The Hierarchical Model of Approach-Avoidance Motivation

Abstract

Approach motivation is the energization of behavior by, or the direction of behavior toward, positive stimuli (objects, events, possibilities), whereas avoidance motivation is the energization of behavior by, or the direction of behavior away from, negative stimuli (objects, events, possibilities). In this article, I provide a brief overview of this distinction between approach and avoidance motivation. In addition, I provide a brief overview of a model of motivation in which this approach-avoidance distinction plays an integral role—the hierarchical model of approach-avoidance motivation.

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Acknowledgements

Preparation of this article was supported by grant #2565 from the William T. Grant Foundation. Thanks to Ista Zahn for his helpful comments on an earlier version of this article.

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Correspondence to Andrew J. Elliot.

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Elliot, A.J. The Hierarchical Model of Approach-Avoidance Motivation. Motiv Emot 30, 111–116 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-006-9028-7

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Keywords

  • Hierarchical model
  • Approach-avoidance motivation