Do central pattern generators control musical performance?

Do central pattern generators control musical performance?

Are the sometimes very fast and complicated rhythmic movements and often long lasting patterns a musician performs while playing a piece of music generated by central pattern generators (in the sense of Wikipedia)?

I ask because I am astonished that intricate and fast rhythmic patterns are not mentioned in the article, but only basal and rather slow motions like locomotion, respiration, swallowing. Is it because other systems are responsible for the fast and complicated patterns observed in musical high-performance than central pattern generators? If so: which ones?

(Note, that heart beat isn't mentioned, neither. What does this mean?)

Scientific journal articles for further reading

Ahmetov II, Egorova ES, Gabdrakhmanova LJ, Fedotovskaya ON. Genes and Athletic Performance: An Update. Med Sport Sci. 201661:41-54. doi: 10.1159/000445240. Epub 2016 Jun 10. Review. PubMed: 27287076.

Ahmetov II, Fedotovskaya ON. Current Progress in Sports Genomics. Adv Clin Chem. 201570:247-314. doi: 10.1016/bs.acc.2015.03.003. Epub 2015 Apr 11. Review. PubMed: 26231489.

Webborn N, Williams A, McNamee M, Bouchard C, Pitsiladis Y, Ahmetov I, Ashley E, Byrne N, Camporesi S, Collins M, Dijkstra P, Eynon N, Fuku N, Garton FC, Hoppe N, Holm S, Kaye J, Klissouras V, Lucia A, Maase K, Moran C, North KN, Pigozzi F, Wang G. Direct-to-consumer genetic testing for predicting sports performance and talent identification: Consensus statement. Br J Sports Med. 2015 Dec49(23):1486-91. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2015-095343. PubMed: 26582191. Free full-text available from PubMed Central: PMC4680136.

Yan X, Papadimitriou I, Lidor R, Eynon N. Nature versus Nurture in Determining Athletic Ability. Med Sport Sci. 201661:15-28. doi: 10.1159/000445238. Epub 2016 Jun 10. Review. PubMed: 27287074.

Learning, Remembering, Believing: Enhancing Human Performance (1994)

8 Self-Confidence and Performance

Self-confidence is considered one of the most influential motivators and regulators of behavior in people's everyday lives (Bandura, 1986). A growing body of evidence suggests that one's perception of ability or self-confidence is the central mediating construct of achievement strivings (e.g., Bandura, 1977 Ericsson et al., 1993 Harter, 1978 Kuhl, 1992 Nicholls, 1984). Ericsson and his colleagues have taken the position that the major influence in the acquisition of expert performance is the confidence and motivation to persist in deliberate practice for a minimum of 10 years.

Self-confidence is not a motivational perspective by itself. It is a judgment about capabilities for accomplishment of some goal, and, therefore, must be considered within a broader conceptualization of motivation that provides the goal context. Kanfer (1990a) provides an example of one cognitively based framework of motivation for such a discussion. She suggests that motivation is composed of two components: goal choice and self-regulation. Self-regulation, in turn, consists of three related sets of activities: self-monitoring, self-evaluation, and self-reactions. Self-monitoring provides information about current performance, which is then evaluated by comparing that performance with one's goal. The comparison between performance and goal results in two distinct types of self-reactions: self-satisfaction or -dissatisfaction and self-confidence expectations. Satisfaction or dissatisfaction is an affective response to past actions self-confidence expectations are judgments about one's future capabilities to attain one's goal. This framework allows a discussion of self-confidence as it relates to a number of motivational processes, including setting goals and causal attributions.

One theoretical perspective of self-confidence that fits well in Kanfer's (1990b) framework of motivation and has particular relevance to enhancing self-confidence in a variety of domains of psychosocial functioning is self-efficacy theory (Bandura, 1977, 1986). Self-efficacy theory is also useful in guiding the development of motivational programs because self-beliefs of confidence operate in most of the approaches to cognitive theories of motivation, particularly goal-setting theory and attribution theory (Bandura, 1990).

This chapter provides an overview of the self-efficacy concept of self-confidence and its relationship to other cognitively based motivational processes that influence learning and performance it does not attempt to integrate the different theories of motivation that incorporate self-confidence constructs. (For summaries and comparisons of cognitive theories of motivation, see Frese and Sabini, 1985 Halisch and Kuhl, 1987 Kanfer, 1990b Pervin, 1989.) We first define self-confidence and related concepts. Next, an overview of self-efficacy theory is given, along with a review of the relevant research. The third section covers applications of techniques for enhancing self-confidence. Lastly, we note the research questions that follow from what is currently known.


Terms such as "self-confidence," "self-efficacy," "perceived ability," and "perceived competence" have been used to describe a person's perceived capability to accomplish a certain level of performance. Bandura (1977) uses the term "self-efficacy" to describe the belief one has in being able to execute a specific task successfully (e.g., solving a math problem) in order to obtain a certain outcome (e.g., self-satisfaction or teacher recognition) and, thus, can be considered as situationally specific self-confidence. 1 Self-efficacy is not concerned with an individual's skills, but, rather, with the judgments of what an individual can accomplish with those skills (Bandura, 1986). Bandura (1986, 1990) distinguishes between "self-efficacy" and "self-confidence": self-confidence refers to firmness or strength of belief but does not specify its direction self-efficacy implies that a goal has been set. We do not adopt Bandura's distinction, but use the term "self-confidence" because it is more familiar to most individuals. "Self-confidence," as the term is used here, is the belief that one can successfully execute a specific activity, rather than a global trait that accounts for overall performance optimism. For example, one may have a lot of self-confidence in one's ability at golf but very little self-confidence in one's tennis skills.

"Perceived competence" and "perceived ability" are terms that have been used in the research literature on achievement and mastery motivation. They indicate the perception that one has the ability to master a task resulting from cumulative interactions with the environment (Harter, 1981 Nicholls,

1984). In sports and physical movement, Griffin and Keogh (1982) developed the concept of "movement confidence" to describe a person's feeling of adequacy in a movement situation Vealey (1986) used the term "sport confidence" to define the belief or degree of certainty individuals possess about their ability to be successful in sport. Some organizational psychologists use the term "state expectancy'' in essentially the same manner as Bandura's (1977) concept of self-efficacy (Eden, 1990).

Some terms related to self-confidence are occasionally confused with the construct. Some authors (e.g., Kirsch, 1985) have tried to implement Bandura's (1977) concept of self-confidence (self-efficacy) as an expectancy construct. Bandura distinguishes judgments of personal efficacy from the expectancy construct in expectancy-by-value theories (e.g., Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975 Triandis, 1977): self-confidence is a judgment of one's ability to perform at a certain level expectancies pertain to the outcomes one expects from a given level of effort. In essence, confidence expectations are concerned with beliefs about one's competence and outcome expectations are concerned with beliefs about one's environment. For example, a person may believe that running a marathon in less than 2 hours will lead to social recognition, money, and self-satisfaction (outcome belief), but may question whether she can actually run that fast (confidence belief). Similarly, a woman may believe that Karate self-defense techniques will deter assault (outcome belief), but may doubt her capability to be effectively aggressive against a powerful assailant (confidence belief).

Bandura (1986) asserts that, in a responsive environment that rewards performance achievements, the outcomes people expect depend heavily on their self-confidence that they can perform the skill. However, in an environment in which outcomes are fixed at a minimum level of performance or in which a social condition restricts people's ability to perform successfully or control their circumstances, outcome and confidence expectations would not be causally linked. For example, a concentration camp inmate could have confidence that he or she is efficacious enough to maximize his or her survival probability without violating personal ethics while simultaneously believing that this survival probability is not very high at all. Such individuals may give up trying, not because they doubt their own capabilities, but because they expect their efforts to be futile. This type of outcome-based futility is hypothesized to lead to pessimism or learned helplessness (Bandura, 1986).

