Exercise and Existence: Exercise Behavior from an Existential-Phenomenological Perspective

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 Univ. of Wyoming
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The difficulty in understanding human behavior requires using whatever approaches that address the questions. Concerning such questions, four forces have emerged in psychology representing variations in ontology, philosophies of science, and concomitant epistemologies and methodologies. Nonetheless, when viewed from a metapsychological perspective, one force has predominated in exercise psychology to the exclusion of the remaining three. A recognition of the complexity in exercise behavior calls for additional psychologies that provide an expanded perspective for understanding the problems and questions that arise. Exercise dependency is an example of such a problem, and existential psychology will be introduced as a means of studying and understanding this problem. An example of existential-phenomenological research on exercise behavior is included to demonstrate the possibility of such inquiry and to exemplify contributions to understanding that might ensue.

Larry Fahlberg and Ward Gates are with the School of Physical and Health Education, Corbett Bldg., University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071-3196. Lauri Fahlberg is at 1518 Park Ave., Laramie, WY 82070.

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