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17 things that people driven to do risky things have in common


Rock climbing

Many people are driven to do things that excite them, no matter how risky or terrifying those activities might seem to others.

If you heard about a chance to ski down a steep backcountry slope, would you jump on that opportunity? Does wandering through an unknown city where you don't speak the language sound fun? Do you get restless or bored doing the same thing day after day?

Then you may score highly on measures of a personality trait that psychologists call "sensation-seeking."

"It's an overall behavior tendency to really seek out rewarding experiences despite the risk involved," Jane Joseph, a Professor in the Department of Neurosciences at the Medical University of South Carolina, tells Business Insider.

In other words, she says it's not about the risk. It's about the reward. But the desire for that rewarding sensation overpowers concerns about risk, according to Joseph.

Here are 17 of the ways that behavioral tendency is expressed and things that sensation-seekers have in common.

SEE ALSO: 10 survival myths that might get you killed

Everyone falls somewhere on the sensation-seeking spectrum, but some people are more likely to ignore risks and instead seek rewards than others, to the point they may seem attracted to risk.

Source: Pizam et al., Journal of Travel Research, 2004

There are four subcategories to sensation seeking: experience seeking (wanting new sensory or mental experiences), thrill and adventure seeking, susceptibility to boredom, and disinhibition (enjoying things like "wild parties").

Source: Zuckerman, Sensation Seeking and Risky Behavior

Not all sensation-seeking activities are risky (and not everyone who takes risks does so because of this behavior trait).

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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