Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 59–76 | Cite as

Achievement motivation in relation to achievement-related recall, performance, and urine flow, a marker associated with release of vasopressin

  • David C. McClelland


Administration of the pituitary hormone, arginine vasopressin (AVP), enhances memory in animals and humans. Since AVP is the antidiuretic hormone, its release can be inferred from reductions in urine flow. Forty-six male adults recalled the contents of a complex story and then either were exposed to achievement arousal or were not. Significantly more of the subjects in the aroused than the nonaroused condition showed a decrease in urine flow, and the greater the decrease in urine flow among the achievement-aroused subjects, the better the recall of achievement-related story content 24 hours later. Subjects high inn Achievement, in the achievement-oriented condition, showed lower urine output at the outset of the second day and greater improvement in learning to unscramble words. Since lower urine output was also related to improvement in unscrambling words, achievement arousal may have released AVP which in turn may have facilitated achievement-related retention and performance.


Arginine Social Psychology Male Adult Vasopressin Great Improvement 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • David C. McClelland
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBoston UniversityBoston

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