“The explanation used to be simple: jumpers were crazy! Some psychologists talked of Freudian death wishes while others believed in fear displacement or denying one fear in their lives by directing their attention to another more manageable one. Others theorized that participants in high risk sports were acting out psychopathic fantasies in an attempt to make up for feelings of inadequacy or to demonstrate omnipotence.”
“Fortunately, in the last 25 years, the shrinks have decided that pursuing a high risk sport is not all that bad… Bruce Ogilvie, professor emeritus of psychology at San Jose State University conducted a study of 293 high-risk competitors including skydivers, race car drivers, fencers and aerobatic pilots in 1973 using psychological batteries and personal interviews. Ogilvie found risk-takers to be success oriented, strongly extroverted, above average in abstract ability and superior in intelligence when compared to the general population. He found these athletes are rarely reckless in their risk taking; their risk-taking is cool and calculated. He estimates that 6% of the athletes compete out of anger or out of deep feelings of inferiority or because they are trying to prove something about themselves. The other 94% are emotionally stable.”
I report. You decide.