/ Death Anxiety, Impulsive Sensation Seeking and Self-Efficacy

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BCT on 01 Jul 2014

My name is Beth and I am a Postgraduate student at The University of Manchester. I am leading some new research into high risk climbing behaviour and how it is affected by the factors "self-efficacy" "death anxiety" and "impulsive sensation seeking" and particularly how it may relate to gender differences.

This particular research has never been done before and I need a large volume of climbers to participate in a survey which will take 10-20 minutes to complete.

If you would like to take part please click the link to this blog and the "about" section will have a link to the survey. The reason I have hosted it on a blog is so that I can share results with all whilst maintaining total confidentiality.

To complete the survey please click on the link below. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me or go through the procedure explained on the blog page.

Thanks!!


http://btmedpsych.wordpress.com/
Post edited at 21:56
Niall - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

All of them are albums by Metallica?

What do I win? :-)
syv_k - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

I have done your survey. Good luck with it!

The gender option of male/female/trans is incorrect. Most trans people consider themselves male or female just like everyone else. There are some people who do not identify as male or female, who may be trans or not (often intersex).
A less offensive way to ask the gender question would be "male"/"female"/"other", or perhaps "male"/"female"/"other or prefer not to say". If you had a specific research interest in trans
people's answers you could ask "are you trans" (to catch general transgender identities) or "does the gender you identify as differ from the gender you were assigned at birth" to catch transsexuals and people with a trans history. However, I very much doubt that you would get a big enough sample size to make any conclusions whatsoever about trans climbers!

Hope that helps.
Niall - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Done the survey by the way :-)
BCT on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to syv_k:

Hi
Thanks for your comments.
I consulted the Manchester LGBT organisation for advice on this and several online sources. I was satisfied the question would not be deemed as offensive before publishing it. I understand it is still a contentious issue though and expected some comments on it.
This is one of the website i consulted, quite interesting..

http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/06/how-can-i-make-the-gender-question-on-an-application-for...

Thanks for taking the time to complete the survy, Beth
syv_k - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

I have just showed the link above to a LGBT campaigner... her response was that the article was a load of B......s, even though it is the top hit on Google. Unfortunately, many LGB individuals are not knowledgeable about T and so dispense incorrect advice. I don't want to hijack your thread here so perhaps we should take it to email/PM.
Try:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Survey_best_practices
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aj-walkley/lgbt-inclusivity-surveys-questionnaires_b_2696005.html

http://dearcissexism.tumblr.com/post/21265118051/tips-for-making-your
BCT on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to syv_k:

I appreciate the awareness you raise about this subject. I will mostly definitely read up for on this, as well as other sources which may be contradictory, and help educate my colleagues on the matter also. It is hard to have a right or wrong answer with these types of things as there are so many interpretations of terminology and definitions.
Again, thanks and I will PM you if I need to discuss anything further.
Father Noel Furlong on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Title was a dead give away the post was a post-grad link to a survey.

I mean who uses the expression "self-efficacy" on a daily basis?
Father Noel Furlong on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

PS i love the question about parties........i can't remember the last time i was invited to one!!
BCT on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:

Mina Leslie-Wujastyk does :P While I was preparing my proposal she actually gave a small talk on it and we had a good chat after, made my day!
nwclimber on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Done. I hope the following comments are helpful:

In questions 7-9 which begin 'If you answered x etc.', it might have been better if the response 'My preferred style was y or z' had been the first response.

Initially I wasn't sure if Q24 was looking for frequency or duration. I decided it was the former. To remove any doubt in numpties such as myself, the rubric could have been worded 'During the last two weeks, on how many days did you experience the following:' (or the headings could have read 'On several days', 'On more than half...' etc.)

If I had answered Q26 two weeks ago my responses would have been significantly different!

Best wishes for you research.
scott titt - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

At Q8 you ask "If you answered sport as a preferred climbing style, what is the difficulty of an on-sight (unpracticed) climb? Please note this is the British tecnhical grade."
Sport climbing is graded using the French grading system (eg F6a), the British technical grade has not been used for Sport climbing in this country since the 1990's. I fear you will get many false replies from the less-observant respondee.
Jon Read - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to scott titt:

And that's a strangely worded question, isn't it?
Did you mean to ask: what is the normal difficulty you onsight?
As it is, it doesn't make sense. Or rather it depends on which climb you're asking about!

Although you make reference to the Research Governance office on the information page, you don't actually state whether they've approved this study,nor do you say who is responsible for the study (this would be your supervisor).
flaneur - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Father Noel Furlong:

> I mean who uses the expression "self-efficacy" on a daily basis?

Bob the Builder.

winhill - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to scott titt:

> At Q8 you ask "If you answered sport as a preferred climbing style, what is the difficulty of an on-sight (unpracticed) climb? Please note this is the British tecnhical grade."

> I fear you will get many false replies from the less-observant respondee.

