In: Personality and Individual Differences, 1, 197–206. Since then, the theory behind the trait has developed with research. Plants grow slowly and require patience and tedious kinds of labor to insure their survival. Sensation seeking is a personality trait defined by the search for experiences and feelings, that are "varied, novel, complex and intense", and by the readiness to "take physical, social, legal, and financial risks for the sake of such experiences." However, risk may be ignored, tolerated, or minimized and may even be considered to add to the excitement of the activity. During the course of his research, Zuckerman found a close relationship between sensation seeking and impulsivity. Likewise, If there are any. Indeed, the examination of optimal levels of arousal dates back to the very beginning of psychology: the experimentalist Wilhelm Wundt was studying it as early as 1893 (see Zuckerman, 1979), as were Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer in 1895 (Freud and Breuer, 1895/2004). The intensive and extensive studies of Zuckerman and his coworkers over two decades have yielded a large amount of evidence in favor of his ideas and hypotheses. If you checked 13 or more of the items, you’re probably a sensation seeker. For example, individuals who are high sensation seekers are more likely to have varied sexual experiences, but they are not more likely to avoid using condoms. Sensation seeking can be explained by genetic, biological, psychophysiological, and social factors (Zuckerman, 1994, 1996), and sensation seekers are described as individuals who engage in behaviors to increase the amount of experienced stimulation, thus seeking out arousal (Roberti, 2004). The balance between monoamine reactivities and such conflict is hypothesized to … Unless otherwise noted, LibreTexts content is licensed by CC BY-NC-SA 3.0. on which you think you would score either low or high, what impression do you have of people who have an opposite score on those same scales? Marvin Zuckerman represents the current approach taken by many psychologists who study traits. Aggression-hostility, however, seems to relate more to Eysenck’s factor psychoticism. Among contemporary temperament theories the sensation seeking conceptualization belongs to those with well-established traditions. The author is highly susceptible to boredom, so he likes to travel to interesting places. Thus, Zuckerman examined his data, conducted a factor analysis, and offered an alternative to the Five-Factor Model. Behavioral expressions and biosocial bases of sensation seeking. On the psychobiology of personality: Essays in honor of Marvin Zuckerman. If there are any subscales on which you think you would score either low or high, what impression do you have of people who have an opposite score on those same scales? Now an integral part of personality testing, including adaptations for use with children, this reissue is … Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\) Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\). Sensation‐seeking was positively correlated with the traits of extraversion and psychoticism as measured by the EPQ. Sensation seeking is a personality trait defined by the degree to which an individual seeks novel and highly stimulating activities and experiences. Risk is not an essential part of the trait, as many activities associated with it are not risky. Likewise, If you checked 9 or less of the items, you are probably not a sensation seeker. Dopamine in the medial forebrain bundle and the nucleus. Sensation-seeking, also called thrill-seeking or excitement-seeking, is the tendency to pursue new and different sensations, feelings, and experiences. [LvK, tarMZ] He called it sensation seeking, and in order to study it carefully he also developed the Sensation Seeking Scale. Here we see the author in Mt. Sensation seeking can be defined as “the seeking of varied, novel, complex, and intense sensations and experiences, and the willingness to take physical, social, legal, and financial risks for the sake of such experiences” (Zuckerman, 1994, p. 27). However, adolescence may be a particularly risky time, since there is a temporal gap between the onset of puberty, during which adolescents are highly thrill seeking, and the slow maturation of the cognitive-control systems that govern such behavior in adulthood (Steinberg, 2007). Dopamine in the medial forebrain bundle and the nucleus. (pg. Following this early research, Zuckerman began his own investigations. The LibreTexts libraries are Powered by MindTouch® and are supported by the Department of Education Open Textbook Pilot Project, the UC Davis Office of the Provost, the UC Davis Library, the California State University Affordable Learning Solutions Program, and Merlot. Washington’s alpine garden (NH) in winter (top left) and above