Weight control as a domain of achievement : identification of high need achievers
Samuel, Patricia A.
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This study attempted to expand the traditional achievement motivation literature to include those individuals who are striving to achieve the socially defined standard of excellence in weight-related appearance. Results from a study on a college population are very promising. High need achievers, identified by the Weight Control Survey, generated significantly more weight control achievement imagery to the Weight Thematic Apperception Test than low achievers. They also were more likely to use dietary restrictions and be physically active. In addition, very low correlations were found among the more traditional, global achievement measures (including the W0F0-3, the CPI, the MAT, and the TAT) and the domain-specific orientation of the Weight Control Survey. This failure to obtain higher correlations calls for a continued expansion of the traditional achievement literature. Future research could focus on the differential impact of changing societal standards on males and females. In addition, this line of personality research could be extended to an eating disorder population.