Intro - There are limits to trait concept and explanatory behaviour.
Talk about characteristic adaptations – new domain of constructs, what are the stylistic
ways to which we adapt to environment
David McClellan pioneered study of several motivations/needs, implicit motive –
motivational quality that exists inside us but outside our conscious awareness, He
pioneered study of implicit motivation in area of need of achievement and later power and
McClellan’s definition of motive: recurrent preference or readiness for a particular quality
of experience. Which energizes, directs and selects behaviour in certain situations. –
Motives are like a lens, way of filtering ones experience into kinds of qualities that are
most meaningful to us.
Motives are different from traits, traits refer to – “what”, motivational constructs reference
questions that begin with “why” – why someone has done something for example
What is the motive underlying or residing behind our behaviour, motives are different
Motivation vs. conscious intention – There are some motives that are known to us, we
have access to them, McClellan felt there were certain motivations that were only partly
accessible to consciousness – they play profound role in shaping our cognition,
perception and behaviour.
How do you measure something that people are not aware of?
McClellan pioneered method used by Henry – TAT, Thematic Apperception Test, consists
of standardized sequence of cards which depict pictures, participant is instructed to look
at picture and write a story. Notion is that pictures themselves don’t have fixed stories
embedded in them, they are ambiguous, and therefore the story told is intrinsic to the
person telling it. We project all of our motivations/concerns onto characters in the story
we are creating.
Achievement motive – believed need for achievement was implicit motivation and as a
result we would need to rely on measures of implicit constructs like TAT in order to
access them. How can we reply on TAT to access peoples motives? You need a scoring
system, code the stories people have written, more themes related to achievement,
presumably the more achievement motivation they have. How do you create a scoring
system? This is the subject of a great deal of study. The way they created it was to begin