Table of Contents:
Motivation is considered an important predictor of various academic success criteria such as academic grades, academic satisfaction, and dropout rates. In most theories, achievement motivation is described as a process of addressing a quality standard, including a comparison with one’s own performance or with other people. The construct of achievement motivation is often used in online self-assessments because of its predictive properties regarding academic success. Online self-assessments are web-based counseling tools that examine the fit for a particular degree program using various modules. The focus of this dissertation was the innovative development of an achievement motivation test (LEIMO) that is suitable for use in academic advisory services and particularly in online self-assessments for prospective students. In addition to the application context of the LEIMO, the dissertation describes in particular its design according to the Rasch model on the basis of four school and university student samples with a total of N = 681. It also addresses the construct and criterion validation of the LEIMO. It was shown that the LEIMO reflects its theoretical basis, the achievement motivation theory by McClelland, in a differentiated manner by means of the facets of need for achievement, achievement standard, success anticipation, and achievement pride. Rasch homogeneity was demonstrated for all four facets using the Andersen’s likelihood ratio test and the Martin-Loef test, both model validity tests. In addition, the construct validity of the LEIMO was established through correlations with other achievement motivation instruments and achievement motivation-related criteria. Criterion validity was examined in four degree programs with a total of N = 492 students. Varying combinations of the LEIMO facets, depending on the criterion to be predicted, yielded the best prediction of the examined academic success criteria. It also became evident that the validity of the LEIMO varied greatly across the four degree programs (e.g., it ranged from r = .08 to r = .55 in case of academic grades). The degree of validity depended on the relevance of the requirement of achievement motivation (as assessed by instructors) for each degree program and stresses the importance of a requirement analysis prior to the application of such an instrument. With the LEIMO, this dissertation presents an innovatively developed achievement motivation test that enables a differentiated and theory-based assessment of the construct of achievement motivation in young adults and is compatible with the Rasch model. The test has versatile applications in school and university counseling settings, especially once standard samples are collected in the future.