Aug 31, 2022 in Analysis

Attribution and Motivation for Students

Attribution style is closely related to how students are motivated to learn something. The attribution style mainly focuses on how an individual views a situation. Some may choose to view failure as a proof of collective failure. Attribution style may either be positive leading to better performance in a class, or negative which ends up demoralizing a student and increasing his/her failure in a class. The attribution style of a student will affect a student’s learning experience substantially.

The personal attribution style affects the learning experience negatively. The test answers revealed that the student believes that his/her life is out of his/her control and that external forces such as fate control his/her life (Rotter, 2018). This would likely affect the learning experience of the student negatively because the student will tend to believe that everything is already predetermined. His/her actions and decisions do not affect the outcome of his/her life and external have forces already predetermined things such as exam results. The student will, therefore, be likely to put less effort into studying and trying to earn the best grades possible. The personal attribution style of the mentioned above student will affect the learning experience negatively.


The attribution style relates to the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Attribution style is based on how an individual views a situation. This will, in its turn, affect the two types of motivation. A positive attribution style means that the individual will notice the opportunities in the world, therefore will be motivated from the external affairs (Lepper, Greene, 2015). For example, a medical student with positive attribution style will want to study harder in order to contribute to the invention of new treatment against infections. A medicine student with a negative attribution style will note that there is no point in studying hard because there will always be illnesses and his/her input will not be significant.

The attribution style will also affect the internal motivation of the student. A positive or negative attribution style will affect the self-motivation of the student. For example, a medicine student who failed in biochemistry two times will not work harder in the future because he/she is thinking that he/she will always fail in biochemistry. The student may also develop the belief that he/she is not good enough in the course and will not work hard enough and end up failing it. A medicine student with positive attribution style will work harder on the failed biochemistry unit because he/she believes he/she is good enough as he/she has passed the other units. Therefore, attribution style will affect the intrinsic motivation (Edward, 2012). The motivation of a student is related to the attribution style. Positive attribution style will lead to the greater motivation when negative attribution style will lead to less motivation.

The relation between attribution and motivation resonates with the student’s learning experience. The student believes that everything is predetermined by fate which makes him/her put an average effort in his/her studies. The grade acquired does little to affect the level of effort. This results in the average motivation that cannot be affected by any external factor such as bad grades or changes in the employment market that requires better grades. This, therefore, shows that the attribution and motivation are closely related. Due to the belief that everything is predetermined, the level of motivation cannot be affected by any external factor. The student lacks any extrinsic motivation.

This knowledge will affect the future decisions regarding learning experience. The student will realize that the effort and his/her actions affect the grades that the student acquires. Therefore, if the student obtains bad grades, he/she will realize that those grades are result of the efforts that were input. This will lead to increased extrinsic motivation for the student. The bad grades will motivate the student to study harder in order to show an improvement in the grades. Future decisions in regards to learning strategies will be based on factors such as bad grades and will not be seen as fate.

Attribution and motivation are very important as they may result in better grades for students. A professional psychologist who has a student client will evaluate what kind of attribution the student has. The results will enable the psychologist to assess what could be the best way to help the client. As a result, he/she will help the student who has bad marks to realize that it is based on his/her perception of circumstances (Plotnik, Kouyoumdjian, 2013). After the student understands this, he/she will show an improvement in his/her grades.

Attribution and motivation will also influence the effort input in life. A professional psychologist realizes that attribution determines the motivation which in its turn affects the level of efforts made (Nkambou, Mizoguchi, Bourdeau, 2010). This will aid in the career development. Whenever the effort seems to be inadequate, measure can be taken to improve the attribution style. This will ensure that the effort is constant which is important in the career development.

Attribution and motivation will also influence the decisions that an individual makes. Each decisions based on how he/she views the situation (Eiser, Pligt, 2015). A positive attribution will result in the healthy decision made by an individual compared to a person with negative attribution. The positive attribution is based on confidence and belief which result in the better decisions an individual may be proud of in the future. Negative attribution is filled with self-doubt and will likely result in poor decision making. Realizing this, the student will work on his/her attribution, make sure that he/she is positive in order to take decisions that will aid in successful career development.

In summary, attribution is based on how an individual sees a situation. It could be positive or negative. Attribution affects the motivation and the effort that the individual puts towards a particular goal or task. Attribution and motivation are essential in order to make right decisions and be more motivated.



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