The present study sought to investigate whether differences in Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) need for achievement (n Achievement) scores were a function of three experimental conditions: stimulus cues presented as a picture, a slide projection, or a sentence lead describing the picture. Measures were taken from 47 males ofn Achievement (TAT), perceptions of the stimulus cues (Perception of Stimulus Cue Scale), and perceptions of the test condition context (Perception of Test Condition Scale). As predicted, differences were found in n Achievement scores between the three experimental conditions, with the scores of subjects in the slide condition being significantly higher than those of subjects in the picture and sentence conditions. Analyses revealed no consistent pattern of differences in perceptions of the cues responsible for the differences in n Achievement scores. Rather, n Achievement score differences were in a large part due to perceived differences in the atmosphere or ambience of the slide condition. The results of the study led to important recommendations being made to standardise TAT measurement. These included the development of a standard set of sentence leads to accompany TAT pictures and standard test instructions for persons taking the test and those administering it.
Paper presented to the 21st Annual Experimental Psychology Conference, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1994,