the clouds on Mt. The fifth version was developed in collaboration with Hans and Sybil Eysenck, and included comparisons of males to females and American students to English students (see Zuckerman, 1979, 1994). Sensation-Seeking and Impulsivity (Psychosocial Development) These findings speak particularly to the issue of immaturity and culpability, and are important to consider when mitigating illegal behavior in adolescents. It was created in 1964 by Marvin Zuckerman, at the University of Delaware. Zuckerman created the scale with the purpose of better understanding personality traits such as neuroticism, antisocial behavior, and psychopathy. In 1975, Zuckerman took a sabbatical to work with Hans Eysenck, leading to the publication of some joint papers, and Zuckerman’s eventual contribution to Eysenck’s second festschrift (see Zuckerman, 1997). After several moves, including the threat of being fired from Adelphi University due to newspaper photos of the college professor arrested and lying in the local jail (following his involvement in a protest against racism), in 1968 he joined the faculty of the University of Delaware. Sensation seeking was postulated as being characterized by strong approach and weak inhibition (impulsivity) and arousal in approach-avoidance conflict situations. Hunters are positively excited by change, danger, and the variety and unpredictability of the hunt. All people seem to seek an optimal level of stimulation and/or arousal. The SSS-V measures an individual’s optimal level of stimulation, or sensation-seeking tendencies (Zuckerman, Eysenck, & Eysenck, 1978). Yes, you can be an HSP and score high on sensation seeking … As a boy, Zuckerman enjoyed playing football, but most of his sensation seeking centered on reading adventure books. Table 7.2 Items from the Sensation-Seeking Scale. If you checked 10, 11, or 12 of the items, you are probably somewhere in between on sensation seeking. Research on sensation seeking has historically been based on the hypothesis that individuals have different optimal levels of stimulation (Zuckerman 1979).Individuals high in sensation seeking are posited to be chronically underaroused, as such they seek additional stimulation to maintain or attain optimal levels of arousal through pursuit of varied and novel sensations. Theorist: Zuckerman . The data indicate that sensation seeking is more closely related to LH traits than impulsivity. Sensation seeking is more predictive of outcome measures, shows stronger correlations with LH traits, subsumes contributed variance of impulsivity and demonstrates expected patterns of … His mother’s father had also come from Russia, and both sides of the family had a tradition of their sons becoming rabbis. The monoamine theory of sensation seeking involves three monoamin es: dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine (Zuckerman, 1995). Zuckerman was the son of a mechanical engineer who came to America from Russia. Sensation-seeking, also called thrill-seeking or excitement-seeking, is the tendency to pursue new and different sensations, feelings, and experiences. Washington in New Hampshire. For example, the trait plays a role in bringing people into prosocial occupations such as law enforcement, firefighting and emergency room medicine-high-stress jobs that would shut down low sensation-seekers. Originally published in 1979, this title represents a summary of 17 years of research centring around the Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS) and the theory from which the test was derived. It is also important to note that it is neither good nor bad to score high or low on this scale: In this sociobiological sense, the high sensation seeker is a hunter and the low sensation seeker is a farmer. He retired in 2002, but has remained busy enjoying life, giving talks, writing, and conducting research (Zuckerman, 1983, 1991, 2006). They need a strong capacity to focus attention on the prey while remaining alert to other factors like the direction of the wind and the movements of other hunters. As Freud said, it is in the nature of scientific theory to change as new findings bring old ideas into question and suggest new interpretations of old data. CrossRef Google Scholar Stelmack, R. M. 384-385; Zuckerman, 1994). Unfortunately, a bad grade in chemistry made it impossible to get into the medical school of his choice, so he chose to begin the graduate program in clinical psychology at NYU. Sensation seeking scores from the SSS have been linked to many risk-taking behavioural expressions. The Sensation Seeking Scaleis one of the most common psychological instrument for measuring sensation seeking. Another problem that Zuckerman expressed with regard to the Five-Factor Model was his belief that words like “conscientiousness” have no meaning in species other than humans. Following