Gray’s BAS/BIS Theory

Balance Your Health


  • Proposes that personality is based on the interaction of two basic systems in the brain:

1. Behavioral Activation System (BAS): The accelerator (“hit the gas”)

– Impulsivity, novelty seeking, sensitivity to rewards and motivation to seek rewards.

–Attraction to a person or a cookie and a desire to approach the person or cookie, especially a “new” one?

  • High BAS = Lots of positive affect (PA); Low BAS = Less PA
  • High BAS = Impulsive; Low BAS = Reserved and Careful
  • High BAS = Extraversion; Low BAS = Introversion

BAS = Left Frontal Lobe:

  • Active while experiencing positive emotion (happiness).

2. Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS): “Hitting the brakes”. Sensitivity to potential punishment and motivation to avoid punishment.

–Fear of rejection by someone you fancy or fear of a snake and the motivation to avoid these things comes from this system.

-Avoidance of people, places, and situations that have the perception of…

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About Kevin Brough

President VisionLogic Executive Director of Symbiosis Health Systems Program Director at Symbiosis Retreats Subconscious Behaviorist, Clinical Mental Health Counselor, Addictionologist, Certified HypnoTherapist, NLP Master Practitioner - Trainer, Strategic Interventionist, Motivational Interviewing, New DreamWork Method Coach, Emotional Freedom Technique, Yoga/Meditation, Reiki Master

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