Achievement Motivation

  • Ernest Furchtgott
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)


One of the most thoroughly studied social motives, albeit mostly with younger populations, is achievement. In several general theories of human motivation (Atkinson, 1964; Heckhausen, 1967; McClelland, 1961; B. Weiner, 1992), achievement motivation plays a central role. According to B. Weiner (1992, p. 179), “ Achievement theory, in contrast to the conceptions of Freud, Hull, and Lewin, has focused upon the role of individual differences in achievement needs in attempting to understand motivational processes.” Though our interest in this monograph is on changes during aging, it also seems appropriate to examine briefly this motive. While achievement is probably of lesser importance during aging, both Kausler (1990) and Filipp (1996) in their chapters, respectively, in the two latest editions of the Handbook of the Psychology of Aging, included this topic in the chapters on motivation. Both authors reviewed primarily the role of achievement motivation in the laboratory performance of cognitive tasks. Filipp laments the absence of data in other settings. Even the few recent studies that she did review were mainly on the desire for control, or self-efficacy, and anxiety, factors that may be only indirectly related to the need for achievement.


Achievement Motivation Social Motive Implicit Motive Goal Adjustment Goal Scale 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernest Furchtgott
    • 1
  1. 1.Late of the University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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