The Psychology of Extreme Sports | Why We Want The Thrill

Risk TakingOn the 14th of October 2012, more than 8 million viewers live-streamed one event across the world, marking the biggest live-streamed event to date according to Mashable. It wasn’t a presidential election, a royal wedding, nor an Olympic ceremony; but the mere sight of extreme daredevil Felix Baumgartner risking his life by jumping from 24 miles above the earth.

Why such a bizarre event attracted millions of us is questionable, and offers considerable insight into human nature. Why do dangerous activities like extreme sports excite us, what motivates us to participate in them, and why do we want the thrill? There are thousands of explanations for why we may enjoy extreme sports, from satisfying our death wish, to enjoying the same hormones our brains secrete on recreational drugs. Going back to our innate needs and desires, however, the following are arguably some strong explanations behind our attraction to risk. To continue reading this post, click here 

[Written for River Recreation]


The Science of Extreme Sports | Why We Seek Danger For Fun

Extreme Sports Psychology“You’re crazy! There must be something wrong with you!” That guaranteed, priceless response I get out of my dad every time I make it back alive from an extreme sport. Since humans and animals are naturally programmed to avoid heights and major risks to survive, his understanding that extreme sports are unnatural makes sense.

While many may join him in disbelief, there are also thousands people that willingly enjoy taking blind leaps of faith, as in skydiving. Are some of us “crazy” and some of us sane? Is it nature or nurture that determines our unique cravings for danger, our perceptions of fear, and our decisions to jump or not? To continue reading this post click here.

[Written for River Recreation]