Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Need for Achievement

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_537-1
  • 2.9k Downloads

Synonyms

Definition

Need for achievement is the desire to obtain excellent results by setting high standards and striving to accomplish them. It is a consistent concern with doing things better.

Introduction

Scientists’ interest in the issues of motivation to achieve successes was developed in the first half of the twentieth century, when Henry Murray (1938, p. 164) defined the need for achievement as a desire to “accomplish something difficult;…to overcome obstacles and attain a high standard; to excel oneself; to rival and surpass others.”

A significant contribution to the development of studies on the need for achievement was made by David McClelland, who, together with his co-workers, adapted the Thematic Apperception Test to examine motivation to achieve successes (McClelland et al. 1953). He defined the need for achievement as a general and relatively stable personality disposition that is learned on the basis of affective experiences. He claimed that all...

Keywords

Achievement Goal Performance Goal Mastery Goal Personality Research Implicit Motive 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Atkinson, J. W., & Feather, N. T. (Eds.). (1966). A theory of achievement motivation. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  2. Beugelsdijk, S., & Smeets, R. (2008). Entrepreneurial culture and economic growth: Revisiting McClelland’s thesis. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 67, 915–939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brunstein, J. C., & Maier, G. W. (2005). Implicit and self-attributed motives to achieve: Two separate but interacting needs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 205–222.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Collins, C. J., Hanges, P. J., & Locke, E. A. (2004). The relationship of achievement motivation to entrepreneurial behavior: A meta-analysis. Human Performance, 17(1), 95–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dweck, C. S. (1986). Motivational processess affecting learning. American Psychologist, 41, 1040–1048.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Elliot, A. J., Murayama, K., & Pekrun, R. (2011). A 3 x 2 achievement goal model. Journal of Educational Psychology, 103, 632–648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hustinx, P. W. J., Kuyper, H., & Dijkstra, P. (2009). Achievement motivation revisited: New longitudinal data to demonstrate its predictive power. Educational Psychology, 29(5), 561–582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jackson, D. N. (1974). Manual for the personality research form. Goshen: Research Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  9. Köllner, M., & Schultheiss, O. C. (2014). Meta-analytic evidence of low convergence between implicit and explicit measures of the needs for achievement, affiliation, and power. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 826.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. McClelland, D. C. (1988). Human motivation. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. McClelland, D. C., Atkinson, J. W., Clark, R. A., & Lowell, E. L. (1953). The achievement motive. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. McClelland, D. C., Koestner, R., & Weinberger, J. (1989). How do self-attributed and implicit motives differ? Psychological Review, 96, 690–702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Murray, H. A. (1938). Explorations in personality. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Ramsay, J. E., & Pang, J. S. (2013). Set ambiguity: A key determinant of reliability and validity in the picture story exercise. Motivation and Emotion, 37(4), 661–674.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Schultheiss, O. C., Jones, N. M., Davis, A. Q., & Kley, C. (2008). The role of implicit motivation in hot and cold goal pursuit: Effects on goal progress, goal rumination, and depressive symptoms. Journal of Research in Personality, 42, 971–987.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Schultheiss, O. C., & Brunstein, J. C. (2005). An implicit motive perspective on competence. In A. J. Elliot & C. S. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of competence and motivation (pp. 31–51). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  17. Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. L. (1983). Achievement-related motives and behaviors. In J. T. Spence (Ed.), Achievement and achievement motives: Psychological and sociological approaches (pp. 7–74). San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.Google Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyUniversity of LodzLodzPoland

Section editors and affiliations

  • Monika Wróbel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyUniversity of LodzLodzPoland