The Self-Efficacy Theory

The self-efficacy theory as developed by Albert Bandura revolves around a person’s ability to undertake behaviors that lead to a specific outcome. The internal criticism of the theory reveals that it is limited in terms of its scope. This is because although the theory is centered on the beliefs of an individual, it does consider some of the factors that may have an impact on an individual’s behavior. A person’s environment may hurt their behavior and the theory does not consider such factors. Similarly, the theory does not provide clear and justified definitions of elements such as the outcome expectations and the perceived control that a person has. The fact that these elements are not clearly defined means that it is difficult to test the theory and its effectiveness in dealing with specific issues.

In regard to the external criticism of the theory, it is evidence that the theory does not have a lot of empirical support to cement its effectiveness and applicability in nursing practice. Although the theory has some support based on research to some extent,  studies have not ascertained the ability of the theory to make use of the connection between beliefs and behavior among individuals as the behavior may be affected by other factors in a person’s environment. The other challenge that the theory has is that it relies heavily on a person’s report and this may hurt its effectiveness and applicability in the nursing profession. Despite these shortcomings, the theory can have a role to play in nursing as it can be used in understanding certain behaviors based on the ability of a person to implement the behavior and in the process attain the desired goals and outcomes.

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