Explanatory Style and the Performance of Residents

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Purpose Explanatory (i.e. attributional) style has been shown to be related to performance, especially when attributions are pessimistic. This study tested whether this relationship was present for residents. Method The Attributional Style Questionnaire and the Brief Symptom Inventory were completed by 45 residents. Clinical rotation evaluations and in-training examination scores were used as performance measures. Results Explanatory style and emotional distress were not related to performance, although explanatory style was correlated with emotional distress. Overall, residents displayed an optimistic explanatory style. Conclusion The absence of a relationship between explanatory style and performance may be due to the tendency for this resident sample to be optimistic. Also, common indicators of residency performance may not accurately measure clinical and academic performance.



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