The Influence of Implicit Achievement Motive and Graphological Variables on Learning Variables


There are several methods of implicit measurement. A very valid and wide spread assessment of motives by using the technique of projection is picture story exercises (PSE). Graphology, as theory of inferences on personality and motives by analyzing handwriting, is another one. The presented study examines the commons of the both measurement methods and their prediction of achievement behaviour. So, the achievement motive of 189 students was assessed using the PSE of Heckhausen (1963) and afterwards their handwriting was scored by a categorical system of Ploog (2013). Achievement related behaviour was operatively analyzed with self-reported learning time, learning behaviour and task-choice performance. It is shown that implicit motives measured by PSE are related with the criteria of task-choice performance. It is shown that both implicit motives measured by PSE and graphological variables deliver information about learning variables.

Share and Cite:

Gruber, N. and Kreuzpointner, L. (2015) The Influence of Implicit Achievement Motive and Graphological Variables on Learning Variables. Psychology, 6, 1478-1485. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.612145.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Atkinson, J. W. (1966). Motives in Fantasy, Action, and Society. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand.
[2] Ave-Lallemant, E. (2010). Baum-Test. Mit einer Einführung in die symbolische und graphologische Interpretation (Tree-Tests. With an Introduction in the Symbolic and Graphological Interpretation). Stuttgart: Reinhard.
[3] Beyerstein, B. L. (2002). How Graphology Fools People. Quackwatch.
[4] Breidebach, G. (2012). Bildungsbenachteiligung—Warum die einen nicht können und die anderen nicht wollen (Educational Disadvantage—Why Some Can’T and Others Don’t Want). Hamburg: Kovacs.
[5] Chen, L. H., Wu, C.-H., Kee, Y. H., Lin, M.-S., & Shui, S.-H. (2009). Fear of Failure, 2 × 2 Achievement Goal and Self-Handicapping: An Examination of the Hierarchical Model of Achievement Motivation in Physical Education. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34, 298-305.
[6] Covington, M. V. & Roberts, B. W. (1994). Self-Worth and College Achievement: Motivational and Personality Correlates. In P. R. Pintrich, D. R. Brown, & C. E. Weinstein (Eds.), Student Motivation, Cognition and Learning (pp.157-188). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
[7] Dazzi, C., & Pedrabissi, L. (2009). Graphology and Personality: An Empirical Study on Validity of Handwriting Analysis. Psychological Reports, 105, 1255-1268.
[8] De Castella, K., Byrne, D., & Covington, M. (2013). Unmotivated or Motivated to Fail? A Cross-Cultural Study of Achievement Motivation, Fear of Failure, and Student Disengagement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105, 861-880.
[9] Dean, G. A. (1992). The Bottom Line: Effect Size. In B. L. Beyerstein, & D. F. Beyerstein (Eds.), The Write Stuff: Evaluation of Graphology—The Study of Handwriting Analysis (pp. 269-341). Buffalo, NY: Prometheus.
[10] Eberwein, M. (1993). Projektive Verfahren (Projective Measurements). Trier: ZPID.
[11] Frank, L. K. (1948). Projective Methods. Springfield: Charles C. Thomas.
[12] Freud, A. (1936). Das Ich und die Abwehrmechanismen (The Ego and Mechanisms of Defense). Frankfurt: Fischer.
[13] Greasley, P. (2000). Handwriting Analysis and Personality Assessment. European Psychologist, 5, 44-51.
[14] Gruber, N. (2014). Ist eine Computerversion bei der Messung impliziter Motive der Papier-Bleistift-Version überlegen: Eine Untersuchung am Beispiel des TAT nach Heckhausen (Is a Computer-Version Superior to the Paper-Pencil-Version in Measuring Implicit Motives? An Investigation Using the TAT/PSE of Heckhausen). Regensburg: Roderer.
[15] Gruber, N., & Kreuzpointner, L. (in prep.). Assessing the Implicit Achievement Motives: Effects of Input-Condition, Administration and Picture-Position.
[16] Guthke, J., Beckmann, J. F., & Schmid, G. (2002). Ist an der Graphologie doch etwas dran? Untersuchungen zur übereinstimmung von Graphologenurteil und psychometrischen Persönlichkeitstests (Is Graphology of Value after All? On the Relationship between Graphological Judgment and Psychometric Personality Tests). Zeitschrift für Personalpsychologie, 1, 171-176.
