Development of the revised reducer-augmenter scale

Date

1988

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Abstract

This study was conducted to develop a questionnaire, the Revised Reducer-Augmenter Scale (RRAS), that places individuals along a continuum of preferred levels of arousal. Reducers are individuals who reduce incoming stimulation and augmenters are individuals who amplify incoming stimulation. Each of the twenty-one items on the RRAS encompasses a concept with two extremes, a high level of arousal and a low level of arousal, which allows endorsement of a preferred level of arousal along response choices. Theoretically, endorsement of a preferred level of arousal should reflect the degree of stimulation the individual feels comfortable with, and subsequently, should illustrate the level of activity in the individual’s life. To maximize the potential of individual differences in preferred levels of arousal, each item in the RRAS had to meet the criterion of endorsement by forty percent of the individuals in each direction, high and low. That is, forty percent of the reducers and 40 percent of the augmenters had to endorse their respective direction on an item before it would be included in the final questionnaire. Internal consistency (r=.79) and split half reliability (r=.79) of the ERAS was satisfactory. Convergent validity was found when the RRAS was compared to a scale reflecting a related construct, reactivity, via the Reactivity Scale (r=.44). Discriminant validity was found when the RRAS was compared to the Affect Intensity Measure (r=-.O2), an unrelated construct. It is argued that the construct of arousal preferences bridges the theoretical chasm between constitutional and psychological phenomena. This construct also holds promise for research into the development and study of substance addiction, specifically, cigarette use.

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Keywords

Arousal (Physiology), Personality, Physiological aspects

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