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John T. Cacioppo, Gary G. Berntson, Catherine J. Norris & Jackie K. Gollan

In: Handbook of Theories of Social Psychology: Volume 1

Chapter 3: The Evaluative Space Model

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The Evaluative Space Model
The evaluative space model
John T.Cacioppo, Gary G.Berntson, Catherine J.Norris, and Jackie K.Gollan

The ability to differentiate hostile from hospitable stimuli is ubiquitous in animals. The evaluative space model (ESM) is a theory of the functional structure and operating characteristics of these evaluative processes across levels of the neuraxis, ranging from spinal cord reflexes to the executive functions of the frontal lobes (e.g., impulse control). According to the ESM, physical constraints limit behavioral expressions and incline behavioral predispositions toward a bipolar organization, but this bipolar organization is posited to be the consequence of multiple operations, including motivational activation function for positivity (appetition) and the activation function negativity (aversion). The partial segregation of positive and negative evaluative processes afforded evolution that opportunity to sculpt ...

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