Success and Failure Effect on Self-Efficacy and Performance: An Experimental Study [PDF]

Ronalds Cinks, Ivars Austers
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract: There is much correlational research singing praises for the validity and importance of self-efficacy. As well most people believe that optimistic view of one’s capabilities would lead to higher performance. Some experimental research has cast doubt over the pervasive assumption that higher self-efficacy leads to higher performance. Specifically Control theory as opposed to the widespread Social Cognitive theory, argues that lower self-efficacy should result in higher performance. In this study we aimed to better understand the link between self-efficacy and performance, through both within and between individual comparison and to test whether a change in self-efficacy would lead to change in performance. To do this we carried out a single blind randomized between group experiment, where self-efficacy was manipulated with false feedback. The results showed that indeed self-efficacy shows a positive correlation with performance. Nevertheless, after the false feedback the positive and negative feedback groups did not differ in their performance on the second trial. In addition, the initial self-efficacy was significantly higher than any of the later self-efficacy measurements and higher than the actual performance on both occasions, but all the other self-efficacy measurements where not different from the actual performance scores. From the results it seems that self-efficacy is more of an ability to predict one’s performance rather than a belief in one’s capabilities. Since the randomization allowed to assume that both group’s capabilities are the same, a decrease in self-efficacy did not affect performance. It could be that the overall positive correlation of self-efficacy and performance found in most correlational research is due to the confounding of actual capabilities. Actual capabilities being the cause of higher self-efficacy and higher performance. At least this seems to be true for simple fine motor tasks.
Keywords: expectations, false feedback, performance, self-efficacy, success/failure.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3