A unified biosocial theory of personality and its role in the development of anxiety states: A reply to commentaries

C. R. Cloninger

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    104 Scopus citations


    The comments by Gray, Gelder, Liebowitz, Eysenck, Nurnberger, Roy and Linnoila are discussed. Most of the recommendations in the comments have already been carried out and the others are under way. Specifically, practical assessment instruments have been developed, and their psychometric properties are under investigation. Explicit criteria for systematic diagnosis of personality disorders have been developed. Longitudinal studies have been carried out to evaluate the predictive validity of the scales. Empirical tests have confirmed the predicted relationship between novelty seeking and somatic anxiety, as well as between harm avoidance and cognitive anxiety. A more detailed model of the underlying neural processes has been described. Growing evidence of norepinephrine's role in reward dependence has been reported. Finally, a more comprehensive learning model has been developed that can account for both the higher-order and the lower-order factor structure of personality in terms of specific stimulus-response characteristics. Several commentators have provided additional evidence supporting the predicted role of the monoamines in modulating personality and learning. Finally, predictions from my model about pain sensitivity, stimulus intensity modulation, and the factor structure of personality have been compared to those of Gray and Eysenck. The predictions are confirmed for my model, but not those of Gray or Eysenck.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)83-120
    Number of pages38
    JournalPsychiatric Developments
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jan 1 1988


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