Although risk-taking has negative aspects and can even prove fatal, it is a positive force as well. Without risky experiences, humanity would stagnate; there would be little impetus for discovery. Risk-taking was obviously adaptive in earlier hominids. The trait persists—but there is little left to explore. What is more, work is anything but exciting for many people.
Modern life, with its protected cultures and curtailment of war, has not wiped out the need for excitement. Some people find it through other people, in relationships and sex. Others need more of a thrill, and go hang-gliding or bungee-jumping, although the most common everyday outlet for sensation-seeking is reckless driving. My work has shown that people have basic need for excitement—and one way or another, they will fulfill it.