This study examined the use of the P scale of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire as a pencil and paper estimate of level of affect lability. Groups of subjects differing on the P scale were presented with emotive and non-emotive words. High P (low affect) subjects appeared inhibited in their emotional rating of all words, and displayed a restricted range in their reporting of this rating. Further, the electrodermal activity elicited by these words differed between the groups, with high P subjects again appearing relatively inhibited. These results support the validity of the P scale as a measure of affect lability and have implications for a recent hypothesis of impaired functioning of the reticular activating system in early-onset psychosis. The results may also be interpreted to support the role of significance in elicitation of the orienting response. © 1980, All rights reserved.