That would be me, then. Although I assumed it was French, especially as it goes up to 9a. I expect it is just a typo, so in fact it is the observant who answered in engtech who will obscure the result?
BCT on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Thank you for all your comments. They are taken on board and will be used in the evaluation and limitations of the study. It was really hard to choose garding systems that people are familiar with and can be understood across the board!
The sport climbing grading shouldn't greatly affect the results and this can be accounted for when analysing results.
Keep useful comments coming!
puppythedog on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

I've happily completed your questionnaire. The problem with the grading ambiguity for sport is that some may answer the question you ask and not the question you mean. Sport grades and English tech are very different things. Otherwise nice questionnaire. I look forward to hearing the results. Can you post them here?
BCT on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to puppythedog:

I will certainly put on the forum when they are available which will be on the blog.

Unfortunately I cannot ammend the grading question as it is now live but as I said this will be considered in the analysis and evaluation.

Many thanks!
BCT on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

When answering the sport climbing grading question I used "British Technical" as I know us Brits use the french system. The has confused a few people and rightly so! I don't think this will effect results. If you are reading this and answered for sport I would appreciate a quick PM to let me know how you interpreted it.
Martin Hore - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Done

Agree with a couple of the comments above. How many times etc is tricky. Does one climb count as one time. Or does one trip (eg weekend) count as one time. And the question about difficulty is unclear - is that my maximum grade at present or my "normal" grade whatever that is. I answered the former.

I wanted to plump for a middle option on lots of the true/false questions. Only late on did I discover that you could leave a question blank. You don't seem to be able to remove both options once you've selected one of them.

Did you test the survey with a few climbers before going live? The points people have mentioned would have come up I think if you had. But perhaps you did and it's just that UKC visitors are a picky bunch!

Good luck with the research.

Martin

ads.ukclimbing.com
dsh - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Completed. Question 6 is a bit unclear. What does times mean? Trips? Days? Does an afternoon climbing count the same as a week long trip?

7) What is the difficulty rating? Average, usual, max?

noteviljoe on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Done. Filling in the survey kinda made me feel depressed about death!
Mick Ward - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

> It was really hard to choose garding systems that people are familiar with and can be understood across the board!

Hmm...

Mick
johncoxmysteriously - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Why are these surveys invariably such utter shite? I really don't get it - how hard would it be to get some basic information about the sport and ask questions that actually made sense?

The fact that the author apparently spent time hand-wringing about how best to refer to a group which forms, and I'm generalising here, zero per cent of the climbing world without offending their delicate sensibility, and no time learning how sports climbs are graded, pretty much sums up our university system.

And while I'm on the subject presumably 'has never been done before' is some kind of university code for 'has been done dozens and dozens of times before' - never with any great insight or acumen, it's true.

jcm
Rampikino - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I started to look and fond on the first page that the options don't fit my climbing preferences.

So I'm not prepared to submit answers that won't represent my views.

Additionally, why is it that these surveys appear to be requested by members who have never or almost never posted on UKC before?
Frank the Husky - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Rampikino:

> Additionally, why is it that these surveys appear to be requested by members who have never or almost never posted on UKC before?

Does that actually matter? Being a regular poster on UKC (lie Mr Mysteriously above your post) doesn't mean you have anything meaningful to say or that you are somehow "geniune". There are many who never post or even register on UKC.

Firestarter on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Done. Good luck.
Rampikino - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to Frank the Husky:

I get that, it's merely a personal impression.
Bob_the_Builder - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to flaneur:

I don't even know what "self-efficacy" means! Don't go miss-accusing people of fancy verbiage!
andrewmcleod - on 02 Jul 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

I do love that the great people of UKC are permanently confused about their role in such surveys, which is to fill them in not mark them and return them to their 'students' with their comments and feedback! OK, it is true that most of these surveys have a few dodgy questions and a bit of polite feedback is generally appreciated, but you should also remember that student surveys are never going to be perfect - if they were, they wouldn't be student surveys!

In addition, it is probably provably impossible to make a survey which will perfectly fulfil the situations of every climber; it is therefore logically impossible to satisfy the demands of UKC _even in theory_.

Why do people here think they are so much better at writing surveys? I would like to see UKC's finest create a research survey that UKC wouldn't tear holes in regardless...

> Why are these surveys invariably such utter shite?

I don't know, but I could equally ask why all of your posts are utter shite? That would however be quite rude, and I would have failed to prove this in any way.

> The fact that the author apparently spent time hand-wringing about how best to refer to a group which forms, and I'm generalising here, zero per cent of the climbing world without offending their delicate sensibility

Point one of your post is defensible. This is just silly even if you are right, which is far from proven unless you know the gender orientation of every climber in the country. Your only defence is that you offend everyone's sensibilities so at least it is fair...

It also seems pretty bloody sensible where differences with gender is one of the key factors being investigated! Plus to not do so might very well be considered a lapse when the project is marked - so your advice might very well cost the marks.

> And while I'm on the subject presumably 'has never been done before' is some kind of university code for 'has been done dozens and dozens of times before' - never with any great insight or acumen, it's true.

One of the wonderful differences between UKC and science is that in science it would be necessary to demonstrate this statement is likely to be true... in any event I look forward to your reasoned critical response to the project if published. If not published (perfectly reasonable for postgraduate work) then nothing has really been lost, has it?
I like climbing - on 03 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

I did your survey but I can tell that you are a non climber. If you were a climber the questions would have been much more useful.
I like climbing - on 03 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

> When answering the sport climbing grading question I used "British Technical" as I know us Brits use the french system. The has confused a few people and rightly so! I don't think this will effect results. If you are reading this and answered for sport I would appreciate a quick PM to let me know how you interpreted it.

