The evolution of the Behavioural Approach System (BAS): Cooperative and competitive resource acquisition strategies
Corr, P. J.
The nature of approach motivation has not yet been adequately defined. Some authors view it as a unidimensional construct, while others consider it to be multidimensional. Its psychometric nature is explored in this study, which tests empirically the motivational account of the Behavioural Approach System (BAS) within an evolutionary context. In a sample of 394 participants, we administered the Assessment of Individual Motives questionnaire (AIM-Q), the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory Personality Questionnaire (RST-PQ) and a short version of the Sensitivity to Punishment and Sensitivity to Reward (SPSRQ-20). The results of set correlation analysis indicated that different BAS scales relate to different motives, thus supporting the multidimensional perspective on approach motivation. Specifically, Reward Interest relates to various types of motives that generally reflect sensitivity to social rewards; Goal-Drive Persistence relates to social exchange, Reward Reactivity to safety and commitment; while Impulsivity and Sensitivity to Reward (SR) relate to competitive motives. These results are discussed within an evolutionary framework for the multidimensionality of the BAS.