15
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
755 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
688 views

What are current neuronal explanations and models of 'consciousness'?

I would like to understand more about consciousness from a neuroscientific perspective. I have a limited understanding of it in the philosophical/psychological sense through lectures. Although it is ...
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 ...
15
votes
1answer
911 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
364 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
891 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
2k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
759 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
326 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: ...
15
votes
1answer
218 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
303 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
489 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
664 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
381 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
734 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
270 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
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? ...
14
votes
1answer
478 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
530 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
917 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
347 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
277 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
668 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
189 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, ...
14
votes
1answer
318 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 ...
13
votes
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
465 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 ...
13
votes
8answers
557 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
226 views

Does straightening your back increase confidence?

Background: I have always felt moderately socially insecure. Today I noticed that when I straighten my back from its normal crestfallen position, I feel a little more confident, and as if I were in ...
13
votes
3answers
168 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
274 views

Is multitasking a myth?

Often, the term 'multitasking' is applied to very busy and 'wired' people. There is an adage that women multitask better than men. My question is, do we actually multitask? If so, what are the ...
13
votes
1answer
804 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
898 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 being have free will and animals do not. The basis being animals will act accordingly to the nature of their ...
13
votes
2answers
584 views

Is there an R implementation of the linear ballistic accumulator model or Ratcliff's diffusion model for measuring response time and accuracy?

I am looking for an implementation of the linear ballistic accumulator model or Ratcliff's diffusion model (e.g. in R, MATLAB, or Python).
13
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
250 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, ...
13
votes
3answers
378 views

Longitudinal mobile mood tracking app with random reminders

The goal is to take simple measurements of mood using Likert scale over an extended period of time (e.g. two months). I know there is a large number of mobile apps for tracking mood on every ...
13
votes
1answer
244 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
13
votes
0answers
159 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 ...
12
votes
11answers
446 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, ...
12
votes
4answers
465 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
576 views

If someone becomes a split-brain patient, which side will “maintain” the continuity in their consciousness?

The brain injury might apparently produce two "independent" consciousnesses, and I'm wondering where the original person's "consciousness" would "transfer". We had a debate on this over at Reddit ...
12
votes
4answers
221 views

If people did not have to work, what would motivate them to work?

In industrialized countries around the world, "work" appears to be something that most people try to avoid as much as they can, dreaming of winning a lottery so they will never have to work again -- ...
12
votes
3answers
392 views

Is there a better way to describe brain activity than EEG “brain waves”

I've been reading about EEG brain waves, which are specific waveforms that are observed on the EEG output, and are usually scored by humans. This concept has been around for quite some time. Is there ...

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