Sensation seeking, risk appraisal, and risky behavior

Author: Horvath, P.; Zuckerman, M.

Description: This study evaluated the relationships between sensation seeking and impulsivity, appraisal of risk in several areas including crime, financial, social violations, sports, and risk of AIDS from sexual activity, and risky behavior in the same areas. Subjects were 447 undergraduates who were given personality tests, and risk appraisal and risky behavior scales developed from factor analyses. Multiple regression analyses showed perceived peer behavior and sensation seeking to be strong predictors of risky behavior, particularly in the areas of criminal behavior and social violations. Personal risk appraisal was negatively related to risky behavior for all the areas except AIDS risk where it was positively related to risky sexual behavior for men. Structural equation modeling analyses showed that a model specifying that risk appraisal trait is a consequences of risky behavior was superior to a model with risk appraisal as a mediator of the relationship between sensation seeking and risky behavior.

Subject headings: Sensation seeking; Risk; Risky behavior; Impulsivity

Publication year: 1993

Journal or book title: Personality and Individual Differences

Volume: 14

Issue: 1

Pages: 41-52

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 2345