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Schönbrodt, Felix D. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8282-3910 and Gerstenberg, Friederike X. R. (18. February 2012): An IRT Analysis of Motive Questionnaires: The Unified Motive Scales. In: Journal of Personality, Vol. 46, No. 6: pp. 725-742 [PDF, 1MB]

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Multiple inventories claiming to assess the same explicit motive (achievement, power, or affiliation) show only mediocre convergent validity. In three studies (N = 1685) the structure, nomological net, and content coverage of multiple existing motive scales was investigated with exploratory factor analyses. The analyses revealed four approach factors (achievement, power, affiliation, and intimacy) and a general avoidance factor with a facet structure. New scales (the Unified Motive Scales; UMS) were developed using IRT, reflecting these underlying dimensions. In comparison to existing questionnaires, the UMS have the highest measurement precision and provide short (6-item) and ultra-short (3-item) scales. In a fourth study (N = 96), the UMS demonstrated incremental validity over existing motive scales with respect to several outcome criteria.

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