Revisiting the within-person self-efficacy and performance relationship

Richard, E. M., Diefendorff, J. M., & Martin, J. H.
Human Performance Vol. 19 Issue 1, pp. 67-87.

In response to recent debate regarding the direction of the relationship between self-efficacy and performance (Bandura & Locke, 2003; Vancouver, Thompson, Tischner, & Putka, 2002; Vancouver, Thompson, & Williams, 2001), the present investigation examines the within-person relationships between self-efficacy and performance over time in two different learning contexts. Study 1 examines the relationship using exam performance in a classroom context, and Study 2 examines the relationship using a computerized learning task in a lab setting. Both studies find a significant, positive within-person relationship between performance and subsequent self-efficacy. However, both studies fail to find the positive relationship between self-efficacy and subsequent performance predicted by social cognitive theory. Future research directions aimed at resolving the debate are discussed.