An examination of children's attributions and achievement-related evaluations in competitive, cooperative, and individualistic reward structures

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Abstract

Studied how the reward structure of an achievement setting would affect children's attributions and evaluations of achievement outcomes. An achievement situation describing 2 children successfully and unsuccessfully performing a task in competitive, cooperative, and individualistic reward structures was presented to 400 children across 5 grade levels (1-5). Results show that different evaluative beliefs about the concepts of ability and reward allocation were associated with each reward contingency. Competitive and individualistic structures accentuated perceptions of individual differences and the value placed on achievement outcomes. Evaluations of cooperative vs competitive outcomes were dependent on the level of individual performance within the groups and the success of the cooperative group. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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