Attributions of ability and motivation in a natural setting

Richard B. Felson, George W. Bohrnstedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Examined the effects of different patterns of student performance on teachers' attributions of ability and motivation in a school setting. 415 6-8th graders and 17 teachers served as Ss. Lorge-Thorndike Intelligence Test scores and grades affected attributions of ability and motivation in an additive fashion. In contrast to F. Heider's (see PA, Vol 33:971) proposition, attributions of ability and motivation had a positive relationship when performance was controlled. Teachers had greater confidence in their attributions when performances were extreme, particularly in a positive direction. Although consistency in performance between test scores and grades did not affect their confidence, teachers were more confident when students' grades were consistent with the teachers' perceptions of the children's ability. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-805
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1980

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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