We challenge you: FInd the easiest way to be braver
If you want to take more risks but you’re affraid, find friends who are living on the edge. Their behaviour turns out to be contagious.
Have you ever wondered why sometimes you are prone to taking risks and sometimes just not in the mood for it? Well, it’s not about the mood. Recent studies show that risk taking might be contagious, so be aware what kind of people you surround yourself with.
“By observing others behaving in a risk-seeking or risk-averse fashion, we become in turn more or less prone to risky behavior”
says Dr Shinsuke Suzuki, one of the researchers from Caltech Brain Imaging Center.
The experiment was conducted with volunteers, asked to gamble or watch other people gamble. The results show that after having watched another person taking risks, the participants are more likely to do the same.
It was also discovered that there is a part of the brain called caudate nucleus, that responds to risks.
So if you are surrounded by avid risk takers, your caudate nucleus will be stimulated more than normal. That explains why previously cautious and risk-averse people tend to become adventurers once they find friends who live on the edge.
The work is described in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences here.