Psihologija 2005 Volume 38, Issue 3, Pages: 311-326
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Problems of the defining the dimensions of the Gray's reinforcement sensitivity theory

Smederevac Snežana, Mitrović Dušanka

Jeffrey Gray has modified Eysenck's system by rotating the dimensions of extraversion and neuroticism by 45 degrees, which resulted in two new dimensions: impulsivity (behavioral approach system) and anxiety (behavioral inhibition system). The main purpose of this study was to examine psychometric properties of the BIS/BAS scale, inventory for assessment of dimensions included in Gray's theory, in order to, also, test the foundation of the Gray's constructs themselves. 476 participants were included, age 17 to 77. All subjects completed The BIS/BAS scale (Carver & White, 1994) and The Big Five Inventory (BFI; John, Donahue & Kentle, 1991, according to: John & Srivastava, 1999). Analysis of the BIS/BAS scale failed to replicate the original four-factor solution. Three factors were extracted, named Behavioral inhibition system (BIS), BAS-Striving for excitement and BAS-Drive. Psychometric characteristics of the BIS/BAS scale are not satisfactory. Result of the joint factor analysis of dimensions of the BIS/BAS scale and dimensions of the BFI questionnaire are three factors named active striving for reward, sensation seeking and anxiety. In general results can be considered supportive rather to Eysenck than to Gray, but they could also be ascribed to the failure in questionnaire operationalisation of the constructs of Reinforcement sensitivity theory.

Keywords: reinforcement sensitivity, extraversion, neuroticism, impulsivity, anxiety

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