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Lecture 12

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB30H3
Professor
Marc A Fournier

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PSYB30H3PersonalityMon, Feb 28/2011
Lecture 12 – Week 7 slides
Overview of Week 7 lecture
The Legacy of David C. McClelland
The Needs for Power & Intimacy
Trait x Motive Interactions
Introduction to Social Motivation
McClelland pioneered the study of several motivations AKA needs (including Social
Motivation)
His Definition of a Motive/Need: A recurrent preference or readiness for a particular quality of
experience, which energizes, directs, and selects behaviour in certain situations
Given a certain motivation or preparedness, I will see the world in slightly different ways
than people with different motivational preferences
Motives are different from Traits
Traits refer to questions of “what.
ex: What behaviours do people typically show, or What thoughts does someone typically
have?
Motivational constructs refer to questions that begin withwhy.
ex: when we ask ourselves why someone does what they do, we're seeking the motives in
their behaviour. We're assuming their behaviour is purposeful, deliberate and motivated
towards a certain end.
So, we're seeking to answer “what is the motive underlying within our behaviour?
Motives are different from Conscious Intentions
Some motives are known to us. We can look inside of ourselves and become aware of the
intentions we have and the goals we're pursuing.
However, McClelland felt that there were some motivations that were only partly accessible
to consciousness, they lie outside of conscious awareness and they play a profound role in
shaping our perception, cognition and behaviour.
So, much of which motivates us are motives which we are not consciously aware of
This creates a conundrum methodologically. How do you measure something that people are not
aware of?
The most common tool used in personality psychology research is the self-report. They rely
on participants to tell them what he or she is like, what he or she wants. But if the profound
motives that energize peoples' behaviours are outside of conscious awareness, we obviously
can't rely on self-report
People can't report on things of which they aren't aware...duhhh
How then do we gain access to these implicit, unconscious motivations?
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
www.notesolution.com
A test created by McClelland which has a clever strategy behind it
The TAT consists of a standardized sequence of cards, all of which depict pictures/a scene.
Ex: You might see a man and a woman sitting on a bench beside a river, or a man in a lab
coat behind what appears to be a lab desk.
The participant is instructed to look at the picture, and then to write a story about what's going
on in the picture
Participants then answer Where did the characters come from? What's going on in the
scene? What will happen beyond the image depicted in the card?
So, Participants are required to write a story in response to a series of pictures, and the series of
pictures is standardized (all participants see the exact same sequence of pictures in the same
order).
The pictures obviously hold no specific story behind them, so you make the story up on your
own. The strategy is that whatever you see in the cards, whatever story you create out of the
cards is intrinsic to you. You create what's happening in the card
Aim of the test: The story you come up with (what you think is going on in the cards) is a
projection which reveals your own underlying needs, conflicts, and complexes
The story you write, the characters you create will reflect motivational concerns that are
your motivational concerns because the cards themselves have no motivational content
TAT =projective test
McClelland believed that the need for achievement was an implicit motivation (we're only partly
conscious of it) and as a result we would need to rely on measures of implicit constructs, like the TAT,
in order to access them.
How do you use the TAT to measure achievement motivation (people's motives)?
You need a scoring system
Developing a TAT Scoring System
A rigorous set of instructions where an experimentalist can take the stories that people write, and code
the stories for their thematic imagery related to achievement (a coding system like what I had to do for
my media essay)
The more themes related to achievement that a person writes about, it's assumed that they have
more achievement motivation.
How do you create one of these scoring systems?
First, begin with a rough theory (or hypothesis) about the kinds of (experimental) conditions
under which a particular motive might be temporarily elevated
We can bring some subjects in and experimentally subject them to a set of conditions that
will temporarily raise their level of achievement motivation (that will temporarily put
achievement on their minds).
One strategy that McClelland had - he brought groups of participants and gave all of them a
bunch of cognitive tests.
He then took a small group of participants among the bunch and told them that the test is
going to tell us a lot about your general intelligence, and your leadership potential. They
then wrote a story in response to several cards
Because they were told what the test is going to reveal (leadership/intelligence), the
www.notesolution.com
assumption is that there will be a temporary arousal of achievement motivation in that
smaller group. The motivation to achieve was instilled within them.
Another group of participants (a neutral condition) was given the same array of
cognitive tests but instead, they were told that these tests are still under development and
that they won't measure anything. This group has no motivationally aroused
So, what distinguishes the story that the aroused group writes compared to the neutral
group? Are there themes that appear in the stories of the aroused participants that don't
show up in the stories of the neutral group?
Identifying the differences in themes allows you to build a scoring system
So, you'll have a motive arousal condition and you'll compare the stories those aroused
people write to the stories people write under neutral conditions
once the various themes that distinguish the stories of individuals in whom the motive
has been temporarily aroused have been identified, you can then create a scoring system
with those themes
then, in later research, all you'd have to do is bring participants in and show them the
cards, ask them to write stories in response to each of the cards and then apply the
scoring system to the stories that they've written.
The assumption here is that everyone in this new group is being tested under baseline
conditions and if one person shows more of the themes relevant to (for example)
achievement than other individuals do, that implies that the individual has a higher
resting level of achievement motivation
the person has a high degree of investment in achievement motivation relative to
other motives
Criticisms of the TAT
Poor reliability
There is little internal consistency. If you ask participants to write 1 story and then another
story and then another story, often what you find is that there are themes of achievement in
one story but in the next story you write, you don't show the same levels of achievement
motivation
Poor validity
if you have poor reliability, you're gonna have a hard time convincing people that your
instrument (TAT) is able to prove anything of significance
it only sometimes predicts the things it should predict
Poor convergent validity with questionnaire measures of motives, which demonstrate greater
reliability and validity
If we obtain an implicit measure of my achievement motivation from the TAT and correlate
it with a self-report measure of achievement motivation, we might actually find that they're
not really related to each other.
McClelland says that isn't a big problem because self-report should only partially access the
motives we have. So you wouldn't expect the self-report and the implicit measure (TAT) to
agree...but still critics see it as a concern
So in terms of reliability, what the problem is when writing stories, people feel pressured into
writing a completely different story for each card they see, and this affects reliability. However,
www.notesolution.com

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Description
PSYB30H3 Personality Mon, Feb 282011 Lecture 12 Week 7 slides Overview of Week 7 lecture The Legacy of David C. McClelland The Needs for Power & Intimacy Trait x Motive Interactions Introduction to Social Motivation McClelland pioneered the study of several motivations AKA needs (including Social Motivation) His Definition of a MotiveNeed: A recurrent preference or readiness for a particular quality of experience, which energizes, directs, and selects behaviour in certain situations Given a certain motivation or preparedness, I will see the world in slightly different ways than people with different motivational preferences Motives are different from Traits Traits refer to questions of what. ex: What behaviours do people typically show, or What thoughts does someone typically have? Motivational constructs refer to questions that begin with why. ex: when we ask ourselves why someone does what they do, were seeking the motives in their behaviour. Were assuming their behaviour is purposeful, deliberate and motivated towards a certain end. So, were seeking to answer what is the motive underlying within our behaviour? Motives are different from Conscious Intentions Some motives are known to us. We can look inside of ourselves and become aware of the intentions we have and the goals were pursuing. However, McClelland felt that there were some motivations that were only partly accessible to consciousness, they lie outside of conscious awareness and they play a profound role in shaping our perception, cognition and behaviour. So, much of which motivates us are motives which we are not consciously aware of This creates a conundrum methodologically. How do you measure something that people are not aware of? The most common tool used in personality psychology research is the self-report. They rely on participants to tell them what he or she is like, what he or she wants. But if the profound motives that energize peoples behaviours are outside of conscious awareness, we obviously cant rely on self-report People cant report on things of which they arent aware...duhhh How then do we gain access to these implicit, unconscious motivations? Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) www.notesolution.com
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