“We are more likely to perform actions when we believe in our own competence”
Self-efficacy is a person’s belief in his/her own competence. According to Albert Bandura – who defined self-efficacy theory – this personalized belief in our ability to succeed affects our behavior. The more competent we think we are (a high level of perceived self-efficacy), the greater our intrinsic motivation to act is.
There are at least 3 types of information that enhance our self-efficacy online:
- Our own behavior: when we are successful, we become convinced that we will be successful again.
- The behavior of others: when we see others being successful with certain behavior, we become convinced that with that same behavior, we will also be capable of success.
- Rewarding feedback; positive feedback also contributes to our idea that we will achieve our goal by continuing.
Scientific research example
Two groups of students are engaged in solving a Soma Cube puzzle. Both groups do this in 3 sessions. The only difference between the two groups is the 2nd session. Group A receives verbal praise and positive feedback in this 2nd session, whereas group B does not. Guess what happens in the (equal) 3rd session… Yep, group A solves more puzzles in the final session. Why? Raising our self-efficacy increases our intrinsic motivation to act.