We all know what an attention seeker is. Some types of attention seeking can be associated with mental problems knowns as Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD). This disorder affects around 3% of the population. One of the traits involved is commonly known as attention seeking.

The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (10th Revision) lists the following symptoms:

  • shallow and labile affectivity

  • self-dramatization

  • theatricality

  • exaggerated expression of emotions

  • suggestibility

  • egocentricity

  • self-indulgence

  • lack of consideration for others

  • easily hurt feelings

  • continuous seeking for appreciation, excitement and attention

Good video about histrionic personality disorder on YouTube.
Histrionic Personality Disorder is one of multiple personality disorders. This is a nice video explaining all of them.

The BHPS is the only free histrionic personality traits scale I am aware of.

Christopher Ferguson is a well known psychologist and author, check his cool web page here.

The 11-item scale (each item with a score from 1 to 4) runs from 11 to 44.

The BHPS was psychometrically validated with a student sample. The average score was 25.5 points (standard deviation 4.6 points).

BHPS Score Interpretation

11 to 29 points

No noticeable histrionic features

30 to 34 points

Noticeable histrionic personality features but not necessarily at a clinical level

35 to 44 points

Clinically significant histrionic personality features

Run the demo

The BHPS be used for research, but you need to acknowledge the authors and their research paper when writing about it (References).


This is a simple scale question without reverse coded items (although in the longer scale used for validation included reverse coded items).

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: frequency
- never true
- seldom true
- very often true
- always true

l: bhps
t: scale frequency
o: random
o: width 40%
q: Please answer the following questions using the scale:
- I find it exciting to flirt with others
- I like to be the center of attention
- I always seem to have new friends
- I’d prefer not to commit to just one romantic partner
- I flirt even with people who I’m not attracted to
- I tend to be the "life of the party"
- A lot of people find me sexually appealing
- I know how to make people like me right away
- I get frustrated when people don’t notice me
- I’m very interested in material things like cars, shoes, etc.
- I like it when I know someone desires me sexually

l: bhps_score
t: set
- sum $bhps

l: feedback
t: info
q: Scores on the Brief Histrionic Personality Scale range between 11 and 44.<br><br>
<b>Your score on the Brief Histrionic Personality Scale is {$bhps_score}.</b><br><br>
A score between 30 and 34 points suggests that you have noticeable histrionic personality features but not necessarily at a clinical level.<br><br>
A score of 35 points and higher suggests that you have clinically significant histrionic personality features.<br><br>
<b>Please note that this is not a clinical diagnosis, and that if you have concerns, you need to see a medically trained specialist.</b>


  • Ferguson & Negy (2014). Development of a brief screening questionnaire for histrionic personality symptoms. Personality & Individual Differences, 66, 124-127.