The relationship between culturally oriented achievement motivation, academic attribution styles and learning strategies of Hong Kong undergraduates

Year: 2013

Author: Leung, Hiu-Tung, Leung, Man-Tak

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In contrast to the concepts of achievement motivation developed in the western world, social-oriented achievement motivation (SOAM) and individual-oriented achievement motivation (IOAM) are two important components of culturally-derived achievement motivation locally constructed for new developments in learning and motivation research. However, previous research conducted to explore the structural relationship among SOAM, IOAM, academic attribution styles (ability, effort, context, luck) and learning strategies (rehearsal, elaboration, organization, critical thinking, meta-cognitive self-regulation) of Chinese university student is quite limited. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to explore and substantiate such complex interrelationships. A convenient sample of 250 Hong Kong university students participated in the present investigation. They were invited to complete a set of adapted questionnaire containing three parts: IOAM & SOAM Scale, Academic Attribution Styles Scale and Learning Strategy Scale. Results indicated that SOAM has significant and positive effect on both internal and external academic attributions styles (ability, effort, context and effort). Whereas IOAM has significant and positive effect on ability and effort when attributing desirable results and it has significant and positive influence on effort when attributing undesirable results. In addition, SOAM poses positive influence on the learning strategies of rehearsal and organization, whereas IOAM has positive effects on rehearsal, elaboration, organization and critical thinking. On the other hand, through path analysis, academic attribution styles have positive effects on some of the learning strategies. Effort attribution style positively influences all types of learning strategies (rehearsal, elaboration, organization, critical thinking and meta-cognitive self-regulation) no matter the attribution is for successful results or failures, except critical thinking when the attribution is for desirable results. Surprisingly, positive relationships between ability attribution style and elaboration, as well as critical thinking are found under the condition of attributing desirable results. In addition, there is a positive relationship between context attribution style and the use of critical thinking. This study implies that IOAM would lead to better achievement behaviors since it has positive influence on more desirable academic attribution styles and learning strategies. The findings of the present research can contribute to fill the knowledge gap in understanding the characteristics of Chinese university students with respect to SOAM, IOAM, academic attribution styles and strategic learning behaviours. Besides, it may be the first attempt to conduct and a comprehensive path model connecting SOAM, IOAM, academic attribution and learning strategy being obtained. Another implication is that it would alert university educators to design and implement effective and desirable attribution training programmes for the sake of improving university students' achievement outcomes.