Biopsychology: Is Self-Efficacy Inborn?

January 12, 2015

By: Anna Agoncillo

Image Credits: Alexandre Normand via Flickr
Ever since I was young, our parents indulged us with books that opened our eyes to the wondrous stories that we often imagine. They also immersed us in educational tools and summer classes that shaped our creativity and skills. Far greater than the television, these stimulating resources shaped the curiosities of our young minds. Furthermore, it made us believe that we can do anything we put our minds into.

My parents are very supportive. They gave us the positive mindset that we can succeed in life.

These said belief of personal success is called "self-efficacy".

Self-efficacy, according to Albert Bandura, consists of an individual’s attitudes, abilities, and cognitive resources. It is the belief in one's capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to manage certain situations.

Simply, self-efficacy is a person’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in a particular situation.

Social learning theory highlights that self-efficacy is learned through one's interaction with the physical environment. But, recent studies suggest that self-efficacy is mainly genetic and not learned.

In a recent twin study of 1,394 adolescents, 75% of variation in self-efficacy was found to be due to genetic factors (Waaktaar & Torgersen, 2013). Moreover, strong correlations were found between self-efficacy and diet, exercise, and sex (Van Der Roest, Kleiner, & Kleiner, 2011).
Image Credits: Alexandre Normand via Flickr
Hence, it is important to encourage your child to solve the challenges on their own by giving them age-appropriate responsibilities. Reminding them that they can do a given task will build their self-efficacy in order for them to cope and perform well in the future. People with strong self-efficacy recover quickly from disappointments and setbacks.

As adults, you must monitor your lifestyle, including your diet, exercise, and sexual activities. Keep in mind that people with strong self-efficacy form a greater sense of commitment to their interests and activities.

Click here to read the previous post5 Ways to Get Motivated Today

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Van Der Roest, D., Kleiner, K.,& Kleiner, B. (2011). Self Efficacy: The Biology Of Confidence. Retrieved on January 7, 2015 from

Waaktaar, T. & Torgersen, S. (2013). Self-efficacy is mainly genetic, not learned: a multiple-rater twin study on the causal structure of general self-efficacy in young people. Retrieved on January 7, 2015 from

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