Repeated Success and Failure Influences on Self-Efficacy and Personal Goals

By Spieker, Casey J.; Hinsz, Verlin B. | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, January 1, 2004 | Go to article overview

Repeated Success and Failure Influences on Self-Efficacy and Personal Goals


Spieker, Casey J., Hinsz, Verlin B., Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


Research shows that challenging and specific goals in conjunction with high self-efficacy lead to higher levels of task performance. The impact of repeated success and failure on personal goals and self-efficacy was examined. Undergraduate students initially participated in two-idea generation tasks in which they generated different uses for common objects, such as a knife, which provided them with opportunities to either succeed or fail in goal attainment. Participants then set personal goals and judged their self-efficacy for a subsequent idea generation trial. Our results show that participants who experienced repeated successes set higher personal goals than did those with only a single success, while self-efficacy was not significantly influenced by repeated success or failure. These findings suggest that situational and personal factors such as reactions to prior successes and failures may influence personal goals on future tasks, but do not seem to have an influence on self-efficacy.

After completing tasks such as athletic events, academic tests, or games, many people evaluate their performances against a personal goal they had previously set for their performance (Locke & Latham, 199Ob). Some people enter these task situations with judgments about how well they will be able to perform and the degree to which their skills are sufficient to reach their desired outcomes. These people will be inclined to label their performance as successes or failures by comparing them to their desired performance levels. These successes and failures may impact the task performer's perceived competence on similar future tasks and may also alter the personal goals that he/she sets for himself/herself before taking on these various challenges. Our research explores the influence of repeated success and failure of goal attainment on personal goals and selfefficacy.

Many internal and external processes have been found to affect task performance in the workplace, at school, and in everyday activities. Locke and Latham (1990a) attempt to explain task performance as primarily a function of two interrelated factors: personal goals and self-efficacy. The setting of goals influences task performance if certain situational criteria are met. Goals that are specific and challenging contribute to higher levels of task performance if the goal can be attained and if the task performer is committed to achieving the goal (Locke & Latham, 2002). Self-efficacy, or people's beliefs about their ability to perform the necessary actions for a specific task, has also been found to directly influence task performance (Stajkovic & Luthans, 1998). Bandura (1982) found that reports of higher self-efficacy led to higher task performance outcomes. Research shows that a person's level of self-efficacy may influence how persistent he or she is and the amount of effort he/she is willing to invest in a task, in which case feelings of higher self-efficacy may lead to greater task performance (Eccles & Wigfield, 2002). Self-efficacy may be a crucial tool to help predict levels of performance. However, it is also necessary to understand how people evaluate their behavior once their task performance is complete and how they alter their behavior for future trials.

It is also important to discuss the way individuals interpret their performance relative to a previously set goal or standard and the type of changes they may make in their behavior to compensate for any discrepancies. Lord and Kernan (1989) describe how control theory can help explain how people evaluate their performances during goal-directed tasks. They suggest that task performers assess the outcome of their personal task against a predetermined goal by receiving feedback from the environment. The task performers then compensate for discrepancies between their goals and the outcomes by making cognitive or behavioral changes. Therefore, those who surpass their goal may either set higher goals or reduce their effort on future tasks, and those who fall short of their goal may choose either to work harder or lower their future goals. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Repeated Success and Failure Influences on Self-Efficacy and Personal Goals
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.