Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Will-do vs. Can-do (self-efficacy)

Self-efficacy is defined as “the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain manner to attain certain goals” (Bandura, 1982, p. 122). Self-efficacy has been linked to the length of time an individual will work on a task, how they will cope with issues and how much effort they will put toward the task (Bandura, 1986). Furthermore, self-efficacy has been related to work-performance measures such as adaptability (Hill, Smith & Mann, 1987), coping with career related events (Stumpf, Brief & Hartman, 1987), managerial idea generating (Gist, 1989), managerial performance (Wood, Bandurea & Bailey, 1990), and skill acquisition (Mitchell, Hopper, Daniels, George-Falvy, 1990). All of these relationships illustrate the importance of self-efficacy as a determinate of managerial performance and success. Stajkovic and Luthan’s (1998) meta-analysis empirically illustrates the strength of these relationships as r = .38 between self-efficacy and task related performance.

Managers with high self-efficacy can influence the work attitudes (i.e., commitment, job satisfaction) of their subordinates (Walumbwa et al., 2005). Recent empirical research has illustrated that efficacy beliefs are positively related to followers’ work-related attitudes (Walumbwa et al., 2005). Self-efficacy influences the strength and direction of the relationship between neuroticism, extroversion and conscientiousness with manager effectiveness (Ng, Ang, & Chan, 2008). More specifically, self-efficacy influences the neuroticism/conscientiousness relationship with effectiveness when managers had low job demands; and extraversion, regardless of a manager’s job demands (Ng, Ang, & Chan, 2008).

Finally, self-efficacy is one of the factors that can indicate if a skilled worker is prepared for occupational change. Workers with a high self-efficacy are more prepared for occupational change in different stages of transitions (i.e., prior to, during, and after; Schyns, 2004).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I just attended a seminar on Creating Writing Assignments. You may think…”What does this have to do with psychology in the workplace?” Well, it has a lot to do with psych in the workplace. Writing is a fundamental building block of creative thinking. The seminar discussed the differences between experienced writers and inexperienced writers.

More specifically we discussed why and how each of these groups writes. It was interesting to see just how different the two groups behavior and think. Here are some of our responses to the previously asked questions;

Why do you write? For fun, to convey information, to communication, to share knowledge, to express feelings, thoughts and emotions, to summarize information, to discover, to organize thoughts, to get better

How do you write? Outline, structures, process orientated, explosive, with others

What are the main differences between experts and amateur writers?

Inexperienced Writers: 1). Writing is a onetime process, 2). Revision is rewording, 3). Solitary activity, 4). Focus on rules, formula, correctness, 5). Prioritize style change/editing

Experienced Writers: 1). Writing is an evolving process, 2). Revision is rethinking, 3). Bounce ideas off others, 4). Focus on arguments, readers, dissonance, 5). Prioritize ideas and structure then stylistic concerns.

Tips for Engaging Writing
1). Process (break it down)
2). Feedback
3). Quantity
4). Pacing
5). Assign a lot of writing
6). Problem-based tasks
7). Authenticity

More broadly, this seminar made me think about writing in general and reading in general. It made me appreciate all of the articles and books I have read again and again to gain a deeper knowledge of them (this is in contradiction to most individuals one time through approach to reading), the feedback process, and the writing process. This seminar made my think about the importance of reading and writing and that we all should encourage more reading and writing at home, at school and in the office. Individuals, students and employees should be encouraged to read in their expertise area, write to communicate with others and expand their skills. Just think about what we could create and share if we all (but students more specifically) stopped striving to meet the bare minimum and strived to break through the ceiling.
Why do you write? What is your process?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Conflict Resolution

Whether it is in the workplace or at home conflict arises everywhere. Conflict is stressful and can cause employee burnout and decrease job satisfaction. Psychological Associates offers a crash course in overcoming conflict in this free webinar. Psychological Associates’ Working Through Conflict gives participants the insights and techniques needed to resolve disagreements without being disagreeable. They offer a one day workshop you can sign up for if you like the webinar. In this one-day workshop, attendees learn an effective process for dealing with the most persistent conflicts so that the people involved can address issues and explore resolutions they may not have thought possible.

I really enjoyed this webinar because it can be easily applied to many areas of work and life. Check it out, download the workbook and see how many conflicts you can overcome today.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Comprehensive Exams

FYI I passed my comps! Now I am abd (all but dissertation).

Teaching in a New World

Anthropologist Michael Welsh visited Saint Louis University today to discuss teaching in the new world of technology. Welsh, an anthropology professor at Kansas State University utilizes blogs, chat rooms, viral video and online networking to foster exploration in his classes. Welsh is an eloquent speaker that excites his audience by showing funny and catchy you tube videos that push home his point. WE NEED TO GET STUDENTS ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS! Welsh stresses that students should not be asking "what is on the test?", but instead asking "what do I need to success in the future?"

Check out more on Welsh at