Psychology: Extreme Sports Essay

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Psychology Research Essay:
Extreme Sports

An extreme sport (also called action sport or adventure sport) is a term for certain activities seen as an activity of high danger, they are what is considered counter-cultural. They give a thrill of facing difficult challenges and overcoming obstacles. There are many physical and mental benefits o extreme sports but there are also the risk of very bad injuries, even death.

The activities of extreme sports involve speed, height, a high level of physical effort, and specialised gear and spectacular stunts and although traditional sports also require high levels of physical exertion, extreme sports have a counter-cultural aspect that traditional sports do not. Another trait that makes extreme sports different from traditional sports is that they have a higher number of uncontrollable variables, which make them more exciting. Extreme sports tend to attract a younger crowd and is usually done as more of an individual activity.

Extreme sports can be engaged individually and/or as a group. BMX and Bungee jumping are two sports that are individual. Two extreme sports that are engaged as groups are Water rafting and Bobsledding. There are also many sports that can be done as a group and individually such as Sky diving and Mountaineering.

The behaviours observed of Extreme sport participants are usually characterised negatively, for example being insane with a need to take unnecessary risks, and not caring for family and friends that are left back worrying about them. However psychological research indicates that the perception of the extreme sport participants are very different to others. They have a physical need for adrenaline. Adrenaline is caused by fear, fear is a normal emotional reaction, it is a survival mechanism we are all equipped with. This emotion is a response to danger and serves a protective purpose, warning us of threats and preparing us to deal with it.

Dopamine is a monoamine neurotransmitter...
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