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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

9
votes
4answers
131 views

Research on aversion to cognitive effort?

I was reading Danny K's recent book for fun (Thinking Fast and Slow, 2011), and he suggests briefly that some people's reliance on their intuitions (i.e., "System 1") might sometimes indicate a sort ...
9
votes
3answers
415 views

What psychological factors account for code readability?

Readability is often intuitively synthesized. If you see some piece of code, you just know whether it is readable or not. But what are actual psychological, scientific explanations for this? There ...
9
votes
3answers
631 views

Math or Physics: Which is the more relevant background to enter Cognitive Sciences and Psychology? [closed]

What would be a more suitable background to enter cognitive sciences, mathematical psychology, and study of emotions? I have the option of taking a Integrated Masters Degree in Mathematical Sciences, ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a psychological condition which promotes literal and overly complicated thinking?

Quote from Sheldon Cooper, Big Bang Theory IMDB Leonard: You convinced me. Maybe tonight we should sneak in and shampoo her carpet. Sheldon: You don't think that crosses the line? Leonard: ...
9
votes
2answers
254 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
votes
1answer
659 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
175 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
votes
2answers
152 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
votes
1answer
126 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
votes
1answer
478 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
votes
1answer
335 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
votes
1answer
207 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
4k views

Why does repeating one word over and over again sound weird to us after some time?

This effect seems to be observed with almost any word. I would say this phenomenon 'works' for longer and complex words better. When we repeat a word over and over again, it starts to sound very ...
8
votes
3answers
456 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
votes
2answers
156 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
votes
2answers
431 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
528 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
votes
2answers
71 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
votes
1answer
265 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, ...
8
votes
1answer
112 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
votes
1answer
115 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
477 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
246 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
votes
1answer
165 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
votes
1answer
133 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
votes
1answer
3k 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
395 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
177 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
492 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
1answer
126 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
votes
0answers
459 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
182 views

Why is it easier to remember the correct response for problems with many options rather than just two?

Sometimes it seems easier, at least for me, to remember an answer, when there are more than 2 options to choose from. For example, I easily remember my pin (14 bit), but hardly the lighter switch (up ...
7
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
633 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
675 views

What is the maximum number of objects an average human being can recognize at once?

I'm wondering, how many objects can the average human being can recognize? For example, most of us can't look at this and say how many boxes there are without counting them: But I think we can ...
7
votes
3answers
176 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
158 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
138 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
638 views

What is the relationship between sociology and cognitive sciences?

I want to know what is the relationship between sociology and cognitive sciences. Let me start by short consideration of both: Sociology - well established discipline or a field of research ...
7
votes
2answers
383 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
124 views

How do moral judgments change for older adults?

There have been numerous studies that compare the moral judgment/sensitivity of adults and children (a good example is this paper by Decety, Michalska and Kinzler, showing significant differences ...
7
votes
1answer
450 views

What is the cognitive cost of switching contexts?

A common reason to use Conventions and standards in Human Computer Interaction is to limit the cost of Context Switching. I searched to find general evidence of the cognitive costs of context ...
7
votes
2answers
452 views

To what extent does culture affect emotion perception?

In a globalized world, in spite of cultural differences, we share, at least at the symbolic level (language level), lots of things. Considering pictures that display emotions (affect), such as those ...
7
votes
2answers
216 views

Relationship between cognitive load and self-indulgent behavior in simple task completion

Background A subject in an office-building setting is asked to memorize a list of numbers and to write them down on a whiteboard in another room on the opposite side of the building. The subject ...
7
votes
1answer
143 views

Philosophy Meets Neuroscience: The Molyneux's Problem

Consider the Molyneux's problem "If a man born blind can feel the differences between shapes such as spheres and cubes, could he similarly distinguish those objects by sight if given the ability ...
7
votes
1answer
137 views

What are the effects of negative self image on cognition and brain function?

All other things considered equal, what are the effects of a negative self image, on cognition and brain function? Are there any studies that would have specific data supporting cognitive outcomes ...
7
votes
2answers
232 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
84 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. ...
7
votes
1answer
133 views

Any attempts at testing or modeling the 'cognitive conception' of language?

For those unfamiliar, the 'cognitive conception of language' refers to a claim made by some theorists that, in the words of Carruthers: "besides its obvious communicative functions, language also ...
7
votes
1answer
170 views

Why is a lack of response to punishment in adults considered significant in diagnoses?

It seems that a lack of response to punishment is often considered useful in diagnosing conditions or symptoms. A good example of this may be in diagnosing psychopathy, in which a lack of response to ...