Improving the academic performance of college freshmen: Attribution therapy revisited
40 freshmen were given information indicating that on the average, college students improve their grades from the freshman to the upperclass years, and they were shown videotaped interviews of upperclassmen who reported that their GPAs had improved since their freshman year. Ss who received the information, compared to those who did not, (a) were significantly less apt to leave college by the end of the sophomore year, (b) had a significantly greater increase in GPA 1 yr after the study, and (c) performed significantly better on sample items from the Graduate Record Exam. The self-report evidence for the cognitive processes mediating these behavioral changes was weak. A more positive mood was reported only by Ss who performed a reasons analysis (i.e., who were asked to list reasons why their grades might improve). This divergent pattern of behavioral and self-report results is discussed in terms of the hypothesis that the determinants of behavioral results differ from the determinants of self-report results in self-attribution studies. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). © 1982 American Psychological Association.
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