Psychological aspects of adventure in recreation, tourism and education.
Positive Psychology (e.g., flow, Self-determination theory)
Mixed-methods research with head-mounted cameras
Dr. Susan Houge Mackenzie is an Assistant Professor of Recreation at the University of Idaho. She received her BA in Psychology from Pomona College and her Ph.D. from the University of Otago (New Zealand). She recently moved from New Zealand, where she taught courses in Adventure Tourism Management, Outdoor Education and Adventure Recreation and conducted research on psychological aspects of adventure, with an emphasis on positive psychology theories. Susan’s interest in sport and adventure activities stems from nine years of riverboarding guiding in areas of New Zealand, the US and Chile and competing in the New Zealand National Women’s soccer league. She contributed to the New Zealand Ministry of Tourism’s review of the adventure tourism industry and risk management practices, as well as helping to develop seminal riverboarding industry training courses and manuals. Susan has also conducted mental skill training workshops for elite youth soccer players and multisport athletes on behalf of Sport Otago (New Zealand). Her research employs mixed methods, such as qualitative interviews based on head-mounted camera footage, to study psychological experiences of adventure across recreational, tourism and educational settings. Susan is very interested in the implications of these investigations for flow theory, self-determination theory and reversal theory, as well as for practitioners. This research is grounded in the belief that engaging in outdoor, physical activity is essential to health and mental well-being, and can provide a profound sense of meaning and purpose to everyday life. The results of her research have been published in leisure, tourism and psychology journals.
Houge Mackenzie, S. & Kerr, J.H. (in press). Beyond thrill-seeking: Exploring multiple motives for adventure participation. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership.
Houge Mackenzie, S.. & Kerr, J.H. (2013). Stress and emotions at work: Adventure tourism guiding experiences in South America. Tourism Management.
Houge Mackenzie, S, Hodge, K. & Boyes, M. (2013). The multi-phasic and dynamic nature of flow in adventure experiences. Journal of Leisure Research.
Houge Mackenzie, S. & Kerr, J.H. (2012). A (mis)guided adventure tourism experience: An autoethnographic analysis of mountaineering in Bolivia. Journal of Sport and Tourism.
Houge Mackenzie, S. & Kerr, J.H. (2012). The use of stimulated recall technology in qualitative research: Head-mounted cameras and stimulated recall in qualitative sport research. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 4(1), 51-61.
Kerr, J.H. & Houge Mackenzie, S. (2012). Multiple motives for participating in adventure sports. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 13, 649-657.
Houge Mackenzie, S. & Kerr, J.H. (2012). Client experiences in mountaineering tourism and implications for outdoor leaders. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 4(2), 112–115.
Houge Mackenzie, S., Hodge, K. & Boyes, M. (2011). Expanding the flow model in adventure activities: A reversal theory perspective. Journal of Leisure Research, 43(4), 519-544.
Houge, S., Hodge, K. & Boyes, M. (2010). A positive learning spiral of skill development in high risk recreation: Reversal Theory and flow. Journal of Experiential Education, 32(3), 285-289.
Houge, S., Hodge, K. & Boyes, M. (2010). The phasic nature of flow in high risk recreation. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 2(2), 51-54.
Houge Mackenzie, S. (PI), Indigenous perceptions of adventure recreation: M'ā'ori perspectives. University of Idaho Seed Grant. $12,000, 2012-2013.
Houge Mackenzie, (PI), Miller, B., Son, J., Hougham, J., Eitel, K. & Thompson, G. Adventure Learning to promote GreenSTEM education and physical activity in schools. College of Education Research Awards. $12,000, 2012.
Kern, A. (PI), Brown, H., McFarland, A., Houge Mackenzie, S., Scruggs, P. & Goc Karp, G. Paddle and bike the Coeur d’Alene watershed. College of Education Research Awards. $11,992, 2012.
These projects both address the pressing issues of obesity and STEM education engagement in youth (both in high school science students and tribal youth) by meaningfully integrate nature-based STEM topics and outdoor adventure activities. Participation is expected to promote engagement and motivation for both healthy active lifestyles and STEM topics. Findings will provide practical directions for future program development that effectively explores the intersection of physical activity and STEM engagement.
Houge, S. (PI). Reversal theory and flow: Toward an integrated framework of optimal experiences in adventure activities. Duffus Lubecki Award in Applied Sciences (New Zealand). $60,000, 2006-2010.
This four-year research project focused on theoretically integrating two psychological theories (flow theory and reversal theory) in the fields of sport and recreation motivation research. This research project also developed an innovative mixed-methods approach to examining perceptions of enjoyment and learning in a dynamic physical activity context via head-mounted cameras.
Houge, S. (PI). Autoethnographical understandings of adventure tourism: Guide and client perspectives. South America, 2010-2011.
This project employed a unique autoethnographic approach to evaluate and expand the theoretical frameworks used to understand adventure sport tourism experiences, from both the client and guide perspectives.
Houge, S. (PI). Risk management practices in the Galapagos Islands. Ecuador, 2010.
This project investigated risk management practices in the Galapagos Islands and helped to develop new safe operational procedures and risk management techniques for local adventure operators.
Additional Outreach Projects
Associate Editor for Schole (National Park and Recreation Association journal)
Sport Otago Mental Skills Training Workshops New Zealand
New Zealand Whitewater Boarding Association (NZWBA) Executive Board Member and Assessor
Women’s Development Officer, Coach and Club Captain for Queenstown Rovers Football Club New Zealand
Spanish Language Guide and Service Facilitator for Developing Rural Communities Group Cuba
Nott's County Community Football Coach England
Duffus Lubecki Award for Applied Sciences
Houge Mackenzie, S (PI) (2009) Dissemination of doctoral research. University of Otago Postgraduate Publishing Bursary, Research & Enterprise Office, $5,000.
Houge Mackenzie, S (PI) (2009). Research dissemination. The Perry Foundation and University of Otago Division of Sciences. $4,600 (combined)
Phi Beta Kappa, Pomona College, 2002
Pomona College Downing Scholar, 2002