See us at the British Science Festival

Children and families are learning about psychology and how it influences everyday life, thanks to a series of experiments and talks being staged at the British Science Festival in Bradford today (Wednesday) and tomorrow.

Members of the British Psychological Society’s North East of England Branch are demonstrating tests and experiments at the Festival, trialling equipment that is usually kept behind laboratory doors and also making use of video games. Psychologists from both Leeds University and Leeds Metropolitan University will be taking part.

This activity is being carried out with the help of a public engagement grant from the British Psychological Society.

Among the activities the psychologists are running are tests of people’s ability to respond quickly and accurately to sights and sounds, and of their ability to judge the speed and direction of objects.

Other sessions will see video games on Xbox and Wii used to demonstrate psychological theories, and people attending the festival will also be able to take part in dance and movement sessions, which can reduce stress and improve mood. The dance sessions will be run by the Bradford charity Kala Sangam.

Ian Conyers, one of the psychologists staging the experiments, says: “Children and families have little opportunity to experience psychology before they get to A level, and most psychology experiments are done behind closed doors. So the Festival is an exciting opportunity to introduce them to the subject.”

The British Science Festival, which regularly attracts 50,000 visitors, is being held in Bradford this year. It runs from Saturday 10 September to Thursday 15 September 2011.