You are on page 1of 16

Educational and http://epm.sagepub.

com/ Measurement Psychological

A Factorial Analysis of Scales Measuring Competitiveness


John M. Houston, Sandra A. Mcintire, Judy Kinnie and Christeine Terry Educational and Psychological Measurement 2002 62: 284 DOI: 10.1177/0013164402062002006 The online version of this article can be found at: http://epm.sagepub.com/content/62/2/284

Published by:
http://www.sagepublications.com

Additional services and information for Educational and Psychological Measurement can be found at: Email Alerts: http://epm.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Subscriptions: http://epm.sagepub.com/subscriptions Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Permissions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Citations: http://epm.sagepub.com/content/62/2/284.refs.html

>> Version of Record - Apr 1, 2002 What is This?

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

EDUCATIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL MEASUREMENT HOUSTON ET AL.

A FACTORIAL ANALYSIS OF SCALES MEASURING COMPETITIVENESS


JOHN M. HOUSTON, SANDRA A. MCINTIRE, JUDY KINNIE, AND CHRISTEINE TERRY Rollins College

This study examined the construct of competitiveness, which has been variously defined and operationalized by psychologists for more than 100 years, and its relation to other constructs. Four hypotheses regarding multidimensionality and related constructs were proposed and tested by administering 10 different paper-and-pencil measures to 140 undergraduate students. Two factor analyses (principal axis with varimax rotation) provided evidence of two factors that were labeled Self-Aggrandizement and Interpersonal Success. The results suggest that researchers should carefully define competitiveness and choose measures that reflect their own definition to improve interpretation of the results.

Competitiveness is an important folk concept; that is, a concept that is generally recognized as playing a significant role in interpersonal processes (Gough, 1987). Research on competitiveness dates back to the work of Triplett (1897), who investigated concepts such as competitive instincts, mental attitude during performance, and an intense desire to win. Deutsch (1949) furthered the early investigations into competition by looking at winning from the perspective of goal relationships as opposed to the more mental, instinctual concepts propounded by Triplett. Deutschs theoretical perspective emphasized the role context plays in the expression of competitive behavior by focusing on the way valued rewards are distributed within a group setting. In his model, competition is highest under winner take all conditions, that is, conditions in which only one group member receives all the available rewards. Although the reward distribution approach has provided considerable insight into group processes in competitive and cooperaEducational and Psychological Measurement, Vol. 62 No. 2, April 2002 284-298 2002 Sage Publications

284

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

HOUSTON ET AL.

285

tive situations, it overlooks competitiveness as an individual difference variable. Although acknowledging the importance of situational variables in the expression of competitiveness, this study focuses on the assessment of competitiveness as an individual difference variable. Researchers studying the nature of competitiveness often differ in their definitions of competitiveness. Kildea (1983) pointed out that definitions might be either positive or negative. The various attributions that researchers make about the influence of a competitive nature on interpersonal relations make a closer examination of the construct of competitiveness important. Over the past two decades, researchers have developed various paperand-pencil instruments that operationalize competitiveness as an individual difference variable. These range from global measures of competitiveness, such as the Competitiveness Index (Smither & Houston, 1992), to more focused instruments, such as the Sport Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ) (Gill & Deeter, 1988). The question arises, however, whether these measures are actually measuring the same construct, that is, whether they agree on the definition of competitiveness. Therefore, this study examined the relationships among the various measures of competitiveness with the goal of more thoroughly defining competitiveness by relating these measures to each other. This study is the first step in building a nomological network, a method for defining a construct by illustrating its relation to as many other constructs and behaviors as possible (Cronbach & Meehl, 1955), for competitiveness. Defining and Operationalizing Competitiveness Seven psychometrically sound instruments appear in the literature concerning defining and measuring competitiveness. The Competition-Cooperation Attitude Scale. Martin and Larsen (1976) reported that research on competitiveness relied primarily on data gathered in experiments on behavior in relation to games, such as the Prisoners Dilemma. As a result, they developed a scale, the Competition-Cooperation Attitude Scale (CCAS) to measure attitudes toward competition and cooperation. Their scale signaled the beginning of the operationalization of competitiveness using paper-and-pencil instruments. Martin and Larsen took a negative view of competitiveness, associating it with Machiavellianism by drawing concepts from the Mach IV scale (Christie & Geis, 1970). The CCAS measures attitudes toward competition and cooperation using a 5point Likert-type scale (strongly disagree to strongly agree) for responses to 28 items including Losers are inferior and People need to learn to get along with others as equals. The authors estimated split-half reliability at .82 for a sample of undergraduate students.

