Jenny Groarke is an Irish Research Council Scholar and a recent PhD graduate (2016). Jenny’s work is examining music listening and wellbeing, with a special interest in the benefits of music listening for older adults. The first study in Jenny’s PhD project employed a collective intelligence methodology to examine older and younger adults uses of music, and their beliefs about the value of music for enhancing wellbeing. This paper was published in Psychology of Music and recently featured in the Pacific Standard Magazine. Jenny’s second study involved the development of a psychometric measure of the functions of music listening, appearing soon in Frontiers in Psychology, and a theory of adaptive music listening behaviours using survey-based structural equation modelling. Jenny’s third and final study was a randomised-controlled trial (RCT) comparing the effects of music listening on younger and older adults using electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioural measures. Jenny is also a Choral Scholar at NUI, Galway and St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, and community music facilitator with Sing-Bang Music Workshops.
Chris Noone completed his PhD research (2016) focusing on the relationship between mindfulness and critical thinking. While it has been suggested that mindfulness should facilitate successful critical thinking, in line with traditional Buddhist conceptualisations of mindfulness as clarity of thought, few studies have examined this relationship and none have focused on what the relevant mechanisms are. One potential mechanism investigated in this project is enhanced self-regulation/executive functioning, which is key to reflective thinking and has been shown to be related to mindfulness. Taking the default interventionist dual process theory of higher-order cognition as a theoretical framework, a series of studies were carried out to examine whether mindfulness facilitates critical thinking, what mechanisms are responsible for these effects, and what are the short and long term effects of mindfulness practice on critical thinking skills and dispositions. These have been published in Frontiers in Psychology, Mindfulness and BMC Psychology.
In line with this work, Chris has contributed to a book chapter on metacognition with Dr. Hogan, Owen Harney and others and presented at several conferences including the International Symposium for Contemplative Studies, the European Conference on Positive Psychology and the European Health Psychology Society conference. Chris has also contributed to a book chapter and a journal article on our work on citizen consultation for the design of wellbeing measures and to research on pain, reading, wellbeing, employee sabotage, financial stress in dairy farmers, and sexual counselling for patients in cardiac rehabilitation. He is currently a post-doctoral researcher in health psychology at NUI Galway.
Outside of research, Chris has been active in the voluntary sector at local, national and international levels, including being the first Irish person to serve on the Board of Management of the European Federation of Psychology Students’ Associations. Currently, he is Chair of the Research and Policy Sub-Committee of the National LGBT Federation. He has also contributed to the Yes Equality campaign, is co-chair of the first LGBT Staff Network at the National University of Ireland, Galway and is a coordinator for Bi+ Ireland.