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Approach and avoidance temperament: An examination of its construct and predictive validity at work
In four studies, we investigated the factorial structure as well as the construct and predictive validity of the approach-avoidance temperament questionnaire (ATQ, Elliot & Thrash, 2010) with regard to 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 to the study program. In Study 3 (N = 103 employees), we demonstrated that approach and avoidance temperament have incremental predictive validity with regard to work engagement above and beyond the three-dimensional model of goal orientation. In Study 4 (N = 93 employees), we found that approach temperament is positively related to peer ratings of job performance, independent of the effect of achievement goals. In sum, we showed that individual differences in terms of a predisposition for the orientation and reaction to (positive or negative) stimuli across situations can be used to increase our understanding of behavior at work and our results support the practical utility of the approach-avoidance temperament for work settings.