Behavioural Systems

Written By: Kendra Saxton

In our brains, we have two systems: BAS which stands for behavioural activation system and BIS which stands for behavioural inhibition system. Both of these are actually key contributors to our decision making and relate to impulsivity and avoidance. The BAS system is mostly related to impulsivity and motivates people towards their goals. Therefore, they are unable to resist temptation as well. With a higher BAS, people are more likely to respond to goal-oriented objectives and feel positive emotions such as hope and happiness.

On the other hand, the BIS system is related more to anxiety and avoidance. People with higher BIS are more likely to avoid going after certain things because of uncertainty. They respond a lot more to punishments rather than rewards, so instead of wanting the rewards, they are afraid of the punishments they may receive. They are more aware of what is going on, while people with higher BAS do not think before they act since they are not as aware. So from this, it is clear that people with a higher BAS system are more likely to become impulsive shoppers than people with a higher BIS system.


Sommerfeldt, Sasha L. "Genetics of Behavioral Inhibition and Approach Systems: A Review of the Literature." Undergraduate Journal of Psychology at Berkeley. 17 May 2014. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.