Effect of Self-Efficacy and Achievement Motivation on Academic Performance of High School Students

1Dr. Sonu

1Sri Ram institute of teacher education


The Social Cognitive Theory, (SCT; Bandura, 1986) postulates that human behavior is a dynamic and reciprocal interaction of personal factors, behavior, and the environment. SCT also states that a person’s behavior is influenced by both personal and environmental factors. In addition, SCT posits that individuals observe consequences of engaging in similar behavior both themselves and by others and form expectations of the outcomes of their behavior. The social cognitive career theory (SCCT; Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994) postulates that the “person variables” of self-efficacy beliefs, vocational interests, performance goals and outcome-expectancies help to develop an individual’s academic and vocational choices. Extant vocational psychology literature has demonstrated that these elements are key to the development of academic and vocational choices (e.g. Betz & Hackett, 1997; Lent, Lopez, & Biescke, 1991, 1993; Sax & Bryant, 2006), and of academic and career performance (e.g. Lent et. al., 1993; Swanson, 1993). This study builds on Bandura’s social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986) and SCCT. Traditionally, some occupations such as medicine and law have been male-dominated, and certain other occupations such as teaching, nursing, dental hygienist etc. have been predominantly female-dominated (Betz, 2004). Vocational researchers are aware of the small numbers of women operating within many areas within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career fields (e.g., Fitzgerald & Harmon, 2001; Scott & Mallinckrodt, 2005). While in the United States, more and more women are now entering the previously male-dominated professions (Fitzgerald &Harmon, 2001), the progress towards occupational desegregation remains painfully slow, and men still dominate the STEM occupations. It is of great significance therefore, to understand these trends better with an aim to increase the proportion of women within these fields. Betz (2004) considers mathematics as the 'critical filter' that women might tend to ignore, thus shutting out the opportunities to qualify for some of the most lucrative jobs available. The choice of women to enter nontraditional careers depends on several environmental and contextual factors (e.g. Bleeker & Jacobs, 2004; Gottfredson, 1996; VanLeuvan, 2004). The self-efficacy and interests of women might have significant influences on their performance and persistence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related career fields. However, most of the existing research is based on the U.S. population. Very little such research has been conducted in other countries and research along these lines for the population of the Indian subcontinent is virtually non-existent. India’s traditionally patrifocal culture typically affords limited career choices and educational opportunities to women (Gupta & Sharma, 2003). While some research exists that examines gender differences in education and career opportunity (Gupta & Sharma, 2003; Indresan, 2002), and some literature exists that speculates about possible reasons (e.g. Bannerjee, 2002; Handy & Kassam, 2004) for the stark difference between male and female representation within higher education, there is almost no empirical research that investigates the career development of Indian women. This only highlights the need for additional vocational psychology research with this population, especially with a focus on the career development of Indian women within the STEM fields. Motivation is identified as the fundamental aspect of learning ―To be motivated means to be moved to do something. Components of Motivation are excitement, interest and enthusiasm towards learning. It is argued by Self-Determination Theory that motivation is of various types based on the reasons or goal made for any action. The most basic distinction is made between Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation according to the Self Determination Theory Intrinsic motivation is the undertaking of any task because the individual finds it interesting and enjoyable. Intrinsically motivated students are persistent in their efforts and learn from their mistakes. They also integrate their existing knowledge with new knowledge and form a deeper perception of their learning. Honkimaki distinguishes deep learning from surface learning. The researcher describes deep learning to intrinsic motivation and surface learning to extrinsic motivation. Since intrinsically motivated students are able to concentrate better and longer on the task, they develop the ability to use a series of strategies to face challenges. They work with concentration and hard work and achieve the goal of mastery. This state is known as ―flow which is arrived at through doing any activity, knowing and applying the required skills and being able to perceive challenges of the activity. This exercise further enhances and reinforces the ability to concentrate and achieve. Moreover students who are intrinsically motivated exercise better self regulation. Self regulation is the ability to change one’s behavior as required. It depends upon the accuracy and consistency of their self-observation and self-monitoring of their actions, choices, and attributions. Flow is seen as the ultimate of self regulated learning.


Social, Cognitive, Theory, human, Motivation

Paper Details
IssueIssue 10