Faculty of Computing, Law and Psychology | School of Psychology

Dr Kathryn Friedlander

Lecturer in Psychology


Kathryn FriedlanderKathryn has been researching the psychology of expertise, creativity and 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 also at Oxford. 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, 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 acts as the Research Strategy and REF Lead for the School of Psychology, and chairs the School Research Committee. Together with Dr Philip Fine, she established the CREATE research hub in 2015, and continues to co-direct this area. She also leads the research hub ‘Psychology of Educational Development’.

Web links:

CREATE Ψ blog: www.createpsy.com

Publications and conference papers:

Morse, K. F., Fine, P. A., & Friedlander, K. J. (2021). Creativity and leisure during COVID-19: Examining the relationship between leisure activities , motivations , and psychological well-being. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1–22. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.609967

Friedlander, K. J., & Fine, P. A. (2020). Fluid Intelligence is Key to Successful Cryptic Crossword Solving. Journal of Expertise, 3(2), 101–132. https://www.journalofexpertise.org

Fine, P. A., Danek, A. H., Friedlander, K. J., Hocking, I., & Thompson, W. F. (2019). Editorial: Novel Approaches for Studying Creativity in Problem-Solving and Artistic Performance. Frontiers in Psychology, 10(September), 1–4. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02059

Fine P. A., Friedlander K. J., Danek A.H., Hocking I., Thompson W.F., editors. “Novel Approaches for Studying Creativity in Problem-Solving and Artistic Performance” Frontiers in Psychology Research Topic, 2018. https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/6290/novel-approaches-for-studying-creativity-in-problem-solving-and-artistic-performance

Friedlander, K. J., Foster, E., & Fine, P.A. (2018, 29 – 31 August). “The grounded expertise components approach: how quizzing and crosswords might provide answers to the puzzle of expertise”. Presentation at the BPS Cognitive Section Conference, Liverpool, UK in the symposium ‘The Breadth of Expertise Research’.

Friedlander, K.J., Lenton, F.H., & Fine, P.A. (2018, 29-31 August). Does the VVIQ measure what we imagine it to? A new experimental methodology shedding light on the mechanisms and limitations of Mark’s test”. Poster presented at the BPS Cognitive Section Conference, Liverpool, UK.

Friedlander, K. J., & Fine, P. A.  “The Penny Drops”: Investigating Insight Through the Medium of Cryptic Crosswords. Frontiers in Psychology, 9 (July, 2018), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00904

Friedlander K. J., Vanleer P., Fine P. A. (2018 11-13 July) “Exploring motivational factors involved in pursuing a career in medicine”. Poster presented at ASME ASM; Gateshead, UK.

Vanleer P., Friedlander K. J., Fine P. A. (2018, 22nd May). “Thinking styles and creativity in medical practice: An exploratory survey”. Poster presented at the UK Creativity Researchers Conference ‘Psychology of Creativity: Creative Sides’ Canterbury Christchurch University, Canterbury UK.

Lenton, F.H,  Fine, P.A., & Friedlander, K.J.  (2018, 22nd May). A study exploring the relationship between visual imagery vividness and creativity utilising a new experimental methodology. Poster presented at the UK Creativity Researchers Conference ‘Psychology of Creativity: Creative Sides’, Canterbury Christchurch University, Canterbury UK.

Friedlander, K. J. (2017, 17 May). ‘The Problem with Insight Problems … and how Cryptic Crosswords might help’ Presentation at the UK Creativity Researchers conference ‘Psychology of Creativity: Building Impact, Skills & Collaborations’, Edinburgh Napier University

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: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00567.

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.

Email: kathryn.friedlander@buckingham.ac.uk

See also: Psychology Department

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