"Self-concept" represents a composite view of oneself that is developed through evaluative experiences and social interactions. As Bandura (1986) has noted, however, a person's self-conceptions become more varied across activities with increasing experience. Thus, global measures of self-concept will not predict the intra-individual variability in a performance situation as well as self-confidence perceptions that vary across activities and

circumstances. Rather, global measures of self-concept are helpful to understanding one's total outlook toward life. However, it should be noted that people's self-concepts have also been shown to be malleable in certain situations (Markus and Kunda, 1986). (For a thorough discussion of self-concept, see Hattie, 1992.)

"Self-esteem" is another global construct related to self-confidence and self-concept and pertains to one's personal perception of worthiness. Although self-confidence and self-esteem may be related, individuals can have one without necessarily having the other. Certain individuals may not have high self-confidence for a given activity, but still "like themselves" by contrast, there are others who may regard themselves as highly competent at a given activity but do not have corresponding feelings of self-esteem. (For a thorough discussion of the concept of self-esteem with respect to work behavior, see Brockner, 1988.)

Other related concepts include locus of control, optimism or pessimism (learned helplessness), healthy illusions, and level of aspiration. Rotter's (1966) notion of locus of control is concerned with a person's generalized expectancies about his or her ability to control reinforcements in life: individuals who tend to perceive events as internally controlled behave more self-determinedly those who tend to perceive events as beyond their control behave more fatalistically. Although an internal locus of control orientation may create a high sense of confidence, the two constructs must be distinguished. Bandura (1986) points out that locus of control is based on outcome expectancies rather than confidence expectancies. For instance, people who believe that their physical health is personally determined but find it is failing despite their efforts to improve it would experience low self-confidence. Studies have shown that task-specific self-confidence expectancies are better predictors of successful behavior in specific situations than are general measures of perceived control (Kaplan et al., 1984 Manning and Wright, 1983).

Optimism and pessimism have been defined by some authors in terms of generalized expectancies for internal or external locus of control (Scheier and Carver, 1992). Scheier and Carver (1992:203) define "dispositional optimism" as the "tendency to believe that one will generally experience good vs. bad outcomes in life." Optimism and pessimism have also been conceptualized within an attributional or explanatory style framework (Abramson et al., 1978 Peterson and Bossio, 1991). In an attributional view, individuals base their expectations for controlling future events on their causal explanations for past events. Optimism is the tendency to attribute negative events to causes that are unstable, specific, and external pessimism or learned helplessness is the tendency to attribute negative events to causes that are stable, global, and internal. Optimism and pessimism or learned helplessness are considered to be much more global concepts than task-specific

self-confidence and, thus, are more resistant to short-term interventions to change them. In addition, optimism and pessimism emphasize perceptions of controllability of the environment rather than the sense of personal agency to control the environment.

A concept similar to optimism has been described as healthy illusions (Taylor and Brown, 1988) or positive denial (Lazarus, 1979), which involves a slight distortion of reality in the positive direction. Such illusions can help sustain one's hopes of success, keep morale high, and lower anxiety (Hackett and Cassem, 1974). As Peterson and Bossio (1991) explain in relation to severe illnesses, the immediate denial of the severity of an illness allows individuals to face crises slowly, which helps their motivation to recover. However, if denial or illusion is too far removed from reality, it can get in the way of recovery and taking action to improve one's situation or performance.

Level of aspiration, first conceptualized in the 1930s within the scientific analysis of goal-striving behavior, is concerned with people's estimation of their subsequent performance prior to trying a task. An early investigator (Frank, 1935:119) defined it specifically as "the level of future performance in a familiar task which an individual, knowing his level of past performance in that task, explicitly undertakes to reach." Once a level of aspiration has been set, the individual performs, examines the discrepancy between the level of aspiration and the performance, and reacts with feelings of success or failure (depending on discrepancy). These reactions could lead to trying harder, leaving the activity altogether, or continuing with a readjusted level of aspiration (Lewin et al., 1944). Early investigations on levels of aspiration were the precursors to modern research on various cognitive aspects of goal-setting, self-appraisal, and feeling of satisfaction regarding relative success and failure. Much of the basis for current views on self-regulation in terms of self-monitoring, self-evaluation, and self-reaction can be found within the level-of-aspiration paradigm (see Bandura, 1982 Carver and Scheier, 1990).

The earlier research, most of which occurred in the 1930s and 1940s (see, e.g., Festinger, 1942 Frank, 1935, 1941 Lewin et al., 1944), tried to determine the factors that influence the fluctuations in a person's level of aspiration (e.g., success and failure of comparison groups) or studied how well personality traits correlated with the phenomenon. One general finding in relation to success and failure was that subjects raised their level of aspiration after success and lowered it after failure. However, Bandura has shown that this finding does not automatically occur in real-life tasks: "Having surpassed a demanding standard through laborious effort does not automatically lead people to raise their aspiration" (Bandura, 1986:348). Whether one raises one's level of aspiration or not depends more on one's level of task-specific self-confidence. This is the additional self-evaluation mechanism

that Bandura (1977) has added to the old paradigm and the self-regulation model. In contrast, Carver and Scheier (1990) emphasize the rate of discrepancy reduction or rate of progress made toward a goal over time in determining one's level of aspiration.

Although many of the concepts related to self-confidence are investigated from different perspectives, the phenomenon of interest for most of them is the cognitive process by which a person regulates thoughts and action to attain desired outcomes or to control events in his or her life.


Self-efficacy theory was developed within the framework of a social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986). Bandura poses self-confidence as a common cognitive mechanism for mediating people's motivation, thought patterns, emotional reactions, and behavior. The theory was originally proposed to account for the different results achieved by the diverse methods used in clinical psychology for treating anxiety. It has since been expanded and applied to other domains of psychosocial functioning, including motivation, cognitive skill acquisition, career choice and development, health and exercise behavior, and motor performance. (For reviews on specific domains, see Feltz, 1988b Lent and Hackett, 1987 McAuley, 1992 O'Leary, 1985 Schunk, 1984a). The theory has also been found to be equally predictive cross-culturally (Earley, 1993 Matsui, 1987 Matsui and Onglatco, 1991).

Self-Confidence Information

Self-confidence beliefs, defined as people's judgments of their capability to perform specific tasks, are a product of a complex process of self-persuasion that relies on cognitive processing of diverse sources of confidence information (Bandura, 1990). These sources of information include performance accomplishments, vicarious experiences, verbal persuasion, and physiological states.

Performance accomplishments are supposed to provide the most dependable confidence information because they are based on one's own mastery experiences. One's mastery experiences affect self-confidence beliefs through cognitive processing of such information. If one has repeatedly viewed these experiences as successes, self-confidence will increase if these experiences were viewed as failures, self-confidence will decrease. Furthermore, the self-monitoring or focus on successes or failures should have differential effects on behavior and self-confidence, depending on which is monitored (Bandura, 1986): focusing on one's successes should provide more encouragement and greater confidence than focusing on one's failures.

The influence that performance experiences have on perceived self-confidence also depends on the perceived difficulty of the task, the effort expended, the amount of guidance received, the temporal patterns of success and failure, and one's conception of a particular "ability" as a skill that can be acquired versus an inherent aptitude (Bandura, 1986). Bandura has argued that performance accomplishments on difficult tasks, tasks attempted independently, and tasks accomplished early in learning with only occasional failures carry greater confidence value than easy tasks, tasks accomplished with external aids, or tasks in which repeated failures are experienced early in the learning process without any sign of progress.

Confidence information can also be derived through a social comparison process with others (Festinger, 1954). Vicarious sources of confidence information are thought to be generally weaker than performance accomplishments however, their influence on self-confidence can be enhanced by a number of factors. For instance, the less experience people have had with performance situations, the more they will rely on others in judging their own capabilities. The effectiveness of modeling procedures on one's self-confidence has also been shown to be enhanced by perceived similarities to a model in terms of performance or personal characteristics (George et al., 1992 Gould and Weiss, 1981).

