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When wanting and fearing go together: The interplay of social approach and avoidance motivation


Niktin, J. When wanting and fearing go together: The interplay of social approach and avoidance motivation. 2008, University of Zurich, Faculty of Arts.

Abstract

Previous research has mainly focused on approach and avoidance motivation separately. This thesis uses a multi-method approach to investigate the hypothesis that both motivations have to be taken into account to understand affiliation motivation and its significance for experience
and behavior. In this context, three main questions are of interest: 1) When is social approach and avoidance motivation and its co-occurrence influential (Part I)? 2) What are the underlying processes of the motivations (Part II)? and 3) What are their antecedents, concomitants,
and consequences (Part III)?
Taking a developmental perspective, Part I discusses whether and, if so, how social approach and avoidance motivation and their co-occurrence might be of central importance for understanding success and failure in transitional phases, particularly in the transition from
adolescence into adulthood. We hypothesize that the co-occurrence of social approach and avoidance motivation is characterized by ambivalent cognitions and emotions, and unstable behavior. Two studies in Part II investigate the effect of the co-occurrence of social approach and avoidance motivation on the processing of (Study 1, N = 78) and reaction to (Study 2, N = 82) positive and negative social cues. Both studies support the ambivalent nature of the co-occurring approach-avoidance motivation. Part III comprises three studies which show that social approach and avoidance motivation mediate the effects of attachment style on social-interaction anxiety (Study 1, N = 245), that they predict experience of and behavior in social
interaction (Study 2, N = 38), and that only social avoidance motivation predicts global subjective
well-being (N = 203). Taken together, these three studies support the ambivalent character of social approach-avoidance co-occurrence in a concrete social situation. However, from a long-term perspective, the negative consequences of social avoidance motivation seem
to prevail.
An overall discussion addresses, among other issues, the development of social approach-avoidance co-occurrence.

Previous research has mainly focused on approach and avoidance motivation separately. This thesis uses a multi-method approach to investigate the hypothesis that both motivations have to be taken into account to understand affiliation motivation and its significance for experience
and behavior. In this context, three main questions are of interest: 1) When is social approach and avoidance motivation and its co-occurrence influential (Part I)? 2) What are the underlying processes of the motivations (Part II)? and 3) What are their antecedents, concomitants,
and consequences (Part III)?
Taking a developmental perspective, Part I discusses whether and, if so, how social approach and avoidance motivation and their co-occurrence might be of central importance for understanding success and failure in transitional phases, particularly in the transition from
adolescence into adulthood. We hypothesize that the co-occurrence of social approach and avoidance motivation is characterized by ambivalent cognitions and emotions, and unstable behavior. Two studies in Part II investigate the effect of the co-occurrence of social approach and avoidance motivation on the processing of (Study 1, N = 78) and reaction to (Study 2, N = 82) positive and negative social cues. Both studies support the ambivalent nature of the co-occurring approach-avoidance motivation. Part III comprises three studies which show that social approach and avoidance motivation mediate the effects of attachment style on social-interaction anxiety (Study 1, N = 245), that they predict experience of and behavior in social
interaction (Study 2, N = 38), and that only social avoidance motivation predicts global subjective
well-being (N = 203). Taken together, these three studies support the ambivalent character of social approach-avoidance co-occurrence in a concrete social situation. However, from a long-term perspective, the negative consequences of social avoidance motivation seem
to prevail.
An overall discussion addresses, among other issues, the development of social approach-avoidance co-occurrence.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Dissertation
Referees:Freund A M, Neumann R
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:06 Jan 2010 10:45
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:38
Number of Pages:128
Related URLs:http://opac.nebis.ch/F/?local_base=NEBIS&con_lng=GER&func=find-b&find_code=SYS&request=005754113
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-25719

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