DOI: 10.5593/SGEMSOCIAL2015/B11/S1.013


V. Krizanic, D. Krupic
Tuesday 15 September 2015 by Libadmin2015

2nd International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM2015, www.sgemsocial.org , SGEM2015 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-44-5 / ISSN 2367-5659 , Aug 26 - Sept 01; Book 1, Vol. 1, 93 - 100 pp

This article investigates relations between person’s propensity to experience different affective states and dimensions of temperament in terms of Reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST). RST proposes several functional brain systems that organize reactions to different classes of reinforcing stimuli, facilitating approach and avoidance behaviors, and generating affective states involved in these facilitation processes. Thus, individual differences in sensitivity of behavioral approach and inhibition systems are presumed to underlie some important differences in people’s propensity to experience certain types of affect. However, precise nature of these relations is still unclear, since previous findings on these relations are inconsistent. Therefore, the problem of this study was to examine relationships between RST traits and specific affective states, in context of everyday life. We used experience sampling method, assessing affective states of 102 female students (age M= 21.4, SD=1.96) in random moments ten times a day through one week. We analyzed diary data from 2880 measurement points. RST dimensions of temperament were operationalized using Carver & White’s [10] BIS/BAS scales, that measure sensitivity of behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and three dimensions of behavioral activation system, capturing: persistence in achieving desired goals (BAS-Drive), desire and readiness to engage in new fun experiences (BAS-Fun Seeking), and positive reactions to reward (BAS–Reward sensitivity). Analyses were conducted using multilevel random coefficient modelling, with diary measures as level 1 variables, nested within persons (grouping variable on level 2). We conducted separate multilevel regression analyses with BIS/BAS measures as predictors and specific affects as dependent variables. Results showed that BIS/BAS subscales have different patterns of relations with people’s propensity to experience different affective states: BIS was positively related to experiencing worry, fear and anger, but not sadness, and negatively related to serenity; BAS subscales were differentially correlated with interest, excitement, happiness and serenity; while BAS-Fun Seeking was also found to correlate with worry and fear. Findings of this study point to the relevance of considering specific aspects of sensitivity of behavioral inhibition and activation systems, and to the informative value of distinguishing among different types of pleasant and unpleasant affects in exploration of affect-temperament connections.

Keywords: Reinforcement sensitivity theory, BIS/BAS scale, affective states, experience sampling method, multilevel analysis