Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Education (EdD)



Committee Chair(s)

E. Wayne Wright


E. Wayne Wright


Heber C. Sharp


David R. Stone


Arden N. Frandsen


Ellvert H. Himes


This study utilized the theories of David C. McClelland and associates regarding affective arousal, concept of cues arousing motives, and neutral testing procedures. The problem was to study the influence of color and/ or movement, as cues added to the McClelland four-picture Thematic Apperception Test, to evoke need achievement responses to determine whether or not the added stimuli of color and/or movement might evoke increased need achievement responses.

Four treatment variations of the test were made: Treatment A, consisted of the standard McClelland test, in black and white pictures. This treatment served as the control. Treatment B used the black and white pictures, but with movement added to the standard test. Treatment C added color to the pictures, but no movement. Treatment D added both color and movement to the test. A special effects apparatus was used to create the color and/or movement added to the pictures. The treatment variations of the four pictures were recorded on motion picture film in order to standardize the experimental procedures of the study.

A sample of 120 male college students was tested, and subdivided into groups of 30 subjects each. Each group of 30 students saw only one of the four treatment variations. The testing was accomplished by projecting the filmed, four-picture McClelland test, with each of the four pictures being shown for 20 seconds. After each picture was shown, five minutes were allowed for the subjects to write a story about the picture. The stories were scored for need achievement by the McClelland and associates (1953) scoring system C.

Statistical comparisons were made among the three experimental groups (Treatment B, C, D), as compared with the control group (Treatment A) in terms of the subject's mean scores in need achievement. No significant differences were found in any of the statistical comparisons. It was, therefore, concluded that the study subjects did not respond to the addition of color and/or movement as significant cues related to achievement motivation.



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