One major reason that influences people’s participation to extreme sports or dangerous outdoor activities is the present risk of the sport or activity. This risk is taken for every person at a different level and is attributed to the trait of «Sensation Seeking», (Zuckerman, 1994). The present study examined the presence of different level of the Sensation Seeking trait between mountaineers of different experience, sex and age (N=327, men=67%, women=33%). The «Sensation Seeking Scale» (Zuckerman, 1994) questionnaire modified in Greek (Belogiannis, 2008) was used to determine this. Results showed that there were significant differences between the subgroups of different experience (F(2,324)=7.9, p<.001), with the Experienced mountaineers to score higher (Μ=25.93) than the Novices (Μ=25.08) and the Trekkers (Μ=20.58). The interpretation of the results indicates that SS is a determinative factor for one to engage in mountaineering but only until a primary level, thereafter, up to the experts level, it plays no significant role. Still, according to the results only Dis-inhibition to risk seems to differentiate Experienced from Novices mountaineers. Women seem to participate in mountaineering mainly trying to gain new experiences instead of the “adrenaline” of the sport, their involvement in more serious and risky aspects of mountaineering is likely to be reduced due to their high level of inhibition. Results are further discussed in the chapter «Discussion».
Sensation Seeking, risk, mountaineering experience