The present study investigated the influence of self-efficacy (SE) on performance in a counseling-related task. Specifically, four experimental self-efficacy (SE) groups were compared in their performance using the SOFTA-o (Friedlander, Escudero, & Heatherington, 2006) to identify clients' alliance-related behaviors in a videotaped vignette of a simulated family therapy session. Following a baseline trial with a similar vignette (Trial 1), 112 counselor trainees were randomly assigned to receive no feedback (Control) or bogus comparison feedback indicating that their Trial 1 performance was superior (High SE), similar (Mildly Negative/average SE), or poor (Low SE) relative to peers. Correspondingly, the experiment tested three competing hypotheses about whether high, average, or low levels of self-efficacy differentially affected participants' task performance in Trial 2.
The first hypothesis, based on Bandura's (1986, 1997) social cognitive theory, which suggests that self-efficacy expectations facilitate performance, predicted that participants in the High SE condition would out-perform participants in the other conditions in Trial 2. Conversely, based on Vancouver et al.'s (2001, 2002) studies of self-efficacy and perceptual control theory (Powers, 1973), the second hypothesis predicted that participants in the Low SE condition would out-perform the others in Trial 2. The third hypothesis, based on Stone's (1994) results and a slight modification to perceptual control theory, predicted that participants in the Mildly Negative SE condition would out-perform the others in Trial 2.
None of the three competing hypotheses was supported, in that the induction of differing self-efficacy expectations on participants' subsequent task performance was negligible. On the other hand, the bogus comparison feedback influenced participants' self-reported self-efficacy expectations for their performance in Trial 2 in the expected direction, and participants' baseline performance (Trial 1) was predictive of their subsequent performance (Trial 2).
The findings are consistent with prior studies (Heggestad & Kanfer, 2005; Jome et al., 2012; Richard et al., 2006; Sitzmann & Yeo, 2013), which suggest that self-efficacy may not be a powerful determinant of performance. Furthermore, the results suggest the importance of exploring tasks that are relevant for participants under conditions that may moderate the relationship between SE and performance.
|Advisor:||Friedlander, Myrna L.|
|Commitee:||Jome, LaRae M., Sheu, Hung-Bin|
|School:||State University of New York at Albany|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-B 75/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Counseling Psychology, Individual & family studies|
|Keywords:||Counseling self-efficacy, Counselor performance, Performance, Self-efficacy, Therapeutic alliance, Working alliance|
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