-3
votes
2answers
133 views

Do smart drugs (nootropics) make you smarter?

Do nootropic drugs like modafinil make you smarter? Are they like coffee?Do they improve working memory?Is there a potential for a pill like NZT-48 from the movie Limitless? From Wikipedia (SPOILER ...
5
votes
1answer
69 views

Is the process of long term potentiation (LTP) definitively linked with brain plasticity?

Given that the process of Long Term Potentiation (LTP) is one of the processes that increases synaptic efficacy: Is it reasonable to conclude that the process of LTP is sufficient and necessary to ...
5
votes
1answer
148 views

With the brain's propensity for homeostasis, how can some drugs be labelled addictive and others not?

The human body is always striving for homeostasis. One of the purposes of the brain is to maintain homeostasis, but also the brain needs to maintain homeostasis within itself. Ergo: Given the use of ...
2
votes
0answers
21 views

What is the proper terminology for “hoarding” type paradox (but not extreme)?

Feel free to edit my title -- I'm not exactly how to sum it up in one sentence, THUS my question here: Is there a name or specific terminology related to the somewhat paradoxical situation in this ...
12
votes
1answer
170 views

What does cognitive science say about whether to learn mathematics top-down from research papers?

There is currently a popular question on math.SE on whether it is effective to learn math top-down. By top-down I mean finding a paper that interests you which is obviously way over your head, ...
3
votes
0answers
144 views

Why do power laws describe learning and skill acquisition so well?

In humans, why do powers laws describe skill acquisition? In particular, $$RT = aP^{-b}+c$$ where $RT$ is reaction time and $P$ is amount of practice. Does the power law generalise to learning in ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Are Satoshi Kanazawa's findings about racial differences in attractiveness valid?

This post discusses a study published in a blog post by an evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa. The study suggested that black women were rated less attractive than women of other races. There ...
4
votes
1answer
659 views

What does scientific research say about the relationship between penis size and attractiveness?

Pop-culture often equates a larger penis with a more attractive penis. Is there any scientific research examining the relationship between penis size and attractiveness ratings? What are the reasons ...
1
vote
2answers
66 views

Why is it difficult for employees to express hatred to their boss?

Suppose Bob hates his boss. Note that Bob is an "average" person. Also suppose that he shouts as loudly as possible "[Curse] my boss" (with nobody else around but him). Why is it so difficult for ...
3
votes
0answers
58 views

Why does a clock counting down generate more pressure than a clock counting up?

Why does it seem that people feel more pressure with a clock counting down as opposed to counting up? Is there a specific term for this? Maybe counting down signifies some sort of loss whereas ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

What are the negative effects of meditation?

I see lots of articles touting the benefits of meditation. But what are the bad things about it? Maybe if a person has to make quick decisions, meditation would not be a good thing? This could be ...
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". ...
4
votes
2answers
90 views

What causes student errors on a problem involving differentiating a factorial?

Consider the following maths problem, assuming only a high-school level knowledge of calculus: If $f(x) = x!$, find $df/dx$ Almost all of my respondents seemed to switch on their "mental ...
3
votes
1answer
144 views

Does reading a book out loud make you better in social situations?

Suppose a person reads a book out loud for 1 hour straight. Would this "exercise" the parts of the brain involved in speech? Would this make the person a better communicator in social situations?
8
votes
1answer
169 views

Can stress be detected by an fMRI?

How does stress damage the brain (if at all)? Is it akin to taking drugs, heavy drinking, or a minor stroke? Would an fMRI of a stressed person present evidence of stress?
15
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
18
votes
2answers
302 views

Is there a causal connection between repressive sexual morality and antisocial behavior?

Wilhelm Reich believed that certain forms of deviant behavior result mostly or in part from the repressive sexual morality of a society (Reich, 1930). Reich believes that the majority of antisocial ...
12
votes
4answers
273 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 -- ...
10
votes
1answer
107 views

What forms of the travelling salesman problem are difficult for humans to solve?

In the traveling salesman problem (TSP) we are given a set of nodes, where one node is the starting node. The task is to find the shortest tour starting at the start node visiting every node exactly ...
7
votes
1answer
116 views

Philosophy Meets Neuroscience: The Molyneux's Problem

Consider the Molyneux's problem "If a man born blind can feel the differences between shapes such as spheres and cubes, could he similarly distinguish those objects by sight if given the ability ...
7
votes
1answer
44 views

What decision problems are better answered with analytic thinking, and what are better answered with intuition?

Most Western philosophy and psychology argue that deliberating carefully and rationally is the right way of reaching a decision. "Don't let emotions turn you" they might say. The splitting of the mind ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

Do repressed memories exist?

Is there such a thing as repressed memories? Suppose a person undergoes a traumatic event (e.g failing out of school, having a relative die suddenly). Is it normal for the person to act as if ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

What are the neurological mechanisms for a fear of heights when atop a building, but not in a plane?

A fear of heights (or acrophobia), can be debilitating (I know it can be for me). My question is what is the neurological mechanisms that cause a fear of heights in a tall object such as a skyscraper ...
1
vote
2answers
123 views

What drives civilization? [closed]

Fossil record indicates humanity arose on the African Continent - in/around Gauteng. Yet the oldest civilizations on record are far afield - Ebla, Mesopotamia What drives civilization? Why is the ...
5
votes
2answers
140 views

Is the concept of conservation fundamental to understanding fairness and capacity in “love”?

