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Comparison of Canadian and Korean preadolescent’s attribution patterns affecting inductive rule learning Lee, Hyun Sook


The primary purpose of this study was to test the attribution theory of motivation cross-culturally by comparing performance and attribution patterns on inductive rule learning in two different cultures (Canadian & Korean) within the framework of collectivism vs. individualism. Two hypotheses were formed: 1) Korean and Canadian students would show differences in attribution patterns following success or failure outcome due to different cultural emphasis. 2) Given the effort attribution of failure, Korean students would perform more accurately on the reasoning task than Canadian students, and given higher ability attribution of success, Canadian students may perform better or at least equally as well as Korean students. A Total of 120 grade seven students (60 Canadian and 60 Korean) from a middle-class community from Korea and Canada participated in the computerized experimental tasks. The research design involved two culture groups (Canadian and Korean) and three outcome feedback (control, failure, and success), as independent variables, and the number of instances, response rate and accuracy on the inductive reasoning tasks as dependent variables. Findings of this study indicate that Canadian culture may not be defined as more individualistic than Korean culture. The study results did not provide a clear cut distinction of collectivistic vs. individualistic cultures between Korean and Canadian cultures. In terms of attribution patterns, both culture groups showed similar patterns, but different from Weiner's theory of motivation, not only effort but also ability attribution influenced positively the accuracy of performance on the subsequent task upon receiving failure feedback. Given failure feedback, Korean grade seven students performed better, while Canadian counterparts' performance level on the subsequent task deteriorated with failure feedback. Further research on cross-cultural study of attribution theory has been suggested along with educational implications.

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