The Importance of Thrill-Seeking
Are you a “sensation seeker”? That’s one of the accepted terms psychologists use to describe people with a certain personality, the type of people who are keen on discovering new and different experiences. If you enjoy going to the casino, playing sports, traveling and meeting people, this could be you.
Of course, too much of a good thing can be a problem, and sensation seekers can sometimes take it too far. But the impulse for novel things is incredibly important, and well worth celebrating. It’s a sign of intelligence, a sign that you’re willing to do what other people won’t in order to get the most out of life.
We’re all hard-wired for sensation seeking. Our bodies create chemicals when we encounter certain situations; for example, when we face a challenge and overcome it, our brains release a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Among other things, this chemical makes us feel good, prompting us to go out and conquer something new. It could be something as simple as rounding up your next meal, or as complex as solving world hunger.
Back in 1964, University of Delaware psychologist Marvin Zuckerman came up with the Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS), a personality test that is still in use today. Zuckerman included 40 different personality traits, which he divided into four aspects: Thrill and Adventure Seeking (TAS), Experience Seeking (ES), Disinhibition (Dis), and Boredom Susceptibility (BS). Possessing a healthy amount of all four is the key to a life well-lived.
It’s the Thrill and Adventure Seeking that ultimately brings us to the casino. People with TAS personalities love to play games, and they love the element of risk that’s involved. We all face challenges in our daily lives that require some level of risk – even something as simple as going outside. The better we are at managing that risk, the more rewarding our lives become. Remember this the next time you’re playing, and as always, good luck at the tables.