Marvin Zuckerman is a professor Emeritus at the University of Delaware and studies sensation seeking. Apparently this guy put people in dark, quiet rooms, and water tanks to see what sensation deprivation leads to. His research shows that people need sensations to live sane lives. He also speaks of the genetic basis of sensation seeking. He believes that sensation seekers come in four varieties:
1. Outdoor sports and activities that involve speed and danger
2. Drugs, Travel, the arts, and an avante garde lifestyle
3. Swingers like daft parties, sexual variety, gambling
4. People who cannot tolerate predictable people or routine
Even as I read this list I am pulled more towards the first and last than the middle two.
"Sensation-seeking are more likely to engage in divergent thinking, they don't think in conventional ways, creativity is the ability to think in ways that people have not done before, it is novelty seeking in a way. " Zuckerman
You can check out his interviews here.
Sensation seekers have less fear arousal and the high sensation seekers are less likely to believe that something is risky.
He created the Sensation Seeking Scale which you can place yourself on here by taking a brief 19 question yes or no survey. Surprisingly I am barely made it up to average because I like to plan, which is not very sensation seeking, apparently. I am slightly offended, here I am thinking that I like sensations and now I find out I am average. Boring.
I am trying to cull good studies from his work but it is hard to find free scholarly articles that are poignantly relevant to the kayaking community. I will keep trying.