As a British grade. It should be a French grade - that's what we all use.
Bob_the_Builder - on 03 Jul 2014
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> I don't know, but I could equally ask why all of your posts are utter shite? ... I would have failed to prove this in any way.

You don't need to prove anything, jcm proves your point himself. =]
full stottie on 03 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Filled in your survey - I'm always happy to help people with their studies.

Your intro to the study on the blog makes it clear that gender differences are the focus of your enquiry, and I'd be surprised if there are not some differences. I'd be interested in the results as they relate to AGE - certainly my risk behaviour has changed significantly with age and circumstance. As a 20 year-old there were times when I didn't think I'd reach 21, now I'm a much bigger wuss, despite comments from younger climbing partners that I should just push it as I've had a good innings, so what's to be lost? My attitude to death has changed too.....!

As long as you get a big enough sample, the quirks of the survey design that others have picked out will probably not make a huge difference to the headlines, but if you have not already planned to, are you considering some qualitative research to follow up? Intelligence is more powerful that information, as the cliche goes.

Dave
flaneur - on 03 Jul 2014
In reply to Bob_the_Builder:

> I don't even know what "self-efficacy" means! Don't go miss-accusing people of fancy verbiage!

I meant Bob the Builder, not Bob_the_Builder.

Self-efficacy means "Can we do it? Yes we can!"

BCT on 03 Jul 2014
In reply to Rampikino:

Please only answer if you wish. Nothing here is being forced. This is for research purposes and completely optional.

Thanks
Post edited at 12:24
BCT on 03 Jul 2014
In reply to full stottie:

Hi there,

You make a very good point and one that I thought long and hard about. Invariably there will be evidence of age differences but due to the research purpose I could not focus on this but they will be highlighted in the results.

Make sure to check back!

Thanks
BCT on 03 Jul 2014
In reply to Martin Hore:

Hi Martin

I did a pilot with a handful of climbers and ammended as necesary with their comments. The sheer scale of responses I am getting will invariably being up issues not yet spotted but thank you for pointing out these difficulties.

Beth
Rampikino - on 03 Jul 2014
In reply to Frank the Husky:

> Does that actually matter? Being a regular poster on UKC (lie Mr Mysteriously above your post) doesn't mean you have anything meaningful to say or that you are somehow "geniune". There are many who never post or even register on UKC.

I will use an analogy.

If someone from the village comes around knocking on the door selling raffle tickets, then I'm more likely to buy them if I've met them before or know a bit about them than if it is the first and only time they have ever been in contact with me.

The same goes for the surveys, and don't get me wrong, I have completed some of them and I have not completed others, I'm not a miserable old curmudgeon who wants to dismiss everything. I tend to look at them first and make an assessment as to whether I feel they will truly represent my opinions, and this one does not.

As for the person who suggested that the OP is not a climber, well given that she has logged nearly 400 routes in her logbook I would suggest that she does have some experience!

In which case I wish Beth-Cath-T luck.
dereke12000 - on 07 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Hi Beth,

I've also just completed your survey. I have to agree with some other commentators that several questions need an answer between yes and no, which led me to answer similar questions with contradictory answers to feel I was being more accurate.
Also I now enjoy sport and trad equally, but had to choose only one.

Also at the end there is nothing like "This is the end of the survey. Thank you for participating", you just end up on a tacky page which demands an email address, until you realise it's just an advert and the survey itself is over.

Best of luck, Derek
ads.ukclimbing.com
shiv - on 07 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Done. Good luck with the study.
JimboWizbo - on 08 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Done!
Xharlie on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

I answered your survey.

I concur with the general opinion - the yes/no questions need a sometimes/maybe option. I do, sometimes, set out on climbing trips with no more planning than it takes to shove gear into the boot of the car. Sometimes, I plan them to the n-th degree. Both happen too frequently to deny either as a freak event.

Also, it would really be nice to see some sort of message indicating that the survey is finished - perhaps with the words "thank you" - BEFORE the advertisement for the software/service that hosted it... I suppose that isn't in your control.
Tony Naylor on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:
> When answering the sport climbing grading question I used "British Technical" as I know us Brits use the french system.

I keep running this sentence through my head, and I keep failing to understand it. I *think* it says, "I know we use the French system for sport routes, that's why I used the British tech system". Which doesn't make any kind of sense. Am I being dim here?

I like climbing - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Tony Naylor:

> I keep running this sentence through my head, and I keep failing to understand it. I *think* it says, "I know we use the French system for sport routes, that's why I used the British tech system". Which doesn't make any kind of sense. Am I being dim here?

No you're not. Those were my thoughts. I thought the mention of 9a British grade was in keeping with the fact that this survey has been put together by non climbers.
andrewmcleod - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Tony Naylor:
Just an already-discussed misunderstanding/miscommunication; there is now a note on the link to the survey indicating French grades should be used.

sed 's/British Technical/French/g'
Post edited at 10:57
Jon Stewart - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to dereke12000:

> I have to agree with some other commentators that several questions need an answer between yes and no

I think that if a "maybe" option was given, everyone would plump for that and you'd get no data out. An alternative would be to place it on a scale and make people choose one side or other of the midpoint, which is exactly the same as asking "true or false" except it gives people the illusion that they're expressing something more nuanced.

