It means that "the emotional need to reduce anxiety" could be replaced by "a craving for excitement".
Student or Learner
5-6)When faced with complex or inadequate information, we fall back on. To illustrate this point, we can think about the task of choosing a flight from Vancouver to New York for a family reunion. We shall suppose an airliner has recently crashed, and this naturally leads to anxiety. Our decision must now take into account all sorts of predictions, based on the safety record of certain aircraft, certain airlines, and certain weather conditions. We now have two
goals: a primary one, driven by a social instinct to visit family in New York, and a secondary one, driven by the emotional need to reduce anxiety. So if we have cautious dispositions, we will probably choose a four-engine aircraft, owned by a prestigious airline, flying nonstop in good weather. If our emotional makeup is different, we might choose the opposite, for our secondary goal could just as well be set by a craving for excitement.
Does this mean that "our secondary goal could be replaced by a craving for exitement"?