Date of Award

Fall 8-1-1973

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The present paper was concerned primarily with one area of research in human personality, that is, the need to achieve (n Ach). Specifically, it was an attempt to test the strength of several conclusions concerning the antecedents and correlates of n Ach by reversing the research technique most commonly employed in reaching those conclusions. That common technique is to define high and low achievers psychometrically, end then to study antecedent variables and correlates. This study attempted to reverse this process. Rather than defining groups of high and low achievers, the groups chosen for study were intact social groups, which in other contexts have been found to be characterized by several of the antecedents and correlates of n Ach. Psychometric instruments were then employed to find n Ach differences. The intact social groups explored in this context were affiliates of fraternities and sororities, and independents. The study was also a comparison of three n Ach measuring devices, that is, the Thematic Apperception Test, the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule, and the Costello Scales. There were 120 freshman and sophomore volunteers who were assigned to groups with 3"0 subjects each: male and female affiliates, and male and female independents. In addition to the n Ach measures, a biographical. questionnaire and an intelligence measure were employed. The results suggested that: (1) affiliates and independents did not differ in n Ach; (2) the three n Ach measuring devices were not equivalent; (3) male n Ach and female n Ach were different motivational variables; (4) affiliates and independents did differ on a few biographical and personal variables; and (5) affiliates and independents did not differ in intelligence.