Psychometric properties of the Behavioral Inhibition Scale in young adults

Peter Muris*, Eric Rassin, Ingmar Franken, Willem Leemreis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The Behavioral Inhibition Scale (BIS) is a brief questionnaire for measuring Kagan's (1994) temperamental characteristic of children and adolescents to be unusually shy and to react with fear and withdrawal in situations that are novel and/or unfamiliar. The present study examined the psychometric properties of the BIS in two separate samples of undergraduate students (Ns = 124 and 73). The students of Sample 1 completed the BIS as well as questionnaires for measuring personality traits, anxiety, and other psychopathological symptoms, whereas students of Sample 2 completed the scale as well as a widely used anxiety inventory on two separate occasions, some 4 weeks apart. The results showed that the BIS was reliable in terms of internal consistency and test-retest stability. Further, the scale was predominantly correlated with general levels of anxiety symptoms and not with other psychopathological symptoms. Finally, the BIS was related to other personality factors in a theoretically meaningful way, and essentially seems to reflect a combination of high neuroticism/behavioral inhibition and low extraversion/behavioral approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-226
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Individual Differences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


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