Hall et al., 2004: Attributing academic failure as unstable and controllable improved academic achievement among undergraduate students, especially among high-elaborative learning students
Undergraduate introductory psychology students, most in the first year, watched an 8-minute video in which two graduate students and a professor in psychology discussed how adopting controllable and unstable patterns of causal attributions (e.g. academic failure due to lack of effort or a poor study strategy instead of lack of ability) can improve motivation and performance. They then either summarized the main points and described how they could apply these ideas to their own studies or took a brief very difficult aptitude test. As compared to a randomized control condition, both treatments improved final grades in psychology and, for students high in elaborative learning, first-year GPA.