IJERPH, Vol. 19, Pages 1290: Feeling and Thinking about It Are Two Different Things: How to Capture Momentary Emotions of Extreme Sports in the Field (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
To learn about extreme sports and what motivates such activities, we need to understand the emotions embedded in the experience itself. However, how we go about assessing these emotions might provide us with very different answers. An experience is a fleeting and ever-changing phenomenon, rich in detail and filled with nuances. What we remember and, therefore, what we are able to report from our experience might, however, be strikingly different to what we experienced. Our memories are grained by time, impaired by arousal, and affected by context. Despite these limitations, the most common way to measure an experience is by self reporting. The current paper reviews some of the relevant theory on emotions and how this might impact different assessments. I also describe a new way of measuring momentary emotions in the field by use of video cameras and automatic coding of facially expressed emotions. Extreme sports may leave us with positive memories but may be anything but pleasant while in the midst of them. In the end, this paper may give some hints to why.