Buzz Kit

Helping your Thrill Seeking and High Sensation Seeking Clients

Program Description

Is it ADHD, PTSD, antisocial personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or just a high sensation seeking (HSS) personality that is creating challenges for your client? This training will equip you with knowledge and application strategies that you can use immediately in your practice. Sensation seeking is a trait we all have in varying levels. It includes the search for complex and new experiences. People with HSS personalities crave exotic and intense experiences, even when physical or social risks are involved. There are four types of sensation seeking: thrill-seeking, disinhibition, boredom susceptibility, and experience-seeking. Drug addictions, gambling, dangerous driving, and relationship dissatisfaction have all been linked to overly high sensation seeking tendencies (high scores in all four domains). In addition, HSS can interact with mental health conditions and impact mood, finances, and relationships. For many with HSS personalities, being unable to participate in the desired HSS activities can create symptoms of depression. Individuals who have limited financial resources may turn to inexpensive but unhealthy forms of HSS activities such as drug use, sexual promiscuity, stealing, fast driving, etc. Other HSS personalities may find it difficult to be empathetic in a relationship with someone who is uncomfortable or distressed by their behavior (“chill-seeker”); the HSS individual simply does not understand why their partner or family member is frightened by their behavior.

You will be introduced to assessment tools to identify HSS traits in your clients and discuss the related psychology and neuroscience. Direction will be provided on empowering and nonjudgmental ways to discuss high sensation seeking with your client.  Techniques for grounding, healthy activities and ways to help HSS personalities improve empathy for those in their lives will be presented. 

 Program Objectives

  1. Explain the biological and environmental contributions to high sensation seeking as well as the current research;
  2. Describe the components of the HSS personality;
  3. Use an assessment tool to identify HSS traits;
  4. Analyze some common habits and hobbies of high sensation seeking clients;
  5. Differentiate between healthy and unhealthy sensation seeking (problematic for the client or their employer and/or family);
  6. Distinguish HSS from other traits and diagnoses (ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, antisocial personality disorder, etc.);
  7. Identify select tools for meditation/mindfulness and other healthy activities to meet the needs of HSS clients.

 

Content Outline

What is sensation seeking

The Sensation Seeking Scale

Neurobiology of sensation seeking

High sensation seeking vs other conditions (PTSD, ADHD, antisocial personality disorder)

Identifying problematic sensation seeking

Personality traits, behaviors, and attitudes of high sensation seeking clients

Potential Problem areas of high sensation seeking clients

    Addictions [i.e. gambling, sex, substance use]

    Relationships [i.e emotional intelligence] Using the BSSS with couples

    Work, habits, and behaviors

Intervention strategies with high sensation seeking clients

    Discussing sensation seeking with clients

    Promoting healthy activities

    Using Meditation to build empathy in high sensation seeking clients

    Tips for high sensation seeking clients

Super power or super problem (wrap up)

Bibliography

Alessi, S. M., & Petry, N. M. (2003). Pathological gambling severity is associated with impulsivity in a delay discounting procedure. Behavioural Processes, 64(3), 345–354.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5 (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

Amodio, D. M., Master, S. L., Yee, C. M., & Taylor, S. E. (2008). Neurocognitive components of the behavioral inhibition and activation systems: Implications for theories of self-regulation. Psychophysiology, 45, 11–19. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8986.2007.00609.x

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

Bacon, A., Burak, H., & Rann, J. (2014). Sex differences in the relationship between sensation seeking, trait emotional intelligence and delinquent behaviour. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology.

Barlow, M., Woodman, T., & Hardy, L. (2013). Great expectations: Different high-risk activities satisfy different motives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105(3), 458–75. http://doi.org/10.1037/a0033542

Boomsma, D. I., de Geus, E. J., van Baal, G. C., & Koopmans, J. R. (1999). A religious upbringing reduces the influence of genetic factors on disinhibition: Evidence for interaction between genotype and environment on personality. Twin Research : The Official Journal of the International Society for Twin Studies, 2(2), 115–25.

