Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The Sensation Seeking Scale, form V (SSSV) was used to survey 146 FHSU undergraduates. Of these, 112 people were varsity athletes and 34 were non -athletes. Both men and women were surveyed. A review of the sports personality and sensation seeking literature culminated in the hypothesis that athletes would score higher on the SSSV than non-athletes. This hypothesis was not supported by the data. and non-athletes scored higher on the Experience Seeking (E5) scale of the SSSV. Mean scores were lower than those reported by Zuckerman (1979). Although the data provide no clues as to the cause of the differences, they could represent rural-urban or athlete-non-athlete effects. Sex differences were found only on the Disinhibition (DIS) scale of the SSSV, with men scoring higher. An effort was made to predict coaches' ratings of athletes' "Desire to Play" with the SSSV measures, but was not successful. Athletes in individual sports were found to have significantly higher scores on the Thrill and Adventure Seeking (TAS) scale of the SSSV than team sport members. Team sport members had higher scores, however, on the DIS scale. A comparison of intrasquad differences on the football team showed the Defensive squad to be higher on the ES and Total scales of the SSSV, and defensive backs to be higher than all other football players on the TAS scale. As expected, athletes participated in more organized athletics as children than did nonathletes. Non-athletes and gymnasts participated in more individual sports as children than did other subjects. It was concluded that the category "athlete" may be too broad to be theoretically meaningful in assessing sensation seeking. The study of more specific subgroups of athletes may be of greater interest to future investigators. Specific problems with this study and recommendations for future research were discussed.


Robert Markley

Date of Award

Spring 1981

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1981 Jeff W. Horlacher


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