April 15, 2013


Approach motivation.  Avoidance motivation.  This topic fascinates me.  When our behavior is approach motivated our action is seeking good.  When our behavior is avoidance motivated our action or lack of action is to avoid bad.  I have studied this and our motive, approach or avoid, makes a difference.  It is really cool stuff and worth pondering.  
Here are a few examples.  
Wife cleans the kitchen.
  • Approach.  It makes me happy to do things for my family.
  • Avoidance.  I want to avoid others from thinking poor of me.
Wake up early to attend Church.
  • Approach.  I want to learn and grow closer to Jesus Christ.
  • Avoidance.  I want to avoid doing wrong and eternal punishment.
Seeking a college education.
  • Approach.  I want to learn and provide for my family.
  • Avoidance.  I do not want to be unemployed.
What do you think the consequences might be when our behavior is motivated by avoidance?  Higher risk toward depression.  Increased anxiety.  Less joy.  Avoiding something bad feels different then approaching something good.  It blinds us.  We see ourselves stuck.  Victims instead of free agents.  Think of your own examples and see where your heart tends to lead.  Approach or avoidance? 


  1. I really like this idea of approach vs avoidance motivation. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You are welcome! The research is fascinating and I find I hear myself and others differently after studying these two ways of approaching goals, people and behavior. Thank you.


What do you think?

Daily Posts