Risk-taking and sensation seeking in military contexts: A literature review
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionSAGE Open. 2019, 9(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F2158244018824498
The article is based on a literature review of studies covering risk-taking and sensation seeking within military contexts over a time span of 3 decades from 1983 to 2015. Literature was gathered through a four-stage search procedure identifying 25 studies of risk-taking and 16 studies of sensation seeking altogether. Because warfare and military conflicts are dangerous and risky pursuits, one could imagine there being a lot of empirical research about risk-taking and sensation seeking in the military. We have found this not to be the case. The research is both small in volume and scattered when it comes to use of theories, methods, and samples of military personnel. In general, there seem to be few clear research paradigms. The results of the empirical studies show that there are adaptive as well as nonadaptive forms of risk-taking in relation to military situations. Similarly, military personnel scoring high on sensation seeking possess certain advantages, for instance, dealing with stress and risk, yet may also cause problems of various kinds. The review ends by pointing out implications for research and practice.
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