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An item response theory analysis of the Carver and White (1994) BIS/BAS Scales


Gomez, R and Cooper, A and Gomez, A, An item response theory analysis of the Carver and White (1994) BIS/BAS Scales, Personality and Individual Differences: An International Journal of Research Into The Structure and Development of Personality and The Causation of Individual Differences, 39, (6) pp. 1093-1103. ISSN 0191-8869 (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.paid.2005.03.015


The Carver and White BIS/BAS Scales comprise a scale for measuring behavioural inhibition sensitivity and three scales for measuring the behavioural activation sensitivity factors of reward responsiveness, drive and fun seeking. Item response theory (IRT), using Samejima's (1969) graded response model, was used to examine the psychometric properties of these four scales. A total of 520 adult participants completed the BIS/BAS Scales. Although all items in all four scales were reasonably effective in discriminating their respective traits, they provided good measures of their respective latent traits from only moderately low to moderately high trait levels. Also, the category response curves for the first three of the four response options for the items in the reward responsiveness scale showed considerable overlap. These findings suggest some limitations in the psychometric qualities of the BIS/BAS Scale.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Social and personality psychology
Research Field:Personality and individual differences
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Gomez, R (Professor Rapson Gomez)
ID Code:62887
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:28
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2010-03-30
Last Modified:2010-05-05

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