Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Dr. Lawrence R. James

Committee Members

Dr. William H. Calhoun, Dr. Warren H. Jones, Dr. Kathleen A. Lawler


While both self-report (SR) and conditional reasoning (CR) measures of achievement motivation (AM) and fear-of-failure (FF) have been shown to be predictive of academic and organizational outcomes (James, 1998; Spangler, 1992), substantial criterion variance is often left unaccounted for by either measurement system when used in isolation. The current work proposes a new, theoretical model of AM and FF created by integrating information on explicit cognitions gathered from SR with information on implicit cognitions gathered from CR. This “integrative model” of assessment provides an enhanced understanding of the approach-avoidance conflicts people experience when they are faced with challenging tasks. Predictions derived from the model are supported in two student samples and one managerial sample. Specifically, the explicit and implicit AM/FF cognitions combine additively or multiplicatively in the prediction of effort and performance. It is concluded that in order to advance our understanding and prediction of behavior, psychologists should integrate explicit personality components with implicit components in theoretical and practical pursuits.

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