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Live with Your Genes

Find out whether you're a thrill seeker with this quiz based on breakthrough genetic research.
Living With Our Genes : Why They Matter More Than You Think by Dean H. Hamer, Peter Copeland

The latest research in genetics, molecular biology, and neuroscience shows that many core personality traits are inherited at birth and that many of the differences between individual personality styles are the result of differences in genes. Thrill seeking is just one examples of such an inherited personality trait. To find out how you're hard-wired, just follow these instructions:

This quiz contains statements people might use to describe their attitudes, interests, and opinions. Please choose the response that best describes how you feel about each statement. There are no "right" or "wrong" answers, since each person has his or her own likes and dislikes. Don't spend too long on any one question--just give the answer that comes naturally to you. And remember, understanding the genetic roots of your personality is the key to a better understanding of yourself and those around you.

All information based on research described in Living with Our Genes: Why They Matter More Than You Think by Dean Hamer and Peter Copeland.

Are You a Thrill Seeker?

Answer each question using the following:

a. strongly agree

b. somewhat agree

c. somewhat disagree

d. strongly disagree

1. I like to try new foods that I have never tasted before.

2. I often find beauty in the clashing colors and irregular forms of modern painting.

3. Sailing long distances in small sailing crafts is foolhardy.

4. I often enjoy seeing movies a second or even a third time.

5. When I go on a trip, I like to plan my route and timetable fairly carefully.

6. I have no patience with dull or boring people.

7. Skiing very fast down a high mountain slope would be too dangerous to be enjoyable.

8. I prefer to start conversations rather than waiting for others to talk to me.

9. I like to pay close attention to details in everything I do.

10. I sometimes do things just for kicks or thrills, even if most people think it is a waste of time.

11. I love the excitement of roller coasters.

12. A person should have considerable sexual experience before marriage.

13. I usually try to avoid people with strange beliefs or ideas.

14. I would not like to try any drug that might produce strange and dangerous effects on me.

15. I am usually cheerful and optimistic.

16. I always read everything before I sign any papers.

17. It is fun for me to buy things for myself.

18. I often try new things for fun or thrills, even if most people think it's a waste of time.

19. I like to stay at home better than to travel or explore new places.

20. I often follow my instincts, hunches, or intuition without thinking through all the details.

21. In conversation I am much better as a listener than as a talker.

22. I would like to try hang-gliding.

23. At a restaurant I usually order dishes I am familiar with so as to avoid disappointment and unpleasantness.

24. I like to explore new ways to do things.


For questions 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 19, 21, and 23

a (strongly agree) = 1 point

b (somewhat agree) = 2 points

c (somewhat disagree) = 3 points

d (strongly disagree) = 4 points

For questions 1, 2, 6, 8, 10, 11, 15, 17, 18, 20, 22, and 24

a (strongly agree) = 4 points

b (somewhat agree) = 3 points

c (somewhat disagree) = 2 points

d (strongly disagree) = 1 point


If your score is between 24 and 62 points: You tend to be most content with familiar people, places, and situations. You can stay focused for long periods of time and are not easily distracted. You like to have complete information before you make a decision and prefer to plan ahead. You will probably prefer a job with long-term projects and goals rather than rapidly changing priorities. Look for a partner with the same solid values as yourself.

If your score is between 63 and 73 points: You are curious and exploratory but also enjoy the comfort of the familiar. Although you are open to new ideas, you need a solid reason to change your way of doing things. Seek a balance between excitement and serenity, adventure and stability, both in your work and your relationships.

If your score is between 74 and 96 points: You get excited by new ideas and activities and tend to seek thrills, excitement, and adventure. You are intolerant of routine and like to live "at the edge," making your own rules as you go. You will probably prefer a job with frequent new challenges and projects and may be most content with your own business. Seek a partner who is as excited by life as you are.

Living With Our Genes : Why They Matter More Than You Think by Dean H. Hamer, Peter Copeland

The Human Nature Review
Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young - Last updated: 28 May, 2005 02:29 PM

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