(Newswire.net -- August 19, 2016) -- Some occupations seem to attract people who consider themselves to be risk-takers, such as trading stocks as a classic example, but there are plenty of scenarios where risky behavior is not going to be rewarded and in fact, positively dangerous.
As someone like The Pearce Law Firm of Philadelphiacan quickly confirm, taking risks with your driving, can have dire consequences.
Here is a look at what drives some of us to behave in this way and take risks that sometimes have potentially life-changing repercussions.
For some of us, life is a series of gambles
The obvious question when looking at the psychology behind what make someone take risks that others wouldn’t consider, is whether we are born with that risk-taking gene already hardwired into our DNA, or is it something we develop ourselves as individuals?
There is an argument that both scenarios are feasible, or indeed a combination of the two that helps to compel someone to drive dangerously, take drugs or gamble without limits.
When you encounter a general risk-taker, you will probably notice that they have a fairly distinctive personality makeup that is a mixture of both their DNA profile and shaped by their life experiences to date.
This sort of person seems to live for excitement and is prone to becoming bored extremely quickly, when life appears to become too predictable, in their eyes at least. The issue with this sort of personality is not just the level of damage they might do to themselves, but the level of public risk that they might pose, in any way from dangerous driving, taking drugs, to having unprotected sex with a complete stranger
This is a personality trait that is recognized by psychologists as sensation-seeking.
Link with neuroticism
You will be able to find some psychologists who are convinced that there is a definite link between risk-taking and neuroticism.
Neuroticism is a confirmed personality trait, and it is argued that someone taking undue risks with their health and physical safety, is simply exhibiting an expression of neurotic conflict, by acting out with counter-phobic behavior.
Certain research that is based around looking at elements or risk-taking tend to disagree with that line of thinking, believing that risk-takers don’t always display signs of neuroticism or anxiety.
Instead, it could be that person identified as a risk-taker, is simply trying to fuel their need for activity and excitement on a constant basis, driving them to partake in high-risk behaviors and activities, as a way of trying to overcome their boredom.
In just the same way that you might consider, sex, drugs and rock and roll to be very much interrelated, based on stories you read about high-profile rock stars, there is also the question of whether one type of behavior will automatically lead you to another form of risk.
It seems that rather than just being a music industry legend, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from previous research, which would suggest that drinking alcohol, smoking, drugs and sex, do work in tandem with each other, with the rock and roll being the music they prefer as well.
Sadly and perhaps predictably when you look at road traffic accident statistics, it seems that reckless driving is closely associated with another arena of risk, drinking alcohol. The two combined can produce devastating results, not just for the risk-taker.
Male risk-takers are more likely to be predisposed to combining gambling, with drinking and sex, but gambling amongst women, was not considered to be interrelated with any other form of risk-taking.
The issue of behavioral contagion
Being around someone who is a risk-taker could open up the possibility of a response that some social scientists refer to as behavioral contagion.
What this phenomenon is about, is the description of how you might be influenced to change your opinion or emotional state in order to conform with others around you. This is always a concern with age groups like teenagers who might be more susceptible to peer pressure and to take risks that they don’t feel comfortable with, so that they don’t stand out against the crowd.
In just the same way, studies have shown that people will tend to shy away from taking certain risks if they observe someone else behaving in the same way.
Understanding the psychology behind risk-taking and how it might influence you even if you are not a confirmed risk-taker yourself, could help you to keep these potentially dangerous urges in check.
Brandon Thornton studied psychology at university and occasionally likes to air his views on why people act a certain way! His articles appear on a wide range of blogs.