Skiing and thinking about it: Moment-to-moment and retrospective analysis of emotions in an extreme sport
AuthorHetland, Audun; Vittersø, Joar; Bø Wie, Simen Oscar; Kjelstrup, Eirik Refsnes; Mittner, Matthias; Dahl, Tove Irene
Happiness is typically reported as an important reason for participating in challenging activities like extreme sport. While in the middle of the activity, however, participants do not seem particularly happy. So where does the happiness come from? The article proposes some answers from a study of facially expressed emotions measured moment-by-moment during a backcountry skiing event. Self-reported emotions were also assessed immediately after the skiing. Participants expressed lower levels of happiness while skiing, compared to when stopping for a break. Moment-to-moment and self-reported measures of emotions were largely unrelated. These findings are explained with reference to the Functional Wellbeing Approach (Vittersø, 2013), which argues that some moment-to-moment feelings are non-evaluative in the sense of being generated directly by the difficulty of an activity. By contrast, retrospective emotional feelings are more complex as they include an evaluation of the overall goals and values associated with the activity as a whole.