Booth, A., Johnson, D. R., & Granger, D. A. (1999). Testosterone and men’s health. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 22, 1–19. http://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018705001117

Carrasco, J., Sáiz-Ruiz, J., Díaz-Marsá, M., César, J., & López-Ibor, J. (1999). Low platelet monoamine oxidase activity in sensation-seeking bullfighters. CNS Spectrums, 4(12), 21–24. http://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1092852900006787

Caseras, F. X., Fullana, M. A., Riba, J., Barbanoj, M. J., Aluja, A., & Torrubia, R. (2006). Influence of individual differences in the Behavioral Inhibition System and stimulus content (fear versus blood-disgust) on affective startle reflex modulation. Biological Psychology, 72(3), 251–6. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2005.10.009

Cronin, C. (1991). Note and shorter communication: Sensation seeking among mountain climbers. Personality and Individual Differences, 12(6), 653–654.

Cross, C. P., Cyrenne, D.-L. M., & Brown, G. R. (2013). Sex differences in sensation-seeking: A meta-analysis. Scientific Reports, 3, 2486. http://doi.org/10.1038/srep02486

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cunningham-Williams, R. M., & Cottler, L. B. (2001). The epidemiology of pathological gambling. Seminars in Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 6(3), 155–66.

Dabbs, J. M., Jurkovic, G. J., & Frady, R. L. (1991). Salivary testosterone and cortisol among late adolescent male offenders. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 19(4), 469–478. http://doi.org/10.1007/BF00919089

Dabbs, J. M., Jurkovic, G. J., & Frady, R. L. (1991). Salivary testosterone and cortisol among late adolescent male offenders. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 19(4), 469–478. http://doi.org/10.1007/BF00919089

Daitzman, R. J., Zuckerman, M., Sammelwitz, P., & Ganjam, V. (2008). Sensation seeking and gonadal hormones. Journal of Biosocial Science, 10(4), 401–408. http://doi.org/10.1017/S0021932000011895

Davis, M. (2014). Down and dirty: The essential training guide for obstacle races and mud runs. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press.

Dellu, F., Piazza, P. V, Mayo, W., Le Moal, M., & Simon, H. (1996). Novelty-seeking in rats: Biobehavioral characteristics and possible relationship with the sensation-seeking trait in man. Neuropsychobiology, 34, 136–145. http://doi.org/10.1159/000119305

Dvorak, R. D., Simons, J. S., & Wray, T. B. (2011). Poor control strengthens the association between sensation seeking and disgust reactions. Journal of Individual Differences, 32(4), 219–224. http://doi.org/10.1027/1614-0001/a000054

Feij, J., & Taris, T. (2010). Beyond the genetic basis of sensation seeking: The influence of birth order, family size and parenting styles. Romanian Journal of Applied Psychology, 12(2), 54–61.

Fiske-Harrison, A., Hemmingway, J., Hollander, J., Distler, J., & Hillmann, B. (2014). Fiesta: How to survive the bulls Of Pamplona (and beyond). London: Mephisto Press.

Fiske, S. T. (2010). Social beings: A core motives approach to social psychology. Hoboken NJ: J. Wiley.

Franken, R. E., Gibson, K. J., & Rowland, G. L. (1992). Sensation seeking and the tendency to view the world as threatening. Personality and Individual Differences, 13(1), 31–38. http://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(92)90214-A

Freeman, H. D., & Beer, J. S. (2010). Frontal lobe activation mediates the relation between sensation seeking and cortisol increases. Journal of Personality, 78(5), 1497–1528. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00659.x

Freud, S. (1922). Beyond the pleasure principle. London: International Psycho-Analytical.

Gilchrist, H., Povey, R., Dickinson, A., & Povey, R. (1995). The sensation seeking scale: Its use in a study of the characteristics of people choosing “adventure holidays.” Personality and Individual Differences, 19(4), 513–516.

Golding, J. F., & Cornish, A. M. (1987). Personality and life-style in medical students: Psychopharmacological aspects. Psychology and Health, 1, 287–301.

Gottfredson, M. R., & Hirschi, T. (1990). A general theory of crime. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press.

Grossman, D. (2007). On combat (3rd edition). Millstadt, IL: Warrior Science Publications.

Harlow, W., & Brown, K. (1990). The role of risk tolerance in the asset allocation process: A new perspective. Charlottesville, VA: The Research Foundation of The Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts.

Hoyle, R. H., Fejfar, M. C., & Miller, J. D. (2000). Personality and sexual risk taking: A quantitative review. Journal of Personality, 68(6), 1203–31.

