Thursday, February 18, 2010


"Adolescent males are the most likely subset of the population to partake in risky behaviors. This is because in adolescent males, the brain’s reward system develops long before the inhibitory system, which keeps impulsive, novelty-seeking behaviors in check. The inhibitory system doesn’t catch up with the rewards system until young men hit their early twenties. This leaves some young males who are genetically predisposed to high sensation-seeking susceptible to the lures of risky activities, like using drugs or jumping impulsively into a dangerous sport without thinking through the consequences first."

-Lindsey Konkel ("Extreme Psychology." Health Magazine, July, 2009.)

"One question guided Brymer’s interviews and analyses: “How is the extreme sport experience perceived by participants?” Certain themes emerged, such as courage and humility, which give rise to positive self-transformation. “At the end of the day I had an epiphany because I did not die, but really enjoyed it. A whole environment that I never knew existed was opened to me,” said a BASE jumper in his mid-forties, one of Brymer’s study subjects. “For me, it’s accepting that you’re mortal and that you’re very vulnerable,” said another one of Brymer’s BASE jumpers. The findings are published in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology."

-Lindsey Konkel ("Extreme Psychology." Health Magazine, July, 2009.)

“The fear is what keeps you focused.”

I wanted to get into the psychology of extreme sports, why do people do what they do? Why do they risk their own lives just for sport? This article was very informative about they ways and whys of people doing what they do, being extreme and why they do it. At first it begins to talk about the obvious stereotype, that being the average male teen, but they say that the adolescent slightly skew the readings, because when people are young, it is proven that they'll have a much greater chance of doing more risky activities and putting their lives in more jeopardy than that of a 4o year old. The article attempts to find why they want to do this, is it because these people have a gland in their brain that releses more dopamine than usual? Maybe. Some say that these people are like drug addicts or gamblers, that they can't experience the everyday without getting a kick from their own personal "highs." That is also a possibility. But people believe that it is something else, something inside of them drives them to be out their in the the elements struggling to survive against themselves and the forces of nature that they toy with. The research eventually wnet into the field and had started asking the extreme athletes themselves to describe what they were feeling at the time and why they were feeling it. There comes a moment of clarity, an epiphany. Where emotions get so high, they transcend so to speak. People also feel that they shouldn't be looked at as crazy, they feel that nothing they do is crazy it's just that they can do it, while the spectators can't therefore it becomes crazy to them. The extreme athletes don't want to get hurt, that's the last thing they want, they just have higher skill sets and therefore are able to do these things at much higher levels than the average person.

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