According to Gray's reinforcement sensitivity theory of personality there are individual variations in the sensitivity of basic brain and behavioral systems that respond to punishing and reinforcing stimuli. Originally, Gray employed the term "impulsivity" for the personality trait that reflects the Sensitivity to Reward. However, there is growing doubt whether sensitivity for reward and impulsivity refer to one and the same trait. The present study addresses the hypothesis that Sensitivity to Punishment constitutes one personality dimension, whereas measures of Sensitivity to Reward actually are tapping two separate dimensions, one actually referring to Reward Sensitivity and another that pertains to Rash Impulsiveness. For this purpose, a second-order principal component analysis on the subscales of questionnaires that intend to measure aspects of these personality traits was carried out. Results provide further evidence for the notion that sensitivity to reward indeed consists of the two hypothesized factors: Reward Sensitivity and Rash Impulsiveness. Specific links between Reward Sensitivity and Rash Impulsiveness with other constructs such as Eysenck's personality factors, Negative and Positive affect, and Anhedonia, further demonstrate the distinctiveness of both dimensions.

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Keywords Assessment, BAS, BIS, Impulsivity, Sensitivity to Punishment, Sensitivity to Reward
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Journal Personality and Individual Differences
Franken, I.H.A, & Muris, P.E.H.M. (2006). Gray's impulsivity dimension: A distinction between Reward Sensitivity versus Rash impulsiveness. Personality and Individual Differences, 40(7), 1337–1347. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2005.11.016