The Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of Personality

The Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of Personality

One of the major neuropsychological models of personality, developed by world-renowned psychologist Professor Jeffrey Gray, is based upon individual differences in reactions to punishing and rewarding stimuli. This biological theory of personality - now widely known as 'Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory' (RST) - has had a major influence on motivation, emotion and psychopathology research. In 2000, RST was substantially revised by Jeffrey Gray, together with Neil McNaughton, and this revised theory proposed three principal motivation/emotion systems: the 'Fight-Flight-Freeze System' (FFFS), the 'Behavioural Approach System' (BAS) and the 'Behavioural Inhibition System' (BIS). This is the first book to summarise the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of personality and bring together leading researchers in the field. It summarizes all of the pre-2000 RST research findings, explains and elaborates the implications of the 2000 theory for personality psychology and lays out the future research agenda for RST.


"The Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of Personality is rooted in contemporary neurophysiology of learning and emotion. This text presents an outstanding exposition of the development, data, and direction of RST as well as an excellent critical analysis of the strengths and challenges of the research program. It is required reading for serious students and scholars of personality and individual differences."
Professor Robert M. Stelmack, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa

'… a refreshingly polyphonic account of the field as it stands, where the authors are not afraid to question the orthodoxy. … exhaustive and exhilarating …' Journal of ISSID