Questions relating to the enactment of tasks within society and how this reflects on our internal characteristics. Tests and other assessments can act as measures of performance.

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42
votes
1answer
7k views

Is leg jiggling a focus aid?

This is slightly left-field, but I am interested in the Cognitive Science implications of this question: Many people, myself included, are "leg jigglers", meaning we often sit jiggling or bouncing a ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

Is multitasking a myth?

Often, the term 'multitasking' is applied to very busy and 'wired' people. There is an adage that women multitask better than men. My question is, do we actually multitask? If so, what are the ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

Why do higher incentives lead to lower performance for non-rudimentary tasks?

I have watched a number of times this excellent video where Dan Pink discusses the science of motivation. The video states that the higher incentives, the lower performance for non-rudimentary (not ...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there evidence that listening to music can aid/hinder concentration or performance?

I, like many computer programmers, love to listen to music while I work. I have always believed that music helps me stay focused and motivated, and improves my performance on many types of tasks, ...
21
votes
5answers
652 views

Does learning one discipline improve performance in another discipline?

I have come across a lot of articles that suggest learning across disciplines would improve cognitive abilities. This is more often referred to as Integrative Learning. Also, nowadayas a lot of ...
20
votes
1answer
542 views

Medium-term effects of polyphasic sleep on performance

Typical sleep patterns of one big block of 6 to 9 hours with no naps is usually referred to as monophasic sleep. A second natural sleep pattern is biphasic sleep which breaks up your sleep into two ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the most effective maximum work duration per day?

A related question asks about the best work-break schedule for an effective eight hour work day. This question presupposes that eight hours of work per day is a good duration and that all you need is ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Are autonomy, mastery, and purpose the most important motivators?

I've watched the amazing TED talk where Daniel Pink lays out the contrarian notion that greater extrinsic motivators are unimportant (and sometimes detrimental) in comparison to three intrinsic ...
19
votes
1answer
611 views

How long should I work before taking a break?

I'd like to work as effectively as possible for 8-9 hours a day, whether at work or studying. At some point in completing my major in psych I remember hearing about the importance of taking breaks ...
18
votes
1answer
494 views

How long can a person stay happy, excited and motivated about something new?

I'm interested in learning more about studies or experiments that determine how long a typical person can stay excited about something new: ...
13
votes
1answer
204 views

What does cognitive science say about whether to learn mathematics top-down from research papers?

There is currently a popular question on math.SE on whether it is effective to learn math top-down. By top-down I mean finding a paper that interests you which is obviously way over your head, ...
11
votes
2answers
187 views

Do the students that report “friendly” teachers perform better on standardized tests?

I'll preface this by saying that I've been considering this question in light of the "Summer of Love" initiative and subsequent blog posts, which are looking at the extent to which comments are ...
11
votes
1answer
389 views

What are the effects of alcohol on muscle memory?

Muscle memory (also referred to as "motor memories") is a form of procedural memory, which is a form of implicit memory. I'm particularly interested in trained tasks like throwing a dart, shooting a ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How long does it take to refocus after context switching?

Context switching has been highlighted for the toll it takes on productivity at great length, particularly by people who work in software and project management. Are there any ...
10
votes
2answers
275 views

Does Facebook activity predict job performance?

I've seen a little bit of discussion in the media about Facebook being used in selection and recruitment settings. Assuming an employer can gain access to a person's Facebook profile, have any ...
10
votes
1answer
111 views

What are the considerations for using wide-reaching messages and training over individual-focused efforts for changing behavior?

In most places that I've worked, when some sort of problem arose or corrective action needs to be taken, one of the first responses is to send mass emails at an organization or team level and set up ...
9
votes
2answers
188 views

Does self-rated performance predict objective performance over and above other-rated performance?

Context: I was at a talk today where data was presented where a group of sports people ranked their own performance and everyone else in the group. This enabled self-rated performance to be ...
9
votes
1answer
241 views

What is the distribution of performance in academic programming subjects?

On Programmers SE there is a popular question about scientific evidence for whether some people either are or are not able to program. One person cites an unpublished manuscript by Dehnadi and ...
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
3answers
276 views

What are effective strategies for increasing concentration and motivation when doing seemingly passive activities such as reading journal articles?

Background Unfortunately I am not a specialist in Cognitive Science I am just a regular CS student who has big interest in cognitive science. I want to share with you some interesting observation I ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Does individual work performance follow a Paretian distribution?

O'Boyle and Aguinis (2012) wrote a paper arguing that individual job performance follows a Paretian distribution rather than a normal distribution (put simply, a very long tail to the right, rather ...
8
votes
1answer
96 views

Is there a metric of the overall excitation of the brain or nervous system?

I'm thinking of a way to describe what's happening to a single channel EEG/MEG sensor output. I've noticed that there is significant difference in the readings from a quiet observations, versus a ...
8
votes
1answer
260 views

Do ability tests predict maximal more than typical job performance?

I have often read that ability tests are indicative of what people "can do", but that job performance also depends on what people "will do". For example, Ackerman and Beier (2012) wrote that: ...
8
votes
0answers
458 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
6answers
69 views

Are points still a relevant mechanic?

When talking about gamification people's mind almost immediately go to points. It is probably the quintessential mechanic. However, thinking of games, it's no longer heavily used. It's still in use ...
7
votes
1answer
448 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
1answer
158 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
119 views

What is the optimal exercise regime for improving cognitive functioning?

