Approaching the Summit: Understanding Motivations of Recreational Risky Behavior

By Christopher L. Newman, Steven W. Kopp and Kenneth Bates.

Published by The Sport Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study has undertaken a qualitative approach in the context of mountaineering in the continental United States. We have explored the risky behavior associated with this extreme activity to understand participants’ motivation for participation. We found two significant sources of motivation: an internal psychological drive and an externally-focused socio-psychological motive, both of which are key to understanding recreational risky behavior.

The approach in this research is interpretive, specifically undertaking an ethnography to more fully understand the risk taking lifestyle. This approach captured richer, more detailed beliefs and attitudes toward mortality, death, self-esteem, motivation, and satisfaction in extreme sports not otherwise accessible through scales.

Additionally, eight in-depth interviews were conducted approximately five months after a climbing expedition - which one of the authors participated in - took place. Findings, contributions, and implications are discussed.

Keywords: Motivation, Extreme Sports, Risk Taking, Satisfaction, Mountaineering, Recreation, Psychology, Socio-psychology, Goal Setting, Mortality, Death

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.173-186. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 659.012KB).

Christopher L. Newman

Doctoral Student, Department of Marketing and Logistics, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

Christopher L. Newman is a doctoral student in the Department of Marketing & Logistics at the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas. His research interests include sports and special events marketing, services marketing, and promotion. His work has been included in national conferences such as the Marketing and Public Policy Conference, as well as the Society for Marketing Advances. Christopher received a B.B.A., Marketing from the University of Mississippi in 2005 and received a M.S., Marketing from the University of Alabama in 2007.

Steven W. Kopp

Associate Professor, Department of Marketing and Logistics, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

Steven W. Kopp is Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing and Logistics at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. He received his PhD from Michigan State University. His primary research areas include the examination of the role of intellectual property in marketing strategy, consumer decision making with respect to “end of life” products and services (e.g. funerals), and other topics related to marketing and public policy. He is an avid distance cyclist.

Kenneth Bates

Assistant Professor of Marketing, Marketing, University of San Diego, California, USA

Dr. Bates received his PhD from the University of Arkansas. His research currently examines the impact of nutrition knowledge, consumer motivation, and the exploration of mortality salience effects on consumer behavior.