Educational Research Journal


1989.第4卷(Vol. 4).pp. 69–76


Academic Causal Attributions and Achievement Goals of Hong Kong Primary School Students

侯傑泰(Kit-Tai HAU)




Age-related differences as well as interrelationships among perceived attainment, expectancy of success, actual performance, causal attributions and achievement goals were explored. The subjects were 603 Primary school students in Hong Kong. Results showed that older students were learning oriented, and they had lower but more accurate perceived attainment than younger students. They attributed more to internal, controllable and global causes. They also gave more importance to teacher's bias, own effort, exam difficulty, knowledge, home environment, and whether there were quarrels at home. It was found that the learning oriented students attributed more to internal causes and effort. On the other hand, performance oriented students attributed more to external causes, and emphasized teacher's bias, own intelligence, and family economic condition. Discrepancies of the results to findings in the Western culture were explained and discussed with references to the socialization patterns in the Chinese culture. It is suggested that cognitive development in the conception of intelligence may not be the most important determinant of students' goal orientation in school examinations.