Personality differences between tattooed and non-tattooed individuals

Viren Swami, Jakob Pietschnig*, Bianca Bertl, Ingo W. Nader, Stefan Stieger, Martin Voracek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

34 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined differences between tattooed and non-tattooed individuals on a range of personality and individual difference measures. A community sample of 540 individuals from the southern German-speaking area of central Europe completed a survey consisting of measures of the Big Five personality factors, Need for Uniqueness, Self-esteem, sensation seeking, Religious and Spiritual Beliefs, Attitudes Toward Tattoos, tattoo possession, and demographics. Preliminary analyses showed that 22% of the total sample possessed at least one tattoo. Further analyses showed that, compared with non-tattooed (n = 420) individuals, tattooed participants (n = 120) had significantly higher scores on Extraversion, Experience Seeking, Need for Uniqueness, and held more positive Attitudes Toward Tattoos, although effect sizes of these group differences were generally small to medium-sized. These results are considered in relation to the contemporary prevalence of tattoos in socioeconomically developed societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalPsychological Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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