For questions focusing on the interaction of many internal mental processes. If your question involves only one of memory, attention, language, decision-making, or perception then use the associated specialized tag instead of cognitive-psychology.

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1answer
361 views

Thinking, Fast and Slow vs. Mindfulness vs. Flow

I've been wondering how dual-process theory, which is described in Daniel Kahneman's book "Thinking, Fast and Slow", relates to mindfulness and the state of being in the present moment and the flow ...
10
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1answer
799 views

What is the effect of mindfulness practice on cognition?

The following article by ScienceDaily reported on a paper in Psychological Science (Mrazek et al., 2013), claiming that mindfulness training led to improved working memory and GRE scores. These ...
10
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1answer
188 views

What forms of the travelling salesman problem are difficult for humans to solve?

In the traveling salesman problem (TSP) we are given a set of nodes, where one node is the starting node. The task is to find the shortest tour starting at the start node visiting every node exactly ...
10
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1answer
255 views

Can psychosomatic reactions be completely unconcious?

I had always considered that psychosomatic reactions, such as Psychogenic pain, while "real" to the person experiencing them, would be a concious reaction at some level. That is to say, if the person ...
10
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1answer
318 views

Has there been any serious research on subliminal messaging?

I certainly don't question the existence of subliminal perception which has been demonstrated many times in priming studies like those of Daniel Schacter and many others, nor do I reject the notion of ...
10
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1answer
160 views

Predicting how long a task will take

As a software engineer I have always struggled with predicting how long a project would take by underestimating and I have noticed that all of my colleagues have the same problem. In this video at ...
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1answer
1k views

Why people choose “boring” colors for new cars?

I've been interested in this question for a few years, sorry if this is not the right place to ask it. As I've been driving around the US for the last few years, I noticed that some community parking ...
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6answers
481 views

Is psychology a science?

I've read some books from behavioral economy to emotional intelligence, and it kind of makes sense, but when it comes to psychology it feels to me a bit like astrology, where there are some things ...
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3answers
5k views

Why do people suddenly look back if you look at them for a while?

You possibly are familiar with the following situation, I do not know if this is a researched phenomena or not however. You look straight at somebody for some time and suddenly, even though he or she ...
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2answers
264 views

Do people estimate combined probabilities differently to uncombined ones?

Suppose, somebody has to estimate the likelihood of one of the following events (or has to estimate which event is more likely): A coin is tossed six times and each time the result is heads. ...
9
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2answers
258 views

Name of the bias where someone really needs something after they find out it exists

I'm looking for the name of the cognitive bias that is expressed in the following story. A fellow coworker was instrumental in getting a 75 gallon fish tank installed in the lobby of the company that ...
9
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1answer
139 views

What is the mechanism behind recurring or looping thoughts?

I'm interested in what is the mechanism that explains the recurrence or looping of thoughts within a person's mind. Unless very strongly distracted, such thoughts can creep up back or mutate slightly ...
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2answers
161 views

Is reading from the screen more difficult than reading from paper and how can screen reading be made easier?

I've noticed that as a student when reading material, there is a choice between reading from the screen or reading from paper. When reading from paper I find that I concentrate more and that ...
9
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1answer
185 views

When is higher confidence predictive of less accuracy?

Normally, when an individual is more confident in a particular response (e.g., memory decision, general knowledge answer), he or she is also more likely to be accurate. There are also studies in which ...
9
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1answer
134 views

Could Fitts Law be used to measure difficulty in platform genre games?

I've been learning about Fitts' law and am wondering if it's applicable to measuring the difficulty of platform type games where the challenge is to hit the platforms? If so, this could be used to ...
9
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1answer
562 views

Attention Theory: is it impossible to avoid distraction?

I remember reading at some point in the literature that humans are unable to avoid distraction from a certain primary task if this task isn't using up close to all available 'resources' - basically ...
9
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1answer
409 views

Cognitive explanation of why beta blockers are effective for anxiety

Beta blockers essentially reduce physical effects of anxiety and panic disorder, but there is no proof that there is a direct effect on anxiety. Some scientists believe there is an indirect effect. ...
9
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1answer
224 views

Are intelligence scores correlated with detection of second stimulus in an Attentional Blink test?

