20
votes
2answers
2k 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) ...
20
votes
2answers
606 views

Performance of a group solving a cognitive task: How does it scale?

Some intellectual, cognitive and perceptual tasks can be solved collaboratively. It is common knowledge that group performance is better than that of each single individual due to exchange of ...
20
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
771 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
189 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
596 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: ...
20
votes
1answer
615 views

Medium-term effects of polyphasic sleep on performance

Typical sleep patterns of one big block of 6 to 9 hours with no naps is usually referred to as monophasic sleep. A second natural sleep pattern is biphasic sleep which breaks up your sleep into two ...
20
votes
1answer
488 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

How long does it take to read a sentence with X number of characters?

How does the time needed to read a sentence scale with the number of characters? Or does this time scaling depend on something more than just character count? For example, let $X$ be the number of ...
19
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Are autonomy, mastery, and purpose the most important motivators?

I've watched the amazing TED talk where Daniel Pink lays out the contrarian notion that greater extrinsic motivators are unimportant (and sometimes detrimental) in comparison to three intrinsic ...
19
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
0answers
335 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 apes....
18
votes
5answers
930 views

Can response time be incorporated into signal detection theory?

In signal detection theory, one typically uses "signal" and "no signal" responses to analyze the data (that is, the analysis is based on a discrete choice for each trial, effectively generating the ...
18
votes
3answers
845 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
1k 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
1k 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
528 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
3answers
337 views

Why do dreams lose clarity quickly over time after we awaken?

Right after you wake up from a dream, you seem to be able to remember most if not all of the details. Then, over time, these details fade and often disappear. Is this a form of regression? Why is ...
18
votes
3answers
569 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
355 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 agree,...
18
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 ...
18
votes
1answer
760 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 ...
17
votes
11answers
668 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, ...
17
votes
5answers
54k views

Why do people laugh in serious situations?

I've seen people (including myself) that laugh for no apparent reason in really serious situations, such as in an argument or when receiving bad news. Although the other party is clearly very upset, ...
17
votes
3answers
10k 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 ...
17
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
2k 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
1answer
2k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
6k 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
2answers
462 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
2k 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
400 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 ...
16
votes
8answers
4k views

Is it possible to think in a second language?

Those who have learned a second language are guaranteed to consciously think of words and their corresponding meaning in your native language or vice versa. This is common with more "complex" ...
16
votes
3answers
3k 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
2answers
730 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
378 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
4k views

Difference between parallel processing done by human brain and by computers

I am asking a question regarding parallel processing as done by billions of Neurons inside our brain and parallel processing done by our computers in a cluster for example or even on a Graphics ...
16
votes
1answer
1k 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.
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard so intolerable?

I am curious as to what current research shows regarding why scraping noises such as fingernails on a chalkboard, a knife/fork scraping against a plate, metal grinding against metal or stone etc are ...
16
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 ...
16
votes
1answer
353 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, ...
16
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
296 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
0answers
154 views

Does self-directed speech help or hurt a blind subject's auditory recognition?

Recently, it was found that self-directed speech was helpful to sighted subjects engaging in a visual search task: Participants searched for common objects, while being sometimes [sic] asked to ...
16
votes
3answers
581 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
812 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 ...

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