It beats me – I am not one of those people. I am glad that my children are now old enough to do this un-accompanied!
But you’re certainly right that lots of people do like these things. I’m really not sure why there are these differences. In my case I may think too much about it – I worry too much about the risks and the fear is enough to dampen any likely enjoyment. I always think: I don’t care how safe it is, it’s got to be safer to not get on in the first place!
A couple of years ago I got on a ride that I thought was one of these centrifuges that spins you around so fast that you stick to the wall. Well it did that, which was OK. I was videoing my kids who were opposite me. Then I noticed that the background in the video was starting to change with every rotation and realised – to my horror – that the whole machine was tilting upwards. So instead or rotating horizontally, it was going round at an angle that seemed almost vertical!
Once we got off, my kids ran around to re-join the queue. I just about managed not to throw up!
But other people are different. My brother and my kids (close relatives) love this kind of thing. Maybe I should just relax and try to conquer my fear.
One idea is that there is a general sense of arousal (which we get via our autonomic nervous system). It prepares us for “flight” or “fight” when we’re in dangerous situations. But there is no particular “emotion” attached to this sense – when we feel aroused we look around for the reason. If we feel safe, we can get a kick out of feelings which we might associate with fear in another situation.
I hope you don’t mind me asking if you could vote for me tomorrow – I’ve really enjoyed I’m A Scientist, and now I am within touching distance of the finish line, I really, really want to win. I’m pulling out all the stops, and I’ve made a video to explain what I want to do with the prize money. Click the link below.