chapter  9
24 Pages

Motivational Gravity

The study of work motivation is recognized as fundamental to this enterprise (Kao & Ng, this volume; Munro, 1996). One particular motive that in a variety of ways has captured the attention and energy of psychologists is the desire to rise above others (Franken & Brown, 1995; Kasser & Ryan, 1993). The need for achievement, for example, is predicated on a drive to compete (McClelland, 1987), and a central tenet of intergroup theory is that in-groups will spontaneously strive to place themselves above out-groups (Tajfel, 1978). A great deal of contemporary psychology incorporates the received wisdom that people are naturally competitive (Carr, 1996b; Turner, 1991), an article of faith that appears to have been bolstered by the collapse of Soviet communism (Bookin-Weiner, 1995).