I wonder if anybody could give some details about Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales. I tried to access 'The Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales: Normative Data and Implications' by Kenneth L. Davis, Jaak Panksepp, Larry Normansell, but I have no access.


3 Answers 3


That paper is kinda old and as you point out it is paywalled. Try this free paper instead.

A brief form of the affective neuroscience personality scales.

The Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales (ANPS) were developed to measure behavioral traits related to 6 affective neurobiological systems (play, seek, care, fear, anger, and sadness). However, the ANPS has a number of problems, including an ill-defined factor structure, overly long scales, and items that are poorly worded, ambiguous, and of questionable content validity. To address these issues, we constructed an improved short form of the ANPS--the Brief ANPS (BANPS). Three studies demonstrated that the 33-item BANPS has a clear and coherent factor structure, relatively high reliabilities (for short scales), and theoretically meaningful correlations with a wide range of external criteria, supporting its convergent and discriminant validity. Unlike typical short-form scales, the BANPS improves upon the psychometric properties of the long form, and we recommend its use in all research contexts.

This is the only other paper I have the ability to cite about ANPS:

The brain's emotional foundations of human personality and the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales

The anatomical, neurochemical, and functional homologies of subcortical emotional networks strongly indicate underlying evolutionary continuities in affective principles in all mammalian brains (Panksepp and Biven, 2011). Since it is widely believed that individual's emotional inclinations (temperaments) are foundational for human personality development, the goal of the following work was to try to ground personality assessment on the affective circuits that all mammals share. But before we summarize work with the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales (ANPS), we briefly note historical antecedents of this way of thinking about human personality.

We sustained the capitalization convention in our attempt (i.e., the ANPS) to translate anoetic (without knowledge) emotional experiences to noetic (knowledge linked) and autonoetic (thought linked), language-based evaluations of the potential influences of primal affects in the personality structures of human minds. However, rather than RAGE and PANIC/GRIEF, we decided to use the terms ANGER and SADNESS in this paper and in our construction of the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales (ANPS), since those are labels that are generally more understandable for most individuals. Still, the theoretical implication is that these systems are critically important for the various feelings highlighted by these scientific terms – e.g., the ANGER system energizes states commonly labeled as ‘irritability’ and ‘anger’.

There are several principles basic to understanding these seven brain systems: (1) These emotion systems are subcortical networks and lower brain regions have evolutionary primacy in generating these basic emotions and their affects, while learning and higher brain functions can be deemed to be secondary and tertiary processes. (2) To the best of our knowledge, these emotion systems, situated in ancient brain regions, are largely homologous in all mammals. (3) These basic emotions also have similar chemistries in all mammals. (4) These brain systems generate instinctual behavioral responses that are closely linked to the raw, primal affects that accompany those responses. (5) The integrity of these seven systems is demonstrated by the ability to elicit coherent specific emotional responses and/or the associated affects with localized brain stimulation – as evaluated by the capacity of the subcortical arousals to mediate ‘reward’ and ‘punishment’ functions that control learning. (6) Lastly, these systems remain relatively unscathed in animals whose neocortices were surgically removed in early development (see Panksepp, 1998).

In summary, emotional responses from each of the primary process emotions can be activated by localized subcortical ESB or chemical brain stimulation. That decortication of young animals generally leaves the expression of these emotions intact (Deyo et al., 1990 and Panksepp et al., 1994), further reinforces the subcortical nature of these emotion systems. Also, each instinctual emotional system engenders affective valence since animals terminate the stimulation of ANGER, FEAR, and SADNESS, while actively working to obtain SEEKING, LUST, CARE, and PLAY system arousals (Panksepp, 2005). However, there are reasons to believe the SEEKING system is foundational for aspects of all of the other primal emotions (e.g., during FEAR intensification, the shift from freezing to flight may be due to recruitment of SEEKING related dopaminergic psychomotor drive).

Based on our first study using these scales, reliabilities for the ANPS scales, computed as Cronbach's alpha, were reported ranging from .65 to .86 with the PLAY and SEEK scales below .70 and the FEAR, ANGER, and Spirituality scales above .80 (Davis et al., 2003). Multiple data sets using the revised ANPS 2.4, have shown all reliabilities now over .70 (unpublished data).

Contrasting self-rating data for ANPS and FFM scales, as seen in Table 1, revealed that each of the ANPS scales except Spirituality correlated strongly with at least one of the FFM scales as follows: (1) SEEK with Openness to Experience (r = .47), (2) PLAY with Extraversion (r = .46), (3) CARE with Agreeableness (r = .50), (4) FEAR with Emotional Stability (r = −.75), (5) SADNESS with Emotional Stability (r = −.68), and (6) ANGER with Emotional Stability (r = −.65) as well as with Agreeableness (r = −.48) (Davis et al., 2003). The data supported strong relationships between primary emotions and the most widely accepted model of human personality, which was consistent with the hypothesis that these six brain emotion systems form a foundation for the adult five-factor personality model.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, I am aware of this paper but I wanted to see what ANPS is about since BANPS is based on it. I am in fact using the BANPS. $\endgroup$
    – Dana Sugu
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 8:09
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    $\begingroup$ @DanaSugu i added citations from another paper $\endgroup$
    – user3832
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 14:11
  • $\begingroup$ doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2011.04.004 $\endgroup$
    – r0berts
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 18:58

Sorry this is a little late, and I couldn't comment on the previous comment, but a good and comprehensive (if not somewhat dated) reference for what the ANPS is all about can be found here:


This is the text in which Jaak Panksepp basically sets out the decades of animal research that led to his creation of the original ANPS :)


It has been many years since this was asked but here is a current (June 2021) website: enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome. Link-only answers are discouraged in general. In this case it's OKish, but it would be cool if you could add some background what the content of the website is and why you recommend it (and not another). Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Commented Jun 8, 2021 at 13:43

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