avoidance-avoidance conflict

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Conflict arising from the simultaneous presence of two or more approximately equal threats, one of the three main types of conflict identified in 1931 by the Polish/German-born US psychologist Kurt Lewin (1890–1947), though he did not name any of the types. Such conflicts tend to be stable and to remain unresolved, because approach towards one of the horns of the dilemma increases the tendency to retreat towards the other, and fear or anxiety is therefore minimized at a point where distances from both are greatest. See also approach-approach conflict, approach-avoidance conflict, double bind.

Subjects: Psychology.

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