Skip to main content

Achievement Motives

  • 459 Accesses

Synonyms

Achievement dispositions; Competence motives

Definition

Achievement motives are appetitive and aversive dispositions toward competence/incompetence.

Introduction

The achievement motive construct was introduced by Harvard psychologist Henry Murray (1938) and systematically formalized in the 1950s by David McClelland, John Atkinson, and their colleagues (see McClelland et al. 1953). These theorists described motives as learned associations between environmental cues and resulting affective responses. These learned associations spawn anticipation of the affective responses, which subsequently prompt achievement behavior (McClelland et al. 1953; Murray 1938). Anticipatory emotions relevant to achievement motives include anticipatory pride and shame. Anticipatory pride and shame function as the basis for the two predominant achievement motives that have received attention in the literature – need for achievement and fear of failure (Atkinson and Feather 1966; McClelland et al. 1953)....

Keywords

  • Achievement Motivation
  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
  • Private Body Consciousness
  • Explicit Motivation
  • Family Orientation Questionnaire

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, access via your institution.

References

  • Atkinson, J. W., & Feather, N. T. (Eds.). (1966). A theory of achievement motivation (Vol. 66). New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Birney, R., Burdick, H., & Teevan, R. (1969). Fear of failure. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

    Google Scholar 

  • Conroy, D. E., Willow, J. P., & Metzler, J. N. (2002). Multidimensional fear of failure measurement: The performance failure appraisal inventory. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 14(2), 76–90.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Covington, M. V. (1992). Making the grade: A self-worth perspective on motivation and school reform. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Elliot, A. J. (1999). Approach and avoidance motivation and achievement goals. Educational Psychologist, 34(3), 169–189.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Elliot, A. J., & Sheldon, K. M. (1997). Avoidance achievement motivation: A personal goals analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(1), 171.

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Heckhausen, H. (1975). Fear of failure as a self-reinforcing motive system. Stress and Anxiety, 2, 117–128.

    Google Scholar 

  • Helmreich, R. L., Spence, J. T., Beane, W. E., Lucker, G. W., & Matthews, K. A. (1980). Making it in academic psychology: Demographic and personality correlates of attainment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39(5), 896.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hill, K. T. (1984). Debilitating motivation and testing: A major educational problem B possible solutions and policy implications. In C. Ames & R. Ames (Eds.), Research on motivation in education (Vol. 1, pp. 245–274). New York: Academic.

    Google Scholar 

  • McClelland, D. C., Atkinson, J. W., Clark, R. A., & Lowell, E. L. (1953). The achievement motive. New York: Appleton.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Murray, H. A. (1938). Explorations in personality. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Spangler, W. D. (1992). Validity of questionnaire and TAT measures of need for achievement: Two meta-analyses. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 140.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • 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, CA: W.H. Freeman.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thrash, T. M., Elliot, A. J., & Schultheiss, O. C. (2007). Methodological and dispositional predictors of congruence between implicit and explicit need for achievement. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33(7), 961–974.

    CrossRef  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Emily J. Hangen .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Section Editor information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2016 Springer International Publishing AG

About this entry

Cite this entry

Hangen, E.J., Elliott, A.J. (2016). Achievement Motives. In: Zeigler-Hill, V., Shackelford, T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_487-1

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_487-1

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-28099-8

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Behavioral Science and PsychologyReference Module Humanities and Social Sciences