Current Psychology

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 36–52 | Cite as

General self-efficacy and control in relation to anxiety and cognitive performance

  • Norman S. Endler
  • Rachel L. Speer
  • Judith M. Johnson
  • Gordon L. Flett


The present investigation employed a general measure of self-efficacy, a measure of perceived control, and items relating to expectation and evaluation (pre and post). The purpose was to determine whether general self-efficacy or perceived control best predicted the criterion variables of state anxiety and performance on a stressful cognitive task (solving anagrams) under conditions of high versus low control. These relationships were tested under the experimental conditions of high and low objective control (i.e., the actual control afforded by the situation). Results showed that general self-efficacy, relative to perceived control was a better predictor of state anxiety in the high and low control conditions but neither predicted actual performance. Participants’ expectations of task difficulty, their own performance, and their performance relative to the performance of others taken before the task were compared with their evaluations of difficulty and performance after completing the task. Participants indicated that the task was easier than anticipated, but rated their own performance more poorly after completion of the task.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman S. Endler
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rachel L. Speer
    • 1
    • 4
  • Judith M. Johnson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gordon L. Flett
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.York UniversityToronto
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyYork UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyYork UniversityNorth YorkCanada
  4. 4.Compusearch Micromarketing Data & SystemsToronto

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