Risk-taking and impulsive personality traits in proficient downhill sports enthusiasts

Amelia M. Maher, Cynthia J. Thomson, Scott R Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Although past studies have examined how personality traits may motivate participation in high-risk sports, few previous studies have examined impulsive personality correlates with risk-taking within a group of sports enthusiasts. We examined relationships between measures of personality and risk-taking on the slopes as measured by a sport-specific Sensation Seeking Scale in a sample of proficient-level skiers and snowboarders (N= 123, 61% male). Significant correlations were found between risk-taking and multiple traits including Reward Sensitivity, Punishment Sensitivity, and Sensation Seeking, implying that some traits that motivate participation in high-risk sports also lead to more risky behavior while participating in said sports. Rash Impulsivity, though not found to distinguish participants from non-participants in previous studies, did correlate with risk-taking behavior on the slopes. The results of this study show that while some aspects of impulsive personality may motivate risky sport participation, other traits may be related to risky behavior once engaged in the sport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-24
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


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


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