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

286

EDUCATIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL MEASUREMENT

Competition subscale of the Work and Family Orientation Scale. Researchers have generally ignored the CCAS and instead have favored the Competition subscale of the Work and Family Orientation Scale (WOFO) (Helmreich & Spence, 1978). The WOFO assesses individuals desire to do better than others, their desire to win in interpersonal situations, and their enjoyment of interpersonal competition. It contains five items that define competition as the desire to win in interpersonal situations (Helmreich & Spence, 1978, p. 4). A number of studies have used this scale to investigate behaviors associated with competitiveness (e.g., Gill, 1988; Helmreich, Spence, Bean, Lucker, & Matthews, 1980; Lucas & Stone, 1994). Respondents use a 5-point Likert-type scale to express their agreement to statements such as It is important to me to perform better than others on a task and It annoys me when other people perform better than I do. Based on a sample of college students, Helmreich and Spence (1978) reported internal consistency reliability estimates for men and women as .76 and .72, respectively. The Hypercompetitive Attitude Scale. Ryckman, Hammer, Kaczor, and Gold (1990) added another dimension to the assessment of competitiveness by formulating the Hypercompetitive Attitude Scale (HCA). They derived the construct of hypercompetitiveness from Horney (1937), interpreting hypercompetitiveness as an indiscriminate need by individuals to compete and win (and avoid losing) at any cost as a means of maintaining or enhancing feelings of self-worth (Ryckman et al., 1990, p. 632). They supported Horneys (1937) theory by citing a meta-analysis by Johnson and Johnson (1989) that found that competitive individuals had poorer self-concepts and more negative interpersonal relationships than cooperative individuals. Respondents to the 26-item HCA use a 5-point continuum ranging from 1 (never true of me) to 5 (always true of me). Sample items include Its a dog eat dog world, If you dont get the better of others, they will surely get the better of you, and Failure or loss in competition makes me feel less worthy as a person. The authors reported an internal consistency reliability of .91 for an undergraduate sample. The Sports Orientation Questionnaire. About the same time as the development of the HCA, Gill and Deeter (1988) turned their attention to the phenomenon of sports competition. They developed an instrument called the Sports Orientation Questionnaire (SOQ). This instrument measured three factors of competitiveness in sports and discriminated between competitivesport participants and others. The 13-item SOQ assesses the desire to win in sports competition using a 5-point Likert-type scale to measure the participants agreement to items such as I am a competitive person and I try my hardest to win. Based on samples of students from a large state university, Gill and Deeter (1988) estimated internal consistency reliability at .94.

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

HOUSTON ET AL.

287

The Interpersonal Competitiveness subscale of the Competitiveness Questionnaire. In 1990, Griffin-Pierson identified two definitions of competitiveness: goal attainment (striving for a goal) and interpersonal competitiveness (the desire to win over others). She constructed the Competitiveness Questionnaire to assess both concepts, but the seven items measuring goal competitiveness showed little internal consistency. On the other hand, the eight items that measured interpersonal competitiveness (CQ) were internally consistent ( = .76). Participants use a 5-point Likert-type scale to respond to items such as I have always wanted to be better than others and I would want an A because that means that I am better than other people. The Competitiveness Index. On the other hand, Smither and Houston (1992) sought to clarify a more global concept of competitiveness by developing the Competitiveness Index (CI), designed using items that assessed both positive (desire to accomplish a goal) and negative (desire to win at any cost) attitudes toward competition. Their factor analysis of the CI yielded three factors (Emotion, Argument, and Games), suggesting that competitiveness, as defined in the literature, is a multidimensional construct. Houston, Carter, and Smither (1997) later used the CI to study interpersonal competitiveness in sports and found that tennis professionals scored higher on both the SOQ and the CI than amateur tennis players. Participants respond either true or false to each of the 20 items, such as Its usually not important to me to be the best and When I play a game I like to keep score. The scale yielded an internal consistency reliability of .90 for college students. Convergent validity was suggested by a positive correlation between the CI and the competitiveness subscales for the WOFO (r = .47) and the SOQ (r = .61). Personal Development Competitive Attitude Scale. In 1996, Ryckman, Hammer, Kaczor, and Gold suggested a psychologically healthy concept of personal development competitiveness (p. 375) as an attitude that values the enjoyment and process of the task over the outcome of winning. Their definition reflects the popular aphorism Its not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game! They operationalized this by developing the Personal Development Competitive Attitude Scale (PDCA). The PDCA is a 15item scale that uses a 5-point Likert-type scale for responding to items such as I like competition because it teaches me a lot about myself and I enjoy competition because it brings me to a higher level of motivation to bring out the best in myself rather than as a means of doing better than others. For a sample of undergraduate students, the authors obtained an internal consistency reliability estimate of .90. Ryckman, Libby, van den Borne, Gold, and Lindner (1997) followed up with a study that examined the values of competitive undergraduates. They identified two types of participants: those who endorsed hypercompetitiveness and those who endorsed a type of competitiveness related to personal development and achievement. They found both

