Goal theory (Locke & Latham, 1990) and social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1986) converged on a single model describing the relationships among prior performance, self-efficacy, personal goals, and individual performance. The model, portraying self-regulatory processes, guided an investigation of the performance of 216 wrestlers competing at a wrestling camp. Two hypotheses were tested. First, general support was expected for the self-regulatory model. Second, self-efficacy was predicted to be especially relevant for performance under extremely competitive conditions (i.e., overtime match performance). Both hypotheses were supported. Analyses using LISREL VI supported the relationships posited by the self-regulatory model. Also, self-efficacy was found to be the only significant predictor of wrestlers’ performance in overtime matches.
The authors are with the Department of Psychology at George Mason University, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax, VA 22030.