While I think it's interesting to ask people structured questions to get statistical information about psychological stuff, I'm becoming a bit sceptical about how well it works in these specific cases of mapping psychological traits to climbing behaviour.

I think that maybe climbing is rather too diverse to be treated in this way. I don't think the psychological drivers behind my climbing (which is very specific to onsight trad on big, classic, scenic routes) are similar at all to someone who goes sport climbing, potters socially at Stanage, boulders hard indoors, or who previously climbed hard but now just 'keeps their hand in'. I think maybe that "climbing" just isn't a narrow enough behaviour to be analysed in this way, as evidenced by the difficulty in answering a simple question like "how often do you climb?" or "what grade do you climb?".
ashtond6 - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:
> (In reply to Beth-Cath-T)
>
> Why are these surveys invariably such utter shite? I really don't get it - how hard would it be to get some basic information about the sport and ask questions that actually made sense?
>
> The fact that the author apparently spent time hand-wringing about how best to refer to a group which forms, and I'm generalising here, zero per cent of the climbing world without offending their delicate sensibility, and no time learning how sports climbs are graded, pretty much sums up our university system.
>
> And while I'm on the subject presumably 'has never been done before' is some kind of university code for 'has been done dozens and dozens of times before' - never with any great insight or acumen, it's true.
>
> jcm



another idiotic post
if you don't like it, don't do the survey or post. Clearly have way too much time on your hands
Bobling - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Done! Refreshing to see what I thought was a well spelt and put together survey, despite you attracting the usual bile from some.

Question 4 made me laugh - the last option being "I chose bouldering", sounds like a beanie wearing uber-wad's autobiography a la Bonnington's "I chose to climb".
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to ashtond6:

jcm is commenting about the post. You're arguing that if someone says something daft on a forum no one has a right to comment on its daftness. And this survey is truly daft and flawed (=idiotic) in about a hundred different ways. Many of the questions are scarcely answerable (intelligently), while others are so trite as to be of virtually no consequence. Many others again imply that what one thinks now, or over the last fortnight, can give a truthful or useful summary of one's true opinions or more deeply held evaluations.

Really, I find the banality and simplistic thinking of this questionnaire quite shocking and depressing and worrying all at once. That something this callow - involving doing nothing more than clicking 'radio' buttons that demand drasticly simplistic either/or answers to questions about complex matters of life, death and fear (that are often not mutually exclusive) - can possibly be the basis for a PhD.

BCT on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Bobling:

Many thanks

Glad you enjoyed it!
Jon Stewart - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

It's not the design or drafting you're objecting to, it's the whole approach of gathering statistical data about subjective experience.

Do you think that any psychological or sociological research using questionnaire data is valid?

As I've said before, a questionnaire like this does not attempt to capture any individual's experience accurately - it's designed to pick out patterns across many people by forcing respondents to categorise their experiences, rather than describe them.
BCT on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

The measures used are demographic questionnaires, Death Anxiety Scale and general anxiety scale, Impulsive sensation seeking scale and Climbing self-efficacy scale.
Templers Death Anxiety scale (TDAS) composes of 15 items which the participant answers true or false. This scale measures the anxiety the participant has about death in everyday life, not just climbing (or just before).
This scale has been properly validated. It has a good concurrent validity, correlated 0.74 with the Fear of Death scale and demonstrated re-test reliability and internal consistency (Templar, 1970). General anxiety is measured by the GAD-7. Developed by the NHS GAD-7 has a sensitivity of 89% and a specificity of 82% for generalised anxiety disorder.
The impulsivity and sensation seeking scale (ImpSS) was chosen due to acknowledgment that impulsivity is empirically linked to sensation seeking (Fischer et al, 2004; Zuckerman, 1994). It has shown reliability and validity in field and clinical studies on risk behaviour (McDaniel and Machan, 2008).
The climbing self-efficacy scale (CSES) is specifically designed to measure self-efficacy in climbing therefore can generalise to the climbing population. It was devised by Llewellyn and Sanchez in 2008 and has since been used in research on climbing behaviour (eg, Sandlin, 2013).

I hope this clarifies your concerns about the validity of the questions.
Thank you for your interest.




Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> It's not the design or drafting you're objecting to, it's the whole approach of gathering statistical data about subjective experience.

Exactly, although there are some minor oddities with the design and drafting.

> Do you think that any psychological or sociological research using questionnaire data is valid?

With intelligent questions and multiple boxes that can be ticked, or better, boxes that require verbal answers, yes, just. But why not do the research properly and just go and have long discussions with people? (The answer, I suspect, is that that is too much like hard work.)

> As I've said before, a questionnaire like this does not attempt to capture any individual's experience accurately - it's designed to pick out patterns across many people by forcing respondents to categorise their experiences, rather than describe them.

But they always demand how you are thinking now, or in a very narrow time frame, and fail completely to see that climbing by the week, month, year, decade, is like a complex graph, almost like the weather.

