People behave agentically, but they produce theories that afford people very little agency.
Self-belief does not necessarily ensure success, but self-disbelief assuredly spawns failure.
A theory that denies that thoughts can regulate actions does not lend itself readily to the explanation of complex human behavior.
People not only gain understanding through reflection, they evaluate and alter their own thinking.
What people think, believe, and feel affects how they behave. The natural and extrinsic effects of their actions, in turn, partly determine their thought patterns and affective reactions.
Success and failure are largely self-defined in terms of personal standards. The higher the self-standards, the more likely will given attainments be viewed as failures, regardless of what others might think.
Ironically, it is the talented who have high aspirations, which are possible but exceedingly difficult to realize, who are especially vulnerable to self-dissatisfaction despite notable achievements.
The satisfactions people derive from what they do are determined to a large degree by their self-evaluative standards. A sure way of inducing self-discouragement and a sense of personal inadequacy is to judge one's ongoing performances against lofty, global, or distal goals.
Once established, reputations do not easily change.
By sticking it out through tough times, people emerge from adversity with a stronger sense of efficacy.
People who hold a low view of themselves will credit their achievements to external factors rather than to their own capabilities.
If self-efficacy is lacking, people tend to behave ineffectually, even though they know what to do.
Persons who have a strong sense of efficacy deploy their attention and effort to the demands of the situation and are spurred by obstacles to greater effort.
People who regard themselves as highly efficacious act, think, and feel differently from those who perceive themselves as inefficacious. They produce their own future, rather than simply foretell it.
Perceived self-efficacy also shapes causal thinking. In seeking solutions to difficult problems, those who perceived themselves as highly efficacious are inclined to attribute their failures to insufficient effort, whereas those of comparable skills but lower perceived self-efficacy ascribe their failures to deficient ability.
People who are burdened by acute misgivings about their coping capabilities suffer much distress and expend much effort in defensive action. They cannot get themselves to do things they find subjectively threatening even though they are objectively safe. They may even shun easily manageable activities because they see them as leading to more threatening events over which they will be unable to exercise adequate control.
From the social cognitive perspective, it is mainly perceived inefficacy to cope with potentially aversive events that makes them fearsome. To the extent that people believe they can prevent, terminate, or lessen the severity of aversive events, they have little reason to be perturbed by them. But if they believe they are unable to manage threats safely, they have much cause for apprehension. People judge their capabilities partly by comparing their performances with those of others.
Self-appraisals are influenced by evaluative reactions of others.
We are more heavily invested in the theories of failure than we are in the theories of success (APA address, 1998).
Nurture shapes nature (APA address, 1998).