A-Z Scales
Risk Attitude
Cognitive Ability

Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking (AISS)

Arnett, J. (1994). Sensation seeking: A new conceptualization and a new scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 16(2), 289-296. doi: 10.1016/0191-8869(94)90165-1
Measure and scoring instructions are available for public use: Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking (AISS).docx

Table of Contents


History of Use




The AISS was designed to assess the personality trait of sensation seeking, which is presumed to contribute to risk preferences. Sensation seeking is defined as a need for novel and intense stimulation.

20 items using 4-point scales (1 = describes me very well to 4 = does not describe me at all)

2 sub-scales:
  • Novelty
  • Intensity


Sample items

  • I can see how it would be interesting to marry someone from a foreign country. (Novelty)
  • When I listen to music, I like it to be loud. (Intensity)


Arnett, J. (1994). Sensation seeking: A new conceptualization and a new scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 16(2), 289-296. doi: 10.1016/0191-8869(94)90165-1

Selected Uses:
  • Andrew, M., & Cronin, C. (1997). Two measures of sensation seeking as predictors of alcohol use among high school males. Personality and Individual Differences, 22(3), 393-401. doi: 10.1016/S0191-8869(96)00214-0
  • Desrichard, O., Vos, P., Bouvard, M., Dantzer, C., & Paignon, A. (2008). The French version of the Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking: Internal and predictive validity. Personality and Individual Differences, 44(8), 1673-1683. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2008.01.020
  • Ferrando, P. J., & Chico, E. (2001). The construct of sensation seeking as measured by Zuckerman's SSS-V and Arnett's AISS: A structural equation model. Personality and Individual Differences, 31(7), 1121-1133. doi: 10.1016/S0191-8869(00)00208-7
  • Haynes, C. A., Miles, J. N. V., & Clements, K. (2000). A confirmatory factor analysis of two models of sensation seeking. Personality and Individual Differences, 29(5), 823-839. doi: 10.1016/S0191-8869(99)00235-4
  • Lourey, E., & McLachlan, A. (2003). Elements of sensation seeking and their relationship with two aspects of humour appreciation: Perceived funniness and overt expression. Personality and Individual Differences, 35(2), 277-287. doi: 10.1016/S0191-8869(02)00188-5
  • Mallet, P., & Vignoli, E. (2007). Intensity seeking and novelty seeking: Their relationship to adolescent risk behavior and occupational interests. Personality and Individual Differences, 43(8), 2011-2021. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2007.06.018
  • Roth, M. (2003). Validation of the Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking (AISS): Efficiency to predict the willingness towards occupational chance, and affection by social desirability. Personality and Individual Differences, 35(6), 1307-1314. doi: 10.1016/S0191-8869(02)00351-3
  • Roth, M., & Herzberg, P. Y. (2004). A validation and psychometric examination of the Arnett Inventory of Sensation Seeking (AISS) in German adolescents. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 20(3), 205-214. doi: 10.1027/1015-5759.20.3.205
  • Roth, M., Schumacher, J., & Brahler, E. (2005). Sensation seeking in the community: Sex, age and sociodemographic comparisons on a representative German population sample. Personality and Individual Differences, 39(7), 1261-1271. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2005.05.003
  • Zarevski, P., Marusic, I., Zolotic, S., Bunjevak, T., & Vukosav, Z. (1998). Contribution of Arnett's Inventory of Sensation Seeking and Zuckerman's Sensation Seeking Scale to the differentiation of athletes engaged in high and low risk sports. Personality and Individual Differences, 25(4), 763-768. doi: 10.1016/S0191-8869(98)00119-6