By Skye Hurwitz, 6.2
In December, 6.2 students attended a psychology conference in London, where they were fortunate enough to hear talks from renowned psychologists across the country. Speakers at the conference shared their expertise through fascinating lectures about a range of topics, from musicology to hypnotism.
The day commenced with a captivating talk from the magician Oliver Meech. Meech completed his degree in Psychology at Oxford and employed his expertise in the art of magic. In disbelief, the audience witnessed Meech’s magic tricks, followed by a masterclass on the psychological techniques behind the magic.
The lectures that followed were equally insightful. Professor Gianna Cassidy informed us about the benefits of music for wellbeing, sharing research surrounding the psychology of music, such as what makes a catchy song stick and why singing can improve our mental health. Phil Banyard, Mike Cardwell and Cara Flanagan broke down the common misconceptions in psychology, revealing ‘fake news’ and allowing us to reflect on the validity of psychology as a science altogether.
The day concluded with a staggering performance from the internationally renowned hypnotist Andrew Newton. We watched in awe as a group of volunteers slipped deeper and deeper into a hypnotic state. However, we couldn’t believe our eyes when, out of 40 keen volunteers, our very own Nancy Tier became the star of the show. Nancy wilfully followed the hypnotists’ commands: she instantly fell asleep, had her arm frozen and even sniffed her own shoe!
In hysterics, we witnessed Nancy mindlessly follow commands. While she vaguely recollects the course of events, she describes the experience as feeling like a dream. However, it is safe to say as her friends, we will never forget!