A comparative study of three measures of achievement motivation



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The primary purpose of this research was to determine if an instrument could be developed which would better discriminate between ninth-grade boys who perform a complex task with high achievement motivation and those who perform a complex task with low achievement motivation than would the TAT n Ach measure or the Mehrabian Scales of Achievement Motivation. Literature relating to previous developmental research on the theory of achievement motivation was reviewed and discussed in summary. The study had two objectives. The first was construction of an instrument, the Duer Test of Achievement Motivation (DTAM). In constructing the DTAM, the following steps were taken: (1) a format was chosen for the DTAM, somewhat similar to Osgood's semantic differential technique; (2) adjectives were selected through factor analysis; (3) pictures were created to serve as 'concepts' to be rated by subjects; (4) factor analysis was utilized to obtain the structure of the instrument, with three dimensions emerging and; (5) the DTAM was administered to 28 ninth-grade boys and related to two risk taking exercises. The derived instrument was found to have moderate validity when used to discriminate between high and low need achievers. The second objective of the study was to determine the predictive validity of the DTAM, TAT n Ach measure, and Mehrabian scales when used to discriminate between high and low achievers engaged in a risk taking experiment. The DTAM was found to be superior to the other two instruments in discriminating between those classified as high in achievement motivation and those classified as low in achievement motivation. Of special importance were findings concerning use of risk taking experiments as criteria for achievement motivation research. [...]



Achievement motivation--Testing