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Achievement Motivation Profile (AMP)


Motivation Profile

Harvey P. Mandel, Ph.D., Jotham G. Friedland, Ph.D., and Sander I. Marcus, Ph.D.

Harvey P. Mandel, Ph.D.,
Jotham G. Friedland, Ph.D.,
and Sander I. Marcus, Ph.D.

Western Psychological Services 12031 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90025-1251
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ent form consists of 140 brief, self-descriptive statements.
For each statement, the student is asked to agree or disagree
on a 5-point modified Likert scale (1 = Always True,
2 = Mostly True, 3 = Sometimes True and Sometimes False,
4 = Mostly False, and 5 = Always False). Scoring of the test
yields three validity measures: an Inconsistent Responding
measure, and measures of Self-Enhancing and Self-Critical
response styles. Scale scores are obtained in four areas: The
Motivation for Achievement scale scores include Achiever,
Motivation, Competitiveness, and Goal Orientation; the
Inner Resources scale scores include Relaxed Style,
Happiness, Patience, and Self-Confidence; the Interpersonal
Strengths scale scores include Assertiveness, Personal
Diplomacy, Extroversion, and Cooperativeness; and the
Work Habits scale scores include Planning & Organization,
Initiative, and Team Player. A descriptive summary of the
scores provided by the AMP is presented in Table 1. Career
Interest scores can also be obtained, although this is not a
primary focus of the AMP.
The AMP can be administered interactively on a personal computer or in a paper-and-pencil format. It can be
scored by hand or by computer. When the AMP is scored by
computer, an interpretive report is provided with the scores,
which includes an expert discussion of each scale result, an
integration of the meaning of scale combinations, and a series of recommendations derived from the AMP profile. The
Computer Services for the AMP section at the back of this
Manual provides details about the computerized AMP assessment, including a sample profile and interpretive report.

The Achievement Motivation Profile (AMP) is an objectively scored, self-report assessment tool designed to be a
measure of a students motivation to achieve, along with related personality characteristics, interpersonal attributes,
work style, and other qualities important for school success.
The AMP is based on a theory of personality development
(Roth, Berenbaum, & Hershenson, 1967) that provides a
framework for assessing achievement and motivation. This
framework, derived from the work of Erik Erikson (1963)
and elaborated by Mandel and Marcus (1988), is based on
the assumption that achievement and motivation are determined by many factors that interact to produce desired or
less than desired performance. These factors affect performance for students in the academic setting, and strongly influence adult work performance as well (Friedland, Marcus,
& Mandel, 1995).
The AMP is unique in many ways. It is designed
specifically to measure motivation, and has significant correlations with objective measures of achievement in school.
Also, the AMP utilizes a 5-point, Likert-type response scale,
making it possible to obtain a more refined self-description
of personality than measures that use a true-false response
format. Students report that the AMP is easy to take and provides a more accurate self-picture than many other personality tests. The AMP incorporates contemporary language,
topical test items, and a wide range of self-descriptive statements that enable students to describe themselves accurately
and rapidly. Another unique aspect of the AMP is that it measures specific factors that can enhance or diminish achievement, such as work habits, intrapsychic resources, and
interpersonal characteristics. The AMP profile reflects a students strengths and liabilities with respect to achievement
and motivation in terms of these factors, and thus is interpreted in the context of a students unique situation. Finally,
the AMP has career interest measures that correspond to
major career constellations in order to help identify the general areas where a student might be most motivated to achieve.

Principles of Use
The AMP is designed for use with students ages 14
and older in high school, junior college, and college settings.
Norms are presented in this Manual for students from both
the United States and Canada (N = 1,738). The AMP should
be used by psychologists, by other professionals in mental
health, education, or counseling, or by trained students
under their direct supervision. The test must be used in accordance with appropriate legal and ethical principles, as
outlined by the American Psychological Association (1985,
1992) and in local statutes. The test and its results should be
used only within the scope of the test administrators area of

General Description
The AMP was initially developed in 1982 to fill the
need for a multidimensional personality test specifically designed for educational and industrial evaluations. The pres3

Achievement Motivation Profile (AMP)

professional expertise. To be properly used, test results

should be combined with other independent sources of data
and should never be the sole source of information, especially for important decisions such as academic remediation.
Test administrators should take any steps necessary to safeguard the confidentiality of a students results, and should
ensure that anyone who has access to the results is knowledgeable and competent to interpret and understand them.

Manual Contents
This Manual is presented in two parts that include information pertinent to the use of the AMP. Part I of the

Manual is the Administration and Scoring Guide, which

contains this introductory chapter and chapters 2 and 3:
Chapter 2 provides a description of AMP administration and
scoring procedures, and chapter 3 contains guidance for interpreting the AMP, including descriptions of the meaning
of each AMP scale, scale cluster interpretations, and case
examples of how AMP results can be incorporated into an
overall assessment.
Part II of the Manual is the Technical Guide, which includes chapters 4 and 5: Chapter 4 reviews the history of the
development of the AMP, including item selection, scale development, and standardization; chapter 5 addresses reliability, validity, and other relevant statistical findings.

Table 1
Achievement Motivation Profile Scores
Response Style
Inconsistent Responding (INC)
Haphazard responding or highly inconsistent self-description
Self-Enhancing (ENH)
Positive self-description; presenting oneself as having positive characteristics
Self-Critical (CRT)
Negative self-description; presenting oneself in a self-deprecating manner
Motivation for Achievement
Achiever (ACH)
Achievement and task completion; achievement of specific goals; follow-through
Motivation (MOT)
Inner commitment to achieve; strength of inner emotions, needs, and values; inner drive
Competitiveness (COMP)
Need to win, to perform better than others, or to surpass standards of achievement or performance
Goal Orientation (GOAL)
Having clear goals and objectives
Inner Resources
Relaxed Style (RLX)
Free of tension; unworried; relaxed
Happiness (HAP)
Level of general satisfaction and sense of well-being
Patience (PAT)
Patience in task completion and in handling frustration or conflict
Self-Confidence (SCN)
Self-assurance and confidence in self
Interpersonal Strengths
Assertiveness (AST)
Directness in expressing oneself and in dealing with others
Personal Diplomacy (DIPL)
Tact and diplomacy in dealing with others; sensitivity to the feelings and ideas of others
Extroversion (EXT)
Socially outgoing
Cooperativeness (COOP)
Comfort in working closely with others or in taking the lead from others
Work Habits
Planning & Organization (PLAN)
Using time-management, scheduling, and other work habits and planning strategies to achieve goals
Initiative (INI)
Comfort in taking independent action
Team Player (TEAM)
Comfort in working together as part of team or interdependent work group
Note. Informal scores may also be obtained for Career Interest Areas. These provide a rough gauge of a students interest in Realistic, Investigative,
Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional occupational activities.