This study documents the motives of a polar explorer, Pen Hadow, during the period of a 64-day solo expedition in which he skied, without resupply by aircraft, from Canada to the North Geographic Pole. The framework of reversal theory (Apter, 1982) was used to provide a systematic and comprehensive structure for studying such motivation in an extreme environment. Quantitative data were obtained by using the Apter Record of Motivational States. Qualitative data came from interviews structured in terms of reversal theory. The main result was that the explorer needed at different times to call upon all the eight motivational states identified by reversal theory rather than being subject to only the one or two most obvious ones. The telic and autic states were the two that occurred most frequently. Implications for would-be explorers, and for extreme athletes and their coaches, are indicated.
Lloyd, Juliette C. and Apter, Michael J.
"Motivation in Extreme Environments: A Case Study of Polar Explorer Pen,"
Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments:
1, Article 1.