Alex Honnold discusses fear with psychology researcher Armita Golkar - Nobel Week Dialogue 2019

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"To fear or not to fear?" Alex Honnold and Armita Golkar discuss fear, risk, rock climbing and psychology in this discussion moderated by Carin Klaesson, curator at Nobel Media.
Alex Honnold is a professional rock climber whose audacious free-solo ascents of America’s biggest cliffs have made him one of the most recognised and followed climbers in the world.
Armita Golkar is a psychology researcher and associate senior lecturer at Stockholm University and an affiliated researcher at Karolinska Institutet where she studies emotional learning and memory.
The Nobel Week Dialogue is an annual science conference on 9 December in Nobel Week. The goal of the event is to bring together a select group of the world's leading scientists, policy-makers and thinkers for a series of thought-provoking sessions and working groups on a topical science-related theme. With this event the Nobel Institutions aim to deepen the dialogue between the scientific community and the rest of society on issues connected with the Nobel Prize and of importance for the world.


  1. keith Blain
    keith Blain
    Acum 2 Zile

    Research experts greatest fear is a paper cut. While Alex's experience is first hand and not read about. S

  2. Bob Jones
    Bob Jones
    Acum 6 Zile

    The difference between theory and actual experience. The greatest theories are those based on actual experience, this is authority and true knowledge. Doubt he listens to academic theorists when considering a wall. Instead he listens to peers, who KNOW what it is.

  3. Pookie Wookie
    Pookie Wookie
    Acum 6 Zile

    Psychology researcher from Sweden. Probably never had a real job thst creates anything, just education after education blablabla Alex has a skill these two women don't. Must be suffocating for him to listen to them lol

    1. MsLouisez
      Acum 3 Zile

      I dunno. While I agree he has real world experience. He is very direct and unblinking in telling the truth. If he didn't agree with them - he wouldn't be complimentry of what they said.

  4. Andrew Yudha Patria
    Andrew Yudha Patria
    Acum 12 Zile

    Alex's Heartbeat: 50BPM the entire video

  5. wholly mary
    wholly mary
    Acum 15 Zile

    Fabulous training for the mind Alex

    Acum 17 Zile

    I get a rush climbing into bed

  7. Mary Pasquesi
    Mary Pasquesi
    Acum 26 Zile

    anyone sense some chemistry between armita and alex or is it just me

  8. John Michael Lim
    John Michael Lim
    Acum 29 Zile

    20:45 gold!!!

    Acum lună

    FEAR is a Tool Humans have not learned to control

  10. pkvarntun
    Acum lună

    The second most impressive thing about Alex is hes free soloing. The most impressive is that he knows that the Metric system is used everywhere outside USA..

    1. Corbin Drollinger
      Corbin Drollinger
      Acum 5 Zile

      @wholly mary no, that statement is wrong: the scientists that constructed the Saturn V etc used metric, they did most calculations in metric, NASA uses metric, they have their HUD output in imperial for the (american) astronauts piloting the capsules.

    2. wholly mary
      wholly mary
      Acum 15 Zile

      We’ve gone to the moon and back using the imperial system of measurement and well go to Mars without changing it so if it isn’t broke don’t fix it babe

  11. APR Synyster
    APR Synyster
    Acum lună

    He said “Arguably Dangerous” this man has no sense of fear at all 🤣

  12. Chance1957
    Acum lună

    The book taught over educated lady is far out classed by the college dropout doer. One of the major problems with our society is these over educated blowhards.

    1. Average Picker
      Average Picker
      Acum lună

      It’s two different perspectives, and largely in agreement. You are just wanting to rant about being educated as if that’s a bad thing. Alex went into university on a 4.7 gpa. He’s obviously intelligent and if there was a master’s degree in climbing he’d have easily achieved it. He is quite obviously “over educated” about climbing but you aren’t bitching about that for some reason.

  13. Rowdy Palmer
    Rowdy Palmer
    Acum lună

    Not both explorers. No. Respect

  14. Jordan Smith
    Jordan Smith
    Acum lună

    If you're looking for viewers to project on to Honnold, you've come to the right place!

  15. cassy612343
    Acum lună

    Really interesting talk...

