The effect of enhancing self-efficacy through participant modeling on social competency

Karen Sherman, Fordham University


This study examined whether Bandura's construct of self-efficacy would affect one's ability to behave in a socially competent way. Self-efficacy is the internal cognition one holds regarding capability to perform a behavior. Forty second graders were exposed to one of three treatments: self-efficacy enhancement, attention placebo, or wait-list control. The experimental treatment consisted of children watching a modeling videotape of ways to respond when another child acts in a physically or emotionally aggressive manner. Through a pilot study, it was determined that for the purpose of this study, socially competent responses to aggression would be defined as ignoring, joking, and mild assertiveness. Each week, for three weeks, one of the different socially competent responses was modeled. After viewing the videotape, each child role-played what was modeled in order to create a participant modeling paradigm, that condition found most effective in increasing sense of self-efficacy. The attention placebo group viewed irrelevant material for the same time period and the wait-list control group received no actual intervention. To assess if any change had taken place, children were asked to respond to an audio behavioral role-play task and a questionnaire regarding sense of self-efficacy both as pre- and posttest measures. The experimental group did significantly better than the wait-list control group on the sense of self-efficacy questionnaire and did significantly better than the two control groups on the role-play task at posttesting. A follow-up of the experimental group on the role-play task one month later indicated that posttest results were maintained. These data support the notion that internal cognitions are important motivators to socially competent behavior and that an increase in socially competent behavior can be brought about by increasing sense of self-efficacy via participant modeling. Limitations are discussed and suggestions for future research are presented.

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Sherman, Karen, "The effect of enhancing self-efficacy through participant modeling on social competency" (1989). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9007194.