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January Lunchtime Seminar – Stress and Coping in Extreme Environments

13 Jan 2016 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

Cottesbrooke, C106

the University of Northampton, Park Campus

Dr Emma Barrett, Research Fellow in Psychology at Lancaster University, will present on the psychology of extreme environments. Extreme activities such as polar exploration, deep-sea diving, mountaineering, space missions, and long-distance sailing create extraordinary physical and psychological demands. The physical risks are usually obvious. But it’s the psychological pressures that can make extreme environments truly daunting.

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.

During this Seminar Emma will discuss how psychological research sheds light on how people overcome these hazards to survive and thrive in extraordinary and extreme environments. She will also highlight how some of the lessons from extremes can be applied to everyday life.

 Emma Barrett holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham, and is a Research Fellow in Psychology at Lancaster University. She is a Chartered Psychologist and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Emma is the co-author (with Paul Martin) of Extreme: Why Some People Thrive at the Limits (Oxford University Press, 2014).


A sandwich lunch will be provided. 

To register:




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