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Needs for Achievement, Aspirations, and College Criteria

Hills, John R.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
RB-57-11, LSAC-57-01
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Achievement Need, Aspiration, Projective Measures, Questionnaires, Student Motivation, Test Validity, Visual Measures


An eighteen picture Thematic Apperception type measure of need for achievement and a questionnaire measure of aspirations were given to entering law school students. The picture-story test included three of the pictures used by McClelland, three of Ricciuti and Sadacca's best pictures, and four sets of three pictures each selected to reflect needs for economic, social, academic, and professional achievement. The questionnaire was designed to reflect motivation in these same four areas. Criteria were available in three of these areas. Grades should reflect academic motivation. The number of social activities in which they engage might be expected to reflect social aspirations. Faculty ratings of professional promise were obtained to reflect professional ambitions. The picture-story scores from one picture to another did not agree at all well, even within the sets of three pictures all aimed to the same type of motivation. Neither did any of the scores based on picture-story protocols correlate significantly with any of the criteria. This may be partly due to unreliability of scores derived from this type of test. The questionnaire scores were satisfactorily reliable and displayed several significant correlations with the criteria.

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