• Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA


Social bonds have a profound effect on health and well-being. It is clear that people have a fundamental need to form and maintain social bonds, but interpersonal relationships present potential threats as well as potential incentives. In this article, I review a model of approach and avoidance social motivation (Gable, 2006) that accounts for people's tendencies to both approach the incentives and avoid the threats in their social worlds. I also review research that has tested different aspects of the model including the consequences of approach and avoidance social motivation, mediators that link motivation to these outcomes, and moderators of these processes. The article concludes by examining gaps that persist in the literature.


  • Affect;
  • Close relationships;
  • Emotion;
  • Friendships;
  • Insecurity;
  • Intimacy;
  • Motivation;
  • Rejection