Written by Pam MS, NCSP | Fact checked by Psychology Dictionary staff 

refers to the practice or an instance of keeping away from particular situations, activities, environments, individuals, things, or subjects of thought because of either (a) the anticipated negative consequences of such or (b) the anticipated anxious or painful feelings associated with those things or events. Psychology explains avoidance in several ways: as a means of coping- as a response to fear or shame- and as a principal component in anxiety disorders. See also approach-conflict- behavior- avoidance conditioning.

AVOIDANCE: "A person exhibiting avoidance behavior decided to skip the test because he or she predicted that he or she would not pass."

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