Term of Art: Attribution

“attribution: The ways in which an individual understands the sources of success, difficulty, or failure. Often, people with learning disabilities attribute their successes and failures to factors they do not control, such as luck, the nature of the task, or their own inadequacies. By contrast, successful learners tend to attribute failure or success to their own level of effort and perseverance, and see themselves as having control over the outcomes of their work.

Attribution theory provides an approach to understand the difficulties with motivation experience by some people with learning problems, and also suggests that direct guidance in changing attribution styles may be helpful to those with learning disorders.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

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