Psychology Dictionary of Arguments

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Corr I 356
Conditioning/Gray/GrayVsEysenck: In brief, Gray (1970(1), 1972b(2), 1981(3)) proposed a modification of Eysenck’s 1957(4) theory thus:
(a) to the position of Extraversion (E) and Neuroticism (N) in multivariate statistical factor space; and
(b) to their neuropsychological bases. According to Gray, E and N should be rotated, approximately, 30° to form the more causally efficient axes of ‘punishment sensitivity’, reflecting Anxiety (Anx), and ‘reward sensitivity’, reflecting Impulsivity (Imp).
Gray’s modification stated that highly impulsive individuals (Imp+) are most sensitive to signals of reward, relative to their low impulsive (Imp−) counterparts; highly anxious individuals (Anx+) are most sensitive to signals of punishment, relative to low anxiety (Anx−) counterparts. >Factor Analysis, >Rotated Factors.
Corr I 357
GrayVsEysenck: According to this new view, Eysenck’s E and N dimensions (Eysenck 1957)(4) are secondary (conflated) factors of these more fundamental traits/processes. This is now called the ‘separable subsystems hypothesis’ (Corr 2001(5), 2002a(6); see Corr and McNaughton 2008(7)).
Solution/Gray: Gray’s (1970)(1) theory deftly side-stepped the problems accompanying Eysenck’s, and it also explained why introverts were, generally, more cortically aroused: they are more punishment sensitive (punishment is more arousing than reward); and, as extraverts are more sensitive to reward, not punishment, they are, accordingly, less aroused. Cf. >Conditioning/Eysenck, >Conditioning/Psychological Theories.

1. Gray, J. A. 1970. The psychophysiological basis of Introversion–Extraversion, Behaviour Research and Therapy 8: 249–66
2. Gray, J. A., 1972b. The psychophysiological nature of Introversion-Extraversion: a modification of Eysenck’s theory, in V. D. Nebylitsyn and J. A. Gray (eds.), The biological bases of individual behaviour, pp. 182–205. New York: Academic Press
3. Gray, J. A. 1981. A critique of Eysenck’s theory of personality, in H. J. Eysenck (ed.), A model for personality, pp. 246–76. Berlin: Springer
4. Eysenck, H. J. 1957. The dynamics of anxiety and hysteria. New York: Preger
5. Corr, P. J. 2001. Testing problems in J. A. Gray’s personality theory: a commentary on Matthews and Gilliland (1999), Personal Individual Differences 30: 333–52
6. Corr, P. J. 2002a. J. A. Gray’s reinforcement sensitivity theory: tests of the joint subsystem hypothesis of anxiety and impulsivity, Personality and Individual Differences 33: 511–32
7. Corr, P. J. and McNaughton, N. 2008. Reinforcement sensitivity theory and personality, in P. J. Corr (ed). The reinforcement sensitivity theory of personality, pp. 155–87. Cambridge University Press

Philip J. Corr, „ The Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory of Personality“, in: Corr, Ph. J. & Matthews, G. (eds.) 2009. The Cambridge handbook of Personality Psychology. New York: Cambridge University Press

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Corr II 121
Conditioning/Eyeblink Conditionality/Gray/MacNaughton/Corr: Much of the debate on personality in the human conditioning literature revolved around a particular
II 122
type of conditioning, namely that of the eyeblink. Gray’s first data-oriented section focuses on eyeblink conditioning in both introverts and those high on ‘Manifest Anxiety’ (Taylor, 1956)(1), who he argues (…) are neurotic introverts. The eyeblink conditioning data, and arguments, are complicated (particularly where partial reinforcement schedules are used) but best fit the idea that introverts learn better than extraverts only under conditions where they are more highly aroused; with those high on trait anxiety (i.e., neurotic introverts) showing better conditioning when exposed to threat. Neurotic introverts usually condition eyeblinks faster and extinguish them slower than other people. If we can generalize from this to all learning (particularly social), we can then account for their introverted symptoms in the same way as Eysenck.

1. Taylor, J. (1956). Drive theory and manifest anxiety. Psychological Bulletin, 53, 303–320.

McNaughton, Neil and Corr, John Philip: “Sensitivity to Punishment and Reward Revisiting Gray (1970)”, In: Philip J. Corr (Ed.) 2018. Personality and Individual Differences. Revisiting the classical studies. Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne: Sage, pp. 115-136.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Gray, Jeffrey A.
Corr I
Philip J. Corr
Gerald Matthews
The Cambridge Handbook of Personality Psychology New York 2009

Corr II
Philip J. Corr (Ed.)
Personality and Individual Differences - Revisiting the classical studies Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne 2018

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