Handbook of Approach and Avoidance Motivation (Hardback) book cover

Handbook of Approach and Avoidance Motivation

Edited by Andrew J. Elliot

© 2008 – Psychology Press

682 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780805860191
pub: 2008-05-20
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203888148
pub: 2013-05-13
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About the Book

Of the many conceptual distinctions present in psychology today, the approach-avoidance distinction stands out as one of, if not the, most fundamental and basic. The distinction between approach and avoidance motivation has a venerable history, not only within but beyond scientific psychology, and the deep utility of this distinction is clearly evident across theoretical traditions, disciplines, and content areas. This volume is designed to illustrate and highlight the central importance of this distinction, to serve as a one-stop resource for scholars working in this area, and to facilitate integration among researchers and theorists with an explicit or implicit interest in approach and avoidance motivation.

The main body of this volume is organized according to seven broad sections that represent core areas of interest in the study of approach and avoidance motivation, including neurophysiology and neurobiology, and evaluative processes. Each section contains a minimum of four chapters that cover a specific aspect of approach and avoidance motivation. The broad applicability of the approach-avoidance distinction makes this Handbook an essential resource for researchers, theorists, and students of social psychology and related disciplines.


'Elliot's Handbook is the A to Z of approach and avoidance. The list of authors reads like a 'who's who' of the very best leaders in psychology and neuroscience today. The topics include brain mechanisms of fear and desire, basic elements of emotion and personality, evaluation and self-regulation, and social and achievement motives. Everything one could want in an up-to-date analysis of motivation and emotion is here. In short, the Handbook is sure to be required reading for anyone who wants to understand feelings or motives.' -- Kent Berridge, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan, USA

'A clear understanding of the approach-avoidance distinction is as important in setting the scientific course for psychology as determination of the periodic table was for chemistry. This enormously ambitious book, containing work by the leading scholars in the field, is a landmark effort in reaching that goal.' -- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Claremont Graduate University, USA

'Approach and avoidance motivation are central to key issues at all levels in the biobehavioral sciences. This Handbook brings all of these levels together for the first time, and does so in impressive fashion. It is a comprehensive, essential resource for all students of motivation in the social sciences, psychology, and neuroscience.' -- Richard J. Davidson, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Table of Contents

Part 1. Introduction. A.J. Elliot, Introduction and Overview: Approach and Avoidance Motivation. Part 2. Neurophysiology and Neurobiology. C.K. Cain, J.E. LeDoux, Emotional Processing and Motivation: In Search of Brain Mechanisms. N.A. Fox, B.C. Reeb, Effects of Early Experience on the Development of Cerebral Asymmetry and Approach-Withdrawal. P.J. Lang, M.M. Bradley, Appetitive and Defensive Motivation as the Substrate of Emotion. J. Panksepp, J. Moskal, Dopamine and SEEKING: Subcortical "Reward" Systems and Appetitive Urges. B.G. Hoebel, N.M. Avena, P. Rada, An Accumbens Dopamine-Acetylcholine System for Approach and Avoidance. C.A. Frye, M.E. Rhodes, The Role and Mechanisms of Steroid Hormones in Approach/Avoidance Behavior. R.M. Sullivan, D.J. Toufexis, D.A. Wilson, Development of Olfactory Modulated Approach and Avoidance Motivated Behaviors. Part 3. Basic Dispositions, Goals, and States. R.J. Larsen, A.A. Augustine, Basic Personality Dispositions Related to Approach and Avoidance: Extraversion/Neuroticism, BAS/BIS, and Positive/Negative Affectivity. A.C. Jones, S.D. Gosling, Individual Differences in Approach and Avoidance Motivation in Animals. H.H. Goldsmith, K. Lemery-Chalfant, Genetic Influences on Individual Differences in Approach and Avoidance. S.L. Gable, E.T. Berkman, Making Connections and Avoiding Loneliness: Approach and Avoidance Social Motives and Goals. T.M. Thrash, A.L. Hurst, Approach and Avoidance Motivation in the Achievement Domain: Integrating the Achievement Motive and Achievement Goal Traditions. R.S. Friedman, J. Forster, Activation and Measurement of Motivational States. Part 4. Evaluative Processes. J. Tooby, L. Cosmides, A. Sell, D. Lieberman, D. Sznycer, Internal Regulatory Variables and the Design of Human Motivation: A Computional and Evolutionary Approach. D.T. Kenrick, M.N. Shiota, Approach and Avoidance Motivation(s): An Evolutionary Perspective. M.J. Ferguson, J.A. Bargh, Evaluative Readiness: The Motivational Nature of Automatic Evaluation. G.G. Bernston, J.T. Cacioppo, The Functional Neuroarchitecture of Evaluative Processes. J.R. Eiser, R.H. Fazio, How Approach and Avoidance Decisions Influence Attitude Formation and Change. Part 5. Emotion and Well-being. I.J. Roseman, Motivations and Emotivations: Approach, Avoidance, and Other Tendencies in Motivated and Emotional Behavior. E.A. Younstrom, C.E. Izard, Functions of Emotions and Emotion-related Dysfunction. C.S. Carver, Y.E. Avivi, J.P. Laurenceau, Approach, Avoidance, and Emotional Experiences. E. Harmon-Jones, C. Harmon-Jones, Anger and Approach-Avoidance Motivation. M. Tamir, E. Diener, Approach-Avoidance Goals and Well-being: One Size Does Not Fit All. Part 6. Cognition. J.J. Blascovich, Challenge and Threat. S. Najmi, D.M. Wegner, Thought Suppression and Psychopathology. D. Derryberry, M. Reed, Motivational and Attentional Components of Personality. A.J. Rothman, J.T. Wlaschin, R.D. Bartels, A. Latimer, P. Salovey, How Persons and Situations Regulate Message Framing Effects: The Study of Health Behavior. Part 7. The Self. A.A. Scholer, E.T. Higgins, Distinguishing Levels of Approach and Avoidance: An Analysis Using Regulatory Focus Theory. D.M. Tice, E.J. Masicampo, Approach and Avoidance Motivations in the Self-concept and Self-esteem. C.J. Showers, K.L. Boyce, Secrets of Resilience: Approaching Negative Self-aspects without Aversion. J. Kuhl, S.L. Koole, The Functional Architecture of Approach and Avoidance Motivation. Part 8. Social Context. T. Hamamura, S. Heine, Approach and Avoidance Motivation Across Cultures. E.A. Plant, P.G. Devine, Interracial Interactions: Approach and Avoidance. J. Suls, L. Wheeler, A Reunion for Approach/Avoidance Motivation and Social Comparison. R.F. Baumeister, S. Gitter, I Am Approaching the Decision to Avoid You: An Approach and Avoidance Perspective on Research on Social Exclusion and Rejection. M.L. Cooper, A.E. Talley, M.S. Sheldon, A. Levitt, L.L. Barber, A Dyadic Perspective on Approach and Avoidance Motives for Sexual Behavior.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology