University of Hertfordshire

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  • peerj-6081

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere6081
Pages (from-to)e6081
JournalPeerJ
Journal publication date6 Dec 2018
Volume6
Issue12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2018

Abstract

Research has demonstrated that involvement with mainstream performing arts, such as music and dance, can boost wellbeing. This article extends this work by reviewing little-known research on whether learning magic tricks can have an equally beneficial effect. We first present an historic overview of several magic-based interventions created by magicians, psychologists and occupational therapists. We then identify the potential benefits of such interventions, and review studies that have attempted to systematically assess these interventions. The studies have mostly revealed beneficial outcomes, but much of the work is of poor methodological quality (involving small numbers of participants and no control group), and has tended to focus on clinical populations. Finally, we present guidelines for future research in the area, emphasizing the need for more systematic and better-controlled studies.

ID: 16085351