This two-day online course provides an introduction to state-of-the art qualitative methods in the field of psychological research on the extreme. In current psychological research, there is disagreement about what exactly is the “extreme”. In a theoretical analysis of the phenomenon, Mihalits (2022)1 presented the following proposed definition: Phenomena are considered extreme if they can be classified as such along two dimensions, namely a) the assessment of the intensity of the experience and b) the perception of the temporal conditions during which the experience takes place. An experience can be extreme if it lasts for a long time and is of high intensity (e.g. surviving torture), an experience can be extreme if it is of lower intensity but overstraining in terms of time, for example because the event occurs overnight without allowing the individual to adapt/habituate (e.g. the much-cited moment of shock when one could still avoid an accident). If both factors are high, it is also an extreme experience if the event is both sudden and of high intensity (e.g. pandemics likewise Covid-19 or the first lockdowns).
Research has so far focused primarily on quantifiable aspects of extreme sports, or addressed qualitative-phenomenological specific aspects. So far, however, there is no uniform, empirical definition of the phenomenon. Together with the participants of the Summer School, we want to collect data from extreme athletes (conversation research) and then systematise the data in collaborative workshops along qualitative analysis principles.
The course consists of a blend of lectures, practical data sessions and individual consultations with the participants. It will provide the participants both with theoretical background knowledge as well as first hands-on practical training in basic principles of qualitative research that can access and empirically conceptualizes the phenomenon. A general knowledge of qualitative research, ethnography, mixed methods, comparative, or collaborative methods will be helpful but is not required.
The Summer School is part of an institutional collaboration between the working groups of Thomas Stodulka (FU Berlin), Meike Watzlawik (SFU Berlin), Dominik Mihalits (SFU Vienna), and Carolin Demuth (Aalborg University) that intends to establish long-term collaboration between psychology, anthropology, and the humanities. The first conference of the rotating system was held in Aalborg (in 2021), followed by FU Berlin (2022), actually takes place at SFU Vienna (2023) and will continue at SFU Berlin (2024).
Participation fee is 150 EUR. An invoice will be sent after registration.