Investigating the Effects of Attributional Retraining Procedures on High School Students’ Foreign Language Causal Attributions and their Foreign Language Achievement

Mohammad Hadi Mahmoodi, Mehdi Doosti


This study investigated the effects of attributional retraining techniques on high school students’ foreign language causal attributions and foreign language achievement. To determine the participants’ initial causal attributions, the Revised Causal Dimension Scale (CDS-II) (McAuley et al. 1992) was distributed among 327 Iranian high school students shortly after they had taken their first English achievement test. Participants were required to rate their perceived success or failure by reflecting on their performance on the test based on the dimensions of the CDS-II. Subsequently, participants in the experimental group received attributional treatments in videotape format followed by group discussions. At the end of the semester, the participants in both groups took a final English language achievement test and the CDS-II again. The findings showed that attribution retraining techniques are effective in changing the participants’ causal attributions in the predicted direction and improving their performance on foreign language achievement tests.


Attribution theory; attributional retraining; foreign language achievement; high school students; English as a foreign language

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