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

288

EDUCATIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL MEASUREMENT

endorsed values related to self-contained individualism; however, only those who scored higher in hypercompetitiveness endorsed values that approved achieving power and control over others. Measures Related to Competitiveness Given the differing definitions used to describe the concept of competitiveness, we concluded that three constructs related to competitiveness deserved inclusion in our construct explication. The first was the Dominance Orientation Scale (DO) (Gough, 1987) of the California Psychological Inventory (H. G. Gough, McClosky, & Meehl, 1951). The second was the NachNaff (Nach) (Lindgren, 1976), and the third was the Classroom Life Instrument: Cooperative Learning subscale (CL) (Johnson, Johnson, & Anderson, 1983). DO. The DO was developed to identify dominant, influential, and ascendant persons who would display initiative and leadership. Because competition can involve leadership and ascendancy over others, we were interested in exploring the relation of the DO to the various measures of competition. This 36-item scale uses a true-false response format for items such as I have a natural talent for influencing people and If given the chance I would make a good leader of people. The DO has demonstrated predictive validity for leadership in samples of undergraduate students. Nach. The second construct related to competitiveness is need for achievement. According to Smither and Houston (1992), need for achievement and competitiveness may occur in the same individual; however, competitiveness is not a necessary prerequisite for high achievement motivation. Therefore, we chose to measure our participants need for achievement using the need for achievement scoring scheme of the Nach. The Nach has a forced-choice format in which participants choose one adjective from each of 30 pairs that most closely represents that individuals characteristically prevailing mood. Paired adjectives such as aggressive or warm, praising or self-controlling characterize the instrument. The Nach score is based on the number of adjectives keyed as Nach that the respondent selects. Lindgren (1976) found evidence of test-retest reliability (r = .88) when the scale was administered to undergraduates in psychology classes. CL. The third construct, which may or may not be the opposite of competitiveness, is cooperation. Because we were interested in examining the relation between cooperation and competitiveness, we chose the CL to measure individuals attitudes toward cooperation. Johnson, Johnson, and Anderson

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

HOUSTON ET AL.

289

(1983), in an extension of their research on competitiveness, developed the CL to examine the influence of cooperation on learning in the classroom. This seven-item scale uses a 5-point Likert-type scale for response to items such as I like to share my ideas and materials with other students and Students learn a lot of important things from each other. Based on a sample of elementary school students, the internal consistency reliability estimate of .83 was obtained. Hypotheses We proposed four hypotheses. First, based on the variety of definitions of competition in the literature, we predicted that competitiveness would be a multidimensional construct. Second, because the CQ, CI, WOFO, and SOQ share the same conceptualization of competitiveness, that is, the desire to win in an interpersonal situation, we predicted that these measures would strongly correlate on the same factor. Third, we predicted that the HCA and PDCA, which were designed to be uncorrelated, would not correlate on the same factor. Given the apparent variety of items and operational definitions used to construct the competitiveness measures, other related measures should help to identify differences in emphasis and orientation among the competitiveness measures. Thus, our fourth hypothesis predicted that the measures of constructs related to competitiveness, DO, Nach, and CL, would each be differentially related to the measures of competitiveness.

