Cognitive ability, classroom learning behavior, and achievement responsibility as predictors of concurrent academic performance

Richard Victor Weiss, University of Pennsylvania


Cognitive ability, although a relatively strong predictor of academic achievement, has a demonstrated lack of treatment utility. Two alternatives that also predict academic performance hold more promise for educational and psychological intervention: the manner in which students respond to their teachers in classroom learning situations and the amount of responsibility students take for their own achievement. This study examined the relationship between cognitive ability, learning-related behaviors, achievement responsibility, and their interactions in predicting concurrent academic performance. Two independent samples participated: (a) 180 parochial students in fourth, fifth, and sixth grades and their teachers, and (b) 185 public school students in similar grade levels and their teachers. Students completed the 34-item Intellectual Achievement Responsibility (IAR) scale. Teachers rated student learning behaviors with the 29-item Learning Behaviors Scale. Cognitive ability was measured with the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, Sixth and Seventh Editions. Teacher-assigned grades in reading, language, and mathematics, and scores on the Stanford Achievement Test, Ninth Edition and Metropolitan Achievement Tests, Seventh Edition served as achievement criteria. After exploring the dimensional structure of the IAR scale, it was found to lack temporal stability and thus an evidential basis for use. However, multiple regression correlation and canonical variate analyses demonstrated that four dimensions of learning-related behavior and their interactions with cognitive ability contributed meaningfully to the prediction of academic achievement. The findings were replicated independently in both samples. The significance of the research is presented in the context of recent legislative efforts to address the needs of all children, especially those traditionally evaluated and placed outside of mainstream classrooms.

Subject Area

Educational evaluation|Educational psychology|Elementary education|School administration

Recommended Citation

Weiss, Richard Victor, "Cognitive ability, classroom learning behavior, and achievement responsibility as predictors of concurrent academic performance" (1997). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9727314.