This study examined the DRD4 tandem repeats within three self-described risk-taking groups ranging in expertise from students in the Expeditionary Studies program to internationally ranked Olympic Bobsledders. Prior studies done on novelty seeking have had conflicting results on the 7 variable tandem repeat of the Dopamine Receptor D4. The goal of this study was to find a statistically significant relationship between the 7+ repeat and its possible genetic influence on risk taking behavior. Results indicated that when the experimental group was compared to the control, the 7+ repeat did influence an individual's willingness to take risk. When compared separately, both the Olympic Bobsledders and Free Soloing Rock Climber groups had statistically significant results. The Expeditionary Studies group by itself was not statistically significant in the amount of 7+ repeats present. Professional certifications in the experimental groups were not taken into account for this study.
Published in SUNY Plattsburgh's Scientia Discipulorum Journal of Undergraduate Research. Volume 8, issue 1, pages 43-50. 2016.