Achievement Motivation Theory

  • Created by: Em
  • Created on: 28-03-16 13:30
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  • Achievement motivation theory
    • Description
      • According to McClelland et al (1961) we can understand achievement motivation in terms of 2 factors
        • Motivation to succeed and fear of failure
          • Motivation to succeed is understood in this theory to come from intrinsic motivation- pleasure derived from taking part
          • Fear of failure is determined by our own level of competitive anxiety
      • Whenever we enter a sporting situation we experience an approach-avoidance conflict
        • We want to approach the situation in order to enjoy taking part but we also want to avoid it to escape the anxiety of taking part
      • If intrinsic motivation to take part in sport is greater than anxiety then we will be motivated to achieve highly
        • Achievement motivation= intrinsic motivation- competitive anxiety
        • Individuals who are high in intrinsic motivation and low in anxiety are likely to be motivated to succeed at high levels
          • Those who are low in intrinsic motivation and high in anxiety are likely to experience difficulty in competitive sport
    • Evaluation
      • The model is helpful in understanding why athletes respond differently to different levels of competition
      • The main problem of the McClelland model is that it cannot be used to predict successful performance
        • Research has found that those high in achievement motivation as calculated from intrinsic motivation and anxiety do not consistently do better in competition than those low in achievement motivation
      • A further problem is that the model does not take into account gender differences
        • It seems that some women may still fear to enter into competition even when intrinsic motivation is high and anxiety low
      • Nicholls (1984) suggests that the term 'achievement'used in the model is too vague and that we need to distinguish between achievement of skill and achievement of tangible rewards


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