ERIC Number: ED085643
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
A Reanalysis of the Need to Achieve and Its Relationship to Education. Theoretical Paper No. 42.
A review of the literature indicates that measures of the McClelland-Atkinson need-Achievement (nAch) construct are weak in terms of both reliability and validity. The most serious weakness of the model's validity is the lack of evidence for the hypothesized positive relationship between nAch and performance. In addition, the inverse relationship between the probability of success and the incentive value of success is not supported. The nAch model is shown to be closely related to expectancy theory. The success of the nAch construct in predicting risk preference is explained with an analysis of the information obtainable by attempting tasks of different probabilities of success. Moderate risks are shown to offer maximum information, whereas tasks of high or low risk offer minimum information. Hence, what has been termed "need Achievement" is reconceptualized as the willingness to seek information about one's own performance capacity. This, in turn, is related to processes of social comparison. Information on academic performance must be presented in such a way as to minimize threats to the student's self-esteem. The analysis is related specifically to individualization of instruction and integration of classrooms. (Author)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Research and Development Center for Cognitive Learning.