I heard this comment on a radio program about Child parenting by psychologists: "A child will not comprehend an explanation that, a parent loves each sibling equally, as they do not have abstract ...
4
votes
0answers
44 views

Resource on how to effectively develop within-subjects vignette based study

Background: Where I used to work fellow researchers used to have a task known as the CV task. The task required participants to answer a number of questions about a set of CVs (e.g., is this a good ...
5
votes
2answers
141 views

How can surprise be labelled conscious when mismatch negativity shows that surprise takes place earlier than conscious states?

Mismatch negativity (MMN) is the brain response to violations of a rule. The MMN peaks at about 100–250 ms after change onset. If MMN occurs so early, before conscious perception, why is surprise ...
3
votes
3answers
190 views

How did the unique features of human intelligence evolve?

I have been debating the following topic with a friend. She argues that humans do not descend from chimpanzees or orang-utans, because if we did, such animals would share the same cognitive thinking ...
6
votes
1answer
88 views

Dopamine deficiency more frequent in the addiction prone?

I found this clip about dopamine deficiency. ...[P]eople with low dopamine activity may be more prone to addiction. Is the reverse also true? Does susceptibility to addiction (genetic, etc.) ...
11
votes
5answers
366 views

Have humans always had problems with motivation and laziness?

I originally wanted to ask a question "Is there a drug for motivation or laziness", but google search revealed that people have been asking this question for years and there's no drug that is ...
3
votes
1answer
170 views

How strong is the need to belong?

Are there any studies that measure the need to belong? Does this need vary greatly from person to person or is there a tight deviation? What would explain why some have very little need to belong ...
5
votes
1answer
162 views

Status of introspection in psychological research today

Historically, psychological understanding was largely gained by introspection: the philosopher observed the workings of his own mind and deduced the principles of the human psyche from that. During ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Where to post online psychology studies for participant recruitment?

A common challenge when running psychological studies is getting enough participants. Of course, there are many general strategies for recruiting participants, but I was specifically interested in ...
6
votes
2answers
363 views

How is age related change in IQ measured if tests use age specific norms?

In a comment to this question about age related IQ decline in professors and scientists, the following comment was left: I noticed that lot of IQ tests (RPM or California) have different norms ...
4
votes
0answers
163 views

What is the cognitive basis for a sudden loss of confidence in social/professional interactions?

This question is similar to this earlier question, but from a very different viewpoint - what I am asking here is, what is the cognitive basis for a sudden loss of confidence? For example, if a ...
2
votes
0answers
114 views

Why are people afraid of things that they know are harmless or non-existent? [closed]

Why are people afraid of things that they know are harmless or non-existent? For example: Why do horror films/stories leave people scared after they have finished? Someone may see a harmless spider ...
4
votes
1answer
48 views

Are imprinting and computer literacy connected?

I've recently became aware of the phenomenon of imprinting, in which baby animals start to associate with the first moving object with eyes that they see during a critical period of their infancy. ...
6
votes
2answers
266 views

How should multiple Mechanical Turk research subjects from the same IP address be handled?

I saw this question on Twitter from Jay Van Bavel (@jayvanbavel), and thought it was a good fit for the site. Does anyone find that multiple subjects from the same IP address in their #MTurk ...
8
votes
2answers
193 views

What do id, ego and super-ego exactly mean?

I don't know much about psychology, but I've heard about Sigmund Freud's structural model of the psyche, with the three part of the psychic apparatus. However, I couldn't really understand the parts. ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

Information sampling task

There is a lot of research done on impulsivity trait... Here is detailed wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impulsivity In adition to that here is one interestiing video of biological ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do people talk fast in presentations when nervous?

I was at a professional development seminar today, and the presenter, while being interesting and knowing his subject admitted to being nervous and was speaking very fast. I know I do this when I am ...
7
votes
1answer
89 views

Any review articles on behavior change psychology?

I'm interested in behavior change and looking to apply its principals in order to design programs and services in healthcare. I'm most familiar with BJ Fogg's B=MAT model and his principles. But I'd ...
5
votes
0answers
44 views

Is association, conditioning, and symbolic learning the same thing?

Symbols and Communication: At some point in human history, we developed communication. Our brains were able to understand that things stood for something else. For example, the sound we make when we ...
9
votes
3answers
6k 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
126 views

Any models that act using both streams of visual processing?

The Two-Stream Hypothesis, where object properties are processed independently from spatial information, remains the most well established theory of visual processing. However, it concerns me that ...
8
votes
2answers
124 views

Is it possible to create artificial thoughts in a childs mind

What I mean is, is it possible to create memories in a childs mind, memories which a child grows up to remember as real events, when infact those events never happened in real life? For example: If ...
6
votes
1answer
61 views

What paper discussed the cognitive properties of Likert/visual analogue scales in ratings?

I seem to recall a recent paper investigating whether ratings created using Likert or Visual Analogue Scales formats had the cognitive properties of interval or ratio data (since they are generally ...
9
votes
3answers
363 views

Is there a cognitive bias for ascribing agency to inanimate objects?

I am curious to know if any research might have been done on this topic or if it is any way even described in scientific literature. It's not uncommon for people to ascribe agency to inanimate ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

Correct measure of central tendency for reaction times analysis

I'd like to know what would be the less biased measure of central tendency to compare RTs in two conditions with a lot of trials (~700). Mean is really sensitive to outliers, and median really robust, ...
6
votes
1answer
171 views

Minimizing Halo Error

I'm working with a dataset wherein participants rate five different attributes of six device variants; the attribute ratings different variants are very tightly correlated, suggesting that this ...

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