  16. fellowsgary2
    Acum lună

    Going to work in an office is high risk and dangerous not knowing how you are going to get through another week of this absolute misery lifestyle good on Alex living his life the way he wants to

  17. thelastpatriot
    Acum lună

    Fear looks under its bed to make sure Alex is not there.

  18. Edward Lobb
    Edward Lobb
    Acum lună

    There seems to be a degree of apprehension when she turns toward Alex, perhaps because what he does is incomprehensible and causes others to experience fearfulness, which is accompanied by a "glad I'm not there" mindset. Fear must be subdued, because it's attached to the experience of being there.

  19. Raju Rayamajhi
    Raju Rayamajhi
    Acum lună


  20. Heide Thompson
    Heide Thompson
    Acum 2 luni

    So brilliant and articulate

  21. notpastrana pastrana
    notpastrana pastrana
    Acum 2 luni

    He almost doesn't blink?

  22. Lars Marius sivertsvik
    Lars Marius sivertsvik
    Acum 2 luni

    But if you solo el capitan its 50/50% certain death. This dude has ice in his venes.

  23. fendermon
    Acum 2 luni

    "arguably dangerous" 😂😂👌

  24. Kenneth Stephens
    Kenneth Stephens
    Acum 2 luni

    Anyone else fast forward the other speakers in order to just hear what Alex had to say?

  25. LithiumFire
    Acum 2 luni

    how to combat fear on the wall- Happiness, take a deep breath and appreciate the beauty around you.

  26. John Moye
    John Moye
    Acum 2 luni

    She’s not much of an expert. She doesn’t talk about how our brain’s are wired to deal with fear. Our flight and hide sensors. The make up of our brains and where fear comes from.

    1. Average Picker
      Average Picker
      Acum lună

      Just because she didn’t talk about what you want her to talk about, doesn’t mean she isn’t an expert.

  27. Tomislav B
    Tomislav B
    Acum 2 luni

    Fear of fall you have from 1 day when you are born.. seen in toddlers.. Andrew Huberman talks about it..

  28. Who ordered Nachos?
    Who ordered Nachos?
    Acum 2 luni

    His deficiency is a plus in his world.

  29. Amy Combs Baker
    Amy Combs Baker
    Acum 3 luni

    Amazing Alex , physically , emotionally and spiritually . So grounded . Wishing him the best for all his future climbs . Great talk .

  30. tinman652
    Acum 3 luni

    Is Alex a legit genius?

  31. Local In the USA
    Local In the USA
    Acum 3 luni

    What are the wrist accessories the ladies are wearing. Do they have a significance?

  32. Dvc Allen
    Dvc Allen
    Acum 3 luni

    Armita Golkar I'd spend days listening to her...

  33. duon44
    Acum 3 luni

    lots of people in this comment section antagonizing Armita. Really strange to see as it looked to me that in the video they were mostly agreeing and it was a good conversation. People are acting like this was a debate or something.

  34. Davy Reid
    Davy Reid
    Acum 3 luni

    Alex has his rock shoes on... just in case

  35. Toni Blackstone
    Toni Blackstone
    Acum 3 luni

    One person is study life and other one living life.

  36. Dexter Haven
    Dexter Haven
    Acum 3 luni

    Carrying a full laundry basket down basement stairs is also taking a daily risk. I heard of a girl who was carrying a bunch of papers up a staircase, stumbled, and broke her jaw on a step. Careful.

    1. fendermon
      Acum 2 luni

      People get mashed on stairs everyday. truth. I limp everyday ...not from my decade of hard motorcycle riding, from my crooked front porch step. @Dexter

  37. rohaan khan
    rohaan khan
    Acum 3 luni

    I always thought Alex to be an introvert, but he appears to be quite composed and well spoken throughout this discussion.

    1. Tyler
      Acum 29 Zile

      The thing is many people have the wrong idea about the meaning of introvert vs extrovert. Being an introvert doesn't automatically mean you're shy (despite the definitions you might find in a dictionary) and it certainly doesn't mean you aren't cable of being well spoken / composed. Being an extrovert also doesn't simply equate to being outgoing. It has more to do with energy and preferences. Introverted people tend to feel more comfortable in seclusion while extroverted people feel more 'compelled' to interact with other people and feed off that interaction. Both types of people can share similar qualities and have similar skills. Many introverts if given the opportunity would surprise a room full of people but they don't feel as 'compelled' to force those opportunities.

