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

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3
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0answers
66 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
85 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
76 views

What is the name of a test presenting words in different colors?

What's the name of this psychological test where you. Read and pronounce words in three colors (red, blue, green). - Words and colors match. - Say word and color (which are the same). As above - ...
8
votes
1answer
119 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
votes
1answer
204 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
370 views

What is the term for human beings' tendency to obey without thinking?

I'm wanting to read more about a certain human behavior, but I am not sure what the proper term for it is, so some of the things I am finding aren't what I am looking for. I'm interested in how Humans ...
8
votes
0answers
116 views

Bias towards purchasing tangible vs virtual goods

People may have very little hesitation in spending $3 on a coffee once a week, but when it comes to buying things online, such as virtual goods or services, they are often much more reluctant. Is ...
3
votes
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
180 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
479 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
423 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
169 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
467 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
votes
1answer
114 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
371 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
votes
3answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
298 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
446 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
319 views

What is the term for “What has been seen cannot be unseen” in cognitive sciences?

During a discussion with my officemate I told him that I read somewhere that the gas pillar in Carina nebula looks like a cat punching the dog; ever since then, every time my wallpaper slideshow ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a term for trying to remember a word, but only remembering its first letter?

This happens to me frequently. I'll say, "Oh you know that guy... uhh... I can't remember his name. But he starts with a 'Z'." You can remember part of the word but not the whole word. Is there a ...
2
votes
2answers
244 views

Encoding of abstract concepts in memory

When you read a book and you want to remember it you can encode the information into mental pictures with associations. This is a technique for remembering the content. The problem is when you ...
9
votes
1answer
305 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
50 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
310 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
904 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
6k views

Is pedophilia a sexual orientation or a mental disorder?

There are some different claims being made that pedophilia is a sexual orientation rather than a mental disorder. At the moment there seems to be a growing group of psychologists advocating that ...
4
votes
2answers
206 views

Is there a psychological model or theory that describes strangers in the vicinity unknowingly causing discomfort?

The closest thing I found to this is social anxiety or agoraphobia, which is a fear of socializing or a fear of public places, respectively. However, I think the idea that strangers can cause ...
11
votes
2answers
696 views

What is the term for when too many choices results in inability to decide?

A common problem is that when offered too many choices, consumers give up and make no choice. Too many options results in no sale where fewer options might have resulted in more sales. It's like the ...
2
votes
2answers
161 views

What is Asperger's Syndrome? [closed]

I have read through the Wikipedia article on and looked at the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome (AS) and am still not sure how it is connected with autism. It seems like compared with autism it is ...
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
211 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
214 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

What is the relationship between language and the level of comprehension of consciousness?

I asked a similar/related question a couple days ago about how language and/or culture affect an individual's cognitive capacity. I'm looking for materials, if any, on the subject of a language's ...
20
votes
2answers
578 views

What is an effective metric of complexity for an Artificial Neural Network?

After asking the question What is the most complex neural network... I realized I don't really have a good metric of "complexity" in a general sense. The simplest measure would likely be count of ...
17
votes
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the definition of sanity? How can I prove someone either sane or insane?

In my experience the definition of insanity is thus: Insanity: The state of being seriously mentally ill, mad, and/or irrational. Is there a proper scientific definition of this term? While ...
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 ...
12
votes
4answers
466 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a “delayed match-to-sample task”?

This question talked about how a "delayed match-to-sample task" can be used to measure an animal's working memory. What is a delayed match-to-sample task and how can it be used to measure working ...
11
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
276 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 ...
90
votes
6answers
4k views

How is it that taking a break from a problem sometimes allows you to figure out the answer?

As a computer programmer, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon: If I am stuck on a particular problem in my work, often if I stop thinking about the problem and do something else, the answer will ...