What Is Sensation-Seeking?

Sensation-seeking, also called excitement-seeking, is the tendency to pursue sensory pleasure and excitement. It's the trait of people who go after novelty, complexity, and intense sensations, who love experience for its own sake, and who may take risks in the pursuit of such experience. Sensation seekers are "easily bored without high levels of stimulation," explains psychologist Sam Gosling. "They love bright lights and hustle and bustle and like to take risks and seek thrills."  

Recent Posts on Sensation-Seeking

Superfluidity: Decoding the Enigma of Cognitive Flexibility

By Christopher Bergland on September 02, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
Brain researchers have developed new tools for predicting levels of cognitive flexibility and "superfluidity" of thought.

The Enduring, Ghoulish Legend of Lizzie Borden

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on August 31, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
The story of Lizzie Borden has taken on mythical proportions over the years. Despite her acquittal in criminal court in the nineteenth century for the murders of her father and stepmother, Lizzie has always been considered guilty by the public as a result of ghoulish media and cultural representations of her.

Why a New Partner Boosts Your Sex Life

The review reports a recent British survey which found women recorded an average of eight opposite sex sexual partners over their lifetime, while men reported 12. But the survey also found 22% of women and 14% of men reported having only one sexual partner in their lifetime.

Why high heels make women more attractive

In their recent study, entitled "High heels as supernormal stimuli: How wearing high heels affects judgements of female attractiveness", the psychologists compared ratings of women walking in flat shoes, with the same women walking in high heels, in order to establish whether or not walking in high heels enhances the attractiveness of gait.

Could Online Pornography Be A Silent Yet Exploding Epidemic?

Online pornography may be an emerging epidemic. Perhaps we need to treat the internet like any other possible addictive substance. Then we can be more thoughtful and intentional in being sure that online pornography doesn’t take hold of us and our youth.

Living with Type-A Behavior

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 18, 2015 in How To Do Life
You're a hurried, angry person. Now what?

Can you be addicted to adrenaline?

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on August 08, 2015 in Science of Choice
People who seek high- sensation experiences are more vulnerable to substance abuse.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) And Addiction

The core feature of BPD is impulsivity and poor emotional regulation.

The Psychological Appeal of Donald Trump

Like Peter Finch in the movie Network and like the American public, Trump is "mad (and rich) as hell and not going to take it anymore!"

Moral Panic: Who Benefits From Public Fear?

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on July 20, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
Moral panic is a situation in which public fears and state interventions exceed the objective threat posed by an individual or group who is/are claimed to be responsible for creating it. Central to the concept is an argument that public concern or fear over an alleged social problem is mutually beneficial to state officials, politicians, law enforcement and news media.

Gambling: Harmless Fun or Perilous Compulsion?

By E E Smith on July 19, 2015 in Not Born Yesterday
Omar Sharif, who died recently, was known for his roles in great movies like "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Doctor Zhivago." Many people also knew that he was a world-class bridge player but I, for one, was surprised to learn that he had lost several fortunes over the years while gambling on the game.

The Smart One or the Pretty One? Pretty Is as Pretty Does

"'She’s really pretty, but it’s like she doesn’t even know it!' people would say admiringly of certain girls. Only then can you forgive a girl for being pretty: if she’s an idiot or a liar." Maggie Mitchell

Serial Killers: Modus Operandi, Signature, Staging & Posing

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on June 29, 2015 in Wicked Deeds
FBI profilers examine, among other things, whether a victim’s body was posed to predict whether an unknown offender is an organized or disorganized killer. Organized criminals are meticulous planners, often psychopathic but know right from wrong, not insane and show no remorse. Disorganized criminals are impulsive, irrational, and assault victims in blitz-like attacks.

A Crash Course on Gender Differences - Session 6

By Eyal Winter on June 20, 2015 in Feeling Smart
Men, Women and the Roulette of Life

Why Are Teen Brains Designed for Risk-taking?

Here are four ways parents can reduce the danger

Do Teens Imitate the Sex They See in the Movies?

Although research finds that exposure to sexualized media is linked to more sexual partners and unprotected sex among teens, it is premature to suggest that sex should be edited out from the movies entirely.

Serial Killers and Bottom Feeders

New book adds details to the "Ken and Barbie" killers' case, including what happened to Karla.

Self-Esteem and Your Inner Biker

The news pumps up the biker “shootout” in Waco. The psychology of abandon cuts through the hype and examines how biker gangs mirror the struggle for self-esteem that shapes all of us—even you and me. Gun your engines.

Why Some of Us Seek Dominant Partners

Are you attracted to a romantic partner who is assertive and take charge? Or do you prefer someone less dominant? Your answer is likely to depend on your gender and personality. Women may prefer dominant “bad boys”, but some men prefer “bad girls”, and different women have very different reasons for seeking dominant partners. While other women may seek just the opposite.

Fifty Shades of Tattooing: Body Art, Risk and Personality

Women readers of the Fifty Shades trilogy have higher rates of risky behavior So do women who get tattoos. Both of these may be outward signs of a predisposition to take risk rather than a cause of such behavior.

How Not to Be Boring: Advice for Teen Introverts

By Sophia Dembling on April 22, 2015 in The Introvert's Corner
Teens crave and seem to admire risk taking. What can introverted teens do to scratch that itch?

Do You Tend to Dread Loss or Anticipate Gain?

By Elizabeth Wagele on April 21, 2015 in The Career Within You
Losing money and getting bad grades are more painful to most people than winning money and getting good grades are pleasurable. Some have figured out that they’ll be more likely to succeed (at losing weight, for example) if they commit to sending money to a charity they hate if they fail to meet their goal.

How Much Should Parents Protect Their Children?

A legitimate question about how much risk parents should allow their children to take, and how protective of their children parents should be has been all but drowned out by extreme emotion.

Happinesses

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on April 10, 2015 in One Among Many
I found 26 blog posts on happiness in my blog archive. Here’s a list of them with a brief statement of contents for each. Peace and happiness!

Helping Clients Reconnect with Their Bodies

Clients with histories of physical and sexual abuse or neglect are often chronically disconnected from their bodies. Therapists should be mindful of the fact that survivors of abuse and neglect are likely to live in this state of physical detachment. Helping clients safely reconnect to their bodies is vitally important.

Protective Parenting an Adolescent

With all the media attention devoted to adolescents getting in trouble, getting hurt, and getting killed, it's hard for parents not to worry about their teenager and to act restrictively in her or her defense. However, the best protection parents can provide is self-management preparation for safely functioning in a hazardous world.

Teenagers Are From Earth

Our black-and-white thinking about adolescence is getting in our way.

The Neurobiology of BDSM Sexual Practice

How can one experience pain, either the physical pain of a smack on the tush or the emotional pain of humiliation, as pleasurable? Aren’t pain and pleasure diametrically opposed? The answer, informed by neurobiology, is that the opposite of pleasure isn’t pain but ennui— a lack of interest in sensation and experience.

The Mach 1 Experience: 6 Keys to Successful Risk-Taking

By Gregg Levoy on March 18, 2015 in Passion!
There’s no risk without fear, but living a passionate life means pushing yourself through your resistance. These 6 insights about successful risk-taking can help you jump-start your engines.

Science and the Online Dating Profile

Online dating is the new singles bar, one in which your words won't be drowned out by the music. But which words should you use? There is some scientific evidence about relatively more effective ways to turn an online contact into a real huggable moment.