Method
Participants A sample of 140 Rollins College undergraduates from two campus locations (65 men, 75 women) volunteered for the study. The participants were predominantly White and made up of students in psychology classes. Their ages ranged from 18 to 58 years, with a median of 24. Competitiveness Measures Participants completed seven measures of competitiveness and three measures of conceptually related constructs: dominance (ascendancy and leadership), need for achievement, and classroom cooperation. Table 1 provides a summary of the definitions and dimensions assessed by each of the measures.

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

290

EDUCATIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL MEASUREMENT

Table 1 Measures Associated With the Competitiveness Construct Measure Competitiveness Index (CI) (Smither & Houston, 1992) Construct Definition Competitiveness is the desire to win in interpersonal situations. Dimension and Context The CI assesses competitiveness in everyday contexts including games, arguments, and friendships. The CQ assesses competitiveness within the social domains of work, games, and school. The SOQ assesses competitiveness in sports.

Competitiveness Questionnaire: Interpersonal Competitiveness (CQ) (Griffin-Pierson, 1990) Sports Orientation Questionnaire: Competitiveness subscale (SOQ) (Gill & Deeter, 1988) Work and Family Orientation Questionnaire: Competitiveness subscale (WOFO) (Helmreich & Spence, 1978) Competition and Cooperation Attitude Scale (CCAS) (Martin & Larsen, 1976)

Competitiveness is the desire to win in interpersonal situations.

Competitiveness is the desire to win in interpersonal situations.

Competitiveness is the desire to win in interpersonal situations.

The WOFO assesses competitiveness in the context of work and games. The CCAS assesses five areas of competitioncooperation including aggression, fascist tendencies, work ethic, power, and independence in the context of games, school, and social relationships. The HCA assesses hypercompetitiveness across several social contexts including school, driving, relationships, arguments, games, and sports. The PDCA assesses personal development competitiveness without reference to specific social domains.

Competition-cooperation is defined as a broad social attitude affecting behavior in many dimensions of life.

Hypercompetitiveness Attitude Scale (HCA) (Ryckman, Hammer, Kaczor, & Gold, 1990)

The HCA measures the need to compete and win (and avoid losing) based on Horneys (1937) theory of neuroses.

Personal Development Competitive Scale (PDCA) (Ryckman, Hammer, Kaczor, & Gold, 1996)

Competitiveness is an attitude that values enjoyment and process of the task over winning, for example, personal improvement gained from competition such as selfknowledge and the expression of potentials and abilities.

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

HOUSTON ET AL. Table 1 Continued Measure NachNaff Scale (Nach) (Lindgren, 1976) Construct Definition Need for achievement is a motivational orientation based on an internal standard of excellence. Dominance is identified with strong, dominant, ascendant individuals who are able to take the initiative and exercise leadership. Cooperative learning is favorable attitudes toward cooperative learning experiences and perceived positive interdependence in the learning environment. Dimension and Context

291

The Nach assesses need for achievement in terms of the task, self, or others. The DO assesses dominance in several social contexts including school, work, groups, and committees.

California Psychological Inventory: Dominance Orientation Scale (DO) (Gough, 1987)

Classroom Life Instrument: Cooperative Learning subscale (CL) (Johnson, Johnson, & Anderson, 1983)

The CL assesses cooperative learning within the context of classroom environments.

Procedure The participants were recruited from psychology classes for an investigation of competitiveness. The researcher or the professor emphasized that participation would be voluntary and there would be no penalty for nonparticipation or withdrawal at any time during the study. The incentive for participation was a debriefing on each of the 10 measures including each individuals scores interpreted as low, average, or high. The participants met the researchers in their classrooms, received a briefing prior to dispensation of the test packets, and completed release forms. Participants then received test packets in which the order of the tests was varied. To receive their individual scores, participants placed personal ID numbers on their test packets. (The researchers had no record of ID numbers, so participants had to remember their personal ID to receive feedback on their scores.) Participants recorded their responses on printed copies of the tests, and the responses were later recorded in an electronic database by two of the researchers. The responses were double-checked for accuracy. The debriefing session took place approximately a week after the administration of the instruments, at which time the researchers were available to provide further interpretation of individual data as necessary. Participants were also informed that further clarification could be obtained from the principal researchers at any time.

