Sociological factors influencing high-risk physical activities.
Although risk-taking has been investigated widely in psychology and marketing-oriented literature, the vast majority of those risks pertain to lifestyle choices, such as sexual promiscuity, smoking, and illicit drug use. Conversely, relatively little work has explored why adults engage in high-risk physical activities, such as mountaineering and skydiving. To help explain this phenomenon, we create a model based on the theory that the human body is hot-wired to thrive on certain types of stress not provided in modern society. That is, high-risk behaviors provide the stress (and accompanying stress release) that some individuals crave. We propose that, aside from innate personality characteristics, sociological factors influencing one's likelihood of engaging in high-risk activities include a sense of alienation at work, postponement of gratification, the feeling of work as an imposition, a perceived lack of control in one's life, and questioning the meaning of life. We believe that this paper helps explain risk-taking behaviors of a relatively large group of people in modern society, and can provide a springboard for further empirical research; managerial implications for marketers of high-risk activities are discussed.
Marketing Management Association
Braunsberger, K. and Trocchia, P.J. (2011). Sociological factors influencing high-risk physical activities. Marketing Management Journal, 21 (1), 180-194.
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