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Do I control my future?. Explaining Academic Successes & Failures Through Attributional Styles. The process of Attribution. The process of Learned Helplessness. Attributional style & academics. Student’s critical developmental stage Personal agency and success Achievement focus.

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do i control my future
Do I control my future?

Explaining Academic Successes & Failures Through Attributional Styles

attributional style academics
Attributional style & academics
  • Student’s critical developmental stage
  • Personal agency and success
  • Achievement focus
h y p o t h e s i s

The present study looks at the role of attributional styles in students’ response to academic failure.

  • Three hypothesis were tested
    • I: unavoidable failure primes students for future failure
    • II: A failure experience will facilitate the development of a helpless (or maladaptive) attributional style
    • III: a helpless attributional style primes students for repeated failure
HYPOTHESIS
methods
Methods
  • PARTICIPANTS:
    • Thirty-seven college students
    • Mean age 19.84
    • 27 females and 10 males
  • MATERIALS:
    • Logic Puzzle
      • Possible & Impossible puzzle
    • The new Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ)
      • College students
  • PROCEDURE:
    • Introduction and “lesson”
    • timed logic puzzle
    • new ASQ
    • final timed logic puzzle.
    • Debrief
hypothesis i
HYPOTHESIS I

Unavoidable failure primes students for future failure

A significant relationship was found between failure and future behavior. It was observed that success primes students for future success, however failure does not solely prime students for future failure, but for future success as well.

hypothesis ii
HYPOTHESIS II

A failure experience primes students for the development of a helpless attributional style

Results were not consistent with the second hypothesis and one failure experience did not prime students for the development of a helplessattributional style.

hypothesis iii
HYPOTHESIS III

A maladaptive or helpless attributional style primes students for repeated failure

Results supported the third hypothesis and showed that the dimension of causal stability is positively related to future failure.

discussion
discussion
  • Among students, success primes for further success while failure can prime for bothfuture failure and improvement
  • A student’s attributional style will affect how s/he responds to academic failure
  • A high expectation of negative causal stability is correlated with repeated failure
  • Causal stability is significant because of task similarity
  • One uncontrollable negative event is not enough to encourage a helpless attributional style
    • Style encourages how to respond to that event
    • An increase in failure experiences would likely increase the measurable effect of failure on attributional style
    • Attributional style is developed at a young age (some studies say as early as age 10) and consistent throughout one’s lifetime
discussion1
Discussion
  • There is literature to support boththat
    • Repeated failure primes forlearned helplessness
    • failure motivates improvement – whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
  • Significantly higher mean ASQ scores than those reported by the original, expanded and new ASQ
    • ceiling effect
    • 3:1 female to male ratio
    • Depression among females
    • Depression and helplessness
  • “Perceived” success & failure is difficult to facilitate and monitor
  • Low-SES homes high number of uncontrollable negative events