An assessment of the psychometric properties of the Brief Sensation Seeking Scale and its prediction in safety performance in a Portuguese adult sample

  • Cátia Sousa
  • Gabriela Gonçalves
  • António Sousa
  • Ezequiel Pinto


This study aims to present the psychometric properties of the Brief Sensation Seeking Scale in a Portuguese sample. Three studies were performed: the first study provides psychometric evidence pertaining to its reliability and factor structure, an analysis of the measurement invariance of the BSSS across gender and age, and an examination of the differences scores on the scale regarding gender, age and marital status (n = 526); the second study consists of an assessment of convergent, discriminant and postdictive validity (n = 240); and the third study includes a test-retest of the BSSS (n = 72). A four-factor model yielded the best fit to the data with good reliability and validity. The scale showed non-invariance between genders and between ages, which makes it less generalizable and susceptible to different populations. Convergent validity with the variables risk taking, need for arousal and extraversion, and discriminant validity between neuroticism, agreeableness and conscientiousness, were demonstrated. The scale presents good temporal stability and represent an important tool for psychological assessment of personality and behavior, and as a predictor of safety performance.


Brief Sensation Seeking Scale Validation Portuguese population Psychometric properties Invariance Safety performance 



“This paper is financed by National Funds provided by FCT- Foundation for Science and Technology through project UID/SOC/04020/2013”.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Algarve, Campus de GambelasFaroPortugal
  2. 2.CIP-Centre for Research in PsychologyUniversity of AlgarveFaroPortugal
  3. 3.CIMA - Center for Marine and Environmental ResearchUniversity of AlgarveFaroPortugal
  4. 4.Centre for Research and Development in HealthUniversity of AlgarveFaroPortugal

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