University of Hertfordshire

Apophenia, Synchronicity, and the Postmodern in Sport Psychology

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventThe 3rd International Conference for Qualitative Research in Sport & Exercise - Roehampton University, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jun 200912 Jun 2009

Conference

ConferenceThe 3rd International Conference for Qualitative Research in Sport & Exercise
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period10/06/0912/06/09

Abstract

Wednesday 17th November 2004: “It’s meditative by the river, where I displace the unwelcome chatter worming into my head. Today two men were leaning on a fence; both had long tangled grey hair, and skin so weather-beaten it resembled the cracked tanned leather of an antique football. One clutched a bottle of gin in his left hand, and a forlorn plastic bag in the right. The other man, partially-hidden by a faded green trench coat, open and flapping in the breeze, sported a voluminous handlebar moustache. As I passed he enquired, uninvited; ‘How ya doin mate?’ ‘Good thanks’, I replied, avoiding eye contact. I was annoyed at having to interrupt my conversation. But, he beamed life, so I reluctantly smiled. ‘How many more miles ya got to go then?’ he asked. I hesitated, and replied; ‘only one, hopefully’. With a wave I continued, and as their conversation dissipated I contemplated our encounter. Perhaps my pace and expression reflected my inner turmoil, so he chose to intervene. Undoubtedly, things haven’t been making sense recently; the PhD [on goal-commitment] has become parasitic, and no matter how hard I scratch it won’t let go. So, perhaps he’d been ‘sent’ to guide me. After all, I have achieved a lot and, although sometimes it seems that there’s so much left to do, perhaps I’m nearer to completion than I think”. Jung (1955) used the term synchronicity to refer to an occurrence of events that are causally independent, but which appear to be connected by orderedness beyond comprehension manifesting in a sense of hope and wholeness. In contrast, Brugger (1997) suggests that synchronistic events are no more than errors of interpretation due to problematic reality-testing (apophenia). Consequently, this paper seeks to elaborate on the positioning of synchronicity [in Jungian terms] within qualitative research in sport psychology.

Notes

Stephen Pack, ‘Apophenia, Synchronicity, and the Postmodern in Sport Psychology’, paper presented at the 3rd International Conference for Qualitative Research in Sport & Exercise, London, UK, 10-12 June, 2009.

ID: 10163969