The Instruments

The Adult Temperament Questionnaire (ATQ)

facesThe Adult Temperament Questionnaire (ATQ) was adapted from the Physiological Reactions Questionnaire developed by Derryberry and Rothbart (1988).  and includes general constructs of effortful control, negative affect, extraversion/surgency, and orienting sensitivity.

The general constructs are referred to as factor scales (i.e., they have resulted in superfactors) and the sub-constructs are referred to as scales.  The ATQ standard form includes 177 items and the short form 77 items.  Both forms include the same constructs.  In addition to including general constructs and sub-constructs, the standard form also sub-divides many of the sub-constructs into homogeneous item clusters (see long form scoring instructions). Also available is the original, unrefined 253-item version used in the article "Developing a model for Adult Temperament" by Evans and Rothbart (2007)


The following non-English versions of the ATQ are available for download:


The Questionnaire

Hierarchical Listing of Scales:
Factor scales are listed in capital, letters, bold print.
Scales contributing to factor scores are listed in red print.


Fear:  Negative affect related to anticipation of distress.
Sadness:  Negative affect and lowered mood and energy related to exposure to suffering, disappointment, and object loss.
Discomfort:  Negative affect related to sensory qualities of stimulation, including intensity, rate or complexity or visual, auditory, smell/taste, and tactile stimulation.
Frustration:  Negative affect related to interruption of ongoing tasks or goal blocking.

Sociability:  Enjoyment derived from social interaction and being in the presence of others.
Positive Affect:  Latency, threshold, intensity, duration, and frequency of experiencing pleasure.
High Intensity Pleasure:  Pleasure related to situation involving high stimulus intensity, rate, complexity, novelty, and incongruity.

Attentional Control:  Capacity to focus attention as well as to shift attention when desired.
Inhibitory Control:  Capacity to suppress inappropriate approach behavior.
Activation Control:  Capacity to perform an action when there is a strong tendency to avoid it.

Neutral Perceptual Sensitivity:  Detection of slight, low intensity stimuli from both with the body and the external environment.
Affective Perceptual Sensitivity:  Spontaneous emotionally valenced, conscious cognition associated with low intensity stimuli.
Associative Sensitivity:  Spontaneous cognitive content that is not related to standard associations with the environment.

For questions regarding the ATQ, contact David Evans at (postal mail: H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute: Tobacco Research and Intervention Program, 4115 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, FL 33617)

Please note that these questionnaires are to be used for research purposes only. If you are interested in acquiring current versions of these instruments, we request that you first complete our request form, providing us with a brief description of your plans for use of the measures. Following the completion of your research, we request that you contact us to inform us of the results of your project as they relate to the temperament scales.In this way, we hope to coordinate attempts at validation of the scales.


Evans, D.E., & Rothbart, M.K. (2007). Development of a model for adult temperament. Journal of Research in Personality, 41, 868-888.(PDF PDF Document)