Definitions Attentional Blink: An attentional blink is a phenomenon where when presented with rapid visual stimuli if you are asked to track two particular stimuli you will fail to notice the second ...
8
votes
2answers
792 views

Skin conductance responses to emotional stimuli

The skin conductance response (SCR) is said that cannot be reduced to one specific stimulus (Boucsein, 2012). Does this mean that if the participant is presented with stimuli of different emotional ...
8
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3answers
562 views

Is it possible to create a false memory by trying to remember something that eludes you?

Sometimes I have difficulty remembering the specifics of an event, specifically if I'm tired or possibly have recently consumed alcohol. A close friend of mine has gotten me in the habit of ...
8
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3answers
197 views

Abstract idealized mental visualization improves motor task performance

I practice martial arts (Aikido), which involves a lot of rotation. When practicing, I find that holding an abstract image in my head, instead of thinking about the actual technique, improves my ...
8
votes
1answer
187 views

What is a more modern interpretation of the terms egosyntonic/egodystonic?

Egosyntonic thoughts/ideas are those that are consistent with self-image, and egodystonic thoughts are recognized as inconsistent. For example, in obsessive compulsive disorder, the patient will ...
8
votes
2answers
239 views

Do 10.000 hours of practice make you an expert?

With his book "Outliers" Malcolm Gladwell has widely popularized the idea that the requirement to become an expert in any field is largely to invest at least 10.000 hours of deliberate practice. ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

Why do some days feel fast and others feel slow?

As per the title, why is it some days it just feels like a day can go so fast, yet other days can feel slow? Every day has the same amount of hours, minutes and seconds after all. What is the actual ...
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2answers
477 views

Are there any laws of memory?

Several years ago, my adviser wrote an article discussing the observation that a hundred years of studying memory had not resulted in the discovery of a "law" of memory. He wrote (p. 247): When ...
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1answer
140 views

Is the depletion effect of self-control reliable?

Although a lot of research (Muraven, 1998) has indicated the ego depletion of self-control, a recent paper (Xu, 2014) claims that they fail to replicate the depletion effect: impaired performance in ...
8
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3answers
174 views

Is a desire for a certain food related to the nutritional need for that food?

It appears that, from time to time, everybody has a strong desire for some specific food. I want to know whether this is the feedback of the body needing certain nutrients or whether it's purely ...
8
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2answers
161 views

What is the sleep study that showed that a percentage of humans have a biological clock that is ~28 hours or greater?

There was an article published some years ago about a sleep study (I think from Germany) that showed about 10-20% of people (European's I think) are genetically predisposed to function on a 30-hour* ...
8
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1answer
4k views

What's the difference between projecting and mirroring?

In Psychology 101, I learned about Projecting and Mirroring... I know one is where an individual sees his own problems in other people... I always forget the other concept and/or confuse the two. ...
8
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2answers
493 views

What is the difference between solving a problem and acquiring a skill?

Within the confines of cognitive psychology, what is the difference between these two tasks? In the literature, playing chess is generally seen as the exemplar of problem solving. But recently (thanks ...
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2answers
681 views

What are the appraisals tendencies for fear and anger?

I understand the actions tendencies for fear and anger. For example: We might verbally insult someone when we are angry. We might feel like running away when we are afraid. According to appraisal ...
8
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1answer
103 views

Are the physical sensations of an emotion due to neural activity strictly in the brain or also in the body?

Symptoms of anxiety and anger are often described as some sort of energetic sensation in my chest and sometimes face or arms. Are these sensations an 'illusion' from neural activity strictly in the ...
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2answers
125 views

What rules are tested during the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task?

I was reading about the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and although I understand the concept, I'm not clear on what rules are usually tested. Does it always vary between associations between shape, ...
8
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1answer
299 views

How does the mind build a model of reality?

