Attributions of performance and expectancies for success : self-perceptions of gifted adolescents during mathematical concept development



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Purposes. This research explored how gifted adolescents form attributional judgments and develop achievement-related expectancies in the context of mathematical concept development. One focus was to determine whether attributional and expectancy judgments differ as a function of students' level of school achievement. A second focus was to investigate whether such self-perceptions vary according to sex. Procedures. Subjects were 100 students drawn from grades 6 through 8 in four middle schools, and were predominantly middle class. The 50 males and 50 females had previously been identified by the school district as academically gifted. Within sex, half of the students were classified as achievers and half as underachievers. The students' attributional and expectancy judgments were measured through the use of the Lilly Attribution-Expectancy Assessment administered within the context of a self-instructional learning module on the mathematical topic of residues. This instrument allowed students to periodically assess their ability, task difficulty, effort, general expectancy, and perceived efficacy. Results. Data were analyzed using a 2 (Level of Achievement) X 2 (Sex) analysis of variance with five repeated measures (Trials). Skill performance among the gifted achievers was not significantly different, yet when compared with female gifted achievers, male gifted achievers perceived their ability, general expectancy, and perceived efficacy judgments consistently higher across trials. [...]



Gifted children, Mathematical ability