Matthew David Smith

Matthew David Smith
Buckinghamshire New University | bucks · Centre for Positive Psychology

PhD (Psychology)

About

46
Publications
28,126
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459
Citations
Introduction
Matthew Smith is working with colleagues to establish a Centre for Positive Psychology at Buckinghamshire New University in the UK. His own work is broadly focused around exploring the boundaries of human capability, with current research interests including positive psychology and 'luck' experiences; exceptional human experiences (such as flow, peak experiences, and out-of-body experiences); self-transcendence, and the journey of change.
Additional affiliations
August 2011 - March 2019
Buckinghamshire New University
Position
  • Lecturer
September 1999 - September 2009
Liverpool Hope University
October 1993 - October 1997
University of Hertfordshire

Publications

Publications (46)
Presentation
Full-text available
This is an abbreviated version of the PP Post Pandemic Presentation given at the INPM Conference in August 2021. There are small differences to the larger presentation to support the shortened version, .
Article
Full-text available
“Self-transcendence” is proposed as a way in which individuals might find relief and support in the context of COVID-19, as well as other times of uncertainty. However, the authors propose that the multiple definitions of self-transcendence within existing literature lean towards the complex, sometimes obscure, and imprecisely spiritual. A concern...
Presentation
Full-text available
Slides from a presentation first offered as a guest lecture at the University of Northampton (March 2021) and subsequently as a Centre for Positive Psychology - LIVE session (April 2021).
Article
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This paper explores how childhood and life experiences over time influence the appearance, recognition, development, and growth of creativity within individual lives. This is based on analysis of Ph.D. research data (Worth, 2000) and a case study in progress on the life of C. S. Lewis. The paper indicates contributions from influential adults and m...
Presentation
Full-text available
A presentation to the Bucks New University Research Student Conference, June 2019.
Article
Full-text available
This article will share the preliminary findings from a wider and ongoing interpretive synthesis of narrative identity literature. First, we provide the analogy of Dante’s journey through the ‘inferno’ to contextualize the review. Second, we share interpretations of literature pertaining to how life stories create meaning and suggest polarity might...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Virtual Reality (VR) offers exciting new opportunities for teaching psychology, such as the chance to explore questions, phenomena, perspectives and experiences it would be difficult or impossible to observe in the real world or classroom. As VR technology develops, its potential to provide a multi-modal sensory experience may lead to even more imm...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research suggests that whether as an asylum seeker, refugee or through choice, immigration poses psychological challenges, the effects of which may continue long after physical relocation. The word Aliyah references the unique global phenomenon of Jewish immigration to Israel, either to escape anti-Semitism and discrimination or to fulfil a sense o...
Research
A CV (Resume) for Dr Matthew David Smith [updated January 2019]
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter formed the opening chapter of a key text on 'critical' positive psychology, by reviewing the relationship between the disciplines of 'critical psychology' and 'positive psychology'.
Book
Full-text available
Proceedings of papers presented at Applied Positive Psychology Symposium at Bucks New University, Saturday 2nd June 2018.
Book
Full-text available
Proceedings of papers presentaed at the 3rd Applied Positive Psychology Symposium at Bucks New University, Saturday 20th May 2017
Article
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In previous decades there has been a lack of research into what people who sit with mediums gain from this process in terms of psychological benefits. Taking a positive psychology perspective, a qualitative approach was used to explore the effect that mediumship has on the bereaved. Seven participants gave retrospective accounts of a sitting which...
Presentation
Full-text available
Positive psychology interventions have been shown to have a positive impact on people’s wellbeing (see, for example, Bolier et al., 2013 for a review). These interventions may include, for example, gratitude journals, mindfulness practices, and cultivating optimism. However, to date there has been little research directly examining the impact of su...
Book
Full-text available
Proceedings of papers presented at 2nd Applied Positive Psychology Symposium, Saturday 21st May 2016.
Book
This is an edited volume of essays based around presented contributions to the Developing Perspectives on Anomalous Experience conference held at Liverpool University, June 2005.
Article
Full-text available
Previous research suggests that mirror-gazing is efficacious for the facilitation of anomalous experiences. The present experiment tested the hypothesis that the incidence of such experiences is a function of the demand characteristics of the procedure. Participants were randomly allocated to one of two conditions and completed a battery of trait a...
Article
Full-text available
There has been a great deal of interest in the concept of luck in the recent psychological and philosophical literature. In philosophy, this interest has tended to focus not upon luck simpliciter but rather upon the role that luck plays in ethical and epistemological debates concerning (respectively) moral and epistemic luck. In psychology, in cont...
Article
Full-text available
The ganzfeld procedure has been used within parapsychology for over 30 years as a controlled method of studying 'psi' experiences in a laboratory setting. The utility of the ganzfeld paradigm in providing replicable empirical support for the existence of an anomalous process of information transfer continues to be debated in both the parapsychologi...
Article
Full-text available
