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psyc 320 lecture 49.doc

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PSYC 320
Sunaina Assanand

psyc 320 lecture 49 By the end of today’s class you should be able to: • Describe methodological flaws associated with early research on sex differences in achievement motivation and fear of success • Review present research findings regarding sex similarities in achievement motivation and fear of success Are there sex differences in achievement motivation and fear of success? 1.Achievement motivation: the desire to succeed at tasks that require excellence. People who wish to fulfill standards of excellence. Projective tests: it is thought that people will tell a story which reflects their innermost thoughts (researchers use highly subjective process by counting the references to achievement the participants made in the stories they made up for the pictures).Achievement motivation is typically measured using projective tests (thematicApperception Test, Picture story exercises) • Instructions for the Thematic Apperception Test: “I am going to show you some pictures, one at a time, and your task will be to make up a story for each card. In your story, be sure to tell what has led up to the event shown in the picture, describe what is happening at the moment, what the characters are feeling and thinking, and give the outcome. Tell a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end. Do you understand? I will write your stories verbatim as you tell them. Here’s the first card.” • Early research systematically excluded women as achievement was seen as male domain--it was more relevant to men because men worked and did more active things associated with achievement. • Early research on achievement motivation was largely restricted to male participants • research that did look at both sexes found that: for both sexes achievement motivation is associated with test scores, failure, etc; achievement involving task instructions (saying that this test will show your intelligence, it will show how competent you will be in the workforce, etc.): increases males achievement motivation; females didn’t show any increase; researchers believed that women had a lower achievement motivation than males • research looking at both sexes found that: achievement motivation scores related to outcome measures (test scores, persistence in the face of failure) similarly among females and males; among males achievement motive scores increased when “achievement-involving” task instructions were used; among females achievement motive scores did not increase when “achievement-involving” task instructions were used; researchers concluded that females have a weaker achievement motivation than males • Criticism: domains reflected were not relevant to women as they showed women/people in occupations that women did not work in during the 1950's. The qualities about motivation achievement they were looking for were directly related to the male gender role • Flaws in the research method: the domains of achievement that were studied (workplace achievement) were more relevant to males than females; the characteristics that were used to define achievement motivation (competitiveness) conflicted with the female gender role • Recent research shows work place as well as relational images with the definition of motivation encompassing things that are relevant to both male and female gender roles and resulted in no sex differences in achievement motivation; Recent research that has addressed these flaws has demon
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