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Recreation Theory and Philosophy

Guide created for Recreation Leadership Course with Dan Caston.


Self-efficacy is a person’s belief that he or she can (or cannot) successfully organize and execute an action to achieve a desired outcome in a particular situation. 

Self-Efficacy Theory (Exert from: "Outdoor Adventure Pursuits: Foundations, Models, and Theories.")

Originally conceptualized by Bandura (1977), self-efficacy refers to personal judgements of how well one can preform actions in specific situations that may contain ambiguous, unpredictable, and stressful features. Self-efficacy implies a personal appraisal and weighing of both ability and non-ability factors such as:

  • Perceived ability for the activity
  • Amount of effort to be expended
  • Perceived difficulty of the task
  • Amount of expected assistance to be received
  • Type of situational circumstances
  • Previous patterns of success or non-success

In addition, individual efficacy statements can be made and altered by four processes: (1) performance accomplishment, (2) verbal persuasion, (3) vicarious experience, and (4) emotional arousal.

Ewert, A. W. (1989). Models and Theories in Outdoor Adventure Pursuits. In Outdoor Adventure Pursuits: Foundations, models, and Theories (pp. 91–92). essay, Publishing Horizons, Inc.



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