I think the 'time-shot' patterns of these surveys are of very little value. Well, I'm struggling to guess what the value is.

43% reckoned they climb at 'Hard Very Difficult' yesterday? 67 % are quite afraid of death?


Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Thanks for you answer. It both clarifies and intensifies my concerns.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> With intelligent questions and multiple boxes that can be ticked, or better, boxes that require verbal answers, yes, just. But why not do the research properly and just go and have long discussions with people? (The answer, I suspect, is that that is too much like hard work.)

This is really crucial - in scientific research, sample size is crucial to drawing valid conclusions. It might be that once general patterns are uncovered, detailed qualitative data from certain, carefully picked respondents might be useful. But gathering qualitative information serves a completely different purpose to gathering statistical data.

> But they always demand how you are thinking now, or in a very narrow time frame, and fail completely to see that climbing by the week, month, year, decade, is like a complex graph, almost like the weather.

But they're not interested in reflected experience over years - they're concerned with patterns in how people think, feel and behave in the present. To get at those patterns, you have to sample, take a small part of hundreds or thousands of different graphs, at random.

Jon Stewart - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

What do you find concerning about measuring psychological traits using accepted metrics?

The idea, I would think is to look at correlations.

As I say above, I do have some scepticism that climbing is narrow enough a behaviour generate good data. I think that when I say "I trad climb E3" referring to big, committing multi-pitch routes on spectacular sea cliffs that you can't fall off, that that's comparable to someone else's "I trad climb E3" when they are fiercely competitive and only climb very safe short routes for the buzz of burning their mates off. I think that the behaviours and motivations are so varied that this might be a problem.
Mick Ward - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> But why not do the research properly and just go and have long discussions with people? (The answer, I suspect, is that that is too much like hard work.)

I strongly suspect that, without such discussions, any 'research' will be a Procrustean bed upon which experience will be stretched and hacked to fit.

Mick

P.S. I've still seen nothing from anyone's 'research' that's told me anything remotely significant about climbing or climbers.
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

The concept of 'patterns of how people think' is, I believe, deeply flawed to start with.
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Mick Ward:

> I strongly suspect that, without such discussions, any 'research' will be a Procrustean bed upon which experience will be stretched and hacked to fit.

Fine, if it's a discussion - which the questionnaire is not.

> P.S. I've still seen nothing from anyone's 'research' that's told me anything remotely significant about climbing or climbers.

Ditto.
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Jon Stewart - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> The concept of 'patterns of how people think' is, I believe, deeply flawed to start with.

Do you believe in depression?
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Of course.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Mick Ward:

> I strongly suspect that, without such discussions, any 'research' will be a Procrustean bed upon which experience will be stretched and hacked to fit.

That's quantitative data for you.

> P.S. I've still seen nothing from anyone's 'research' that's told me anything remotely significant about climbing or climbers.

And you're unlikely to. Remember that if someone's an undergrad or MSc student, they're learning how to do research - that's the purpose.

There is some published stuff out there along these lines, and that isn't likely to be of much interest to the general climbing public. Scientific papers don't tend to be interesting to anyone other than people who study that very narrow field - and not all science has application. But as the human race, we do loads of research to find out loads of stuff, and through that process our understanding of the world increases incrementally. You could pick any area of research you liked and say it's boring and pointless - but someone else is fascinated by it. Personally, I think that any new knowledge about anything, so long as it is rigorously underpinned by evidence, is valuable (in an abstract way, don't ask me to actually demonstrate the value of any randomly picked piece of academic research!!).
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I fail to see how anything this trite can lead to new knowledge.

I can't even see how it's undergrad level, frankly. Or have standards really crashed?
Jon Stewart - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Of course.

Well, that's a pattern in how people think that can be uncovered by the research technique of the "cross sectional quantitative survey". Is it interesting or useful to know what behaviours, traits, personal histories etc are linked to depression? I think so. And countless studies have been done looking at these patterns, and others which might in these cases be clinically useful, so the methods are tested thoroughly to make sure the conclusions are rigorously justified.

I think that patterns in the way people think and behave are fascinating, and I don't think that the whole concept is flawed. In some cases looking at these patterns might be for clinical reasons, others it's "just for fun".
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

My problem is 'patterns of what?' Everything presented here is just so vague.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> I fail to see how anything this trite can lead to new knowledge.

I don't understand how verified psychological metrics can be described as "trite".

> I can't even see how it's undergrad level, frankly. Or have standards really crashed?

The survey uses a number of verified scales to measure different traits.

If the scales are verified and used in published research, then what's the basis of your criticism? That the scales aren't being applied appropriately? Surely you'd need to have a background in psychological research to make that judgement.

Is your objection to the (well established) techniques of psychological research - or that they're being misapplied in this case?


Jon Stewart - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> My problem is 'patterns of what?' Everything presented here is just so vague.

The OP tells you. If you want to know what's meant by stuff like "impulsive sensation seeking" etc, then these are well-defined in the academic literature, Google them. If you're not really interested, don't bother, but without understanding how this type of research works, you're not in a position to judge its quality.

