Seeking information about one's ability as a determinant of choice among tasks

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Investigated the effects on choice among achievement tasks of achievement motive and 2 task characteristics: difficulty and informational value about one's own ability. 102 male undergraduates, whose achievement motive was assessed by the Mehrabian Achievement Scale, were given a choice among tasks varying in difficulty and informational value. As expected, tasks of high informational value were preferred to tasks of low informational value, and this preference was more pronounced for Ss high in achievement motive than for Ss low in achievement motive. Further, neither the high-motive group nor the low-motive group preferred tasks of intermediate difficulty over easy and hard ones. It is concluded that the informational value rather than the affective value of performance outcomes determines choice among tasks: the stronger the achievement motive, the stronger the tendency to seek information about one's own capabilities. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1004-1013
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1975


  • achievement motive &
  • informational value about one's own ability, choice among achievement tasks, male college students
  • task difficulty &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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