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Achievement motivation or the need for achievementis the psychological drive to excel, a social form of motivation to perform at a high level of competence. It is sometimes abbreviated to N Ach or nAch. Usually this is understood to mean competing in socially valued activities where achievement can be recognised and given appropriate recognition either by the group of internally by the performer.
The term need for achievement was first introduced by Henry Murray in 1938 in his book "Explorations of Personality" where he used it in the sense of overcoming obstacles or being regularly willing to take on difficult tasks. The term achievement motivation has been the preferred term more recently.
Active researchers in the area include David McClelland
Assessment of achievement motivation
This has traditionally been assessed by use of projective tests such as the Thematic Apperception Test.
References & Bibliography
McClelland, D. C., Atkinson. J. W, Clark, R. and Lowell, F. L. (1953) The Achievement Motive. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
- Collins, J.L. (1982) Self-efficacy and ability in achievement behavior. Cited in A. Bandura (1989) Perceived self-agency in the exercise of personal agency, Psychologist 2(10): 411-24.
- Dweck, C.S. and Elliott, E.S. (1983) Achievement motivation. In: P.H. Mussen (ed.) Handbook of Child Psychology, vol. IV, 4th edn, New York: John Wiley.
- Rosen, B.C. and d'Andrade, R. (1959) The psychosocial origins of achievement motivation, Sociometry 22: 185-218.
- Sagie. A.. Elizur, D. and Yamauchi. H. ( I996) The structure and strength of achievement
motivation: A crosscultural comparison, Journal of Organizational Behavior. 17(5). 431-44.
- Winterbottom, M. (1953) The sources of achievement motivation in mothers' attitudes towards independence training. In: D. McClelland et at. (eds) The Achievement Motive, New York: AppletonCentury-Crofts.
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