Using the multifaceted Rasch model to improve the TAT/PSE measure of need for achievement

Virginia Blankenship, Christopher M. Vega, Erica Ramos, Katherine Romero, Kenneth Warren, Kathleen Keenan, Valery Rosenow, Jennifer Vasquez, Amanda Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We used the Rasch (1980) model to develop new pictures for the Thematic Apperception Test (C. D. Morgan & Murray, 1938; McClelland, Atkinson, Clark, & Lowell, 1953) or picture story exercise to measure need for achievement (nAch). In Experiments 1 and 2, we analyzed stories to assess the difficulty level of a total of 8 pictures using the multifaceted Rasch model with picture difficulty, story probe difficulty, and participant ability as facets with a partial credit model (FACETS; Linacre, 2005). A total of 6 pictures were retained and 4 new ones added for Experiment 3 in which 201 participants wrote 6 stories to a random set of the 10 pictures. FACETS analysis revealed improved person separation reliability. In Experiment 4, 206 participants wrote 1 story to the Studying picture either before or after filling out a battery of achievement-related questionnaires. The 2 experimental groups did not differ in the amount of nAch in their stories. The coder facet was demonstrated with 2 independent coders using the revised coding system for nAch.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-114
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part with funds from the National Science Foundation, Research Experience for Undergraduates, DBI–9988009. Presentations based on this research were presented at the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (RMPA) in Reno in 2001 and the International Objective Measurement Workshops in New Orleans in 2002 (Blankenship, Warren, Rebarchik [Vasquez], and Barton [Rosenow]), at the RMPA in Denver in 2003 (Blankenship, Vega, Ramos, Keenan, and Romero), and at the RMPA in Phoenix in 2005 (Sullivan and Blankenship). We thank Meghan Henderson for her assistance coding stories in Experiment 4. We thank Steven Barger for his helpful comments on an earlier version of this article.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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