Effects of Self-Efficacy and Motivation on Self-Disclosure Through Artwork

Project Abstract

The goal of this project is to explore the possible relationship between self-efficacy levels for a particular artistic medium and the level of self-disclosure that students exhibit when making art, specifically in an extrinsically motivated setting. Though in a slightly different environment, the hope for this study is that the information gained about correlations between motivation levels, medium self-efficacy, and self-disclosure levels can be helpful for the creative therapies as clients often come in with differing levels of motivation and confidence (Luzzatto & Gabriel, 2000) which could impact the willingness of the client to share personal details relevant to therapy through their art. Self- disclosure, or intentional revelation to others about oneself and one’s experiences, is a necessary part of the therapeutic process, and in art therapy may help an individual understand themselves and their experiences to a greater degree (Wheeless & Grotz, 1976; Kahn, Achter, & Shambaugh, 2001; Larson & Chastain, 1990). However, factors such as self-efficacy level regarding the medium being used may impact levels of self-disclosure. This concept involves the degree to which an individual believes they are capable of completing a task or successfully engaging in a certain behavior (Bandura, 1977; Mitchell et al., 2021). During art therapy, individuals may have differing levels of self-efficacy regarding their ability to use the mediums available to communicate their own experiences, which may impact their ability to effectively concentrate on the task and therefore the depth of experience they will share. Extrinsic motivation for engaging in an activity is motivation that comes from reaching towards an external goal (Ryan & Deci, 2000). As clients may participate in creative therapies due to a variety of motivations, many of which are not intrinsic but focused on an external goal or fulfilling outside expectations (Cho & Lee, 2018), another portion of this study will involve creating an extrinsically motivated environment to mimic this level of motivation. The hope for this study is that it will provide relevant information for further exploration between the possible relationships between self-disclosure and self-efficacy, especially in the creative therapies.

Funding Type

Research Grant

Academic College

College of Humanities and Fine Arts




B.A. in Psychology




Patrick Cushen, PhD.

Academic College

College of Humanities and Fine Arts

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