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Season of birth variation in sensation seeking in an adult population

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Daniel Nettle


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Previous research has identified a relationship between season of birth and level of novelty seeking (Chotai, Lundberg, & Adolfsson, 2003). The current study investigates whether level of sensation seeking is also related to birth season in individuals from the Northern Hemisphere. Participants were 448 students of The Open University, UK (125 males, 323 females, age range 20-69 years, mean The Sensation Seeking Scale V and a demographic questionnaire including month of birth were completed by participants either on the World-Wide Web (n = 284) or on paper (n = 164). A significant interaction of age and season of birth on level of sensation seeking was found, similar to previous findings for novelty seeking. Individuals aged 20-45 years born during October to March had a higher level of sensation seeking than those of the same age born in the other six months, while the opposite association was found for individuals aged 46-69 years. Results suggest an age-related difference in level of sensation seeking between individuals born during different seasons. Possible reasons for the seasonal difference are discussed, including development of the sensation seeking trait across the lifespan in relation to dopamine turnover. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Joinson C, Nettle D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Personality and Individual Differences

Year: 2005

Volume: 38

Issue: 4

Pages: 859-870

Print publication date: 01/03/2005

ISSN (print): 0191-8869

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3549

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2004.06.010


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