Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS)

The Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS) is a forty-item questionnaire. The SSS has four primary scales (Disinhibition, Boredom Susceptibility, Thrill and Adventure Seeking, Experience Seeking) and one total score.

ITEM CODING

The SSS consists of 40 items, each having two options from which the participant must choose one.

SCALES

The SSS yields 4 primary scales and one total score. Description of the scales and item loadings are listed below. Scale scores are calculated as the sum of respective items. Bold items are reverse scored.

SCALE NAME (ABBR.) SCALE DESCRIPTION ITEM LOADINGS
Disinhibition (SSS_DIS) This scale represents the desire for social and sexual disinhibition
as expressed in social drinking, partying, and variety in sexual partners.
1, 12, 13, 25, 29, 30, 32, 33, 35, 36
Boredom Susceptibility (SSS_BOR) This scale represents an aversion to repetition, routine, and dull
people, and restlessness when things are unchanging.
2, 5, 7, 8, 15, 24, 27, 31, 34, 39
Thrill and Adventure Seeking (SSS_THR) This scale contains items expressing a desire to engage in sports
or other activities involving speed or danger.
3, 11, 16, 17, 20, 21, 23, 28, 38, 40
Experience Seeking (SSS_EXP) This scale represents the seeking of experiences through the mind
and senses, travel, and a nonconforming life-style.
4, 6, 9, 10, 14, 18, 19, 22, 26, 37
Total Score (SSS_TOT) Total Score 1-40

RESOURCE FILES

Questionnaire

SPSS Scoring Syntax file

R Scoring Syntax file

REFERENCES

Zuckerman, Marvin, Kolin, Elizabeth A., Price, Leah, & Zoob, Ina. (1964). Development of a sensation-seeking scale. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 28(6), 477-482.

Zuckerman, Marvin. (1978). Sensation seeking in England and America: Cross-cultural, age, and sex comparisons. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 46(1), 139-49.