Article: Attributions for Performance: A Comparative Study of Japanese and Thai University Students

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Setsuko Mori, Peter Gobel, Kitcha Thepsiri, and Punjaporn Pojanapunya



Attribution theory posits that people look for causes for their successes and failures. Past research indicates that these causal attributions may influence future performance, and it has been suggested that attributional tendencies may be affected by culture and outcome. To understand the role that culture and outcome may play in attributions for foreign language learning, a set of questionnaires was designed to investigate how EFL university students (355 Thai and 350 Japanese) in two countries judged their successes and failures on actual language learning tasks. Although there were a few differences based on culture, MANOVA results revealed that both groups focused more on external factors (such as teachers and classroom atmosphere) for success and internal factors (such as lack of ability and effort) for failure. The implications that can be drawn with regard to cultural bias, language teaching, and the nature of the learning environment are considered.


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