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Are You a Type T Personality?

type t personality man ski

Has anyone ever suggested you are addicted to thrill-seeking? Do people think of you as an adrenaline junkie? If the answer is yes, you may be a Type T personality.

At its core, this personality dimension refers to an individual who gains stimulation from excitement seeking, thrill seeking, arousal seeking, and to a lesser or greater degree, risk-taking (Sharkey & Gaskill, 2013).

If these traits don’t describe you, perhaps they characterize someone you know?

Connor, a therapist friend, is the quintessential type T. In the years that I’ve known him, he has raced cars, climbed mountains, canoed rivers, and sailed a catamaran.

He’s also mastered downhill skis, upgraded to Telemark skis, and is now an enthusiastic board skier. Believe it or not, his latest passion, deep sea diving, takes him to the Caribbean, a mecca for this activity.

Type T’s closely compare to Kenyon’s category pursuit of vertigo; defined as the thrill of change and speed while traveling in one direction – while staying in control.

To keep it real, some folks find massive pleasure and satisfaction in pushing the limits. But many type T’s also like flirting with danger.

Some have said this personality type gets high on their own hormones. Who knows. We need to do more research on this front to learn more.

One thing is for sure – thrill-seeking behaviors can become addictive. In turn, this can cause a person to escalate their behaviors with the hope of offering greater challenges and experiences.

But being a type T doesn’t mean having to live a dangerous life.

For example, less hazardous activities, like partaking in skating, hiking, mountain caving can be satisfying alternatives.

In my years as a counselor, I’ve found that trying to change the core features of a person’s personality isn’t possible. I say this as a person who lives with OCD and not ashamed to admit it.

So, it’s like this. We are wired the way we are wired. But learning how to channel various components of our personality in healthy ways is possible.

Make sense?

Pursuing the desire to be thrilled to an untimely end isn’t necessary. You can find ways to channel this need into safe, challenging pursuits that are compatible with other life areas.

Can you think of some satisfying options?

Sharkey, B., & Gaskill, S. (2013). Fitness and health. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

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Are You a Type T Personality?

John D. Moore, PhD

Described as folksy and down to earth, Dr. John Moore infuses current events and pop culture into his posts as a way of communicating wider points on issues related to wellness and goal attainment. His work has been featured in nationally syndicated media, including Cosmo, Men's Fitness and CBS Market Watch. He is a consultant to a number of Fortune 500 companies and institutions of Higher Learning. Dr. Moore is author of Confusing Love with Obsessionand Editor in Chief at: Guy Counseling.

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APA Reference
Moore, J. (2018). Are You a Type T Personality?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 11, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Jan 2018
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