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Self-Efficacy Beliefs In Academic Settings

Frank Pajares

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The purpose of this article is to examine the contribution made by the self-efficacy component of Bandura’s (1986) social cognitive theory to the study of self-regulation and motivation in academic settings. The difference between self-efficacy beliefs and other expectancy constructs is first explained, followed by a brief overview of problems in self-efficacy research. Findings on the relationship between self-efficacy, motivation constructs, and academic performances are then summarized. These findings demonstrate that particularized measures of self-efficacy that correspond to the criterial tasks with which they are compared surpass global measures in the explanation and prediction of related outcomes. The conceptual difference between the definition and use of expectancy beliefs in social cognitive theory and in expectancy value and self-concept theory is then clarified. Last, strategies to guide future research are offered.