UNCCH Impact of Teacher Self

6-7 pages double spaced


The way students attribute to their instructor’s behaviors impacts how students communicate and interact with their instructors. As a result, it impacts the overall performance of the students in class. Thus, positive student attribution can be enhanced through instructors’ self-disclosure to their students.


  • what’s unique about how attributions work in this context
  • Make a claim that tells us how attribution theory is used in this line of research

Theory Overview:

  • Big Overview of attribution and it’s aims , explain relevant theoretical concepts
  • Why do students find teacher responses to be internal attributions rather than external?
  • Students attribute instructor’s negative behaviors to internal causes because of their minimal self-disclosure to their students. Students cannot distinguish between the instructor’s behaviors attributed to internal causes and those attributed to external causes with minimal information about the instructor’s true self. Therefore, they make biased assessments regarding instructor’s behaviors.


  • (FInd a stronger arguments, more than just self disclosure being the cause of internal attributions, what else?)
  • consider how incorporation of self-disclosure as a variable expands the theory.
  • Go deeper into what the true self meaning is, very vague
  • How can attribution theory argue for teachers having internal attributions?

Both their positive and negative behaviors are attributed to internal causes, experiences or how they handle their students based on personal reasons. Their behaviors are more judged by their students than behaviors of teachers with external attributions.


  • Be more clear on What makes the difference between internal vs. external attributions on the part of students here? (Self-disclosure?) This could be stated a bit more clearly.
  • Overview of Theory
    • What does the research say about teachers and how they view their internal/external attributions towards students? (Over view of theories)
    • Goodboy et al. (2014) argue that teacher’s self-disclosure to their students influence learning outcomes students’ instructional dissent responses. Johnson and LaBelle (2017) report that authentic teachers improve communication with their students because they are viewed as passionate, approachable, knowledgeable, capable, and attentive while LaBelle and Martin (2014) argue that students often view instructor’s negative behavior as internal attribution.

The three research studies only focus on the student’s perception of the instructor’s behavior. They leave out the teacher’s perceptions on internal and external attribution towards students.

  • How many people took part, age group, education level…

The research study by LaBelle and Martin (2014) had 244 undergraduate students as their participants. A total of 297 college students took part in the study by Johnson and LaBelle (2017) while Goodboy et al. (2014) had 206 undergraduate students as participants in their study. However, the studies did not disclose the participants’ age group.


  • State broader argument, summarize each study individually, and then bring together how all the studies support the argument


Attribution theory can explain students view on teacher attribution in this case but not teachers view on student attribution

  • Why is that true?

Attribution theory is only used to understand student perceptions of instructor behavior because it impacts how that perception affects learning outcomes and instructional dissent in a classroom. It focuses on explaining the causes of the teachers’ behaviors as witnessed in class. These causes can either be internally or externally attributed.

  • What claim do I have?

Student attribution has more impact on the learning process and how students communicate and interact with their instructors than teacher attribution. When students are aware of instructors’ true selves, they can differentiate between external and internal attributed behaviors.


  • expand on how self-disclosure and perceptions of authenticity are connected to attribution theory – and what this tells us about the theory
  • What evidence am I basing that off of?

LaBelle and Martin (2014) whose research is based on attribution theory in a classroom, only base their research on student’s perception towards their instructor’s behavior during disagreements and only use students as their participants. They use this to examine the connection between student’s attribution and instructional dissent in a classroom.


Instructor’s self-disclosure to students influences student attribution, teaching authenticity, and overall students’ performance. It helps students distinguish internal attributed and external attributed behaviors of their instructors. This improves communication between students and teachers.




R eferences

Goodboy, A. K., Carton, S. T., Goldman, Z. W., Gozanski, T. A., Tyler, W. J., & Johnson, N. R. (2014). Discouraging instructional dissent and facilitating students’ learning experiences through instructor self-disclosure. Southern Communication Journal, 79(2), 114-129. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/104179…

Johnson, Z. D., & LaBelle, S. (2017). An examination of teacher authenticity in the college classroom. Communication Education, 66(4), 423-439. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/036345…

LaBelle, S., & Martin, M. M. (2014). Attribution theory in the college classroom: Examining the relationship of student attributions and instructional dissent. Communication Research Reports, 31(1), 110-116. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271530690…

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