A cross-cultural analysis of avoidance (relative to approach) personal goals

Andrew J. Elliot, Valary I. Chirkov, Youngmee Kim, Kennon M. Sheldon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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The results from this research supported our primary hypothesis that the adoption of avoidance (relative to approach) personal goals varies as a function of individualism-collectivism (across representations of this distinction). Interdependent self-construals were positively related and independent self-construals were negatively related to adoption of avoidance goals (Study 1), Asian Americans adopted more avoidance goals than non-Asian Americans (Study 2), and persons from South Korea and Russia adopted more avoidance goals than those in the United States (Studies 3 and 4, respectively). Studies 3 and 4 investigated and found support for our secondary hypothesis that avoidance personal goals are a negative predictor of subjective well-being in individualistic (the United States), but not collectivistic (South Korea and Russia), countries. The findings are discussed in terms of other approach-avoidance constructs and motivational processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-510
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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