the “brainwashing” techniques used by the Chinese during the Korean War, the Canadian government pursued research on sensory deprivation, work led by D. O. Hebb. Farmers, in contrast, depend on stability of the environment (rainfall, sun, and other seasonal regularities of climate). Here, the author is hanging from two ice screws about 800 or 900 feet up the alpine route Pinnacle Gulley on Mt. People who are high in sensation seeking are attracted to the unknown and as a result consistently seek the new, varied, and unpredictable. Within the context of sunscreen, sensation seeking again predicted vicarious-boomerang effects along with boomerang effects. It also incorporates social nonconformity, particularly associated with belonging to groups on the fringes of conventional society. Sensation seeking is a trait defined by the need for varied, novel, and complex sensations and experiences and the willingness to take physical and social risks for the sake of such experience…The high-sensation seeker is sensitive to his or her internal sensations and chooses external stimuli that maximize them. Which areas of Zuckerman’s sensation seeking trait do you find most interesting, and which subscales do you think you would score high on (they may not be the same)? There are several aspects of sensation seeking that are … New York: Cambridge University Press. Legal. Boredom Susceptibility: Individuals who score high on this factor cannot tolerate any kind of repetitive experience, including routine work and boring people. Originally published in 1979, this title represents a summary of 17 years of research centring around the Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS) and the theory from which the test was derived. The psychology of sensation-seekers In addition, many of the subjects experienced both auditory and visual hallucinations. San Diego, CA: Elsevier. Zuckerman created the scale with the purpose of better understanding personality traits such as neuroticism, antisocial behavior, and psychopathy. 46; Zuckerman, 1993). This proved to be rather curious, since impulsivity was a substrate of neuroticism, whereas “excitement seeking” was a substrate of extraversion. They may be more inclined to drive fast, but they are not less likely to use their seatbelts. (2004). 1978), has been the standard … Log in. Thus, there remains a need for continued research into this field, particularly as it pertains to the evolutionary basis for personality factors, but Eysenck, Costa, McCrae, and Zuckerman have provided an excellent and coherent basis for further research. The theory of sensation seeking has evolved and changed over time. According to Zuckerman’s (1994) theory, sensation seeking is “a trait defined by the seeking of varied, novel, complex, and intense sensations and experiences and the willingness to take physical, social, legal, and financial risks for the sake of such experience” (p. 27). The Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS) developed in the 1960s was the first operationalised measure of sensation seeking (Zuckerman, Kolin, Price, & Zoob, 1964). Explanation of Theory: The sensation seeking theory states that individuals seek activities and experiences that will gratify their need for sensation, and maintains that there are different levels of sensation (high or low) that can be applied. Disinhibition: This factor covers sensation seeking that focuses on social activities, such as parties, drinking, illegal drugs, and sex. (pg. He first became interested in psychology when he encountered a book about graphology. He then suffered a period of depression, during which he discovered the work of Sigmund Freud. Generally, sensory deprivation leads to increased anxiety, somatic discomfort, and thinking and concentration difficulties. 10; Zuckerman, 1979) Sensation seeking is a basic personality trait that has been defined as “the seeking of varied, novel, complex, and intense sensations and experiences, and the willingness to take physical, social, legal, and financial risks for the sake of such experience” (Zuckerman 1994, 27). The monoamine theory of sensation seeking involves three monoamin es: dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine (Zuckerman, 1995). For more information contact us at info@libretexts.org or check out our status page at https://status.libretexts.org. Zuckerman also found clinical work unfulfilling, so he began to focus more on conducting research. The paper allows an explicit test of a sensation-seeking perspective to help account for substance use (legal and illegal) among a sample of nearly … Have questions or comments? Using factor analysis, Zuckerman and his colleagues have identified four subscales within the sensation seeking trait: Thrill and Adventure Seeking: Many people enjoy engaging in risky sports and other potentially