British Psychological Society Press Releases

British Psychological Society Press Releases

BPS press release 1



A British Psychological Society funded project that aims to communicate a number of statistical psychological concepts through expressive dance started filming at Siobhan Davies Dance Studio in London this month.

The project, ‘Dancing Statistics’, was funded by a 2011 Society Public Engagement Grant, as well as through an arts innovation fund from arts charity IdeasTap, and is being overseen by Lucy Irving from Middlesex University and Professor Andy Field from the University of Sussex.

Lucy explained: “We hope that by representing complicated psychological constructs and statistical procedures in interesting and memorable ways via dance will enable more psychology students to understand and engage with them.”

Over the course of the project Lucy and Andy worked with a team of dance professionals, including choreographer, Masha Gurina, who worked with 10 dancers and filmmaker, Kyle Stevenson, to conceive ways of communicating these concepts through dance and movement.

Lucy said: “The project is at an exciting stage as we see how the choreographer has interpreted these concepts and worked with the dancers to illustrate and bring them to life. Our hope is that as well as being fun and unusual the dancing will demystify and create more interest in statistical literacy.”

The concepts are: correlation, variance, frequency distributions, sampling and standard error.

The finished videos are expected to be available in September. In the meantime, to keep up to date with the project and release date you can join the conversation on Twitter at #dancingstatistics

The Society runs an annual public engagement grant scheme. Through these grants we aim to help members promote the relevance of evidence-based psychology to wider audiences either through direct work or by organising interesting and relevant communications activities.

BPS press release 2

Statistics Dance Their Way Onto Screen… Soon.

An innovative film project aiming to engage Psychology students through dance is set to launch later this month.

A collaboration between artists and academics, the resulting four short films use dance to visualise statistical concepts used in Psychology degree courses across the country.

The unique films have been designed to guide a non-dance trained audience through attending to carefully composed choreographies that demonstrate fundamental statistical concepts.

A team of dance professionals – choreographer, Masha Gurina, and filmmaker, Kyle Stevenson, together with 10 dancers – provided the artistic vision, while the UK’s leading psychology statistician, Prof. Andy Field, and Psychology and Research Methods lecturer, Lucy Irving, guided the statistical side of the project.

Lucy, who Founded the project, says: “Statistics at degree level are complex and exciting at best, dull and insufferable at worst. Students often think of them as a ‘dark art’, therefore they can be challenging to teach. I wanted to find an engaging and fun way to present material which is dreaded by so many”.

Elise Phillips, Project Manager, says “This project is unique in that it has not just used the complex intellectual concepts as starting points for a creative process. It uses creativity with the clarity and specificity necessary to be able to actually teach the concept it started from.”

The project attracted funding from British Psychological Society’s Public Engagement Grant, and IdeasTap’s IdeasFund. The films will be available from the BPS’s official YouTube channel from 27th September 2013.