Personality differences in suppression of behavior as a function of the probability of punishment

C. Ávila, R. Torrubia

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11 Citations (Scopus)


A card-playing task developed by Siegel (1978) was used to study differences in expectation development as a function of probability of punishment. Four personality groups of males were formed on the basis of their extreme scores on the Sensitivity to Punishment (SP) and Sensitivity to Reward (SR) scales, which measure Gray's anxiety and impulsivity dimensions, respectively. Subjects completed eight different sequences of 40 rewards and punishments. Each sequence had a different percentage of punishment from 20% to 90%. When compared with high scorers, subjects scoring low on the SP scale made more responses when the percentage of punishment was from 40% to 70%, and responded faster after punishment. When considering all subjects, results showed that shorter processing after punishment was correlated with lesser response suppression. The SR groups did not yield any difference in performance. Discussion is focused on the role played by anxiety and impulsivity in response suppression and expectation formation. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-260
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


  • BAS
  • BIS
  • Disinhibition
  • Sensitivity to reward and punishment


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