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David McClelland.

David C. McClelland (May 20 1917 – March 1998) was an American psychological theorist. Noted for his work on achievement motivation and consciousness, he published a number of works from the 1950s until the 1990s and had a hand in the creation of the scoring system for the Thematic Apperception Test.[1]


McClelland, born in Mt. Vernon in New York State, was awarded a bachelor of arts from Wesleyan University in 1938, and an MA from the University of Missouri the following year.[1] He received his PhD from Yale University, and taught at Connecticut College and Wesleyan University before joining the faculty at Harvard University in 1956, where he worked for 30 years, serving as chairman of the Department of Social Relations. He moved to Boston University in 1987. Here, he was awarded the American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions.


McClelland published a number of works during his career.

  • The Achievement Motive (1953)
  • The Achieving Society (1961)
  • The Roots of Consciousness (1964)
  • Power: The Inner Experience (1975)
  • Human Motivation (1987)


  1. ^ a b Biography - David C. McClelland retrieved June 24, 2008


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