BAS Reward Responsiveness: A unique predictor of positive psychological functioning


Previous research on Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory has well-characterized the Behavioral Inhibition System in terms of its behavioral and emotional manifestations, but the Behavioral Approach System (BAS) is less well-defined, particularly regarding the prominence of reward sensitivity versus impulsivity. Furthermore, few researchers evaluate both systems in one model. We evaluated the relationship between Carver and White’s (1994) BIS/BAS Scales and areas of psychological functioning including internalizing, externalizing, affect regulation, and well-being. 497 undergraduates completed a battery of selfreport measures. Two structural equation models indicate that the Reward Responsiveness subscale uniquely predicts adaptive functioning across all domains. Reward Responsiveness may be a more pure measure of BAS than other BAS traits and may be important for resilience from maladaptive psychological functioning.


Lauren E Taubitz
Walker S Pedersen
Christine L Larson