Persuasive techniques are widely used by instructors, managers, coaches, parents, and peers in attempting to influence a learner's confidence, motivation, and behavior. In acquiring expert performance, Ericsson and his colleagues put a great deal of emphasis on parents' and teachers' expectations and verbal persuasions that a child is "talented" as a major influence on the child's self-confidence, motivation, and perceived protection "against doubts about eventual success during the ups and downs of extended preparation" (Ericsson et al., 1993:399). Persuasive information includes verbal persuasion, evaluative feedback, expectations by others, self-talk, imagery, and other cognitive strategies. Self-confidence beliefs based on this type of information, however, are likely to be weaker than those based on one's accomplishments, according to the theory. In addition, persuasive techniques are thought to be most effective when the heightened appraisal is slightly beyond what the person can presently do but still within realistic bounds because people are generally aware that better performances are achievable through extra effort (Bandura, 1986). The extent of persuasive influence on self-confidence has also been hypothesized to depend on the prestige, credibility, expertise, and trustworthiness of the persuader.

The causal attributions that one makes regarding previous achievement behavior also can be thought of as a source of self-persuasive information in formulating future confidence expectations. Causal attributions for previous behavior have been shown to predict confidence expectations (McAuley, 1990 Schunk and Cox, 1986). (This relationship is discussed in more detail below.)

Confidence information can also be obtained from a person's physiological state or condition. Such information is provided through cognitive appraisal (Bandura, 1986), such as associating physiological arousal with fear and self-doubt or with being psyched up and ready for performance. Eden (1990) also suggests that the stress one experiences in work can influence confidence judgments about one's coping capacity for the job. Bandura (1986) also notes that physiological sources of self-confidence judgment are not limited to autonomic arousal. 2 People use their levels of fitness, fatigue, and pain in strength and endurance activities as indicators of their physical inefficacy (Feltz and Riessinger, 1990 Taylor et al., 1985).

These four categories of confidence information—performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, persuasion, and physiological states—are probably not mutually exclusive in terms of the information they provide, though some are more influential than others. How various sources of information are weighted and processed to make judgments given different tasks, situations, and individual skills is as yet unknown. The consequences of these judgments, however, are hypothesized to determine people's levels of motivation, as reflected in the challenges they undertake, the effort they expend in the activity, and their perseverance in the face of difficulties. People's self-confidence judgments can also influence certain thought patterns and emotional reactions (e.g., pride, shame, happiness, sadness) that also influence motivation (Bandura, 1986). For instance, self-confidence beliefs may influence people's success or failure images, worries, goal intentions, and causal attributions.

Self-Confidence, Behavior and Thought Patterns, and Motivation

Bandura (1977) states that self-efficacy (self-confidence) is a major determinant of behavior only when people have sufficient incentives to act on their self-perception of confidence and when they possess the requisite skills. He predicts that self-confidence beliefs will exceed actual performance when there is little incentive to perform the activity or when physical or social constraints are imposed on performance. An individual may have the necessary skill and high self-confidence beliefs, but no incentive to perform. Discrepancies will also occur, according to Bandura, when tasks or circumstances are ambiguous or when one has little information on which to base confidence judgments.

How individuals cognitively process confidence information also influences the relationship between self-confidence and behavior (Bandura, 1977). For example, successes and failures may be distorted in importance. People who overweigh their failures are believed to have lower expectations than those with the same performance levels who do not overweigh their failures.

The relationship between self-confidence expectations and performance accomplishments is also believed to be temporally recursive (Bandura, 1977:194): "Mastery expectations influence performance and are, in turn, altered by the cumulative effect of one's efforts." Bandura (1990) has emphasized the recursive nature of the relationship between self-confidence and thought patterns as well. The relationship between the major sources of confidence information, confidence expectations, and behavior and thought patterns, as predicted by Bandura's theory, is presented in Figure 8-1.

As just discussed, people's self-confidence beliefs are hypothesized to influence certain thought patterns and emotional reactions as well as behavior. Two thought patterns of particular interest to the study of performance motivation are goal intentions and causal attributions a third thought pattern that can influence self-confidence beliefs is how one thinks about ability.

Self-confidence beliefs have been shown to influence future personal goal-setting and to mediate the relationship between goal intentions and motivation (Earley and Lituchy, 1991). Research has also shown that the stronger people's self-confidence beliefs (assessed independently from their goals), the higher the goals they set for themselves and the firmer their commitments are to them (Locke et al., 1984). In addition, as noted above (Kanfer, 1990a), motivation based on goal intentions is mediated by self-regulatory influences that include two types of self-reactive influences: affective self-evaluation (satisfaction/dissatisfaction), and perceived self-efficacy for goal attainment. Bandura (1990) includes a third type of self-reactive influence: adjustment of personal standards. Figure 8-2 summarizes, schematically, Kanfer's and Bandura's ideas of motivation that are based on goal intentions.

FIGURE 8-1 Relationship between sources of confidence information,
confidence expectations, and behavior/thought patterns.

FIGURE 8-2 Conceptions of motivation based on goal intentions.

When performances fall short of people's personal goals (or level of aspiration), they become dissatisfied. Whether this dissatisfaction serves as an incentive or disincentive for enhanced effort is partly influenced by a person's self-confidence for goal attainment and the degree of the discrepancy (Bandura, 1986 Carver and Scheier, 1990). Bandura (1986) predicts that, in general, in the face of negative discrepancies between personal goals and attainments, those who have high self-confidence beliefs will heighten their level of effort and persistence and those who have self-doubts will quickly give up. However, if the degree of the negative discrepancy is perceived as quite large, people's self-confidence for goal attainment will be undermined. In this situation, research has shown that highly self-confident individuals will readjust their goals so as not to further undermine their self-confidence those with little sense of self-confidence to begin with will become discouraged and abandon their goal altogether (Bandura and Cervone, 1983).

Bandura (1986, 1990) also suggests that confidence beliefs and causal attributions are reciprocal determinants of each other. According to Bandura, self-confidence beliefs help shape causal ascriptions for future behavior. People with self-beliefs of confidence have been shown to attribute failure to lack of effort people with low self-beliefs of confidence ascribe their failures to lack of ability (Collins, 1982). Causal attributions also play a role in the formation of future confidence expectations (McAuley, 1990 Schunk and Cox, 1986). Successes are more likely to enhance self-confidence if performances are perceived as resulting from ability rather than from luck. Conversely, individuals can talk themselves out of succeeding

by attributing prior failure to inherent ability rather than to bad luck or reduced effort. Studies using causal analyses also indicate that the effects of causal attributions on performance are mediated through self-confidence beliefs (Schunk and Gunn, 1986 Schunk and Rice, 1986).

As noted above, the way that people construe ability may also influence self-confidence beliefs and other self-regulatory factors. Two conceptions of ability have been identified that lead to the development of two goal orientations (Dweck and Leggett, 1988 Elliott and Dweck, 1988 Nicholls, 1984). The first is the conception of ability as an acquirable skill: people who conceive of ability in this way adopt a learning or mastery goal (Ames, 1984 Dweck and Leggett, 1988 Nicholls, 1984). This type of goal-orientation is well suited for skill development because people seek to improve their competence, judge their capabilities in terms of personal improvement, and regard errors as a natural part of the skill-acquisition process. Furthermore, when performance falls short of their goals, they attribute the discrepancy to inadequate effort, and their self-confidence beliefs remain minimally affected.

