Postgraduate Open Evening

University professor launches essential guide to finding our YES and creating positivity from within

A practical and personal book that teaches us all – from teens to professionals – how to use the power of self-efficacy is now being launched by a professor at the University of Chichester.

Founded on the psychology of the self-belief self-efficacy, Yes I Can: Learn to use the power of self-efficacy is the latest brain-child of Professor Laura Ritchie, cellist, author, Chartered psychologist and Professor of Learning and Teaching – and, most importantly, someone who has found her YES.

Professor Ritchie brings a sense of empowerment to the reader through developing perception, awareness, and a sense of believing you can do.

She said: “My research background heavily informs Yes I Can and is based on the psychology of self-beliefs. These personal beliefs in capabilities directly impact choices, actions, and outcomes.

“After 2020, riddled with COVID and lockdown restrictions, this book about finding Yes and giving people tools to create something positive from within and move forward in the cultural landscape is refreshing and timely.”

Yes I Can marks a departure from Ritchie’s previous academic writing and through an approachable, personal voice introduces the reader to the influences of self-efficacy and demonstrates how metacognition - the processes inside our thinking: between noticing, deciding and doing - can enable a shift in perspective toward unrealised possibility.

According to psychologist Daniel Cervone, Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, “metacognitive awareness is not only eight syllables of psychobabble but also a key ingredient in Dr Ritchie’s recipe for success.”

Professor Cervone said: “Not only reaching one’s dreams but also formulating them in the first place requires, as Ritchie says, ‘an active awareness of our selves and our surroundings. Experiences can ‘wake the need to realize, pay attention, and look for things’.”

Professor Ritchie added: “Yes I Can guides the reader to find awareness and openness, incorporate the pause that inhibits habit, equip themselves to make choices and see differently. You can learn awareness and openness from young children … the key to findings your ‘yes’ is in being aware.” 

Professor Cervone explains: “In saying this, she incorporates and transcends the social cognitive theory that is her home base. Her psychological claims echo not so much Bandura as the classic texts of Buddhists, for whom awareness and active attention – ‘right mindfulness’ – is a spoke on the dharmachakra.

“They align with contemporary psychology’s ‘mindfulness’ movement, where awareness of oneself and one’s surroundings is key to well-being.”

Professor Ritchie makes core psychological constructs approachable, demystifying them as completely relatable, framed through everyday, practical experience and told in her unique memoir-like storytelling voice.

As an award-winning lecturer, performing cellist, international speaker, academic researcher, author, enthusiastic cook, mother and avid lover of walking to chase the sun or moonrise in the countryside, her perspective nothing if not wide and varied. She is keenly aware of her surroundings, and importantly, of possibilities that often go unnoticed by others.

She paints pictures with words, taking readers on her journey, and then encourages each one of us to live it, finding our own Yes I Can.

Prof Ritchie said: “My hope is that through telling some of these stories and explaining what’s behind them, you will be able to find your ‘can’ too, and unlike me, it won’t take you 20 years after some of the experiences to figure it out. “The stories presented are like a framework for you. We are all living our lives for the first time, and to be honest I do not know what’s around the corner; however, as an expert learner and a very good communicator, I know I can and I believe you can too.”

Yes I Can: Learn to use the Power of Self-efficacy will be released as an ebook on January 10, 2021 and can be pre-ordered now at

The audio book, narrated by the author and featuring original music composed and recorded by Ritchie on the cello, will be released in February, 2021.