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October 2021

Biopsychological bases and behavioral correlates of sensation seeking: contributions to a multilevel validation

Author(s): Beauducel, A., Tasche, K. G.

Journal/Book: Pers Indiv Differ. 1999; 26: the Boulevard Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford Ox5 1GB, England. Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd. 1103-1123.

Abstract: Zuckerman presented a multilevel approach of sensation seeking comprising a hierarchy of seven levels. He primarily focussed on the levels of psychometric trait, psychophysiology and biochemistry. Because Zuckerman was less concerned with behavioral paradigms and experimental task performance the purpose of our study was to identify and validate behavioral paradigms whose behavioral components can be seen as valid indicators of the trait. But within the multilevel perspective, each paradigm should not only be structured and validated in relation to its psychometric dimension but also with regard to at least one other level and preferably through a within-design. Thirty-two undergraduates (18 female) and graduate students took part in the study. Subjects completed the Sensation Seeking Scale (Form V), the Impulsiveness Venturesomeness Empathy Questionnaire, and the Zuckerman Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire and performed three experimental paradigms: the continuous performance task, delayed reaction time task and the augmenting-reducing paradigm. The classical findings on augmenting-reducing were replicated (correlation between TAS and the N1/P2 slope). On this basis the expected positive correlation between sensation seeking and false alarms on the DRTT as a central parameter of experimental task performance was confirmed. This result is a first step to the validation of this task as a paradigm covering relevant aspects of sensation seeking. In addition, by means of communality analysis, it was shown that there is 8.6% of common variance across all three levels of measurement (psychometric, psychophysiological and experimental task performance). This overlapping variance can be regarded as a core region of a multilevel sensation seeking construct if the parameters for each of the levels of measurement involved are sufficiently validated.

Note: Article Brocke B, Dresden Univ Technol, Inst Clin Diagnost & Differential Psychol, Mommsenstr 13, D-01062 Dresden, GERMANY


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