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CH11 - Elliot: Lewin .odt

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Jason Plaks

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Approach and Avoidance – Elliot
- People have a tendency to Approach positive stimuli, or Avoid negative stimuli. People can orient
themselves towards approach goals or avoidance goals based on their motives – the stimuli orient them
in such a way as to be attentive to one of these goals, or temperaments – the individual has a sensitivity
towards positive or negative stimuli and orient themselves towards approach or avoidance, respectively.
Avoidance goals are problematic in all levels of the behavioural hierarchy because it impedes learning
and exploration, and should be regulated on lower levels. Avoidance goals are for survival, while
approach goals are for thriving.
Approach motivation – energization of behavior toward prositive stimulr
avoidance motivation – energization of behavior away from negative stimuli
five aspects of definiton are considered
1. approach-avoidance encompasses both the energization of beh and direction
energization refers to initial instigation, still assumes the organism is active but that
this instigation represents a shitf from one form of orientation to another
direction – guiding/channellin of beh.
2. Concept of phsyical and psychological movement
positively evaluated stimuli are associated w/ approch and negative evaluatied
stimuli assosicated w/ avoid mvment
may/maynot be translated to over phsyical beh.
3. Movement toward a positve stimuli and away from a negatively stimuli have 2
distinguishable forms
can mean getting something positive that is currenly absent or keeping something
postive currently present or
avoiding something negative tht is absent or getting away from something negative
currently present
therefore avoidance motivation doesnt mean only promoting new positive situations
but maining and sustain current ones and also ecompasses both avoiding new
neagative ists and escaping current ones
4. positive and negative valence are conceptualized as the core dimensions of approach-
avoidance motivation.
+ve/-ve motivations thot to take on diff meanings in different contexts
dimensions: beneficial/hamrful. Liked/disliked. Desriable/undesireable
5. stimuli may representat concrete obserbale objects. Or abstract interannaly generalyed
represents of objects, events etc
Hierechal model of approach-avoidance motivation
a core premise of this model – approach-avoidance distince is fundamental to motivation.
This motivation found in smallest of organisms
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