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Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief

ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVATION

A longitudinal study of children whose mothers had been intensively interviewed further pinpoints the role of scheduled feedings, severity of toilet training (though not overall strictness), and (especially for boys) standards of neatness as correlates of later achievement motivation. These results suggest that establishing voluntary control of one’s own autonomic nervous system processes may be an important early precursor of achievement motivation.

Yet even if achievement motivation has roots in early childhood, it is also affected by later experience. Thus McClelland and Winter (1969) showed that training courses designed to increase achievement motivation through cognitive training, self-study, and other principles of applied behavior change led to improved economic performance.

Tags: encyclopedia of psychology
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