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Lecture 12

Lecture 12.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Marc A Fournier

Lecture 12 - trait concepts are utilized to draw outline of individual; broad but superficial - David McLellans introduced idea of implicit motive, one outside of our own consciousness; a need for achievement, later in his career, redefined it as power and intimacy - motives and needs combine to produce a range of consequential outcomes - he defined motive as: a recurrent preference or readiness for a particular quality of experience, which energizes, selects, and directs behavior in certain situations - motives for mclellan were seen as a lense; a way of filtering ones experience into qualities that are most meaningful or relavent to us; all humans see the world differently and this lense filters experiences, allowing us to see things in different ways - motives are different from traits - traits refer to question of WHAT; what behaviours do people show, what thoughts does someone have, what feelings is someone prone to having - motive questions refer to WHY; why someone does what he/she does (we are seeking motives underlying behaviours); this assumes behavior is purposeful and deliberate and motivated to a certain end; - difference between motivation and conscious intention; some motives we have access to, but there are certain ones that are partly accessible, that lie outside of consciousness and play a profound role in shaping our perception, cognition, and behaviour - mclellan is adamant that one should not equate motivation with conscious intention, and much of what motivates us is things we’re not aware of - this presents a conundrum: how do you measure something that people are not aware of, given that we rely heavily on self reports - Mclellans strategy was to make use of a method introduced by Henry Murray, the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT); it’s a PROJECTIVE TEST - TAT has a very clever strategy behind it: it consists of a standardized sequence of cards depicting pictures (for example man and woman sitting beside river, or man in lab coat behind lab desk) and participants instructed to look at picture and write a story about whats going on in picture; meant to consider where characters have come from, whats ongoing in scene, and what wil happen beyond image of whats going on in card - series of pictures are standardized, all participants see exact same sequence of pictures in exact same order - the notion here is that pics themselves don’t have fixed stories embedded in them, pictures are ambiguous and so YOU must make story up on your own; strategy is whatever you see from the cards, its not intrinsic to card but intrinsic to YOU; EXAMPLE: If you are imagining a protagonist in a story as motivated by some concern, that concerns not embedded in card but rather YOUR creating that concern for the protagonist - notion is when faced with an ambiguous situation and when asked to make meaning of it, we rely on our own organization of motivations, concerns, fears, hopes, and PROJECT all those onto characters of stories we are creating; the characters aren’t us but they are basically our puppets and using them to act us out - the stories you write and whatever it reflects will reflect YOU and your motivation concerns - McLellan began his career interested primarily in achievement motive; believed it was an implicit motivation and decided we need to use measures of implicit constructs, TAT- how could we use TAT? What you need is a scoring system, a rigorous set of instructions that you can take as an experimentalist to the stories people write, and code those stories on their thematic imagery related to acheivement, the more themes related to achievement a person writes about, presumably the more achievement motivation they have - how do you create such scoring system? Began with a hypotheses about the kinds of experimental conditions, in which a particular motive will be temporarily elevated; bring subjects in and experimentally subject them to a set of conditions that will temporarily put achievement on their minds - one strategy of mclellans was, he brought groups of participants and administered a battery of cognitive tests and told one group “that it would tell them about their general intelligence and their leadership potential, now would you write a series of stories in response to each of the following cards” - so theres one group that’s taken tests and been told it will reveal something about them, and the presumption is the participants have temporarily aroused within them achievement motivation, - the other group was neutral condition, they took same battery of tests but told them “these tests still in development and we’re just refining and developing these tests” - so now you have one group in which they have no motive experimentally aroused, and another group whom have been writing stories under experimental arousal condition - by analyzing/comparing two sets of stories, you can see what theme becomes apparent when achievement is aroused; can’t rely on just one experimental manipulation but many; once the various themes have been identified, you can create a scoring system with those themes (when achievements aroused) - in subsequent research, all that needs to be done is have people view cards and write stories, and see the themes they use and if it correlates with achievement motive themes; you can determine which individuals have greater drive or are achievement oriented - TAT been criticized for poor reliability; participant might show themes of achievement at one time, but not at the other; reliability puts a ceiling on validity, and if it has poor reliability its hard to prove it shows the instrument predicts anything of significance Another one is poor criterion validity, the TAT only inconsistently predicted the things it should predict Third, critics have argued measures of motivation derived from TAT don’t always agree with questionnaire measures of the same motives (which have better reliability and validity) - if we obtain an implicit measure of your achievement motivation from the TAT and correlate them to a self report measure of achievement motivation, we’ll find they’re not substantially related to each other - Mclellan says this isn’t a problem since self reports only partially access the motives we have, so you wouldn’t expect the implicit and self report to agree - some have noted, with respect to reliability, theres a problem when participants sit down to write stories, once they’ve written a story about one card, they feel inclined to write a completely different story for subsequent cards - once they’re given instructions that say “relax you don’t have to come up with a complete new original ideas for every card “ the stories they write tend to become much more similar in thematic content and hence the TAT reliability improves - TAT is a longstanding measure of implicit motivation however controversial; given right set of instructions it can be a more reliable and valid instrument - McLellans definition of Achievement: recurrent concerns with doing things better and with surpassing standards of excellence; people who are motivated like to take things that already work and make them work better Example: a better mousetrap (that’s what the achievement motivated person would do) - in stories written by people high in achievement we see imagery and characters where someone in story is striving to do something better i.e a long term project, story depicts and individual competing or outperforming someone, or someone is trying to accomplish something uniqe, etc… so all these kinds ofthemes will be scored as indicating the presence of achievement motive, and the more frequently they are seen, the more we’d assume the individuals evidencing the need for achievement - what does need for achievement predict? Primarily success in business, these people are drawn to entrepreneurial careers (owning/running business); they tend to be successful only to a certain extent - mclellan and a colleage brought in new managers at AT&T and were given TAT, all them wrote stories and they were scored on achievement motivation as well as other motivations, their careers were followed for 16 yrs, those who had highest levels of achievement motivation were the ones to be promoted to middle-level management (not highest) and the speculation made was that achievement motivated people like to be in control of own behavior and organize behavior in pursuit of the standards they set for selves; they do NOT like to delegate, like to do things themselves, don’t like to entrust what they are respon
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