[17] Hall, J. L., Stanton, S. J., & Schultheiss, O. C. (2010). Biopsychological and Neural Processes of Implicit Motivation. In O. C. Schultheiss, & J. C. Brunstein (Eds.), Implicit Motives (pp. 279-307). New York: Oxford University Press.
[18] Heckhausen, H. (1963). Hoffnung und Furcht in der Leistungsmotivation (Hope and Fear Components of Achievement Motivation). Meisenheim am Glan: Anton Hain.
[19] King, R. N., & Koehler, D. J. (2000). Illusory Correlations in Graphological Inference. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 6, 336-348.
[20] Kraus, E. (2011). Hochintelligenz und Handschriftendiagnostik—Analyse der relevanten Schriftmerkmale (High-Intelligence and Writing Diagnostics—Analysis of Relevant Writing Factors). Grafologie News, 9, 1-17.
[21] Kreuzpointner, L., Simon, P., & Theis, F. J. (2010). The Ad Coefficient as a Descriptive Measure of the Within-Group Agreement of Ratings. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 63, 341-360.
[22] Lemke, E. A., & Kirchner, J. H. (1971). A Multivariate Study of Handwriting, Intelligence, and Personality Correlates. Journal of Personality Assessment, 35, 584-592.
[23] Lowis, M. J., & Mooney, S. (2001). Examination Performance and Graphological Analysis of Students’ Handwriting. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 93, 367-381.
[24] Luria, G., & Rosenblum, S. (2010). Comparing the Handwriting Behaviours of True and False Writing with Computerized Handwriting Measures. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24, 1115-1128.
[25] McClelland, D. C. (1985). Human Motivation. Glenview: Scott, Foresman and Co.
[26] Mouly, S., Mahé, I., Champion, K., Bertin, C., Popper, P., De Noblet, D., & Bergmann, J. F. (2007). Graphology for the Diagnosis of Suicide Attempts: A Blind Proof of Principle Controlled Study. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 61, 411-415.
[27] Müller, W. H., & Enskat, A. (1973). Graphologische Diagnostik Ihre Grundlagen, Möglichkeiten und Grenzen (Graphological Diagnostics, Theirbasics, Changes and Limits). Bern: Huber.
[28] Murray, H. A. (1938). Explorations in Personality. New York: Oxford University Press.
[29] Neter, E., & Ben-Shakhar, G. (1989). The Predictive Validity of Graphological Inferences: A Meta-Analytic Approach. Personality and Individual Differences, 10, 737-745.
[30] Oosthuizen, S. (1990). Graphology as Predictor of Academic Achievement. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 71, 715-721.
[31] Ploog, H. (2008). Handschriften deuten (Handwriting Analysis). Hamburg: Humboldt.
[32] Ploog, H. (2013). Handwriting Psychology: Personality Reflected in Handwriting. London: Universe.
[33] Schultheiss, O. C. (2001). Manual for the Assessment of Hope of Success and Fear of Failure: English Translation of Heckhausen’s Need Achievement Measures. Unpublished Scoring Manual, Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan.
[34] Schultheiss, O. C. (2008). Implicit Motives. In O. P. John, R. W. Robins, & L. A. Pervin (Eds.), Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research (3rd ed., pp. 603-633). New York: Guilford Press.
[35] Spangler, W. D. (1992). Validity of Questionnaire and TAT-Measures of Need for Achievement: Two Meta-Analyses. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 140-154.
[36] Stiller, K. D., & Breidebach, G. (in prep.). Priming and Achievement Motivation at School.
[37] Tang, T. L. (2012). Detecting Honest Peoples Lies in Handwriting. Journal of Business Ethics, 106, 389-400.
[38] Tucha, O., Tucha, L., & Lange, K. W. (2008). Graphonomics, Automaticity and Handwriting. Literacy, 42, 145-155.
[39] Wallner, T. (2002). Die Handschriftendiagnostik in der Meta-Analyse (Diagnostics of Handwriting in a Meta-Analytisis). Zeitschrift für Menschenkunde, 58, 158-163.
[40] Wartegg, E. (1954). Der Zeichentest (WZT). Einführung in die graphoskopische Schichtdiagnostik. In E. Stern (Ed.), Handbuch der klinischen Psychologie. Band 1. Die Tests in der klinischen Psychologie. 2. Halbband (Handbook of Clinical Psychology. Volume 1. Tests in Clinical Psychology. 2nd Half Volume) (pp. 520-587). Stuttgart & Zürich: Rascher Verlag.
[41] Winter, D. G. (1993). Power, Affiliation, and War. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 532-545.

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.