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Thread: Do you crave excitement?

  1. #1
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    Do you crave excitement?

    I ask because someone on another thread made a statement to the effect of, "We all have an in-built need for excitement."

    Well, I certainly don't, and I know a fair number of others who don't either. (We're kind of invisible to the excitement seekers, of course.)
    I remember being excited as a kid, at a party for instance, and finding it so unpleasant I'd walk off to be on my own quietly for a while - it felt too close to dread or panic to be pleasant. As an adult, I tramp down hard on any feeling of rising excitement (during an impending eclipse, or on first seeing a major predator in the wild, for instance) because it has a cognitive effect similar to panic, and I want a calm mind to obtain full enjoyment from the experience. And I don't do fairground rides, because the only thing I ever get out of the experience is to reflect halfway through the ride, "I wish these people would stop screaming and shouting" and "Gad, this would be an embarrassing way to die."

    There's a psychometric scale called the Sensation Seeking Scale, on which I have skewed results: Low on "thrill and adventure seeking", high on "experience seeking", low on "disinhibition" and low on "boredom susceptibility". Despite the fact I thought some of the questions were a bit fatuous in their underlying assumptions (mountain climbing and flying a plane as "high stimulus", for instance), that seems about right.

    Grant Hutchison

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    I would say to a certain extent— I get bored if I spend a whole day at home and would rather go out for a bike ride or to visit somewhere I haven’t been before. I don’t know how people would classify the things I do as “excitement” or “sensation”— I’m not doing anything particularly dangerous, and I hate thrill rides and horror movies— but I do get excited to bike to the beach or visit a museum.
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  3. #3
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    Link to test?

    I Googled a few. One waited till the end to ask me to sign up before it would give me results. Another finished with 'thanks for the data, we have no answers for you'.


    Am beginning to wonder if this is a test for gullibility.

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    Most people enjoy novelty, I wouldn't say everyone craves excitement.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Link to test?
    Sort of sorry I mentioned the test. I just wanted to illustrate that there are multiple axes to "sensation seeking", and it's possible to be a novelty seeker without being an excitement seeker. I was subjected to it a long time ago (on paper!), as part of a battery of personality tests I took during a few training courses. It has a distinctly dated feel to it now - the current version is from 1978, and I'm not sure "I'd like to know someone who is homosexual" is a particular marker for "experience seeking" any more! There also seems to be an odd underlying assumption that the test subject doesn't already do certain things - mountaineering, flying, parachute jumping, surfing, sailing, etc, and that one aspires to do these things because one is seeking heightened experience, rather than the satisfaction of mastering a complex task.

    If I haven't put you off, this one will give you your results: http://psychtests.co.nf/sensation/

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I ask because someone on another thread made a statement to the effect of, "We all have an in-built need for excitement."

    Well, I certainly don't, and I know a fair number of others who don't either.
    I am not as "excitement averse" as you seem to be. I don't mind the odd bit of mild excitement. But I'm certainly not going to seek it out.

    (We're kind of invisible to the excitement seekers, of course.)
    Good point. (And I have a sneaking suspicion that people like that just assume everyone else is like them...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Good point. (And I have a sneaking suspicion that people like that just assume everyone else is like them...)
    I think that is right and the degree of surprise when you find out that is a poor assumption can challenge one's core beliefs. Just one example: I am in awe of people who choose to travel alone, because if I cannot share a view, or a meal, I will not seek it out. My father who was a twin, could not even eat a meal without wanting to share it It takes all sorts, and there are all sorts to discover, or avoid sometimes.
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  8. #8
    Nope don't like excitement at all, quiet with a book, tv show or computer I am happy. Excitement usually in world usually means something has gone wrong or something will go wrong.
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    I enjoy amusement park rides (though of course, like the majority, just before "the drop" you are questioning why you did this to yourself), I enjoy doing rally racing myself or to go and watch them. I enjoy going to airshows. I do enjoy thrills. I'm not a fan of crowds, disco's, standard circusses, children fairs. Too busy, too buzzy. Unless it's one of the thrills mentioned above, I mainly prefer calm, nature, and being left alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    It has a distinctly dated feel to it now - the current version is from 1978, and I'm not sure "I'd like to know someone who is homosexual" is a particular marker for "experience seeking" any more!
    Heh. Now many of the questions make more sense.

