This is a report of a study to assess the reliability and validity of the self-efficacy optimism personality inventory, a subtest of the Questionnaire for the Assessment of Personal Optimism and Social Optimism Extended (POSO-E), as a predictor of achievement in an academic setting. “Self-efficacy optimism” refers to the tendency of expecting positive consequences based on one’s own behaviour. Fifty first year Psychology students completed a questionnaire that measured their degree of optimism. For each statement, students had to decide whether the statement was uncharacteristic or characteristic of them. Their score was tabulated and correlated with their first term course grade. An analysis of the results indicated that there was no significant relationship between self-efficacy optimism and academic achievement. The limitations of the study and implications for future research are also presented.
Self-efficacy as a component of social cognitive theory was first presented in Bandura’s 1977 article on “Self-efficacy: towards a unifying theory of behavioral change”. (Lane and Lane, Pajares, Schweitzer and Koch) Self-efficacy is “the beliefs in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage prospective situations” (Pajares, 1996, p. 544) or, more simply stated, the belief that one is able to do a task successfully. It is said to influence “initiating behavior, how much effort will be applied to attain an outcome and the level of persistence applied to the task in the face of difficulties and setbacks.” (Lane and Lane, 2001, p. 687)
Self-efficacy has been a focus of study in several diverse areas including investigations into phobias, depression, pain control, health and athletic performance. (Schweizer and Koch, 2001) Pajares reported that another major focus of studies is in academic settings including “the link between efficacy beliefs and college major and career choices,... [continues]
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