The motive to avoid success studied as a function of sex, age, and sex of cue variables

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Talcott, Lou Ann
Gordon, Hildegard J.
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Thesis (M.A.)
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This thesis has described an experimental study of the "motive to avoid success", as described by Matina Horner (1968), using sex, age, and sex of cues as independent variables. One-hundred-eighty-nine school-aged subjects wrote stories in response to one of two written thematic apperceptive cues. The dependent measure was the presence or absence of negative imagery written in response to the verbal cue. A 2x2x4 completely randomized factorial design was used to analyze the data. A highly significant main effect for sex of cue was found. Both males and females recorded significantly more negative responses towards the female cue than towards the male cue.The "motive to avoid success" as an intrapsychic feminine phenomenon is questioned. An alternative explanation of response to traditional learned role-stereotypes is posited. The "motive to avoid success" appears to be less of an internal mechanism and more of a cue dependent response than previously indicated in the literature.