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Asking students to recall success may not enhance their perceived self-efficacy.

Abdulla, Adam


Adam Abdulla


The aim of this study was to discover whether asking students to recall success ('solicited ME recall') enhances PSE for an important skill – writing ideation. In Experiment 1, students were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (i) Solicited Focal ME recall, (ii) Solicited Non-Focal ME recall, or (iii) a control group. It was hypothesised that solicited focal ME recall (i.e. recall concerning the skill-in-question) leads to higher PSE than the Non-Focal or control condition. In addition, it was hypothesised that ease-of-retrieval (i.e. the ease/difficulty with which examples are recalled) is associated with posttest PSE during solicited ME recall. Although mean PSE was highest in the Focal ME recall condition, effect sizes were extremely small and differences were not statistically significant. Ease-of-retrieval predicted posttest PSE, but this relationship did not appear to depend on condition. In Experiment 2, students were randomly assigned to either the Focal ME recall or control condition. Results suggested that baseline PSE does not moderate the effect of the intervention on PSE. Although posttest PSE was higher in the ME recall than in the control condition, the effect size was again very small and the difference was not statistically significant. When baseline PSE was controlled, ease-of-retrieval continued to predict posttest PSE. The interaction between ease-of-retrieval and condition (in predicting posttest PSE) was close to statistical significance. This study suggests that asking students to recall success may not be enough to raise their PSE. This has extremely important implications for educators, schools and commentators alike.


ABDULLA, A. 2021. Asking students to recall success may not enhance their perceived self-efficacy. Learning and individual differences [online], 87, article ID 101984. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 8, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 24, 2021
Publication Date Apr 30, 2021
Deposit Date Feb 11, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 25, 2022
Journal Learning and individual differences
Print ISSN 1041-6080
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 87
Article Number 101984
Keywords Perceived self-efficacy; Mastery experience; Ease-of-retrieval; Writing
Public URL


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