Liseberg amusement park in Sweden recently carried out The Peak Fear Experiment, and the research report from the experiment is now being released. Among other things, the results show that recreational fear can have benefits both for health and personal development. “With the help of the study results, we can develop and tailor new fear experiences at the park in the future,” says Karl Svedung, Head of Marketing at Liseberg.

On 11 October this year, Liseberg amusement park in Sweden carried out ‘The Peak Fear Experiment’, a field study in recreational fear. Out of 1,640 applications from 22 countries, two participants were chosen: Vicki Bååth, a 45-year-old teacher from Sweden, and Helge Branscheidt, a 38-year-old hair and make-up artist from Germany. Liseberg conducted the experiment in collaboration with researchers from the Recreational Fear Lab at Aarhus University in Denmark, who will now publish the study results in The Peak Fear Report:

“This experiment shows that subjecting yourself to recreational fear in a safe environment can improve your psychological resilience and stress management ability and help you build strategies for managing fear and negative feelings. In other words, it can help to develop you as a person,” says Mathias Clasen, PhD and co-director at the Recreational Fear Lab at Aarhus University.

For Liseberg, the purpose of the experiment was to gain increased knowledge and insight into how recreational fear can best be designed to optimise fear experiences in the amusement park:

“Every year, thousands of guests visit Halloween at Liseberg to experience fear. The results of this report show that Liseberg has excellent knowledge in the area of recreational fear. Now we want to use these insights to further develop our fear attractions. One aspect we want to examine is whether we can help visitors to tailor their fear experiences at the park,” says Karl Svedung, Head of Marketing at Liseberg.

Both of the participants, Vicki Bååth from Sweden and Helge Branscheidt from Germany, found the experiment a thrilling and fun experience that also challenged them on a deeper, more personal level:

“For me, the scariest element was the unknown, not knowing what was going to happen. It might sound very strange to others, but I enjoyed being in those scary places, letting rip and going crazy,” says Helge Branscheidt from Hamburg.

Vicki Bååth from Sweden had to temporarily interrupt the experiment by shouting the safe word, Peak Fear. However, she doesn’t regret taking part:

“I had to find ways to avoid going into panic, like when I decided to get angry to manage my fear. This enabled me to enjoy the fear experience at the same time as being scared. This is the most fun and exciting thing I’ve ever experienced, and I was very proud of myself when I took control of my fear,” she says.

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