The Adaptive Functions of Music Listening

Music is one of the most profound of all human creations. Music can transform our ongoing psychological state in an instant, and can also enhance psychological functioning across the lifespan. However, less is known about the full range of adaptive functions of music listening and how these adaptive functions promote well-being and enhance quality of life.

Mathematics Fluency Training - It Works!

Numeracy – our everyday play with numbers – is essential to the rhythm of life and our adaptive success as a species. There is a wonderful beauty in numbers that infants and toddlers intuitively appreciate as those around them play with numbers in song, story, dance, and life drama. But why is it that we so often hear an emerging negative attitude in relation to maths?

Work Hours, Work-Life Conflict, and Well-Being in Academics

Pressures on academic staff are increasing due to factors such as recruitment and promotion freezes, a targeted reduction in staff numbers, and increasing student numbers.

Mindfulness for Chronic Pain

There is a strong emerging body of evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness- and acceptance-based approaches for a range of difficulties, including chronic pain. We tried to take mindfulness for chonic pain online. We called our programme Mindfulness in Action (MIA). The results of our MIA trial were interesting.

The Tenth Level in the Evolution of Natural Entities

The origin and evolution of life on earth has been described in terms of the emergence of accelerating, hierarchical orders of complexity (Pettersson, 1996). The story of life on earth and the relatively brief history of human biological and cultural evolution is a fastinating one, with profound implications for understanding all aspects of our lifespan development.

A Student-Centred Conceptualisation of Critical Thinking

The development of metacognitive skills is a gradual and uncertain process that is contingent upon the quality of education and training children and adults receive. From an educational perspective, how can we best engage students in this process? How can we negotiate the curriculum with students and engage their collective intelligence in the process?

Making The World A Fitter Place, One Brain At A Time

In our efforts to make the world a fitter place we recently conducted a fascinating study with a group of teenagers. We were interested in the effect of physical fitness and acute bouts of exercise on cognitive performance and brain activity - in particular the coherence of brain wave activity. The study revealed some very interesting findings.

Dancing With Your Baby

Anthropological studies of traditional African and Asian societies often describe group interaction with babies, specifically, passing around of the baby to all group members in a warm, playful, rhythmic pattern of “touching dance”. There may be good reason for these traditions, as revealed in Sue Doherty's new book, Dancing with your Baby.

Four Types of Facebook Fans

Why do people become fans of brands on Facebook? Are they motivated by their interest in the brand, or are they influenced by their friends, or by their personality traits? We recently conducted a study of Facebook fans and using cluster analysis we reveal four very different ‘types’ of Facebook fan - Fanatics, Utilitarians, Self-expressives, and Authentics.

Pursuing the Good Life: Reflections on Positive Psychology

In his wonderful book, Christopher Peterson has provided the world with a precious gift. His wise, warm, witty, and insightful collection of reflections on positive psychology radiate the many strengths and virtues that are central to the field of positive psychology -- humility, bravery, love, kindness, humour, citizenship, love of learning, and much more.

Starting Slow and Recovering Fast

Slow down: By asking simple questions about your morning routine and your rhythm of work throughout the day you may begin to experiment and discovery new ways of working—ways of working that maximize your physiological potential to take on new challenges and remain resilient, productive, and content throughout the day.

Learning Together and the Challenge of Collaboration

Psychologists are increasingly interested in learning more about how we can best 'learn together'. Cooperative learning and collaborative inquiry are becoming increasingly influential areas of research and practice. We investigated the effects of open versus closed voting and dispositional trust on group consensus and perceived efficacy of a systems thinking tool.

Systems of Strengths

People have a tendency to focus on one strength at a time rather than seek to understand the multi-dimensional interdependencies between strengths. I’d like to share a new method we have developed which can be used to help people understand their system of strengths.

Approaching Power with Humility and Wisdom

How do we become a winner, a good winner, a sporting winner, magnanimous in victory, and wise in the use of power? How do we appraoch power with humility and wisdom?

Love at Any Age

Recent research in our lab aimed to identify and examine relations between elements of romantic relationship success as described by younger and older adults using a collective intelligence methodology. The results were fascinating.

Openness to Experience and Intellectual Ability

Studies have reported a positive relationship between Openness to experience and performance on tests of intelligence. However, less is known about mechanisms through which Openness has a positive influence on intelligence test performance and ways in which relationships between openness and intelligence change across the life course. Our recent study is revealing...

Critical Thinking and Real-World Outcomes

Last year, Reebok was forced to refund $25 million to customers who purchased their EasyTone toning shoes after research published by the American Council on Exercise found that the toning shoes were no better than regular sneakers at toning muscles or burning calories. Thinking critically about sensational product claims may save you lots of money!

The Righteous Mind

Jonathan Haidt argues that understanding of our moral psychology may help to bring people together, offer them a new perspective on ongoing conflicts, and possibly facilitate conflict resolution. A core question for Haidt is what type of understanding will truly help people to resolve conflicts? Clearly, something more than awe, wonder, and curiosity is needed.

Cultivating Creativity in the Classroom

Charles Duell, the U.S. patent commissioner of 1899, reputedly said that everything that could be invented had been invented. The belief was clearly mistaken. Since then, the products of human inventiveness have grown exponentially. Can we be any more creative and, if so, should creativity be cultivated in the classroom?

Understanding Intuition and How the Mind Works

Steve Jobs advised students to “have the courage to follow your heart and intuition”. As psychological scientists, our task is to understand how the subtle, ‘intuitive’ mind works and thus avoid any simple-minded, romantic proclamations.

Implementing Intelligence

In order to implement human intelligence in computer systems the challenge is to build a functional architecture that simulates the interconnected and dynamic workings of perception, motivation, emotion, cognition, and action in a changing environment.

Mindfulness revisited

...so we should open ourselves to the impossible and embrace a psychology of possibility

Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation?

Central to systems science is the idea of integration, an idea that Siegel works to capture in principle and use in practice.

Beyond Revenge: The Evolution of the Forgiveness Instinct

For those familiar with Aristotle’s Golden Mean, the Buddhist Middle Way, or Bertalanffy’s principle of dynamic equilibrium, the emergence of a new synthesis of positive and negative psychology will be no surprise.

Mental Simulations

Many of us are comfortable with the belief that analogy plays an important role in the creativity process. But the ongoing debate as regards the existence of mental imagery has some of us feeling uncomfortable in relation to the mental images — the visions and simulations — we see and use during acts of creation.

The Tell-Tale Brain

In his incredibly insightful, entertaining, and thought-provoking new book, The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest For What Makes Us Human, Ramachandran begins by challenging readers to consider Disreali’s rhetorical question, “Is man an ape or angel?”

Designing Our Children’s Future

It is sometimes said that biology flows downhill — we are endlessly concerned with the well-being and competency and future adaptive success of our children.