Sensation seeking, nicotine dependence, and smoking motivation in female and male smokers

Addict Behav. May-Jun 1994;19(3):219-27. doi: 10.1016/0306-4603(94)90026-4.


Sensation-seeking scores in female (n = 36) and male (n = 60) French smokers were compared with those for a control group of female (n = 23) and male (n = 45) nonsmokers. The findings clearly show that smokers of both sexes are higher in sensation seeking than their nonsmoking counterparts: they score higher on the Disinhibition, Experience Seeking, and Boredom Susceptibility components of sensation seeking. Smoking women were particularly high on Experience Seeking. The relationships among the sensation-seeking components, nicotine dependence, and motives for smoking were assessed in the smokers. Disinhibition and Experience Seeking moderately correlated with nicotine dependence in females, as assessed by the Fagerström questionnaire and the Addictive factor of the Russell Classification of Smoking by Motives. Women high in Experience Seeking may be at particular risk for smoking and possibly for dependence. Further research is needed to state that the high sensation seeker is a person who might be expected to be particularly sensitive to the stimulating reward of smoking, and thus particularly vulnerable to becoming a dependent smoker.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arousal*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotine*
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Personality*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology*


  • Nicotine