Posted by: reimerjs | March 26, 2011

Self-Efficacy in Action: “Trash Can” Do

Self-Efficacy in Action: “Trash Can” Do

So far we’ve walked through the nuts and bolts of SEaSRL, gotten the opportunity to see for ourselves how we “measure up” in terms of our own perceptions of self-efficacy, and scratched the surface on tips and strategies to promote more positive, subjective expectations of our abilities to achieve. The link below (adapted from Weinstein & Woodruff, 2001) will open up a brief activity to make what we’ve learned so far a little more salient.

For this activity you will need:

  1. A trash can
  2. A balled up piece of paper
  3. An open space (a cubicle in the library probably won’t cut it!)

Once you have all of these pieces of ‘equipment’ ready to go, click the link below. Your browser window will be redirected, but the activity will link you back to this page. If you wish, print out your responses before hitting “Submit” and linking away from the activity.

Now that you’ve completed the activity, I want to reiterate that the purpose is to encourage you to persist (even in the face of disappointment or hardship) and belief that you “trash can” do it!

Reflecting on your own outcomes and responses, see if any (or all) of these patterns apply to you:

  • If you made the basket the first time, it is likely that your confidence, motivation, and willingness to try again would have increased.
  • If you missed the basket the first time, it is likely that you confidence, motivation, and willingness to try again would have decreased (or disappeared altogether).

As was mentioned previously, having a high (or low) self-efficacy belief in one realm does not preclude it from varying in other contexts. The point is not to get discouraged, but to persist and maintain the belief that you can achieve success! At the very least, though, you now know where you stand in relation to trash can basketball. I encourage you to leave a comment in the space below with your reflections and impressions from this activity. This is a fairly open-ended suggestion, but you may wish to consider questions such as:

  • What did I learn from this activity?
  • Did I have any prior expectations (self-efficacy beliefs) about trash can basketball? If so, did they change? If not, why not?
  • Were my responses consistent with those patterns noted above?

That being said, let’s redirect our focus back to academia. Click here to return to a list of tips and strategies to promote and maintain positive SEaSRL beliefs!


Weinstein, C.E., & Woodruff, A.L. (2001). Self Efficacy. Retrieved from


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