Advertisement

Individual differences in response to attributional praise in an online learning environment

  • Qin ZhaoEmail author
  • Xiaoxia Huang
Research Article
  • 40 Downloads

Abstract

This study investigated how gender and beliefs about ability moderate the effects of attributional praise feedback on college students’ task motivation and performance in an online environment. We conducted a 3 (praise type: ability vs. effort vs. none) × 2 (gender: male vs. female) × 2 (belief about ability: entity vs. incremental) between-subjects factorial experiment with 196 college students. Analysis of variance of the data detected significant interactions between praise and gender on the main outcome variables. Overall, praise feedback had significantly positive impact on male participants’ task performance, self-efficacy, and intrinsic motivation; whereas for female participants, praise feedback had no significant effects on these variables. Additionally, there is a trend (albeit non-significant) interaction between praise type and belief type on task effort, indicating that for entity-belief group, ability praise feedback tended to positively influence task effort whereas for incremental-belief group, effort praise feedback tended to positively impact task effort. Implications of these findings for theory and practice are discussed.

Keywords

Attributional feedback Praise Gender Beliefs about ability Self-efficacy Performance 

Notes

Funding

This study was funded by a Quick-Turn-Around Grant awarded to the authors by the Office of the Provost at Western Kentucky University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2013). Changing course: ten years of tracking online education in the United States. BABSON Survey Research Group. Babson Park, MA: Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group, LLC.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, I. E., Seaman, J., Poulin, R., & Straut, T. T. (2016). Online report card: Tracking online education in the United States. Sloan Consortium, 1–4. Retrieved January 20, 2019 from http://onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/onlinereportcard.pdf.
  3. Bandura, A. (2006). Guide for constructing self-efficacy scales. In F. Pajares & T. Urdan (Eds.), Self-efficacy beliefs of adolescents (pp. 307–337). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  4. Baylor, A. L., Shen, E., & Huang, X. (2003). Which pedagogical agent do learners choose? The effects of gender and ethnicity. In World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 1507–1510).Google Scholar
  5. Brummelman, E., Thomaes, S., Overbeek, G., Orobio de Castro, B., van den Hout, M. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2014). On feeding those hungry for praise: Person praise backfires in children with low self-esteem. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 143(1), 9–14.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0031917.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cimpian, A., Arce, H. M. C., Markman, E. M., & Dweck, C. S. (2007). Subtle linguistic cues affect children’s motivation. Psychological Science, 18(4), 314–316.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01896.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Corpus, J. H., & Lepper, M. R. (2007). The effects of person versus performance praise on children’s motivation: gender and age as moderating factors. Educational Psychology, 27(4), 487–508.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01443410601159852.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dabbagh, N. (2007). The online learner: Characteristics and pedagogical implications. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 7(3), 217–226.Google Scholar
  9. Deci, E. L. (1972). Intrinsic motivation, extrinsic reinforcement, and inequity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 22, 113–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Deci, E. L., Cascio, W. E., & Krusell, J. (1975). Cognitive evaluation theory and some comments on the Calder and Staw critique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 81–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dille, B., & Mezack, M. (1991). Identifying predictors of high risk among community college telecourse students. American Journal of Distance Education, 5(1), 24–35.  https://doi.org/10.1080/08923649109526729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dweck, C. S. (2000). Self-theories: their role in motivation, personality, and development. Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  13. Dweck, C. S. (2006). Is math a gift? Beliefs that put females at risk. In S. J. Ceci & W. Williams (Eds.), Why aren’t more women in science? Top researchers debate the evidence (pp. 47–55). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.  https://doi.org/10.1037/11546-004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dweck, C. S. (2008). Mindsets: How praise is harming youth and what can be done about it. School Library Media Activities Monthly, 24(5), 55–58.Google Scholar
  15. Dweck, C. S., & Leggett, E. L. (1988). A social-cognitive approach to motivation and personality. Psychological Review, 95(2), 256–273.  https://doi.org/10.1037//0033-295X.95.2.256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Elliot, A. J., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (1996). Approach and avoidance achievement goals and intrinsic motivation: a mediational analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 461–475.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gunderson, E. A., Gripshover, S. J., Romero, C., Dweck, C. S., Goldin-Meadow, S., & Levine, S. C. (2013). Parent praise to 1- to 3-year-olds predicts children’s motivational frameworks 5 years later. Child Development, 84(5), 1526–1541.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12064.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Haimovitz, K., & Corpus, J. H. (2011). Effects of person versus process praise on student motivation: stability and change in emerging adulthood. Educational Psychology, 31, 595–609.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01443410.2011.585950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Henderlong, J., & Lepper, M. R. (2002). The effects of praise on children’s intrinsic motivation: a review and synthesis. Psychological Bulletin, 128(5), 774–795.  https://doi.org/10.1037//0033-2909.128.5.774.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hong, Y., Chiu, C., Dweck, C. S., Lin, D. M.-S., & Wan, W. (1999). Implicit theories, attributions, and coping: a meaning system approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(3), 588–599.  https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-3514.77.3.588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hoska, D. M. (1993). Motivating learners through CBI feedback: developing a positive learner perspective. In V. Dempsey & G. C. Sales (Eds.), Interactive instruction and feedback (pp. 105–132). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.Google Scholar