dangerous experiences that produce unique sensations related to speed or defying gravity, such as rock climbing, BASE jumping, or drag racing. (pp. The concept was not new when Zuckerman began to study sensory deprivation and sensation seeking. The Sensation Seeking Scale is one of the most common psychological instrument for measuring sensation seeking.It was created in 1964 by Marvin Zuckerman, at the University of Delaware. The Sensation Seeking Scale has been revised a number of times. For some, that level of arousal is quite high, for others, it is rather low. Zuckerman, M. (1994). Since he found it difficult to find continued funding for sensory deprivation research, he began to focus on sensation seeking itself. Sensation seeking is usually gauged according to the Zuckerman, Eysenck, and Eysenck (1978) Sensation Seeking Scale form V (SSS-V). Zuckerman's theory . Sensation Seeking Theory - Free download as Powerpoint Presentation (.ppt), PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or view presentation slides online. Across both contexts, sensation seeking was an antecedent to vicarious-boomerang effects, which suggests that sensation seekers are likely to restore their threatened freedom through other avenues, but how remains unknown. Research on sensation seeking has historically been based on the hypothesis that individuals have different optimal levels of stimulation (Zuckerman 1979).Individuals high in sensation seeking are posited to be chronically underaroused, as such they seek additional stimulation to maintain or attain optimal levels of arousal through pursuit of varied and novel sensations. His theory, which exemplifies a complex and interdisciplinary approach to the sensation seeking ten- FIGURE 3.6. Zuckerman’s (1969) original theory explained sensation seeking (SS) in the context of an optimal level of reticulocortical arousal, wherein cortically underaroused high sensation seekers engaged in varied, novel, complex, and risky behavior to achieve a more optimal level of arousal. Anxiety would lead to sensation seeking. The Zuckerman Sensation-Seeking Scale-V (SSS-V) consists of 40 forced-choice questions designed to assess individual differences in optimal level of stimulation. At the center of this theory lies the fact that sensation seekers are more biologically and environmentally prone to engage in deviant activities and to take illicit drugs. And rock and ice climbers take full advantage of safety gear, they study self-rescue techniques, and they check their gear carefully before each trip. Carrol, E. N., Zuckerman, M. & Vogel, W. H. (1982) A test of the optimal level of arousal theory of sensation seeking. This is particularly true for personality constructs. According to this perspective, two requirements of performing a suicide are a suicidal desire and the capability to act. While Zuckerman did not intend for his five factors to match those of Costa and McCrae exactly, it is easy to see a relationship between sociability and agreeableness, activity and extraversion, sensation seeking and openness, and neuroticism and neuroticism. (Ed.). Sensation seeking comes in many forms. Zuckerman emphasizes that high sensation-seeking is a normal personality trait, despite its association with risky behavior. When he entered the University of Kentucky, he experienced the “disinhibitory joys of drinking, sex, and hitchhiking around the country” (pg. Results point toward intrinsic rewards that initially promote and subsequently reinforce substance use, and which center on the fun, thrills, and excitement of risky, illegal substance use, and the physiological high generated by drug or alcohol use. The temperature was an invigorating -15 o F. Sensation seeking should not be confused with being reckless. Zuckerman found it difficult to find an area of psychology that appealed to him, except for a vague interest in experimental studies that suggested an “exploratory drive,” something we might also call curiosity, in a variety of animal species. One theory that supports the relationship between sensation seeking and suicide is the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicidal behavior [20, 21]. He decided to become a psychoanalyst, so, after serving his duty in the army (following World War II), attended New York University. Experience Seeking: This factor encompasses novel sensations and experiences, such as arousing music, art, and travel. The Sensation Seeking Scale is a dispositional measure designed to assess individual differences in “the seeking of varied, novel, complex and intense sensations and experiences” (Zuckerman 1994, p. 27).After its appearance in the mid-1960s, the measure underwent considerable development, and the current iteration, Form 5 (SSS-V; Zuckerman et al. Read more about High Sensation Seeking here. He developed an interest in one