Revised reinforcement sensitivity theory and laboratory assessment of BIS and BAS in children

Craig R. Colder, Elisa M. Trucco, Hector I. Lopez, Larry W. Hawk, Jennifer P. Read, Liliana J. Lengua, William F. Weiczorek, Rina D. Eiden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


There is considerable interest in Gray's reinforcement sensitivity theory. However, few measures of the behavioral approach (BAS) and inhibition systems (BIS) exist for children. Moreover, the theory was substantially revised a decade ago and measurement instruments are still largely based on the old theory. Our aim was to revise questionnaire and laboratory assessments of BIS and BAS for children. Performance on the Point Scoring Reaction Time Task for Children-Revised (PSRTT-CR) conformed to theoretical expectations. Caregiver reports of BIS and BAS were associated with corresponding PSRTT-CR indices, suggesting cross-method convergent and discriminant validity. There was convergence with physiological correlates of BAS, but not physiological correlates of BIS. Overall, our revised measures represent promising instruments of children's BIS and BAS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)198-207
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


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