Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

James M. Thomas

Second Advisor

George Barger

Third Advisor

Wayne Harrison


Self-efficacy theory (Bandura, 1977a, 1982, 1986) postulates that efficacy expectations can be modified by persuasion if it is perceived as being instilled by a credible source, it is realistic, and it is not in opposition to performance information. Subsequent research revealed equivocal results for the relationship between persuasion and self-efficacy. This study investigates the effects of persuasion, across task difficulties, on selfefficacy, performance, and persistence. A mathematical task was utilized. Six hypotheses were tested. Persuasion was found to be effective in a hardtask situation. Gender had a substantial impact on the results of this study; overall findings may have been hampered by unequal sample sizes for gender. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for application in industrial/organizational settings and future studies involving persuasion and self-efficacy.

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Psychology Commons