I'm looking for a word that describes the act of doing something without a real logical reason but just because they can. A example of what I'm talking about would be like this:

The boy hacked the Pentagon just because he could. He didn't steal anything and he didn't want the attention; he just wanted to proclaim his own self-dignity.

What would you call someone like that or the act of doing something like that?

  • I'd call them cocky / cocksure... Not offering this as an answer since Jack Graveney's answer nails it. – BiscuitBoy Jan 24 '16 at 14:42
  • Might try the word lark - a kinda one word substitute "for the hell of it". – user116032 Jan 24 '16 at 16:29

Perhaps are you talking about someone who do things spontaneously. Extreme cases are simple-minded, autistic or genius. The root of this behaviour may be intuition, which is more common. Gratuitously of Graffito seems the best, or in this example : "you're male... and therefore more innately qualified."

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  • My first thought was impulsively,  which is pretty similar to your answer. – Scott Dec 18 '16 at 23:08
  • I disagree with this answer. Spontaneously implies something that occurs immediately and often times without warning, it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a whim and you could argue that most often it does not. Impulsively is a much better answer. – zfrisch Jun 25 '18 at 14:38

While not a single word, the idiomatic for the hell of it seems to convey your intended meaning quite nicely:

Also, for the heck of it; just for the hell of it. For no particular reason; on a whim. For example, We drove by the old place just for the hell of it. In the first variant, heck is a euphemism for hell. [First half of 1900s]

if you do something for the hell of it, you do it only because you want to, or because you think it is funny I decided to dye my hair bright green, just for the hell of it.

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  • Yea for the hell of it would be a very accurate phrase to what im trying to describe , i've done some research looking in dictionary , googling words and a very close word ive come up with is indifferent. i dont really know tell me what you think. – Nihilistic Jan 24 '16 at 19:29
  • how about "just because" ? We drove past it just because. – Daniel Feb 8 '18 at 15:07

Perhaps gratuitously

Definition: being done in a manner not demanded by the circumstances, without apparent reason, cause, or justification.

Example: Seven soldiers on patrol in south area killed an innocent teenager in a gratuitously violent attack using rifle butts, helmets, fists and feet.

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