Believing in Yourself: The Self-Efficacy Theory

Self–Efficacy, the second scale in our Personal Responsibility Map, is the belief in one’s ability to achieve stated goals. simply stated, it is your view of possibilities, or the extent to which you view your goals as within your ability to achieve. The psychologist Albert Bandura developed the Self-Efficacy Theory, which states that the higher a person’s feelings of self-efficacy, the better the person will perform on a task.


Bandura says that people’s beliefs in their self-efficacy affects the course of action they choose. It also affects how much effort they will make to achieve their goals, and how long they will try. People are more likely to follow a course of action if they believe they can achieve their goals. If people believe that they do not have the power to get results, they will not try.

Self-Efficacy & PBIS

PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) is a term used to describe the proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports needed for students to achieve social, emotional and academic success. This definition brings together the worlds of academic instruction and behavioral intervention. In the PBIS framework, helping students learn how to improve their behavior, as well as set and achieve behavior-related goals, are core skills. Setting goals is one thing, but believing you can achieve them is another.

Attitudes and Self-Efficacy

Your thoughts about yourself show your attitude about yourself. In turn, your attitudes control your belief system. This is why it is so important to the success of your students to teach them these simple rules to improve their attitudes. John C. Maxwell, in his book: “The Winning Attitude: Your Key to Personal Success”, presents several facts about attitudes.


Here are a few of them:

1. Our approach to life is determined by our attitudes.
2. Our friendships are determined by our attitudes. Our success in life will be greatly influenced by the friendships we keep.
3. Often the only difference between success and failure is our attitude.
4. The result of a task is affected, more than anything else, by our attitude.
5. Problems can be turned into blessings by our attitude.
6. Our attitude can create a positive outlook.

Do you want to learn more about how self-efficacy can affect student academic performance? Sign up for our free trial to explore the Personal Responsibility program.