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An Attributional Theory of Achievement Motivation and Emotion

An Attributional Theory of Achievement Motivation and Emotion A theory of motivation and emotion is proposed in which causalascriptions play a key role. It is first documented that inachievement-related contexts there are a few dominant causalperceptions. The perceived causes of success and failure share threecommon properties: locus, stability, andcontrollability, with intentionality and globality as other possiblecausal structures. The perceived stability of causes influences changesin expectancy of success; all three dimensions of causality affect avariety of common emotional experiences, including anger,gratitude, guilt, hopelessness, pity, pride, andshame. Expectancy and affect, in turn, are presumed to guidemotivated behavior. The theory therefore relates the structure ofthinking to the dynamics of feeling and action. Analysis of a createdmotivational episode involving achievement strivings is offered, andnumerous empirical observations are examined from this theoreticalposition. The strength of the empirical evidence, the capabilityof this theory to address prevalent human emotions, and the potentialgenerality of the conception are stressed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Psychological Review American Psychological Association

An Attributional Theory of Achievement Motivation and Emotion

Psychological Review , Volume 92 (4): 26 – Oct 1, 1985

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References (146)

Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1985 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0033-295x
eISSN
1939-1471
DOI
10.1037/0033-295X.92.4.548
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A theory of motivation and emotion is proposed in which causalascriptions play a key role. It is first documented that inachievement-related contexts there are a few dominant causalperceptions. The perceived causes of success and failure share threecommon properties: locus, stability, andcontrollability, with intentionality and globality as other possiblecausal structures. The perceived stability of causes influences changesin expectancy of success; all three dimensions of causality affect avariety of common emotional experiences, including anger,gratitude, guilt, hopelessness, pity, pride, andshame. Expectancy and affect, in turn, are presumed to guidemotivated behavior. The theory therefore relates the structure ofthinking to the dynamics of feeling and action. Analysis of a createdmotivational episode involving achievement strivings is offered, andnumerous empirical observations are examined from this theoreticalposition. The strength of the empirical evidence, the capabilityof this theory to address prevalent human emotions, and the potentialgenerality of the conception are stressed.

Journal

Psychological ReviewAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Oct 1, 1985

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