In psychology, novelty seeking (NS) is a personality trait associated with exploratory activity in response to novel stimulation, impulsive decision making, extravagance in approach to reward cues, and quick loss of temper and avoidance of frustration. It is measured in the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire as well as the later version Temperament and Character Inventory and is considered one of the temperament dimensions of personality. Like the other temperament dimensions, it has been found to be highly heritable. High NS has been suggested to be related to high dopaminergic activity.
In the revised version of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-R) novelty seeking consists of the following four subscales:
Relationship to other personality traits
A research study found that Novelty seeking had inverse relationships with other Temperament and Character Inventory dimensions, particularly harm avoidance and to a more moderate extent self-directedness and self-transcendence. Novelty seeking is positively associated with the five factor model trait of extraversion and to a lesser extent openness to experience and is inversely associated with conscientiousness. Novelty seeking is positively related to Impulsive sensation seeking from Zuckerman's Alternative five model of personality and with psychoticism in Eysenck's model. When novelty seeking is defined as a decision process (i.e in terms of the tradeoff between foregoing a familiar choice option in favor of deciding to explore a novel choice option), dopamine is directly shown to increase novelty seeking behavior. Specifically, blockade of the dopamine transporter, causing a rise in extracelluar dopamine levels, increases the propensity of monkeys to select novel over familiar choice options.
- Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Intensity seeking
- Openness to experience
- Sensation-Seeking Scale
- Low arousal theory
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