The second conception of ability is as a more or less inherent aptitude or entity conception: people who have an entity conception of ability adapt a performance or ability-focused goal (Ames, 1984 Dweck, 1986 Nicholls, 1984). People with this conception of ability seek to prove their competence or demonstrate their ability they avoid demonstrating low ability and use social comparison processes to judge their ability relative to others. This type of goal-orientation is not well suited for skill development because people view errors as a threat to being able to demonstrate their ability and, thus, they avoid adopting challenging goals. When a negative discrepancy occurs between their goals and current performances, they attribute it to low ability. Research has shown that this type of ability conception increases a person's vulnerability to the adverse effects of failure (Elliott and Dweck, 1988 Jourden et al., 1991 Wood and Bandura, 1989). The feeling of failure and the attribution to low ability may also lead to dissatisfaction and a decrease in confidence beliefs and subsequently to goal abandonment. It also diverts attention away from the task and to worry (Kanfer, 1990a). The negative effects of an inherent aptitude conception are most distinct among people with low self-confidence in their ability (Kanfer, 1990a).

The structure and demands of a learning environment establish a motivational climate that can evoke different goal orientations (see Ames, 1992). For instance, schools often establish learning environments that include evaluating student achievement on the basis of normative standards and with extrinsic rewards. This structure encourages learners to use social comparison processes to judge their ability and adopt a performance-goal orientation instead of a mastery-goal orientation. Students, especially those

who lack skills and self-confidence, do far better in school settings that foster a mastery orientation by designing activities for individual challenge, using flexible and heterogeneous grouping arrangements, helping students develop self-management and self-monitoring skills, recognizing individual progress, and involving them in self-evaluation (Ames, 1992).

Team Confidence

Much of the research on self-efficacy (self-confidence) beliefs has focused on the individual level of behavior. However, in many organizational settings, such as business, military, or sport, individuals perform as members of teams rather than just as individuals. Thus, many of the challenges and difficulties people face in organizations reflect team problems requiring team efforts to produce successful performance.

Bandura (1977, 1986) distinguishes between self-efficacy (self-confidence) and perceived collective efficacy (team confidence) in his theory of self-efficacy. Self-efficacy refers to people's judgments of individual capabilities and effort collective efficacy or team confidence refers to people's judgments of group capabilities and influences "what people choose to do as a group, how much effort they put into it, and their staying power when group efforts fail to produce results" (Bandura, 1986:449). In this view, teams with high collective confidence beliefs should outperform and should persist longer than teams with low perceived collective confidence. Prior to the development of Bandura's theory, Bird and Brame (1978) found team confidence to be the most powerful discriminator of winning and losing teams.

Similarly to self-confidence, the confidence of a team or organization is most likely influenced by diverse sources of confidence information. As with self-confidence beliefs, performance accomplishments of the team are predicted to be the most powerful source of information for team confidence beliefs. Organizations that have an outstanding record of performance undoubtedly cultivate a strong sense of confidence among their members. Likewise, as Eden (1990) noted in his description of organizationwide self-fulfilling prophecies, a serious performance failure—such as the Challenger space shuttle disaster of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration—can decrease the collective confidence of the organization's members, which, in turn, can influence subsequent failures. The perceived collective confidence of a team or group might also be influenced through a collective social comparison process with other teams. It is also possible that reciprocal social influences within a team can raise or lower collective confidence for team performance. For example, the modeling of confidence or ineffectiveness by one member of the group may influence the rest of the group's sense of confidence (Bandura, 1990). In addition, just as persuasive information can influence an individual's sense of self-confidence, collective

efficacy theory suggests that it could also influence an entire group. Charismatic leaders seem to have such persuasive influence on their organization's members (Eden, 1990).

Bandura (1986) further suggests that team confidence is rooted in self-confidence. According to Bandura, a team that has a strong sense of collective confidence can enhance the perceived task-specific confidence of its members, although a team with a weak sense of collective confidence may not totally undermine the perceived self-confidence of its more resilient members (also see Parker, 1992). Members of a team who have weak beliefs in their own individual capabilities are unlikely to be easily transformed into a strong collective force.

In terms of the assessment of perceived team confidence, Bandura (1986) suggests that team confidence may be insufficiently represented as a predictor of team performance through just the sum of the perceived personal confidences of its members, especially on highly interactive tasks or in situations in which members must work together to achieve success. A study of predicting team performance on the basis of individual performances provides some evidence for the possible moderating influence of task type on the confidence-performance relationship in teams (Jones, 1974). Using baseball (which does not require a lot of interaction among team members for team outcome), Jones (1974) predicted team outcome 90 percent of the time. However, for basketball (which does require a lot of interaction), he predicted team outcome only 35 percent of the time. This outcome suggests that the average of team members' perceptions of their team's performance capability should be added to their personal confidence to execute their individual functions in a collective task to measure team confidence.

This construct of team confidence may be related to other constructs of group motivation. For example, a team's collective confidence beliefs may also be influenced by the nature of its collective goals. As interpreted from Bandura (1986), effective team performance would require the merging of diverse individual goals in support of common group goals. If a team consists of a group of members who are all pursuing their own individual goals, they are not as apt to work together to achieve the necessary team goals to be successful, especially on highly interactive tasks. In addition, when the overall success of a team calls for sustained efforts over a long time, short-term intermediate goals may be needed to provide incentives, provide evidence of progress along the way, and sustain team confidence beliefs.

The attributions a team ascribes for its successes and failures may also influence team confidence. For example, an athletic team that defeats a difficult opponent with minimal effort may perceive itself to be highly confident. Conversely, if that same team worked very hard but lost to an easier opponent, perceived team confidence may weaken. Perceived team confidence may, in turn, influence the types of causal attributions that

teams make about their performance (Bandura, 1986, 1990). Teams with little confidence may infer that poor performance was due to a lack of ability highly confident teams may ascribe poor performance to a lack of effort.

Team confidence and cohesion may also be related. Both constructs have been shown to be positively associated with successful performance and persistence in the face of adversity (Spink, 1990). Thus, team confidence and team cohesion appear to share some common elements.

A team's collective confidence beliefs may similarly be related to a team's desire for success. For example, Zander (1971) found that groups with a strong desire for success outperformed groups with a weaker desire for success. Over time, when a group succeeded more often than it failed, members of that group were more interested in the activity and had a stronger desire for their group to perform well (Zander, 1971). Thus, successful outcome had a cyclical relationship with desire for success. Team confidence could also be part of this relationship. Successful performance can be expected to positively influence team confidence, which in turn should lead to behaviors and actions (e.g., setting higher goals, working harder) that enhance the ability of the group to succeed in the future, resulting in an even stronger desire for group success. This relationship may not hold for tasks that are not intrinsically motivating.

Social loafing may also be conceptualized in terms of team confidence. However, social loafing (conceptualized as the motivational losses in group performance) may represent the dark side of team confidence. In typical team performance situations, the evaluation potential for any one individual is not as strong as it would be for an individual performance, and this situation can give rise to social loafing. If individual team members believe that their team is highly capable of performing a task, they may loaf. Thus, high team confidence may actually undermine contributions to team performance unless there is individual identifiability. There has not yet been research to test this ''undermining" assumption, but a considerable body of research has shown that increasing the identifiability and recognition of individual performances in groups reduces social loafing (e.g., Latané et al., 1979).

Some work suggests that self-confidence mediates the relationship between identifiability of performance and loafing (Sanna, 1992). Highly confident individuals whose performances were identifiable as part of a group's performance were less likely to loaf than were individuals with little confidence in the same situation. The results of this study suggest that when individual contributions toward team performance are identifiable, highly confident members may exert more effort toward performance than members whose confidence is not high. Increased individual effort towards performance usually facilitates successful team performance, which in turn may enhance perceived team confidence.


