Kathryn Friedlander reviews David Astle’s fascinating guide to cryptic crosswords. Should we all consider taking up cryptic crossword solving, as the book suggests, to ‘improve our memory and boost the power and agility of our brain’?Continue reading
Kathryn Friedlander explores the ‘kick’ we get from cracking a really good cryptic crossword clue.
A number of stories in the press earlier this year reported work carried out in Vienna and London on solving puzzles in a brain scanner. The study suggested that solving a clue to a puzzle can trigger a highly rewarding ‘Aha!’ (or ‘Eureka!’) insight moment, which releases dopamine into the brain. This is the reward chemical associated with daily activities such as eating, winning money … and having sex. This led to headlines promising that cryptic crosswords were ‘better than sex’… but what’s the reality behind the hype?
Gill Hill explains why investigating creative problem solving is sometimes – quite literally – child’s play.
People might be surprised to hear that the games they played as children can help scientists to explain how people think. For example, researchers have recently used rock, paper scissors as a model for decision making. Furthermore, chess is seen as a pursuit for ‘thinkers’ around the world, and we have consequently seen lots of research exploring psychological processes whilst people play.
It’s a month now since the Canterbury conference ended, but we are all still benefiting from the fresh perspectives it has brought to our understanding of creativity. With a huge range of topics featured in talks and posters, this was a truly interdisciplinary and international conference. Continue reading
Following the brilliant inaugural conference held at Edinburgh Napier in May 2017, organised by Lindsey Carruthers, Shelly Kemp and Gillian Hill, the 2018 conference is being hosted at Canterbury Christ Church University on 22nd May. Kathryn Friedlander eagerly anticipates what’s on offer this time.
Last year’s event was all about networking, building a community and collaboration – and none of us could have anticipated how spectacularly well it would achieve its aim! One of the more tangible benefits for me was the rapid expansion of our own pool of contacts across a diverse range of applied fields. This enabled us to approach a far wider pool of potential contributors for our forthcoming Frontiers Research Topic Novel Approaches for Studying Creativity in Problem-Solving and Artistic Performance.
The 2018 one-day conference will feature another excellent keynote speaker – Todd Lubart, Professor of Psychology at the Université Paris Descartes. Professor Lubart’s research focuses on creativity, developing it in children and adults, the creative process, emotion, and intercultural issues. He has authored and co-authored many books as well research papers.
His keynote is entitled ‘Homo Creativus: the Creative Side of Mankind’.
As previously, the conference will also feature oral papers, posters (with a prize for the best), refreshments, working lunch, and wine reception; plus the now infamous ‘speed networking’ session which was so useful – and such fun! – last year. But the organisers also caution us to:
“Expect more of the same—plus some surprises!”
(How appropriate for a conference on insight and creativity!)
We can’t wait to join organisers Ian Hocking, Karl Jeffries, Carolyn Mair and Paul Sowden at this vibrant showcase for UK Creativity research, and I’m particularly looking forward to renewing old friendships from 2017, as well as meeting new faces in the field.
‘Creative Sides: A conference on the Psychology of Creativity ‘ will be held at Canterbury Christ Church University, Augustine House, Roof Terrace (AH3.31), Rhodas Town, Canterbury, on Tuesday, 22nd May, 9:30am-6pm. Cost £40, including morning and afternoon refreshments, working lunch and wine reception. To book your place, go to: ukcreativity2018.splashthat.com.
Many thanks to Canterbury Christ Church University, the University of Surrey and the University of Central Lancashire for organising the event this year, and to the British Psychological Society London & Home Counties Branch for sponsoring the Best Poster Prize. For queries, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
With a theme of Puzzles, Pain & Positivity, our research hubs (CREATE, Psychology of Educational Development, Centre for Health and Relationships and Emotion and Lifespan Relationships) were out and about with lots of interactive activities to engage the public with our work. Continue reading
Want to come and research with us? Check out our latest opportunity: Creativity in Medical School Education: Enhancing the Diagnostic Skills of Tomorrow’s Doctors on FindAPhD!
We’ve just advertised for applicants to undertake a full-time research PhD at the University of Buckingham CREATE hub. This is a really exciting opportunity to work with our Medical School to look at the role of creativity in medical diagnosis. Continue reading