For questions about definitions, names, and terms used in the cognitive sciences literature.

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7
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2answers
394 views

Classification of Attachment Styles

The concept of attachment and different attachment styles has a long tradition in developmental psychology. Mary Ainsworth developed a classification for three different attachment styles that she ...
2
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0answers
48 views

How can people better express subjective conscious experience with words?

I'm interested in how the human mind works, and over the years have experienced and took notice of a number of peculiar states of consciousness, thought patterns, dreams, etc. While a lot of these ...
7
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3answers
153 views

What is the name of the effect whereby socialising in a group reinforces group beliefs?

Background: There's this effect when you have some idea, i.e. that eating other people is (probably) cool, you join the group of like minded people, you talk about how tasty people are, everyone ...
5
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1answer
198 views

What is the scientific definition of “brain training”?

A lot of companies are selling products under the heading of "brain training", and "brain exercises", "brain games" such as Nintendo DS Brain Training, Lumosity, and a host of other companies. I'm ...
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1answer
93 views

Disappointment When Goal Fulfilment is Delayed

I am wondering if there's a term in psychology for a situation where you want something really bad, but you are not able to get it for the moment (or a goal that you are not able to achieve) and when ...
3
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0answers
18 views

What is the name of text analysis where emotional tone of words is analyzed? [duplicate]

I'm interested in knowing what can be learned about people by analyzing the emotional content of the words they use in casual speech or writing. I've heard it being referred to as " ... analysis". ...
11
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2answers
2k views

What was the experiment where you pour liquid from a tall container to a short one and ask a child which has more?

From Developmental psychology 101 I remember an experiment where the person conducting the experiment would pour liquid from a tall, narrow container into a short, narrow container and ask a child if ...
9
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2answers
231 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 ...
9
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1answer
133 views

What is the bias/thought process that results in distrust of “formal” knowledge in favor of “folk” knowledge?

An interesting effect I've noticed is that certain groups of people seem to accept "folk knowledge" and value it over significantly better founded "formal" or scientific knowledge. In particular this ...
7
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3answers
3k views

Difference between Instinct and Intuition

Sometimes I've heard people using the term gut feeling rather than their 'intuition or instinct' and I'm not sure which one do they mean. So, can both the terms be used interchangeably and simply ...
4
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1answer
59 views

Term for incentives working without conscious awareness

Is there a term that captures the idea that incentives work even when people deny their choices have been swayed by them? For example, an individual amazon book reviewer may deny that a recent ...
5
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3answers
51 views

What is the field that studies community responses to incentives?

Having recently read Freakonomics I was particularly interested by the idea of the responses of a community to incentives - as an example, the tale of a school which tried to introduce a financial ...
2
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1answer
112 views

What is it called when a student tends to speak about what he knows?

Sometimes, a student who has a lack of knowledge, tries to change the topic of a question so that it will be about what he knows and can speak about. Is this a known phenomenon in psychology?
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1answer
94 views

Is there a name for the tendency to use proper nouns often in conversation? [closed]

I think it may happen with people who have lack of confidence, for example shy people. So in conversation they often add proper nouns (eg. names of persons or countries) to give "evidence" and weight ...
4
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1answer
66 views

What is a test called that involves indicating whether a line has the same slope as a previous image?

I would like to know the name of the following test: Participants were asked to memorize the slope of a line of a target image. Then different images (lines with varying slopes) were presented ...
2
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1answer
68 views

Is there sub-conscious error correction in interpreting heard language?

My personal experience suggests there is a background process taking place when interpreting a partially heard utterance. The sound is taken in, the conscious part of my mind begins the process of ...
3
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1answer
124 views

What is the proper term for the synchronization of eye movements?

In humans and most two eyed species, eye movements synchronize so that both eyes are focused on the same point. This facilitates 3D vision significantly, allowing bifocal cues. I remember reading a ...
2
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1answer
220 views

What is the scientific term or concept for inner thought control? [closed]

Usually when a thought arises, it seems that we quickly scurry after it, unconsciously getting caught up with whatever everyday thoughts come up. These can be invoked internally or externally. (No ...
3
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1answer
98 views

What is the definition of pathology?

While trying to get more information for my previous question, I found several different definitions for the terms "pathology" and "pathological." While under normal circumstances I'd be inclined to ...
4
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0answers
96 views

Definition of Affective Cueing

In contrast to Affective Priming, what is Affective Cueing? I'm not sure how to differentiate between the two. I found a good review on affective priming in Karl Christoph Klauer (1997) in the ...
6
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1answer
2k views

What's the difference between projecting and mirroring?

In Psychology 101, I learned about Projecting and Mirroring... I know one is where an individual sees his own problems in other people... I always forget the other concept and/or confuse the two. ...
4
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1answer
373 views

Is there a technical term for “fear of the unknown”?

I'm writing paper about climate change and its economic impacts on society. Is there a generally accepted technical term for "fear of the unknown" in psychology?
4
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1answer
65 views

What's the name of the quantifying preference for visual stimulus by varying size or distance as compared to a reference task?

Say that you enjoy looking at two beautiful paintings (A and B). But you really can't tell which one you like more, and you want to (quantitatively). So, you compare them both to your favorite ...
5
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2answers
120 views

Is there an actionable branch of cognitive science?

I'm not sure what is the name of a branch of cognitive science that deals with the application of cognitive science to the real world. I know that in Biology, there are fields like genetic ...
4
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1answer
95 views

A psychological theory that explains why people remember only the outcome?

