Self-Efficacy and Human Functioning
DOI link for Self-Efficacy and Human Functioning
Self-Efficacy and Human Functioning book
This chapter reviews theory and evidence regarding self-efficacy judgments as causal determinants of phobia. Theories based on anxiety and/or stimulus exposure have serious conceptual and empirical weaknesses, self-efficacy theory fares appreciably better. The author's and colleague's research with more than 200 severely phobic individuals found that the accuracy of self-efficacy judgments in predicting therapeutic changes in phobic behavior is not due to mere methodological artifacts or to correlation with alternative cognitive factors. Self-efficacy was a consistently accurate predictor of therapeutic outcome even with the influence of perceived danger and anticipated fear and panic held constant. When agoraphobic people were given treatment for some phobic areas while leaving other areas untreated, the variable generalized changes in the untreated phobias were most accurately predicted by changes in self-efficacy. 'Guided mastery' treatment based on self-efficacy theory was more effective than standard exposure treatments for reducing phobic disability and distress. These findings indicate that self-efficacy theory can advance the understanding and treatment of phobia.