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Is Risk Taking Addictive?

Issue 13

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Why Do People Like to Take Risks?

car racing
Photo: Luis Schiavo
Car racing is a risky activity.

 

Why are people risk-takers? What makes a person take high risks and do dangerous, even life-threatening things? Some people love speed and the thrill of racing; other people are into extreme sports such as ice climbing, and bungee jumping.


International students share their views on why people would risk their lives to do these things.

Some people are addicted to taking risks. Other people just want to feel extremist. Most risk takers are men. Is it because men have more curiosity? Most women always think twice about taking risks because they are more rational than men. Men just want to feel extremist, take things to the edge, and get their adrenaline up high. Sometimes, I also want to feel extremist, but I wouldn't dare take risks for thrills. It is very dangerous, I think. We have only one life. Can you give up your life for thrills? I don't understand someone who is a big risk taker. I don't know; maybe I'm a chicken, but I don't understand them.

Seung-Hye (Clare) Lee from Korea



bungee jumper
Photo:
Thomas Peters
Bungee jumping is an activity for dare devils.

 

People who like to do risky things usually are daring and extremist. Also, they could be addicted to it; the more they do it, the more they want to do it. I don't know anybody personally who takes things to the edge, but I guess that they do dangerous things such as bungee jumping for the thrill of it. A new experience, new emotions to conquer themselves. I wonder what it would be like to do some of the risky things that I see on TV, but I am sure that I wouldn't try them because my fear would be much bigger than the desire of satisfying my curiosity.

Nelma Toledo Mendonca from Brazil



In my opinion, risk takers always have very similar qualities. They want to try something new and enjoy the thrill. Unfortunately, I have a great number of friends who are risk takers. They not only take extreme risks, but they also ignore the law. These people aren't conservative, and they love freedom. In Taiwan, we don't have many chances to do these things, but risk takers still can find the way to fulfill their desires. They race cars on the highway, and they chase the cars which go faster than theirs. It's really dangerous for the regular drivers. In our society, most people don't support the risk takers' actions. They don't enjoy these kinds of sports. However the risk takers still need to achieve their desires, so they take risks in their real life without any restrictions.

Kung-Yi (Fred) Chen from Taiwan



The reason that some people like to be risk takers is it's exciting. I once saw a TV program about this. Our body produces a chemical while we are doing extreme things. It's like an addiction. The more you do it, the more you want to do it. And it's never ending. If they consider themselves extremists, the will always find something riskier and try it.

Piboon Choklerdpatana from Thailand



I think people take risks because they need to feel the emotion of the situation. They just can't live without it. While I was talking with Boon, he said when people do these things, their bodies develop a substance. Maybe this is a kind of drug, so they need to do these extreme sports; each time it must be something riskier to have the amount of drug they need to live. I've never done something this thrilling, but I'd like to, just to know how it feels, how it is. Many times I've passed over bridges or I've been standing or sitting in tall buildings or in airplanes, and I've wondered how it would be to jump from there. The only risky thing I've done is go to the rapids and jump into the water. It was great and exciting. I want to do it again, but maybe do something a little bit more thrilling than he first time.

José Guillermo Davila from Mexico



The first time they do something, many people feel scared to do extreme sports; but when they do it several times, they feel excited and thrilled. Only the first time is difficult. Many risk takers are addicted to taking dangerous sports to the edge. They more they do it, the more they want to do it. I never think of doing extreme sports, but I think if I did it once, it would be easy. Addiction is the biggest reason. When they do that, they feel the thrill of the rush. If they didn't enjoy taking risks, they would never do it. I think risk takers' biological condition has an effect on them. They have high adrenaline, so they enjoy doing extreme sports. Also, they have a strong curiosity.

Seung-Hye (Clare) Lee from Korea



I think it is a kind of need for them. It is a vice. They are addicted to dangerous sports or activities. I think that young people are likely to take risks, maybe because they want to look like a courageous guy or a strong person. Maybe because they don't think twice about danger. They like to go to extremes. It is nice to talk about their new experiences with friends of theirs. I'm an extreme weakling, so I have never thought of taking these kinds of risks. They are too dangerous, and I'm addicted to safety

Angela Teixeira from Brazil



More on Risk Taking: Speed is Like a Drug

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