    Acum 3 luni

    alex's mindset and how he deals with fear is perfect and describes how i feel about fear and also deal with fear great video :)

  39. Lucas Fernandes
    Lucas Fernandes
    Acum 3 luni

    These two play off each other very well.

  40. Nunya
    Acum 3 luni

    Being at one with nature i think somes it up... becoming that wall your that close to it plus it's just a buzz of freedom in controlled world.

  41. HKN
    Acum 3 luni

    best date ever

  42. Yussif Jaber
    Yussif Jaber
    Acum 4 luni

    So it is not courage but a fool who conquers fears without preparation.

  43. D. Pounds
    D. Pounds
    Acum 4 luni

    As a climber, the love overpowers and obliterates the fear. From this comes enormous power and focus. It’s not cockiness but mastery of self in all aspects.

  44. Joey isamazing
    Joey isamazing
    Acum 4 luni

    I think people think what he does is so risky because people naturally think about how they wouldn’t be able to do it. If I tried to climb the routes he does I would definitely fall so it would be incredibly stupid or risky for me to try it without any ropes. But he can climb it so it is less risky for him to try it without ropes

  45. thetshirtblog
    Acum 4 luni

    Alex Honnold is the mountain climber who GZA warned you about in Protect Ya Neck.

  46. tamara8088
    Acum 4 luni

    There is a lot to take away from this applicable to daily life

  47. tamara8088
    Acum 4 luni

    This interview is good, the host did a great job

  48. Maverick
    Acum 4 luni

    What happens Alex if you get stuck on the wall? I mean if you can’t go up or down??

  49. YoungPutter
    Acum 4 luni

    What a boring interview

  50. angela pitts
    angela pitts
    Acum 4 luni

    He is truly a bad ass❤️

  51. ABSV /a beautiful sunset vlog
    ABSV /a beautiful sunset vlog
    Acum 4 luni

    The fears that she talks about (uncertainty, etc...) are some of the same feelings that fuel racism. Fear centered around that which you are unfamiliar with. Great discussion.😃✌🏽

  52. Gerard Guitarist
    Gerard Guitarist
    Acum 4 luni

    Alex is a legend in his own time. A very rare human accomplishment. Fear always is a response to projecting into the future. What may or may not happen. Even if you were falling from a cliff your fear would be of the inevitable future event of impact, pain, death etc. Alex has spent most of his life learning how to stay in the moment in his mind. His preparation is also key. Stop worrying about what may or may not happen and control what you can right now. It takes time to evolve.

  53. skierbaz
    Acum 4 luni

    There is now only one fear - covid :) And it has taken over everywhere....

  54. R Nies
    R Nies
    Acum 4 luni

    great climber, unfortunately I do not understand his language. Seems to be a dialect.

  55. Vatsal Maru
    Vatsal Maru
    Acum 4 luni

    Alex was educating an expert, Armita. It is surprising how critically he found the faulty points and countered or corrected them which were thrown there by Armita.

  56. David Craft
    David Craft
    Acum 4 luni

    I am irrationally angry about his microphone wire being so close to his face instead of nicely rounded like the other two.

  57. X Marks
    X Marks
    Acum 4 luni

    Getting out of bed in the morning is my El Capitan.

    1. WillyoDee
      Acum 17 Zile

      No nut November is my el capitan

    2. tavman sn11
      tavman sn11
      Acum 19 Zile

      Same here. After 2 1/2 hours though, I've succeeded. It took Alex almost 4 HOURS to get up the mountain. Whatta noob

    3. thorpey lad
      thorpey lad
      Acum 26 Zile

      True enough

    4. Michael
      Acum 29 Zile

      😂 Same.

