achievement motivation

(noun) An individual’s drive for accomplishment and prestige through the mastery of skills and entrepreneurship, often a significant factor in economic achievement.

Example: An Olympic athlete may be born with natural ability or talent but must rise above others with the same gifts by hard work and dedication.

Audio Pronunciation: (a·chieve·ment mo·ti·va·tion)

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Usage Notes:

  • Plural: achievement motivations
  • The term was first used by Henry Murray (1893–1988) and later popularized by David McClelland (1917–1998) who developed the Achievement Motivation Theory.
  • This term is sociologically problematic because it fails to account for disparate social and economic structures as determining factors in achievement.
  • Also called:
    • need achievement
    • need for achievement
    • n-achievement theory

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