What type of research method/design was used? Did the researchers attempt to establish cause and effect, or were they looking for a relationship?
For this assignment you will be applying what you learned in chapter 2 about research methods to the topic of attribution. Attributions can influence your behavior including your academic behaviors. The attributions or explanations you make about your grades can help you persist and succeed in school.
Chapter 17 covers Social Psychology and Attribution Theory
Social Psychology is defined as the scientific study of how people think about, influence, and relate to one another. Social psychologists study roles, attitudes, obedience, conformity, group decision making, cooperation, and social cognition, including attributions. You can read more about social psychology and attributions in the text on pages 596-598.
Essentially Attribution Theory postulates that we are motivated to figure out the reasons why people do what they do; we attribute causal explanations.
• We make causal attributions or judgments about other people and also about our own behavior.
• We do this as a way to make sense of behaviors.
• We infer the cause from what we observe.
Attributions vary on 3 dimensions:
1. Internal vs. external
▪ Internal – the cause is dispositional, such as personality traits or abilities
▪ External – cause is situational, such as peer pressure, money, weather
2. Stable vs. unstable
▪ Stable – cause is permanent and enduring
▪ Unstable – the cause is temporary and can change
3. Controllable vs. uncontrollable
▪ Controllable – someone has power over the cause
▪ Uncontrollable – little or no power
For example, imagine you sit next to someone in a math class who gets an A on an exam. What do you say to yourself to explain why? Below are some possibilities based on the different attribution dimensions.
Internal – “He/she studied hard.”External – “The test was easy.”
Stable – He/she is smart.”Unstable – “He/she got lucky.”
Controllable – He/she works hard.” Uncontrollable – “The teacher is easy.”
Attribution Errors and Biases
▪ Fundamental attribution error occurs when the importance of internal traits is overestimated, and the importance of external situations is underestimated.
▪ Most individuals tend to explain behavior in terms of the personalities of the people involved rather than the situation.
▪ We overestimate the dispositional/internal and underestimate the power of the situation when we make attributions about others’ behaviors.
▪ However, when we make attributions about ourselves we are more likely to use a Self-serving bias. We take credit for our success and deny our failures.
Psychologists have done a lot of research looking at how attributions can influence academic success. One thing to consider is what type of attributions you make about your own grades.
If you want to learn more https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMxY9s58tso
Directions for the assignment:
• Using SMCC’s online library go to ProQuest Social Science Journals.
• To locate the library and databases such as ProQuest via the SMCC portal, go to:
• My Maine Guide
• My Learning
• Find research sources (under Library in the What to Do column)
• Articles & Databases (on the top, click on it)
• Databases A to Z (on the right)
• Scroll down to Psychology Journals and click on the link
• Click boxes that say full text and peer reviewed
• In the search box, type in Attributional Retraining: reducing the likelihood of failure
o The article is by Haynes Stewart, Tara L; Clifton, Rodney A; Daniels, Lia M; Perry, Raymond P; Chipperfield, Judith G; et al. Social Psychology of Education : An International Journal14.1 (Mar 2011): 75-92.
• Read the article.
• Answer the questions below based on the article and the material in Chapter 2. Use complete sentences.
• IMPORTANT! Remember if you use direct quotes (the authors’ words) you should reference correctly, by using quotation marks, and APA in-text citations. You also need to use in-text citations when using the authors’ ideas or paraphrasing. See below for examples. Not citing is a form of plagiarism and will result in an F on the assignment. Your answers should also include your own words.
▪ After you have quoted or paraphrased another person’s work you need to correctly attribute credit to their ideas. This is done by citing. Some examples of citing in APA format include:
• Direct Quotes:
o “Race is a socially constructed category that is predicated on political, social, and economic processes” (Wegener & Petty 1992, p. 58).
o Berndt (2002:67) argues that “race is a socially constructed category.”
o Research by Wegener and Petty (1992) supports the view that…
o Some have argued that race is a socially constructed category (Berndt, 2002; Harlow, 1983; Smith et. al., 2010).
o Ethnicity is a different concept than race (Berndt, 2002).
• If you are still unclear on how to use in-text citations please see: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/02/
Questions (adapted from Paul & Elder, 2006 Foundation for Critical Thinking). Remember to answer in complete sentences and use citations.
1. The main purpose or key question of this article is ___________________ (State as accurately as possible the authors’ purpose for writing the article.)
2. What type of research method/design was used? Did the researchers attempt to establish cause and effect, or were they looking for a relationship?
3. What are the variables in the study? Is there an IV and a DV?
4. What is/are the hypothesis (es)? (What do the researchers hope to find)?
5. What population is being studied? How was the sample selected? Is there an experimental and a control group?
6. What are the results or main conclusions in the article?
7. What are the ethical issues in this study and how were they addressed?
8. What are some of the biases in this study and how were they addressed, or how should they be addressed.
9. What is the main assumption that the authors are making and what are the implications of this study?
10. What are your views about the article? How could you apply the information to the attributions you make about your academic performance?