Imagery in Action
  • Rolle Marquee, Plymouth University

  • Entrance area, Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, Drake Circus, Plymouth

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People typically have the best intentions to act in a sustainable manner. Often, however, their actions do not keep up with their good intentions; people fall back into their old (unwanted) habits as soon as they are competing situational demands. 

Using hands-on demonstrations, posters and talks, this event will participants will be able to explore how imagery – the ability to visualise events and behaviours – can be used to overcome this “intention-behaviour-gap” and experience the immediate effect of imagery on behaviour on their own bodies. 

In the Hypnosis booth, participants will experience that their body can be controlled by an outside voice. Chevreul’s Pendulum and the Automatograph work similarly to an Ouija board and will reveal that even the simplest imaginations of movement immediately affects behaviour, eliciting subliminal body movements that seemingly happen outside the control of the participant. 

Finally, at the darts board, participants can experiment to what extent different imagery strategies might help them to more effectively control their own actions, and posters and videos will place these experiences into a larger cultural context. 

Together, these experiences will inspire the visitor to implement imagery strategies into their everyday life, helping them to align their behaviour more effectively with their intentions, improving not only sustainable behaviour but also the conversion of other long term plans into action.

This is an open event and everyone is welcome to attend - no booking required.

Biography: Dr Patric Bach
Patric was awarded his DPhil in Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the Max Planck Institute in Munich Germany in 2004. He has previously held a research post at Bangor University, Wales, and is now lecturer in Psychology at Plymouth University. He works at the intersection of social psychology and cognitive neuroscience. His interests range from unconscious imitation in social interaction, to how people can plan their own actions and understand those of others, and, recently, to how hypnosis and related effects can take control of (willing) participants’ bodies.

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About the ESRC Festival of Social Science (extract from the ESRC* website)

The ESRC Festival of Social Science offers a fascinating insight into some of the country's leading social science research and how it influences our social, economic and political lives - both now and in the future.

You may be surprised at just how relevant the festival's events are to society today. Social science research makes a difference. Discover how it shapes public policy and contributes to making the economy more competitive, as well as giving people a better understanding of 21st century society. From big ideas to the most detailed observations, social science affects us all everyday - at work, in school, when raising children, within our communities, and even at the national level.

Everyone - from schoolchildren to politicians - can take part in and hear about social science research in the Festival's many engaging events.

This celebration of the social sciences takes place across the UK - via public debates, conferences, workshops, interactive seminars, film screenings, virtual exhibitions and much more. 2015 is the 13th year that ESRC has held the Festival of Social Science and each year the festival grows from strength to strength. This year is particularly special as we celebrate the ESRC's 50th anniversary.

* ESRC - Economic and Social Research Council.


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