I've read somewhere about a psychological theory that people often remember the end results or the outcome of a certain situation/discussion/conversation/etc, but not the details of it. In other ...
4
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1answer
72 views

Phenomenon causing people to change their opinion when they are asked to hypothetically defend an opposing viewpoint?

I remember reading a case study on this years ago and I am trying to track it down. The study involved asking people who held strong opinions on varied subjects to defend the opposite opinion in a ...
5
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1answer
460 views

Closure, an actual psychology term relating to filling in information?

I'm currently reading a book called "Understand Comics" and a term has come up called closure. I've understood this concept before and the book describes closure as the process the brain goes through ...
6
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0answers
178 views

'Model-free' learning in humans

In reinforcement learning, there is a stark distinction between model-based and model-free learning algorithms, where model-free methods don't make use any explicit information about the dynamics of ...
6
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2answers
46 views

What term describes the discrepancy in reported intention to vote and actual voting behaviour?

I am interested in prediction markets, where traders have a monetary incentive to bet on who they think would win in an election. I think that the financial incentive in prediction markets makes them ...
7
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0answers
98 views

Do the motivations and fears behind Enneagram have any scientific reasoning?

Background The Enneagram personality typing system defines set of motivations and basic fears for its nine personality types among people. The system seems to be aimed at personal development of a ...
3
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0answers
67 views

What conditions are associated with more intense feelings and stronger reactions to stimuli? [closed]

What conditions are associated with more intense feelings and stronger reactions to stimuli? i.e., where someone may normally feel small amounts of happiness, pleasure, sadness, grief, etc., someone ...
10
votes
3answers
288 views

What is the term for a psychological effect which does not have a neurobiological/genetic basis?

When a psychological condition is the result of irregular brain structures or neurotransmitter imbalances we say the condition has a neurobiological basis; this is analogous to the classic Nature in ...
4
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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 ...
18
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2answers
1k views

Is there a term for individuals who can “visualize” numbers and advanced mathematics?

I recently saw an episode of 60 Minutes about Jacob Barnett, a 13 year old boy who is currently attending advanced physics classes at a local university and was portrayed by the show as being a child ...
8
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1answer
120 views

Hearing first but understanding later?

I have experienced this phenomenon several times and checked with other people as well. It goes like this: you hear something, but it's just a sound with no meaning. Some seconds later, you ...
2
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3answers
468 views

Is this optical illusion the visual equivalent of binaural beats?

The optical motional illusion shown below, makes your brain see some motion, where there is none. In my opinion it's fascinating, although after a while you get a headache. It reminds me of ...
3
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1answer
189 views

The feeling a person gets when they finish a series

Take for example, a person reading a good book series that they enjoy. While they are reading it, they typically look forward to finishing each volume, as well as the whole series. However, when they ...
7
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2answers
217 views

Study on commitment and follow-through

I'm faced with a UX problem of looking for ways to position a website to increase attendance at future "real world" events, and I'm remembering a study once conducted along these lines (details a bit ...
6
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1answer
195 views

Face-Blindness: Have I seen you before?

Sometimes when I meet new people, I feel like I have seen them before. Their faces might look similar to people's faces, I have really have met before. The wiki article on Difficulties with Facial ...
16
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1answer
530 views

Subconscious vs Unconscious

From what I know, we use the term 'subconscious' to refer to the things that we can bring into our conscious. and, we use the term 'unconscious' for things that we can't know, they come automatically ...
13
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4answers
496 views

Do people have a tendency to stick to one opinion after they formed it?

Scytale's assessment, from the science fiction novel "Dune Messiah" (1969) When a creature has developed into one thing, he will choose death rather than change into his opposite. While ...
6
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2answers
201 views

What's the name of this visual search task?

I recall a visual search task where participants would search for a single item with either one or two distinct features. For example one would look for an X in a set of Os as "one feature" or instead ...
4
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1answer
112 views

What is the term for judging based on a simulation of the same parameters on oneself

Allow me to outline the observed process and three hypothetical examples below. For the sake of keeping the samples simple, I will ignore prior moral or religious convictions that a regular person ...
6
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1answer
85 views

What type of behaviour is showing, but withholding, a reward?

A specific example of what I mean is: when you go shopping at a supermarket with a loyalty card system, and you do not participate, the receipt say something along the lines of If you had a ...
10
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1answer
637 views

What does “veridicality” mean in terms of psychology?

I'm reading the paper "Visual Space Perception and Visually Directed Action" by Loomis, Da Silva, Fujita and Fukusima (1992; pdf). In this paper, the word 'veridicality' is used in several sentences. ...
6
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1answer
119 views

Phenomenon that causes music to sound like it's being played at a different tempo than remembered?

Something I've noticed now and then is that I'll be listening to a song off my music player and it sounds like it's being played in a tempo faster or slower than I remember the song being. Is this a ...
4
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2answers
223 views

Defining shyness towards strangers in confrontational situations

First of all, I would like to stress that I am not a cogsci person and I have almost no background in those areas of science. The question is whether there exists a definition of a phenomenon I ...
4
votes
1answer
320 views

Difference between “Social Roles” and “Social Groups”

The two terms "Social Roles" and "Social Groups" sound similar and I don't know if these terms are often just used interchangeably. Is there a specific difference between "Social Roles" and "Social ...
10
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2answers
425 views

What is the “static” in human vision called?

Sort of like a cheap digital Camera, the human eye has certain feedback that's perceived but doesn't actually exist in the real world; a little layer of Static that's especially noticeable in pitch ...
7
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1answer
333 views

What are the characteristics that make complex problem solving complex?

In real-world problem-solving tasks that many people call "complex" (like flying a jet, programming, fixing a car, fighting a fire - the type investigated by the naturalistic decision making ...