Dr Kathryn Friedlander

Lecturer in Psychology


Kathryn has been researching into the psychology of puzzle-solving, in collaboration with Dr Philip Fine, since 2007. She  joined the Department of Psychology in January 2010 as a Visiting Research Fellow and Lecturer, and became a full-time Lecturer in Psychology in January 2017.

Kathryn studied at Oxford for her original BA, MA in Classics, following this with a DPhil in Roman Comedy. She then pursued a wide-ranging career in the Civil Service. After becoming interested in the education of Gifted and Talented children, she went on to obtain a PgDip at the University of Worcester in the psychology of Giftedness and Talent, following this with an MSc in Psychology at Oxford Brookes.

Kathryn’s research interests focus upon expertise development and motivational drivers in cognitive and creative performance domains. She has conducted extensive research into the solving of UK-style cryptic crosswords, and has published in this field. Other active research interests include: divergent thinking and its relationship to fluid intelligence and creativity; insight problems and the ‘Aha!’ moment; the psychology of recreational hobbies; and medical education and diagnostic biases.

Wider interests also include the psychology of theatre and of magic, synaesthesia, perfect (absolute) pitch, autism and savant abilities; and she retains an active interest in the education of academically gifted children, as well as those with Specific Learning Difficulties.

Kathryn has led the Educational Psychology module since Autumn 2013; and designed the new module ‘Creative Performance and Expertise’, which she has led since Spring 2014. Together with Dr Philip Fine, she established the CREATE research hub in 2015, and continues to co-direct this area.

Web links:

Centre for Research in Expertise Acquisition, Training and Excellence (CREATE): https://www.buckingham.ac.uk/research/create

CREATE Ψ blog: www.createpsy.com

Publications and conference papers:

Fine, P.A. & Friedlander, K.J. (2016, 31st August – 2nd September). “The grounded expertise components approach: A new methodology for investigating expertise”. Presentation at the BPS Cognitive Section Annual Conference, Barcelona, Spain.

Friedlander, K.J. & Fine, P.A. (2016, 31st August – 2nd September). “‘The penny drops’ – Insight moments in cryptic crossword solving”. Symposium presentation (in Creative Problem Solving and Insight symposium) at the BPS Cognitive Section Annual Conference, Barcelona, Spain.

Friedlander, K. J. & P. A. Fine, “The grounded expertise components approach in the novel area of cryptic crossword solving”, Frontiers in Psychology 7 (May 2016), 1–21: read more.

Friedlander, K. J. & Fine, P. (2013, 4-6 September). “Fluid intelligence and cryptic crossword expertise”. Paper presented at the CogDev 2013: BPS Developmental and Cognitive Sections Joint Conference 2013, Reading, UK.

Fine, P. & Friedlander, K. J., “Cryptic crossword expertise and fluid intelligence”, Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Performing Science, Vienna (London: Royal College of Music, 2013), 415-420.

Fine, P. & Friedlander, K. J. (2010, 6-8 September). “A study of expert and non-expert cryptic crossword solvers”. Paper presented at the 27th BPS Cognitive Psychology Conference, Cardiff.

Friedlander, K. J. & Fine, P., “Expertise in cryptic crossword performance: An exploratory survey”, Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium on Performance Science, University of Auckland, NZ (London: Royal College of Music, 2009), 279-284.

Friedlander, K.J. “Gifted children: myths and realities. The gifted and their vulnerability to perfectionism.” Gifted and Talented, 9.1 (2005), 12-16.

Email: kathryn.friedlander@buckingham.ac.uk

See also: Psychology Department

Selected Publications

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