A Review of Attributional Retraining Treatments: Fostering Engagement and Persistence in Vulnerable College Students

  • Tara L. Haynes
  • Raymond P. Perry
  • Robert H. Stupnisky
  • Lia M. Daniels
Part of the Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research book series (HATR, volume 24)

Abstract

Pursuing a university degree intermixes intellectual ability, content knowledge, emotional stamina, unflagging motivation, and goal striving with diverse learning environments. The academic aspirations of students, however, often belie the realities of unanticipated obstacles along the way that thwart eventual success. Motivation and performance can be undermined through unfamiliar and unpredictable learning experiences involving heightened competition, increased pressure to excel, more frequent failure, novel assignments, ineffective instruction, stringent grading practices, critical career choices, and new social networks. These situations can lead to a paradox of failure in which bright, enthusiastic, and capable students underperform in university, or quit outright. In response, various educational interventions have been developed by postsecondary institutions to rectify escalating attrition rates. Attributional retraining (AR) is a motivation-enhancing treatment designed to offset the dysfunctional explanatory thinking that can arise from unsatisfactory learning experiences. This chapter describes the theoretical framework and empirical evidence underpinning AR as an effective motivation treatment for assisting failure-prone students in higher education settings.

Keywords

Placebo Depression Aspirin Epinephrine Tempo 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tara L. Haynes
    • 1
  • Raymond P. Perry
    • 1
  • Robert H. Stupnisky
    • 1
  • Lia M. Daniels
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ManitobaCanada
  2. 2.Department of Educational PsychologyUniversity of AlbertaCanada

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