Each of the 65 items on the BASIS-A Inventory begins with the phrase "When I was a child, I...". The following are brief descriptions of the major themes or personality descriptors of the BASIS-A Inventory.
BELONGING-SOCIAL INTEREST (BSI) isolates some characteristics reflective of how a person feels a sense of belonging in the world. If a person generally tends to feel as if he/she belongs in a group, it is likely that the individual will be cooperative, interpersonally skilled, and look for ways to build connection whether one-on-one or in a group.
GOING ALONG (GA) identifies characteristics related to rule-directed behavior. This theme reflects the degree to which a person is agreeable, structure-focused, creative, and an independent thinker.
TAKING CHARGE (TC) reflects a person's preference for being the leader and/or dominant in relationships, or for taking a supportive role outside of the leadership position.
WANTING RECOGNITION (WR) describes an individual's tendency to be success-oriented, achievement-focused, and approval-seeking.
BEING CAUTIOUS (BC) identifies a person who is sensitive to affect, feeling oriented, and compassionate toward others. A person's tendency to approach life with caution probably evolved due to a discouraging family situation that was either unpredictable or at times painful. If caution is an issue, a person may be most comfortable when he/she can approach life in a cautious manner. Or, a person might choose an approach which would be more risky and unpredictable.
HARSHNESS (H) identifies individuals who view or perceive their early childhood as more difficult than it may have been.
ENTITLEMENT (E) seems to provide insights on how much attention a person needs to feel accepted. Furthermore, it may indicate that a person expects his/her needs to be met, and that they may become impatient and frustrated if they are not treated in the expected way.
LIKED BY ALL (L) identifies an individual who seeks to please others. Or, it identifies an individual attuned to what it takes to be liked by others. Furthermore, it may be that the person possesses social skills which aid in pleasing others.
STRIVING FOR PERFECTION (P) A high score indicates a person who is confident and can do many things well. In addition this person may possess high standards and is sensitive to making mistakes. A person scoring high on this scale probably thrives in situations where optimism, orderliness, and precision are valued. With this approach they have acquired valuable stress coping strategies to deal with life's stressors.
SOFTNESS (S) identifies individuals who present a more favorable picture of their childhood experiences compared possibly to others viewing a similar family experience.