Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications

RMRS Online Publication - Journal Articles, External Publications, and Special Reports
An hermeneutic approach to studying the nature of wilderness experiences


Patterson, Michael E.; Watson, Alan E.; Williams, Daniel R.; Roggenbuck, Joseph R. 1998. An hermeneutic approach to studying the nature of wilderness experiences. Journal of Leisure Research. 30(4): 423-452.

The most prevalent approach to understanding recreation experiences in resource management has been a motivational research program that views satisfaction as an appropriate indicator of experience quality. This research explores a different approach to studying the quality of recreation experiences. Rather than viewing recreation experiences as a linear sequence of events beginning with expectations and ending with outcomes that are then cognitively compared to determine experience quality, this alternative approach views recreation as an emergent experience motivated by the not very well-defined goal of acquiring stories that ultimately enrich one's life. Further, it assumes that the nature of human experience is best characterized by situated freedom in which the environment sets boundaries that constrain the nature of the experience, but that within those boundaries recreationists are free to experience the world in unique and variable ways. Therefore this alternative approach seeks a more context specific description of the setting/experience relationship that is intended to complement more general management frameworks (e.g., the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum) developed in conjunction with the motivational research program.

Keywords: emergent experience, experience quality, qualitative research, recreation motivation


About PDFs: For best results, do not open the PDF in your Web browser. Right-click on the PDF link to download the PDF file directly to your computer. Click here for more PDF help.

The PDF below was scanned and converted to text. Some errors may occur.


Download Article
http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs_other/rmrs_1998_patterson_m001.pdf

PDF File Size: 1.9 MB


Title: RMRS Other Publications: An hermeneutic approach to studying the nature of wilderness experiences
Electronic Publish Date: February 25, 2008
Last Update:
February 25, 2008

RMRS Publications | Order a publication | Contact Us