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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11
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1answer
247 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
88 views

When one activity makes you less distracted doing another activity? [closed]

Background: When I'm coding, I sometimes make tea, and as long as I'm drinking the tea, I find myself more focused. Drinking tea seems to make me focus more. Thus, it seems that while doing something ...
8
votes
0answers
382 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
205 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 ...
35
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
164 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, ...
9
votes
1answer
205 views

Why do participants prefer to give input values that are “round numbers”?

Background I have just been analysing some data where participants attempt to control a dynamic system with integer numeric inputs between 0 and 100. I've noticed that there is a general tendency for ...
7
votes
4answers
178 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
153 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
135 views

What is the effect of merely expecting an interruption on performance?

There's a lot of research about how interruptions affect cognitive performance. Are there any studies that have looked at the effect of merely expecting to be interrupted (withou being actually ...
8
votes
2answers
335 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
288 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
365 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
851 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
902 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
593 views

Is learning to do a task automatically an example of intuition?

I'm looking for some examples to understand what people call their intuition at work when making their decisions. For example: We learn to type and then after some time we begin to type by ...
9
votes
1answer
361 views

What are biological primary mathematical skills?

In doing a bit of background reading for this question I came across a section in the book Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind on page 602 stating: There are no sex-related differences ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between IQ and Executive Function?

I was reading an article today that stated that people with high IQ's that have trouble with social skills, memory, being punctual (on time), emotional control, and "growing up" are likely to have ...
3
votes
2answers
191 views

Is it a good idea to play an instrument while studying? If so, what are the benefits?

We've all heard that listening to classical music and such while studying can be beneficial, but I was wondering about actually playing an instrument? If I were to absentmindedly play my accordion ...
8
votes
1answer
112 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
546 views

Does any evidence show that Smartphone users have poorer memory?

An ages old complaint is that new technology harms memory. Why remember something when you can look it up? In a course on Human Memory I distinctly recall an interesting discussion on phones and ...
5
votes
1answer
162 views

Why is it common for people to default to a single causal source to explain new phenomena?

I am constantly bombarded by allegations that almost every relatively unusual event is the result/proof of some conspiracy/plan set by a specific powerful entity. The typical reasoning behind such ...
9
votes
2answers
264 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
228 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
161 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
343 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
313 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
203 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
273 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
224 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", ...
5
votes
0answers
98 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
591 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
367 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
379 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 ...