Positive Magic for Children
Richard Wiseman and David Kaye
Wiseman, R., & Kaye, D. (2020). ‘Positive Magic for Children’. European Journal of Applied Positive Psychology, 4, 17, 1-4. https://www.nationalwellbeingservice.org/volumes/volume-4-2020/volume-4-article-17/
Processing dates: Received: 20 June 2020; Re-submitted:16 September 2020; Accepted: 17 September 2020; Published: 4 December 2020.
Previous research has examined how both watching, and learning to perform, magic tricks can boost wellbeing. This paper outlines a new project that builds on this work by exploring the possibility of incorporating positive psychology into the tricks performed by professional children’s entertainers. Unlike many educational interventions, this work does not involve explicit messaging, but rather encourages performers to display desirable characteristics and behaviors. This approach is illustrated with presentations that have been specially designed to boost children’s levels of perseverance, to encourage them to treat mistakes as learning opportunities and to increase emotional self-regulation. The benefits of this innovative approach are considered, including the potential to reach large numbers of children, and to deliver positive messages within a fun, magical and enjoyable context.
Keywords: Intervention, education, magic, psychology, children, learning
Professor Richard Wiseman is with the Psychology Department, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9AB, UK