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.
Postgraduate researchers Nicole Gwynne and Adam Davidson offer some further advice on recruiting participants.
Asking people to give you their time can seem scary, whether you’re seeking a romantic date or participation in your scientific study. Face-to-face interviews and experiments can appear laborious and inconvenient, so many researchers become bashful regarding recruitment.
Don’t worry, there is a simple process to follow when pursuing potential participants for in-person research. We can’t guarantee it’ll work for your romantic dating life, but here are the steps to getting the dates that yield data. Continue reading →
Postgraduate researchers Nicole Gwynne and Adam Davidson offer some advice on recruiting participants.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully navigated the labyrinth of ethical approval and you’re ready to start your study. You’re eager to examine your data and you can’t wait to wait patiently while SPSS loads.
There’s just one small problem: you don’t yet have any data. You need some participants to participate! Recruiting enough people to answer your questionnaire can seem daunting, but fear not, your fellow researchers are here to help. Here are ten top tips for receiving the required responses. Continue reading →