“Everything is a toxic competition” : how social interactions contribute to self-efficacy beliefs and resulting behavior in vocal divisions.


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Musicians identify deeply with their craft, signaling the importance of self-belief as an important social variable to examine with implications spanning to vast areas of their identity. Believing in one’s own abilities, or self-efficacy, has been identified as the dominant informant of one’s self-perception, action, efforts, and achievements (Bandura, 1997). This study investigates the role self-belief plays in college music students’ quest towards excellence in character and craft. Specifically, how do social interactions inform undergraduate vocal experiences and perceptions of self-efficacy in a vocal division when combined with each student’s cognitive positioning (i.e., fixed or growth mindset)? Findings revealed that students' self-efficacy is highly dependent on their vicarious experiences, positioning their ability as superior or inferior as a vocalist. Implications based on this research are for music educators to increase awareness of social-interaction's impact on students' wellness and initiatives to improve persuasive structures.