Thought Repository

Sensation Seeking

Today in my Entertainment Engineering class we discussed why people chose whatever types in entertainment they prefer. We took a little quiz to find out where we fell on the sensation seeking scale. My score was 19 out of 40. While that is in the middle numerically, I feel like it is still low as if the scale isn't normalized. We saw a bunch of slides about the results of the studies done on sensation seeking. Someone asked the question about the person who may classify as a low sensation seeker, who would never want to do something like ride a rollercoaster, but then when forced on it ends up loving it. The question in my mind about the whole thing was, "What can be said about someone who is a low sensation seeker but wishes he were high (and blames his parents for this)?" That is how I feel.

The statistics said that only or first-born children tend to be the most high sensation seeking. Although I am the oldest I'm also the most conservative. They attribute that statistic to parental attention which actually lends credibility to my belief that it is partially my parents' fault that I am the way I am. I feel that they have gotten more adventurous as time has gone on and by being the oldest I had more of their attention in my young, formitable years when we were less sensation seeking. My mom never used to like rollercoasters but for some reason now she does. She teases me about not wanting to go on them but she's the reason I don't like them. I never learned to like them when I was a kid. Anothing thing that correlated inversely with sensation seeking was religiousness. Although probably not related for the reasons behind that statistic, I feel my unadventurous (some would say picky) taste in food I blame on the strict rules we had about food when I was a kid being raised kosher.

Many times I feel limited by my inhibitions against things I wish I liked to do. It's odd, the concept of "wanting to like to do something that I don't like." If you don't like it, why would you want to do it? I'm into entertainment and I can always appreciate a rollercoaster intellectually, but physically I am limited by the dislike for the dropping, "negetive g's", feeling. Everything else about them I love, the speed, the loops, etc. I wish I were more experimental in my eating. I think my low sensation seeking nature is responsible for my inability to find a girlfriend or a job.

These are all things I'd like to change. How do I change them? For somethings it seems achievable but will take a lot of work. But will I truely overcome my nature of not enjoying these things to be able to actually be comfortable with them or will I only find the way to stomach my discomfort and do them anyone for the satisfaction of having done something I wanted to accomplish whether I like it or not? Other things above like rollercoasters are physically based discomforts. Is it possible to change a physical reaction to something? Changing the way you think is one thing but changing the subrational level of feeling doesn't seem under my control.


Editors note: My mom apparently read this and wanted to clarify that she has always enjoyed rollercoasters. I'm not sure why then I seem to remember my parents as more reservered when I was younger, it is possibly perception clouded by age and time. That does not diminish the problems I have internally, even if blame was placed in the wrong place or at least for the wrong reason.

Ben — 2/21/2005 03:10 am