Avolition is a negative symptom of schizophrenia and is the lack of ability to start, engage in, and complete tasks that are goal-based. Remember, in schizophrenia negative doesn't mean bad - it means that something is lacking or not there that is supposed to be.
For example, flat affect is another negative symptom and is when there is no emotional response in a person when there should be. A positive symptom in schizophrenia is when something is there that shouldn't be such as a delusion or a hallucination.
Examples of avolition include not being able to take a shower and get dressed, clean a room, or perform school or work activities. This symptom of schizophrenia often is difficult to deal with for friends and loved ones and may affect the sufferer's social and occupational life.