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Lecture 12 Notes for Final

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Marc A Fournier

Lecture 12 McClellands Definition of a MotiveNeed: A recurrent preference or readiness for a particular quality of experience, which energizes, directs, and selects behavior in certain situations Motive Conscious Intention Motives (Why?) Traits (What?) Motivations and Needs are the same thing for McClelland. He introduced the idea of an implicit motive, the motivation that exists inside of us, but that is outside our conscious. Motives and traits interactcombine to predict certain outcomes. Motives are different from traits. Traits refer to the questions of What? (What feelings is someone prone to having? What thoughts does someone have?) Motivation refers to the Why? There are certain motivations that lie outside of conscious awareness and they play a profound role in shaping our behaviour. Given our motivational preparednesspreferences, we see the world differently. If the profound things that influence peoples personalities lie outside conscious awareness, than we cant rely on self-report. How then, do we get access to those implicit motivations? McClelland pioneers the TAT (Thematic Apperception Test) (Participant looks at a series of standardized pictures and has to write a story in response to this standardized series of pictures) The notion behind the TAT is that when faced with an ambiguous situation, and when asked to make meaning of it, what we do is we rely on our own organizations of motivations and concerns and hopes and fears and we project all these onto the characters we are creating, because the cardspictures themselves have no motivational content. McClelland began his studies with Achievement Motivation (the need for achievement). He believed the need for achievement is an implicit motivation and because of this, they are not conscious to us. So how do we use the TAT to measure Achievement Motivation? What we need is a scoring system. We need to create experimental conditions that will temporarily raise their achievement motivation (will temporarily put achievement on their mind). After the cognitive tests, he told one group that the tests will reveal what their leadership and intelligence is (emotive arousal condition). To another group, he told that the cognitive tests were still in development, that they would not indicate anything (neutral testing conditions). Both groups were then made to write stories for images presented. By analyzing the resultant stories, the predominant themes in the emotively aroused group could be identified and these themes then became part of a scoring system for subsequent experimental groups.
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