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What is Self-Efficacy?

Question:

Discuss about the Reduced Self-Efficacy Smartphone Addiction.

Efficacy of an individual alone is not enough to complete a task accurately, confidence on self’s ability is also an important factor. The confidence in one’s ability was defined as self-efficacy by Psychologist Albert Bandura (Mauer, Neergaard & Linstad, 2017). This article discusses self-efficacy, factors influencing it and its importance in different sectors.  The article also provides references to different scholarly articles to get an idea of the researches that had been done in the past on self-efficacy. The article had been concluded with some recommendations to improve self-efficacy and author’s opinion over the introduction of the self-efficacy in the school curriculum.

Self-efficacy is one’s own perception of their capabilities over performing a specific task. It does not refer to one’s capability of doing a task but rather concerns over their own perception about doing a particular task. Clear conception about self-efficacy can be derived from the idea that an individual’s belief over performing an internet related task is internet self-efficacy. The higher the individual belief in one’s ability to perform the internet related task, higher their internet self-efficacy level is and the level does not concern over if they can use the internet or not. Self-efficacy is important to bring accuracy to an individual’s skill set. It also motivates the observer to attain a higher level of self-efficacy and hence leading to a more productive workplace.

Self-efficacy differs from efficacy as the former depends upon the perception of ability to complete the assigned task while the latter concerns over the ability to do the task. Past performance, experience as a spectator, persuasion and some physiological cues are the factors to affect the self-efficacy level in an individual. If an individual has a good experience with a particular task in the past, then her/his self-efficacy level is high but the result will be just opposite in case of bad experiences. Experience as a spectator also influences the self-efficacy level. On noticing someone equivalent to self (or assuming to have same efficacy level) perform a task, one can also gain self-efficacy. When persuaded (verbally or non-verbally) one can also attain higher self-efficacy levels. Though this factor contributes only for a shorter period of time it is an effective factor. Physiological cues like sweating and dry mouth before initiating a task can lead to a decrement in self-efficacy while a relaxed attitude can lead to exponential increase in the self-efficacy level.

Factors Influencing Self-Efficacy

A number of different researches and studies have been conducted on self-efficacy and its role in different sectors. In this section, four papers on self-efficacy and Information Technology have been discussed to get a broader image of self-efficacy and its importance. The selected articles have their focus on the necessity of self-efficacy for employees, materialistic people and the students. The articles have been discussed to put forth their research methodology, motivation for the research and the outputs from the research. The models and the tools equipped in conducting the research are also mentioned to get a clear idea about the reliability and dependability of the articles.

Hsia, Chang & Tseng (2014) in their article have tried to deduce a relationship between computer self-efficacy, control locus and employee of a high tech firms’ capability in acceptance of e-learning.  The authors were inspired by the global adaptation of e-learning by high-tech firms for employee training to pursue a research on the same. The authors designed a questionnaire and distributed it among the selected technological firms of Taiwan. The selected firms have adopted e-learning for employee training. The collected data was later analysed SEM (Structural Equalling Model) and CFA (Confirmatory Factor Analysis). The paper has used LISREL 8.54 to analysis the hypothesized relation. The results of the research showed a direct influence of self-efficacy over the e-learning acceptance. The paper also made some recommendations like for the proper implementation of e-learning depending on employee’s locus of belief and control.  Increase in learning efficacy to stay in the competitive market was also recommended by the authors. To conclude the paper, the authors pointed out the importance of computer self-efficacy for e-learning.

This article by Bazer, Pardillo & Ruales (2012) discusses the perception of students toward ICT’s (Information and Communication Technology) use. The authors were inspired to research on the topic due to the exponential growth of ICT’s application and the inclination of the youth especially youth towards it. The paper’s subject were the final year students of Bachelor of Elementary Education (BEEd) (majoring in English) of Midano State University. The authors adapted descriptive correlational design model for data collection and analyses. Statistical tools like PPMCC (Percentage, Mean, Pearson, Product Moment Coefficient of Correlation) and Likert scale were adopted for analysis of the collected data. The results suggested that the more an individual is interested in ICT, the more individual’s self-efficacy increases. The perception of the individual towards the ICT was also considered as a factor influencing self-efficacy level.

