Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

Psychological Sciences

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The goals of this study were to examine the suitability of Carver and White’s (1994) BIS/BAS for use in adults of different ages, by examining the construct validity of the BIS/BAS, and testing for age-related invariance of the BIS/BAS. In addition, this study predicted that older adults would score higher on subscales of the BIS/BAS related to pursuit of immediate positivity, based on Carstensen’s (2006) theory of Socioemotional Selectivity. This study recruited 314 adults under the age of 30, 320 adults of age between 30 and 60, and 341 adults over the age of 60. Participants completed Carver & White’s (1994) BIS/BAS, along with measures Carver and White originally used as comparisons to the BIS/BAS: the EPQ-BV, PANAS, and MAS. The study supported the construct validity of the BIS/BAS subscales in each age group. The study also identified metric invariance of the BIS/BAS subscales with respect to the age. This metric invariance, along with construct validity, suggests that the BIS/BAS is suitable for use in adults of all ages, if scores are not compared between adults of different ages. Younger adults tended to score highest on nearly all measures in the study, which did not match our predictions.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Andrew Mienaltowski, Dr. Melanie Autin, Dr. Christopher Keller

Disciplines

Other Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychiatry and Psychology

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