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

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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
504 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 ...
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1answer
53 views

Technical term for the loss of words in your mother-tongue when speaking a different language

I am basically looking for two words which are, though, related to some degree. It might even be that ultimately the same word is the answer to both parts of this question. I split them up into two ...
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2answers
38 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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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 ...
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650 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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2answers
221 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
122 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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113 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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1answer
153 views

Is “Schizophrenic” considered to be a derogatory or offensive term?

In US English, "Schizoid" is considered a derogatory term, while "patient/person with Schizoid Personality Disorder" is the "politically correct" term (and more accurate). For this reason I wanted to ...
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1answer
62 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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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 ...
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73 views

Difference between brain disease and brain disorder

Is there any difference between the terms brain disease and brain disorder? They are often used in combination without ...
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467 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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236 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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1answer
341 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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1answer
96 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
76 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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88 views

Name for the need to reply “you can’t fire me, I quit”

It’s a cliché in movies. The boss fires the employee, and they reply “you can’t fire me, because I quit”. Similarly, when in a romantic relationship, one person may decide to end it and the other ...
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98 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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89 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
52 views

Name of a cognitive test assessing whether a child can think independently

I am looking for a names / examples of a tests that determine if the child is thinking on its own (I have tried searching on wikipedia topics about cognitive sciences/ psychology etc. with no luck). ...
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1answer
1k 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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60 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
35 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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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 ...
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43 views

What is the meaning of semantics to cognition?

I am new to the field of semantic knowledge representation and all I get information about the term semantics = meaning. Can somebody please explain to me what is semantics and how it is important in ...
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2answers
87 views

What is the difference between biological and artificial neural networks?

I read that neural networks are of two types: a) Biological neural networks b) Artificial neural networks (or ANN) I read, "Neural Networks are models of biological neural structures," and the ...
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1answer
148 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
192 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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2answers
252 views

Is there a term to describe an inability to express emotion or feelings?

I am writing a novel and was wondering if there was a specific term for someone unable to express his own emotions or feelings. The catch here is, this doesn't mean he doesn't know what anger or love ...
3
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1answer
49 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
100 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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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". ...
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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 ...
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3answers
498 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
171 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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3answers
63 views

What sort of things are considered as “data” in cognitive science?

I understand that the field is very broad, but I'm trying to arrive at a better idea of how different disciplines use the word "data". For example, for computers it is: the quantities, ...
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1answer
230 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
83 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
131 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
300 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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2answers
146 views

What is it called to think without language? Are there studies around it?

I think there are two types of thinking: With and without language. For my entire life, in my opinion I have always thought without language. Some ppl say its impossible and that we think with ...
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1answer
69 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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2answers
28 views

What is the fear/paralysis that occurs before doing an irreversible action?

I often experience paralysis in the face of an irreversible decision or action. What is the term for this or what is it that I'm looking for to describe it and/or research it? Some examples of this ...
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3answers
140 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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0answers
66 views

Tendency to see novelty in mundane and trivial statements

There exists a psychological phenomenon whereupon a person may encounter a rather trivial or mundane statement or thought, but would not recognize it as such; instead a person would experience a sense ...
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30 views

What is a semantic cognitive map?

Based on: J. P. Carvalho, "On the Semantics and the Use of Fuzzy Cognitive Maps in Social Sciences" (WCCI, 2010 -- PDF) and Richard Dagan's web page Cognitive Mapping. A cognitive map consists of ...