Preparatory and performance self-efficacy in athletes

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in Psychology, Clinical


Department of Psychology


Advisor: Susan T. Davis


The present study examines two subdivisions of general self-efficacy: preparatory self-efficacy, (the belief that you will be able to successfully complete a task) and performance self-efficacy (the belief held while accomplishing a task that it would be successful). These were examined as participants varying in athletic expertise performed two spatial imagery tasks while either being told or not that they were in competition with others completing the same tasks. Results indicated that preparatory self-efficacy was not affected by either engagement in the task or the perception of competition with others. However, for those who perceived they were competing with others, results indicated a relationship between general self-efficacy and performance self-efficacy. Contrary to extant research, there were no gender differences in the results, nor was there an expected relationship of changes in self-efficacy with athletic expertise. Based on these results, implications for future research include examining the contribution of overconfidence to preparatory and performance self-efficacy; people may believe that they can complete a task without having the necessary resources to do so effectively. People might better spend more time practicing tasks, despite feeling confident in their abilities.


Self-efficacy Psychological aspects, Preparedness Psychological aspects, Performance Psychological aspects, Clinical Psychology, self-efficacy, performance, preparation, imagery, overconfidence, athletes

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2015, author