Definitions

approach

Approach-avoidance conflict

Approach-Avoidance conflicts are choices between something positive, say going out to a party, that has a negative valence (avoidance), say getting grounded for being at the party. These decisions and the emotional state of ambivalence cause stress.

Approach-avoidance occurs when an individual moves closer to a seemingly desirable object, only to have the potentially negative consequences of contacting that object push back against the closing behavior. The negative consequences often are only imagined so the it is frequently the patterning of fear that creates the problem.

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