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The structure of optimism: “Controllability affects the extent to which efficacy beliefs shape outcome expectancies”

Diemo Urbig and Erik Monsen

Journal of Economic Psychology, 2012, vol. 33, issue 4, 854-867

Abstract: In this article we theoretically develop and empirically test an integrative conceptual framework linking dispositional optimism as general outcome expectancy to general efficacy beliefs about internal (self) and external (instrumental social support and chance) factors as well as to general control beliefs (locus-of-control). Bandura (1997, Self-efficacy. The exercise of control (p. 23). New York: Freeman), quoted in title, suggests – at a context-specific level – that controllability moderates the impact of self-efficacy on outcome expectancies and we hypothesize that – at a general level – this also applies to dispositional optimism. We further hypothesize that locus of control moderates the impact of external-efficacy beliefs, but in the opposite direction as self-efficacy. Our survey data of 224 university students provides support for the moderation of self-efficacy and chance-efficacy. Our new conceptualization contributes to clarifying relationships between self- and external-efficacy beliefs, control beliefs, and optimism; and helps to explain why equally optimistic individuals cope very differently with adverse situations.

Keywords: Dispositional optimism; External-efficacy; Locus of control; Expectations; Cognition; Uncertainty; Belief; Expectations; Self-efficacy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D8 D83 D84 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (10)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:33:y:2012:i:4:p:854-867

DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2012.03.004

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