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Personality and defensive behaviour: A factor analytic approach to threat scenario choices

Krupić, D., Križanić, V. & Corr, P. J. (2016). Personality and defensive behaviour: A factor analytic approach to threat scenario choices. Personality and Individual Differences, 94, pp. 303-308. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2016.01.045


Although people tend to react in specific ways in threatening situations, research points to the importance of individual differences in these defensive behaviours. From the perspective of reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST), this study examined the role of personality traits in defensive behaviours. Four RST questionnaires and Blanchards' threat scenarios were used, with a total of 1019 participants. The threat scenarios were modified and examined by exploratory factor analysis (EFA), while their relationship with the RST questionnaires was explored by correlational and regression analyses. The EFA revealed an orthogonal two-dimensional structure of defensive direction: defensive direction towards threat and defensive direction away from threat, while defensive intensity was not separately extracted. The results revealed that different operationalizations of the BAS, BIS and FFFS, from the various RST questionnaires, produced different associations with Blanchards' threat scenarios. In general, the BIS, Flight and Freezing scales predicted tendencies to move away from the threat, while Fight and some BAS Scales predicted tendencies to move towards the threat, in dangerous situations. These findings challenge some aspects of RST, especially their lack of association between the BIS and defensive direction towards threat. Directions for further research are indicated.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Publisher Keywords: Reinforcement sensitivity theory; Personality; Threat; Defensive behaviour
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Text - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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