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

292

EDUCATIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL MEASUREMENT

Table 2 Descriptive Statistics and Intercorrelations Among the Measures (N = 140) M 1. CI 11.65 2. CCAS 63.09 3. CQ 22.73 4. HCA 68.22 5. PDCA 54.65 6. SOQ 41.78 7. WOFO 16.80 8. DO 23.26 9. Nach 13.37 10. CL 28.05 SD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

5.35 (.90) 16.32 .37** (.91) 6.12 .45** .61** (.77) 13.92 .48** .66** .58** (.85) 12.92 .57** .08 .23** .23** (.94) 12.36 .75** .41** .44** .50** .66** (.94) 4.24 .64** .56** .61** .61** .49** .72** (.78) 7.17 .44** .03 .14 .06 .28** .30** .24** (.85) 6.08 .41** .34** .26** .31** .08 .24** .26** .15 (.86) 4.34 .01 .33** .25** .18* .31** .07 .08 .23**.14 (.87)

Note. CI = Competitiveness Index; CCAS = Competition-Cooperation Attitude Scale; CQ = Competitiveness Questionnaire; HCA = Hypercompetitiveness Attitude Scale; PDCA = Personal Development Competitiveness Attitude Scale; SOQ = Sports Orientation Questionnaire; WOFO = Work and Family Orientation Scale; DO = Dominance Orientation Scale of the California Psychological Inventory; Nach = NachNaff score; CL = Cooperative Learning subscale of the Classroom Life Scale. Cronbachs alpha is shown along the diagonal in parentheses. *p < .05. **p < .01.

Results
Descriptive statistics, internal consistency reliability estimates, and intercorrelations for all scales appear in Table 2. Internal reliability estimates ranging from .77 (CQ) to .94 (PDCA) appeared satisfactory. In general, the seven scales measuring competitiveness were highly intercorrelated. In many instances, the three other scales that measured related attitudes were significantly correlated with one or more of the competitiveness measures. A one-way MANOVA, = .814; F(20, 244) = 1.323, p = .165, 2 = .098, using the three orders in which the tests were administered as the independent variable and the 10 scale scores as the dependent variables confirmed that order effects did not contaminate the data. Thompson and Daniel (1996) suggested a factor analysis is more accurate than a component analysis when there are few variables, for example, 10 or fewer. Therefore, two principal axis analyses with varimax rotations were conducted. The first used the composite scores of the seven scales that measure competitiveness, and the second used the scores from the seven competitiveness measures as well as the scores from the three related scales. Table 3 shows the two-factor solution and extracted communalities for the seven competitiveness measures. The two-factor solution was chosen based on the following criteria. First, a parallel analysis (Thompson & Daniel, 1996) was conducted to determine whether eigenvalues of extracted factors in our data were greater than those that would be found in a parallel data set generated using random samples. Only the first two factors in our data had

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

HOUSTON ET AL. Table 3 Factor Matrix for a Two-Factor Solution for Competitiveness Measures (N = 140) Factor 1 Pattern Coefficients .364 .834 .686 .761 .002 .387 .593 Factor 2 Pattern Coefficients .719 .008 .276 .268 .797 .814 .605

293

Scale CI CCAS CQ HCA PDCA SOQ WOFO

Extracted Communalities .650 .702 .547 .650 .637 .813 .718

Note. CI = Competitiveness Index; CCAS = Competition-Cooperation Attitude Scale; CQ = Competitiveness Questionnaire; HCA = Hypercompetitiveness Attitude Scale; PDCA = Personal Development Competitiveness Attitude Scale; SOQ = Sports Orientation Questionnaire; WOFO = Work and Family Orientation Scale.

