Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




The major purposes of this study were 1) to examine the effects of self-efficacy on task choice, effort and performance on a memory task, and 2) to examine the effect of sequence anchoring on self-efficacy judgments. Forty-two older adults (25 women and 17 men) completed the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), a memory complaints questionnaire (MCQ) , a self-efficacy questionnaire (SEQ), and two memory recall tasks. Subjects received an SEQ that had either a descending anchor (i.e., SEQ began with most difficult task) or an ascending anchor (i.e., SEQ began with easiest task). Also, subjects were either given a choice of word list to study or they were not given this choice. A multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) showed that anchoring did not affect self-efficacy strength as predicted, but did affect self-efficacy level. A regression analysis supported self-efficacy theory (Bandura, 1977) for a subgroup of subjects with memory complaints, but not for the whole sample. Self-efficacy was not significantly correlated with task choice, although the relation was in the expected direction. Future research directions and theoretical implications are discussed.

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