Beyond the Crossroads of magic, health, and wellbeing

Bagienski, Steven and Kuhn, Gustav. 2020. Beyond the Crossroads of magic, health, and wellbeing. World Health Organization, Public Health Panorama, 6(1), pp. 155-171. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

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 health and well-being. Several magic programmes currently use magic tricks to enhance cognitive, emotional, social, and physical well-being. The applications of these magic programmes range from physical and psychological therapies to gang prevention, hospitals and classrooms. A few programmes have been empirically investigated and there is now a growing number of empirical studies that explore the well-being value of magic. Therefore, we conducted an up-to-date summary review of magic, health, and well-being. These studies are reviewed in light of a proposed hierarchical model based on how the magic was applied. Overall, methodologies could be improved but distinctions between levels of the hierarchy are observed and discussed. Furthermore, the positive effects on well-being can also be organized into interrelated physical, cognitive, social, and affective components that reflect existing theoretical frameworks on well-being. To conclude, we discuss possible mechanisms and theoretical frameworks based on more established psychological theories to help guide future research.

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Awe, curiosity, magic, social skills, wonder

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30 March 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

03 Apr 2020 14:05

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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