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|Perceived self-efficacy has been
shown to be a powerful influence on behaviour. A tremendous amount of research has
examined how to improve or change behaviour. A moment’s though would reveal that the
potential applications of such a technique would be potentially limitless, in education,
health care, correctional services, management and occupations. However, perhaps
fortunately, we have not yet managed to find out how to do so very effectively.
Most learning, like the kind you do when in the skills lab, involves what is called guided mastery. This is where an “expert” demonstrates the skill by modelling it, then you try to imitate that skill. The expert guides and gives feedback on your performance. While this is a good approach to acquire new skills, but if they do not work, or are not useful, the skills will not be applied, no matter how well they have been learned.
There is a difference between acquiring and using skills under different circumstances. Reasearch has shown that, in addition to the skills, success also requires a strong belief in one’s capabilities to master problems - self -efficacy.