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Novelty Seeking


Novelty seeking or sensation seeking


Novelty seeking (or sensation seeking) is a personality trait that refers to a tendency to pursue new experiences with intense emotional sensations. It is a multifaceted behavioral construct that includes thrill seeking, novelty preference, risk taking, harm avoidance, and reward dependence.


The novelty-seeking trait is considered a heritable tendency of individuals to take risks for the purpose of achieving stimulation and seeking new environments and situations that make their experiences more intense. This trait has been associated with the level of motive and excitement in response to novelty. Persons with high levels of novelty seeking have been described as more impulsive and disorderly than low novelty seekers and have a higher propensity to get involved in risky activities, such as starting to misuse drugs, engaging in risky sexual activities, and suffering accidental injuries. Novelty seeking has been linked...


  • Eating Disorder
  • Pathological Gambling
  • Sensation Seek
  • Harm Avoidance
  • Novelty Seek

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Correspondence to M. C. Arenas .

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Arenas, M.C., Manzanedo, C. (2016). Novelty Seeking. In: Zeigler-Hill, V., Shackelford, T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham.

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