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

Psychol Sci. 2001 Nov;12(6):505-10. doi: 10.1111/1467-9280.00393.


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), andpersonsfrom South Korea and Russia adopted more avoidance goals than those in the United States (Studies 3 and 4, respectively). Studies 3 and 4 investigated andfound supportfor 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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adult
  • Asia, Southeastern
  • Avoidance Learning*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Ethnic Groups / psychology*
  • Female
  • Goals*
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Russia
  • Students / psychology
  • United States