RESEARCH PAPER
A cross-lagged model of reinforcement sensitivity, personality and affectivity
 
 
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Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Submission date: 2016-11-04
Final revision date: 2017-02-13
Acceptance date: 2017-02-21
Online publication date: 2017-05-10
Publication date: 2017-06-30
 
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2017;5(2):83–90
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background
There is a rich body of literature describing the links between behavioral activation/inhibition, personality and trait affectivity. The sensitivity of the behavioral activation system (BAS) is related to extraversion and positive affect, while the sensitivity of the behavioral inhibition is related to neuroticism and negative affect. Besides the strong links observed, it is unclear what the causal relationships between these constructs are.

Participants and procedure
The aim of this study was to provide indirect support for the theoretical accounts postulating the causal direction from behavioral sensitivity through personality to affectivity. Using data from two measurement occasions, two sets of models were specified to test those predictions. A total of 286 social sciences and humanities students participated in the study for course credit or financial reimbursement.

Results
Our results provide limited support for the proposed causal direction, but only some of the direct links were observed to be significantly different from zero. Extraversion and positive affect showed a reciprocal pattern of influences, while the sensitivity of the behavioral inhibition system (BIS) predicted neuroticism.

Conclusions
The results presented here give limited support to the proposed direction of relationships between the three sets of affective constructs investigated in this study. BIS and BAS sensitivities and personality measures showed higher stability in the one-month period compared to positive and negative affectivity.
 
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