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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The role of self-theories of intelligence and self-efficacy in adaptive help-seeking by college students
by Mihlon, Mildred A., Ph.D., City University of New York, 2010, 101; 3408096
Abstract (Summary)

In this study the role of self-theories of intelligence and self-efficacy on adaptive help-seeking behavior was examined. One-hundred, first-year college students were asked to complete a highly difficult vocabulary task that would ensure universal failure. Performance attributions were assessed in order to determine the students’ view of intelligence as either fixed or malleable. To obtain a measure for self-efficacy, a subsequent task was administered whereas participants were asked to indicate their confidence for the use of help-seeking to improve learning. During this task students were permitted to seek help in the form of a hint or direct answer. The students’ bids for help were later coded as either maladaptive or adaptive forms of help. A final vocabulary posttest was administered immediately following to assess learning.

Results from a multivariate analysis of variance yielded a main effect for self-theory of intelligence on all predicted variables. Post hoc tests revealed significant differences between the groups such that the students who attributed their performance to ability pursued less adaptive forms of help, did worse on the posttest, and had lower self-efficacy posttest ratings than those students who attributed performance to effort. Since no main effects were observed for self-efficacy, a bias score was calculated for each participant to control for calibration errors and used as a covariate in a subsequent analysis of covariance. With the inclusion of the covariate, bias score, significant effects for all predicted variables were obtained. Students in low self-efficacy group as compared to the high self-efficacy group pursued less adaptive forms of help, did worse on the posttest, and had lower self-efficacy posttest ratings. Overall findings from this study showed that view of intelligence directly impacts help-seeking behavior, which indirectly affects learning and performance.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Zimmerman, Barry J.
Commitee: Akiba, Daisuke, Chen, Peggy, Homer, Bruce, Kopala, Mary
School: City University of New York
Department: Educational Psychology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 71/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational psychology, Higher education
Keywords: Attributions, College students, Help-seeking, Intelligence, Self-efficacy, Self-regulation
Publication Number: 3408096
ISBN: 978-1-124-03949-7
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