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|Imagine that two people were thrown into the water. One is a lifeguard and the other doesn 't know how to swim. The lifeguard has the resources to handle being thrown in the water and can effectively cope with it. The person who never learned to swim is extremely upset, feels out of control, and has no idea how to cope with his problem.|
In this situation, the lifeguard can effectively handle her situation whereas the other person cannot. Our belief about how effective we are is called self efficacy. People's self efficacy helps determine their emotional reaction and their coping in a stressful situation.
The more effective people think that they are, the less upset they get and the better they cope. These types of people feel they can fix most of their problems and do not get as upset if they fail.
Amount of Control
Everyone has their own beliefs about how much they control in the world and how much outside factors control them. These judgments are important because when we feel things are out of our control, they are more stressful. Stress is less when we feel in control and in charge of our own destinies. In short, we truly do create our own realities. If we think the world is awful and unfair, it is. If we think we're lucky, we are. Our perceptions are based on the world around us, so there is a relationship between our perceptions and what happens to us.
Still our perceptions are not always accurate. Healthy people tend to think they are more effective than they actually are compared to other people and depressed people tend to think they are worse and make negative judgments about the world. But the benefit to thinking you are more effective than you actually are is that you are more likely to try hard, take risks, and succeed (which then reinforces the belief that you are effective.)
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