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This investigation was designed to determine the effects of preexisting and manipulated self-efficacy on competitive motor performance. Male (n = 46) and female (n = 46) subjects were classified as being high or low in preexisting self-efficacy before the experiment began and were randomly assigned to either a high- or low-manipulated self-efficacy condition in a 2 × 2 × 2 (sex by self-efficacy by manipulated efficacy) design. Efficacy was manipulated by having subjects compete against a confederate on a muscular leg-endurance task where the confederate was said to be either a varsity track athlete (low-manipulated self-efficacy) or an individual who had had knee surgery (high-manipulated self-efficacy). To create aversive consequences, the experiment was rigged so that subjects lost in competition on the two muscular leg endurance task trials they performed. Both preexisting and manipulated self-efficacy were found to significantly influence performance, with preexisting self-efficacy influencing performance only on Trial 1 and manipulated self-efficacy only on Trial 2. The findings support Bandura's (1977) theory of self-efficacy and are discussed in terms of the permeability of initial efficacy states.
Requests for reprints should be sent to Robert Weinberg, Department of Physical Education, North Texas State University, Denton, TX 76203.