ERIC Number: ED180666
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Explanations for Success and Failure by Low and Average School Achievers.
Bond, Lynne A.; Johnson, Jeannette L.
Low and average school achievers in grades 1 and 2 and grades 4 and 5 made attributions for successes and failures on school related and unrelated tasks. Students in the low achievement group were participants of the Title I program, and tested a year below their age-mates on reading and math achievement. Students were given two booklets of four drawings; each drawing depicted an elementary school aged child of the student's own sex completing a task. The drawings varied from one another as a function of Outcome (success vs. failure) and Task, i.e. (School - solving a problem the teacher assigned, Nonschool Neutral - completing a puzzle, Nonschool Feminine stereotyped - baking a cake, Nonschool Masculine stereotyped - building a go-cart). Below each drawing was a brief written description of the situation and outcome followed by four explanations for the outcome which referred to: (a) task difficulty, (b) effort, (c) luck, and (d) skill (in that order). Children were told to imagine that each drawing was really a picture of themselves and were asked to select the explanation which best suited their performance as depicted in that specific situation. Responses were relatively similar across age. Low achievers were more likely to explain performance by 'skill' (internal, stable) compared to average achievers, who more often used 'effort' (internal, unstable). Meanwhile, school performance was most often explained by 'effort' and least often explained by 'skill', especially among older children. Findings are discussed in terms of low vs. average achievers' perceptions of personal responsibility and/or capability for affecting future performance outcomes. (Author/SS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Orleans Southwest Supervisory Union, Hardwick, VT.; Vermont State Dept. of Education, Montpelier. Div. of Federal Assistance.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: A portion of this paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (New York, NY, September 1-5, 1979)