Achievement motivation of Engineering students studying in villages

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The hypothesis of the present study is to find the difference in the levels of achievement motivation of the Engineering students studying in the Institutions set up in villages/students studying in the Institutions based in cities. The aim of the research is to prove that there exists a difference in the levels of achievement motivation of Engineering students studying in villages/cities. The current study is a comparative study between students studying in villages/cities. Achievement motivation is a part of Educational Psychology. It basically, focuses on an individual's desire to achieve one's established goal.

Achievement Motivation : Need for achievement (N-ach) refers to an individual's desire for significant accomplishment, mastering of skills, control or high standards. The term was introduced by the Psychologist David Mcclelland.

Theory of Achievement Motivation.

David Mcclelland's motivations needs theory : American Psychologist David Clarence Mcclelland (1917-98) studied 'Motivation and Achievement need' for about 20 years. David Mcclelland is chiefly known for his work on achievement motivation, but his research interests expanded to personality and consciousness. David Mcclelland pioneered work place motivational thinking, developing achievement based motivational theory and models, and promoted improvements in employee assessment methods, advocating competency based assessments and tests, arguing them to be better than traditional IQ and personality based tests. His ideas have since been widely adopted in many organizations, and relate closely to the theory of Frederick Herzberg.

David Mcclelland is most noted for describing 3 types of motivational need, which he identified in his 1961 book, the achieving society :

Achievement motivation (N-ach)

Authority/power motivation (N-pow)

Affiliation motivation (N-affil)

David Mcclelland's needs based motivational model - These needs are found to varying degrees in all workers and managers, and this mix of motivational needs characterizes a person's or manager's style and behaviour, both in terms of being motivated and in the management and motivating others.

The need for achievement (N-ach) - The N-ach person is 'achievement motivated' and therefore seeks achievement, attainment of realistic but challenging goals, and advancement in the job. There is a strong need for feedback as to achievement and progress and a need for a sense of accomplishment.

The need for authority and power (N-pow) - The N-pow person is 'authority motivated'. This drive produces a need to be influential, effective and to make an impact. There is a strong need to lead and for their ideas to prevail. There is also motivation and need towards increasing personal status and prestige.

The need for affiliation (N-affil) - The N-affil person is 'affiliated motivated', and has a need for friendly relationships and is motivated towards interaction with other people. The affiliation drive produces motivation and need to be liked and held in popular regard. These people are team players.

According to David Mcclelland, most people possess and exhibit a combination of these characteristics. Some people exhibit a strong bias to a particular motivational need, and this needs 'mix' consequently affects their behaviour and working/managing style. David Mcclelland suggested that a strong N-affil 'affiliation motivation' undermines a manager's objectivity, because of their need to be liked, and that this effects a manager's decision making capability. A strong N-pow 'authority motivation' will produce a determined work ethic and commitment to the organization, and while N-pow people are attracted to the leadership role, they may not possess the required flexibility and and people centred skills. David Mcclelland argues that N-ach people with strong 'achievement motivation' make the best leaders, although there can be a tendency to demand too much of their staff in the belief that they are all similarly highly achievement focused and results driven, which ofcourse most people are not.

David Mcclelland's interests were 'achievement motivation', could be illustrated through one of his laboratory experiment through which he asserted that 'while most people do not possess a strong achievement based motivation, those who do display a consistent behaviour in setting goals. According to David Mcclelland, achievement - motivated individuals set goals which they can influence with their effort and ability, and as such the goal is considered to be achievable.

David Mcclelland suggested other characteristics and attitudes of achievement motivatd people:

Achievement is more important than material or financial reward.

Achieving the aim or task gives greater personal satisfaction than receiving praise or recognition.

Achievement-motivated people constantly seek improvements and ways of doing things better.

Mcclelland firmly believed that achievement-motivated people are generally the ones who make things happen and get results, they prioritize achieving the goal above the many varied interests and needs of their people.

Motivation: motivation can be defined as the desires, needs, and interests that arouse or activate an organism and direct it towards a specific goal.

Motivation can arise from either internal or external sources. The desire for food and water arises from the internal, physiological needs. On the other hand, the desire for approval and recognition results from external social circumstances. The study of motivation is very much the study of why behaviour occurs.

Some theories of motivation:

Incentive theory: Incentive theory of motivation states that external goals motivate organisms to perform certain actions. The external stimuli in the environment that 'pull' the organism in certain directions are called 'incentives'. The basic assumption of incentive theory is that if a desirable goal can be anticipated following the completion of a particular action, the organism is motivated to perform that action. Conversely, anticipation of an undesirable goal-something aversive or unpleasant motivates the organism not to perform the action. Thus, incentive theorists focus on the environment and focus on what induces organisms to act or what inhibits their action.

