Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Murphy, M. & Cunningham, R.K.
Psychological Society of Ireland Annual Conference
A crossword a day keeps the referents at bay: A report of an intervention study
Cork, Ireland
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields

Objective: Soft skills are highly prized, both in educational settings and in workplaces. One of the most prized is communication skills, to which semantic verbal fluency (SVF) is an important contributor. Drawing on both hardware and software models of cognitive reserve, the present study sought to assess the impact of regular crossword use on SVF in a student sample.

Method: An experimental design was employed. Thirty-four participants attempted a simple crossword every day for four week, while 40 served as a control group.

Results: A mixed two-way ANOVA identified a significant interaction effect, with moderate effect size, between experimental group and pre- and post-intervention SVF scores. The crossword group gained significantly more in SVF performance than did the control group.

Conclusion: Daily crosswords may prove a useful tool to boost SVF in a high functioning student population.