Subjects who were high on achievement or affiliation needs and who performed relatively well or poorly on a spatial orientation task were asked to distribute rewards between themselves and either an equitable, egalitarian, self-serving, or generous programmed partner. In general, regardless of the partner's behavior, subjects high in need for achievement demonstrated a general appreciation for performance differences and tended to allocate rewards equitably. Affiliation-oriented subjects, however, appeared to focus on the response tendencies of their partner and behave in kind; they divided points equitably with an equitable partner, equally with an egalitarian partner, and self-interestedly with a self-serving partner. Subjects high in both achievement and affiliation tended to exploit the generous partner. The results are explained in terms of the competitive and cooperative interpersonal styles that achievement-oriented and affiliation-oriented subjects, respectively, possess.
Published in Social Psychology Quarterly, 1984, 47(4), pp. 364-371