This study, using measures of authoritarianism and dominance, investigated Ray's (1980. 1982, 1984) hypothesis that authoritarians are achievement motivated. Respondents were 103 external undergraduate students (53 males, 50 females; mean age = 35·32 yr, SD = 9 72) at an Australian college. Results showed pro-authority behaviour to be significantly associated with achievement motivation for males and females and authoritarian attitudes to be associated with achievement motivation for males only. Both dominance and directiveness (Ray. 1976) were significantly associated with achievement motivation for both sexes. Results of a principal components analysis showed directiveness and dominance to load on the same component supporting an earlier supposition that directiveness is primarily a measure of dominance. Finally, achievement-motivated females scored high on a measure of self-esteem. This latter finding is discussed in terms of traditional socialization practices.