eigenvalues4.09 and 1.27, respectivelygreater than those generated in the random data set. The two-factor solution for the seven competitiveness scales accounted for 67% of the variance. After rotation, the first factor accounted for 34% and the second factor accounted for 33%. The extracted communalities for the seven competitiveness scales ranged from .54 to .81. To further interpret the two-factor solution of the seven competitiveness scales, we examined the items of scales that had salient pattern coefficients. Scales correlating on the first factor suggested that a strong desire to win, often at the expense of others, characterized the construct measured by the first factor. Items on these scales suggested that the first factor represents a component of competitiveness we labeled Self-Aggrandizement. The fiveitem WOFO also correlated strongly with the first factor. The second factor, represented by strong factor pattern coefficients of the PDCA, CI, and SOQ, represented a component of competitiveness that is linked to personal development. In other words, competition helps one to improve oneself, and winning is not of the utmost importance. We therefore labeled the second factor Interpersonal Success. The WOFO also correlated strongly with the second factor. To determine the relation of the related scalesNach, DO, and the CL to the two factors of competitiveness, we conducted another factor analysis with varimax rotation on all 10 scales in the study. Table 4 shows the solutions for one, two, and three factors for the factor analysis of the 10 scales including communalities for each scale. The extracted communalities for the 7 competitiveness scales ranged from .54 to .75. As might be expected, the scales related to competitiveness shared less of their variance in the solution, and their communalities ranged from .18 to .35. Again, a parallel analysis was conducted to determine the best solution. Only the first two factors had eigenvalues4.06 and 1.40, respectively

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

294

EDUCATIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL MEASUREMENT

Table 4 Pattern Coefficients for One-, Two-, and Three-Factor Solutions for All Measures in the Study (N = 140) One-Factor Solution Scale CI CCAS CQ HCA PDCA SOQ WOFO DO Nach CL Two-Factor Solution Three-Factor Solution

Factor Extracted Factor Factor Extracted Factor Factor Factor Extracted 1 Communalities 1 2 Communalities 1 2 3 Communalities .834 .666 .723 .753 .594 .842 .858 .377 .491 .009 .660 .364 .447 .496 .285 .687 .725 .103 .178 .005 .598 .635 .843 .133 .787 .008 .819 .008 .235 .787 .617 .618 .748 .419 .002 .691 .478 .154 .464 .629 .733 .700 .541 .617 .603 .750 .697 .280 .179 .351 .493 .837 .782 .808 .235 .592 .739 .109 .294 .482 .539 .114 .113 .107 .848 .647 .466 .505 .103 .623 .508 .124 .109 .143 .002 .172 .121 .631 .834 .001 .848 .694 .540 .615 .739 .762 .726 .401 .335 .341

Note. CI = Competitiveness Index; CCAS = Competition-Cooperation Attitude Scale; CQ = Competitiveness Questionnaire; HCA = Hypercompetitiveness Attitude Scale; PDCA = Personal Development Competitiveness Attitude Scale; SOQ = Sports Orientation Questionnaire; WOFO = Work and Family Orientation Scale; DO = Dominance Orientation Scale of the California Psychological Inventory; Nach = Nach score; CL = Cooperative Learning subscale of the Classroom Life Scale.

greater than those generated in a random data set. In addition, a strict interpretation of Kaisers (1960) eigenvalue greater than unity rule indicated the twofactor solution. The two-factor solution for the 10 scales accounted for 55% of the variance after rotation. The first factor accounted for 32%, and the second factor accounted for 23%. Commenting on Kaisers (1960) rule, Velicer and Jackson (1990) warned against overextraction that can lead to an overinflated final factor and distorted interpretation results. In our view, the three-factor solution for all 10 scales appeared to be the result of overextraction because the third factor yielded salient factor pattern coefficients for only two of the three related measures. Although the three-factor solution is interpretable, it is not as informative as the two-factor solution. When the variance on the third factor remains in the first two factors, the nature of the relation of these scales to the construct of competitiveness becomes more apparent; that is, Nach is related to the first factor and DO is related to the second factor. The interpretation of the two factors in the 10-scale analysis is further supported by the way that the CL, a measure of cooperation, correlated with both factors. The CL has a negative factor pattern coefficient with the SelfAggrandizement factor and a positive factor pattern coefficient with the Interpersonal Success factor. Furthermore, high positive scores on the DO indicate high initiative and leadership behaviors. Counter to the popular notion, the DO does not identify individuals who relish competition as an opportunity to demonstrate superiority to others. On the other hand, high pos-

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

HOUSTON ET AL.

295

itive scores on the Nach, which has strong pattern coefficients on the SelfAggrandizement factor, do indeed indicate aggression and control.

