Scientific understanding of the term, as opposed to domestic, introduces dependence on the actually existing categories. In particular, the category "level of achievement" in this definition means that the evaluation of the complexity of the problem is not absolute but is related to the complexity of the goals achieved before. From this it follows that one can not talk about the level of claims, if any goal in this sphere of activity is put first. Thus, the goal of "Marry a Billionaire" in no way characterizes the level of claims. At least in that case, if you have not tried to enter a millionaire. Or even just to get married.
Research level of aspiration and its dynamics in different people in different situations set. But the greatest achievement in this field is to identify the dominant type in human motivation - motivation to achieve or avoid failures. So, people are motivated to achieve, set themselves the task, usually in excess of previous achievements, but moderately correlated with their actual capabilities. People with the motivation of avoiding failure, on the contrary, set themselves a goal too low, or obviously impracticable. In the first case, the goal is reached accurately, without any risk, so people will feel successful. In the second - the person will be a wholly-owned excuse his failure, because the goal was initially impossible.
Therefore, the ratio chosen complexity of problems with previous achievements characterizes not only the dominant type of motivation, and self-esteem of man. For example, if the ratio of the level of claims to the level of achievement in the range 1, 1-1, 3, it would show an adequate self-esteem. In other words, a person's goal is greater than the previous achievements, but within their means. Index greater than 1, 3 characterizes the inflated self-esteem, less than 1, 1 - understated, or the motivation of avoiding failure. This is the most reliable way to determine the self-esteem, because it is expressed by a simple mathematical formula. Same techniques, to assess the level of claims and level of achievement for this formula, there are many.
The level of claims is not an absolute characteristic of the individual in the understanding that the same people in different fields of activity will demonstrate different levels of claims. If the subjective importance of activity is low, the level of claims will have little motivational value. Ie if a person does not seek to realize itself in the culinary field, then for dinner he cooked just to the extent of edible soup and it will be quite satisfied. With the average level of claims subjective importance will reflect a certain degree of motivation with some degree of protection. In this case, people will try to perform the task as well as possible within their means. If the subjective importance of "rolls over" protective motivation is paramount, and the correlation with the prior achievements drops to zero.
Experimentally proved that the subjective experience of success or failure is related to the level of personal goals (level of claims), rather than the absolute level of achievement. So what is a success for one person may be perceived failure to another. In addition, the achievement of goals too easy for people with adequate self-esteem is not perceived as a success as well as failure in solving very complex problem is not perceived as a defeat.
It is also shown that the level of aspiration depends on other motives. For example, people with a high need for power tend to put more challenges than the rest, to go to a higher risk. People with a high need for accession will go for less risk in the presence of others.