Reference : Assessment of Fundamental Motives
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Social, industrial & organizational psychology
Assessment of Fundamental Motives
Dörendahl, Jan mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS) >]
University of Luxembourg, ​​Luxembourg
Docteur en Psychologie
Greiff, Samuel mailto
Schiltz, Christine mailto
Niepel, Christoph mailto
Martin, Romain mailto
Scherer, Ronny mailto
[en] Fundamental Motives ; Achievement Goals ; Test development ; Dimensional Comparison Theory ; Ant Colony Optimization algorithm
[en] Motivation, that is, the orientation of the momentary execution of life towards a
positively evaluated target state (Rheinberg & Vollmeyer, 2012), is one of the most important psychological constructs related to success in various life domains such as school, work or family life (Pellegrino & Hilton, 2013). To be able to provide guidance to people and to support them in achieving success in these life domains, it is essential to identify those motivational aspects that are relevant for the respective life domain and to make them assessable. Here, motivational aspects that are inherent in a person, such as motives or goals, are promising candidates. Both constructs can be defined as explicit cognitive representations of desirable end states (Brandstätter, Schüler, Puca, & Lozo, 2013; Karoly, 1999). However, motives and goals are distinguished at the level of abstraction, that is, goals are a concrete representation of more abstract motives (Elliot & Church, 1997). In order to broaden our understanding in the assessment of motives and goals that are of relevance for education and work as two of the most important life domains, three studies were conducted in the context of the presented dissertation.
In Paper 1, we revised the theory of Fundamental Motives (Havercamp, 1998; Reiss & Havercamp, 1998) and developed a time- and cost-efficient questionnaire to assess them in research settings. Fundamental Motives are a self-contained framework of 16 motives considered to be relevant for people in their everyday lives. The framework is appealing as it provides an approach to narrow down the plethora of motives to those relevant in a variety of life domains. In addition, the framework is already used extensively in coaching for work and other areas of life (Reyss & Birkhahn, 2009). First, an initial item pool was successively refined into 16 scales with three items each (named 16 motives research scales; 16mrs) across two samples with a total sample size of N = 569 representative for the German population with respect to age, sex and education. Second, we used another representative sample (N = 999) to validate the questionnaire and explore its nomological network. Results support the reliability and validity of the 16mrs for the assessment of Fundamental Motives. Investigations of the nomological network indicate, that Fundamental Motives represent aspects of personality that are different from the Big Five personality traits (e.g., Costa & McCrae, 1992) and cover motivational aspects beyond the well-established Power, Achievement, Affiliation, Intimacy, and Fear motives (Heckhausen & Heckhausen, 2010).
Paper 2 was based on the results of Study 1, since we applied the framework of Fundamental Motives, as measured by the 16mrs constructed in Study 1, to the life domain of work. In coaching in work contexts, Fundamental Motives have been used extensively, not least because of their fine-grained level of abstraction that allows for a straightforward interpretation by the client. By investigating how the satisfaction of fine-grained motives supplied by characteristics of the workplace (i.e., need-supply fit) contribute to job satisfaction, we further validated the framework itself. At the same time were able to gain more detailed insights into how need-supply fit impacts job satisfaction, compared to broader motive or value clusters. To this end, we used the representative sample from Study 1 (N = 999) and selected all working people (n = 723). We applied polynomial regression in combination with response surface analysis (e.g., Edwards & Parry, 1993), which allows to simultaneously investigate how different levels of Fundamental Motives on the one hand and different levels of supply to satisfy these motives at the workplace on the other contribute to job satisfaction. We found that job satisfaction was highest when the level of supply by the workplace exceeded the level of the motive for Social Acceptance, Status, Autonomy, Sex, and Retention motives. When a high level of the motive and a high level of supply met, job satisfaction was highest for Curiosity, Idealism, and Social Participation motives. When the supplies fell short compared to the level of the motive, job satisfaction was negatively affected by the need-supply fit of Social Acceptance, Status, Sex, Retention, Curiosity, and Idealism motives. The results can be used in coaching and career development to uncover potential causes of low job satisfaction and provide guidance to clients on how to enhance their job satisfaction.
In Paper 3, we shifted the focus to education as another major life domain. Here, achievement motivation has been identified as one of the major driving forces for progression and success (Schiefele & Schaffner, 2015). On a more concrete level compared to achievement motivation, Achievement Goals have been established as students’ cognitive representations of desired and undesired end states in educational achievement contexts (Elliot & Thrash, 2002; Hulleman, Schrager, Bodmann, & Harackiewicz, 2010). These goals typically focus on mastery, that is learning as much as possible, and performance, that is outperforming others or avoiding being outperformed. So far, Achievement Goals have been mostly conceptualized as domain-specific (Bong, 2001). Although this assumption is supported by previous studies, research on the processes operating behind the domain- specificity is scarce. The dimensional comparisons theory (Möller & Marsh, 2013) has introduced dimensional comparisons as a potential process operating behind the domain- specificity. Dimensional comparisons describe intrapersonal comparisons of characteristics in a domain with characteristics in another domain for the sake of self-evaluation. Previous investigations indicated that dimensional comparison processes are involved in the formation of the domain-specificity of important educational constructs, such as Self-Concept or Test Anxiety. Consequently, our aim in study 3 was to investigate, if dimensional comparison processes operate in the formation of the domain-specificity of Achievement Goals. To this end, we used a sample of N = 381 German ninth and tenth grade students in six German highest-track schools. Results indicate that dimensional comparison processes impact the domain specificity of Achievement Goals. Thus, the results extend our understanding of the domain specificity of Achievement Goals and simultaneously add to the validity of the dimensional comparison theory.
In conclusion, the presented scientific work adds to the assessment of motives and goals that are crucially important in various life domains, but especially in work and educational settings. The contributions of this dissertation to the existing literature include (1) the revision of a comprehensive motivational framework (Paper 1), (2) the development and validation of a questionnaire based on this revised framework (Papers 1 & 2), (3) important assessment related insights concerning Achievement Goals in educational settings (Paper 3), and (4) practical implications for coaching and interventions in work and educational settings as two of the most important life domains (Papers 2 & 3).
Fonds National de la Recherche - FnR
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public
FnR ; FNR11250358 > Jan Dörendahl > > Assessment of Fundamental Motives > 01/03/2016 > 14/02/2020 > 2016

There is no file associated with this reference.

Bookmark and Share SFX Query

All documents in ORBilu are protected by a user license.