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Achievement Motivation

Abstract

This chapter discusses the influential theory of achievement motivation by Atkinson (Psychol Rev 64: 359–372, 1957) including the preceding work by McClelland, Atkinson, Clark, and Lowell (The achievement motive, Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York, 1953) and its development into the self-evaluation model by Heckhausen (Fear of failure as a self-reinforcing motive system. In: Sarason IG, Spielberger C (Hrsg.) Stress and anxiety, Vol. II, pp 117–128. Hemisphere, Washington, DC, 1975b). After an introduction to the ontogenetic foundation of achievement-motivated behavior, which focuses on the discussion of standards of validity, the chapter will take a look at the development of picture-story tests which can be used to measure individual differences in achievement motivation and its two facets “hope for success” and “fear of failure.” The chapter will introduce studies of their validity and central findings on Atkinson’s model of risk behavior as well as its extension for the prediction of complex behavior. Another section is dedicated to Heckhausen’s model of self-evaluation and its application in academic contexts. Finally, the chapter will address some unanswered questions in this research area.

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Brunstein, J.C., Heckhausen, H. (2018). Achievement Motivation. In: Heckhausen, J., Heckhausen, H. (eds) Motivation and Action . Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-65094-4_6

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