Science, Tech, Math › Science Electronegativity and Chemical Bonding Share Flipboard Email Print This graph illustrates how Pauling electronegativity is related to element group and element period. Physchim62 / Wikipedia Commons Science Chemistry Periodic Table Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated March 02, 2019 What Is Electronegativity? Electronegativity is a measure of the attraction of an atom for the electrons in a chemical bond. The higher the electronegativity of an atom, the greater its attraction for bonding electrons. Ionization Energy Electronegativity is related to ionization energy. Electrons with low ionization energies have low electronegativities because their nuclei do not exert a strong attractive force on electrons. Elements with high ionization energies have high electronegativities due to the strong pull exerted on electrons by the nucleus. Periodic Table Trends In an element group, the electronegativity decreases as atomic number increases, as a result of increased distance between the valence electron and nucleus (greater atomic radius). An example of an electropositive (i.e., low electronegativity) element is cesium; an example of a highly electronegative element is fluorine. Moving left to right across the periodic table, electronegativity increases.Moving top to bottom down the periodic table, electronegativity decreases.