Approach, avoidance, and self-regulatory conflict: An individual differences perspective

  • Robinson M
  • Wilkowski B
  • Meier B
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Abstract

Four studies involving 230 undergraduates examined the interactive effects of dispositional approach and avoidance, as manifest in the traits of extraversion and neuroticism. Participants who were high in both traits or low in both traits exhibited less assertive knocking behavior (Study 1), had difficulties refraining from blinking (Study 2), and displayed more anxious behavior during a mental health interview (Study 3). Study 4 tested the idea that such extraversion by neuroticism interactions might be associated with difficulties in recognizing and responding to goal-relevant stimuli. Results involving a go/no go task confirmed this hypothesis. In total, the results highlight the manner in which the co-activation of dispositional motives related to approach and avoidance can compromise effective self-regulation. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Approach
  • Avoidance
  • Behavior
  • Conflict
  • Extraversion
  • Neuroticism
  • Self-regulation

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