Evidence for the effectiveness of self-confidence as an influential mechanism in human agency comes from a number of diverse lines of research in various domains of psychosocial functioning, including achievement motivation (Bandura and Cervone, 1983 Schunk, 1984a), career choice and development (Betz and Hackett, 1981), health and exercise behavior (DiClemente, 1981 McAuley and Jacobson, 1991), anxiety disorders (Bandura et al., 1982) and sport and motor performance (Feltz, 1982). Results of these diverse lines of research provide converging evidence that people's perceptions of their performance capability significantly affect their motivational behavior (Bandura, 1986).

This section is not an exhaustive review of all the research on self-confidence and psychosocial functioning rather, we focus on work that is relevant to enhancing perceived self-confidence and the effects of self-confidence beliefs on performance. The first part of this section looks at research on the effect of various techniques for enhancing self-confidence beliefs the second part considers the effects of self-confidence on performance the third part looks at research on team confidence and the fourth part considers how to apply those research findings.

Enhancing Self-Confidence
Performance-Based Confidence Information

As noted above, Bandura (1977) proposed that performance accomplishments provide the most dependable source of information on which to base self-confidence judgments because they are based on one's mastery experiences. Techniques based on such performance accomplishments as participant modeling, guided exposure, physical guidance, external aids, and task modification have been effective in enhancing both self-confidence beliefs and performance in a wide variety of areas, including: reducing phobic dysfunction (Bandura et al., 1982 Biram and Wilson, 1981) mastering high-risk skills (Brody et al., 1988 Feltz et al., 1979 Weinberg et al., 1982) enhancing personal empowerment over physical threats (Ozer and Bandura, 1990) and increasing interest in mathematical tasks (Campbell and Hackett, 1986). Research has also supported the superiority of performance-based information over other sources of confidence information (e.g., Bandura and Adams, 1977 Bandura et al., 1977 Feltz et al., 1979 Lewis, 1974 McAuley, 1985).

For example, Feltz et al. (1979) investigated the effectiveness of participant, live, and videotaped modeling on learning the back dive, a high-avoidance task. Participant modeling involved an expert's demonstration

plus guided participation with the learner. On the first four performance trials (training period), the participant-modeling subjects were guided through the dives to ensure successful performance. On the second four trials (test period), the physical guidance was removed. As predicted, the participant-modeling treatment produced more successful dives and stronger confidence beliefs than either the live modeling or videotaped modeling treatments.

According to Bandura (1986), information acquired from mastery experiences does not influence self-confidence directly rather, it depends on how the information is cognitively appraised, such as how difficult the task is perceived to be in comparison to the effort expended, how much external aid is received, the temporal pattern of one's successes and failures, and one's conception of ability. For instance, research in motor learning has shown that in initial learning the experience of a temporal pattern of early success followed by a series of failures resulted in less persistence at the task in the face of subsequent failure than the experience of early failure followed by a series of successes (Feltz et al., 1992). The early failure and subsequent success pattern was more representative of the typical learning pattern of a motor skill and, therefore, probably influenced perceptions of the skill as an acquirable one.

In another study researchers first induced different conceptions of ability—inherent aptitude or acquirable skill—for performance on a rotary pursuit task (a spinning disc with a quarter-sized target that a person tries to track and that records time on target) (Jourden et al., 1991). 3 Subjects who performed the task under the conception of ability as an acquirable skill showed increases in self-confidence, showed positive self-reactions to their performance, displayed widespread interest in the activity, and showed greater improvements in performance in comparison with those who performed the task under the inherent-aptitude conception of ability. These results suggest that instructors should use a positive approach, which emphasizes the learnability of the skill to be taught, to improve the speed and quality of skill acquisition, especially in the early phases.

Vicarious Confidence Information Information gained through vicarious experiences has been shown to influence perceived confidence in such areas as muscular endurance performance (Feltz and Riessinger, 1990 George et al., 1992 Weinberg et al., 1979) physical activity (Corbin et al., 1984) competitive persistence (Brown and Inouye, 1978) problemsolving (Schunk, 1981 Zimmerman and Ringle, 1981) phobic behavior (Bandura et al., 1977) and management training (Gist, 1989a, 1989b Gist et al., 1989). These techniques have included modeling and social comparison. Weinberg et al. (1979) manipulated subjects' confidence beliefs about competing on a muscular endurance task by having them observe their competitor (a confederate) on a related task. The confederate either

performed poorly and was said to have a knee injury (belief of high self-confidence) or performed well and was said to be a varsity track athlete (belief of low self-confidence). Results indicated that the higher the induced self-confidence, the greater the muscular endurance. Subjects who competed against an "injured" (perceived as relatively weaker) competitor endured longer and had higher confidence expectations about winning against their opponent than those who thought they were competing against a varsity athlete—even though the subjects lost in both trials.

Modeling provides confidence information, according to Bandura (1986), through a comparative process between the model and the observer. George et al. (1992) demonstrated that a model who was similar to nonathletic observers in ability enhanced observers' confidence beliefs and endurance performance over a dissimilar model. In essence, the similar model seems to instill the attitude of "If he/she can do it, so can I." Also, the use of multiple models has been shown to enhance the modeling effect (Lewis, 1974). Bandura (1977) reasoned that observers would have a stronger basis on which to increase their own self-confidence if they could see a number of people of widely differing characteristics succeeding at a task.

Persuasory Confidence Information For many kinds of performance, people are influenced by the opinions of others—teachers, coaches, peers, and managers—in judging their ability to perform a task. People may also try to persuade themselves that they have the ability to perform a given task through imagery and causal attributions for previous performances. Verbal persuasion by itself is of limited influence, and for treating phobias in clinical psychology it is often used in combination with other techniques, such as hypnosis, relaxation, or performance deception. However, in athletic, educational, and work situations, for which the fear component is unlikely to be as paralyzing as in chronic phobias, persuasive techniques by themselves may improve performance more successfully than in phobic behavior but there has been little research on this possibility.

The few studies that have been conducted in motor performance report mixed results (Feltz and Riessinger, 1990 Fitzsimmons et al., 1991 Weinberg, 1985 Wilkes and Summers, 1984 Yan Lan and Gill, 1984). Weinberg (1985) found no effects on endurance performance with the use of dissociation and positive self-talk strategies, and Yan Lan and Gill (1984) found that providing subjects with bogus feedback and the suggestion that elevated arousal levels were indicative of good performance did not induce higher self-confidence. In contrast, Wilkes and Summers (1984) found persuasive techniques that tried to enhance confidence and emotional arousal influenced strength performance, but confidence-related cognitions did not seem to mediate the effect. Fitzsimmons et al. (1991) found that false positive feedback increased self-confidence judgments and future weightlifting

performance. In addition, Feltz and Riessinger (1990) found significant effects on endurance performance using mastery imagery, with corresponding effects on self-confidence.

One explanation for the equivocal findings in these studies may be the differences in the degree of persuasive influence of their techniques and the extent of their subjects' personal experience on the task. In the Weinberg (1985) study, subjects were not told that the cognitive strategy they were to use would enhance their performance. There was no attempt at persuasion. In comparison, Wilkes and Summers (1984) instructed their subjects to persuade themselves that they were confident or to persuade themselves that they were "charged up."

The degree of persuasive influence also depends on the believability of the persuasive information. Yan Lan and Gill (1984) tried to lead subjects to believe that they had the same heightened pattern of physiological arousal as good competitors. However, there was no manipulation check that the subjects believed the persuasion. Fitzsimmons et al. (1991), in contrast, used pilot data to ensure that the deceptive feedback provided was believable.

The lack of persuasive effects in some of the research may also have been due to confounding with actual performance. All of the studies used multiple performance trials thus, subjects may have formed perceptions on the basis of their performance experience that overshadowed much of the influence that the treatment variable had on self-confidence. This explanation is supported by research showing that the significant effects for endurance performance and self-confidence were short-lived after subjects experienced performance failure (Feltz and Riessinger, 1990).

