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Achievement Motivation Essay

2422 words - 10 pages

Achievement Motivation
Kathryn Harwick
Saint Leo University
Psych of Motivation and Emotion
PSY-432-DL01
Professor Litman
July 20, 2015

Abstract
Those who have high levels of achievement motivation desire success and will do anything to achieve the overpowering sensation of external rewards. Research has been completed throughout the years in order to determine what causes human motivation and what effects it can have on the human body. Throughout these studies, confirmation has indicated that challenging tasks and activities increase effort and provide individuals the encouragement to excel and develop. David McClelland’s achievement motivation theory has proven that this form ...view middle of the document...

Motivation causes us to spring into action, whether it is the motivation to eat food because we are hungry, or to drink a glass of water to quench our thirst; all these characteristics are combined with the biological, social, cognitive, and emotional components that mediate our behavior. According to W. Huitt, “Most motivation theorists assume that motivation is involved in the performance of all learned responses; that it is, a learned behavior that will not occur unless it is energized” (Huitt, 2011, para. 4). The phrase “the need for achievement” was coined by psychologist H. Murray in his text, Explorations in Personality (1938). He describes this phrase as “An intense, prolonged and repeated effort to accomplish something difficult; to work with singleness of purpose towards a high and distant goal; to have the determination to win” (Murray, 1938, p. 164). In order to master the challenges we face with success and excellence, the impulse of an achievement motive combined with both situational factors and our own personality, are what influence achievement motivation.
Achievement motivation has been an important area within the realm of psychology simply because the standards of achievement are the fundamentals of our own endeavors. Since the 1800’s, many theories have been developed in order to fully understand our underlying achievement-orientated behavior. According to an article written by Avi Kaplan, the theories surrounding motivation have influenced many scientific developments such as “Darwins theory of evolution in biology and Helmholz’s law of the conservation of energy in physics” (Kaplan, 2009, para. 3). Both of these developments have shown how motivation fuels an organism and how each of our instincts and needs are related concepts of our behavior. According to Avi Kaplan, “Motivation for action was thought to derive from a deprivation that created a disruption to, or disequilibrium of, this homeo-static state. For example, deprivation of nourishment leads to motivation to seek food…” (Kaplan, 2009, para. 3).
The need for achievement also plays an important role in both our achievements and successes because of its ability to engage with our behavioral, emotional, and cognitive processors. The study of achievement motivation has been found to meet individual’s basic need to strive for rewards, satisfaction, praise, and personal accomplishment. According to a study completed by Dr. Riffat-Un-Nisa Awan, individuals who have high achievement motives “Will act in ways that will help them to outperform others, meet or surpass some standard of excellence, or do something unique (Awan, Noureen, & Naz, 2011, p. 73). Most of the theories surrounding achievement motivation rest on the fact that most of the studies are very similar to one another; suggesting that even though the approaches have developed separately, they are in harmony with one another rather than in competition. Those who research achievement...

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