    5. Empnada Jhhh
      Empnada Jhhh
      Acum lună

      I dont even free solo chaining a lightbulb

  58. Lantz Keefer
    Lantz Keefer
    Acum 4 luni

    I really enjoyed the insite of both the Dr. and Alex, I could not agree more with almost everything that was said👍

  59. Kar3n
    Acum 5 luni

    Fear of hights. The first 3 years i was terrefied. After i started loosing fear with adrenaline. Now must time i dont feel anything is like walking on ground. But very rearly i have a experience i feel afraid again. But im super safe. A d i have prosidures i fallow and i always check 3 times everithing. I even come up with new technics that people dont even know about. And im trying to come up with newonce. And im alway 100%safe. I dont take risk. And i never do more than i can do. Like theres moves some guys do i dont cus i dont feel comfortable.

  60. Conor O'Brien
    Conor O'Brien
    Acum 5 luni

    The survivability of plane crashes is really high

  61. Anthoney Smtih
    Anthoney Smtih
    Acum 5 luni

    awsome talk I have liked Alex Honnold for a few years but this psychologist is concise and easy to understand. A very difficult topic to tackle but worth recognizing.

  62. Nikki Vens
    Nikki Vens
    Acum 5 luni

    Everytime I see this guy talk I like him more. That point about negative visualisation is super interesting.

  63. Timmy Sauder
    Timmy Sauder
    Acum 5 luni

    Honnold: explains clearly why climbing is enjoyable no mater your level of risk adoption, his being the far end Psychologist: went to school forever just to explain common sense to common people

  64. Tito Montes
    Tito Montes
    Acum 5 luni

    Honnold is a selfish, irrational man-child. He needs help.

  65. John Hancock
    John Hancock
    Acum 5 luni

    The irony of this presentation is that the most intelligent and imaginative person on stage is the one without a degree. Because what he does requires extraordinary mental prowess in risking real value where the reward is life itself.

    1. Mikmer
      Acum 3 luni

      It is clear that alex is the most imaginative person on stage, not only that but he also appears to have "processed" his thoughts down to more simple and digestable concepts, while the more educated psycologist is seriously struggling to explain her mix of experience and study to the general public.

    2. ps895 -
      ps895 -
      Acum 3 luni

      Why would you even want to compare? Thats not even the point here.

    3. EarlGrey
      Acum 4 luni

      I think its a bit of a stretch to judge the intelligence of a person from a video

  66. Steve Morse
    Steve Morse
    Acum 5 luni

    Is courage the absence of fear or the ability to overcome it?

    1. fendermon
      Acum 2 luni

      Ohhh that's profound. Good question

  67. Tito Montes
    Tito Montes
    Acum 5 luni

    This channel keeps taking down my comments.

  68. Chris Croteau
    Chris Croteau
    Acum 5 luni

    Alex must have a lot of practice with this topic while trying insurance coverage

  69. 420 FallsOGDawg
    420 FallsOGDawg
    Acum 5 luni

    This was awesome.

  70. Red Eagle
    Red Eagle
    Acum 5 luni

    I used to rock climbing too and I get fear and satisfaction in every second.

  71. dabomboo7o
    Acum 5 luni

    No innate fears?? What a load of BS

  72. cesar bastidas
    cesar bastidas
    Acum 5 luni

    This lady has no clue what she is talking about

  73. luis orozco
    luis orozco
    Acum 5 luni

    Wow Armita is brilliant! I loved how she handled the questions and gave amazing responses

  74. sand bach
    sand bach
    Acum 5 luni

    Dude barely Blinks!!! my eyes felt dry as the sahara desert, just waiting for him to blink! but I guess when you are climbing a mountain, you can't blink!

  75. Fall Line Japan
    Fall Line Japan
    Acum 5 luni

    “Reframe fear as excitement. They feel almost the same inside your body.” Super insightful and genius lifehack.

    1. MVPhurricane
      Acum lună

      super good stagefright hack, i can say from firsthand experience =)

      Acum 4 luni

      It’s definitely true. Typically fear triggers the fight or flight response in our bodies which does a lot in relation to how we perceive things and act upon them. I can definitely relate. I ride motocross and when I get to a new track and am eying up a big new jump there’s usually a fairly high degree of fear involved. Part of being able to push past it is knowing my skill and ability and trusting my own judgment. If I’m even thinking about hitting a big jump, a very large part of me believes I can do it otherwise I wouldn’t even be thinking about doing it. Translating that fear into a more enjoyable sensation kinda comes naturally in what I do because I know what it’s going to feel like to conquer that fear and accomplish my goal. I think that’s what drives most of us “adrenaline junkies”. It’s basically a life hack that allows you to get high by manipulating your own biochemistry 😆

    3. Kazimierz Garshin
      Kazimierz Garshin
      Acum 4 luni

      I liked her answer better. I suffer from complex trauma which comes along with anxiety. In certain areas of life I just not have had enough safe experiences so I get anxious very easy.

