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The Role Of Self Efficacy In Behavioural Change

1514 words - 6 pages


The Oxford Dictionary has defined behaviour as the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others. On the other hand, behavioural change is often a goal for a person to work directly with other people, group of people, population, organizations, or governments.(Glanz,Lewis, & Rimers, 1990, p. 17) Behavioural change can occur when the positive behaviours one wants are reinforced, and the acts of negative behaviour is either punished or not being responded to. In cognitive behavioural therapy, operant conditioning is being used by therapist to reinforce positive behaviours and extinguish ineffective or unhealthy behaviours. Most of the studies of behavioural change focus mainly on the individuals as the locus of behaviour.

“People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they themselves have discovered than by those which have discovered than by those which have come into the minds of others.”- Pascal’s Pansees, 17th Century

However, social theory in behavioural change shows a framework of studies which moves a little bit away from the individual focus and indicates a larger influence of external factors such as the environment in producing a designated behaviour. For instance, Social Cognitive Theory by Albert Bandura; it’s circulating about the dynamic and reciprocal interaction of the person, environment, and behaviour. Nevertheless, the need of balancing between external and internal factors in behavioural change emphasises the individual’s locus of control. In personality psychology, locus of control is defined as the extent to which the individuals believe that they can control events that affect them, and it’s either external or internal control. An individual has the authority for any decision that he wants to make. Thus, individual focus plays a very significant role in behavioural change. In producing any behavioural change, an individual should be ready, willing and able to make the change. In the Stage of Change (Prochaska & Di Clemente, 1998), the individual himself is the one who contributes most to the action of change.

Thus, in this essay, I will discuss about the role of self-efficacy in behavioural change. Self-efficacy is one of the psychological determinants in behavioural change.

“People’s level of motivation, affective states and actions are based more on what they believe than on what is objectively the case.” - Albert Bandura

Self-efficacy refers to the level of a person’s confidence in his ability to successfully perform behaviour. Bandura stated that it is influenced by a person's specific capabilities and other individual factors, as well as environmental factors such as barriers and facilitators. Meanwhile, behavioural capability refers to a person's actual ability to perform behaviour through essential knowledge and skills. Thus, in order to successfully perform behaviour, a person must be aware of what to do and...

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