ERIC Number: ED152639
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
Attributional Style and Task Selection: A Dynamic Perspective on Personality x Situation Interactions.
Fyans, Leslie J., Jr.; Maehr, Martin L.
This study deals with attributional theory, a factor of special concern in achievement theory, which focuses on specific behavior as caused by the subject's attributions to the perceived causes of such behavior. This study investigated whether an individual's attributional biases were predictive of task selections he or she made. Furthermore, it investigated the influence of task outcome, grade level, sex, and sociocultural identification upon the relationship between attribution and task selection. A total of 743 students from fifth through twelfth grades participated in the study. The students were drawn from both rural and urban school systems. A specially composed questionaire was employed to assess the students' attributions. Each item described a performance outcome for which the student would attribute the cause: to ability, to effort, or to luck. After the assessment, each subject was presented with three identical games. They were told that in one game you do best by trying hard, in another by knowing what to do, and in the last by being lucky. Subjects selected their first and second choices. It was found that subjects who believe their own success on achievement tasks are attributable either to their own ability, effort, or to luck will likely seek tasks which are compatible with such beliefs. This general tendency is relatively unaffected by experience of success or failure at a task and generalizes across age, sex, and sociocultural groups. (Author/JK)
Descriptors: Academic Ability, Achievement, Attribution Theory, Behavior, Behavior Patterns, Behavior Theories, Bias, Educational Research, Elementary School Students, Individual Characteristics, Interaction, Motivation, Perception, Personality, Personality Studies, Personality Theories, Psychological Characteristics, Reinforcement, Rural Urban Differences, Secondary School Students, Self Concept, Sex Differences, Social Behavior, Sociocultural Patterns, Student Behavior, Student Characteristics, Task Performance
Dr. Leslie J. Fyans, Jr., Illinois Office of Education, 100 North First Street, Springfield, IL 62707
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A