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Behavioral Inhibition System

The behavioral inhibition system (BIS) is broadly conceptualized as a neurobiological and motivational system that mediates an organism’s ability to avoid or withdraw from negative, nonrewarding, or novel stimuli. The BIS is understood to be responsible for activating arousal in response to these types of stimuli and for inhibiting behavior that may have negative or harmful outcomes. Thus, BIS activation leads to inhibition or avoidance of goal-oriented behaviors. The BIS system is in contrast to the behavioral activation system (BAS) that regulates appetitive motivation.

BIS, in addition, refers to a dimension of personality on which people vary. Specifically, BIS describes a putatively stable, traitlike factor that reflects the extent to which an individual inhibits or avoids negative, nonrewarding, or novel stimuli. Since the late 1900s, ...

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