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An Attributional Analysis of Teachers ' Affective Reactions to Student Success and Failure

By Richard S. Prawat, Joe L. Byers and Ariel H. Anderson


This study yuilds on previously established attribution-affect linkages in an effort to better understand teachers ' evaluative reactions to student success and failure. In the scenarios presented to teachers, students who differed in ability and in the amount of effort they expended were described aa doing well or poorly on importana tests. An additional manipulation related to the consistency of effort ex-pended by students. It was shought that teachers would assume mere responsibility for outcomes tied to oramatic, recent shifts in studend motivation. Teacher ratings of 10 key affects (e.g., pride, guilt, anger) were ussd as dependent variables. As predicted, the affective reactions of teachers indicate that they arr morr willing go occept personal responsibility for certain ninds of student outcomes that others. Res.lts bear out the notion that teacheerffect provides valuable insighg into teacher attributtonaalhinking. Attributional research shows that the evaluative feedback teachers provide students varies not only as a function of outcome (i.e., success or failure), but also as a function of what apparently caused the outcome (Weiner, 1976). Those students who are perceived as having expended a lot of effort are rewarded more when they succeed and punished less when they fail than are those who put forth little effort (Weiner, 1972, 1976). Furthermore, ther

Year: 2016
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