Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Theoretical Frameword - Criticism's

Criticism’s of Self-Efficacy

Criticism’s of Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy include Hagen’s (2007) assertion that continual praise creates a false sense of ability. That is, if a student who is failing is continually told he or she is doing a good job, the student will have little urgency to try to better oneself. “Self-efficacy comes from the reality of accomplishing a task rather than from praise; further, empty praise raises all sorts of issues related to honesty, trust, and belief” (Hagen, 2007, para. 6). Thus, in order to raise students self-efficacy, one must be certain to do so appropriately.

Further criticism of providing praise is found when Stout (2001) discussed the dumbing down of education in America. Stout suggested that self-esteem ought to come through a student’s successes. The motivation to build one’s efficacy, according to Stout, is coming at the expense of academic success as students are being provided evaluations they do not deserve in order to save their feelings.

Additionally, efficacy measurements have been criticized for their generality (McMaugh & Debus, 1998). That is, seeking an individual’s general competence and supplying him with positive feedback will result in a student not focusing on areas of potential weaknesses. Not evaluating a specific academic task can result in a student having a wrongful self image.

Further criticism of self-efficacy occurs when Hawkins (1995) questions “whether attitudes cause behavior or whether behavior causes attitudes” (p. 238). That is, Hawkins maintained that it is not ones attitudes which cause an individual to act, rather, it is his or her actions which cause them to believe. Although Hawkins does believe that self-efficacy can be utilized as a predictor there may be superior factors which influence an individual’s performance than self-efficacy, such as gender.

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