When the chips are down: Effects of attributional feedback on self-efficacy and task performance following initial and repeated failure

Pete Coffee*, Tim Rees

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In two experiments, we manipulated the controllability and stability of causes of failure and explored the impact of these factors on self-efficacy and performance. In Experiment 1, participants (N=80; mean age 20.0 years, s=1.0) were provided with false negative feedback following performance on a blindfolded dart-throwing task. Consistent with theory and recent research, an induced belief that failure was beyond control and unlikely to change led to lower self-efficacy and poorer performance (all F1,75>5.49, all P<0.05, all η2=0.01). A second experiment (N=80; mean age 22.0 years, s=2.1) demonstrated that following an induced belief that failure was beyond control and unlikely to change, only new perceptions that a repeated failure was within one's control and likely to change resulted in higher self-efficacy and improved performance (all F1,75>4.53, all P<0.05, all η2>0.004). All effects were mediated by self-efficacy: Sobel's (1982) test, all z>1.97 (in absolute magnitude), all P<0.05, all r>0.22 (in absolute magnitude). These findings suggest that in novel circumstances individuals believe in the best for themselves unless possibilities to self-enhance are explicitly precluded, and only reinvest efforts when opportunities for self-enhancement become clearly admissible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-245
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • Controllability
  • Mediation
  • Moderation
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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