Behavioral implications of adaption-innovation: III. Adaption-innovation, achievement motivation, and academic performance

Nicholas F. Skinner1, Jillian M. Drake1
1King’s College, The University of Western Ontario, Canada
Cite this article:  Skinner, N., & Drake, J. (2003). Behavioral implications of adaption-innovation: III. Adaption-innovation, achievement motivation, and academic performance. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 31, 101-106.

Volume 31 Issue 1 | e1229 | Published: February 2003 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2003.31.1.101

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Adaptors prefer to solve problems by applying clearly articulated rules or procedures within familiar paradigms, whereas innovators prefer to avoid structure and think “outside the box” (Kirton, 1976). In the present study using the Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory (Kirton, 1991), adaptors scored significantly higher than innovators in a multiple-choice examination, reflecting the “fit” between the adaptors’ cognitive style and the nature of the problems to be solved (i.e., structured, convergent questions). However, despite apparent temperamental similarities between adaptors and individuals with a high need to achieve (e.g., both groups are conforming and persistent, and prefer moderate levels of risk), the hypothesis that adaptors would have higher levels of achievement motivation than innovators was not supported, possibly due to shortcomings inherent in Mehta’s (1969) Achievement Motivation Inventory and/or difficulties in adapting Mehta’s instrument for this research.


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