Researchers have found that there are similarities between extreme sports athletes and gamblers. Even if the world of diving, parachutes, poker or race horsing seem too much apart, they all are addicted to thrill and are seeking their impulses. If you draw a parallel between the risks these groups of people take, you get to the same conclusion. It’s just the risk that is different. Sports addicts risk their lives, while gamblers risk the loss of money and economic woes.
Professor Helga Myrseth, from UiB’s Department of Psychology, published a paper on the subject. Myrseth started with data collection on the impulses and the thrill gamblers feel, while some people in the study group discovered similar pattern with the extreme sport athletes.
The discovery was remarkable. The study started with the supposition that gambling addiction has a negative impact on humans. The results proved that is it connected to positive feelings, such as leisure activities or extreme sports.
Within the published results, the readers can find that gamblers get their thrill of the game without risking or ruining their health. Both gamblers and extreme sport practitioners show an incredible desire for intense stimulus. The stimulus is different, but the result and the adrenalin is the same. For divers, it arises from the intensiveness of the adventure, for skydivers the intensity of the jump, and for gamblers the increase of the sums of money bet on the game.
One little difference was noticed though. The extreme sports practitioners always seek to increase the level of adrenalin and the thrill of the game, while gamblers are more prone to be locked into the routine of the game. Extreme sports enthusiasts do not get to feel very often and for longer periods, while gamblers can prologue their experiences easier by playing more games in a row.