Effect of Public and Private Efficacy Expectations on Competitive Performance

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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The present investigation was designed to extend Weinberg, Gould, and Jackson's (1979) efficacy-performance results to a back-to-back competitive situation as well as to determine whether performance would be affected by the solicitation of public vs. private expectancy statements. Subjects (56 males and 56 females) were randomly assigned to either a high or low self-efficacy condition and either stated their expectancy of success publicly or privately in a 2 × 2 × 2 (sex × self-efficacy × publiclprivate) factorial design. Self-efficacy was manipulated by having subjects compete against a confederate on a muscular leg-endurance task in which the confederate was said to be either a varsity track athlete who exhibited higher performance on a related task (low self-efficacy), or an individual who had a knee injury and exhibited poorer performance on a related task (high self-efficacy). The results supported self-efficacy predictions, and thus extended Weinberg et al.'s findings to a back-to-back competitive situation. The public/private manipulation produced no significant performance effects. In addition, the sex by self-efficacy interaction indicated that the self-efficacy main effect was due primarily to high-efficacy males extending their legs significantly longer than low-efficacy males. These results are discussed in terms of the differing patterns of sex-role socialization.

Special thanks to Daniel Gould for his helpful comments in reviewing the manuscript. Reprint requests should be sent to Robert Weinberg, Physical Education - Box 13885, North Texas State University, Denton, TX 76203.

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