    I am an average 45%.
    Oddly, I rate as 80% on thrill and adventure, but only 50% on experience. I would have bet money I was the opposite.

    Ah, now I see. Their idea of "experiences" is "...travel, psychedelic drugs, art, music, and other less risky sensations."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I am not as "excitement averse" as you seem to be. I don't mind the odd bit of mild excitement. But I'm certainly not going to seek it out.
    Oddly, I'm lucky enough to be able to do, or to have done, a lot of things that are often considered exciting - traversing high exposed ridges, abseiling, flying a plane, surf landings in a small boat, walking safaris, travel in difficult locations ... People who hear about this often assume I'm a real excitement seeker, and I've actually just started agreeing with them, rather than explaining that I do these things because they're interesting, or as a means to an end, or because they allow me to get into Csikszentmihalyi's "flow state" (which is to a large extent the opposite of excitement). Being excited is actually pretty counterproductive in many of these settings, I'd say.

    Grant Hutchison

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    The older I get the less excitement I require. Take for example "fireworks". One of my great nieces was asking me the other day which local July 4th fireworks display would be the best one? I told her none of them, the last one I attended was pretty to see but you have to get there extra early to find/get a parking spot, to find/get a good viewing seat, you have to wait until it's dark enough (typically 9:30pm locally), sit there in the sweltering heat & humidity with either mosquitoes eating you alive or slathering yourself with insect repellent, and then once it's all over (in 30 minutes tops) you get log jammed into a couple thousand vehicles trying to get the heck out of there.
    BTW, the local fireworks were canceled due to violent thunderstorms and flooded road conditions (all at the last minute too). . . Too much excitement for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    The older I get the less excitement I require. Take for example "fireworks". One of my great nieces was asking me the other day which local July 4th fireworks display would be the best one? I told her none of them, the last one I attended was pretty to see but you have to get there extra early to find/get a parking spot, to find/get a good viewing seat, you have to wait until it's dark enough (typically 9:30pm locally), sit there in the sweltering heat & humidity with either mosquitoes eating you alive or slathering yourself with insect repellent, and then once it's all over (in 30 minutes tops) you get log jammed into a couple thousand vehicles trying to get the heck out of there.
    Presumably not too many 4th July fireworks in Alaska. I'm typing this at 22:20 in the northern UK and it's still bright out - civil twilight won't end until after 23:00.
    (Fireworks fall into my "just don't get" category, and have done since I was a child.)

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Heh. Now many of the questions make more sense.

    I am an average 45%.
    Oddly, I rate as 80% on thrill and adventure, but only 50% on experience. I would have bet money I was the opposite.

    Ah, now I see. Their idea of "experiences" is "...travel, psychedelic drugs, art, music, and other less risky sensations."
    Avoiding anyone you think might be gay is a sign of a cautious personality but taking drugs is “less-risky” “experience seeking”... oh, 1970s...
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    I am not concerned with excitement, but I do enjoy it. I have to remind myself that other people like/dislike it to various degrees.

    I googled Csikszentmihalyi's "flow state", that's an interesting idea.

    Edit - I took that test. Sounds about right. I swear I've done this before.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Solfe

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Presumably not too many 4th July fireworks in Alaska.
    No, not of the nighttime variety, anyway. That’s more of a New Year thing. Between June 6th and July 6th of this year, it doesn’t get darker than civil twilight. But Anchorage bans the use of fireworks within the Municipality without a permit and other areas did so as well this summer due to fire conditions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Just one example: I am in awe of people who choose to travel alone, because if I cannot share a view, or a meal, I will not seek it out.
    And the great curse for those of us who like to travel and eat alone is the number of people who think we'll welcome company.
    When I travelled for scientific meetings I would carefully book into a hotel a moderate distance from the conference venue, and eat early. At the end of the meeting, I'd either leave early or late if I was travelling home by train or plane. But maybe one time in five some conference-goer with whom I was vaguely acquainted would turn up in the dining room and insist on joining me at my table for dinner, and about one time in three I'd end up with someone who wanted to share the return journey with me.

