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Validating the Implicit Autonomy Motive: Studies on the Measurement and Functions of a Fourth Basic Motive

  • Evidence points to autonomy as having a place next to affiliation, achievement, and power as one of the basic implicit motives; however, there is still some research that needs to be conducted to support this notion. The research in this dissertation aimed to address this issue. I have specifically focused on two issues that help solidify the foundation of work that has already been conducted on the implicit autonomy motive, and will also be a foundation for future studies. The first issue is measurement. Implicit motives should be measured using causally valid instruments (McClelland, 1980). The second issue addresses the function of motives. Implicit motives orient, select, and energize behavior (McClelland, 1980). If autonomy is an implicit motive, then we need a valid instrument to measure it and we also need to show that it orients, selects, and energizes behavior. In the following dissertation, I address these two issues in a series of ten studies. Firstly, I present studies that examine the causal validity of the Operant Motive Test (OMT; Kuhl, 2013) for the implicit affiliation and power motives using established methods. Secondly, I developed and empirically tested pictures to specifically assess the implicit autonomy motive and examined their causal validity. Thereafter, I present two studies that investigated the orienting and energizing effects of the implicit autonomy motive. The results of the studies solidified the foundation of the OMT and how it measures nAutonomy. Furthermore, this dissertation demonstrates that nAutonomy fulfills the criteria for two of the main functions of implicit motives. Taken together, the findings of this dissertation provide further support for autonomy as an implicit motive and a foundation for intriguing future studies.

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Author:Ingrid Baum
Advisor:Nicola Baumann
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2020/09/01
Publishing institution:Universit├Ąt Trier
Granting institution:Universit├Ąt Trier, Fachbereich 1
Date of final exam:2020/07/10
Release Date:2020/09/23
GND Keyword:Autonomie; Implizites Wissen; Motiv; Test; Validierung
Number of pages:132
Institutes:Fachbereich 1
Licence (German):License LogoCC BY-ND: Creative-Commons-Lizenz 4.0 International

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