Achievement motivation

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Achievement motivation

  1. 1. Achievement Motivation What is Achievement Motivation? Achievement motivation is a person’s orientation to strive for task success, persist in the face of failure, and experience the pride in accomplishment (Gill, 2000). Achievement motivation in sport is commonly called competitiveness. Competitiveness is a disposition to strive for satisfaction when making comparisons with some standard of excellence in the presence of evaluative others. These ideas are of great importance because they give us an understanding of why certain individuals seem so motivated and others just seem to go with the flow. There are four achievement motivation theories; these theories explain what motivates people to act. The theories are as follows: Need achievement theory, attribution theory, achievement and goal theory, and competence motivation theory. Need Achievement Theory Need achievement theory (Atkinson, 1974; McClelland, 1961) is an interact ional view that takes into consideration personal and situational factors as important predictors of behaviour. This theory consists of five components, they are as follows: Personality or motives, situational factors, resultant tendencies, emotional reactions, achievement-related behaviour. 1
  2. 2. Figure 1 Shows Need achievement theory. Personality Situational Resultant Emotional Achievement Factor Factors Tendency Reactions behavior Seek out achievement situations = Look for achievement Enhanced X Performance OR Avoid achievement situations = Aviod risk (chanllenges) Perform poorly • Personality factors, According to the need achievement view, each of us has two underlining achievement motives: to achievement motives: to achieve success and to avoid failure The Motive to Achieve Success, People with a high motive to achieve success show the following characteristics: They look for challenges and they are not afraid of failure. Also they tend to be concerned about standard of excellence and show high levels of performance. Feedback from others is of great importance to them. People with a high motive to succeed attribute their performance to internal factors: for example, success is due to effort, failure is due to poor concentration. 2 Focus on pride of success Focus on shame of failure Motive to achieve success Motive to avoid failure Probability of success Incentive value of success Avoid failure Approach success
  3. 3. The Motive to Avoid Failure, People showing a strong motive to avoid failure tend to, be preoccupied by failure, avoid challenging tasks: for example they prefer to play against very easy opposition which usually guarantees them success or on the other hand they may choose very difficult opposition which usually guarantees failure which is not their fault. These individuals attribute their performance to external factors, for example success is due to luck, and failure is due to tough opposition. To some extent well all have these two motives; Atkins proposes that it is the difference between the two motives which provides the personality factor called achievement motivation. • Situational Factors takes into account 2 important factors and these are: probability of success and incentive value of success. The probability of success depends on who you compete against and the complexity of the task, it would be more satisfying to beat a novice as apposed to a skilled opponent. However, the value you place on success would be greater, as you would find it more satisfying to beat a skilled opponent than it would be to beat a beginner. • Resultant Tendencies, this theory was derived by taking into consideration an individual’s achievement motive levels in relation to situational factors. • Emotional Reactions, this theory takes into account how an individual reacts emotionally, with an emphasis on how much pride he/she experiences. Individuals who are high and low achievers naturally want to experience pride and minimize shame. However high achievers focus more on pride, whereas 3
  4. 4. low achievers focus more on shame and worry. This is due to the fact that their personality characteristics interrelate differently with the situation causing them to focus more on pride or shame. • Achievement Related Behaviour; this is the final need achievement theory component. This theory indicates how the other four theories interrelate to influence behaviour. High achievers tend to choose more taxing tasks with an intermediate level of risk, and have an enhanced performance during evaluative situations. Whilst low achievers steer clear of tasks with intermediate levels of risk, and they tend to not perform to the best of their ability during evaluative situation and almost definitely avoid challenging tasks by selecting tasks that are unattainable, leading to failure or task which are so easy that they are guaranteed success. Attribution Theory Attribution theory Heider (1958) and extended and popularized by Weiner *1985, 1986). This theory proposes that every individual tries to explain success or failure of self and others by offering certain “attributions”. The most fundamental attribution categories are stability (a factor to which one attributes success or failure is either fairly permanent or unstable), Locus of casualty (a factor is either external or internal to the individual), and locus of control (a factor is or is not under control). The following chart shows the four attributions that result from a combination of internal and external locus of control and whether or not control is possible. 4
  5. 5. Internal External No Control Ability Luck Control Effort Task Difficulty Achievement Goal Theory Achievement goal theory is of the belief that three factors interact to determine an individual’s motivation, these are as follows: achievement goals, perceived ability and achievement behaviour. • Achievement goals, outcome-orientated goals and task orientated goals. • Perceived ability, High perceived ability or competence. Low perceived ability or competence. • Achievement behaviour, performance, effort, persistence, task choice, realistic task or opponents and unrealistic task or opponents. Competence Motivation Theory According to white (1959), we are born with a competence motive, which is the need to confirm our sense of personal competence This need motivates us to explore our environment and learn how to deal effectively with it because it is intrinsically rewarding and satisfying to feel that we are capable human beings, with the ability to understand, predict and control our world. Together these theories propose that high and low achievers can be distinguished by their motives, the tasks they select to be evaluated on, the effort they exert during competition, their persistence, and their performance. Reflection of the Seminar 5
