Ambivalence



uncertainty or fluctuation, especially when caused by inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things.
Psychology. the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions.
Contemporary Examples

People reacted to my ambivalence as if I had just burned an American flag.
Gays Who Don’t Want Gay Marriage Natalie Neusch February 25, 2011

A strong note of ambivalence is also present in the conflict over love and duty between Gromov and his wife.
Fake Snowden Is Russia’s Newest TV Star Cathy Young October 11, 2014

The ambivalence is reflected in U.S. policy, which often has served to complicate aid delivery in conflict zones.
Why Humanitarians Talk to ISIS Joshua Hersh October 23, 2014

The thoughtful man said he was surprised at how the top security officials expressed their own ambivalence and regrets.
‘The Gatekeepers,’ Brooklyn College BDS Forum: Week of Israel Debate Gail Sheehy February 7, 2013

The testiness reflects an ambivalence in the field about what Markham and the Blue Brain team are trying to do.
Neuro Smackdown: Scientists Debate How to Solve the Mystery of the Brain Casey Schwartz April 3, 2012

They admit their ambivalence about fashion and their personal insecurities and aspirations.
Prada and Schiaparelli Exhibit Opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Robin Givhan May 6, 2012

In content, they deal in lost loves, lost opportunities, and the ambivalence inspired by a difficult childhood.
This Week’s Hot Reads: June 17, 2013 Sarah Stodola, Jen Vafidis June 16, 2013

After 10 years of marriage, our ambivalence towards kids has been consistent.
Why I Choose to Be Child-Free: Readers Share Their Stories Harry Siegel February 26, 2013

Historical Examples

With the decline of this ambivalence the taboo, as the compromise symptom of the ambivalent conflict, also slowly disappeared.
Totem and Taboo Sigmund Freud

But now also the psychological fatality of ambivalence demands its rights.
Totem and Taboo Sigmund Freud

noun
the simultaneous existence of two opposed and conflicting attitudes, emotions, etc
n.

“simultaneous conflicting feelings,” 1924 (1912 as ambivalency), from German Ambivalenz, coined 1910 by Swiss psychologist Eugen Bleuler (1857-1939) on model of German Equivalenz “equivalence,” etc., from Latin ambi- “both” (see ambi-) + valentia “strength,” from present participle of valere “be strong” (see valiant). A psychological term that by 1929 had taken on a broader literary and general sense.

ambivalence am·biv·a·lence (ām-bĭv’ə-ləns)
n.
The coexistence of opposing attitudes or feelings toward a person, an object, or an idea.
am·biv’a·lent adj.

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  • Ambivalency

    uncertainty or fluctuation, especially when caused by inability to make a choice or by a simultaneous desire to say or do two opposite or conflicting things. Psychology. the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings toward the same person, object, or action, simultaneously drawing him or her in opposite directions. Historical Examples What […]

  • Ambivalently

    having mixed feelings about someone or something; being unable to choose between two (usually opposing) courses of action: The whole family was ambivalent about the move to the suburbs. She is regarded as a morally ambivalent character in the play. Psychology. of or relating to the coexistence within an individual of positive and negative feelings […]



  • Ambiversion

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  • Ambivert

    one whose personality type is intermediate between extrovert and introvert. noun (psychol) a person who is intermediate between an extrovert and an introvert n. “person exhibiting features of an extrovert and an introvert,” coined by Kimball Young in “Source Book for Social Psychology” (1927), from ambi- “about, around” + Latin vertere, as in introvert. Related: […]



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