Biopsychological structure of Yin-Yang using Cloninger's Temperament model and Carver and White's BIS/BAS scale

PeerJ. 2016 May 18:4:e2021. doi: 10.7717/peerj.2021. eCollection 2016.


Introduction. The purpose of this study was to examine the psychological structure of Yin-Yang based on the Sasang Personality Questionnaire (SPQ) in relation to Carver and White's Behavior Inhibition/Behavior Activation System (BIS/BAS) Scale and Cloninger's temperament model of the West. Methods. A total of 188 university students were classified as high (30%), middle (40%), and low (30%) groups based on their SPQ score and their differences in Cloninger's temperaments and BIS/BAS subscales were analyzed using analysis of covariance after controlling the sex. Correlation among SPQ, Cloninger's four temperaments and BIS/BAS subscales was also examined. Results. Significant differences in BAS (F = 11.703, p < .001), Novelty-Seeking (F = 4.945, p < .01), and Harm-Avoidance (F = 10.912, p < .001) were observed between high and low SPQ score groups after controlling for sex. The SPQ showed significant correlation with BAS (r = 0.303), Novelty-Seeking (r = 0.225), and Harm-Avoidance (r = - 0.273). However, BIS showed no significant differences between SPQ groups, and did not show correlation with the SPQ. Discussion. The current study demonstrated that Yin-Yang has similarities with and disparities from the Western tradition and may be examined with objective instruments. We showed that the emotionality of the East which is defined as mobility of emotion, not emotional instability as traditionally defined in Western theories, is pivotal for understanding the nature of emotion in the East. Suggestions are made for cross-cultural psychobiological study of the East and West.

Keywords: BIS/BAS scale; Behavioral activation and inhibition; Emotionality; Sasang personality questionnaire; Temperament and character inventory; Yin Yang.

Grants and funding

The authors received no funding for this work.