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

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2
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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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
0answers
27 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
43 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 ...
-2
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2answers
87 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
2
votes
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?
20
votes
2answers
569 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
118 views

Is there a scientific term for when you fall asleep because you can't handle something?

I'm wondering if there is a scientific term that describes when you fall asleep or pass out after some traumatic event? This effect happens when people witness something gruesome (a friend being ...
13
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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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
44 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? ...
2
votes
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
117 views

Is there evidence for a unique isolated internal representation of loved ones?

Some time ago, I've read that the most significant people in a person's life have their own internal representation/model of within the person's mind. For example: An internal representation of a ...
2
votes
0answers
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
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 ...
-1
votes
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.
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 ...
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 ...
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 - ...
5
votes
2answers
152 views

Name of the bias when one expects you to possess his knowledge

What is the name of bias or fallacy when, often while in argument, someone expects you to know the same things as he does. Usually, you just say "well, how should have I known that. I'm not inside of ...
5
votes
1answer
47 views

What's the difference between repression and suppression?

These two terms are closely related, and thus easily confusable as synonymous. Is there a difference?
2
votes
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
122 views

Learning of new concepts being impeded by an error in previous work

Note: I'm framing this question in terms of tutoring math since that's what I tutor most, though it applies to a wide range of subject matters. I do a decent amount of tutoring, and this is one ...
5
votes
1answer
137 views

Any studies on the phenomenon of photo-taking even in dire situations?

I have noticed a tendency these days for people to take pictures of the things they see in the public with their phones. This is fine, but I have found that it has gone to an extend where in a dire ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

What's the relationship between priming and anchoring?

I've recently been dabbling in the behavioral literature, reading about cognitive biases such an anchoring, when one of my friends asked me how this phenomenon differed from the classical cognitive ...
7
votes
2answers
127 views

What is the name of the phenomenon whereby someone steps-up and others follow?

Example: In class, when a teacher proposes some unreasonable assignment, students hesitate to express their objection until someone steps-up and then others find courage to talk. I've tried searching ...
1
vote
0answers
72 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"
15
votes
2answers
366 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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
177 views

Is there a “foreplay” equivalent, priming activity for thinking or conversation?

I've noticed the following phenomenon and am trying to find out if it is indeed true and if there is a scientific term for it: When I think about ideas, I notice that I can rarely jump straight into ...
7
votes
1answer
275 views

What is the scientific term for unexpected, spontaneous dream recall?

I'm interested if there's a term for spontaneous dream recall. I will try to define the phenomenon I'm talking about. Over 10 years ago, I started to notice that I can spontaneously recall dreams, ...
7
votes
2answers
307 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
149 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
143 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 ...
1
vote
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
votes
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
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
124 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
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
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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
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?
-2
votes
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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
91 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 ...