McClelland, David C. (David Clarence), 1917-1998

Alternative names

Hide Profile

David C. McClelland was a Harvard psychologist, noted especially for his work on achievement motivation .

  • 1917: Born May 20, 1917 in Mt. Vernon, New York
  • 1933: Graduates from Jacksonville, Illinois, High School
  • 1933 - 1934 : Special student in languages at Macmurray College in Jacksonville, Illinois
  • 1938: Graduates from Wesleyan University , with an A.B. in Psychology
  • 1938: First marriage to Mary Sharpless, June 25, 1938
  • 1939: Obtains an A.M. from the University of Missouri in Psychology
  • 1941: Obtains a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Yale University Becomes Instructor of Psychology at Connecticut College
  • 1942: Leaves Connecticut College Instructor of Psychology at Wesleyan University
  • 1943: Served as Assistant and Acting personnel secretary of the American Friends Service Committee , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 1944: Part-time lecturer in Psychology at Bryn Mawr College
  • 1945: Becomes an Assistant Professor on Psychology at Wesleyan University Ends Part-time position teaching at Bryn Mawr College
  • 1946: Becomes Chairman of the Department of Psychology at Wesleyan University
  • Summer 1947: Assistant Director, Sky Island Hostel for European Refugees (American Friends Service Committee)
  • 1948: Becomes and Associate Professor of Psychology at Wesleyan University Fellow of the American Psychological Association
  • 1949 - 1950 : Lectures in Social Psychology at Harvard University , then returns to Wesleyan University
  • Fall 1950: Becomes a staff consultant for the Social Science Research Council . This was in connection with the Ford Foundation Program for basic Social Science Development
  • 1951: Salzburg, Austria Salzburg Salzburg Stadt Salzburg Lectures in Social Psychology at the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies , Salzburg, Austria Publishes Personality, with J.W. Atkinson, R.A. Clark, E.L. Lowell Becomes member of the psychology panel, National Research Council
  • 1952 - 1953 : Serves as Deputy Director of the Behavioral Sciences division of the Ford Foundation
  • 1953: Becomes a Professor of Psychology at Wesleyan University Member of the Fullbright Award Committee
  • Summer 1953: Lecturer in the behavioral sciences, Diplomats' Conferences, sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, Clarens, Switzerland
  • 1955: Publishes Studies in Motivation
  • 1956: Leaves Wesleyan University to become a Professor of Psychology in the Harvard University Department of Social Relations Honorary M.A. from Harvard University Member of the training grants committee, National Institutes of Mental Health Chairman of Staff, Center for Research in Personality
  • 1957: Honorary Sc.D. from Wesleyan University Fellow, American Academy of Science
  • 1958: Germany Federal Republic of Germany Honorary D.Phil. from the University of Maintz , Germany Receives Guggenheim Fellowship
  • 1959: Travels to Italy with Guggenheim fellowship
  • 1961: Publishes The Achieving Society, with D.G. Winter Lectures in Social Psychology at the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies, Salzburg, Austria
  • 1962: Chairman of the Department of Social Relations, Harvard University ,
  • 1962 - 1963 : Master, South House, Radcliffe College
  • 1963: Co-founder of McBer Consulting Co. (now a part of the Hay Institute ). McBer assists managers in evaluating and training their employees. Honorary L.L.D. MacMurray College Submits proposal to the National Education Association to offer seventh graders in good standing college scholarships to encourage motivation.
