CH11 - Elliot: Lewin .odt
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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
◦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
◦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-
◦+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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