This study investigates to what extent differences in ability and effort attributions can explain students’ reluctance to reorient after failure in the first year at the university. Reluctance to reorient after failure increases the likelihood of drop out. The empirical investigation is based on a sample of fulltime first-entry bachelor students enrolled in a social or behavioural science study programme at a Belgian university (N = 432). These students were asked to assess their study choices in a hypothetical failure scenario. Logit regression indicates that attributing failure to lack of ability is associated with a stronger tendency to reorient after failure. Furthermore, path analysis suggests that male students’ reluctance to reorient after failure is at least partially explained by their weaker tendency to attribute failure to lack of ability. Given the malleability of attributions, we argue that study counselling services can benefit from the insights of this study.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychology of Education
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Nov 2019

ID: 48290592