This article first reviews the main theoretical propositions of Gray's Reinforcer Sensitivity Theory (RST), Higgins' Regulatory Focus Theory (RFT), and Elliot's Achievement Goal Theory (AGT), which all made a significant contribution to our understanding of goal directed behavior from an approach-avoidance perspective. Reviewing these three seminal theoretical frameworks helped us to uncover important areas of conceptual similarities related to overarching goals, trait and states distinctions, motivated behaviors, and approach or avoidance mechanisms. However, some noteworthy differences are also apparent, suggesting that these three theoretical perspectives might be more complementary than interchangeable. To better articulate this similarity, we proposed an integrated Approach-Avoidance Theory of Motivated Behavior. This integrative theoretical perspective first proposes a combination of key features of Gray's, Higgins', and Elliot's models. However, it also goes beyond these models by proposing two new assumptions. First, individuals are seen as driven by an overarching sense of purpose leading them to approach these core goals or end states, rather than to avoid them. Second, individuals are seen as more flexible than previously assumed in their choice of approach or avoidance strategies due to frequent exposure to gray areas within which both types of strategies might contribute to attaining their overarching goals.

Approach and avoidance in Gray's, Higgins', and Elliot's perspectives: A theoretical comparison and integration of approach-avoidance in motivated behavior

Monni A.
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Scalas L. F.
Supervision
2020-01-01

Abstract

This article first reviews the main theoretical propositions of Gray's Reinforcer Sensitivity Theory (RST), Higgins' Regulatory Focus Theory (RFT), and Elliot's Achievement Goal Theory (AGT), which all made a significant contribution to our understanding of goal directed behavior from an approach-avoidance perspective. Reviewing these three seminal theoretical frameworks helped us to uncover important areas of conceptual similarities related to overarching goals, trait and states distinctions, motivated behaviors, and approach or avoidance mechanisms. However, some noteworthy differences are also apparent, suggesting that these three theoretical perspectives might be more complementary than interchangeable. To better articulate this similarity, we proposed an integrated Approach-Avoidance Theory of Motivated Behavior. This integrative theoretical perspective first proposes a combination of key features of Gray's, Higgins', and Elliot's models. However, it also goes beyond these models by proposing two new assumptions. First, individuals are seen as driven by an overarching sense of purpose leading them to approach these core goals or end states, rather than to avoid them. Second, individuals are seen as more flexible than previously assumed in their choice of approach or avoidance strategies due to frequent exposure to gray areas within which both types of strategies might contribute to attaining their overarching goals.
Approach; Avoidance; Elliot; Gray; Higgins;Motivated behavior
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/293536
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