Spinath, F. M. (2001). Genetic and environmental influences on Achievement Motivation and its covariation with personality and intelligence. In R. Riemann, F M. Spinath & F. Ostendorf (Hrsg.). Personality and temperament: Genetics, evolution, and structure (S. 11-25). Lengerich: Papst Scientific Publishers.


Achievement Motivation (AM) comprises behavioral tendencies such as setting and meeting demanding goals, and the need for personal excellence, rendering it a volitional facet of the personality trait Conscientiousness. As such, AM is a trait dimension of interest both for the applied sciences as well as for basic research. Using a twin sample of 300 monozygotic and dizygotic twins from the GOSAT (Spinath, Riemann, Hempel, Schlangen, Weiss, Borkenau, & Angleitner, 1999) the results from the present study indicated a moderate heritability of h2=.41 for AM whereas the remaining variance was explained by nonshared environmental influences. AM did not correlate with psychometric “g”. In the personality domain, significant phenotypic correlations were found with Conscientiousness, Extraversion, and, to a lesser extent, Emotional Stability. These correlations were largely mediated by genetic factors no matter whether self- or peer report data were utilized as criteria.


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