particular trait, and he has studied that trait in great detail. In Sensation Seeking and Risky Behavior, Marvin Zuckerman offers a comprehensive account of the theory and research on sensation seeking, and a detailed examination of the role of sensation seeking in a wide range of behaviors, from risky driving and extreme sports to substance use, unsafe sex, hazardous vocations, and crime and other antisocial behaviors. The sensation seeking construct is defined as: ‘A trait defined by the seeking of varied, novel, complex, and intense sensations and experiences, and the willingness to take physical, social, legal, and financial risks for the sake of such experience’ (Zuckerman, 1994, p. 27).Some have equated sensation seeking with ‘risk seeking’. Marvin Zuckerman Originally published in 1979, this title represents a summary of 17 years of research centring around the Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS) and the theory from which the test was derived. Rainier, Washington (bottom right), and the author’s son walking in the Great Salt Lake in Utah’s desert (top right). We also acknowledge previous National Science Foundation support under grant numbers 1246120, 1525057, and 1413739. Yes, you can be an HSP and score high on sensation seeking too. Now an integral part of personality testing, including adaptations for use with children, this reissue is … Now an integral part of personality testing, including adaptations for use with children, this reissue is a chance to see where it all began. None of the effects of sensory deprivation seemed to correlate with any personality variables (Zuckerman et al., 1962). His work on sensation seeking, and his relationship with Eysenck, have led Zuckerman to become one of today’s leading proponents of the biological basis of personality. Flunking the Test Before the discussion started we were asked to answer a test known as the Sensation-Seeking Scale developed by Dr. Marvin Zuckerman, proponent of one of the highly noted modern psychological theories known as the Sensation-Seeking Theory of Personality. If he limited his factor analysis to five factors, as Costa and McCrae had, impulsivity and sensation seeking always combined to form a factor that he called impulsive sensation seeking. Originally published in 1979, this title represents a summary of 17 years of research centring around the Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS) and the theory from which the test was derived. 10.8: Marvin Zuckerman and the Sensation Seeking Personality Trait, [ "article:topic", "license:ccby", "showtoc:no", "authorname:mkelland" ], https://socialsci.libretexts.org/@app/auth/2/login?returnto=https%3A%2F%2Fsocialsci.libretexts.org%2FBookshelves%2FPsychology%2FBook%253A_Personality_Theory_in_a_Cultural_Context_(Kelland)%2F10%253A_Trait_Theories_of_Personality%2F10.08%253A_Marvin_Zuckerman_and_the_Sensation_Seeking_Personality_Trait, Which areas of Zuckerman’s sensation seeking trait do you find most interesting, and which, do you think you would score high on (they may not be the same)? The concept was developed by Marvin Zuckerman of the University of Dela… Originally published in 1979, this title represents a summary of 17 years of research centring around the Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS) and the theory from which the test was derived. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 42 : 572 –75. Now an integral part of personality testing, including adaptations for use with children, this reissue is … The contents of this website and the self-tests it contains are not meant to diagnose or exclude the diagnosis of any condition. Finally, the relevance of a sensation-seeking approach to social learning theory is explored. Sensation Seeking. A model for the relationships of mood, activity, social interaction, and clinical conditions to catechol… There was no relationship between sensation‐seeking and the trait dimension of neuroticism. The Sensation-Seeking Theory was one of the topics that bothered my mind from the moment it was first introduced until its discussion was closed. In contrast to sensory deprivation, he also began to study sensation seeking, its apparent counterpart. Sensation seeking is a trait defined by the need for varied, novel, and complex sensations and experiences and the willingness to take physical and social risks for the sake of such experience…The high-sensation seeker is sensitive to his or her internal sensations and chooses external stimuli that maximize them. He spent a few years at a hospital and then a psychiatric research institute in Indiana, where he began studying sensory deprivation (see, e.g., Zuckerman et al., 1962). If you checked 10, 11, or 12 of the items, you are probably somewhere in between on sensation seeking. 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