Extreme Sports: What Influences Particpation in Extreme Sports?

October 4, 2017 Sports

Extreme Sports An extreme sport can be defined as a sport which has a high degree of risk or danger. These types of sports are attempted by trained athletes in controlled conditions. An extreme sports person would express fearless, adventurous, risky and reckless behaviour. This is because extreme sports athletes attempt dangerous sports and must be fearless and adventurous. There are many extreme sports. New sports are being added to the list continually because people are always finding new ways to put themselves in danger. Extreme sports can be participated in by an individual or in a group.

Surfing and BASE jumping (BASE refers to the things participants can jump from: Buildings, Antenna, Span, and Earth) are examples of the types of sports that can be participated in by an individual. Some extreme sports such as group skydiving and paintballing require a group to participate. Extreme sports as skydiving and white water rafting can be attempted either as an individual or as a group. People participate in extreme sports for a variety of reasons. Extreme sports people seem to have few biological differences from people who don’t participate in extreme sports.

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But as psychologists dig deeper into the human body, they have found that there are biological, cognitive, and developmental and personality differences that are not seen on the outside. These differences could hold the answer to the reason behind why people participate in such dangerous sports. The DRD4 gene (located on the 11th chromosome) which codes for the dopamine receptor D4 is linked to high levels of novelty seeking. Dr. Erik Monasterio, in an episode of “The Catalyst,” said that High novelty seekers tend to have low levels of dopamine… eople undertake risky or novel type experiences in order to bring up their levels of dopamine. Dopamine is the neuro-chemical that makes you feel euphoric and is closely linked with adrenaline. It has also been seen that extreme sports people are relatively immune to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A study by Dr. Monasterio has found that, people with low harm avoidance are far less prone to the physiological state known as anxiety. Perception is a cognitive process that can be defined as … the conscious ecognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli that serve as a basis for understanding, learning, and knowing or for motivating a particular action or reaction (http://medical-dictionary. thefreedictionary. com/Sensory+perception). That means that our perception of extreme sports is our recognition and interpretation of stimuli, (any information or event which evokes a specific reaction or response) picked up by our senses about extreme sports. People who participate in extreme sports generally have a positive perception of extreme sports.

This means that they perceive extreme sports as fun and don’t think about the danger they put themselves in. People who have a negative perception of extreme sports may perceive the sports as risky, dangerous or reckless. This perception means they will tend to stay away from these dangerous sports. People who are involved in extreme sports tend to be young males between the ages of twenty and thirty five. The personality of these people is generally adventurous, fearless and always optimistic. This personality type is known as ITSP or “The Mechanic. Their primary mode of living is focussed internally, on thoughts and feelings, and the secondary is external, via the five senses. They are attracted to high risk sports and thrive on action, prone to boredom, are action orientated, are excellent in crisis situations, and have lots of natural sporting ability. Most extreme sports people fit into this personality category. Peer groups can influence the participation in extreme sports. A peer group is a social group consisting of people who often are of the same age, backgrounds and similar interests.

A peer group is formed when two or more people come together with a shared belief or goal. In the case of extreme sports the goal could be to find new extreme sports to try. Peer pressure is also associated with peer groups. When in a group people sometimes feel pressured into doing things because others do it. …….. Society also influences the participation in extreme sports. The way the media (T. V, radio, etc…) portray extreme sports is a big influence on the way we perceive and think about extreme sports. On TV we see shows such as Man vs. Wild and X-games which promote extreme sports.

These television shows are designed to make extreme sports look more appealing to the public, because the sports are becoming more socially accepted. Society as a whole is beginning to accept extreme sports because more and more people are participating in them….. Extreme sports are those sports that consist of danger and risk, that require skill and ability. Psychology has proven that extreme sports people have biological, personality, and cognitive differences. These differences add to the reasons of why people participate in extreme sports.


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