A slightly different line of research in organizational behavior has shown consistent effects for instructors' expectancies on trainees' self-confidence and performance (Eden, 1990 Eden and Ravid, 1982 Eden and Shani, 1982). These studies induced military instructors to expect higher performance from some trainees than others. Not all of these studies measured self-confidence (or self-expectancy, as used in the studies), but those that did showed that high expectancy trainees had higher levels of self-confidence and performance than low expectancy trainees.

Performance Feedback Evaluation feedback about ongoing performances has also been used as a persuasive technique (Bandura, 1986). Instructors, managers, and coaches often try to boost perceived trainees' self-confidence by providing encouraging feedback. Positive feedback about ongoing performance has been shown to instill higher perceptions of confidence than no feedback at all (Vallerand, 1983). Also, feedback on causal attribution that credits progress to underlying ability or effort has been shown to raise perceived confidence more than no feedback or feedback that implies lesser ability (Schunk, 1983a). However, inappropriately high amounts of positive

feedback can be detrimental to self-perceptions and motivation when used on individuals differentially because it implies low ability (Horn, 1985 Meyer, 1982). For instance, Horn (1985) found that the frequent use of positive reinforcement by coaches for less-skilled players resulted in lower perceived competence in those athletes, while the use of higher amounts of mistake-contingent criticism for highly-skilled players led to higher levels of perceived competence. Horn reasoned that the liberal use of praise given to low-skilled players was not performance-contingent and thus communicated to them that their coach held lower expectations for them.

In addition to its use as a persuasive technique, evaluative feedback can also add to enactive confidence information regarding ongoing performance as it conveys signs of progress. In order to be informative and motivative, feedback must be provided in reaction to defined performance standards or goals (Bandura, 1986). Otherwise, there is no basis on which to form internal comparisons to be able to evaluate ongoing performance. A wealth of research has shown that both feedback and goal setting are needed to enhance performance (Bandura and Cervone, 1983 Erez, 1977 Feltz and Riessinger, 1990 Locke and Latham, 1990 Strang et al., 1978). Even in the face of substandard performance, Bandura (1986) suggests that subjects' motivation and self-confidence may not be undermined if the discrepancy is only moderate and they are given knowledge of that discrepancy.

Causal Attributions Studies that have examined the influence of causal attributions on self-confidence beliefs have either assessed the attributions that individuals have made for previous performances in relation to the confidence expectations for future performances (McAuley, 1990, 1991) or have manipulated attributional feedback concerning previous performance to examine the effect on subsequent confidence expectations (Schunk, 1983a, 1984a Schunk and Cox, 1986 Schunk and Gunn, 1986). Much of this research, conducted on educational learning has generally shown that attributions made or induced for previous performance that are internal and subject to personal control (e.g., effort and ability) will raise self-confidence beliefs for subsequent performance. Therefore, helping individuals attribute good performance to ability, skill improvement, or hard work and their bad performances to lack of effort, lack of sufficient practice time, or use of an inappropriate strategy can be expected to improve their self-confidence beliefs and motivation for continued performance.

Physiological Confidence Information The few studies that have investigated the influence of physiological or emotional states on self-confidence are equivocal (Feltz, 1982, 1988a Feltz and Mugno, 1983 Juneau et al., 1986 Kavanagh and Hausfeld, 1986). For diving tasks, Feltz (1988a) found that perceived autonomic arousal, rather than actual physiological arousal, significantly predicted confidence judgments. Juneau et al. (1986) found that individuals

who focused on their physical stamina as they mastered increasing workloads on a treadmill judged their cardiac confidence as more robust than those who focused on the negative signs. For strength tasks, however, Kavanagh and Hausfeld (1986) found that induced moods (happiness or sadness), as measured by self-reports, did not alter confidence expectations in any consistent manner. Bandura (1988) has argued that it is people's perceived coping confidence that is more indicative of capability than their perception of their physiological arousal condition. If people believe that they cannot cope with a potential threat, they experience disruptive arousal, which may further lower their confidence judgments that they can perform successfully. Evidence for this argument comes from research that has shown that it is not the frightful cognitions themselves that account for anxiety symptoms, but the perceived self-confidence to control them (Kent, 1987 Kent and Gibbons, 1987).

Contextual Influences

A number of instructional practices are important contextual influences on self-confidence that do not necessarily fit into any of the four principal sources of confidence information (Schunk, 1984b). In addition to evaluative and attributional feedback, these practices include goal setting and reward contingencies. Schunk (1985) has suggested that these contextual influences convey confidence information to learners by making salient certain cues that learners use to appraise their self-confidence.

The research on goal setting and self-confidence has generally shown that setting goals for oneself and attaining them, especially specific, difficult, and proximal goals, enhance perceptions of self-confidence (Bandura and Schunk, 1981 Locke et al., 1984 Manderlink and Harackiewicz, 1984 Schunk, 1983b Stock and Cervone, 1990). Specific goals raise confidence expectations to a greater extent than more abstract goals because they provide more explicit information with which to gauge one's progress. Difficult goals raise confidence expectations more than do easy goals because they, too, offer more information about one's capability to achieve.

Although the research supports the setting of difficult goals, experts recommend that they be realistic (Locke and Latham, 1990). Garland (1983), however, has questioned the basis of the goal attainability assumption in setting difficult goals. Laboratory experiments on goal-setting have found positive relationships between goal difficulty and performance even when the goals assigned to individuals were difficult and beyond their reach (Weinberg, 1992). One factor that may resolve the differences between experts' recommendations and laboratory evidence is task type. The type of task used in goal-setting studies has been observed to mediate this positive relationship between goal difficulty and performance (Tubbs, 1986 Wood et al., 1987). Kanfer and Ackerman (1989) have provided a theoretical explanation for

this mediating effect in terms of resource capacity and attentional demands of the task: that is, setting and striving for goals impose additional attentional demands on the individual. In learning complex tasks, such as air-traffic control operations, the benefits of goal-setting are difficult to realize because of the already high attentional demands of the task (Kanfer and Ackerman, 1989). In simple tasks, such as performing sit-ups, attentional demands are minimal, which leaves plenty of room available for engaging in the self-regulatory activity of goal-setting.

One problem in being assigned specific and difficult goals (versus selecting one's own goals) is that it may create a performance goal orientation that focuses one's attention on proving one's ability (Kanfer, 1990a:229): "The assigned performance goal sets the objective standard for proving one's ability." In a learning situation, the adoption of a difficult goal when trying to prove one's ability emphasizes the negative discrepancy and, thus, the feeling of failure, attribution to low ability, and a decrease in self-confidence about the task. Research is needed to determine whether assigning specific and difficult goals creates a performance goal orientation and whether assigning less specific goals might offset some of the negative motivational effects of assigning difficult goals, including a decreased sense of self-confidence.

In addition to specific and difficult goals, immediate goals are also easier to gauge in terms of progress than are distant goals. They make a task appear more manageable, provide an indication of progress, and affect self-evaluative reactions to performance (Stock and Cervone, 1990). A few studies have found no difference between immediate and distant goals (e.g., Bandura and Simon, 1977 Dubbert and Wilson, 1984), but many of the subjects assigned long-term goals in these studies were found to have spontaneously set short-term subgoals for themselves, which contaminated the findings. However, research on long-term goal-setting programs to improve the study skills and grades of college students suggests that relatively long-term plans and goals are most beneficial because they allow flexible choice among daily activities (Kirschenbaum, 1985 Kirschenbaum et al., 1981, 1982). One way to reconcile these divergent findings is to view them in terms of stages of skill acquisition. For instance, it may be argued that short-term goals facilitate performance and perceived competence in the early stages of skill acquisition, but as competence develops over time, moderately long-term goals allow greater flexibility and choice and may be viewed as less controlling than short-term goals (Manderlink and Harackiewicz, 1984).

