# All Questions

515 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 ...
358 views

### How rare is synesthesia?

I visited a neuropsychologist recently who told me I have Synesthesia. I never really knew what it was, but it's fascinating and I can't believe it isn't the norm among people. For me, certain numbers ...
1k views

### What is the threshold where actions are perceived as “instant”?

In Human Computer Interaction and User Experience there's some oft repeated rules of performance: 0.1 second is about the limit for having the user feel that the system is reacting ...
1k views

### Is there a reduction of “Brain Fog” with fewer hours of sleep?

I've heard patients who complain of "brain fog" (and fatigue) claim a reduction in "brain fog" (and more mental clarity) when they get fewer hours of sleep (usually less than 5.5 hours). Here I'd ...
313 views

### Do personality survey responses correlate to the success or failure of minimum wage employees?

I recently watched a friend fill out a personality survey for a minimum wage job. These surveys generally have a few dozen to as many as a couple hundred statements with which the applicant must ...
444 views

### Do the neural substrates behind motivation to retain/dispose of property govern whether certain people view their friends and partners as possessions?

I'm trying to understand why people have sometimes have the ability to sever ties with valuable connections, e.g., people that have up until that time meant a lot to them. Colloquially, people use ...
2k views

### Is the Neanderthal Theory of Autistic brain a reasonable scientific theory?

I've recently learned about The Neanderthal Theory, that explains autistic (and especially Asperger's) brain functioning as the effect of genetical similarity with Neanderthals. The author gives a ...
876 views

### What are popular rationalist responses to Tversky & Shafir?

In the early 90s Tversky & Shafir observed several violations of rationality in human participants, in particular violation of the disjunction effect and sure-thing principle. This has lead to ...
800 views

### Are spaced flashcards effective for learning?

Several apps and sites offer flashcard-based learning that repeat the cards you do poorly on over a period of time (the more inaccurate the answer the closer to each other the repetitions are). One ...
1k views

### Do people wake up faster with inconsistent alarm sounds?

Many people have one alarm clock sound that wakes them up every morning. Is having this consistent sound the optimal way to wake someone up? Or can you startle someone faster by changing to a ...
549 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 ...
3k views

### How to reliably measure working memory capacity?

The capacity of human working memory is subject to individual differences. The number of items or chunks a person can retain in their memory may, have profound effects on a variety of other cognitive ...
5k views

### Free online intelligence test with norm table, high reliability, and must be printable?

I am looking for a general intelligence test which meets the following requirements: available online for free there is a table which translates "points" to IQ (I don't want a hidden online ...
378 views

### How long can a person stay happy, excited and motivated about something new?

I'm interested in learning more about studies or experiments that determine how long a typical person can stay excited about something new: ...
719 views

### Applications of computational learning theory in the cognitive sciences

Computational learning theory (CoLT) is a branch of theoretical computer science associated with the mathematical analysis of machine learning. A lot of the early ideas of the field take inspiration ...
244 views

### How can I use gamification to encourage people to complete workplace training?

I am looking for ways to improve the likelihood people will perform mundane but required workplace training. I am looking into gamification techniques. My organisation requires that employees ...
321 views

### Do only humans spend a lot of time daydreaming (or having “stimulus-independent thoughts”)?

A paper Killingsworth et al., A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind, Science 12 November 2010: 932 (or a free pdf) starts with the following statement: Unlike other animals, human beings spend a ...
496 views

### Any work being done on Perception, Action, and/or Cognition in Video games?

Call it a nerd crossover, but I've always been curious about how we play games on a mechanistic level. However, even coming from a rational viewpoint video games seem like a fruitful domain of study, ...
331 views

### Is it possible for certain people to perceive colors differently?

What if someone perceives a color as 'red' when it is actually 'green'? Since different people have preferences for different colors, and colors are perhaps constructed in the mind, is it possible ...
571 views

### Does any evidence show that Smartphone users have poorer memory?

An ages old complaint is that new technology harms memory. Why remember something when you can look it up? In a course on Human Memory I distinctly recall an interesting discussion on phones and ...
401 views

### Do we understand the non-subjective mechanisms behind pleasure and pain?

If we are to view pleasure and pain as being essentially synonymous with the more mechanistic concept of reward and punishment (i.e. as a part of learning and motivation system) then do we understand ...
2k views

### What, if anything, sets humans apart from other species?

As I grew up, I was taught that the difference between humans and animals was that human beings have free will and animals do not. The basis is that animals will act accordingly to the nature of their ...
7k views

### Positive and negative reinforcement and punishment effectiveness

According to Skinner, positive reinforcement is superior to punishment in altering behavior. As Skinner discussed, positive reinforcement is superior to punishment in altering behavior. He ...
301 views

### How are newly created neurons recruited into existing networks?

As far as I understand, the basics of neurogenesis (abstracted down to the level that makes sense to a computer scientist) is as follows: Neural progenitor cells differentiate into new neurons that ...
2k views

### How is intelligence correlated to beauty?

Recently, I read up several interesting questions on the web about the relationship between IQ and general intelligence and physiological symmetry. But more importantly, what explains the correlation? ...
1k views

