The achievement flow motive as an element of the autotelic personality: Predicting educational attainment in three cultures

H. Busch, J. Hofer, A. Chasiotis, D. Campos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Human behavior is directed by an implicit and an explicit motivational system. The intrinsic form of the implicit achievement motive has been demonstrated to predict the experience of flow. Thus, this achievement flow motive can be considered an integral component of the autotelic personality, posited in Flow Theory as dispositional difference in the propensity to experience flow. As implicit motivation predicts long-term behavioral trends and flow predicts quality of performance, the achievement flow motive should be predictive of a long-term goal pursuit such as educational attainment. This hypothesis is tested cross-culturally to shed some light on the universality of flow: Participants from Cameroon, Costa Rica, and Germany were asked about the level of education they attained. To assess their achievement flow motive, the Operant Motive Test was employed. After measurement equivalence was established, analyses revealed that, across all three cultures, the achievement flow motive explained variance in educational attainment independent of achievement values as measured by a scale of the Schwartz Value Survey. Consequently, as would be expected of an element of the autotelic personality, the achievement flow motive predicts long-term academic success.
Keywords
Flow Autotelic personality Achievement motive Educational attainment Cross-cultural psychology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-254
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychology and Education
Volume28
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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