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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9
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1answer
160 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
255 views

How does the brain act on the information gained via eye saccades?

I've often heard that the process of saccading can be described as a statistical sampling technique. Specifically, the standard textbook definition of the function of saccades seems to be that the ...
11
votes
3answers
221 views

How can I find open access journals for cognitive science research?

What open access journals that publish research in cognitive science/psychology exist? Apart from PLOS ONE, are there any other open access journals that publish research in cognitive ...
7
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
311 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
291 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
283 views

What can cognitive psychology tell us about the results of the Stanford Prison Experiment?

One of the experiments that are always taught as prime examples of social psychology in action is the Stanford Prison Experiment In 1971, Zimbardo accepted a tenured position as professor of ...
6
votes
1answer
148 views

What causes systematic under- or over-estimation of general knowledge quantities?

What psychological theories predict whether individuals will underestimate or overestimate when responding to particular kinds of general knowledge quantity questions? For instance, I have seen an ...
4
votes
0answers
183 views

Obey any command given suddenly, as in the Jumping Frenchmen of Maine

There is behaviour I'm looking for information about, below are two examples of this behaviour, although the 2nd example is from fiction. The first example is featured on the TV show QI, "Jumping ...
9
votes
2answers
219 views

Bias by which we tend to accept vague descriptions of ourselves

There's an effective strategy employed by horoscopes and "psychics" where they say vague statements like "You like being with friends but you value your time alone"; statements that basically "cover ...
3
votes
2answers
194 views

Why do some people seem to disregard the choice of doing nothing (The Zero Choice)?

In many areas of life we have a choice between multiple options: if we are hungry and we want to go out to eat, we have a number of places to choose from (McDonalds, etc). However, we also still have ...
5
votes
0answers
96 views

What processes underly confidence ratings in cognitive decision-making?

Many experiments in cognitive psychology and other domains ask for confidence ratings (e.g., on a 0-100 scale, 100 meaning "I'm sure I experienced this stimulus"). What accounts describe how these ...
15
votes
4answers
767 views

Why are people inclined to praise or fear the unknown?

Human beings are inclined to "praise" the unknown, and are often afraid of the unknown. This inclination has led to the creation of mythology and many gods. To this date we are still carrying this ...
34
votes
1answer
2k views

By learning to read and write upside down, what did I do to myself?

If you've ever read Encyclopedia Brown books, you'll be familiar with the backwards writing in the back of the book that explains the solution to the case. When I was in my mid-late teens (I don't ...
3
votes
1answer
220 views

Has the neuro-linguistic programming visual model been scientifically tested?

According to the NLP visual model, fast flickers of the eyes in left/right and the 4 diagonal directions map to simple cues related to how a person is thinking. Thease are "visual constructed", ...
9
votes
1answer
271 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. ...
8
votes
1answer
316 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 ...
26
votes
5answers
5k views

Does evidence support Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs?

Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs (shown below) is a popular concept and is often taught in basic psychology courses, and often less objectively taught in Business and Marketing courses. A common problem ...
4
votes
0answers
266 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
504 views

What term describes people that cannot feel pain?

I remember a case study about a girl who could not feel pain due to lacking certain somatosensory receptors; she went on to burn herself on a radiator because she could not feel her flesh burning and ...
6
votes
2answers
355 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Motivation vs Goal Oriented Behavior

What's the difference between these two terms when used in the context of cognitive psychology? To the best of my knowledge, research on 'Goal Oriented Behavior' refers to the subset of motivation ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do you sometimes write down one word while actually intending to write another?

I've caught myself writing (typing) "possible" instead of "possibly" a few times over the past few days, while I do intend to write "possibly". Only upon rereading the sentence I notice my mistake. ...
10
votes
1answer
240 views

Is Behaviorism incompatible with Cognitive Psychology?

Both disciplines have historically been at each other's throats, and Radical Behaviorists like B.F. Skinner often completely reject cognitive psychology at a philosophical level. It seems that today ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is recognition easier than recall?

The main ways of memory retrieval are recognition and recall. Why has it been found that recognition is "easier" to perform, meaning it is usually faster or is more likely to yield an accurate ...
8
votes
1answer
342 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
808 views

How is a young child able to learn language so easily?

It's a well known fact that the earlier children are exposed to languages the better, as young children have a better ability to learn new languages than adults. Why is this? At what age does a ...
40
votes
3answers
4k views

Does writing something down help memorize it?

This is a question inspired by this recent question on the Chinese Language & Usage website. Someone asked why they needed to learn how to write Chinese characters, since today we mostly use ...
2
votes
1answer
338 views

Beyond a certain level, is reading comprehension affected more by psychological intuition than by verbal intelligence?

Certainly, you have reading comprehension passages on the SAT, GRE, and LSAT. But beyond that point, is it really possible to measure reading comprehension through multiple-choice tests? There are ...