Education Journal


1989.第17卷第1期(Vol. 17 No. 1).pp. 11–16



Measurement of the Causes for Success and Failure in Attribution Studies

侯傑泰(KIT-Tai HAU)




Various issues related to the measurement of achievement attribution are discussed. Among the different question formats, the unipolar rating method seems to display the best psychometric properties. However, unstructured open-ended interview is also useful in eliciting the important causes pertinent to a particular achievement situation. It is also stressed that researchers should not limit themselves to the four classic causes (i.e. effort, ability, difficulty, luck). The dimensional meaning of individual cause is situational specific, and should be established by including dimensional questions in the questionnaire, or by using statistical methods in the analysis. Studies in attributional complexity suggest a separate measurement of internality and extenerality. However, the issue is still unresolved. It can be seen that different methods have their own strengths and weaknesses. The proper selection of method depends on one's purpose, and on the understanding of the merits and demerits of the method chosen.