  22. Joo, Y. J., Lim, K. Y., & Kim, J. (2013). Locus of control, self-efficacy, and task value as predictors of learning outcome in an online university context. Computers & Education, 62, 149–158.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2012.10.027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kamins, M. L., & Dweck, C. S. (1999). Person versus process praise and criticism: implications for contingent self-worth and coping. Developmental Psychology, 35(3), 835–847.  https://doi.org/10.1037//0012-1649.35.3.835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kauffman, H. (2015). A review of predictive factors of student success in and satisfaction with online learning. Research in Learning Technology.  https://doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v23.26507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Keller, J. M. (1983). Motivational design of instruction. In C. M. Reigeluth (Ed.), Instructional-design theories and models: An overview of their current status (pp. 383–434). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  26. Kim, Y., & Baylor, A. L. (2016). Research-based design of pedagogical agent roles: a review, progress, and recommendations. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 26(1), 160–169.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40593-015-0055-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Koestner, R., Zuckerman, M., & Koestner, J. (1987). Praise, involvement, and intrinsic motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(2), 383–390.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.53.2.383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Koestner, R., Zuckerman, M., & Koestner, J. (1989). Attributional focus of praise and children’s intrinsic motivation: the moderating role of gender. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 15(1), 61–72.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167289151006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lam, S., Yim, P., & Ng, Y. (2008). Is effort praise motivational? The role of beliefs in the effort–ability relationship. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 33(4), 694–710.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2008.01.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lessard, L., Grossman, A., & Syme, M. L. (2015). Effects of gender and type of praise on task performance among undergraduates. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 20(1), 11–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Li, W., Lee, A. M., & Solmon, M. A. (2006). Gender differences in beliefs about the influence of ability and effort in sport and physical activity. Sex Roles, 54(1–2), 147–156.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-006-8876-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Miele, D., & Molden, D. (2010). Naïve theories of intelligence and the role of processing fluency in perceived comprehension. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 139, 535–557.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019745.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Moreno, R. (2005). Multimedia learning with animated pedagogical agents. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (pp. 507–523). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Moreno, R., & Flowerday, T. (2006). Students’ choice of animated pedagogical agents in science learning: a test of the similarity-attraction hypothesis on gender and ethnicity. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 31, 186–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mory, E. H. (1992). The use of informational feedback in instruction: implications for future research. Educational Technology Research and Development, 40(3), 5–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mory, E. H. (2004). Feedback research revisited. In D. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (2nd ed., pp. 745–784). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  37. Mueller, C. M., & Dweck, C. S. (1998). Praise for intelligence can undermine children’s motivation and performance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(1), 33–52.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.75.1.33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Narciss, S., & Huth, K. (2004). How to design informative tutoring feedback for multimedia learning. In H. M. Niegemann, D. Leutner, & R. Brunken (Eds.), Instructional design design for multimedia learning (pp. 181–195). Munster, NY: Waxmann.Google Scholar
  39. Qualtrics software. (2017). Qualtrics and all other Qualtrics product or service names are registered trademarks of Qualtrics, Provo, UT, USA. http://www.qualtrics.com.
  40. Raven, J. C. (1995). Advanced progressive matrices. Oxford: Oxford Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  41. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well being. American Psychologist, 55, 68–78.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schunk, D. H. (1983a). Ability versus effort attributional feedback: differential effects on self- efficacy and achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 75(6), 848–856.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.75.6.848.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schunk, D. H. (1983b). Self-efficacy enhancement through motivational and informational processes. In Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association.Google Scholar
  44. Schunk, D. H. (1984). Sequential attributional feedback: Differential effects on achievement behaviors. In Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (68th, New Orleans, LA, April 2327, 1984) (pp. 1–30).Google Scholar
  45. Schunk, D. H., & Cox, P. D. (1986). Strategy training and attributional feedback with learning disabled students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 78, 201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schunk, D. H., & Rice, J. M. (1986). Extended attributional feedback: sequence effects during remedial reading instruction. Journal of Early Adolescence, 6(1), 55–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Shute, V. J. (2008). Focus on formative feedback. Review of Educational Research, 78(1), 153–189.  https://doi.org/10.3102/0034654307313795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2014). Teaching and learning at a distance: foundations of distance education. Boston: Allyn & Bacon/Pearson.Google Scholar
  49. Skipper, Y., & Douglas, K. (2012). Is no praise good praise? Effects of positive feedback on children’s and university students’ responses to subsequent failures. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(2), 327–339.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8279.2011.02028.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2012). Using multivariate statistics (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.Google Scholar
  51. Veletsianos, G. (2010). Contextually relevant pedagogical agents: visual appearance, stereotypes, and first impressions and their impact on learning. Computers & Education, 55(2), 576–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Weiner, B. (2000). Intrapersonal and interpersonal theories of motivation from an attributional perspective. Educational Psychology Review, 12(1), 1–14.  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1009017532121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Yeager, D. S., & Dweck, C. S. (2012). Mindsets that promote resilience: when students believe that personal characteristics can be developed. Educational Psychologist, 47(4), 302–314.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2012.722805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Zentall, S. R., & Morris, B. J. (2010). “Good job, you’re so smart”: the effects of inconsistency of praise type on young children’s motivation. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 107(2), 155–163.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2010.04.015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zhao, Q., & Wichman, A. (2015). Incremental beliefs about ability ameliorate self-doubt effects. SAGE Open.  https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244015622539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zhao, Q., Zhang, J., & Vance, K. (2013). Motivated or paralyzed? Individuals’ beliefs about intelligence influence performance outcome of expecting rapid feedback. Learning and Individual Differences, 23, 168–171.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lindif.2012.07.019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Zinser, O., Young, J. G., & King, P. E. (1982). The influence of verbal reward on intrinsic motivation in children. Journal of General Psychology, 106, 85–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology, GRH 3015Western Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenUSA
  2. 2.School of Teacher EducationWestern Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenUSA

Personalised recommendations