There has been a recent trend in precognition research to examine established conventional psychological paradigms for temporally reversed effects. The precognitive habituation (PH) effect is a newly emerging paradigm based upon a temporally reversed mere exposure (ME) study. Where in conventional psychology the ME effect involves exposing stimuli...
Article
Full-text available
In Experiment 1, participants took part in a fake seance. An actor suggested that a table was levitating when, in fact, it remained stationary. After the seance, approximately one third of participants incorrectly reported that the table had moved. Results also showed a significant relationship between the reported movement of the table and belief...
Article
Full-text available
This study sought to identify the extent to which claims about the probable characteristics of offenders in ‘offender profiles’ were based on substantive arguments. Because Toulmin's (1958) philosophy of argument has been demonstrated as a useful way of breaking down arguments into their constituent parts (Burleson, 1979) we examined the extent to...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies investigated the hypothesis that individuals are prepared to perceive ambiguous statements, when presented in the from of an ‘offender profile’, as being relatively accurate descriptions of complete strangers. Study one used a bogus profile with a real case with two distinctly different offender outcomes (one genuine, one fabricated) gi...
Article
Content analysis of 3 samples of introductory psychology textbooks published in the 1980s (N = 64), in the 1990s (N = 52), and for fall 2002 (N = 57) revealed changes in coverage of ESP and parapsychology. Sixty-three percent of the 1980s sample, 54% of the 1990s sample, and 58% of the 2002 sample discussed ESP or parapsychology as a specific topic...
Article
The experimenter effect, in which some experimenters are consistently more successful than other experimenters in obtaining evidence for psi, continues to be a major challenge for modern parapsychology. The term psi conducive experimenter has been adopted to refer to a consistently "successful" experimenter, whereas an experimenter who has been con...
Article
Full-text available
A major challenge facing modern parapsychology continues to be the replicability of psi. Whilst some researchers appear to consistently obtain positive evidence for psi, others, equally consistently, appear to be less successful. Previous research has attempted to explain this so-called 'experimenter effect' in terms of both psychological variables...
Article
This paper considers a number of issues relating to education in parapsychology. It is suggested that the scarcity of active researchers in parapsychology is due to (a) the current lack of reliability and applicability of parapsychological research findings and (b) how parapsychological research is perceived by "mainstream" scientists. A brief over...
Article
Full-text available
In his book, Seven Experiments That Could Change The World, Rupert Sheldrake suggested that the public carry out experiments to test whether pets can psychically detect when their owners are returning home. The first of these tests was undertaken by an Austrian television company and involved an owner in the northwest of England, Pam Smart (PS) and...
Thesis
Full-text available
This thesis reports a body of work that examines psychological, and parapsychological, factors associated with perceptions of luck and of being lucky. Although much psychological research has referred to luck, surprisingly little work has made a detailed examination of people's beliefs about luck and luckiness. A data base of 126 members of the pub...
Article
This paper examines the role of context in the relationship between belief in the paranormal and intellectual ability. It is argued that expressed paranormal belief is dependent upon the context in which it is measured and that such context effects may account for disparities in research findings of earlier investigators. Sixty participants were di...
Article
This paper briefly reviews previous research on luck and psi, and presents a study on luckiness, competition, and performance on a psi task from an ongoing research project into the psychology and parapsychology of luck and luckiness. Participants were classified as either lucky, unlucky, or uncertain, according to their responses on a Luckiness Qu...
Article
Full-text available
Bem and Honorton (1994) have recently presented data that appear to support the existence of extrasensory perception (ESP). A major part of their argument rests on a set of parapsychological experiments known as the "autoganzfeld" studies. In these studies one participant (a sender) attempted to psychically communicate the contents of a film clip (...

Projects

Projects (13)
Project
This project is intended to investigate the nature and psychological impact of out-of-body-experiences along with how these elements, perhaps, crossover and intertwine. The overall approach of the project will be to explore a reimagining of the out-of-body experience (OBE) through several interrelated processes. These being: (1). The reorganisation of the literature from numerous fields into one coherent and connective work. (2). The modernisation of OBE literature through synthesising recent academic literature from several fields with notable previous work. (3). From the reorganisation and modernisation of the literature explore fruitful research to move the academic understanding of OBEs forward; with an approach that seeks to explore relationships between the nature of the experience and its psychological outcomes. It is intended that parts of this project will contribute to original doctoral work, however, it is hoped that the project will lead to multiple papers and collaborative research efforts. For those interested in knowing more about this possible reimagining of OBEs, please get in touch. Further, Ross Bartlett and Dr. Matthew Smith will be giving a presentation on the subject at the Society for Psychical Research on July 18th, 2019.
Project
My PhD explores how autism is currently understood and the co-morbid mental health problems that may occur. My goal it to develop a theory of autistic development, based on reasoning of current evidence, that enhances understanding of individual development and enables a strengths based approach to be employed to enhance developmental outcomes and well-being.