a digital library of Unitarian Universalist biographies, history, books, and media
the digital library of Unitarian Universalism
Home » Biographies » David McClelland

David McClelland

David McClelland

David McClelland

David McClelland, Harvard professor of psychology, was recognized internationally for his expertise on human motivation and entrepreneurship. McClelland taught and researched for 57 years. He is remembered for his unconventional methods in studying human personality.

In 1963, he started McBer, a consulting company that aided managers in assessing and training employees. During the same year, the National Education Association received McClelland’s proposal to offer seventh-graders in good academic standing college scholarships to encourage individual motivation at an early age.

He published a persuasive article in The American Psychologist in which he stated that commonly used I.Q. and personality hiring tests were poor predictors of competency. He argued that companies should hire based on competency in relevant fields, and to do away with SAT scores. His once-radical ideas have grown to become standard instruments for many corporations.

He was a fellow of the American Academy of Sciences and the author of several books, including Personality, The Achievement Motive, and The Achieving Society.

—From The Harvard University Gazette

Click here for supplemental reading about David McClelland on Amazon.

Series Navigation<< Nelson MandelaMichael B. McElroy >>

Notable in UU History
Archibald MacLeish

MacLeish, Archibald (1892-1983)

Biographical Introduction A sometime resident in Cambridge, MacLeish graduated from Yale College and experienced U.S. Army ... Read More
Charles Henry Appleton Dall

Dall, Charles Henry Appleton (1816-1886)

Charles Henry Appleton Dall was born in Baltimore, February 12, 1816. His parents were from Massachusetts, ... Read More
Hosea Ballou

Ballou, Hosea (1771-1852)

The central figure in the Universalist movement in the 19th century, Ballou was born the eleventh ... Read More
Witter Bynner

Bynner, Witter (1881-1968)

Biographical Introduction Bynner's mother's family extended to an early president of Harvard, Charles Chauncy. When Bynner ... Read More