Personality and risky downhill sports: Associations with impulsivity dimensions

Cynthia J. Thomson, Scott R. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Studies show high-risk sports participants report higher levels of Sensation Seeking compared to non-participants, but few have explored other aspects of impulsivity. Using principal component scores to summarize measures of Reward Sensitivity, Punishment Sensitivity, and Rash Impulsivity we compared downhill sport participants (both beginner and proficient) to non-participants in an undergraduate sample (N= 279, 50% female). Downhill sport participants scored significantly higher on Reward Sensitivity, possibly driven by the anticipatory approach facets of the BAS, and proficient participants scored significantly lower on Punishment Sensitivity than beginners and non-participants, driven by traits related more closely to fear than anxiety. No differences were found in Rash Impulsivity. Popular high-risk sports may serve as an important example of an exception to the co-occurrence of common impulsive traits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Apr 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2014 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Disinhibition
  • Punishment Sensitivity
  • Rash Impulsivity
  • Reward Sensitivity
  • Risky behavior
  • Sports

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