ERIC Number: ED245840
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Social Comparison as a Vicarious Source of Self-Efficacy Information.
Schunk, Dale H.
Social comparison is an important influence on motivation, capability self-evaluations (self-efficacy), and skillful performance. In addition, social comparative information provides a standard against which students can judge their present performance level. Students may experience an initial sense of self-efficacy in attaining a given standard; this sense may in turn enhance motivation. As students observe their progress, self-efficacy is substantiated, and this substantiation helps to sustain motivation and promote skills. Young children's social comparisons focus on practical concerns, but by the fourth grade, students regularly use social comparative information for self-evaluative purposes. Comparisons with similar others are especially informative of one's own capabilities. Research shows that, although social comparative information indicating average achievement enhances motivation, it exerts only modest effects on self-efficacy. Self-evaluations seem to be more strongly influenced by performance outcomes and educational practices such as teacher evaluations and goal setting. Preservice teachers need to realize that educational practices such as reward structures, modeling, and tutoring also can affect students' social comparisons; these effects should be taken into account when designing instructional activities. (Concluding notes indicate ways social comparison is used in the classroom and suggest effective uses of social comparison.) (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Self Efficacy; Social Comparison; Social Comparison Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (68th, New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 1984).