Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sensation Seekers

One topic I found interesting in our Motivation textbook was the personality disposition for drug use - more specifically those who are sensation seekers. Sensation seekers are individuals who are willing to take various risks in order to feel varied, intense, and novel sensations. I automatically thought of former boxers who, once their career is over, turn to drugs in order to feel the same sensations they felt in the ring. Ricky Thornberry, Frank Bruno, Ricky "the Hitman" Hatton, Ricardo Mayorga and Oscar de la Hoya are just a few boxers who have been caught using cocaine after they retired from the ring. According to our textbook, some positive effects felt from cocaine include "euphoria, increased sense of energy, increased mental acuity and sensory awareness". Euphoria is one effect from cocaine that could have also been felt in the ring through exercise-induced euphoria.
While in the boxing ring and during training, boxers may experience exercise-induced euphoria. "The endorphin-exercise high connection holds that endorphins released during strenuous exercise act on pleasure neurons and those that are linked to pleasure neurons." Exercise-induced euphoria gives the individual a "high" and fulfills their sensation seeking needs. The feeling of euphoria they once felt through exercise was pleasurable, frequent and intense. However, once their boxing career is over, they no longer have that feeling and they are left searching for another way to attain it. Unfortunately, it is the high from drugs such as cocaine that seems to fill the sensation seeking void for numerous former boxers.

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