Learning Approaches

Critical Thinking Questions

Compare the personalities of someone who has high self-efficacy to someone who has low self-efficacy.


People who have high self-efficacy believe that their efforts matter. They perceive their goals as being within reach; have a positive view of challenges, seeing them as tasks to be mastered; develop a deep interest in and strong commitment to the activities in which they are involved; and quickly recover from setbacks. Conversely, people with low self-efficacy believe their efforts have little or no effect, and that outcomes are beyond their control. They avoid challenging tasks because they doubt their abilities to be successful; tend to focus on failure and negative outcomes; and lose confidence in their abilities if they experience setbacks.

Compare and contrast Skinner’s perspective on personality development to Freud’s.


Skinner disagreed with Freud’s idea that childhood plays an important role in shaping our personality. He argued that personality develops over our entire life, rather than in the first few years of life as Freud suggested. Skinner said that our responses can change as we come across new situations; therefore, we can see more variability over time in personality.