Attribution Theory as an Influential Contemporary Theory

Next week, you will interview your project participant to gain a deeper understand of the causes of his or her lack of motivation. As you learned from this week’s resources, the attributions this person makes regarding his or her successes and failures, and the attributions that others communicate to this person, can provide important insights into the causes of changes in levels of motivation. Weiner’s Attributional Model described in this week’s video and in Chapter 3 of the course text and the “Overview of the General Attributional Model” depicted in Figure 3.1 on page 82 provide a framework for analyzing attributions and their causes and effects. This discussion will give you practice in conducting this type of analysis.

 

 

Reflect on your own experiences as a learner, teacher, parent, or employee. Recall a time when you or another individual (child, student, teacher, co-worker) made an attribution about achievement or lack of achievement of a task or goal. Using Weiner’s model, analyze the attribution in relation to the various aspects of the model:

 

 

Antecedent conditions

 

Perceived causes

 

Causal dimension

 

Psychological consequences

 

Behavioral consequences

 

Though the terminology may sound rather technical and academic, the subject matter is akin to that of everyday conversations – about relationships, work life, raising children, friendships, etc. As you work through this analysis, try to determine what the person (either you or another individual) believes is the cause of success or failure, what other people attribute to the success or failure, and how these factors impact motivation and achievement.

 

 

After reaching your conclusions, reflect on this exercise and become aware of any discoveries you made about yourself as they relate to attributions and attribution theory. Then, consider the impact that educators and others in the learning community have on motivation and achievement, whether intentional or unintentional.

 

 

Post a summary of your analysis, referring to the Attributional Model and/or the Weiner video. Share any self-discoveries that you experienced through this exercise. Then describe the impact that educators and others in the learning community have on motivation and achievement, whether intentional or unintentional.

 

 

By Wednesday:

 

 

Post a description of how when motivating others to learn success can be internal or external, stable or unstable, and controllable or uncontrollable. When responding to your peers add insight to their post based on these facts surrounding attribution theory, also add additional thoughts you gained from the reading and any additional research you found on attribution theory to support your ideas in the response.

 

 

Resources to Use:

 

Course Text: Motivation in Education: Theory, Research and Applications

Chapter 3, “Attribution Theory”

Media

 

Video: Laureate Education (Producer). (2011). Motivation and learning: Achievement motivation and attribution theory [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

 

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 15 minutes.

 

In this program, Dr. Bernard Weiner discusses the study of attribution theory as a key approach to understanding achievement motivation.

 

Accessible player

Multimedia: Interactive Media: “Motivational Dimensions of Attributions”

Use this interactive self-check quiz to test your understanding of attribution theory.

Optional Resources

 

Article: Weiner, B. (n.d.). TIP: Theories: Attribution theory. Retrieved April 6, 2011 from http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/attribution-theory.html

 

Course Media: vooktv. (2010, June 11). Carol Dweck: The effect of praise on mindsets. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTXrV0_3UjY&feature=relmfu