AP Psychology
Unit 10: Motivation & Emotion
Achievement Motivation

Notes Outline:

  • Achievement Motive
  • Individual Differences in the Need to Achieve
  • Situational Determinants

Achievement Motive

The need to master difficult challenges, outperform others, and to meet high standards of excellence. The desire to excel, especially in competition to others. The desire to achieve is FAIRLY STABLE THROUGHOUT LIFE.

Individual Differences in the Need To Achieve

Achievement motive can be measure through the THEMATIC APPERCEPTION TEST (TAT) -- > A PROJECTIVE TEST that requires subjects to respond to vague, ambiguous stimuli n a way that may reveal personal motives and traits.

People who score higher on the need to achieve :

  • Tend to work harder and more persistently on tasks
  • Handle negative feedback more effectively
  • More future oriented
  • More likely to delay gratification in order to pursue long term goals
  • High correlation between high achievement motive and educational attainment
  • High correlation between high achievement motive and career success in business
  • Tend to not choose the hardest tasks, tend to choose intermediate challenge

Situational Determinants

While achievement motive is fairly stable, it is still influenced by different situations

There are THREE Factors that effect Achievement Behavior:

1.  Strength of your motive to achieve success --> Stable personality factor

2.   Your estimate of the probability of success

3. The incentive value of success --> tangible and intangible rewards for success

Motivation & Emotion?

  • Emotion can CAUSE emotion --> EX: Anger about your job motivates you to find a new one
  • Motivation can CAUSE emotion --> EX: Motivation to win a contest can cause anxiety, joy if you win, despair if you don’t
  • HOWEVER, motivation and emotion are NOT the same thing