Hoyle, R. H., Stephenson, M. T., Palmgreen, P., Lorch, E. P., & Donohew, R. L. (2002). Reliability and validity of a brief measure of sensation seeking. Personality and Individual Differences, 32(3), 401–414. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0191-8869(01)00032-0

Joireman, J., Anderson, J., & Strathman, A. (2003). The aggression paradox: Understanding links among aggression, sensation seeking, and the consideration of future consequences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(6), 1287–1302. http://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.84.6.1287

Jung, C. (1971). Psychological types. Collected Works of C.G. Jung (Vol. 6). London: Princeton University Press.

Jung, C. (1976). The portable Jung. London: Penguin (Non-Classics).

Kopstein, A., Crum, R., & Celentano, D. (2001). Sensation seeking needs among 8th and 11th graders: Characteristics associated with cigarette and marijuana use. Drug and Alcohol.

Kuley, N. B., & Jacobs, D. F. (1988). The relationship between dissociative-like experiences and sensation seeking among social and problem gamblers. Journal of Gambling Behavior, 4(3), 197–207. http://doi.org/10.1007/BF01018332

Lee, D., Perkins, K. a, Zimmerman, E., Robbins, G., & Kelly, T. H. (2011). Effects of 24 hours of tobacco withdrawal and subsequent tobacco smoking among low and high sensation seekers. Nicotine & Tobacco Research: Official Journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 13(10), 943–54. http://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntr102

Lee, J. (1973). Colours of love: An exploration of the ways of loving. New York: New Press.

Lepp, A., & Gibson, H. (2008). Sensation seeking and tourism: Tourist role, perception of risk and destination choice. Tourism Management, 29, 740–750. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2007.08.002

Levin, B. H., & Brown, W. E. (1975). Susceptibility to boredom of jailers and law enforcement officers. Psychological Reports, 36(1), 190. http://doi.org/10.2466/pr0.1975.36.1.190

Litle, P. A. (1986). Effects of a stressful movie and music on physiological and affect arousal as a function of sensation seeking trait. University of Delaware.

Matthews, G., & Wells, A. (2000). Attention, automaticity, and affective disorder. Behavior Modification, 24(1), 69–93. http://doi.org/10.1177/0145445500241004

McCrae, R. R., & Costa Jr., P. T. (2008). A five-factor theory of personality. In O. John, R. Robins, & L. Pervin (Eds.), Handbook of Personality (pp. 159–181). http://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-0763-5_11

McDaniel, S. R., & Zuckerman, M. (2003). The relationship of impulsive sensation seeking and gender to interest and participation in gambling activities. Personality and Individual Differences, 35(6), 1385–1400. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0191-8869(02)00357-4

Metzger, W. (1930). Optische Untersuchungen am Ganzfeld. Psychologische Forschung, 13, 6–29. http://doi.org/doi:10.1007/BF00406757

Miller, L., Spiegel, A., & Rosin, H. (2015). Fearless [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/programs/invisibilia/377515477/fearless

Mischel, W. (2014). The marshmallow test: Mastering self-control. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

Montoya, E. R., Terburg, D., Bos, P. A., & van Honk, J. (2012). Testosterone, cortisol, and serotonin as key regulators of social aggression: A review and theoretical perspective. Motivation and Emotion. http://doi.org/10.1007/s11031-011-9264-3

Moreland, R. L., & Zajonc, R. B. (1982). Exposure effects in person perception: Familiarity, similarity, and attraction. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 18(5), 395–415.

Musolino, R. F., & Hershenson, D. B. (1977). Avocational sensation seeking in high and low risk-taking occupations. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 10(3), 358–365. http://doi.org/10.1016/0001-8791(77)90069-0

Naatanen, R., & Summala, H. (1974). A model for the role of motivational factors in drivers’ decision making. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 6, 243–261.

Norbury, A., & Husain, M. (2015). Sensation-seeking: Dopaminergic modulation and risk for psychopathology. Behavioural Brain Research, 288, 79–93. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2015.04.015

Ospina, M. B., Bond, K., Karkhaneh, M., Tjosvold, L., Vandermeer, B., Liang, Y., … Klassen, T. P. (2007). Meditation practices for health: state of the research. Evidence report/technology assessment. Rockville, MD. http://doi.org/17764203

Peer, E., & Rosenbloom, T. (2013). When two motivations race: The effects of time-saving bias and sensation-seeking on driving speed choices. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 50, 1135–1139. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.aap.2012.09.002

Pfefferbaum, B., & Wood, P. B. (1994). Self-report study of impulsive and delinquent behavior in college students. The Journal of Adolescent Health: Official Publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 15(4), 295–302.

