Motivation, choice and behaviour
As with other aspects of human decision-making, explanation of leisure and recreation behaviour is complex. The unfettered personal connotations of leisure and the discretionary nature of recreation were noted in the opening chapter. An underlying dimension common to both leisure and recreation is discretion – the exercise of choice. This discretionary element helps explain why observers find difficulty in explaining why people choose particular leisure and recreation settings and activities, and in accounting for recreation choice behaviour. It might be argued that the choice process is no more complex than that involved in, say, the selection of a new residence. After all, choice is subject to a range of influences and is not a completely random process. Nor is it unique to any individual or group. So, as Clawson and Knetsch (1963: 14) argued, ‘We must undertake the explanation and analysis of the regularities and patterns of behavior among individuals in the use of all kinds of recreation areas’. However, the unbounded nature of leisure and the
subjective, even capricious characteristics of recreation decisions, make generalisation and prediction more challenging.