This study examined McClelland's (1981) hypothesis that operant and respondent personality measures generally assess independent domains of psychological thought. The conceptual basis for the measurement of needs and values is explored, through reference to unconscious and conscious levels of thought. It is questioned as to whether the relationship between needs, values, and traits is generally an independent one, and reference is made to the contribution of development and to different learning environments. An operant measure of needs and respondent measures of values and traits were administered to 203 male and female undergraduate students. Findings for males, but not females, supported McClelland's hypothesis. Results showed that for women, there was a significant relationship between needs and values, and between needs and traits, and that the relationship varied for particular personality variables and for particular age groups of women. Findings are discussed generally in terms of cognitive, affect, and information processing theories.
Journal of Research in Personality,
Vol. 25, no. 4 (Dec 1991), p. 372-385