Pizam, A., Jeong, G., Reichel, A., van Boemmel, H., Lusson, J. M., Steynberg, L., … Montmany, N. (2004). The relationship between risk-taking, sensation-seeking, and the tourist behavior of young adults: A cross-cultural study. Journal of Travel Research, 42(3), 251–260. http://doi.org/10.1177/0047287503258837

Roberti, J. W. (2004). A review of behavioral and biological correlates of sensation seeking. Journal of Research in Personality, 38(3), 256–279. http://doi.org/10.1016/S0092-6566(03)00067-9

Segal, B. (1975). Personality factors related to drug and alcohol use. In D. Lettieri (Ed.), Predicting adolescent drug abuse: A review of issues, methods, and correlates (pp. 165–191). Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Simó, S., & Pérez, J. (1991). Sensation Seeking and Antisocial Behaviour in a Junior Student Sample. Personality and Individual Differences, 12(9), 965–966. http://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(91)90186-F

Stellar, J. E., John-Henderson, N., Anderson, C. L., Gordon, A. M., McNeil, G. D., & Keltner, D. (2015). Positive affect and markers of inflammation: discrete positive emotions predict lower levels of inflammatory cytokines. Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 15(2), 129–33. http://doi.org/10.1037/emo0000033

Thornton, B., Ryckman, R., & Gold, J. (1981). Sensation seeking as a determinant of interpersonal attraction toward similar and dissimilar others. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 2(1), 85–91.

Wang, H., & Chin, A. (2011). Interplay between social selection and social influence on physical proximity in friendship formation. In SRS 2011 workshop in conjunction with CSCW.

Wang, J., Chen, J., Yang, L., & Gao, S. (2013). Meta-analysis of the relationship between sensation seeking and internet addiction. Advances in Psychological Science, 21(10), 1720–1730. http://doi.org/10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.01720

Waters, C. W., Ambler, R., & Waters, L. K. (1976). Novelty and sensation seeking in two academic training settings. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 36(2), 453–457. http://doi.org/10.1177/001316447603600227

Wilde, G. (1982). The theory of risk homostasis: Implications for safety and health. Risk Analysis, 2, 209–225.

Woodman, T., Hardy, L., Barlow, M., & LeScanff, C. (2010). Alexithymia determines the anxeity experiened in skydiving. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11, 345–352. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2010.04.002

Wundt, W. (1895). Grundzuge der physiologischen Psychologie. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 41(173), 347–348. http://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.41.173.347

Wymer, W., Self, D., & Findley, C. S. (2008). Sensation seekers and civic participation: Exploring the influence of sensation seeking and gender on intention to lead and volunteer. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 13(4), 287–300. http://doi.org/10.1002/nvsm.330

Yu, Y. Z., & Shi, J. X. (2009). Relationship between levels of testosterone and cortisol in saliva and aggressive behaviors of adolescents. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, 22(1), 44–49.

Zaleski, Z. (1984). Sensation-seeking and risk-taking behaviour. Personality and Individual Differences, 5(5), 607–608. http://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(84)90039-4

Zuckerman, M. (1979). Sensation seeking: Beyond the optimal level of arousal. Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Zuckerman, M. (1985). Sensation seeking, mania, and monoamines. Neuropsychobiology, 13(3), 121–128. http://doi.org/10.1159/000118174

Zuckerman, M. (1994). Behavioral expressions and biosocial bases of sensation seeking. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Zuckerman, M. (2007). The sensation seeking scale V (SSS-V): Still reliable and valid. Personality and Individual Differences, 43(5), 1303–1305. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2007.03.021

Zuckerman, M., & Neeb, M. (1979). Sensation seeking and psychopathology. Psychiatry Research, 1(3), 255–64.

Zuckerman, M., & Neeb, M. (1980). Demographic influences in sensation seeking and expressions of sensation seeking in religion, smoking and driving habits. Personality and Individual Differences, 1(3), 197–206. http://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(80)90051-3

Zuckerman, M., & Neeb, M. (1980). Demographic influences in sensation seeking and expressions of sensation seeking in religion, smoking and driving habits. Personality and Individual Differences, 1(3), 197–206. http://doi.org/10.1016/0191-8869(80)90051-3