Are You a Novelty Seeker?

Updated: Jul 2, 2020

Recent genetic research suggests that people with ADHD are often novelty seekers. Take this quiz to find out if you are a novelty seeker.

Friends at work are celebrating finishing a big project and invite you to lunch at a pricey Thai restaurant famous for serving exotic dishes, such as fried scorpion. You do one of three things:

1. Agree immediately to have lunch with the group.

2. Say you'll get back to them later. After checking online reviews of the restaurant, you tell your friends that you prefer to eat at a budget-friendly chain restaurant that offers more traditional food.

3. Hem and haw all morning and never make a decision. By default, your answer is "no." You end up eating the ham sandwich that you prepared before work that morning.

1. If you answered "yes" to the first option, you may be a novelty seeker who jumps into situations impulsively without much thought. Your flexibility in trying exotic food shows curiosity and an eagerness for new experiences. According to Tanja Sophia Schweizer's Novelty Generating Model, your liking for novel situations may mean that you are an extravert who is easily bored. Constantly on the hunt for new stimulation, you may have a lateral thinking style that leads to creative, out-of-the box problem-solving. Genetic studies suggest that novelty seekers are more likely to have ADHD and substance abuse issues. Finally, remember that environment and culture play a role. Americans may find the prospect of eating fried scorpion unappetizing; however some Asians consider fried scorpion a delicacy.

2. If you answered "yes" to the second option, your refusal to commit immediately shows that you are careful about making decisions. Your unwillingness to eat at an exotic restaurant does not mean that you are not a novelty seeker in other realms. As mentioned in option 1, a person's environment and culture play a role in novelty seeking.

3. If you answered "yes" to the third option, then you probably are not a novelty seeker. You might be an introvert who has trouble making decisions and avoids social situations whenever possible. Changes in your daily routine may create anxiety, so you chose the familiar over the exotic. This does not mean that you lack a creative spirit. The poet Emily Dickinson retreated to her bedroom in later years, so the bulk of her work--1600 poems--remained unpublished until after her death at age 55. Within the confines of her room, Dickinson was a creative genius.


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