Revisiting the psychology of events

Authored by: Pierre Benckendorff , Philip L. Pearce

The Routledge Handbook of Events

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367236489
eBook ISBN: 9780429280993
Adobe ISBN:


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Psychology is one of the foundations of the study of events, since events are about people and psychology is about the scientific approach to the study of human behaviour. Psychology has a wide range of specialisms, theories and methods/levels of analysis to understand human interactions associated with events. This chapter examines the four groups of people involved in events: spectators and attendees; performers and participants; elite performers and host communities. The chapter also evaluates how psychology can inform an understanding of behaviour prior to the event, at the event and after the event. A wide range of concepts are examined in this chapter which include; the nature of the event experience (i.e. the pre-event; event and on-site experience and post site experience). The role of stakeholders and key psychological constructs are examined (e.g. motivation, personality/identity and values) in the pre-event stage. At the on on-site experience, key concepts such as sensations, emotions, cognitions, relationships and activities are reviewed. These concepts also link to broader issues around mindfulness, flow and involvement that impact upon the post-event experience and the associated concepts of satisfaction, happiness, well-being and savouring.

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