Sensation seeking is a personality trait characterized by a desire for novel, complex, and intense experiences. Although high sensation seekers are not necessarily inclined toward risk-taking, they are willing to take risks to attain the high sensation experiences they desire. As such, they are more likely than people moderate or low in sensation seeking to engage in illegal and ill-advised behavior. In daily life, a moderate degree of sensation seeking is healthy and adaptive, motivating people to explore new interests and opportunities without taking unreasonable risks. Sensation seeking increases dramatically from late childhood to early adolescence, outpacing the development of the self-regulatory capacities and skills needed to manage the temptation to engage in risky behavior in pursuit of high sensation experiences. Thus, a challenge for ...

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