    4. will224488guy
      Acum 4 luni

      @George Costanza It comes with comfort. When I end up further off the ground on a jump with my snowboard than I expect there's a moment of 'fear' but it is more like excitement because I have been there before and I have over 1000 days on my snowboard. Ive also accidentally walked up on a bear and even though the bear was about as afraid as I was, I was basically shitting my pants and there's no way I could turn that into excitement

    5. George Costanza
      George Costanza
      Acum 5 luni

      I loved that statement too, problem is, it’s easier said than done.

  76. Karl Holm
    Karl Holm
    Acum 5 luni

    What a very interesting discussion. Thank you.

  77. C H
    C H
    Acum 5 luni

    That little shrug he does when he says something shows how cool this guy is. He gives his opinion and his immediate reaction is to almost shrug it off as if to say ‘who cares what my opinion is’. Or maybe it’s not but that’s how it seems. And the truth is everyone cares what his opinion is. Has to be one of the most down to earth elite human beings in history.

  78. Healthy MBS
    Healthy MBS
    Acum 5 luni

    Alex Honnold is basically the closest thing to an actual "Spider-Man" the human race has ever produced

  79. John Jereb
    John Jereb
    Acum 5 luni

    i been riding motorcycles since i was 6 every single time i get on my bike i take my life in my hands i have had so many extremly close calls i dont even get excited anymore times when i thought i was a goner i just smile and acknowledge the moment i rarely even speak of them but i know....

  80. pizzalover
    Acum 5 luni

    What an incredible panel! I was kinda worried about putting Alex with an expert and it getting very uncomfortable, but it is such a respectable, intelligent conversation they have here. Props to the organizers!

  81. SD
    Acum 5 luni

    200 mtrs of that wall is recreation for this

  82. williamina vanbottle
    williamina vanbottle
    Acum 5 luni

    What rubbish she's putting over. If there was a million individuals climbing that four metres it would not diminish my fears because of commonality. To compare driving a car on busy road to free soloing, is in her case...she hasn't a clue. Quoting from the usual books on psychology.

  83. 1000000trs
    Acum 5 luni

    So why does Armita fear Alex ?

  84. superdog797 sup
    superdog797 sup
    Acum 6 luni

    I think the problem with the free solo stuff is that anybody who makes a consistent pattern of doing it cannot control for all the variables that will ensure their own survival. You simply can't control if something like an extremely strong gust of wind or slippery ledge happens to be there, if the weather were to change or if an animal is in the cracks, whether or not you feel a sudden muscle spasm or a rock breaks on you. It's playing Russian roulette with a thousand barrel chamber. It's like driving a car, except that if you have any crash whatsoever you're guaranteed to die. I have been driving for almost 2 decades now and have never been in a collision on the road when I was driving. However, if it was guaranteed that if I got into a wreck that I would be dead, I would think twice about driving even up to the corner store. Moreover, I hardly know anybody who hasn't been in a wreck of some kind, and I think the vast majority of people get into some kind of wreck at some point in their lives. So it just seems like if you free solo routinely you're basically saying "this is how I want to die", not necessarily that "well IF I die this way, that's OK". It seems more of an inevitability than a mere possibility.

  85. BroFroAnoMoFo HIP HOP
    BroFroAnoMoFo HIP HOP
    Acum 6 luni

    Eat your heart out parkour

  86. Marc Anthony
    Marc Anthony
    Acum 6 luni

    I think Alex should take Armita up to El Cap. and when she is at 2,000 feet ask her about the risks of driving and flying in an airplane being comparable. Her perspective may change slightly.

  87. Sentry-19lll
    Acum 6 luni

    Giving the example of having a child as fearful is not that useful.