It seems that researchers agree that exercise increases cognitive abilities. This seems to work universally for all ages: children, adults and old people. It is suggested that everyone should ...
7
votes
0answers
32 views

Does distraction cause us to skip to the next step in a motor plan?

Often, if one is concentrating too hard on a particular task, it seems as though it's quite easy to skip to the next step of a plan of action. For example, a baseball infielder may attempt a throw to ...
7
votes
0answers
288 views

Do expert computer gamers have unusual physiological or mental characteristics? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Any work being done on Perception, Action, and/or Cognition in Video games? Are there any research studies that show this? See a thread on Quora for some initial ...
7
votes
1answer
179 views

Can lucid dreaming detract from the recuperative effect of REM sleep?

Imagine you mastered lucid dreaming, so you have a lucid dream every night. You might want to use this phase to do creative work or problem solving. Would this have a negative influence on the ...
6
votes
2answers
178 views

Are motivation and efficiency inversely correlated?

Observation: Motivation and efficiency seem appear to me to be inversely correlated for most people. That is, I know some people who tend to get very excited about a goal and take large amounts of ...
6
votes
2answers
133 views

Studies modelling learning curves of an overall task and subtasks

Background Lee and Anderson (2001) published an article in which they argued that learning a complex skill can be understood in terms of learning various component skills. They did this by ...
6
votes
2answers
219 views

What is the relationship between self-perceptions and actual driving ability?

I've often heard it said that almost everyone thinks that they are a better than average driver. If this is true, it could be explained by a number of theories. Some of these are outlined in this ...
6
votes
1answer
12k views

Does masturbation in men negatively affect cognitive processes?

Gary Wilson has mentioned that porn and masturbation is an addiction that negatively affect mental performance. Moreover, there is some "pseudo-science" claiming that abstaining from masturbation ...
6
votes
2answers
59 views

How can employee anxiety over poor evaluation be avoided by management?

When implementing gamification, what are steps that management can take to prevent a culture of anxiety among employees, when employees feel they are constantly being monitored and begin to worry that ...
6
votes
0answers
65 views

What are the common nutritional deficiencies in western countries related to reduced mental performance? [closed]

What are the common nutritional deficiencies in western countries related to reduced mental performance ? I've heard about omega 3, folid acid, and vitamin D deficiencies, the last two are now reduced ...
6
votes
1answer
105 views

How much additional sleep is required to recover from a given number of hours of sleep deprivation? [duplicate]

A previous question dealt with whether it is possible to catch up on lost sleep. This question is a little different. Assume that a healthy adult has been deprived of sleep for "x" hours. How much ...
5
votes
1answer
404 views

What causes fear of failure to lead to lack of effort and actual failure?

Background: I'm having hard time motivating myself to study. In my first year I was a very good student, I had the motivation to study because I wanted to compete, it was first and maybe hardest year. ...
5
votes
2answers
117 views

What correlation is there between breath control and personal self confidence?

In yoga, the instructor mentioned that controlled deep breathing can increase self-confidence. (Next time, I will ask him why he believes that but I doubt he has any references...) Furthermore, ...
5
votes
1answer
104 views

Does personality imply an inclination to be an expert in one field or average in “all” fields?

The question of whether it is better to be an expert in one domain or average in many is too vague. However, instead, I'd like to focus on the following: Are individuals born to prefer being an ...
5
votes
1answer
549 views

What is the reliability of GPA?

I'm in the process of performing a meta-analysis that includes Grade Point Average (GPA) as one of the variables. For some purposes, it might be useful to have an estimate of the reliability of ...
5
votes
0answers
188 views

What happens neurobiologically when people “think fast”? [closed]

This question is related to this one: How long can a person stay happy, excited and motivated about something new? I found a couple of references to research that links "thinking fast" to mood lift: ...
4
votes
1answer
492 views

What is the effect of ADD/ADHD on performance variability on cognitive tests over time?

I've read research reporting that lower IQ is correlated with higher variability in reaction time. But such research does not seem to disentangle the possible effect of ADD, in which case you might ...
4
votes
1answer
626 views

Are there cognitive benefits to two hand typing versus one finger?

I've been reading an old popular psychology book by russian psychiatrist Vladimir Levi. One of the things that he has his depressed patients try is learn to juggle. He insists that such activity ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

How can we determine an appropriate rate of decay for our scoring algorithms?

We build scoring algorithms for different customers in an enterprise environment. Typically they tend to measure most goals in either weekly, monthly, or quarterly intervals. We use a scoring ...
4
votes
1answer
126 views

Problem solving capability as a “function” of room temperature

I'm wondering, whether there is a correlation between environmental factors like temperature and the ability to solve problems (say math exercises). Although I am sure this has been studied, maybe ...
4
votes
2answers
88 views

Is it good to take playful breaks at work?

I read this Washingon Post article about groups that are trying to encourage play in "workaholic" adults. I'm curious if anything is known on the psychological effects of taking playful breaks at ...
4
votes
1answer
39 views

How is attention involved with the performance drop associated with multi-tasking?

Multi-tasking lowers productivity. What influences on attention cause the productivity of a multi-tasking person to be low? An example of multi-tasking is that a person is working on his assignment ...
4
votes
1answer
143 views

Solving T-shaped maze (probability learning): differences between rats and humans

From Jonah Lehrer's book "How We Decide", he mentions the experiments with rats and Yale undergraduates. I found the paper that (presumably) matches the experiment of rats. Brunswik, E. (1939). ...