chapter  7
45 Pages


The theory of attributions most commonly used in physical activity research was formulated by Bernard Weiner. Attribution theory would thus propose that students who show high levels of motivated behavior in physical education class would attribute their successes to controllable, internal, and stable causes, while negative outcomes are ascribed to external, controllable, and unstable causes. Learned helplessness can be temporary and specific to a situation, permanent and specific to a situation, or permanent and pervasive across many situations, depending on the stability and specificity of attributions for failures. A teacher may discover she is conveying maladaptive attributions for some students' performance outcomes in her feedback to the students. Once a teacher knows this, she can then work to revise those attributions and her feedback. Feedback to students about successes should convey attributions for those successes to effort, strategies, or ability. Teacher feedback about student successes should communicate attributions to high effort.