I'm interested if there has been any research or experiments that deal with how the human mind creates and perpetuates the idea of knowing something. I'm struggling to concisely express the question, ...
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1answer
114 views

Are there shapes defined by 3 (or more) generative parameters whose mapping to psychological similarity space is known?

I am trying to generate 4 shapes that are equidistant in psychological similarity space - meaning that they are all equally discriminable from one another - which differ in 3 parameters, such that ...
8
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1answer
117 views

Why aren't sleep measures consistently measured as mediators/moderators of cognitive performance?

Knowing that sleep quantity and quality affects cognitive performance across many domains, why aren't pre-test sleep measures or intra-test measures of arousal a standard part of all cognitive test ...
8
votes
1answer
626 views

Do children show top-down processing as much as adults do?

There has been much research into how top-down processing works, such as the suggestibility of patients to mishear lyrics based on what the patients are told they are. Is there any research to show ...
8
votes
1answer
272 views

What cognitive processes occur during a mental exhaustion or 'burnout'?

Mental burnout - or mental exhaustion is not very pleasant, when one feels completely overwhelmed, something 'snaps' and it is hard to concentrate and maintain motivation. What are the cognitive ...
8
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1answer
201 views

Are there any rules about masking?

I am currently programming an experiment where participants have to do a divided visual field task. In a paper about the correct methodology about these tasks, it is said that you should use a ...
8
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1answer
90 views

How repeatable are cognitive science findings within the same individual?

Thanks to this website, I've seen a number of papers and scholarly articles that deal with cognition. I'm interested in how repeatable the findings are that are discovered as a result of experiments. ...
8
votes
1answer
145 views

Problem understanding the calculation of normative (Bayesian) base rates

I am having trouble understanding Table 1 of Gigerenzer, Hell, and Blank (1988, PDF, table on page 516): Focusing on the Jack row, it is stated that the mean probabilities of Jack being an engineer ...
8
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1answer
4k views

What are the real life applications for Probability Learning?

Probability learning is a principle that states probability of a response tends to match the probability of the reinforcement. How does one achieve such rationality under uncertainty? What are ...
8
votes
1answer
456 views

How do people visually recognize their own reflection?

I'm interested in how the brain processes and recognizes the image of the person's own face. A bit of background: A while ago I've developed an overlay-camera like app for iPhone that allows me to ...
8
votes
1answer
197 views

What research has modelled the difficulty of mental mathematical calculation?

I posted this also on mathoverflow. What research has modelled the difficulty of evaluating a formula mentally (for your average, numerate, person, not a trained mental calculator)? For instance, ...
8
votes
1answer
586 views

What are the current suggested models for Primacy Effect in memory recall or personality impression?

What are the current suggested normative, mechanistic or phenomenological models for explaining primacy effect as was observed by Solomon Asch (1946) on personality impression, list-of-words memory ...
8
votes
2answers
208 views

Why do people often do unnecessary things while performing a main task?

And this is not about procrastination (I'm almost certain). I've been noticing it since childhood that people (me included) tend to do unnecessary side activity, especially if they're invested in the ...
8
votes
1answer
140 views

What are the cognitive and neurological bases for apathy?

Apathy, or effectively the feeling of "not caring" or putting it colloquially, "not giving a rats", is something that most of us get sometime or another in varying degrees. My question is, what are ...
8
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2answers
238 views

The prisoner dilemma does not violate classical probability laws

To read before (following some answers or comments) My background: As a mathematician, probability theory is my field of research; please do not answer/comment just to refer to a course on ...
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0answers
512 views

How much sleep is required to restore maximum cognitive functioning? [closed]

Background: Recently I have really messed up my sleep schedule due to my procrastination. The internet points to some very basic conclusions but I would like to see actual experiments on effects of ...
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0answers
324 views

What are the “Must Know” papers of Cognitive Science? [closed]

What are the works/papers/results/theories any expert in cognitive science should know, even if they're outside his/her specific field of expertise? One paper/theory per answer please, and state why ...