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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

Print version ISSN 0102-7972On-line version ISSN 1678-7153


FERREIRA, Maria Cristina et al. Causal attribution to success and failure in school: a transcultural study Brazil-Argentin-Mexico. Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 2002, vol.15, n.3, pp.515-527. ISSN 0102-7972.

The attributional mechanisms used by Brazilian, Argentinean and Mexican students to explain the academic success and failure were compared. The sample consisted of 1594 high school students of both sexes separated into either high or low achievement groups, attending either public or private institutions. They were asked to indicate the causes of their own performance, of their classmates, of students from a different kind of school and of students from another country. Effort was chosen by the majority of students from the three national groups as an explanation of either success or failure of their own, of other students from the same country and of students from different countries, albeit observed differences in attributional patterns as a function of nationality, sex and type of school. These results are discussed based both on the self-serving attributional bias and the fundamental attribution error theoretical framework, by taking into account the cultural peculiarities of the three countries which participated in the study.

Keywords : Causal attribution; academic performance; transcultural study.

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