This chapter traces research on the power motive from its early beginnings through the many avenues of inquiry that the concept has spawned. Topics include an explanation of the Picture Story Exercise (PSE) by which researchers measure the power motive, the motive’s connection to alcoholism, how the motive makes people responsive to ingratiation, David McClelland’s concept of power stress, how the motive relates to creativity, the distinction between implicit and explicit motivation, and issues concerning the reliability and validity of the PSE measure. There is an attempt to show how the concept knits together seemingly diverse domains of human behavior that otherwise elude easy explanation. The chapter ends with a glimpse into what the future may portend for research on the power motive.
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