Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Theories Objectives


Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Theories


The objective of the author is to portray the different theories thatdetermine continued failure or success of individuals in a classroomsetting. The author employs interpersonal and intrapersonal theoriesand their key components that motivate or detracts the efforts ofindividuals. According to the article, the success or failure of anindividual in the class setting is a result of multi-factors that caneither emanate from an individual or the environment surrounding them(Weiner, 2000). The author earnestly demonstrates that psychologistsand educators can observe the interplay of these factors determinethe future outcome of a learner’s efforts.


Before making important decisions and conclusions regarding thefuture of a learner’s success or failure, the author indicates thatit is imperative to understand the driving factors to theirperformance. First, learners live in an environment that comprises offactors that interplay to bring different results. The goal is todetermine the components of the interpersonal factors. The authorgives an example of two performing students where one performsconsiderably well while the one fails (Weiner, 2000).The studentwho does not reach the expected threshold is expected to give reasonsfor his failure. Where there is a consistent failure or victory,students are not required to give explanations of their performancesince the perception of those who play important roles in theirenvironment including peers, teacher and parents are usuallypreformed (Weiner, 2000). The intrapersonal attributes associatedwith failure includes low self-esteem, feeling of guilt, lowaptitude, and poor preparation. The control that the learner has onthese factors determines their continuing or quitting.

The author’s second goal is to demonstrate that there are otherfactors in the external environment that a learner does not haveimmediate control over them. The perception of those surrounding thestudent and their reaction towards the failure or success of alearner determines their future decisions (Weiner, 2000). They caneither decide to quit or continue struggling to have desirableoutcomes. The author attributes these factors to the interpersonaltheory of motivation. Their reactions can either elicit self-pity,guilt or the hope for better performance.

The Interplay between Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Theoriesfrom an Attribution Approach

The author indicates that the motivation of an individual depends onboth the internal and external factors. The intrapersonal theoryindicates that there are factors that emanate within an individualthat determine their success or failure. The uniform nature of thetests administered to students shows a difference in student’sabilities. The fear of failure or anxiety, low aptitude or lack ofpreparation can result in poor performance. The students have toexplain their failure and the perception of those seeing explanationdetermines the level of motivation to continuing struggling forbetter performance (Weiner, 2000). The acceptance of students thatthey cannot improve their performance and a confirmation of the sameby those in the external environment may lead them to quit from theeducation system. In the case of intrapersonal factors like lowaptitude or physical disability, the players in the interpersonalarena may become pro-social or sympathetic. Also, a continued poorperformance is attributable to the self especially if there are otherstudents performing well in the same environment.

Also, the author provides that there are other factors that arecommon to both the interpersonal and intrapersonal theories thatdetermine the motivations of an individual. They includecontrollability, locus, and stability. Controllability involves thecapacity of an individual to influence the factors contributing tohis/her failure. For example, in an examination, an individual mayfail due to poor preparation. Poor preparation is under the controlof the student since he/she can improve it by increasing the numberof hours they dedicate to personal study. Conversely, some factorslike low aptitude are not under the control of a learner. Theuncontrollable factors are the primary causes of self-pity and lowself-esteem. They cripple the motivation of an individual.

Stability, as described by the author refers to the duration of thecause of reduced motivation. Temporary factors like anxiety and poorpreparation may not last for long and individual are motivated toovercome them (Weiner, 2000).However, other like low aptitude anddisability are permanent. The long lasting factors to a great extentmaim motivation and individuals may opt to cease in their strugglefor excellence. The author also portrays locus as the position of thecause. It can either be internal or external. Some of the internalfactors that are not permanent are easy to influence (Weiner, 2000).However, factors emanating from the external environment may not beunder the influence of an individual, and they affect motivation bothin the short and long-run.

Mistakes recommendations

Use of insufficient sources

The author presented a secondary document, and he could have,therefore, referred to the works of different authors. It is notablehow he exhausts his works, Weiner et al. Although the cited authorsconducted primary studies, his article would have been more credibleif he sought the findings and opinions of other authors with aninterest in the same topic.

Insufficient conclusion

While concluding his article, the author uses only one paragraph withseveral sentences. The few sentences do not comprehensively restatehis ideas and findings, and it is therefore not sufficient.

Failure to recognize the need for future research

Researchers always give room for other studies by recommending theneed for future research on the same topic of in a factor that theyshallowly address in their research. Weiner, however, does notmention the need for a future study, and this may make his workappear conclusive and perfect, and it is not always the case in anystudy.

Poor presentation of diverging thoughts

It is possible that not all the authors with an interest ininterpersonal and intrapersonal theories have different divergentthoughts. Te author does not present any ideas that are contrary tohis finding. The use of his past works as the main references forthis article hinders his criticisms since he could not deviate fromhis previous ideas.


Weiner successfully demonstrates how various factors in anindividual’s environment interact to affect their motivation. Hevividly describes the interpersonal and intrapersonal theories andthe causal factors including controllability, locus, and stability.Also, the author quotes some of the primary research he had conductedtogether with other authors. The several works under his name givehim an authority on the topic. I consider this article as a primereference for teachers and parents since it gives information onfactors that contribute to the motivation of the learners. Both canlearn and predict the future of the learners. They can also help themto identify both the factors that they can easily influence toimprove their performance.


Weiner, B. (2000).Intrapersonal and interpersonal theories of motivation from anattributional perspective. Educational Psychology Review,12(1), 1-14.