In addition to examining goal-setting influences on self-confidence and performance in relation to stages of skill acquisition, examining them in relation to one's rate of progress may also explain divergent findings. Carver and Scheier (1981) propose that when one encounters difficulty in executing a higher order (more distant) goal, attention is shifted back to a lower order (more immediate) subgoal. As discrepancy toward the subgoal is

reduced, attention shifts back to the higher order goal. As long as one is making good progress toward a long-term goal, one's attention does not need to shift to subgoals to feel confident and be successful. Future research is needed to determine under what conditions and with what tasks different goal-setting techniques enhance self-confidence and performance.

Another common instructional practice to enhance motivation is the use of rewards. Providing rewards (incentives) for desirable outcomes imparts information as well as motivation (Bandura, 1986). Informing learners that they can earn rewards on the basis of what they accomplish is hypothesized to influence their self-confidence for learning. As individuals work toward a task and note their progress, their sense of confidence can be validated through rewards. Rewards have been shown to heighten self-confidence beliefs more when they are contingent on performance than when offered simply for participation (Schunk, 1983c). As with feedback, rewards may actually reduce self-confidence beliefs if they are given in a noncontingent manner for some learners and not others or if they are distributed within a competitive reward structure (Ames, 1981) competitive reward structures emphasize social comparisons that can result in differential ability attributions (Schunk, 1985).

Effects of Self-Confidence on Performance

Numerous studies have examined the relationship between self-confidence and motivated behavior or performance across a number of tasks and situations (Bandura, 1986). Although these correlational results do not necessarily demonstrate a causal relationship between self-confidence and performance, they do provide convergent evidence of a consistent association between self-confidence and performance of at least a moderate magnitude. For instance, in sport and exercise, Feltz (1988b) found that the correlations between self-confidence and subsequent performance in 28 studies ranged from .19 to .73, with a median of .54. Other studies have experimentally manipulated perceived self-confidence levels and then measured subjects' motivation in coping behavior (Bandura et al., 1982), endurance performance (Feltz and Riessinger, 1990 Weinberg et al., 1979) problem solving (Cervone and Peake, 1986), and pain tolerance (Litt, 1988). In general, these diverse causal tests provide corroborating evidence that perceived self-confidence contributes significantly to motivated behavior and performance.

Attempting to demonstrate the causal influence of self-confidence on behavior and performance through experimental manipulation of self-confidence, however, has been criticized as leading to an arbitrary interpretation of the relationship of self-confidence to performance (Biglan, 1987). Biglan points out that when environmental variables are manipulated in order to manipulate self-confidence ratings, performance behavior or other factors are also af-

fected. Environmental manipulations may influence some other variable (e.g., anxiety) that influences self-confidence and performance without any causal role for self-confidence. "Third variable" causes must be considered, but this is difficult to do in traditional experimental studies, especially when considering a network of causal relationships. In such situations, path analysis or structural-equation modeling is an appropriate method to investigate a network of causal relationships (Anderson and Evans, 1974 Cook and Campbell, 1979 Duncan, 1975). Path analysis and structural-equation modeling allow one to test whether the model presented fits a set of data adequately by comparing the observed relationships among the variables with the predicted relationships. These methods also permit an estimation of the relative indirect and direct contributions of effects. Causal modeling methods are not techniques for discovering causal directions, but, rather, for testing directions of causation that have already been specified by a model.

Causal modeling techniques have been used in a number of self-confidence studies to control for the contribution of other possible factors and to test the network of causal relationships posed by a theory (Dzewaltowski, 1989 Dzewaltowski et al., 1990 Earley and Lituchy, 1991 Feltz, 1982, 1988a Feltz and Mugno, 1983 Garland et al., 1988 Hackett, 1985 Locke et al., 1984 McAuley, 1985, 1990 Ozer and Bandura, 1990 Schunk, 1981 Wood and Bandura, 1989 Zimmerman et al., 1992). In general, these studies have found self-confidence to be a major determinant of motivated behavior or performance and to be influenced by performance in a recursive fashion. For motor behavior and performance, existing self-confidence has been shown to predict initial performance, but as one gains experience on the task, performance also becomes a strong predictor of both future performance and self-confidence (Feltz, 1982, 1988a Feltz and Mugno, 1983 McAuley, 1985). These results indicate that performance-based treatments may be affecting behavior through other mechanisms, as well as perceived self-confidence. One of the mechanisms not investigated in these studies on motor performance is goal effects. Path-analytic studies that have included goal effects have generally found that assigned goals influence both self-confidence and personal goals and that both variables, in turn, have direct effects on performance (Earley and Lituchy, 1991 Locke et al., 1984 Wood and Bandura, 1989 Zimmerman et al., 1992).

Team Confidence

Although team confidence is recognized as being important to group or team functioning, there has been little research on it (Bandura, 1986). Studies have examined group confidence in social dilemmas (Kerr, 1989), school systems (Parker, 1992), and sports (Feltz et al., 1989 Spink, 1990). Two of these studies (Feltz et al., 1989 Parker, 1992) found some support for

Bandura's (1986) proposition that an aggregate of group members' perceived confidence of the group as a whole would be more predictive of the group's performance than an aggregate of the members' judgments of their own confidence when there is at least a moderate level of interdependent effort required of the group.

Because school systems require at least a moderate level of interdependence among their teachers, Parker (1992) examined teachers' beliefs in their own instructional self-confidence and their beliefs about their schools' collective capability to predict schools' levels of academic achievements. Teachers were asked to rate their self-confidence in three teaching domains (reading, mathematics, and language), as well as their beliefs in the collective confidence of the school as a whole in the same three areas. Each teacher's self-confidence and school confidence ratings were then compared with the performances of the students in each teacher's school on a standardized test of reading, mathematics, and language proficiencies. The teachers' perceived confidence in their school's capability (perceived school confidence) predicted the academic achievements of the students in their school and that these collective confidence beliefs of the school were more predictive of the academic achievement of the students than were the teachers' beliefs of their own instructional self-confidence, thus, supporting Bandura's (1986) hypothesis.

Feltz et al. (1989) compared self-confidence and team confidence in the prediction of team performance of seven collegiate hockey teams across a 32-game season. A team confidence measure was constructed after conducting a conceptual analysis of the competence areas required in hockey (with the consultation of two collegiate hockey coaches). The resulting measure of team confidence had seven dimensions: (1) winning against opponents, (2) outskating opponents, (3) outchecking opponents, (4) forcing more turnovers than opponents, (5) bouncing back from poor performances more than opponents, (6) performing better in power play situations than opponents, and (7) performing better in short-handed situations than opponents. Initial analyses have indicated that team confidence was only slightly more predictive of team performance than was individual confidence. However, when wins and losses were analyzed by game, team confidence was more affected by losses than was individual confidence.

The construct of team or collective confidence is still in a rudimentary stage in terms of understanding and explaining motivation. Clearly, a greater understanding of its utility will come from rigorous and systematic research. Toward this end, Bandura (1990) suggests that advances in research on team confidence will be greatly influenced by the development of appropriate measures specifically, measures of perceived team confidence need to be tied closely to explicit indices of group performance. This may be best accomplished by conducting conceptual analyses of the competence areas within a group's performance.

Although Bandura's theory of self-efficacy as a self-confidence concept is not without its criticisms (see Biglan, 1987 Eastman and Marzillier, 1984 Feltz, 1988b Lee, 1989), research on self-confidence from divergent psychosocial domains of functioning and from different cultural environments (Earley, 1993 Matsui, 1987 Matsui and Onglatco, 1991) has consistently shown self-perceptions of ability to be an important and necessary cognitive mechanism in explaining motivated behavior and performance. However, self-confidence, as a common mechanism that mediates behavior, cannot be expected to account for all behavior change in human performance (Bandura, 1984). Even so, given the demonstrated importance of self-confidence in enhancing performance, numerous inferences can be drawn to help individuals develop and maintain self-confidence to improve motivation for performance.

