Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

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

Sensation Seeking Scale

  • Ronald E. SmithEmail author
  • Frank J. Schwebel
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_84-2



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. 1978), has been the standard for assessing the construct for nearly four decades.


Research on the effects of sensory deprivation in the late 1940s revealed notable individual differences in the ability to tolerate the procedures and in the extent to which participants would seek out sources of stimulation available in the stimulus-restricted environment. A number of theorists concluded that individuals differ in their preferred levels of stimulation and arousal. The SSS was developed by Marvin Zuckerman and coworkers to predict individual differences in response to sensory deprivation. It...

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Brendan Clark
    • 1
  1. 1.Wichita State UniversityWichitaUSA