ERIC Number: ED180668
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Development of Causal Attributions for Success and Failures of Males and Females.
Bond, Lynne A.
The development of attributional patterns for male and female success and failure in sex-typed activities was examined. A total of 243 children in preschool, first, third, fifth, and eleventh grades were given a booklet of eight drawings, each of which depicted a young adolescent completing a task. The drawings varied on sex of actor, sex-typing of task, and outcome. Below each drawing was a bried written description of the situation and outcome followed by four explanations of the outcome which referred to (a) task difficulty, (b) effort, (c) luck, and (d) skill. Each subject was asked to indicate which explanation was most appropriate for the depicted situation. Results indicated that different attributional patterns for explaining male and female performance were well established by first grade and that they remained strikingly stable thereafter. As predicted, the unexpected outcome of succeeding at a sex-inappropriate task was attributed to an unstable factor (effort) while the expected outcome of failing at a sex-inappropriate task was attributed to stable factors (skill for males, task difficulty for females). Within the context of sex-appropriate tasks, males' failure on the masculine task was explained by lack of effort (internal, unstable) whereas females' failure on the feminine task was explained by lack of skill (internal, stable). This attributional pattern was not manifested by the preschoolers. Possible explanations for and implications of these findings are discussed. (JMB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (San Francisco, California, March 15-18, 1979)