  • 1963 - 1964 : India Republic of India Tunisia Tunisian Republic Sabbatical year from Harvard University. Travels to India and Tunisia organizing research on entrepreneurial motivation.
  • 1964: Publishes The Roots of Consciousness Chairman of the Staff, Center for Research in Personality President of the Eastern Psychological Association
  • 1965: Becomes a member of the American Psychological Association Committee on Psychology in National and International Affairs
  • 1967: Becomes President of the New England Psychological Association Ends service as Chairman of the Department of Social Relations, Harvard University Ends service as Chairman of the Staff, Center for Research in Personality
  • Spring, 1968 : Southeast Asia Southeast Asia Southeast Volunteer Fire Department Station 2 Southeast Pond Southeast Point Southeast Shoal Southeast Pond Southeast Elementary School Southeast Fire District Station 30 Southeast Laterals Watershed Reservoir Number 7 Southeast Houma Gas Field Southeast Christian Academy Southeastern Poultry Research Laboratory Southeast Park School (historical) Southeast Moss Hill Oil Field Southeast Ridge Southeast Iron Chapel Oil Field Southeast Tank Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas Heliport Southeastern Medical Center Southeast Arkansas Law Enforcement Center- Highway Patrol Station Fairfield County Fire Department Southeastern Southeast Branch Library Southeast Arm East Africa Eastern Africa Presbyterian Church of East Africa Kibera Emmanuel Technical Training Center East Orange African Methodist Episcopal Church Presbyterian Church of East Africa High School and Pre-School Peace Corps consultant, travels to Southeast Asia and East Africa
  • 1969: Member of the Faculty of Education at Harvard University Graduate School of Education
  • 1970: Honorary D.Litt. from Albion College
  • 1972: Tunisia Tunisian Republic Morocco Kingdom of Morocco Spain Kingdom of Spain France Republic of France Mexico Mexico Travels to Tunisia, Morocco, Spain, France, and Mexico as a U.S. Information Agency Consultant
  • 1972: Indonesia Republic of Indonesia Sri Lanka Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Takes a leave from Harvard. Travels to Indonesia to participate in a UNIDO conference, spends three months in Sri Lanka, writes Need for Power
  • 1973: Ends teaching as a Faculty of Education at Harvard University
  • 1973: Has article published in The American Psychologist stating that IQ and personality tests are poor indicators of a person's competence
  • 1974: Sri Lanka Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka India Republic of India Ethiopia Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Travels as part of the U.S. Information Service to Sri Lanka, India, and Ethiopia.
  • 1975: Publishes Power: The Inner Experience
  • 1976: Receives the McKinsey Award
  • 1980: First wife, Mary, dies in December
  • October 10, 1981: Second marriage to Marian Adams
  • 1986: Retires, becoming emeritus professor of Harvard University
  • 1986: Distinguished research professor of psychology at Boston University
  • 1987: Receives the award for Distinguished Scientific contribution from the American Psychological Association
  • March 27, 1998: Receives the Bruno Klopfer Award from the Society for Personality Assessment Dies.
  • 1999: Receives the Henry A. Murray Award from the American Psychological Association Division 8
From the guide to the Papers of David McClelland, 1900-1998, (Harvard University Archives)

