Journal article

Distinguishing between learning and motivation in behavioral tests of the reinforcement sensitivity theory of personality

Luke D Smillie, Len I Dalgleish, Chris J Jackson

PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN | SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC | Published : 2007

Abstract

According to Gray's (1973) Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (RST), a Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS) and a Behavioral Activation System (BAS) mediate effects of goal conflict and reward on behavior. BIS functioning has been linked with individual differences in trait anxiety and BAS functioning with individual differences in trait impulsivity. In this article, it is argued that behavioral outputs of the BIS and BAS can be distinguished in terms of learning and motivation processes and that these can be operationalized using the Signal Detection Theory measures of response-sensitivity and response-bias. In Experiment 1, two measures of BIS-reactivity predicted increased response-sensitivit..

View full abstract