As the semester approaches, it’s great to see how the concepts learnt from this course can be applied to the final project. The test measures an individual’s achievement motivation. This post will talk about the progress I have been making for this project:

Setting up the test:

  • I found a test on achievement motivation by Nortons that used a dichotic scale of “True” or “False” as responses. I took the time to evaluate myself first then completed it another time keeping in mind that I wanted to obtain the score that corresponded to the highest need of achievement. By having done this, I was able to deduce which items would yield a high score on achievement motivation if answered a certain way. This could come in handy when looking at my own data.
  • After having completed the original Nortons’ Achievement Motivation questionnaire once and reviewing the modified version I’ve made, I decided that it would be more appropriate to add in a third answer option of “Somewhat in-between.” It creates a more honest response, which could add in to the reliability of the source.
  • In addition to removing a couple of items from the original scale, I have added some of my own and coded for the responses that would give out high in achievement motivation.
  • I ensured I had some statement pairs that are the opposite of each other in order to avoid mindless answers by the participant.
  • I came up with a scoring system to facilitate me in the data collection later on.
  • Finally, I sent the questionnaire.

Difficulties encountered so far:

  • One thing that struck me in the beginning was coming up with the right sentence formulations to ensure that I get an appropriate response to my intentions. It is always easier to express what I intend to say in person, but when it came to putting my thoughts into written words, I had to try a few sites and talked to some people to look for some good examples first.
  • Now that I am analyzing the data through the statistical program SPSS, I am trying to code everything in an efficient way so that I could correlate better the items. My idea so far is to have the high achievement motivation profile to be high scored whereas the low achivement motivation profile to be low scored.
  • I also have to keep in mind about how to better compare the results in a meaningful way. This is definitely a challenge since while one statement’s answer for a high achievement profile is “False,” another statement’s answer could be “True.” Thus, I had to go back a few times to sort out which ones needed to switch the rating scoring. It may be just for my case, but I find that it makes more sense.
  • It is hard to decide which items should be correlated together because I decided to also look at how cultures (Non-Western and Western) have to do with achievement motivation. I am still debating on whether this is a crucial aspect to my project since I am only looking at the reliability of this test. I originally wanted to include this element to make this project more interesting to me.

Current interesting points:

  • It is curious to see how items that were deemed as high in achievement motivation actually share a high correlation with one another. Consequently, the same may be said about the low achievement motivation. From what I can tell, the obtained Cronbach’s alpha between inter-item is pretty high (nearing 0.7) — hopefully I did something right here, though this is still under investigation!
  • From what I understand from my data analysis, data for items for a participant is not strongly correlated. This signifies that there is not one subject who has strictly a high or a low achievement motivation profile. According to Nortons’ rating scale, the majority of the people who completed the test would obtain either an average or moderate need for achievement.
  • Lastly, in terms of cultural trends, although items generally appeared more polarized to either an individualistic or a collectivistic view, some items scored more of “Somewhere in-between” showing that these statements on achievement are not as influenced by cultural upbringings or values. They could just be a matter of personal beliefs.
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