The focus of the study is to investigate the attributions of low achievers and high achievers about the perceived causes of their success and failure. It is of vital importance in teaching-learning process, as attribution means beliefs and explanations of low achievers and high achievers about their success and failures.
The major objective of the study was to apply the attribution theory (student's attribute their success and failure to four factors namely, ability, effort, task difficulty and luck) in school situations and test the results whether the theory was valid or not. These results will be very helpful to provide a guideline for students as well as for practitioners i.e. teachers in the field of learning. The study will be important with reference to motivate the students for learning, the ways and the methods to motivate the learners will also be explored and the problems of low achievers, which often causes drop out or school leaving, will be solved. The results of the study may be useful for both low achievers and high achievers to improve and also to change their beliefs about the causes of their success and failure. In the light of results. the study will provide, learners to continue their learning process without discouraging themselves that they don't have ability to learn something. Pakistan is a developing country and it needs such studies to help, not only to maintain the enrollment ratio in schools but also to increase the number of enrolled students who have deep interest in their studies and believe in their abilities and efforts.
In the light of previous literature it is hypothesized that high achievers attributes their success and failures to their ability and effort and low achievers attribute their success and failures to task difficulty and lack of ability or luck.
The researcher conducted this study in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Attock, Chakwal, Jhelum, Faisalabad, Lahore & Multan Districts. A questionnaire was constructed on a four point scale, covering such variables as academic achievement of (high achievers/ low achievers),gender(male/female) and geographic area(rural/urban). The questionnaire was served as a study tool. All the students learning at secondary level in the government schools of above districts were taken as population. Two thousand students were randomly selected from public schools included in the sample.
Twelve schools were randomly selected from each district, out of which, six were male and six female. In each six, three were rural schools and three urban schools. Twenty six subjects were selected randomly from each school and were asked to fill the questionnaire. Two thousand and five hundred questionnaires were distributed and two thousand and eighty six were received duly filled in.
The data were analysed by applying one-way chi square and two-way chi square techniques. One ways chi square was administered to analyze the attributions of overall students irrespective of gender and area. Two way chi square test was applied to have a comparative analysis of such categories as high achievers/low achievers etc. The level of significance for the study was 0.05.
The statistical analysis reveals that causal attributions of students about the perceived causes of their success and failure significantly differ in all the cases except urban and rural groups. Particularly, in case of high achievers and low achievers it was found that the high achievers pervasively attributed their success and failure outcomes to effort and ability and the low achievers to luck and task difficulty. The highest attribution was in favor of effort and second highest response was ability. The comparison of high achievers and low achievers showed that high achievers attributed their success and failure mostly with effort and ability. While, on the other hand, the low achievers associated their outcomes with luck and task difficulty. 1. Research conducted by Nurmi(1991) in USA supported the above results. 2. Research conducted by Sharma and Mangat(200 1) in India supported the results partially. 3. Research conducted by Skaalvik(1994) on Norwagian Students supported the results.
In the light of the conclusions of the study, it was recommended that teacher's be trained to understand the causal attributions, so that they can apply it in classroom situation for betterment of the students. It was suggested that measures should be taken to shift attributions of the low achievers from external factors to internal factors, so that they may become enthusiastic and motivated learners. Parents were also suggested to come forward to improve the causal attributions of their children regarding their success and failure. As for as the researcher knows, little research on the topic seemed to be carried out earlier in Pakistan. So it was recommended that further researches should be conducted on the different educational levels of students, students having different medium of instructions etc.