Siever, L. J. - Biological Response Styles

The Structure of Concern Project compares many theoretical models from many disciplines to the Adizes PAEI model, arguing that they must all be reflecting the same underlying phenomenon. One concern structure model is described below.

Siever’s model of personality dimensions identifies four neurobiological dispositions which are proposed to explain personality styles. Disruptions and amplifications of those same dispositions result in clinical psychiatric syndromes (Magnavita, 2002; Siever & Davis, 1991; Siever et al., 1985). In PAEI order, the dispositions are:

P – Impulsivity/Aggression: People with neurobiological dysfunctions can demonstrate poor impulse control and aggressive acting-out. This can be manifested as borderline and antisocial personality disorders.

A – Anxiety/Inhibition: Individuals with faulty neurobiological processes can experience extreme states of anxiety that may generate avoidant or obsessive-compulsive personality formations.

E – Cognitive/Perceptual Organization: Thought and perception can lose their coherence, resulting in schizophrenic/psychotic symptoms, cognitive disorganization, and schizoid or schizotypal personality disorders.

I – Affective Instability: Neurobiological inadequacy can cause the dysregulation of affect and emotion, disrupting social relationships, and generating borderline or histrionic personalities.

1. Magnavita, J. J. (2002). Theories of Personality: Contemporary Approaches to the Science of Personality. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
2. Siever, L. J., & Davis, K. L. (1991). “A psychological perspective on the personality disorders.” American Journal of Psychiatry, 148, 1647-1658.
3. Siever, L. J., Klar, H., & Coccaro, E. (1985). “Biological response styles: Clinical implications.” In L. J. Siever, & H. Klar (Editors), Psychobiological Substrates of Personality (pp. 38-66). Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press.
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