Techniques for Enhancing Self-Confidence

In this section research and theory from self-efficacy, goal-setting, and attributions are used to speculate on practical ways to enhance self-confidence for motivation and performance. Applications for enhancing self-confidence are organized around techniques that are based on the four sources of confidence information within Bandura's theory of self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977): performance-based strategies, modeling, persuasion and communication, and anxiety-reduction strategies.

Performance-Based Approaches

Given that the relationship between self-confidence and motivated behavior or performance has been well documented, the important goal is to find ways to enhance self-confidence beliefs. Research has supported that the strongest and most durable determinant of self-confidence is the experience of mastery or performance accomplishments.

One way of facilitating performance mastery is through instructional strategies 4 (Schunk, 1985). The instructor can provide for maximum skill development through an instructional sequence of developmental or modified activities, breaking the skill into parts, providing performance aids, physical guidance, or a combination of these methods. For example, the instructor can physically guide learners through the movements, have them practice on a simulation training device, or design a series of progressive activities to challenge their improving skills. These successes should be based on relevant and realistic progressions: progress must be in small enough increments to ensure intermediary successes, which can lead to mastery of the final goal. Performance aids and physical guidance should be gradually removed as soon as possible, however, so that learners can engage in self-directed mastery experiences. As noted, self-directed experiences indi-

Today, thanks to psychological studies, we have a much better idea of the kind of urban environments that people like or find stimulating

Last month, the Conscious Cities Conference in London considered how cognitive scientists might make their discoveries more accessible to architects. The conference brought together architects, designers, engineers, neuroscientists and psychologists, all of whom increasingly cross paths at an academic level, but still rarely in practice.

One of the conference speakers, Alison Brooks, an architect who specialises in housing and social design, told BBC Future that psychology-based insights could change how cities are built. “If science could help the design profession justify the value of good design and craftsmanship, it would be a very powerful tool and quite possibly transform the quality of the built environment,” she says.

Researchers have begun monitoring how urban structures, like skyscrapers, physiologically affect citizens, their mental states, and moods. (Credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

Greater interaction across the disciplines would, for example, reduce the chances of repeating such architectural horror stories as the 1950s Pruitt-Igoe housing complex in St Louis, Missouri, whose 33 featureless apartment blocks – designed by Minoru Yamasaki, also responsible for the World Trade Center – quickly became notorious for their crime, squalour and social dysfunction. Critics argued that the wide open spaces between the blocks of modernist high-rises discouraged a sense of community, particularly as crime rates started to rise. They were eventually demolished in 1972.

Pruitt-Igoe was not an outlier. The lack of behavioural insight behind the modernist housing projects of that era, with their sense of isolation from the wider community and ill-conceived public spaces, made many of them feel, in the words of British grime artist Tinie Tempah, who grew up in one, as if they’d been “designed for you not to succeed”.

Today, thanks to psychological studies, we have a much better idea of the kind of urban environments that people like or find stimulating. Some of these studies have attempted to measure subjects’ physiological responses in situ, using wearable devices such as bracelets that monitor skin conductance (a marker of physiological arousal), smartphone apps that ask subjects about their emotional state, and electroencephalogram (EEG) headsets that measure brain activity relating to mental states and mood.

The design of the Pruitt-Igoe housing complexes in St Louis was criticised for alienating communities and stoking racial segregation. (Credit: Alamy Stock Photo)

“This adds a layer of information that is otherwise difficult to get at,” said Colin Ellard, who researches the psychological impact of design at the University of Waterloo in Canada. “When we ask people about their stress they say it’s no big deal, yet when we measure their physiology we discover that their responses are off the charts. The difficulty is that your physiological state is the one that impacts your health.” Taking a closer look at these physiological states could shed light on how city design affects our bodies.

One of Ellard’s most consistent findings is that people are strongly affected by building façades. If the façade is complex and interesting, it affects people in a positive way negatively if it is simple and monotonous. For example, when he walked a group of subjects past the long, smoked-glass frontage of a Whole Foods store in Lower Manhattan, their arousal and mood states took a dive, according to the wristband readings and on-the-spot emotion surveys. They also quickened their pace as if to hurry out of the dead zone. They picked up considerably when they reached a stretch of restaurants and stores, where (not surprisingly) they reported feeling a lot more lively and engaged.

The writer and urban specialist Charles Montgomery, who collaborated with Ellard on his Manhattan study, has said this points to “an emerging disaster in street psychology”. In his book Happy City, he warns: “As suburban retailers begin to colonise central cities, block after block of bric-a-brac and mom-and-pop-scale buildings and shops are being replaced by blank, cold spaces that effectively bleach street edges of conviviality.”

Another oft-replicated finding is that having access to green space such as woodland or a park can offset some of the stress of city living.


Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based three-tiered framework to improve and integrate all of the data, systems, and practices affecting student outcomes every day. PBIS creates schools where all students succeed.


Tier 1 practices and systems establish a foundation of regular, proactive support while preventing unwanted behaviors. Schools provide these universal supports to all students, school-wide.


Tier 2 practices and systems support students who are at risk for developing more serious problem behaviors before those behaviors start. These supports help students develop the skills they need to benefit from core programs at the school.


At Tier 3, students receive more intensive, individualized support to improve their behavioral and academic outcomes. At this level, schools rely on formal assessments to determine a student’s need.

How to do thematic analysis

Published on September 6, 2019 by Jack Caulfield. Revised on August 14, 2020.

Thematic analysis is a method of analyzing qualitative data. It is usually applied to a set of texts, such as interview transcripts. The researcher closely examines the data to identify common themes – topics, ideas and patterns of meaning that come up repeatedly.

There are various approaches to conducting thematic analysis, but the most common form follows a six-step process:

This process was originally developed for psychology research by Virginia Braun and Victoria Clarke. However, thematic analysis is a flexible method that can be adapted to many different kinds of research.

Try these Science Snacks

See Inside a Seed

Examine the baby plants inside the seeds we eat.

Secret Bells

Create a sound system for music only you can hear.

Disappearing Act

If you want to stay hidden, you'd better stay still.

Make Your Own Rainstick

Listen to the sound of rain falling—anytime, anywhere.

Outdoor Shadows

Trace your shadow, then make it change.

Far-Out Corners

Your experience of the world influences what you see.

Ocean Acidification in a Cup

A carbon dioxide–rich atmosphere changes the water beneath it.

Make Your Own Rainstick

Listen to the sound of rain falling—anytime, anywhere.

CD Spectroscope

Turn an old CD into a spectroscope to analyze light.

Modelo de desintegración radiactiva

Sustituye monedas por radiación.

Naked Egg

Watch de-shelled eggs swell and shrink in different fluids.

Bird in a Cage

Stare at one color—but see another.

The Exploratorium, established in 1969, is an internationally renowned museum of art, science, and human perception located in San Francisco, California. Its hundreds of hands-on exhibits are designed to promote science discovery.

The Exploratorium Teacher Institute has supported middle and high school math and science teachers to incorporate hands-on, inquiry-rich experiences into their classrooms since 1984.

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It makes code harder to navigate

After we introduce IMediator , our class still indirectly depends on IRequestHandler<CreateCommand, Response> . The difference is that now we can't tell by looking at it. We can't navigate from the interface to its implementations. We might reason that we can still follow the dependencies if we know what to look for - that is, if we know the conventions of command handler interface names. But that's not nearly as helpful as a class actually declaring what it depends on.

Sure, we get the benefit of having interfaces wired up to concrete implementations without writing the code, but the savings are trivial and we'll likely lose whatever time we save because of the added (if minor) difficulty of navigating the code. And there are libraries which will register those dependencies for us anyway while still allowing us to inject abstraction we actually depend on.

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Watch the video: SJSU Neurophysiology - Lecture 12 - Central Pattern Generators (January 2022).