Are effect sizes in self‐efficacy field changing over time? A meta–meta analysis

Xinian Jiao, Xiyan Yu, Shuyuan Wang, Zishan Wang, Zhun Gong
Published Online:
18 Dec 2020

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Theories relating to self‐efficacy have developed rapidly since Bandura first proposed the concept in 1977. In the past two decades, psychologists have carried out numerous studies to research the cultural and psychological changes in social development. The research topic of this study is whether self‐efficacy changes over time. This study uses a meta–meta analysis and includes 13 meta‐analyses, including 536 effect sizes, with a total sample size of 421,880. We find that individual self‐efficacy increases over time, which may be related to social development trends. However, the effects of interventions on self‐efficacy remain similar (Qmodel = 1.807, df = 1, p > .05), and a possible explanation is that time effects of self‐efficacy confuse the effects of intervention, because both in the intervention group and control group, the average of self‐efficacy increases over time. And we find that a general decline in the predictive effects of self‐efficacy (Qmodel = 5.117, df = 1, p = .024), especially the ability to predict relatively objective variables (e.g. job performance, teaching effectiveness, and transfer of training). A possible explanation is that as social development people tend to overestimate their self‐efficacy. Another possible explanation is that the effect sizes in the original studies being overrated, may due to intentional selective reporting or unintentional statistical errors.

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