Research > Research Inventory > Sports Psychology: Human Interaction with the Environment

Risks Seem Low While Climbing High: Shift in Risk Perception and Error Rates in the Course of Indoor Climbing Activities.

Author: M. Raue, R. Kolodziej, E. Lermer, B. Streicher | Year: 2018
Summary/Results: Researchers studied 57 participants (32% female) for climbing/belaying errors and their answers to questions about perceived risk at five different time points: the night before climbing, entering the gym, after the first route, before the last route, and outside the gym. The authors found that perceived risk decreases during climbing, that errors increase, and that more experienced climbers made more errors than less experienced climbers. Beta-Angel note: experience was measured by their level of lead climbing difficulty (5.5 – 5.11d), years of climbing experience (1 – 45)and whether they indicated they were professionally trained.
Reference: Front Psychol. 2018 Dec 17;9:2383.
Sports Psychology > Human Interaction with the Environment

Development and Initial Validation of a Rock Climbing Craving Questionnaire (RCCQ).

Author: G. Roderique-Davies, RM Hereine, S. Mellalieu, DA Shearer | Year: 2018
Summary/Results: Researchers sought to validate a measurement tool for identifying the “craving” to go rock climbing. The authors sought to validate their Rock Climbing Craving Questionnaire (RCCQ) in 407 climbers by using climbing “cues” to assess whether those cues had an impact on craving. There were small to medium effects. The authors suggest that their findings support the idea that there may be similarities between climbing and drug cravings, and consider that it may be possible to use rock climbing as a replacement for drug addiction. Beta-Angel note: the paper is worth reading specifically for its discussion of cues and positive/negative reinforcement within the context of climbing craving.
Reference: Front Psychol. 2018 Feb 22;9:204.
Sports Psychology > Human Interaction with the Environment

Rock Climbing, Risk, and Recognition

Author: T. Langseth, Ø. Salvesen | Year: 2018
Summary/Results: The authors argue that it is challenging to understand climbing perception of risk without understanding how climbers perceive and recognize one another’s accomplishments – the social dynamic. Central to the author’s argument is that (1) climber’s do actually value risk in spite of what they report, and (2) they offer up a model suggesting credibility is given for an ascent when a climber’s abilities and potential risk are balanced together. Beta-Angel Note: The authors note that the model hits a tipping point where the “zone” of credibility expands. At this point the climber is considered “sanctified,” at which point you can operate within a wider sense of credibility, where less risk but more ability is provided value (usually “unnoticed”) or more risk but less ability is valued (usually considered “foolhardy”).
Reference: Front Psychol. 2018 Sep 24;9:1793. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01793. eCollection 2018
Sports Psychology > Human Interaction with the Environment

Comparative grading scales, statistical analyses, climber descriptors and ability grouping: International Rock Climbing Research Association position statement

AUTHOR: N. Draper, D. Giles, V. Schoffl, FK Fuss, P. Watts, P Wolf, J. Balas, V. Espana-Romero, GB Gonzalez, S. Fryer, M. Fanchini, L. Vigouroux, L. Seifert, L. Donath, M. Spoerri, K. Bonetti, K. Phillips, U. Stocker, F. Bourassa-Moreau, I. Garrido, S. Drum, S. Beekmeyer, J. Ziltener, N. Taylor, I. Beeretz, F. Mally, AM Amca, C. Linhart, E. Abreu | Year: 2015
SUMMARY/RESULTS: A statement by the International Rock Climbing Research Association which details (1) a universal scale for converting local/national climbing grades, and (2) standards for reporting about climber characteristics such as: discipline of climbing, indoor vs. outdoor focus, average time climbing or training, experience level, competitive experience, and preference for style of ascent.
REFERENCE: Journal of Sports Technology, Vol. 8, Issue 3-4 (2015)
Longer Version (but not the full version):

Indoor Climbing Walls: The Sport of the Nineties

AUTHOR: R. Mittelstaedt | Year: 2014
SUMMARY/RESULTS: An overview of a history of climbing walls. Beta-Angel note: an article we didn’t have access to. Would love a short summary.
REFERENCE: Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, Vol. 68, Issue 9 (1996) or

“It’s a place to climb”: place meanings of indoor rock climbing facilities

AUTHOR: C. Kulczycki, T. Hinch | Year: 2014
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers used a survey to examine the extent to which 21 climbers attach a special meaning to rock climbing gyms. The researchers found that indoor climbing gyms have special meaning to climbers, specifically around the following themes: gyms are consciously artificial, re-create nature, are accessible, provide a sport-specific distinction, and cater to outdoor desires, loyalty, skill development, physical fitness, and camaraderie.
REFERENCE: Leisure/Loisir, Vol. 38, Issue 3-4 (2014)

Pretzel Logic an embodied ethnography of a rock climb

AUTHOR: J. Dutkiewicz | Year: 2014
SUMMARY/RESULTS: The author identified the “central skills, understanding, and experiences” of a specific rock climb, graded 5.12a on the Yosemite Decimal System and called “Pretzel logic”, and 8 male and female climbers who climbed it. On completion of the climb, the climbers specifically noted their personal, physical experience on the climb rather than grade, location, rock type, etc., suggesting a deeply personal meaning to the interaction with the climb.
REFERENCE: Space and Culture, Vol. 18, Issue 1, p. 25-38 (2014). or PDF:

Identifying the opportunities and threats of sport climbing in Iran

AUTHOR: M. Mokhtarian, A. Khodayari, M. Nourbakhsh | Year: 2014
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers asked 86 coaches, route setters, judges, elite athletes and managers of sport climbing in Iran to complete a 35 item survey on the extent of opportunities available and potential threats associated with sport climbing in Iran. The researchers identified 17 opportunities and 18 threats and suggest that planning can be used to decrease threats, such as a lack of knowledge about sport climbing among physical education teachers, and take advantage of opportunities, such as the use of national TV to broadcast competitions.
REFERENCE: European journal of experimental biology, 4(1); 110-116 2014