  6. 6. I find I always enjoy the seminar, because it has an element of interaction and group work, which I usually find both interesting and educational. During the seminar, we performed an exercise to establish locus of causality which establishes whether a factor is either external or internal, and also locus of control, which establishes whether a factor is or is not under our control. During the seminar we had to fill out a questionnaire, which consisted of 18 questions. We had to score each question on a scale of 1 to 5. The readings were as follows: 5 strongly agree, 4 agree, 3 undecided, 2 disagree and 1 strongly disagree. We had to total up our scores and the range of the subscale was 6 to 30. We had to give our scores for the following categories: internality, powerful other externality and chance externality. My score for these categories are as follows: For powerful other externality I scored 16, I was comfortable with this score, but if I were to change it in any way I would want it to be lower. The reason for this is that if you attained a high score for this category you are controlled by the wishes and directives of others. What I learned about myself was that although I did not have a high score for this component, I do actually have a small element of this trait. On reflection, when it comes to me achieving my sports objectives and goals I tend to do it by myself, but at times I do succumb to the wishes and derivates of others, which I tend to use as a positive to enhance my knowledge and skills with regards to my own sporting goals and objectives. For chance externality I scored 14, again I did not have a high score for this category, and this score did not leave me with any concerns. Had I scored highly for this category, this would have indicated a reliance on luck. I find that I rarely rely on luck when it comes to attaining my sporting goals and objective or for any other aspect of my life for that matter, which I personally find goes a long way and was probably one of the reasons I got a the top score of 30 for internal personal force, 6
  7. 7. which means I tend to rely on ability and effort. I would have to say this is spot on for me, and I estimated my locus of control very well. I would say the things that contribute to me being more internal would be the fact I am a very independent person who is self reliant and for the most part I take responsibility for my own actions. I am also highly motivated individual who is not afraid to do things by myself. How I will use the information in my future career As a sports rehabilitator, I would say it will be inevitable that I will have to deal with patients whose locus of causality will be either external or internal. Thinking about those clients who a have higher internal tendencies, I would have to say that they are clearly going to be easier individuals to work with, because these individuals tend to be higher achievers, whose success is derived from hard work and ability as opposed to luck. If they were to transfer these attributes to rehabilitation of a specific injury they may have, then. I think you can safely say that there rehabilitation process will be both effective and successful. For those patients who have higher external tendencies, I would have to say that a lot more thought is going to have to be given with regards to there rehabilitation process, because those individuals who have higher external tendencies, tend to be low achievers, who tend not to have a high degree of control over the things that they do and the things that they can potentially successfully achieve. If they were to transfer these attributes to there rehabilitation process, this could lead to the patient relying on factors such as luck or chance to get them through their rehabilitation, when in fact the only way to rehabilitate any injury, whether physical or psychological, is through commitment, hard work and patience. If injured athletes want to ensure full recovery, they have to do everything possible to 7
  8. 8. For these patients who have external tendencies, I feel that they would benefit from a psychological rehabilitation program (PReP). It may also be advantageous to begin the use of PReP rehabilitation sessions, then as my patient becomes more comfortable with them; I would transfer them away from physical therapy sessions. If the PReP is kept initially within the context of physical therapy sessions, injured athletes are more likely to adhere to its use, gain immediate benefits, and see its value in long term use. When it is shifted away from physical therapy, injured athletes will have the familiarity, knowledge and experience to continue its use and gain the benefits throughout rehabilitation and return to sport. The key areas of the Prep that I would address are, confidence, motivation, anxiety, and focus, as these factors appear to have a significant impact on many aspects of rehabilitation and return to sport. It is thought that women are more afraid of failure than men, and that man have a higher motive to achieve success than women. Having worked in various gyms for many years, on the whole I would have to say that this statement is true. However, I know a lot of women; myself included who do have a high motive to achieve success. What I find at work is that a lot of women tend to have preconceived ideas about going to the gym, and a lot of them seem to think that the only people who use gyms have great bodies and are extremely fit, so they automatically feel that they will not be able to live up to these standards, this can sometimes lead to them being preoccupied by thoughts of failure before they’ve even begun. It never ceases to amaze me that people are surprised that I have goals and objectives that I want to achieve from my training, they just assume that because I am slim I don’t need to go to the gym, not true! Overall locus of control and causality are very important factors that need to be considered when implementing a sports rehabilitation programme. 8
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