Personality characteristics of mountaineers – review of the literature
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Śląski Uniwersytet Medyczny w Katowicach, Oddział Kliniczny Psychiatrii w Tarnowskich Górach
Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach, Instytut Psychologii
Maria Flakus   

Instytut Psychologii, Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach, Dąbrowskiego 17a/23, 40-126 Katowice, Polska
Submission date: 2018-06-28
Final revision date: 2018-10-22
Acceptance date: 2018-10-22
Online publication date: 2019-12-31
Publication date: 2019-12-31
Psychiatr Pol 2019;53(6):1397–1411
The following paper presents the existing body of research on personality traits (within the framework of personality trait theory and Marvin Zuckerman’s sensation seeking theory) of individuals engaging in high-risk sports, especially mountaineering and alpinism. In the review, two perspectives of theoretical analysis were taken into consideration: a psychological (concerning reflections on non-pathological personality characteristics of mountaineers) and a psychopathological one (concerning research on hypothetically pathological dimensions of the following traits). In both psychological and psychopathological perspective, the importance of sensation/stimulation seeking (understood as one of the personality dimensions) and deficiency of trait anxiety were analyzed. Both determinants can be linked with type T personality. In addition, numerous studies suggest that traits such as neuroticism, extraversion and conscientiousness may play important role in personality regulation of mountaineers. The presented reflection was supplemented by early reports referring to possible psychopathological traits, which may hypothetically indicate some personality disorders. The authors highlight the limitations of previous studies and point out possible directions of future research, in particular – necessity of including motivational factors, associated with engaging in high-risk sport activities.