Of course you are! It is near the middle of second semester, we are tired and desperately awaiting a much needed reading week. However, midterms are among us and we must gather up what is left of the miniscule amount of motivation we have left.

Looking specifically at self-efficacy in correlation with motivation. Self-efficiency boils down to ones belief in the ability to complete/be successful in a particular task (Stajkovic & Luthans, 1979). Basically self confidence, which is something a lot of us are lacking as we are probably thing to yourself “I can’t possible finish this assignment.” or “There is no way I can get an A on this midterm.”


According to Stajkovic and Luthans, this is detrimental to our ability to succeed as they have found a correlation between ones self-efficiency, motivation and levels of success. So your negative self talk could very well cause you to not want to study and there for bomb your midterm and effect your ability to learn and apply your learning! “Unless [students] believe that they can gather up the necessary behavioral, cognitive, and motivational resources to successfully execute the task in question” (Stajkovic & Luthans, 1979, p. 127). Looking at over a hundred studies consisting of over twenty thousand participants achievement levels increase by 28% on average due to self-efficiency.

~ So how can you develop self-efficiency? ~

There are four foundational components that comprise into self-efficiency according to Stajkovic and Luthans. (1) Enactive Mastery Experience, (2) Vicarious Learning/Modeling, (3) Verbal Persuasion, and (4) Physiological and Psychological Arousal. Which basically consists of previous performance information, effect of our peers, words of positive form external sources and how you are feeling.

Therefore how you view you past accomplishments or lack there of can have a huge impact on future accomplishments “stress at [school] are likely to impair performance” (Stajkovic & Luthans, 1979, p.136). So stay calm and think positive thoughts, don’t dwell on the negative.

As well as who you surround yourself with has a huge impact on your levels of achievement. If you surround yourself with a bad influence that always tries to get you to have a drink knowing full well you have a test in the morning… well it probably will make it even more difficult to motivate yourself. So try and surround yourself with students on the deans list, it might rub off on you :p.

Verbal persuasion is a huge one, as a lot of the time our inner voice is persuaded and developed based on outside voices. Rid your life of those who express a lot of negative talk.

And of course how you feel overall has huge impact on your ability to motivate yourself  “while being physically fit and healthy may not contribute much to one’s self-efficacy, being exhausted or ill can be devastating to self-efficacy” (Stajkovic & Luthans, 1979, p.137). So if you are sick, like me 😦 it’ll be much more difficult to get school work done. Do your best to stay healthy and fuel your body with good nutritious food, not artery clogging, blood pressure rising, food coma inducing, deep fried deliciousness.

Hope this helps motivate you for these last few weeks before reading week and then for the rest of the semester!


Stajkovic  A. D.,  &  Luthans F.  (1979).  Social Cognitive Theory and  Self-Efficacy:  Implications  for  Motivation  Theory and Practice.  126-140.


8 thoughts on “Lacking Motivation?

  1. I love this topic because it effects every one of us in such a significant way. Education is so important and I believe that the more we are aware of what effects our performance, the better we can be. This article provides further evidence that an individual’s self-efficiency is effected by their motivation and personality differences. Those who believe that they can perform well on a task will do better than those who believe they cannot do the task at all. The article also discusses how differences in self-efficiency can also be due to actual skill level on said task. The researchers say that the level of self-efficiency one has will change “as a result of learning, experience, and feedback” (Gist & Mitchell, 1992). So as an individual progresses in life and encounters a certain situation, topic, or event multiple times, they gain the knowledge to excel in that area. As a result, they will believe in themselves more, and will probably have more motivation to keep doing well. Awesome topic and post!
    Gist, M. E., & Mitchell, T. R. (1992). Self-efficacy: A theoretical analysis of its determinants and malleability. Academy of Management review, 17(2), 183-211.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I found an article that explores the connections between social motivation and individuals with ASD. It found that those with ASD were more likely to experience lower levels of social motivation than those you do not have ASD. I think this study could unpack some more important things to explore when looking at motivation. Just thought I’d add it, let me know if it helped!

