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Extreme: Why Some People Thrive At the Limits

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Why do some people risk their lives regularly by placing themselves in extreme and challenging situations? For some, such as astronauts, the extreme environments are part of the job. For others, they involve the thrill and competition of extreme sports, or the achievement of goals such as being the first to reach the South Pole or climb Everest. Whether for sport or employment, all these people have made the personal choice to put themselves in environments in which there is significant risk. What drives such people? And what skills and personality traits enable the best to succeed? What abilities are shared by the successful mountaineer, astronaut, caver, or long-distance solo sailer? And are there lessons the rest of us can learn from them?The psychology of those who have to cope with extreme conditions has been a matter of much research. It is important, for example to those planning manned space programmes or the makeup of teams who will spend months in an isolated or hostile environment such as Antarctica, to understand the psychological pressures involved, and to recognize those best equipped to handle them. In Extreme, Emma Barrett and Paul Martin explore the challenges that people in extreme environments face, including pain, physical hardship, loneliness, and friction between individuals, and the approaches taken to overcome them. Using many fascinating examples and personal accounts, they argue that we can all benefit from the insights gained.

Authors: Barrett Emma, Martin Paul
Publisher: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Pages: 278
ISBN: 9780199668595
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2016

Dr Paul Martin CBE is a security practitioner with thirty years' experience in the national security arena. During a career in UK government service from 1986 to 2013 he held a variety of senior positions and was awarded the CBE in 2013 for his services to defence. From 2013 to 2016 he was the Director of Security for the UK Parliament, with responsibility for the physical, personnel, and cyber security of both Houses. Paul was educated at the University of Cambridge, where he graduated in natural sciences and took a PhD in behavioural biology, and Stanford University, where he was Harkness Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. He subsequently lectured and researched at the University of Cambridge and was a Fellow of Wolfson College Cambridge, before leaving academia to join government service.

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