Goal setting theory: It is a view that motivation can be strongly influenced by goals. Another theory of motivation that emphasizes the importance of cognitive factors is called goal setting theory. This theory suggests that motivation can be strongly influenced by goals. According to this theory, people often did much better when working towards specific goals than when goals were abstract. Additional findings indicate that this theory works best under certain conditions. It is most effective in boosting performance. When the goals set are highly specific, the goals are challenging but, the goals are perceived as attainable. Finally, goal setting is most successful when people receive feedback on their progress towards meeting the goals and when they are truly and deeply committed to reaching them.

Theories on motivation and achievement motivation clearly explains the relation between these two inner drives and their importance in the field of educational psychology. Their importance is very relevant in the educational field in relation to students.

Culture and achievement motivation in sport: a qualitative comparative study between maghrebian and European French adolescents:

Authors: Paul fontayne; philippe sarrazin; jean-pierre fomose

Affiliations: University of Paris-Sud Orsay, France.

University of Grenoble I, France.

In this research, within the framework of achievement motivation, the researchers assessed gender and ethnic differences for preferential choices of social situations of achievement (ex; academic, sport, art) and motivational goals pursued. The subjects of this research were 202 pupils (boys and girls of maghrebian and European origin). The sample was taken from a suburb of paris. The subjects of maghrebian origin tended to choose the school for social situations of achievement, while those of European origin appreciated the possibility of sport and art. Gender differences were more specifically found for the maghrebian girls. Concerning the motivational goals, boys showed a less marked orientation towards mastery goals than girls, irrespective of whatever the social situation of achievement was. Finally, the data analysis revealed that the nature of social domain of achievement influences whether adolescents become intrinsically or extrinsically motivated.

Achievement motivated in medical students:

Robbins, l; robbins, e.s; katz, s.e; geliebter, b; stern, m

In this particular research study, the researchers used medical students in their third and fourth years of education as their sample. They were assessed by questionnaire on the attitudes about sex role, medical school, career plans and fear of success. 90% of each sex were judged to fear success. students gave stereotypical responses. Males, looked forward to academic careers, while females desired to share financial and child care responsibilities with spouses. Both sexes agreed upon the characteristics required to be good student as well as to succeed in later life. Women were found to be more inclined on domestic interests and helping others, while men were found to be more interested in scientific investigation, athletics, and adventure.

The above two researches give enough evidence to prove that the current research is very relevant and important. The above two researches were done on foreign sample, so the need to conduct a study on achievement motivation on Indian sample can be felt. The second research, conducted on medical students makes this study which uses engineering students as sample very unique and important. This particular research can be useful for any other researches which uses any other higher education sample (ex; law) this study can help in bringing out the reasons for the existing differences between two groups of sample. The first research which was conducted on two groups of different origin gives further support to this research, which also uses sample of two different backgrounds. That is, cities/villages. The current study can also be found very feasible as it does not involve any controversial topics. The research is entirely academic and it also covers co-curricular and many other aspects required for achievement motivation. There are no ethical problems in this particular research.


The participants in this research are engineering students studying in the institutions set up in villages/cities. Deo mohan achievement motivation test is used in this research. This scale was devised by deo mohan based on the theory of mcclelland. It measures academic factors, factors of general interest, competition in curricular and co-curricular activities and social interests. There are 50 items, 37 positive and 13 negative items. There are to stencil keys for scoring, one for positive items, one for negative items. The maximum score can be 200, others ranging in between. The scale is very reliable, and has been validated with college, community. The reliability of the test, for (girls is 0.78 and validity is 0.75). the test was initially piloted on 3 group of samples. mixed(51), males(33), and females(50) to check it's reliability. The correlated t-ratio was found to be .69, 67, .78 and was significant at 0.1 level for all the 3 groups of sample. The experimental design suitable for this research is 'completely randomized design'(c r design), because it gives the participants possible chance of participation in the research. The sampling method suitable for this research is 'random sampling' or 'chance sampling'. This sampling method gives every one an equal chance of being chosen for the research. Both these sampling method and experimental design are best suitable for this particular research. The participants in the research are 60. 30 engineering students from villages/30 engineering students from cities. The researcher will personally approach the participants and give them the deo mohan achievement motivation scale to fill. The scale would be given to the participants with their prior consent to participate in the research.


The aim of this research is to prove that there is a difference in the achievement motivation level of the engineering students studying in villages/cities. The research aims at proving that the students from village institutions have higher achievement motivation than the students from city institutions. Further researches can be studied based on this research. The causes of achievement motivation in these groups can be made on any one gender(ex: comparing only boys/girls achievement motivation in village/city groups).