YOU SHALL GO TO THE BALL! ... India through traditional ballads” in Power, M.,. Devereux, E., Dillane, A. &. Haynes. A. (2017). Songs of. Social Protest.
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Issue Jan March 2016



Congratulations to Dr Jenny MacMahon and Dr. Anca Minescu both of whom received Irish Research Council Funding Awards from the New Foundations Scheme. Good luck with the research!

Make a Difference: Rebuild a School in Nepal

A big welcome to a new Centre member Noreen Murphy. Noreen has started working on her PhD with Dr. Jennifer MacMahon.

Gala Fundraiser: May 7th Limerick Strand Hotel

Congrats to Brenda O’Connell and Catherine Naughton to making it to the final round of the Dean’s PG Award.

Tickets available at or from E1-29

The Centre is delighted to report that it has been contracted to work with the Kerry Development agency (NEKWD) to explore the impact of their SICAP social inclusion initiatives.

Featured Project:

The Value of Positive Psychological Intervention by Brenda O’Connell

Positive psychology is a relatively new field in psychology that has seen exponential growth over the last decade. At the forefront of this field are positive psychological intervention (PPI) activities designed to foster gratitude as a way of improving psychological wellbeing. Despite such unprecedented growth in the field, several questions and critiques remain. 1) The psychological mechanisms through which gratitude interventions operate are poorly understood. 2) Given that gratitude is inherently social in nature it is surprising that the use of gratitude interventions to enhance relationships is yet to be examined. 3) Despite the application of gratitude interventions in applied settings, PPI research has come under methodological critique due to poor experimental trial quality and reporting. This programme of research addresses these caveats through a three related blinded randomized controlled trials, strictly adhering to the CONSORT statement and best practice initiatives for designing, conducting, and evaluating interventions. Collectively, these studies aim to examine how gratitude interventions can be adapted to improve markers of wellbeing, whilst testing for theoretically-driven explanatory mechanisms underlying any effect(s). Therefore, this research will significantly and positively impact the field not only theoretically, but also methodologically and practically.

Featured Person: Two minutes with…Catherine Naughton, UL40 PhD Scholar saw the light’ might be a little too strong but you get my meaning. What is your most embarrassing moment? Oh so many, generally to do with me engaging my mouth way before my brain kicks into action. However I suppose that spending an afternoon searching for a hard copy of a journal so that I could access an article, to be told by a puzzled librarian that I needed to download and then print it off to get a ‘hard copy’ takes the biscuit Isn’t technology just great. What keeps you awake at night? At the minute, analyzing discourse. What are your hopes for the Centre? The Centre continues to grow while maintaining its supportive environment and transfer of knowledge between members, to gain a reputation for excellent research which has positive implications for society.

Who would you invite to your idea dinner party? Definitely have to bring back Nelson Mandela and after all that effort I would want him all to myself. In the movie of your life who would play you? Reckon Saoirse Ronan could play a fine younger me.

Name one book everyone should read. Viktor Frankl’s ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’


Describe one thing that changed your career Attending the social identity and trauma lecture on the Master’s program. Saying ‘I

Jay, S., Muldoon, O. T., & Howarth, C. (in press). ‘Connecting social exclusion and agency: social class matters’. In C. J. Hewer & E. Lyons (Eds.), Political Psychology: A Social Psychological Approach. Wiley.

What is your guilty pleasure? Catherine never answered this so either she has no guilt or no pleasure!

Describe yourself in three words Passionate, compassionate and downright-pig-headed

What one thing about you do people find surprising? My age, there are generally confused by my fresh complexion and youthful attitude.

Coming Soon Sambaraju, R. “‘Will the earth shatter if we separate’: Legitimising demands for a separate Telangana state in India through traditional ballads” in Power, M., Devereux, E., Dillane, A. & Haynes. A. (2017). Songs of Social Protest. London: Rowan & Littlefield International.

O’Connell, B. H., O’Shea, D., & Gallagher, S. (2016). Enhancing social relationships through positive psychology activities: a randomised controlled trial. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 11, 2, 149-162. O'Donnell, A. T., Muldoon, O. T., Blaylock, D. L., Stevenson, C., Bryan, D., Reicher, S. D., & Pehrson, S. (2016). ‘Something That Unites Us All’: Understandings of St. Patrick's Day Parades as Representing the Irish National Group. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 26(1), 61-74.

Catherine Naughton presented her work at an all Ireland advisory group on gender based violence in Trinity College Dublin. Catherine has as a result been asked to take the lead on a policy a document for Garda Training in this area. Jenny MAcMahon ran a very successful bake sale and raised €600 on World Autism Day