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Title:Approach/avoidance motivation and goal maintenance: implications for models of executive function
Author(s):Niznikiewicz, Michael A
Contributor(s):Miller, Gregory A
Department / Program:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Executive function
Structural equation modeling
Abstract:Trait motivational approach and avoidance tendencies have a differential effect on cognitive processing, at least in part via associations with affective traits. Positive and negative emotionality are fundamental components of these motivational dispositions and have been linked in some studies to a broadening (approach motivation) and a narrowing (avoidance motivation) of attention. Alternatively, other research has suggested that the level of motivation, not the positive or negative valence of emotionality, drives the narrowing of attention. To date, a shortcoming of the literature is that the relationships between trait motivation and cognition have most commonly been assessed using single measures of both constructs. The goal of the present study was to investigate the relationship between trait motivation and cognition more broadly at the latent factor level using multiple measures of both motivation and executive function. Structural equation modeling was used to estimate latent approach/avoidance variables from questionnaire measures and examine their relationship with latent models of executive functioning variables estimated from several neuropsychological tests in an undergraduate sample (N=103). The models of executive function that were used to guide analyses were the unity and diversity model (Miyake & Friedman, 2012) and the dual-network model (Dosenbach et al., 2008). Results indicated that higher levels of both approach and avoidance motivation were associated with better performance on executive function tasks associated with keeping task goals in mind across multiple trials. Findings supported the dual-network model and suggested that levels of motivation were more important than the valence of emotionality.
Issue Date:2015-11-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Michael Niznikiewicz
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-08
Date Deposited:2015-12

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