### Effect of words highlighting on reading comprehension

I'm interested if there are studies dealing with text understanding and POS (part of speech) coloring, or coloring syntactic/semantic information. The studies should solve the questions like: Which ...
633 views

### Does the fusiform face area in patients with Prosopagnosia (face blindness) show lower activity under an fMRI?

I watched last night's episode of 60 minutes about Prosopagnosia (Face Blindness) and found it absolutely fascinating. They mentioned in the segment (Around 5:22 into the second part of the online ...
681 views

### Software for online psychological experiments that don't require users to download anything

We are currently using Inquisit to conduct Internet experiments. Since it is not compatible with non-Windows systems, we lose a lot of potential subjects. Ideally, we would like to implement something ...
342 views

### How are autistic savants able to perform certain mathematical computations so quickly?

How do autistic savants (or other people with these abilities) compute equations like $81^{100}$ in 2.5 minutes? Which algorithms do they use? Is it an efficient one, or do they just have a lot of ...
913 views

### Why are people inclined to praise or fear the unknown?

Human beings are inclined to "praise" the unknown, and are often afraid of the unknown. This inclination has led to the creation of mythology and many gods. To this date we are still carrying this ...
2k views

### Intelligence and marriage satisfaction

A recent letter by a Princeton alumni stated: Men regularly marry women who are younger, less intelligent, less educated. It’s amazing how forgiving men can be about a woman’s lack of ...
471 views

### How long should I work before taking a break?

I'd like to work as effectively as possible for 8-9 hours a day, whether at work or studying. At some point in completing my major in psych I remember hearing about the importance of taking breaks ...
1k views

### Why does neuroplasticity decrease in adults?

Although adult brains are malleable and even undergo limited neuorgenesis, the extent of the neuroplasticiy is much lower than in children. This is most obvious in language acquisition, and recovery ...
213 views

### Do cultures differ in the perception of emotions from body expression?

In their classic study, Ekman and Friesen (1971) identified seven facial expressions recognised by people universally across all cultures as depicting certain emotions: happiness, sadness, surprise, ...
202 views

### Development of social cognition as an alternative to the obstetrical dilemma

Human infants are strange in that they are born more helpless than the infants of other great apes. They are born with about 25-30% of their brain developed, compared to the 40-50% of other great ...
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 ...
222 views

### Why does being in a natural environment induce some kind of “peace” state while mecha/tech ones induce the opposite?

Usually, natural environments (being out in "nature") tend to induce a happy and peaceful state, while mechanical and technological ones tend to induce stress and sadness. Why does this happen? Are ...
773 views

### Can we change our personalities?

In psychology, a difference is made between personality attributes as a state or as a trait. For example, a usually outgoing and sociable person might find himself uncommonly shy in the presence of a ...
942 views

### Does super-intelligence necessary lead to consciousness, self awareness, freewill or emotion

After seeing this talk, the question popped in my mind. The idea is that as soon as a system is complex enough or intelligent enough, it able to act on its own. It seems to be a common belief. For ...
959 views

### How is a young child able to learn language so easily?

It's a well known fact that the earlier children are exposed to languages the better, as young children have a better ability to learn new languages than adults. Why is this? At what age does a ...
1k views

### What is the most effective maximum work duration per day?

A related question asks about the best work-break schedule for an effective eight hour work day. This question presupposes that eight hours of work per day is a good duration and that all you need is ...
1k views

### What tasks does Bayesian decision-making model poorly?

Bayesianism has been a relatively successful paradigm for modeling decision-making. However, not every psychologist is a bayesian, and there are tasks such as the Tversky & Shafir (1992) ...
553 views

### What is a validated single-item measure of mood?

Has anyone validated, proposed or tested a single-item state-based positive affect or happiness measure? I am particularly interested in something for tracking mood every day.
535 views

### Why is storytelling an effective way to transmit information between people?

Parables, fables, myths, whatever you might call them, stories have always been part of human consciousness. Within recent decades, storytelling is recognized as a big component of advertising and ...
5k views

### Does anxiety produce adrenaline or does adrenaline make the person anxious?

Its obvious that both are related(adrenaline and anxiety) but which causes which? What (I think) I know: Anxiety accelerates the hearth rhythm due to the feeling of fear. It makes the body believe ...
278 views

### Does the relationship between positive mood and motivation for sex differ between males and females?

Background: I recently heard the saying from a doctor: "men are motivated to have sex when they want to feel good and women are motivated to have sex when they already feel good". (In a side note, ...
394 views

### Is there psychoactive music?

Listen to this music for X minutes to observe Y result. Is there something like that that has been demonstrated to work for general public? The only example of an experiment that is similar that ...
135 views

### How effective is court imposed therapy?

People are frequently court ordered to some form of therapy, whether it be in the form of a course, group therapy or individual therapy. Some examples being; road rage, anger management, drunk ...
299 views

### Evolutionary game theory in the cognitive sciences

Game theory models something very relevant to psychologists (in particular social psychologists): conflict and cooperation between decision-makers. Unfortunately, classical game theory demands that ...
308 views

### Does the effect of naturalistic exposure on second language acquisition vary with age?

A while back, I watched the movie The Terminal and the main character played by Tom Hanks learns to speak fluent English while he is stranded in the airport for more than a year. Which seems somewhat ...

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