Journal article

Loss of control stimulates approach motivation

Katharine H Greenaway, Katherine R Storrs, Michael C Philipp, Winnifred R Louis, Matthew J Hornsey, Kathleen D Vohs

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology | ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE | Published : 2015


The present research introduces a framework for understanding motivational reactions to control deprivation. Two experiments demonstrated that loss of control can stimulate approach motivation. Loss of control led to greater approach motivation in terms of enhanced motivation to achieve goals (Experiment 1) and greater self-reported high approach affect (Experiments 1 & 2). Experiment 2 additionally revealed that the effect of control deprivation on approach motivation was eliminated when participants misattributed their arousal to an external source. Overall, the findings demonstrate that loss of control can stimulate approach motivation as part of an adaptive motivational system aimed at c..

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