Self-efficacy in the Human Performance Model

Peterson, T.O., & Arnn, R.B. (2005). Self-efficacy: The foundation of human performance. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 18(2), 5-18.


Peterson and Arnn propose the addition of a component to the current human performance definition: self-efficacy. First, the discussion is grounded in Gilbert’s human performance model. Then Campbell & Pritchard’s model is used to identify the currently recognized components of human performance as ability, motivation and situational factors. Peterson and Arnn suggest that self-efficacy be added to this list of human performance components. Using Bandura’s social learning theory, they define self-efficacy as how people perceive their ability to accomplish a task. After describing the sources and process of self-efficacy development, they present approaches to improving and measuring self-efficacy.

How this topics relates to HPT, PA, etc.:

Peterson and Arnn’s article on the role of self-efficacy in human performance serves as a useful reminder to HPT practitioners because evidence suggests that training is more effective when participants believe they are capable of acquiring a skill. It may or may not be necessary to add self-efficacy as a component of the human performance definition, but it should be recognized as an influential complexity of the components of ability, motivation and situational factors. In this article, HPT practitioners will find worthwhile suggestions for taking self-efficacy into account, including: providing persuasive feedback, setting short-term, specific goals, and measuring self-efficacy with a task-specific approach.