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Psychology Glossary of Terms

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Approach-approach conflict

Definition:
Conflict whereby one must choose between two desirable or attractive goals.
 
Example:
An example of an approach-approach conflict would be where you have to decide between two appealing destinations for your vacation, for example, Mexico vs. the Caribbean. Another example would be in a situation where you must decide which graduate school to go to (of the two that accepted you). Both of these examples provide two attractive or desirable goals.
 
Background:
The approach-approach conflict is one of the three basic types of conflict identified by psychologists. It is the one that is the least stressful, although in situations where you need to make important decisions (e.g. deciding between two good career opportunities), it can result in some increased stress. It typically results from limitations on one's time, space, energy and personal and financial resources.
 
Further Reading:

Lewin, K. (1935). A dynamic theory of personality. New York: McGraw Hill.

Miller, N. E. (1944). Experimental studies of conflict. In J. M. Hunt (Ed), Personality and the behaviour disorders. (Vol 1.). New York: Ronald.

 
Related Terms:
Approach-avoidance conflict

Avoidance-avoidance conflict

Conflict

Self-Instructional Resources:
Take a 2-item self-test over this concept.

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