Of course the criticism "as a respondent, I found it difficult/impossible to answer the questions and I couldn't reflect my experiences in the answers" is valid. But you're going rather further than that.
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Surely well-established psych. research uses much sharper questions than this kind of 'do you dislike pain?'/ 'do you like nice food?' question? I admit quite frankly that I need to have the validity of this questionnaire explained to me. It seems to me to be pretending to measure the immeasurable. To make it really simple: how many people can really click that 'Hard Very Difficult' box meaningfully? The other questions are more of the same at a much more life-important level.
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

I admit I am completely out of my depth with this new type of research that I know nothing about. But I tried to answer the questionnaire as an averagely intelligent graduate/postgraduate visitor to the website. But couldn't do it honestly or meaningfully.
Jon Stewart - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Most of the questions are taken from the validated scales for measuring well-defined traits. I guess they're designed to be accessible to the largest number of people.

I think there's some interesting research to be done about how people with different personality traits react to psychology research questionnaires:

Please answer true or false:

- I am enraged by questions which do not account for the complexity of the experience about which they inquire

- I preferred English to Maths at school

- I believe that there is more to the universe than the material world

- I enjoy scientific enquiry for the sake of it, even if it has absolutely no practical application

I think there's a correlation to be found...
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> Most of the questions are taken from the validated scales for measuring well-defined traits. I guess they're designed to be accessible to the largest number of people.

> I think there's some interesting research to be done about how people with different personality traits react to psychology research questionnaires:

> Please answer true or false:

> - I am enraged by questions which do not account for the complexity of the experience about which they inquire

Nothing like enraged. Rather frustrated. So neither true or false.

> - I preferred English to Maths at school

I enjoyed both; did well in both. So neither true or false.


> - I believe that there is more to the universe than the material world

I have a vague belief along those lines. But it's just a belief. Could be right, could be wrong.

> - I enjoy scientific enquiry for the sake of it, even if it has absolutely no practical application

I don't 'enjoy' scientific enquiry. I see that it's absolutely one of the best things that humankind can do, to further understand the world/universe we live in. I'm very enthusiastic about properly conducted science, yes. All worthwhile scientific research of course has later practical application. For my view on academic research in general, see Newman's 'Idea of a University' :-))

Jon Stewart - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I was joking about the questions, but TRUE OR FALSE!! Where are those radio buttons when you need them?

Everything can be analysed, categorised, put in a box, broken into parts, compared against something else...otherwise it doesn't exist!

> All worthwhile scientific research of course has later practical application.

That's a very interesting question! I don't agree, I think plenty of worthwhile science provides nothing more than insight into the world.

> For my view on academic research in general, see Newman's 'Idea of a University' :-))

I had to google that, but I think I agree...

Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Jul 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I was joking about the questions, but TRUE OR FALSE!! Where are those radio buttons when you need them?

> Everything can be analysed, categorised, put in a box, broken into parts, compared against something else...otherwise it doesn't exist!

I think we always have to remember, or bear in mind, that wonderful old saying of Bishop Butler: 'Everything is what it is and not another thing.'

> I had to google that, but I think I agree...

I urge you to read it. Utterly delightful, and very wise.

kevin stephens - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

your problem is that your underlying premise that climbing has anything to do with impulsive sensation seeking is totally opposite to the reality of why we climb. If you had spend more time with climbers or even had a go ad climbing spent some time climbing with them you would have understood this.
Rampikino - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to kevin stephens:

And that's before you even get into the whole sample-sizing element. Remember that a good sample has to be random, right-sized and representative.

There's no way of getting to that with something that is self selecting.
ashtond6 - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

why do you care so much??? im sure she didn't mean to offend you so much
andrewmcleod - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

>> - I am enraged by questions which do not account for the complexity of the experience about which they inquire

> Nothing like enraged. Rather frustrated. So neither true or false.

That would would be 'false' then - you are not enraged. See, you can answer the question after all! :P

You _can't_ understand the complexities of the world. You can simplify the world, and try and understand that. Questionnaires would seem to be a good way of doing that. Anecdotes != quantitative data (the only interesting form of data); ergo even if having lengthy discussions with people you would still have to simplify. A sensible way of doing this would presumably to create a list of yes/no questions ('did the person talk about X/Y/Z') and go over the transcript. How else would you propose to turn this kind of stuff into quantitative data (numbers)?

You can write lengthy essays about your discussions with people until the cows come home, but it isn't really science until you get numbers.
stp - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Wow. Just did the survey. Was much quicker and simpler than I expected. Can't believe all the whinging on this thread about it.

Sure some of the questions don't fit exactly but I think you just have to use a bit of common sense and figure out what the question is about and which answer best describes you.

Beth-Cath it would be good to post the results back on here when its done coz I doubt many of us will remember to check you site in late 2015.
Jon Stewart - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to kevin stephens:

> your problem is that your underlying premise that climbing has anything to do with impulsive sensation seeking is totally opposite to the reality of why we climb.

I don't think you've got any basis to say that. However, if you measure the personality trait in climbers vs non climbers, you'd develop some evidence to go with your hypothesis.

> If you had spend more time with climbers or even had a go ad climbing spent some time climbing with them you would have understood this.

