I think I can, I think I can, is a famous phrase from a beloved children’s book called The Little Engine That Could. This phrase also emulates what Resnick believes is one of the main pillars of the Theory of Self-Efficacy (2003). Self-efficacy is an individual’s opinion on their ability to complete a task (Resnick 2003). The theory itself is based on previous research into social cognition and states that a person’s thoughts about their capabilities are based on life experiences and environmental factors that directly influence behavior (Resnick 2003). Drawing from this previous research conducted by Albert Bandura, Resnick states that there are four subparts to support the overall theory which include enactive attainment, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and physiological feedback (Resnick 2003). All of these pillars add to the individual’s confidence and belief in their own self-efficacy and allow them to not only make goals but attain them (Bandura 1977). These four segments will be analyzed in their own right in order to explain the theory of self-efficacy and how it may be implemented into nursing practice.
Success builds confidence, and continued confidence leads to a belief that when trying a similar activity, success will again be achieved (Resnick 2003). Enactive attainment is this belief of continued success of similar activities after having tried said activity (Bandura 1977). For every person there is a mental barrier when setting goals and trying new things (Resnick 2003). Self-efficacy is not only the ability to set goals for one but also to have the confidence in order to achieve those goals (Bandura 1977). If an individual believes that a goal is achievable but does not think that they have the capability to meet or meeting those goals is not worth while then the self-efficacy of that individual is severely diminished (Resnick 2003). Resnick states that one way to strengthen self-efficacy beliefs is to perform the activity that is in question (2003). This is found especially in older adults that are undergoing physical therapy (Resnick, Magaziner, Orwig & Zimmerman, 2002). When developing a plan for rehabilitation it is important to start with minor steps so the patient is able to gain confidence in their physical abilities and will have self-efficacy when trying more involved remediation later (Resnick, Magaziner, Orwig & Zimmerman, 2002). Overall it is found that when a patient has achieved success in an activity that they will have confidence in themselves and will gain self-efficacy (Resnick 2033).
Self-efficacy is also dependent on seeing others performing the same activity successfully (Resnick 2003). Vicarious experience is a support that individuals need in order to have the confidence to succeed on their own (Resnick 2003). Observing others is especially productive in encouraging self-efficacy when the task is unfamiliar to the individual or when achievement of...