Modeling Galatea: Boosting Self-Efficacy to Increase Volunteering

Dov Eden*, Joseph Kinnar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Galatea effect is a boost in performance caused by raising workers' self-expectations. Hypothesizing that self-efficacy is central to one's expectations for success and motivation to perform, we used vicarious experience and verbal persuasion to strengthen the self-efficacy of candidates and to increase the rate of volunteering for special-forces service. 556 qualified candidates were assigned at random to the routine information program or to the experimental program. General self-efficacy (GSE) was analyzed as a moderator, and specific self-efficacy (SSE) was measured as a manipulation check. Analysis revealed that the experimental program raised SSE and willingness to volunteer, as hypothesized. 8% more experimental candidates actually volunteered (p < .02), confirming the Galatea hypothesis. The practical importance of the effect was that it reduced the loss of volunteers by a third, compared with the volunteer rate both in the control condition and throughout the preceding year. Analysis detected significant interactions between the treatment and GSE, evidencing the behavioral plasticity effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-780
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1991


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