This study was designed to investigate factors influencing physical risk taking in the sport of rock climbing. Specifically, the relationships between physical risk taking, sensation seeking, spheres of control, and desirability of control were examined. One hundred five rock climbers from the United States completed a series of surveys measuring each of the above-mentioned psychological variables. As predicted, physical risk taking demonstrated significant positive relationships to both total sensation seeking and thrill/adventure seeking (TAS). The expected relationships between physical risk taking, personal control and desirability of control were not supported. As hypothesized, no substantive patterns were revealed between physical risk taking and interpersonal control or sociopolitical control. Finally, comparisons between high and low physical risk taking rock climbers revealed significant group differences for total sensation seeking, TAS, and disinhibition. The identification of predictors of physical risk taking is a key step toward identifying individuals likely to engage in high physical risk behavior, and under what circumstances they are likely to do so.
Taylor, Marcus K.; Gould, Daniel R.; Hardy, Lew; and Woodman, Tim
"Factors Influencing Physical Risk Taking in Rock Climbing,"
Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments:
1, Article 2.