Research Studies on Self-Efficacy in Different Sectors

The article taken in consideration aims at emphasizing whether smartphones are the reason for low self-efficacy or not and vice versa (Lee et al., 2016). The authors in the paper have limited their targeted audience to materialistic people (People who prefer material things over abstracts like love, spiritual, cultural or intellectual values) only. In the article, the authors have put forth the hypothesis, “Self-efficacy mediates the positive relationship between materialism and smartphone addiction.”. To prove the hypothesized point, the authors tested empirical data that were collected from the two largest smartphone markets of the world namely, the People’s republic of China and the United States of America. CFA was employed to verify the fact that psychometric properties requirement was met by the subject themes of the paper. Other statistical tools were also adopted for the evaluation of the obtained data. The paper was concluded by proving the hypothesized statement to be true. The study also helps in validating the findings, “Materialism is a strong predictor of technological addiction.” By (Roberts & Pirog, 2012).

Rohtagi, Schere & Hatlevik (2016) in their paper “The role of ICT self-efficacy for students' ICT use and their achievement in a computer and information literacy test” have tried to evaluate the role that self-efficacy plays for students in ICT use. The authors in the paper have submitted evidence in support for the positive relation between the self-efficacy and ICT’s use in literacy of computer and information literacy (CIL). The authors have adopted Response Theory to prove their hypothesis by use of theoretical framework from the past and their own. The authors have concluded the paper on a confusing conclusion. They have supported their hypothesized statement but have also declared that they were unable to determine any positive relation between self-efficacy and ICT use. The paper’s conclusion has left scope for further research, to determine a relationship between student’s self-efficacy and use of ICT.

In conclusion, to the discussions made above, it can be stated that self-efficacy is a quality that should be at a high level for everyone. It amplifies the productivity of a skilled person and helps in attaining high skill level for an untrained or less skilled individual. A change of perception towards self can be obtained by adopting different methods. The report also took into consideration of some of the scholarly articles that discuss self-efficacy and its implications in different sectors. Some of the articles in the paper have also put forth the importance of self-efficacy for the students. Those articles can be taken into evidence and can be emphasized to recommend that self-efficacy should be introduced in the school curriculum. The reason for the recommendation would be that introduction to self-efficacy at a young age will lead to the development of higher level of self-efficacy in an individual. Hence, self-efficacy should be a topic that must be explicitly taught in schools.

Importance of Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy is a trait that everyone must possess before they decide to initiate any work.  It acts as a catalyst that leads to accuracy in the work performance and personal satisfaction. There was an instance when I participated in a bicycle race and I was also skilled at it. I participated in the race and I was leading throughout the race but as the race progressed I started to lack behind. The elevation of the road had a toll on my self-confidence as I was not sure that I can ride my bicycle to the finish line. My perception of my incapability lead me to lose the race which I completed. The next time I participated in the same race I came second because of my change in perception towards my skills.

Scholars have recommended setting up of goals to achieve high self-efficacy and that would be the first step I would take to increase my self-efficacy. I will assign myself simple targets so that with each achievement my self-efficacy will keep increasing. To boost my self-efficacy for an immediate task, I will talk with the person who can motivate me and build up my confidence before the initiation of task. I will also try to keep my anxiety level in check, so that my self-efficacy level remains unchanged during the time of pressure. I think persuading the following methods will keep my self-efficacy in check and with time it will grow as well. 

References:

Bazer, S. C., Pardillo, G. F., & Ruales, S. T. P. (2012). Status of Students’ Perceptions and Self-efficacy on the Use of ICT. In International Conference on Education and Management Innovation (pp. 145-149).

Hsia, J. W., Chang, C. C., & Tseng, A. H. (2014). Effects of individuals' locus of control and computer self-efficacy on their e-learning acceptance in high-tech companies. Behaviour & Information Technology, 33(1), 51-64.

Lee, Y. K., Chang, C. T., Cheng, Z. H., & Lin, Y. (2016). How Social Anxiety and Reduced Self-Efficacy Induce Smartphone Addiction in Materialistic People. Social Science Computer Review, 0894439316685540.

Mauer, R., Neergaard, H., & Linstad, A. K. (2017). Self-efficacy: Conditioning the entrepreneurial mindset. In Revisiting the Entrepreneurial Mind (pp. 293-317). Springer, Cham.

Roberts, J. A., & Pirog III, S. F. (2012). A preliminary investigation of materialism and impulsiveness as predictors of technological addictions among young adults. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 2(1), 56-62.

Rohatgi, A., Scherer, R., & Hatlevik, O. E. (2016). The role of ICT self-efficacy for students' ICT use and their achievement in a computer and information literacy test. Computers & Education, 102, 103-116.

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