EDF 6215 Learning Principles

Fall 1997

Module 11-- Attribution Theory


Learning Objectives 

Content Overview 


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Chapter Questions
#1) What is the relationship between attributions for success and failure and Bandura's concept of efficacy?
       -- After you have answered- click here
#2) How would Skinner view the teacher's expressions of sympathy following a student's academic failure if the failure-oriented behavior continued?
        -- After you have answered- click here

Practice Questions
1) The term "attribution" refers to an individual's
    1) questioning of the causes of events or outcomes
    2) belief that events are either internaly or externally controlled
    3) inferences linking causes and subsequent behavior
    4) identified causes of events or outcomes

2) According to Weiner, all of the following are causal attributions except
    1) luck
    2) potential
    3) ability
    4) effort

3) A major assumption of attribution theory is that human behavior in part is motivated by a search for
    1) understanding
    2) values
    3) reinforcement
    4) acceptance

4) According to DeCharms, an origin believes that
    1) s/he is controlled by external events
    2) behavioral consequences are valuable information
    3) behavioral consequences cannot be determined
    4) success on achievement tasks is a random event

5) The belief that one is responsible for the consequences in his/her life is referred to as
    1) internal locus of control
    2) external locus of control
    3) self-perception theory
    4) attribution theory

6)  According to Weiner, the importance of the stability dimension is that it influences the learner's
    1) satisfaction
    2) ability
    3) expectancies
    4) related attributions

7)  A change program to overcome failure attributions should include all of the following except
    1) realistic goal setting
    2) successes on easy tasks
    3) feedback on performance
    4) reinforcement for effort

8)  The psychological relationship between attributions and feelings described by Weiner is that
    1) attributions generate feelings
    2) feelings determine attributions
    3) attributions and feelings evolve from self concept
    4) cognitions are independent of feelings

9) In attribution theory, the term "causal schema" referes to the individual's
    1) past success history
    2) general beliefs about typical causes
    3) achievement need and self-concept
    4) beliefs in one's self-efficacy

10) All of the following are direct sources of affect in Weiner's model except
    1) types of outcomes (success or failure)
    2) properties of attributions
    3) particular attributions, e.g., ability
    4) past success history

11) Expressing consolation for student errors on classroom work likely conveys that
    1) persistence is extremly important
    2) success is achievable through diligence
    3) the student cannot succeed
    4) self-esteem is independent of achievement

For questions 12-19, choose from the following list of attributional properties:
A) stable
B) unstable
C) internal
D) external
E) uncontrollable

12) Only ablity and task difficulty
    A    B       D    E

13) Both effort and luck
    A    B    C    D    E

14)  Both ability and effort
    A    B    C    D    E

15) Ability, task difficulty, and help from others
    A    B    C    D    E

16) Effort and help from others
    A       C    D    E

17) Influences self-esteem
    A    B       D    E

18) Generates pity for negative outcomes
    A    B    C    D    E

19) Magnifies emotions generated by other attributional properties
       B    C    D    E

20) In attribution theory, the belief that outcomes are independent of one's actions is known as
    1) learned helplessness
    2) inadequate self-image
    3) personal inefficacy
    4) low self-concept

21) Attribution theory describes motivation in the classroom as primarily the result of
    1) teacher beliefs about students
    2) student attributions for achievement and outcomes
    3) student interest and ability
    4) peer beliefs about success an failure

Choosing either "True" or "False," identify the classroom practices that contribute to building positive attributions.

22) emphasize learning rather than achievement
        True            False

23) provide small-group cooperative learning situations
        True            False

24) provide sympathetic support for student mistakes
        True            False

25) provide reinforcement for effort and persistence
        True            False

Choosing either "Ture" or "False," categorize the following statements about performance-goal oriented classrooms.

26) Focus is on mastery of skills
         True            False

27) Errors produce anxiety
        True            False

28) Success is viewed in terms of the achievement of others
        True            False

29) Threatened failure leads to increased effort
        True            False

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