This research was conducted in partial fulfilment of the degree of D. Phil. at the University of Oxford, Great Britain and was funded by the E.S.R.C. The author would like to thank Dr M. Argyle and Dr M. Wittig for their constructive comments on early drafts of this paper and to acknowledge the invaluable and greatly missed guidance of Dr J. Jaspars.
Achievement motivation theory and occupational choice†
Article first published online: 22 FEB 2006
Copyright © 1987 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 17, Issue 3, pages 327–346, July/September 1987
How to Cite
Janman, K. (1987), Achievement motivation theory and occupational choice. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 17: 327–346. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2420170307
- Issue published online: 22 FEB 2006
- Article first published online: 22 FEB 2006
- Manuscript Revised: 20 JAN 1987
- Manuscript Received: 2 JUL 1986
Two studies are reported which aimed to answer several questions relating to Atkinson's model of achievement motivation. Firstly, how successfully the theory can predict the occupational choices of two different populations and what changes, if any, need to be made to the model to make it more suited to such predictions. Several conceptual errors were found in the theory which make it unsuitable in its present form for predicting occupational choices and suggestions are made as to the possible correction of these. Secondly, a comparison is made between Atkinson's model and the expectancy-valence models currently utilized to describe and predict occupational decision-making. In particular Atkinson's incentive component is contrasted with the valence measure described by expectancy-valence models, and the possible influences of the motive factors (motive to succeed and motive to avoid failure) are considered since these are typically omitted by other models of career choice. Finally, the existence of sex differences in career choice, as well as in the various components of the model are studied and discussed. The changing conceptualization of ‘fear of success’ is also included in this consideration.