behavioral avoidance/inhibition (BIS/BAS) scales

Author of Tool: 

Carver, C. S., & White, T. L.

Key references: 

Carver, C. S., & White, T. L. (1994). Behavioral inhibition, behavioral activation, and affective responses to impending reward and punishment: The BIS/BAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 319-333.

Primary use / Purpose: 

Measurement of sensitivity to behavioural systems.

Background: 

Several theorists have argued that two general motivational systems underlie behavior. A behavioral approach system (BAS) is believed to regulate appetitive motives, in which the goal is to move toward something desired. A behavioral avoidance (or inhibition) system (BIS) is said to regulate aversive motives, in which the goal is to move away from something unpleasant.  We developed the BIS/BAS scales to assess individual differences in the sensitivity of these systems. The BIS/BAS scales are available for research and teaching applications.

Psychometrics: 

For scale psychometrics see: Carver, C. S., & White, T. L. (1994). Behavioral inhibition, behavioral activation, and affective responses to impending reward and punishment: The BIS/BAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 319-333. 

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