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The Crossroads of Magic and Wellbeing: A Review of Wellbeing-focused Magic Programs, Empirical Studies, and Conceivable Theories

Bagienski, Steven and Kuhn, Gustav. 2019. The Crossroads of Magic and Wellbeing: A Review of Wellbeing-focused Magic Programs, Empirical Studies, and Conceivable Theories. International Journal of Wellbeing, 9(2), pp. 41-65. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In recent years, magicians and scientists have begun collaborating to gain insight into various psychological functions. However, one underexplored area is the use of magic tricks to enhance wellbeing. Several past and current magic programs have been used to enhance cognitive, emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. The application of these wellbeing-focused magic programs ranges from physical and psychological therapies to gang prevention, hospitals and classrooms. A few have been empirically investigated and additional studies have also explored the wellbeing value of magic. These studies are reviewed in light of a proposed hierarchical model based on how magic was applied. Overall, methodologies need improvement but distinctions between levels of the hierarchy can still be observed and are discussed. Furthermore, the positive effects on wellbeing can also be organised into interrelated physical, cognitive, social, and affective components that reflect existing theoretical frameworks on wellbeing. To conclude, possible mechanisms and theoretical frameworks based on more established psychological theories are discussed in order to help guide future research.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.5502/ijw.v9i2.740

Keywords:

magic, wellbeing, positive psychology, curiosity, awe, wonder, therapy, self-esteem, social skills, creativity

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
30 July 2017Completed
18 May 2018Submitted
9 December 2018Accepted
2019Published

Item ID:

25247

Date Deposited:

12 Dec 2018 15:54

Last Modified:

22 Jul 2019 10:06

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/25247

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