Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Revisiting the Dimensionality of the Brief Sensation Seeking Scale inô??? Mainland China

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Revisiting the Dimensionality of the Brief Sensation Seeking Scale inô??? Mainland China

Article excerpt

The introduction of the sensation seeking concept in the 1960s provided an important lens through which scholars and practitioners could examine issues related to risk-taking activities and sensory deprivation (Zuckerman, 1971; Zuckerman, Kolin, Price, & Zoob, 1964). Zuckerman (1994) defined sensation seeking as "a trait defined by the seeking of varied, novel, complex, and intense sensations and experiences, and the willingness to take physical, social, legal, and financial risks for the sake of such experiences" (p. 27). Among the existing measures of sensation seeking, the Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS; Zuckerman et al., 1964) has been widely used and accepted as being reliable (Altmann, Liebe, Schönefeld, & Roth, 2019; Cross, Cyrenne, & Brown, 2013). The SSS has four dimensions: experience seeking, boredom susceptibility, disinhibition, and thrill and adventure seeking (Zuckerman, 1994, 2007; Zuckerman, Eysenck, & Eysenck, 1978).

Since the 40-item SSS was developed over half a century ago, revisions have been made and items removed (Zuckerman, 1994; Zuckerman et al., 1978). However, the scale still has limitations, such as the use of outdated ethnocentric language, and confounding items related to sexuality and to alcohol and drug use, making it less than ideal for use with young adults in different societies (Gray & Wilson, 2007; Haynes, Miles, & Clements, 2000).

Hoyle, Stephenson, Palmgreen, Lorch, and Donohew (2002) addressed these limitations by introducing the eight-item Brief Sensation Seeking Scale (BSSS-8), which they modified from the original SSS. They tested and validated the BSSS-8 with 7,000 American middle and high school students aged 13-17 years old and analyzed differences between three different racial groups: African American, White, and other. Hoyle et al. found that the BSSS-8 was more appropriate than the SSS for use with young adults and respondents from different cultural backgrounds. Since then, the BSSS-8 has been widely accepted by scholars in different regions of the world, including Europe, Asia, and South America (Pechorro, Castro, Hoyle, & Simoes, 2018), and has been translated into different languages and further validated. For example, the Spanish version has been validated with samples of Latino young adult workers (Stephenson, Velez, Chalela, Ramirez, & Hoyle, 2007) and Peruvian teenagers (Saletti, Chang, Pérez-Aranibar, & Campos, 2017), the Portuguese version with adolescents and young adults in Portugal (Pechorro et al., 2018), and a Chinese version with Chinese working adults (Chen et al., 2013).

I revisited the psychometric properties and dimensionality of both the one- and four-factor structures of the BSSS-8 in the context of Mainland China because of three controversial issues. The first issue is the number of items used in the BSSS. Hoyle et al. (2002) originally proposed an eight-item version that was demonstrated to possess good psychometric properties in a recent study with a Portuguese sample (Pechorro et al., 2018). A four-item shortened version (BSSS-4), in which Items 2, 3, 6, and 7 have been removed, has also been introduced (Stephenson, Hoyle, Palmgreen, & Slater, 2003). Merino-Soto and SalasBlas (2018) recently conducted a psychometric evaluation of both scales with samples of teenagers in Peru and demonstrated that they both have good validity. However, Vallone, Allen, Clayton, and Xiao (2007) showed that the BSSS-4 has lower internal consistency for samples comprising different racial groups.

The second issue is the dimensionality of the BSSS-8. Hoyle et al. (2002) conducted a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and found support for the scale's unidimensionality; researchers have since replicated their findings (Merino-Soto & Salas-Blas, 2018; Pechorro et al., 2018; Vallone et al., 2007). However, other researchers have reported different results. Stephenson et al. (2007) evaluated the BSSS-8 with single- and four-factor structures with a sample of Spanish-speaking and English-speaking respondents, and showed that the single-factor model provided only a marginally acceptable fit to the data, whereas the four-factor BSSS-8 had a good fit. …

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