Measuring Approach-Avoidance Motivation: Expanding the Dimensionality and the Implied Outcomes Problem
Scott, Mark David
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The current study sought to examine how best to fully represent and measure approach-avoidance motivational orientation using self-reports. Participants responded to a variety of existing, revised, and new scales across the theoretical spectrum of approach-avoidance motivation. Exploratory factor analyses were conducted to identify the items to be retained for evaluating the adequacy of competing confirmatory measurement structures. Overall results supported the validity of the second-order approach-avoidance overarching framework and indicated that the use of items with clear specification of reward/punishment context improves the psychometric properties of approach-avoidance scales. Moreover, the newly developed scales reflecting constructs that represent increasing non-gains via approach and increasing non-losses via avoidance meaningfully expanded the approach-avoidance construct space. It also appeared that the proposed four-dimensional model of approach-avoidance is a viable alternative measurement structure. Finally, the current results suggested that contamination by implied outcomes does not invalidate approach-avoidance scales where reward/punishment context is specified. Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.
- Doctoral Dissertations