Every time that I have had a chance to talk with a sharp mind, smart, crop of the cream type of people I can’t help thinking how they are different from other? What characters or qualities do they hold that make them stand out of the crowd and success in their work or study. The common explanation to this question might simply be that because they are born genius. It is easy and seems logically inclined to think that way. With innate I.Q. derived from their equally bright ancestor and a good mix of DNA arrangement, here come another Einstein!
Well not too fast, did anyone say about an environmental factors? Oh well, the dominant of heredity v.s. environment has long been, and is still be, a controversial subject ever since the measurement method of human intelligence has been invented.
However, there had been number of researches in the psychology field that shown the significant effects of both heredity and environment in many developmental stages. So much that the trends in such researches are now focus on how can the learning and instruction method can be improved to develop students to their best potential rather than proving of which factor is big daddy : )
I, for one, truly believe that we are born with capacity to curious, to try, to fail and then to learn and finally to achieve. No one knows the exact limit of how high we can reach. So head up and listen guys (read actually). It is only a matter of how you think!
Based on Attribution Theory of Motivation and Emotion (Weiner, 1986) number of studies has supported that students giving reason to their success and failure that cause by internal factor that can be controlled, like an effort, will result in a positive behavior, meaning being more motivated and self-regulated. In other word, if you has failed, let’s say, a Calculus class and you blame it to your low competency (internal factor but can’t be controlled) you will have a risk to become a “learned helplessness” the state in which you are totally give up on a subject even though you may actually have an ability to overcome it.
If my word can’t convince you, as I myself won’t trust an article from a no-name writer, then a research targeting at YOU should do! Second year students from both international and general program were selected as samples for CPE students (the population). In this experiment, students are asked to complete the questionnaire which extracts their psychological attributes about their causality attribution of success and failure in Calculus and Analytic Geometry II. The data were later collected and analyzed, here is the result that rocks!
For total number of 88 participants, 45 were from general program (Thai) and 43 from international one. 53.4% of students give success attribution to the subject while 46.6% regarded themselves as failed (this has nothing to do with the grade they actually received).
The study shows that Achievement students (3.0 < GPA <= 3.5) give a reason to their success from internal factor which is “Emotion” more than that of Average group (2.0 < GPA <= 3.0). While, interestingly, the high achievement group (GPA > 3.5) give a reason to external factor but controllable which is “Seeking help” more than that of Average group.
When compares between international and regular program, the data shows that regular program student give reason to their failure from internal and controllable factor which is “Permanent Effort” and external but controllable factor which is “No Bias With Teacher”. This putting them in a position with more tendency to achieve a good grade in the future as they will put more effort in learning.
In summary, the result is telling us that those who pose better academic achievement hold some belief that their accomplishment or failure is mainly the result from their internal factors (permanent effort and emotion) while only controllable external factors (seeking help and no bias with teacher) are part of the equation.
I hope this study, combined with my hard sale article, will buy you to some degree. And even if it doesn’t there is a message from my friend which you might have heard of…
“A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes”
— Mohandas Gandhi
Please click the link below for full report:
Weiner at CPE Study