  88. Rob Peters
    Rob Peters
    Acum 6 luni

    this is actually a pretty good lesson for a trader

  89. Fr. Mhasikholie Swiho
    Fr. Mhasikholie Swiho
    Acum 7 luni

    Visualizing my fingers on that Rock... Not even in my dreams...

  90. vittorio marano
    vittorio marano
    Acum 7 luni

    Great video! 🥰

  91. C_R_O_M__________
    Acum 7 luni

    I am also a trained psychologist and I think that cognitively induced fear is based on the perception of lack of control over reality. Natural fear, like fear for heights, on the other hand, is a different category altogether. The latter is deeply routed in our psychology and our very biological nature, for example the fear of heights, predators, wildfires, etc. It's instinctual fear vs cognitively-induced fear. You can fluctuate both by practicing but it's not the best advice to eradicate completely the former (instinctual) or heighten the latter (cognitive). A balanced individual is the product of an evolutionary procedure that helps it to come to terms with the fact that most things in life are NOT under our control. This realization alone is the first step to alleviate cognitive fear. P.S. Having said that for me Alex is just a freak of nature and a monument of extraordinary human ability. P.S. 2. The answer to the question of a lady that asked, essentially, "how to combat fear" is by BUILDING CONFIDENCE. I think that's what the psychologist wanted to convey as well (but talked too much - for my liking). P.S.3 and of course SHE HAD to end with this stupid perception that we are not "hard-wired", as other animals are, to be afraid of certain predators, huge animals, heights, fire, etc. That's PURE BS and EASILY disproven! She has no idea what's she talking about if she thinks that humans, unlike other animals, are all about nurture and not nature! Just put a two-month child at the edge of a perceived cliff (like a glass surface with a perceived cliff underneath). It won't go over and that's known for decades!

  92. Stonedallday Jedi
    Stonedallday Jedi
    Acum 7 luni

    When he said he visualizes anxiety before it happens so he's prepared for it, is exactly how I got through highschool

  93. Phoenix Hires
    Phoenix Hires
    Acum 8 luni

    I got a sense that he has way more knowledge and experience that her, and she was trying to keep up. Several times she reiterated exactly what he said. In my opinion, this is a good example of why experience in life wins out over book smarts.

    1. Toni Blackstone
      Toni Blackstone
      Acum 3 luni


    2. EarlGrey
      Acum 4 luni

      But he also said that he confirms what she just said. It goes both ways. And they repeat each others messages because they talk about it from an experiential and a scientific perspective and end up agreeing. I think "book smarts" are equally important to experience. Only when you have both will they turn into wisdom.

  94. Sandra H.
    Sandra H.
    Acum 8 luni

    I admire Alex for his courage and modesty and values. It's inhuman all he can do ! But I fear for him because during a free solo climbing you're not able to manage everything ( a strong wind that starts suddenly, a tempest, the need to pee, a strong headache etc), a very unexpected or subtle detail can change all ...

  95. Francis Mausley
    Francis Mausley
    Acum 9 luni

    He was in the Zone - a unique spiritual feat painstakingly performed humbly with concentration, fearlessness & detachment from all but the task. "The secret of self-mastery is self-forgetfulness." ~ Shoghi Effendi, Baha'i Faith

  96. Harald Löffler
    Harald Löffler
    Acum 9 luni

    "You know, I have no technical knowledge about fear except that I spend a lot of time being very afraid." - That made me laugh so hard :-)

  97. yudha prawira
    yudha prawira
    Acum 9 luni

    I am not really into talkshow so much especially those with 10 mins plus duration but I think this one is kinda fun to watch.

  98. MegaHotdiggity
    Acum 9 luni

    Bummer..I was hoping this was an expansion on the segment in Free Solo where they examined Alex's brain and saw that he had a very small fear-response to danger. I thought that was fascinating, whether it developed over time, or innate, and what that means from an evolutionary perspective.

  99. lll
    Acum 9 luni

    The interview would have been much better without the lady sitting in the middle with black hair.

  100. Vaibhav Sharma
    Vaibhav Sharma
    Acum 10 luni

    He is just so humble and mellow 🥺