    My wife and I both feel the same way, and the one who was attending a meeting would often share horror stories by phone with the one who was enjoying some time alone in the house. We still make a point of striking off on our own for a few days, from time to time.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2019-Jul-06 at 01:23 AM.

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    Smile

    I'm boring.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Avoiding anyone you think might be gay is a sign of a cautious personality...
    That test question was stupid. I have a fair number of LGBTQ friends and relatives. Avoiding them would be rude.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    That test question was stupid. I have a fair number of LGBTQ friends and relatives. Avoiding them would be rude.
    That’s what I’m saying, avoiding gay people on purpose is rude and seeing that it was treated as normal and acceptable back then is a bit cringeworthy and shows how social attitudes have changed.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    That’s what I’m saying, avoiding gay people on purpose is rude and seeing that it was treated as normal and acceptable back then is a bit cringeworthy and shows how social attitudes have changed.
    Exactly. Yeah, that was very 1970s, I remember that as a stupid time. You nailed it.

  22. #22
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    I don't crave excitement. I don't become excited as easily as when I was younger. I've done things that some people consider exciting, but for me they are necessary, interesting, or fun. I've found myself in situations that were scary, and I didn't enjoy that at the time, but recounting the stories can be fun.

    I tried that test and had to laugh at some of the choices, wondering how aquiring a particular skill (flying a plane) determined whether I was "Thrill and Adventure Seeking" or "Experience Seeking".

    But could it be possible that what one person considers exciting is necessary for another person to just feel "normal".

    My test results:
    Overall
    You are no more or less sensation seeking than the average person.
    48%
    Thrill and Adventure Seeking
    70%
    Experience Seeking
    80%
    Disinhibition
    40%
    Boredom Susceptibility
    0

  23. #23
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    Thanks for posting this Grant, it is leading to some interesting posts. As you said it certainly seems dated in a lot of respects.

    I did my test and came out as "You are slightly less sensation seeking than the average person." at 40%. Experience seeking was 60%. It seems a reasonable evaluation of my personality even if I think that my experience seeking is a lot higher in the areas in which I am interested.

    The questions about homosexuality has already been dissected a few times but I also found the cultural/environmental bias interesting. For example in much of Australia, and I would assume a lot of southern USA, the idea of surfing or water skiing is not seen as the slightest bit thrill seeking but a normal activity. The sexual questions being from a time before HIV/ AIDS feel a bit like they came from the gossip mongering articles in the tabloid press of the 1960's - "Vicars wild party in the vestry" etc. I guess 1978 is a foreign country - like the quote goes.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    And the great curse for those of us who like to travel and eat alone is the number of people who think we'll welcome company.

    Grant Hutchison
    Understood! I would refine my need for a companion to a small group, certainly not a voluble stranger, but I wonder: is it having early life siblings or a certain kind of parent that makes the difference? Or genetics? I have no trouble travelling and working alone, I have been a lone consultant in hostile assignments, but it is the travelling for experience thing that I would not choose to do alone.
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    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    I did my test and came out as ....
    I did too, midrange except a low 30% disinhibition score which is about right I guess.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I ask because someone on another thread made a statement to the effect of, "We all have an in-built need for excitement."

    Well, I certainly don't, and I know a fair number of others who don't either. (We're kind of invisible to the excitement seekers, of course.)
    I remember being excited as a kid, at a party for instance, and finding it so unpleasant I'd walk off to be on my own quietly for a while - it felt too close to dread or panic to be pleasant. As an adult, I tramp down hard on any feeling of rising excitement (during an impending eclipse, or on first seeing a major predator in the wild, for instance) because it has a cognitive effect similar to panic, and I want a calm mind to obtain full enjoyment from the experience. And I don't do fairground rides, because the only thing I ever get out of the experience is to reflect halfway through the ride, "I wish these people would stop screaming and shouting" and "Gad, this would be an embarrassing way to die."

