/Bandura/B...

Result of self-efficacy
- Life choices
- Level of motivation
- Quality of functioning
- Resilience and vulnerability

Influence factors of self-efficacy
- Mastery experience
- Seeing people similar to oneself succeed
- Social persuasion
- Somatic and emotional state (arousal)

Different age levels
- Infants: parents responsive to infants' efficacy-seeking behavior
- Childhood: school, self and peer comparisons
- Adolescence: new skills, pubertal changes, emotional investments in romantic partners and sexual experience
- Adulthood: work, family
- Seniorhood: degradation of memory
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
1 review
February 7, 2017
I need this book for my disertation. help me please!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
62 reviews6 followers
January 8, 2023
A long, dense, detailed exploration of a relatively simple idea. Someone's belief in their ability to accomplish a task is a good predictor of their ability to accomplish the task. This idea is applied to multiple aspects of human life and academic citations are used to support it. It's a bit hard to disagree with the central theory - but the book does not give serious consideration to any other theory. This is not a self help book - but it demonstrates how people who believe in themselves can succeed in a variety of situations. It does not promise universality or give a strategy for dealing with surprising failures. The subtitle - the exercise of control isn't fully explained or justified. The later chapters of the book deal with collective efficacy and organizational efficacy which are important but it feels like the author strays from the scientific foundation and gets a bit preachy - though I applaud the attempt to apply scientific reasoning to such challenging domains. Overall a good but challenging book which supports a new way of thinking about productivity with an objective narrative and extensive citations.
Displaying 1 - 24 of 24 reviews

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