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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3
votes
2answers
56 views

Are hot-streaks in athletics real, and if so, is there a known psychological basis?

It is common to refer to an athlete who is enjoying a sustained period of success (e.g. a long consecutive game hitting streak in baseball) as being "hot", suggesting that something about their ...
3
votes
0answers
34 views

Does military background enhance personal productivity?

Is there any research investigating the effect (or correlation) of a military background of a person on his productivity, effectiveness and other characteristics? It is often casually claimed that a ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Do people with prenatal hyperkinetic dysfunction have better endurace?

I have a question about hyperkinetic dysfunction. I wonder if theres a relation between HKD and the physical fitness, like endurance or strength, because I have a case, where someone never does ...
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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
116 views

Does not using the brain erode its power? [closed]

Does not using the brain erode its power? If so, are perpetual brain exercises recommended to prevent (or increase) its power (chess, puzzles, etc)?
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Efficiency drop when joining and splitting teams

What will happen when a team is either split or joined with another team? After reading about Tuckman's stages of group development, I understand that the new team will probably start at the beginning ...
7
votes
6answers
54 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
168 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 ...
37
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
90 views

What are the cognitive effects of increasing testosterone levels in men?

I've recently became interested in the effects if testosterone on the cognitive function in men, but cannot find much hard scientific evidence on the subject. What are the cognitive effects of ...
5
votes
2answers
72 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
87 views

Does the time required to read a word grow linearly with the number of characters?

I recently installed a speed reader on my tablet. Now I wonder how the minimal time needed to read an $N$-letter word grows. There was this previous question on the relationship between sentence ...
3
votes
2answers
631 views

Can intense multitasking improve fluid intelligence/working memory?

The Dual N-Back task is the only task I'm aware of that has empirical support showing that it improves working memory. It appears to improve working memory through multitasking, although this ...
3
votes
2answers
146 views

Does law of attraction have psychological basis? [closed]

A common claim in business and self-help seminars is that optimists are luckier. Is it true that optimism leads to greater success in life? If so, what part of the brain support this so called ...
4
votes
1answer
37 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

Identifying Overly Complex Tasks

It seems to me that societies frequently construct systems that may be too complicated for any individual to operate competently within. For example, the tax system, the legal system, the medical ...
20
votes
5answers
583 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Why does splitting attention between a primary task and another task appear to improve performance on the primary task?

I've been thinking about my performance at various tasks and where my focus is at during them and something's really got me confused. It makes sense that devoting all my focus to a task while I'm ...
3
votes
0answers
138 views

What happens neurobiologically when people “think fast”?

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: ...
5
votes
0answers
126 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
76 views

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

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Is there a way to hasten recovery from sleep inertia?

Sleep inertia is a transitional state of lowered arousal occurring immediately after awakening from sleep and producing a temporary decrement in subsequent performance. (1) There is study ...
9
votes
2answers
382 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
66 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
45 views

Optimising visual clutter for target audiences

I am studying Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and there is a lot of discussion about consistency across a website, predictability between pages, of theme and layout. There is information about color, ...
6
votes
2answers
46 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
38 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Effect of time limits on problem solving

I recently took part in psychological testing as part of a recruitment process to a job. I was not happy about the evaluation I got and I asked for a feedback discussion with the psychologist. The ...
4
votes
0answers
78 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). ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

SSRI Medications and Problem solving [closed]

I'm an Electronics Engineer and I work in Software Development. I'm on SSRIs, for years for different conditions, like bipoar, GAD, ..etc. I feel that my problem solving abilities really dropped ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Does anyone know of any single item scales for alertness?

I am looking for a quick and short way to assess participants' alertness, hopefully with a validated single-item measure.
23
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
914 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
28 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
64 views

Does winning the Fields medal decrease subsequent research achievement?

I just stumbled on this summary in Slate of a study by Borjas and Doran (2012, FULL TEXT PDF). To quote the summary: According to a new study by Harvard's George Borjas and Notre Dame's Kirk ...
14
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
398 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
108 views

Failing to recognise one's own work

Disclaimer: This is not a self help question, I am using myself as an example to illustrate my question. Example: I have posted many questions and answers on this site within a relatively short ...
5
votes
2answers
136 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
271 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. ...
6
votes
2answers
139 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
169 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
88 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
108 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, ...
3
votes
0answers
36 views

What kinds of long - term cognition/motivation tracking tools are there?

I'm aware that there are dozens of personal "activity trackers"/ pedometers like fitbit that are aimed for mass consumer and can log activity over extended periods of time. Are there equivalent ...
21
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
6k 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
0answers
161 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 ...