Thrill seekers: Why do we love rollercoasters? - Deepstash
Thrill seekers: Why do we love rollercoasters?

Thrill seekers: Why do we love rollercoasters?

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Roller coasters and our search for thrill

Roller coasters and our search for thrill

Rollercoaster rides are closely linked with the physical sensation we get from the world. The rides are successful because they can force an emotional experience.

On a ride, people's emotions change continually from extreme excitement, delight, joy, happiness to terror, horror, and even boredom. The thrill we get from the ride isn't an emotion itself. The thrill is in the change in emotions.


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People enjoy being challenged

There are four different aspects to sensation-seeking:

  • Thrill-and adventure-seeking, which has to do with a high adrenaline experience.
  • Experience-seeking. People who like unusual experiences.
  • Disinhibition. People who might like to scream on a rollercoaster and give in to their emotions.
  • Resistance to boredom.

Generally, people that go out to amusement parks want to be challenged and taken to the edge of danger, but ultimately still want to be safe.


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The rollercoaster design

Several things have to be considered to design a roller coaster ride: The cultural trends in society, novel technologies, and what people talk about. The wooden rollercoaster is popular in America, but not that much in the UK.

If the ride is too short, people won't be thrilled. If it is too long, every inch will cost tens of thousands of pounds.


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Reasons for thrill-seeking experiences

When we experience pleasure, the body releases dopamine that binds to receptors in the body, which gives us a sense of intense excitement. It can be a problem as it can lead to addictive behavior.

Some people have a defect, called a polymorphism, where the receptor can't efficiently bind to dopamine. The body needs to produce more dopamine to give the receptors a better chance of collecting it.


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