A Look at Thrill Seeking

As many are awaiting the December 13th release of my paper on speeding, I want to address a concern some have with raised speed limits–Thrill seeking adrenaline junkies.

Surely, we all know one. The person who rides a motorcycle, drives fast, owns an arsenal of weapons, drinks excessively, uses foul language, skydives, picks fights, always getting a new tattoo, listens to offensive music, etc. Have you met my mother?

Dr. Salvadore Maddi, Ph.D, a psychologist from the University of California, thinks these things may come from feeling a lack of purpose in life. Dr. Maddi believes when people feel unfulfilled with everyday tasks and routines involved with life, some turn to violating social norms. We see these people abuse sex, relationships, money, and the law. Another psychologist, Dr. Michael Aptor (visiting professor at Yale), adds that these activities are found in areas where survival is less challenging. In cultures where life is safe, people look for ways to survive.

Arguably, western civilization has become “too safe.” We tend to sterilize everything under the guise of public good or the fear of lawsuit. Either way, some people need to step out of the rat race and feel as if they are “living.” I argue that by making speed on the highway less forbidden, the thrill seekers will find their rush from something else. They want to do what they should not do.

I truly hope you all enjoy my final paper. Your opinions are valued. In the meantime, if you want to read more about adrenaline junkies, please follow this link to a very informative article in Psychology Today:



2 thoughts on “A Look at Thrill Seeking

  1. Pingback: Interested in Making Your Law and Science Paper Public? | Law & Science Blog

  2. I’m actually writing a paper on the growing trend of people searching for adrenaline rushes and I’m getting stuck in trying to find a lot of sources about the cause of this trend, and I was wondering where you got the information about Dr. Salvadore Maddi and Dr. Michael Aptor. Was it in any of their publications? Thanks!

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