An empirical examination of the integration of Causal Attribution and Social Learning Theories in achievement situations

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Robert M. Midkiff, Jr.
Joy Patricia Burke
Cite this article:  Midkiff, Jr., R., & Burke, J. (1991). An empirical examination of the integration of Causal Attribution and Social Learning Theories in achievement situations. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 19(3), 177-194.


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Using path analysis, the present investigation sought to clarify possible operational linkages among constructs from social learning and attribution theories within the context of a self-esteem system. Subjects were 300 undergraduate university students who completed a measure of self-esteem and indicated expectancies for success and minimal goal levels for an experimental task. After completing the task and receiving feedback about their performance, subjects completed causal attribution and self-esteem questionnaires. Results revealed gender differences in the degree and strength of the proposed relations, but not in the mean levels of the variables studied. Results suggested that the integration of social learning and attribution theories within a single conceptual model provides a better understanding of students' behaviors and self-esteem in achievement situations.
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