18
votes
2answers
962 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
954 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
457 views

How to classify and understand emotions of people using chat and text messaging lingo and emoticons?

I am looking for scholarly, peer-reviewed articles that discuss natural language processing (NLP) involving chat or text messaging lingo/acronyms and the affect of chat participants based on language ...
18
votes
1answer
629 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
162 views

Is there a range in time on which the mind detects correlation between events?

I've been searching for info on this but I'm usually finding unrelated information. My question is whether there is a time range in which our mind suspects that two events are correlated. For ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

What color is this dress? — And why do some see it as white and gold and others see it as black and blue?

Here's the dress (and keep reading, this is actually a serious question): This question about this image has apparently become quite a rapidly spreading meme on the internet. And after conducting ...
18
votes
1answer
551 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
782 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
23k views

Is extreme empathy and compassion considered a disorder?

Can extreme empathy and compassion get to a point where it is considered a disorder? For example, if someone is so empathetic, when feeling someones pain it negatively affects their life to the same ...
17
votes
3answers
714 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
486 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
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 ...
17
votes
1answer
450 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: ...
17
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
323 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
450 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
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 ...
17
votes
1answer
504 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 ...
16
votes
11answers
538 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, ...
16
votes
3answers
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 ...
16
votes
3answers
359 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
323 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
404 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
258 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
388 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 ...
16
votes
0answers
233 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 ...
15
votes
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
627 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
412 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
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) ...
15
votes
2answers
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
752 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
812 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
128 views

Is there any study on the effectiveness of taking notes in a lecture vs taking notes on written materials?

In many lectures I heard, I basically copied the lecture notes of the professor from the board into my notebook (I study mathematics). For me those lectures are comparable with going into the library, ...
15
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
311 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, ...
15
votes
1answer
239 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, ...
15
votes
1answer
337 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
564 views

Research suggesting conscious control over brain region activation?

Has there been any research proving, disproving, or exploring the concept of conscious activation of specific brain regions? To elaborate on this: I've read that performing processing tasks causes ...
14
votes
3answers
251 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 ...
14
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do humans prefer symmetrical arrangement of objects?

Most of the times, we associate symmetry with beauty. The symmetry may be in architectural/interior design for instance. Why would this be so ?
14
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...

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