Achievement-related attributions by the person

Mastery-oriented attributions

  • success due to ability
  • failure to factors that can be changed
  • internal locus of control

Learned helplessness

  • success due to luck
  • failure to low ability
  • belief that ability is not changeable
  • give up on difficult tasks
  • external locus of control is required because the person feels – powerless

Influences on Related Attributions

  • learned-helpless – parents with high standards
  • positive teachers evoke more work
  • girls more than boys blame ability for failure
  • African-American children believe prejudice will lead to failure [Elliot’s Blue eyes brown eyes study]

Attribution retraining for learned-helpless

  • exert more effort
  • focus more on mastery than grades
  • teach metacognition and self-regulation

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