Or she could have a look at the evidence...
ads.ukclimbing.com
BCT on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to stp:

Of course. I will post another link back to the blog once the findings have been analysed.

Thank you
kevin stephens - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> "your problem is that your underlying premise that climbing has anything to do with impulsive sensation seeking is totally opposite to the reality of why we climb."


> I don't think you've got any basis to say that.

Apart from my own motivation to climb, and that of the scores of people I've climbed with over the last 35 years
Mick Ward - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> ...but it isn't really science until you get numbers.

Without numbers, it certainly isn't science; with numbers, it's not necessarily science.

Mick


Gordon Stainforth - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to Mick Ward:

Given the questions, I can't see anything remotely scientific about it.
toad - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Psychology (I assume that's the op's discipline) is a funny science as it depends really heavily on statistical analysis, but the very nature of it means that the data gathered for analysis is inherently subjective. Dangerous nonsense. Almost as bad as human geography ;)
Jon Stewart - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to kevin stephens:

> Apart from my own motivation to climb, and that of the scores of people I've climbed with over the last 35 years

My own motivation is somewhat tied to sensation seeking, by this textbook definition:

personality trait defined by the search for experiences and feelings, that are "varied, novel, complex and intense", and by the readiness to "take physical, social, legal, and financial risks for the sake of such experiences.

Of all the people I've climbed with, their motivations vary enormously from the sporty, achievement-focused to the enjoyment of movement on rock to the social, etc etc.
Mick Ward - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to toad:

I had serious issues with psychology - and psychologists - 40 years ago. They couldn't be resolved, so we parted company. Although I later became a Chartered Psychologist, I always felt I sailed under false colours - so resigned from it. Seemed the honourable thing to do.

Was always - will always - be fascinated by human nature. Psychology has taught me little about human nature. Life has taught me so much more. Not scientific at all...

Mick
Jim C - on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to kevin stephens:

> ...... If you had spend more time with climbers or even had a go ad climbing spent some time climbing with them you would have understood this.

As mentioned earlier, Beth' profile , and the fact she posted this on lost and found indicates she has had some contact with climbers:-
"I have have lost my black Rab jacket -......Women's size 10 (I think....maybe 8!)
I'm not even sure where I left it but it could be at many a crag/indoor centre:
Roaches upper tier;dovestones edge;stanage popular end;; shining clough
Thanks"

And profile
Latest Climbs( of 401) Trapeze Direct VS 4c;Chequers Crack HVS 5c;Slab Recess Direct HS 4c;;Tody's Wall HVS 5a;Hawk's Nest Crack VS 4c;Unicorn Cracks HS 4b;Artifact VS 4c;Central Tower VD;Left Embrasure VS 4b;Wall Corner The Direct Finish VS 4c;Ash Tree;Variations VS 5b;Ash Tree Wall HVD;Ivy Tree HVS 5b;20 Foot Crack S 4b;The Chant HVS 5a
... list all 401 climbs


Goucho on 10 Jul 2014
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> You can write lengthy essays about your discussions with people until the cows come home, but it isn't really science until you get numbers.

According to science, Bumble Bees can't fly :-)

Rob Naylor - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Goucho:

> According to science, Bumble Bees can't fly :-)

Not true. "Science" has a very good explanation of how bumble bees fly!

Whether "having numbers" makes something "science" is a whole different question :-)
drolex - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Oh my God this survey made me so angry I had to write a comment about it! How can the author have the nerve to come with a survey? A survey made of questions? Really?? Come on. Grumble grumble study! Baaah. I am so mad right now!

Done, good luck with your study (and dealing with grumpy people).
Rampikino - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to drolex:

For some people it is important, and simply because they challenge it doesn't mean they should simply be dismissed as grumpy.

To elaborate; throughout the course of any given year a significant number of UKC users asks the UKC Population if they wouldn't mind filling in a survey which is normally around attitudes to climbing etc etc.

More often than not these are to form the basis of some kind of formal Degree.

Very often the UKC user who is requesting is not a regular UKC poster and has often created the profile just to elicit the responses.

Let's be honest, if you go to google and type in "Climbing Forums" guess who is the first on the list. So if you were doing some research and decided to look around for who you could ask it doesn't take long to wander over to UKC.

To my mind if we are being asked to participate in the collection of data for someone's degree (which, let's face it is no small matter) then I think we have every right to question the reasons, methods and approach and also to challenge it if we feel that it is in some way flawed. After all, our contribution is going towards a qualification for someone, not just a little article in "Nuts" magazine about "How dangerous is climbing compared to fighting crocodiles?"

Some of the surveys on here have been quite good and I've completed them, others have been dire, posted by "anonymous" and you wonder how they are even going to form the outcome into anything tangible, let alone get a Degree.

I would say that pretty much every request has NOT been followed up with a "Thanks for filling in my survey last year, here's the results and thanks for helping me get a First in Sports Psychology..."

So I guess at the end of the day you pays your money and you takes your choice, but it doesn't take away the right to challenge.
drolex - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Rampikino:

I understand you want to understand the methodology. But some people (not necessarily you) should take it easy, serioulsy.

