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A major success in personality has been the development of a consensual structure of traits. However, much less progress has been made on the structure of an equally important aspect of human psychology: motives. We present an empirically and theoretically structured hierarchical taxonomy of 161 motives gleaned from a literature review from McDougall to the present and based on the cluster analysis of similarity judgments among these 161 motives, a broader sampling of motives than previous work. At the broadest level were: Meaning, Communion, and Agency. These divided into nine clusters: Morality and Virtue, Religion and Spirituality, Self-Actualization, Avoidance, Social Relating, Family, Health, Mastery and Competence, and Financial and Occupational Success. Each divided into more concrete clusters to form 5 levels. We discuss contributions to research on motives, especially recent work on goal systems, and the aiding of communication and systematization of research. Finally, we compare the taxonomy to other motive organizations.

Author: Jennifer R. Talevich, Stephen J. Read , David A. Walsh, Ravi Iyer, Gurveen Chopra



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