Author and psychologist Emma Barrett considers what it takes to survive and thrive in remote and dangerous environments. Extreme activities such as polar exploration, deep-sea diving, mountaineering, space missions, and long-distance sailing create extraordinary physical and psychological demands. Dealing with fear is only the start. People in extremes may endure days or weeks of punishing hardships like sleep deprivation, pain, hunger, exhaustion, and monotony. Solo adventurers face loneliness and the risk of psychological breakdown. Those whose mission involves long-term confinement with a small group may experience stressful interpersonal conflict. Does it take superhuman abilities to overcome these hazards? Or do we all have the potential to thrive in extremes?
Emma is Professor of Psychology, Security and Trust at the University of Manchester. She is the co-author (with Paul Martin) of Extreme: Why Some People Thrive at the Limits, which was published by Oxford University Press in 2014).
This event in hosted in conjunction with Oxford University Press.