Objectives for this study were, first, to describe individual differences in risk taking among scuba divers. Differences were examined on personality dimensions and psycho-affective variables, including positive and negative affect, as well as alexithymia. In addition, the study examined contributors to two types of behavior associated with scuba diving—deliberate risk taking and controlled participation in a high-risk sport (non-risk-taking). A cross-sectional design was used, and 131 participants were assessed on extraversion-neuroticism, affectivity, and alexithymia. The broad dimensions of personality and affectivity explained risk taking among divers. Alexithymia differentially predicted two types of risktaking behavior (direct or short-term and indirect or long-term) and was associated significantly with short-term risk-taking behavior.
Agnès Bonnet, Vincent Bréjard and Jean-Louis Pedinielli
Agnès Bonnet, Lydia Fernandez, Annie Piolat and Jean-Louis Pedinielli
The notion of risk-taking implies a cognitive process that determines the level of risk involved in a particular activity or task. This risk appraisal process gives rise to emotional responses, including anxious arousal and changes in mood, which may play a significant role in risk-related decision making. This study examines how emotional responses to the perceived risk of a scuba-diving injury contribute to divers’ behavior, as well as the ways that risk taking or non-risk taking behavior, in turn, affects emotional states. The study sample consisted of 131 divers (risk takers and non-risk takers), who either had or had not been in a previous diving accident. Divers’ emotional states were assessed immediately prior to diving, as well as immediately following a dive. Results indicated presence of subjective emotional experiences that are specific to whether a risk has been perceived and whether a risk has been taken. Important differences in emotion regulation were also found between divers who typically take risks and those who do not.