Discussion
This study set out to explore the construct of competitiveness, which has been variously defined and operationalized in the literature for more than 100 years. A review of the literature on competitiveness led us to propose four hypotheses that, in general, were supported by our results. The data provide strong support for the first hypothesis that predicts that competitiveness is a multidimensional construct. The two factors produced by the factor analysis provide a clearer conceptual basis for understanding the multidimensional nature of the construct. The factor loadings underscore important differences in the operational definitions of competitiveness. Measures correlating on the first factor, Self-Aggrandizement, include items that portray competition as a way of validating ones own superiority as well as the inferiority of others (e.g., I want an A because that means I am better than other people (CQ) and People who quit during competition are weak (CCAS)). Measures loading on the second factor, Interpersonal Success, contain items that offer a neutral, less denigrating view of others and emphasize the benefits of competitiveness (e.g., I enjoy competing against an opponent (CI) and I like competition because it teaches me a lot about myself (PDCA)). The identification of these two dimensions of competitiveness demonstrates the limitations of treating competitiveness as a unidimensional concept and the need for researchers to use greater precision when defining and assessing competitiveness. These findings also raise questions regarding the utility of widely used construct definitions of competitiveness, such as the desire to win in interpersonal situations (Helmreich & Spence, 1978), that may be too global to differentiate between the two major dimensions of competitiveness isolated in this study. As suggested above, the second hypothesis predicting that measures sharing the same conceptualization of competitiveness would strongly correlate on the same factor was only partially supported. Although the results of the 10-scale factor analysis are generally consistent with the second hypothesis and indicate that the CI, SOQ, and WOFO load on both factors, the 7-scale factor analysis provides a somewhat different pattern of results. As Table 3 shows, the WOFO, CI, and SOQ all correlate with the second factor of the 7scale analysis, but only the CQ and WOFO correlate with the first factor. Because the pattern coefficients in Table 4 may be distorted by the inclusion of measures not intended to measure competitiveness (DO, Nach, and CL), Table 3 provides a more convincing and interpretable pattern of results. Although the WOFO was not expected to correlate with two factors, this may reflect the important role the WOFO played in the development of the CI,

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

296

EDUCATIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL MEASUREMENT

CQ, and SOQ. Thus, these later measures may operationally define the construct of competitiveness by elaborating on the different dimensions contained in the WOFO. Third, we predicted that the HCA and PDCA, which were designed to be uncorrelated, would not correlate on the same factor. As predicted, the scales loaded on different factors. Finally, the results provided support for the fourth hypothesis, which predicted that the scales measuring constructs related to competitiveness would be differentially related to the competitiveness scales. As Table 4 indicates, Nach is related to the first factor, Self-Aggrandizement, and the DO and CL are related to the second factor, Interpersonal Success. As a multidimensional construct, the critical question in assessing competitiveness may not be if people like to compete but why they compete. Thus, researchers need to probe beyond the desire to win and explore the motivational basis of competitiveness. Although the emerging nomological network for competitiveness indicates that need for achievement and dominance are important related constructs, additional research is needed to investigate other motivational factors linked to competitiveness. With the expansion of competitiveness research into new areas, including friendship patterns (Cheng & Chan, 1999), binge drinking (Segrist & Corcoran, 1998), and attitudes toward money (Furnham, Kirkcaldy, & Lynn, 1994), selecting an appropriate measure of competitiveness will become increasingly important. For example, a researcher interested in the relationship between road rage and competitiveness may find that a measure loading on the Self-Aggrandizement factor, such as the HCA, provides a better theoretical fit with the aggression-frustration model of road rage (Worchel, Cooper, Goethals, & Olson, 2000) than a measure loading on the Interpersonal Success factor, such as the PDCA. More research is also needed to explore contextual influences on competitiveness. Two of the scales in this study were developed for specific environments. The SOQ was developed to measure competitiveness in sports, and the CL was developed to measure cooperation in the classroom. If context influences the manifestation of competitive attitudes and behaviors, then task-specific measures of competitiveness should provide more accurate predictors of competitive motivation and behavior. Given the evidence indicating that competitiveness is a multidimensional construct, using an inappropriate measure of competitiveness could lead to erroneous conclusions that may stifle further research. To avoid problems of this nature and to explore how different aspects of competitiveness influence behavior across various social domains, more research is needed to untangle the folk concept of competitiveness and to explicate the construct with a more complete and precise definition.

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

HOUSTON ET AL.

