Although inoculation messages have been shown to be effective for inducing resistance to counter-attitudinal attacks, researchers have devoted relatively little attention toward studying the way in which inoculation theory principles might support challenges to psychological phenomena other than attitudes (e.g., self-efficacy). Prior to completing a physical (i.e., balance) task, undergraduates (N = 127, Mage = 19.20, SD = 2.16) were randomly assigned to receive either a control or inoculation message, and reported their confidence in their ability regarding the upcoming task. During the task, a confederate provided standardized negative feedback to all participants regarding their performance, and following the completion of the task, participants again reported their self-efficacy along with measures assessing in-task processes. Findings supported the viability of efficacy inoculation; controlling for pre-task self-efficacy, task performance, and relevant psycho-social variables (e.g., resilience, self-confidence robustness), participants in the inoculation condition reported greater confidence in their ability (i.e., task self-efficacy) than those in the control condition at post-task. Relative to those in the inoculation condition, participants in the control condition also experienced greater concentration disruption and self-presentation concerns during the task.
Jackson, Ben; Compton, Josh; Whiddett, Ryan; Anthony, David R.; and Dimmock, James A., "Preempting Performance Challenges: the Effects of Inoculation Messaging on Attacks to Task Self-Efficacy" (2015). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 3056.