Novelty seeking

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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.[1] 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.[2]

In the revised version of the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI-R) novelty seeking consists of the following four subscales:

  1. Exploratory excitability (NS1)
  2. Impulsiveness (NS2)
  3. Extravagance (NS3)[3]
  4. Disorderliness (NS4)

Relationship to other personality traits[edit]

A research study[4] 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.[4] 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.[5] 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cloninger, C.R.; Svrakic, DM; Przybeck, TR (December 1993). "A psychobiological model of temperament and character". Archives of General Psychiatry 50 (12): 975–90. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1993.01820240059008. PMID 8250684. 
  2. ^ C. R. Cloninger (Autumn 1986). "A unified biosocial theory of personality and its role in the development of anxiety states". Psychiatric Developments 4 (3): 167–166. PMID 3809156. 
  3. ^ Loranger, Armand Walter (1997). Assessment and diagnosis of personality disorders. Cambridge University Press. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-521-58043-4. 
  4. ^ a b De Fruyt, F.; Van De Wiele, L. & Van Heeringen, C. (2000). "Cloninger's Psychobiological Model of Temperament and Character and the Five-Factor Model of Personality". Personality and Individual Differences 29: 441–452. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(99)00204-4. 
  5. ^ Costa, Vincent D.; Tran, Valery L.; Turchi, Janita; Averbeck, Bruno B. (2014). "Dopamine modulates novelty seeking behavior during decision making". Behavioral Neuroscience 128 (4): 413–424. PMID 24911320. 

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