297

References
Cheng, S. T., & Chan, A. C. (1999). Sex, competitiveness, and intimacy in same-sex friendship in Hong Kong adolescents. Psychological Reports, 84(1), 45-48. Christie, R., & Geis, F. L. (1970). Studies in Machiavellianism. New York: Academic Press. Cronbach, L. J., & Meehl, P. E. (1955). Construct validity in psychological tests. Psychological Bulletin, 52, 281-302. Deutsch, M. (1949). A theory of cooperation and competition. Human Relations, 2, 129-152. Furnham, A., Kirkcaldy, B., & Lynn, R. (1994). National attitudes to competitiveness, money, and work among young people: First, second, and third world differences. Human Relations, 47(1), 119-132. Gill, D. L. (1988). Gender differences in competitive orientation and sport participation. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 19, 145-159. Gill, D. L., & Deeter, T. E. (1988). Development of the Sport Orientation Questionnaire. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 59, 191-202. Gough, H. G., McClosky, H., & Meehl, P. E. (1951). A personality scale for social responsibility. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 47, 73-80. Gough, H. G. (1987). Manual for the California Psychological Inventory. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychology Press. Griffin-Pierson, S. (1990). The Competitiveness Questionnaire: A measure of two components of competitiveness. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 23, 108115. Helmreich, R. L., & Spence, J. T. (1978). Work and Family Orientation Questionnaire: An objective instrument to assess components of achievement motivation and attitudes toward family and career [Abstract]. JSAS Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 8(2), 35. Helmreich, R. L., Spence, J. T., Bean, W. E., Lucker, G. W., & Matthews, K. A. (1980). Making it in academic psychology: Demographic and personality correlates of attainment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 896-908. Horney, K. (1937). The neurotic personality of our time. New York: W. W. Norton. Houston, J. M., Carter, D., & Smither, R. D. (1997). Competitiveness in elite professional athletes. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 84, 1447-1454. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1989). Cooperation and competition: Theory and research. Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company. Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R., & Anderson, D. (1983). Social interdependence and classroom climate. Journal of Psychology, 114, 135-142. Kaiser, H. F. (1960). The application of electronic computers to factor analysis. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 20, 141-151. Kildea, A. E. (1983). Competition: A model for conception. Quest, 15, 169-181. Lindgren, H. C. (1976). Measuring need to achieve by NachNaff scaleA forced-choice questionnaire. Psychological Reports, 39, 907-910. Lucas, J. R., & Stone, G. L. (1994). Acculturation and competition among Mexican-Americans: A reconceptualization. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 16, 129-142. Martin, H. J., & Larsen, K. S. (1976). Measurement of competitive-cooperative attitudes. Psychological Reports, 39, 303-306. Ryckman, R. M., Hammer, M., Kaczor, L. M., & Gold, J. A. (1990). Construction of a hypercompetitive attitude scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 55, 630-639. Ryckman, R. M., Hammer, M., Kaczor, L. M., & Gold, J. A. (1996). Construction of a personal development competitive attitude scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 66, 374-385. Ryckman, R. M., Libby, C. R., van den Borne, B., Gold, J. A., & Lindner, M. A. (1997). Values of hypercompetitive and personal development competitive individuals. Journal of Personality Assessment, 69, 271-283.

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012

298

EDUCATIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL MEASUREMENT

Segrist, D. J., & Corcoran, K. J. (1998, March). Hypercompetitive Attitude Scale: Personality, self-report, and behavioral correlates. Poster session presented at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, Mobile, AL. Smither, R. D., & Houston, J. M. (1992). The nature of competitiveness: The development and validation of the Competitiveness Index. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 52, 407. Thompson, B., & Daniel, L. G. (1996). Factor analytic evidence for the construct validity of scores: A historical overview and some guidelines. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 56, 197-206. Triplett, N. (1897). The dynamogenic factors in pacemaking and competition. American Journal of Psychology, 9, 507-533. Velicer, W. F., & Jackson, D. N. (1990). Component analysis versus common factor analysis: Some issues in selecting an appropriate procedure. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 25(1), 1-28. Worchel, S., Cooper, J., Goethals, G. R., & Olson, J. M. (2000). Social psychology. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson Learning.

Downloaded from epm.sagepub.com at MINISTRY OF EDUCATION HQ LIBRARY on September 25, 2012