Extraversion and behavioral activation: Integrating the components of approach

Lena C. Quilty, Colin G. Deyoung, Jonathan M. Oakman, R. Michael Bagby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This investigation evaluates the structure and correlates of lower order traits related to approach, specifically, facets of extraversion and behavioral activation system (BAS) sensitivity. A 3-factor structure of approach was derived in community and clinical samples: assertiveness, enthusiasm, and sensation seeking. All factors were positively associated with Openness/Intellect scores. Enthusiasm and assertiveness were both negatively associated with Neuroticism scores, but were distinguished by associations with Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. Sensation seeking was negatively associated with Conscientiousness scores. The 3 factors demonstrated a unique profile of association with components of impulsivity. Enthusiasm and assertiveness were negatively related to psychopathological symptoms, whereas sensation seeking was largely independent of psychopathology. Results suggest that approach is associated with 3 subfactors, which differ in their pattern or magnitude of associations with other variables, thus underscoring the importance of distinguishing among them. Further, results support the construct validity of the Assertiveness and Enthusiasm aspect scales of the Big Five Aspect Scales to assess traits at this level of the personality hierarchy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2014


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