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

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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 ...
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1answer
439 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
42 views

What are “Stimulus locked” and “Response locked” in Philiastides & Sajda (2006)

While going through the below-mentioned paper, I came across some plots which were said to be "locked" with reference to either response or stimulus. Does the locking refer to the initiation of the ...
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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 ...
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42 views

Technical term for the temporary loss of understanding a word

I am basically looking for two words which are related to some degree. Ultimately the same word might even be the answer to both parts of this question. I split them up into two questions (see also ...
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1answer
57 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 ...
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1answer
65 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 ...
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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 ...
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257 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?
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296 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 ...
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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 ...
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88 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 ...
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1answer
71 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 ...
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90 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
888 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 ...
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3answers
43 views

What is the scientific term for compulsive documenting of life experiences?

I'm posting this question on someone else's behalf: What is the name for someone who has a compulsive need to categorically document everything they do and everything that happens to them? ...
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2answers
31 views

Term for urban citizens tuning out their surroundings?

I cannot for the life of me remember the term for citizens in an urban environment filtering out stimuli when in public as a regular and unconscious part of their lives. For example commuters riding ...
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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 ...
3
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1answer
90 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
41 views

Bias in which you judge others by what you are good at?

Motivated by this question about programming and intelligence, I've noticed that people often judge other people's competence in terms of how well they perform on the domains that they have more ...
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1answer
88 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 ...
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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". ...
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0answers
65 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 ...
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415 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
202 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 ...
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1answer
78 views

How to refer to the phenomenon of people only absorbing evidence which confirms their beliefs?

I knew a psychologist who was calling it self-referentiality. People are always trying to see only the sentence which confirm their beliefs. What's the correct name for this?
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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 ...
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2answers
238 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 ...
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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
67 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 ...
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3answers
24 views

What terms describe “schema” at various stages of acceptance?

According to WordNet 3.0, quoted at TheFreeDictionary.com, in psychology, schema means "an internal representation of the world; an organization of concepts and actions that can be revised by new ...
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44 views

From a psychosocial standpoint, how is violence different from aggression?

I recently watch Steven Pinker's video on violence and figured out that I don't understand the difference between violence and aggression. According to Wikipedia aggression is: Aggression, in its ...
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0answers
38 views

What exercises can be used to overcome the cognitive distortion “disqualifying the negative”?

I've been writing "log of good things that happened today" for the last 2 years (every alternate day on average). It has resulted in a lot of improvement in my perspective and in general I'm more ...
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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 ...
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2answers
97 views

Name needed for psychological practice which uses objects that represent humans [dolls/pictures/etc.] during patient treatment

What is the name of practice/method (if such exists) where psychologist uses a doll (or any other form of human-being representation) for patient to talk to? I believe I have seen it in a movie or ...
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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 ...
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70 views

Is there a difference between existential depression and endogenous depression?

This question What causes people to feel depressed without there being a problem? got me thinking about endogenous vs reactive depression and existential vs psychological depression. It could be ...
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70 views

“Please enter alphanumeric characters” or “Please enter letters and numbers”? [closed]

In form entries, what is most commonly understood? "Please enter alphanumeric characters" or "Please enter letters and numbers"
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1answer
69 views

Everybody thinks everyone's doing it, so they do it, and everyone ends up doing it [closed]

I'm on mobile, can't say much. But is there a term to describe such reasoning.
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2answers
82 views

What is the difference between a schema and a heuristic?

I am trying to understand the basic differences, in layman's terms, between a schema and a heuristic
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1answer
84 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 ...
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1answer
105 views

Is there a cognitive psychology theory for social curiosity? [closed]

Lets say there are two persons denoted $p_1$ and $p_2$ who share some common friends denoted $N$. $p_1$ is told that $N$ of his friends are interacting with $p_2$. This generates an inherent ...