    There's a psychometric scale called the Sensation Seeking Scale, on which I have skewed results: Low on "thrill and adventure seeking", high on "experience seeking", low on "disinhibition" and low on "boredom susceptibility". Despite the fact I thought some of the questions were a bit fatuous in their underlying assumptions (mountain climbing and flying a plane as "high stimulus", for instance), that seems about right.

    Grant Hutchison
    I'm in the same camp as you, not invisible to thrill seekers but overlooked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    That’s what I’m saying, avoiding gay people on purpose is rude and seeing that it was treated as normal and acceptable back then is a bit cringeworthy and shows how social attitudes have changed.
    It wasn't uniformly treated as normal and acceptable back then, though. The point of the questionnaire is that attitudes were split in 1978, but being openly gay was still rare in many parts of society (there were still criminal consequences in many parts of the USA, for instance) and there was a lot of ignorant stereotyping, so a (heterosexual) person's willingness to engage with gay people was at that time a fairly useful marker of openness to new ideas and experiences. (But note the underlying assumption, again, that the person filling out the questionnaire is not already a part of gay society.)
    Basically, there would be no point in including the question in the questionnaire if everyone in 1978 chose to avoid gay people, or if everyone chose to engage with gay people - it would be a non-discriminatory question, like asking people about their attitude to cannibalism (few would choose to engage) or restaurant dining (few would choose to avoid). What's needed in this sort of questionnaire is some level of societal equipoise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Exactly. Yeah, that was very 1970s, I remember that as a stupid time. You nailed it.
    I recall the '70s as a time of hope and optimism (some of it misplaced, admittedly). We had a real sense that we were fixing the ghastly sexism of the 1960s' "Sexual Revolution", and we were pretty sure that all that needed to happen to eliminate sexism, racism and homophobia from society was for the previous generation to get out of the way and let us run things. Picture my disappointment.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2019-Jul-06 at 05:30 PM.

  28. #28
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    Individuals' answers may also be skewed by expectations. If you think you'll never have the opportunity to mountain climb, it may affect whether you'd count that as potentially exciting.

    To many, things like lottery tickets are the excitement they crave. They certainly sell enough of them. Low risk, low odds, but the drawing gives a bit of a thrill anyway.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  29. #29
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    Csikszentmihalyi's "flow state"
    I hadn't heard of that before, but I looked it up. It is exactly what I discussed earlier on this board: I do these things that are considered "exciting" because they allow me to focus completely on one task, which otherwise is a very difficult thing for me to do. I always called it "being in the zone". When you're driving that rally car at the limit, you don't go "woohoo oh whee" so it's not excitement as such, but you're fully focused and totally one with the car and the road. The feeling of doing everything perfectly, being completely focused and in control for the entire stage is superb. A very intense way of being absolutely calm. I can also be "in the zone" but with lower adrenaline levels when I'm using my metal working tools for example. Taking a raw piece of steel and milling/turning it into the useful object I had in mind. Hours pass by in which my world is limited to myself, the machine, a piece of metal and no undo button.

    So I get what you're saying Grant. It's not the excitement, it's the intense consciousness of what you're doing. This also explains all the exciting things that I don't like versus those that I do like. If it doesn't require my focus, my skill, doesn't reach an end result through me yet it does have a high level of excitement, then it very often is not my thing.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Individuals' answers may also be skewed by expectations. If you think you'll never have the opportunity to mountain climb, it may affect whether you'd count that as potentially exciting.
    For some it might, and for others it wouldn’t. I have the means to go mountain-climbing or parachuting if I wanted to, but I just don’t find it desirable. While my younger brother loves doing those things. I have no idea what the difference is.


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