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Carver and White's BIS/BAS Scales

What is the BAS and BIS scale?

According to this theory, there are two conceptually different models of motivational behavior:

BIS (behavioural inhibition system) - behavior is based on the desire to avoid punishment, to avoid unpleasant experience. High scores for the BIS scale mean increased sensitivity, fear of new experiences, a tendency to depression, anxiety and sadness.

BAS (behavioral approach system) - behavior is based on the desire for constant encouragement, rewards. People with high BAS scores are more physically and socially active, open to new experiences. Low BAS sensitivity is associated with introversion and depression.

At the same time, high BAS scores are highly correlated with risky health behaviors, including sexual activity, and addictive behaviours such as alcohol and drug use.

Online version of the Carver and White's BIS/BAS Scales

In order to measure the sensitivity to punishment and reward constructs, Carver and White developed a 24-item self-report BIS/BAS questionnaire.


C. S. Carver, T. L. White. Behavioral inhibition, behavioral activation, and affective responses to impending reward and punishment: The BIS/BAS scales


Each item of this questionnaire is a statement that a person may either agree with or disagree with.

For each item, indicate how much you agree or disagree with what the item says.

Please be as accurate and honest as you can be. Respond to each item as if it were the only item. That is, don't worry about being «consistent» in your responses.


Note this test is provided strictly for informational, educational and entertainment purposes and should not be used for making any decision. It is not intended to be a psychological advice of any kind, and come without any guarantee of accuracy or validity.

1. A person's family is the most important thing in life.
2. Even if something bad is about to happen to me, I rarely experience fear or nervousness.
3. I go out of my way to get things I want.
4. When I'm doing well at something I love to keep at it.
5. I'm always willing to try something new if I think it will be fun.
6. How I dress is important to me.
7. When I get something I want, I feel excited and energized.
8. Criticism or scolding hurts me quite a bit.
9. When I want something I usually go all-out to get it.
10. I will often do things for no other reason than that they might be fun.
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