Alcohol use as a behavioural sign of disinhibition: Evidence from J.A. Gray's model of personality

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Based on Gray's Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory, the influence of behavioural disinhibition upon alcohol consumption was studied. A sample of undergraduates answered different questionnaires related to the Behavioural Inhibition System and Behavioural Activation System. In relation to alcohol use, three aspects of alcohol consumption were assessed: frequency, quantity of alcohol intake and the age at first drink. From a series of correlation and regression analyses, we found that both high scores on BAS-related scales and low scores on those scales related to the BIS were jointly associated with current alcohol-taking habits. Additionally, the Sensitivity to Reward (SR) scale (BAS) was negatively correlated with, and a predictor of, the onset age of alcohol use. We conclude by proposing that research on alcohol use can benefit from this well-grounded theory of the neuropsychology of the individual differences. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2398-2403
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007


  • Alcohol consumption
  • Anxiety
  • Behavioural Approach System
  • Behavioural Inhibition System
  • Impulsiveness
  • Motivation


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