Test 18: Do you feel worthy punk? Well, do you?

January 27, 2011 at 8:12 am Leave a comment

So, this one is about “self-efficacy.” I assume I will be somewhere middling/top half. Am significantly less neurotic and possibly slightly more realistic about what I can and can’t achieve in this life than I used to be. Certainly have become more familiar with my weaknesses, though still doubtless labour under illusions and delusions.

OK, 23 questions with a fourteen (!) point Likert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree.
A little reverse scoring and with admirable misplaced concreteness I come out at 70th percentile for general efficacy and 50th percentile for the “Specific sub-scale”, which is about making friends.

There are many questions where you have to go “well, depends” and then shrug your shoulders and write down a number…

In the essay Janda gives a hat-tip to the king of self-efficacy, Albert Bandura. And he relates the tale of two grad students: John for whom it all came easy and so he never developed real study skills, and Ken, not so bright and having to work hard for his success, so therefore full of ‘stick-a-bility.’ And it turns out as it did for Mark and Steve Waugh.

“John’s problem was that he had always explained his successes as resulting from his gifted intelligence. When this failed him, he had nothing to fall back on.”

Moral is, being too “bright” can make you flabby, and irrational. Robert Sternberg tells similar stories – I guess psychology professors are well placed to see these people come and go. And the book I’m almost done reading, “What Intelligence Tests Miss” by Keith Stanovich is very strong on this – the idea that measures of “intelligence” also capture rationality and so forth, is just rubbish.

So, I’ll give the last word here to Dead President Calvin Coolidge:

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Just in time for the “resilience” test coming up next.

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Entry filed under: self-knowledge. Tags: , , .

Test 17: Not so moody blues Test 19; Resilience test mangled, but was useless anyhow

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