Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Glenn E. Tagatz

Second Advisor

Richard T. A'Hearn

Third Advisor

Richard A. McGarrity

Fourth Advisor

Nicholas J. Topetzes

Fifth Advisor

John M. Ivanoff


Since the development by McClelland, Atkinson, Clark, and Lowell (1953) of a projective method for assessing achievement motivation, this theoretical construct has generated an enormous amount of international research and literature. These investigations have characteristically dealt with the measurement aspect of need achievement (n.Ach.) in conjunction with its relationship and correspondence to actual levels and types of performance. These studies have also, to a large degree, been restricted to males in business and university settings.

The importance of motivation per se cannot be overemphasized in contemporary society. Whether in industry, educational institutions, etc., its importance and fundamental relationship to performance is critical. There are, however, very few if any descriptive studies which directly examine the personality characteristics of the individual who is high in need achievement. In fact, this issue was recently addressed by Weiner (1980), who posed the question: "What, then, is known about people who are labelled high in need achievement, or high in the desire to achieve success?" (p. 189). In a more specific context related to this study, Shepps (1967) stated: "... it is apparent that the social motivation and behavioral patterns of high need achievement merit further study" (p. 26).

Again, questions such as these have seemingly gone unanswered, and it is apparent that a direct and systematic investigation of the personality correlates of need achievement could be of value in our attempts to understand the nature and characteristics of persons who possess high levels of this phenomenon. Furthermore, the characteristics of need achievement for females seem to warrant particular attention and examination.



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