If you are fairly familiar with this field of study you will know that is kind of surveys is very common. It is a bit strange to see people give their advice on how a study should be undertaken. When I was doing my PhD (in maths, I am a serious guy like that. I know, nobody cares), I was working with ethologists who were doing the same kind of surveys on the streets. It would have been very odd to see people challenge their methodology when asked to answer some simple questions.

Of course the students had a duty to explain the goals and methods if asked about them but you wouldn't expect to see people criticising the methods or giving their opinion about them. That's very rude. The methodology has been agreed upon with a scientific advisor. There are good reasons why the survey is designed the way it is. It is not your role to challenge the method. If you want to do that, take a chair during the presentation of the thesis or send a message to the OP saying that you are yourself a doctor in psychology and you would like to talk to her advisor.

Once again, asking why is ok, challenging is not ok. It's like going to the kitchen in a restaurant and telling the chef you wouldn't cook the way he/she cooks.
Rampikino - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to drolex:

I don't agree with your chef analogy and I don't agree that we have no right to challenge but I'm happy to leave it at that.

:)
drolex - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Rampikino:
I am quite proud of my chef analogy tbh. Though I wouldn't like to see the equivalent of Gordon Ramsay crash into this forum to say that the OP survey is a pile of f**king s**t and there is dead rat in it.
Post edited at 11:13
andrewmcleod - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to drolex:

> I am quite proud of my chef analogy tbh.

I also like it! :)

So some people can't see what is scientific about this study. This proves only that some people can't see what is scientific about this study... :P
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to drolex:
> I understand you want to understand the methodology.

And Beth has explained the different scales and how they're validated. I don't think one can ask for more than that.

It was obvious after that post that the critics didn't absorb or understand her response. We've all got google, anyone with a rudimentary understanding of quantitative research could use her response to reverse engineer the survey to examine the methodology.

> The methodology has been agreed upon with a scientific advisor.

Exactly.

> It's like going to the kitchen in a restaurant and telling the chef you wouldn't cook the way he/she cooks.

Not a bad analogy. Except that while most people can cook to some degree, most people have no idea how to conduct a piece of scientific research. So maybe it's more like passengers complaining to an airline about the design of the plane!
Post edited at 13:19
andrewmcleod - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> Not a bad analogy. Except that while most people can cook to some degree, most people have no idea how to conduct a piece of scientific research. So maybe it's more like passengers complaining to an airline about the design of the plane!

Possibly passengers complaining that it is quite obvious that square windows would be better in a plane as you would get a better view, that they have a long experience of square windows and have never seen rounded windows used anywhere except in these ridiculous planes, and that they have been flying for many years and have never wanted or needed round windows, and neither have any of the other people they have flown with!
Post edited at 14:01
Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to andrewmcleod:

Alright, alright, complaining about the design of the engines.
andrewmcleod - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Jon Stewart:
I was agreeing with you! :) there is a very good reason the windows of a plane are rounded, although it may not be obvious to a passenger... see the original De Havilland Comet...
Post edited at 15:56
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full stottie on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Beth-Cath-T:

Hi again Beth,

I have been reflecting on the purpose of your enquiry since my earlier response. It seems that you want to explore what makes some people engage in high risk, or very high risk, climbing behaviour, and what might be the characteristics of those who do this?

So if I think of, for example, Alex Honnold's mind-blowing solos I call that high risk climbing behaviour (at least compared to my idea of high risk!), I wonder if it is explainable in terms of him having a high self-efficacy - he's super-confident in his abilities - with a low death anxiety meaning he's not that scared - and a high impulsive sensation-seeking score? The word impulsive might not fit here, but he knows the sensation he's going to get when he does it, impulsively or considered. I know the sensation I get from overcoming psychological 'cruxes' in climbing at my modest level. As I hinted in my earlier post, as an 18-20 year-old I was gung-ho in these terms, although less justified than the likes of Mr Honnold.

Now your next variable is gender. Are there any female versions of Alex Honnold out there? If so, they don't seem to enjoy the same media exposure, and if not, is such high risk climbing behaviour a predominately male trait?

You've had plenty of feedback on methodology, and I'm not qualified to comment on that, but I do think that if your data trawl throws up some patterns, then they might be worth exploring further with qualitative research such as interviews to help understand human behaviour and motivation better - as I said before, this is 'intelligence', not simply 'information'. In that phase, I'd suggest you explore people's personal CONTEXTS, because that seems to me critical in how people behave, especially in relation to risk (although I do acknowledge that strong personality traits can override/ignore/ or compensate for personal context).

What makes me say that is that when I got married, and when I had children, and now grandchildren, my attitude to risk changed, at first subliminally, later consciously. I might be an exception, but your 3 main variables were significantly affected by my changing contexts. I became more scared to die, more cautious about risk, yet I should have felt more confident in my knowledge and experience, because I hadn't died yet from climbing, and thought I knew better about what I was doing in managing risk. I doubt that this is too different for female climbers who have had children, but I await my flaming on that assumption.

Hope this helps.

Dave

Jon Stewart - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> I was agreeing with you! :) there is a very good reason the windows of a plane are rounded, although it may not be obvious to a passenger... see the original De Havilland Comet...

Ah OK! Goes to show how well qualified I am to comment on aircraft design...

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