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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2006 Nov;32(11):1446-58.

What you want (and do not want) affects what you see (and do not see): avoidance social goals and social events.

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Psychology Department, University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Two studies examined the influence of approach and avoidance social goals on memory for and evaluation of ambiguous social information. Study 1 found that individual differences in avoidance social goals were associated with greater memory of negative information, negatively biased interpretation of ambiguous social cues, and a more pessimistic evaluation of social actors. Study 2 experimentally manipulated social goals and found that individuals high in avoidance social motivation remembered more negative information and expressed more dislike for a stranger in the avoidance condition than in the approach condition. Results suggest that avoidance social goals are associated with emphasizing potential threats when making sense of the social environment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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