Advertisement

Attributional Style, Task Selection and Achievement

  • Leslie J. FyansJr.
  • Martin L. Maehr

Abstract

The role of causal attributions in determining motivation to achieve has been the object of intensive study with generally interesting and valuable results (Dweck & Goetz, 1978; Weiner, in press). Thus, it seems quite clear that causal attributions play a critical role in determining the perception of success and failure as such (cf. Maehr & Nicholls, in press) and also mediate responses to these perceived events. Regarding the latter, a primary focus has been on certain behavioral patterns like persistence (see, for example, Andrews & Debus, 1978) at a task in the face of success, failure, or a moderate degree of challenge. Of course, it is of major importance to learn that certain causal attributions affect persistence at a learning task. Such attention to learning tasks not only determines immediate performance levels but ultimately should determine the course of intellectual growth (cf. Rosenshine & Berliner, 1978).

Keywords

Grade Level Causal Attribution Task Selection Attributional Style Achievement Motivation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Andrews, C.R., & Debus, R.L. Persistence and the causal perception of failure: Modifying cognitive attributions. Journal of Educational Psychology. 1978, 70, 154–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Atkinson, J.W. Motivational determinants of risk-taking behavior. Psychological Review, 1957, 64, 359–572.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Atkinson, J.W., & Feather, N.T. (Eds.). A theory of achievement motivation. N.Y.: Wiley, 1966.Google Scholar
  4. Atkinson, J.W., & Ray nor, J.O. (Eds.). Motivation and achievement. Washington, D.C.: Winston, 1974.Google Scholar
  5. Bandura, A. The self system in reciprocal determinism. American Psychologist. 1978, 33, 344–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Coleman, J.S., Campbell, E.Q., Hobson, C.J., McPartland, J., Mood, A.M., Weinfeld, F.D., & York, R.L. Equality of educational opportunity. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 1966.Google Scholar
  7. Crandall, V.C., Katkovsky, W., & Crandall, V.J. Children’s beliefs in their own control of reinforcements in intellectual-academic achievement situations. Child Development, 1965, 36, 91–109.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Cronbach, L.J., Gleser, G.C., Nanda, H., & Rajartanam, J. The dependability of behavioral measurements: Theory of generalizability for scores and profiles. N.Y.: Wiley, 1972.Google Scholar
  9. Dweck, C.S., Davidson, N., Nelson, S., & Enna B. Sex differences in learned helplessness: II—The contingencies of evaluative feedback in the classroom and III—An experimental analysis. Developmental Psychology, 1978, 14, 268–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dweck, CS., & Goetz, T.E. Attributions and learned helplessness. In J. H. Harvey, W. Ickes, & R.F. Kidd (Eds.), New directions in attribution research (Vol. 2). Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1978.Google Scholar
  11. Friend, R.M., & Neal, J.M. Children’s perceptions of success and failure: An attributional analysis of the effects of race and social class. Developmental Psychology, 1972, 7, 124–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Golding, S.L. Flies in the ointment: Methodological problems in the analysis of the percentage of variance due to persons and situations. Psychological Bulletin, 1975, 82, 278–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hays, W.L. Statistics for psychologists. N.Y.: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1973.Google Scholar
  14. Katz, I. The socialization of academic achievement in minority group children. In D. Levine (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation (Vol. 15). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1967.Google Scholar
  15. Kukla, A. An attributional theory of choice. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. II). N.Y.: Academic Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  16. Maehr, M.L. Continuing motivation: An analysis of a seldom considered educational outcome. Review of Educational Research, 1976, 46, 443–462f.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Maehr, M.L. Turning the fun of school into the drudgery of work: The negative effects of certain grading practices on motivation. UCLA Educator, 1977, 19, 10–14.Google Scholar
  18. Maehr, M.L. Sociocultural origins of achievement motivation. In D. Bar-Tal & L. Saxe (Eds.), Social psychology of education: Theory and research. N.Y.: Hemisphere Publishing Corporation, 1978.Google Scholar
  19. Maehr, M.L., & Nicholls, J.G. Culture and achievement motivation: A second look. In N. Warren (Ed.), Studies in cross-cultural psychology (Vol. 3). N.Y.: Academic Press, in press.Google Scholar
  20. Nicholls, J.G. Causal attributions and other achievement-related cognitions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1975, 31, 379–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nicholls, J.G. Effort is virtuous, but it’s better to have ability: Evaluative responses to perceptions of effort and ability. Journal of Research in Personality, 1976, 10, 306–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rosenshine, B.V., & Berliner, D.C. Academic engaged time. British Journal of Teacher Education, 1978, 7, 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Salili, F., Maehr, M.L., & Fyans, L.J., Jr. The development of moral and achievement judgments: A study of the interaction of social, cultural, and cognitive developmental factors. Unpublished research report, Institute for Child Behavior and Development, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, 1978. (In press, International Journal of Intercultural Relations.) Google Scholar
  24. Salili, F., Maehr, M.L., & Gilmore, G. Achievement and morality: A cross-cultural analysis of causal attribution and evaluation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1976, 33(3), 327–337.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Shiffler, N., Lynch-Sauer, J., & Nadelman, L. Relationship between self-concept and classroom behavior in two informal elementary classrooms. Journal of Educational Psychology, 1977, 69, 349–359.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sohn, D. Affect-generating powers of effort and ability self attributions of academic success and failure. Journal of Educational Psychology, 1977, 69, 500–505.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Weiner, B. A theory of motivation for some classroom experiences. Journal of Educational Psychology, in press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie J. FyansJr.
    • 1
  • Martin L. Maehr
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of Illinois and the Illinois State Board of EducationUSA
  2. 2.The University of IllinoisUrbana-ChampaignUSA

Personalised recommendations