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

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14
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4answers
7k 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
220 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
979 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
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
251 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
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
219 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
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 ...
22
votes
2answers
717 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 ...
18
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
391 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
2k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
512 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
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
303 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 ...
100
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...