The money to afford such feats directly correlates to their way of doing business, according to Dr Carter, who said these people are more likely to engage in high-stakes entrepreneurial and financial endeavours that can earn them more money.
“With money, everything gets elevated, and if adventure is part of your social identity, then you’re going to sink more of your resources into that thing because it defines who you are,” Dr Carter said. “It’s also about access. We all probably have that list, ‘ if I had x money I would want to go on x trip,’ and these people have that access so they can indulge.”
Beyond the thrill
An adrenaline rush or a challenge also helps high-sensation seekers to channel work-related anxiety into something effective, Dr Carter said.
“When you think about stress, it’s an amorphous, blobby experience where there’s nothing to attack, but when you’re climbing a mountain … you can direct your emotions to this specific thing and if you can defeat it, then it’s really rewarding,” Dr Carter said.
On the downside, this group also can have a warped view of risk, which means they’re more likely to put themselves into dangerous situations without realising it. Dr Carter said part of that comes from the low levels of stress they experience when doing something like swimming with sharks. Added to that, high-sensation seekers can also exhibit high levels of disinhibition, a lack of restraint when it comes to risk assessment, impulsivity, and social conventions, and this motivates reckless behaviour. Meaning, they leap before they look.