Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

2020 Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Novelty Seeking

  • M. C. ArenasEmail author
  • C. Manzanedo
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-24612-3_1095



Novelty seeking (or sensation seeking) is a personality trait that refers to a tendency to pursue new experiences with intense emotional sensations. It is a multifaceted behavioral construct that includes thrill seeking, novelty preference, risk taking, harm avoidance, and reward dependence.


The novelty-seeking trait is considered a heritable tendency of individuals to take risks for the purpose of achieving stimulation and seeking new environments and situations that make their experiences more intense. This trait has been associated with the level of motive and excitement in response to novelty. Persons with high levels of novelty seeking have been described as more impulsive and disorderly than low novelty seekers and have a higher propensity to get involved in risky activities, such as starting to misuse drugs, engaging in risky sexual activities, and suffering accidental injuries. Novelty seeking has been...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Unidad de investigación Psicobiología de las Drogodependencias, Departamento de Psicobiología, Facultad de PsicologíaUniversitat de ValènciaValenciaSpain

Section editors and affiliations

  • Beth A. Visser
    • 1
  1. 1.Lakehead UniversityOrilliaCanada