Segments in this Video

Preparing for Risks (07:51)


Scott Parazynski argues that stress level and risk management depends on mastery, training, and focus. He is comfortable in a space suit because he understands it and knows how to respond to failures. He describes the skills training program and an episode in the building of the space station when his team worked together to solve a significant problem.

Anxiety Management (07:14)

Parazynski explains that most astronauts are prepared for the stress, and have experience working with a team. Tracy Dennis describes how thoughts and emotions interact to create balance or anxiety, which limits options. She is working on a treatment which trains patients to focus on positive cues in order to break the vicious cycle of negative thoughts.

Visualizing a Difficult Process (09:54)

Parazynski uses pre-visualization to go through a difficult process or achieve a goal, helping him train for success but prepare for failure. He describes his experience training for luge competitions, repairing the space station, and climbing Mt. Everest. Though he has faced these challenges, he does not recall experiencing anxiety.

Motivation and Opportunity (06:58)

Parasynski is an explorer who reaches his potential in the most challenging conditions. He describes the beauty and inspiration he finds in space or on Everest and how this transfers to overcoming obstacles in daily life. Society values those who are reward-focused, but without balance, this can lead to impulsiveness; Parazynski points out that even if he fails to achieve his goal, opportunities along the way make the effort worthwhile.

Mental Aptitude and Limitations (06:58)

Dennis and Parazynski discuss the kind of people who can withstand challenging environments, and how participants are screened for the U.S. Antarctic Program. Dennis explains that sociopaths have a higher threshold for fear and do not react to high-risk situations as extremely as most. To succeed in a dangerous environment, people must be well prepared and know their limits.

Credits: The Astronaut (00:04)

Credits: The Astronaut

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The Astronaut

Part of the Series : Brainwave: Mind Over Matter
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The inspiration behind Sandra Bullock's role in Gravity, the much decorated Scott Parazynski has conducted the most challenging and dangerous spacewalk in the history of space exploration. Here, Hunter College neuropsychologist Tracy Dennis analyzes the mindset required to endure these extreme missions.

Length: 40 minutes

Item#: BVL143702

ISBN: 978-1-64347-351-2

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.