    Chevallier, C., Kohls, G., Troiani, V., Brodkin, E. S., & Schultz, R. T. (2012). The social motivation theory of autism. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16(4), 231-239. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2012.02.007

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I personally find that you can be very influenced by those you surround yourself with, including motivational levels. For example: when I am at work and another employee is spending time on a specific task while I am not doing anything, I feel like I need to start on a task myself. Or when my friends are going to class I feel like I should go also. A lot of research has shown that close friends and peer groups greatly influence each other in regards to risk-taking activities (ie: drugs, alcohol, crime). Allison Ryan says that “there is also evidence for similarity among best friends, close friends, and peer groups concerning academic outcomes…best friends have been found to be similar on behaviors such as frequency of cutting classes and time spent on homework.” Ide et al. conducted a meta-analysis on 10 studies published from 1966 – 1978 and found that best friends were similar in their academic achievements. I guess it’s true when your parents tell you to ‘pick your friends wisely!’


  4. Hi Brittni,

    I think that a lot of self-efficiency has to do with one’s attitudes in terms of optimism and pessimism. In his 2006 book, Martin Seligman argues that a pessimistic attitude can lead to a phenomenon called “learned hopelessness”. This concept is based on cognitive principles such as self-fulfilling prophecy and the confirmation bias. Pessimistic people will often think they are going to perform badly on (for example) a test or assignment. Therefore, they will constantly be in the mindset that it is useless to study for the test, or actually do the assignment. Furthermore, the results of the test/assignment are going to be abysmal, and then the self-fulfilling prophecy effect kicks in. So I think that a good sense of self-efficiency can also be obtained by adopting a optimistic lifestyle.

    Seligman, M. E. P. (2006). Learned optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life (1st Vintage Books ed.). New York: Vintage Books.

    P.S., thank you for making this blog. I am going to be up all night writing a paper and I needed this piece of information badly.


  5. I really agree as I find myself in this predicament daily talking down on myself in most cases lead to failed exams. I normally do well on exams when I mentally set prepare myself therefore it is true when you state that success does have a correlation with ones self-efficiency and also the circle one finds themselves in plays a role. An article I read states, “Those who observe similar peers perform a task are apt to believe that they, too, are capable of accomplishing it.” It reinforces your idea of how the people one surround themselves with has a huge influence on them. It goes on to list a lot of other interesting facts. You should look at it. References: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/5b0f/dd0ea7a7a80d06dd1631c90634d23bf34e5e.pdf


  6. Hi Brittni 🤓,
    Really enjoyed reading your blog. As you said we are all exhausted and lacking motivation this time of a year . I wanna make a link between self-efficiency and motivation and how in particularly it covaries with seasons(weather) . Personally, I find January and February are the hardest months to motivate myself and keep my spirit up ! In my other class, we reviewed an article about seasonal effects on our “mental” well being. In my opinion winter is the worst season for having high self-efficiency as it’s linked to Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD) (aka winter blues) . Research suggests that “condition to this disorder is unknown, but evidence strongly suggests that , for those who are vulnerable to it, SAD is set off by changes in the availability of sunlight “. Known that less exposure to sunlight can affect our mood, sleep and hormones that makes it harder to stay motivated doing winter.
    Reading week is around the corner tho . Yayyy!!!!


    • I never thought of the seasonal aspect! But I have definitely heard of that. I definitely get more down and have next to no motivation around January and February as well. I remember hearing or reading that it has to do with coming down from all the excitement from the holidays as well as the lack of vitamin D. It’s winter so it’s cold outside therefore we stay in doors and are not exposed to as much sun light. Or something along those lines haha. My mom actually goes tanning in a salon to combat this, and she says it’s actually effective. So who knows 🙂 thanks for your comment ❤


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s