Bumpy Road

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(3), 217–218. Reviews the book, The Success-Fearing Personality: Theory and Research with Implications for the Social Psychology of Achievement by Donnah Canavan-Gumpert, Katherine Garner, Peter Gumpert, Nina E. Cohen and Marice Pappo (see record 1979-13448-000). This book is the most recent in a long line of attempts to reconceptualize aspects of achievement motivation. The first theory the authors present concerns fear of failure. The second theory that the authors present concerns the determinants of productivity. The authors also present discussions of the nature of cooperative, competitive, and caring groups. The book begins with a presentation of psychoanalytic thought concerning fear of success, after which the authors present their own theory. In the final sections of the book, the authors return to fear of success, presenting a sketchy overview of the developmental antecedents of fear of success and, jarringly, a discussion of clinical techniques for alleviating fear of success. Ultimately, the utility of the book is limited by its lack of focus. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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