Psychology Colloquium: There and Back Again: Bleed from Extraordinary Experiences – School of Psychology Psychology Colloquium: There and Back Again: Bleed from Extraordinary Experiences – School of Psychology

Psychology Colloquium: There and Back Again: Bleed from Extraordinary Experiences

Dr Tom van Laer, Associate Professor of Narratology, University of Sydney


From re-enactments to pilgrimages, extraordinary experiences engage consumers with frames and roles that govern their actions for the duration of the experience. Exploring such extraordinary frames and roles, however, can make the act of returning to everyday life more difficult, a process prior research leaves implicit. The present ethnography of live action role-playing explains how consumers return from extraordinary experiences and how this process differs depending on consumers’ subjectivity. The emic term “bleed” captures the trace that extraordinary frames and roles leave in everyday life. The subjective tension between the extraordinary and the ordinary intensifies bleed. Consumers returning from the same experience can thus suffer different bleed intensities, charting four trajectories of return that differ in their potential for transformation: absent, compensatory, cathartic, and delayed. These findings lead to a transformative recursive process model of bleed that offers new insights into whether, how, and why consumers return transformed from extraordinary experiences with broader implications for experiential consumption and marketing.


Membership Executive Manager of the Association for Consumer Research. He is an expert on the science of how storytelling works. His research is published in leading and highly-regarded academic journals, including the Journal of Consumer Research, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Journal of Management Information Systems, Journal of Service Research, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Marketing Management, et cetera. In addition to opinion pieces he has written for the Guardian, he has appeared on the ABC, Nine Network, Network 10, SBS, in the Age, the Australian, Australian Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald, Newsweek, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, the Independent, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, and on national TV and radio stations in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK, among other news outlets.
Previously, Tom has been Reader of Marketing at City University of London, UK, a consultant of the European Commission, and a visiting scholar at several Australian Group of Eight universities. He holds a doctorate (PhD) in marketing from Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Though he has won awards for his academic research, teaching, and media exposure, Tom counts winning his high school’s story recital competition in 1995 as his most impressive accomplishment.

This is a Hybrid event so you can join in person or via the Webinar link below:

HEYDON LAURENCE LECTURE THEATRE 217 (DT ANDERSON) (You are encouraged to please wear a mask if attending in person)

Webinar Link:


The event is finished.


Aug 12 2022


3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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