Approach and avoidance temperament: An examination of its construct and predictive validity at work

Tanja Bipp*, Ad Kleingeld, Karen Van Dam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In four studies, we investigated the factorial structure and the construct and predictive validity of the approach-avoidance temperament questionnaire (ATQ, Elliot & Thrash, 2010) for attitudes and behavior at work. In Study 1 (N = 395 university students), we showed that a Dutch translation of the ATQ can be best described by a two-factorial structure. In Study 2 (N = 295 senior-year students), we documented approach and avoidance temperament as predictor of students’ career adaptability and engagement. In Study 3 (N = 103 employees), we demonstrated that approach and avoidance temperament have incremental predictive validity for work engagement beyond goal orientation (three-dimensional model). In Study 4 (N = 93 employees), approach temperament was positively related to peer ratings of job performance, independent of achievement goals (four-dimensional model). Overall, we showed that individual differences in terms of a predisposition for the orientation and reaction to positive/negative stimuli across situations can be used to increase our understanding of behavior at work. Our results support the practical utility of approach and avoidance temperament for work settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-206
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychological Assessment
Early online date30 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Approach/avoidance temperament
  • predictive validity
  • career adaptability
  • work engagement
  • job performance

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