David McClelland was born in Mt. Vernon, New York on May 20, 1917. He obtained his BA from Wesleyan University in 1938, his MA from the University of Missouri in 1939, and his PhD from Yale in 1941. He taught at Wesleyan University for a number of years before joining the faculty at Harvard in 1956. He spent 30 years at Harvard and served as chairman of the Department of Social Relations. In 1987, McClelland moved to the University of Boston and remained there until his death. It was at Boston he received APA's Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions.

McClelland is well-known for his work on need theory, the belief that needs are acquired over time and are based on the individual's life experiences. He was considered an expert on human motivation and entrepreneurship. In 1963, he started McBer, a consulting company that aided managers in assessing and training employees. He also developed new scoring systems for the Thematic Apperception Test, a test aimed at assessing an individual's unconscious needs for achievement, power, and intimacy.

McClelland died on March 27, 1998 in Lexington, Massachusetts.

From the guide to the David C. McClelland papers, 1941-1982, (Center for the History of Psychology)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Records, 1946-2000 Harvard Law School Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf David C. McClelland papers, 1941-1982 Center for the History of Psychology
referencedIn Harvard University. Dept. of Social Relations. Records of the Chairman of the Dept. of Social Relations, David McClelland, relating to special research, 1960-1983. Harvard University, Archives
creatorOf Winter, David G. A new case for the liberal arts. Harvard University, Murray Research Center
creatorOf McClelland, David C. (David Clarence). Achieving society : characteristics of entrepreneurs. Harvard University, Murray Research Center
creatorOf McClelland, David C. (David Clarence). Follow-up of patterns of child rearing subjects. Harvard University, Murray Research Center
creatorOf McClelland, David C. (David Clarence). Children's readers : a cross-cultural selection. Harvard University, Murray Research Center
creatorOf Papers of David McClelland, 1900-1998 Harvard University Archives.
creatorOf McClelland, David C. (David Clarence). Papers of David McClelland, 1900-1998. Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Carden, Maren Lockwood. Student notes, 1956-1959. Harvard University, Archives
creatorOf McClelland, David C. (David Clarence). Correspondence with Margaret Naumburg, 1962. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf McClelland, David. An evaluation of a peer tutoring reading program for low progress tutors and tutees [manuscript]. Libraries Australia
referencedIn Harvard University Archives Photograph Collection: Portraits, ca. 1852-ca. 2004 Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Harvard University. Dept. of Social Relations. Records of the Department of Social Relations, 1946-1973 (inclusive). Harvard University, Archives
creatorOf McClelland, David C. (David Clarence). Reminiscences of David Clarence McClelland : oral history, 1983. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Tiffany, Thomas D. Themes in the music of the Grateful Dead / Tom Tiffany. Harvard University, Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Achievement Motivation Development Project corporateBody
associatedWith Ann Colby person
associatedWith Behavioral Medicine Group at the Beth Israel Hospital corporateBody
associatedWith Budd, Matthew person
associatedWith Carden, Maren Lockwood. person
associatedWith Caroline Hellman person
associatedWith Committee on Women's Studies corporateBody
associatedWith Department of Social Relations corporateBody
associatedWith Ford Foundation corporateBody
associatedWith Gerald Lesser person
associatedWith Grossner, Isabel S., person
associatedWith Harvard Community Health Plan corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard Graduate School of Education corporateBody
correspondedWith Harvard Law School Forum corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard University corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard University. Dept. of Social Relations. corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard University. Dept. of Social Relations. corporateBody
associatedWith Henry A. Murray Research Center corporateBody
associatedWith Henry Murray person
associatedWith Indus Foundation corporateBody
associatedWith Intermedia, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith International Achievement Motivation Development Project corporateBody
associatedWith International Marketing Institute corporateBody
associatedWith Jack Atkinson's person
associatedWith Mary McClelland person
associatedWith McBer Consulting corporateBody
associatedWith McLeod, Caroline person
associatedWith Pattulo, E. L. person
associatedWith Radcliffe corporateBody
associatedWith Radcliffe College. Henry A. Murray Research Center. corporateBody
associatedWith Radcliffe Data Resource and Research Center corporateBody
associatedWith Sears, Robert R. (Robert Richardson). person
associatedWith Spencer Foundation. corporateBody
associatedWith The Murray Research Center corporateBody
associatedWith Tiffany, Thomas D. person
associatedWith United States Agency for International Development corporateBody
associatedWith United States Office of Education corporateBody
associatedWith Winter, David G. person
associatedWith Yarway Corporation corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Psychology
History of psychology
Children's literature--Cross-cultural studies
Businessmen--Psychology--Cross-cultural studies
Motivation (Psychology)--Research
Psychologists
Endowment of research
Psychologists--United States
Human capital
Child development--Cross-cultural studies
Entrepreneurship--Cross-cultural studies
Developmental psychology and motivation
Educator--Interviews
Child rearing
Thematic Apperception Test
Industrial psychology and organizational behaviour
Achievement motivation--Cross-cultural studies
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1917-05-20

Death 1998-03-27

Male

Americans

English

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6fg4gg8

Ark ID: w6fg4gg8

SNAC ID: 83690042