David McClelland's theory of n Achievement (n Ach.) and Max Weber's theory of achievement implicit in THE PROTESTANT ETHIC AND THE SPIRIT OF CAPITALISM are experimentally analyzed and compared with Theodore Kemper's theory of reference groups in an attempt to determine the relative importance of factors of the immediate social situation versus ingrained personality characteristics in in the development and modification of achievement motivation. In examining the effects of the reference group on achievement motivation in this study, the subjects were initially ranked according to level of n Ach and those low in n Ach were individually established in reference groups composed of subjects high in n Ach. They then experimentally interacted with these groups in a one-hour meeting each week for a total of four weeks. It was found that those subjects initially low in n Ach showed a substantial increase in n Ach as a result of interacting with the reference group high in n Ach, demonstrating that one factor of the immediate social environment, the reference group, is important in at least modifying achievement motivation. The implication of these results are discussed for various programs of individual and social.change as well as for the theoretical .implications involved.
Betty R. Stirling
John W. Elick
Peter G. Strutz
Master of Arts (MA)
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Baumbach, H. Dale, "The Achievement Motive : A Sociological Analysis" (1970). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 669.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives