4
votes
1answer
124 views

How does our brain consider something to be funny?

What makes something that we watch (a clown's antics, hidden camera pranks, etc.), hear (jokes), read (satire), or do (pranks) be perceived as funny? Even babies find certain actions and sounds ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the optimal length of a training session?

When a practice session is too long, there will presumably be a point where no further significant gains can be made without a break. At what point will this be? Update: This question was originally ...
3
votes
2answers
206 views

Does law of attraction have psychological basis? [closed]

A common claim in business and self-help seminars is that optimists are luckier. Is it true that optimism leads to greater success in life? If so, what part of the brain support this so called ...
3
votes
1answer
178 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

How many bits of data would it take to represent an entire life as a film?

Imagine your life as a film. Add all the stuff you know. Is it possible to express this amount of data in bits? (A rough order of magnitude would be ok.) See also: Partitions and Savants:
0
votes
2answers
110 views

Where do our memories get stored and how are they retrieved again?

There is a common knowledge that several brain areas are involved in memory processes and each area is involved in a different aspect of memory. But where do our memories get stored and how are they ...
-3
votes
1answer
77 views

Could an ethic stating that everyone should care about himself go into justifying exploitment?

Let's assume that one man has the following belief: 1) Everyone has to take care of himself; it's not mandatory for people to be nice and good, it's mandatory to defend ourselves from others and to ...
10
votes
4answers
9k 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
78 views

Improved Typing as a result of slight movement

I've found that my typing performance (speed, accuracy, flow) are noticeably improved if I am swaying slightly, mostly side to side, in a non-regular manner. I would estimate that the overall ...
6
votes
3answers
725 views

Analyzing control questions data for a survey

I have an experimental study with a list of demographic and related questions and in order to identify data from participants that were potentially just answering the questions at random (to get ...
6
votes
2answers
202 views

What is the relationship between self-perceptions and actual driving ability?

I've often heard it said that almost everyone thinks that they are a better than average driver. If this is true, it could be explained by a number of theories. Some of these are outlined in this ...
5
votes
1answer
88 views

What is the impact of showing the amount of unattended notifications to the user?

What is the difference in cognitive effects on the user between simply showing that there are 'some' unattended notifications, or showing how many notifications there are? Take Facebook's ...
5
votes
3answers
188 views

How do memories come up for no apparent reason? Is this evidence that we remember everything?

As I was driving, all of a sudden the name "Holden Caufield" came to my mind. It sounded really familiar. I googled the name and it was the main character in The Catcher in the Rye. The last time I ...
5
votes
1answer
631 views

How to use Mechanical Turk for longer studies (i.e., 30 minutes+)?

I'm interested in using Mechanical Turk as a means of recruiting participants for online psychology studies. I have never used it for any research. However, many of my studies take around 30 minutes ...
5
votes
1answer
759 views

How can psychometry measure the very high IQ's in adults?

From Wikipedia's page on Mental age, we learn that: Originally, the differences between mental age and chronological age were used to compute the intelligence quotient, or IQ. This was computed ...
4
votes
1answer
7k views

How to calculate IQ score based on raw score and adjust for age?

I am having a hard time grasping how IQ scores are calculated. I think it has something to do with their age score ratio multiplied by 100. Say I have a test that holds 30 questions. How would I ...
4
votes
1answer
187 views

Does looking into a mirror relieve eye strain in a similar way to looking at distant objects?

Sometimes when having an eye exam the eye chart is viewed through a mirror to increase the distance between the person and the chart. When using consoles, it is recommended to look away from the ...
3
votes
1answer
296 views

Comprehensive list of cognitive techniques in CBT

I'm not a cognitive science student, but I'm interested in CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and I'm using it to overcome some of the problems I have. However, I have difficulty in finding resources ...
3
votes
1answer
165 views

How much information on the “Identical Strangers” experiment was actually released?

I am in the process of researching the Nature vs. Nurture debate. While I was searching for articles on it, I discovered something known as the "Identical Strangers" experiment (that probably was ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Is EEG brain-computer interface reliable?

I am a computer science student [assume I have very little knowledge of the biological part of EEG]. I recently came across the topic EEG and was pretty interested in it. As far as I know, we get an ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

How to refer to the phenomenon of people only absorbing evidence which confirms their beliefs?

I knew a psychologist who was calling it self-referentiality. People are always trying to see only the sentence which confirm their beliefs. What's the correct name for this?
2
votes
1answer
330 views

How does personality moderate or mediate the relationship between stress and burnout?

My research is on work related stress and burnout amongst healthcare professionals and the role that personality play in either reducing or increasing levels of stress and burnout. I'm using the big ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Can a strong lack of empathy be considered a disorder?

Premise from Wikipedia: More recently, popular science writer and Psychologist Daniel Goleman has drawn on social neuroscience research to propose that social intelligence is made up of social ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

What is the psychological advantage of having a happiness set point?

What is the psychological advantage of having a happiness set point? If one found a way to constantly be attached to this set point, what would the advantages be (other than perpetual happiness ^^)? ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

What are ways to explore metamathematics from a cognitive science/neuroscience lens?

What are ways to explore metamathematics from a cognitive science/neuroscience lens to understand the evolution of mathematics based on structural and perceptual processing biases introduced due to ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

Does neuroticism cause people to hurt others?

Is neuroticism related to harming others? Is neuroticism related to increased criminal behaviour? And in this case, would it be useful to coach / help a neurotic person through psychotherapy?
-1
votes
2answers
83 views

Why isn't psychotherapy more direct with patients?

While it is possible to tell someone that they are affected by OCD or they are narcissistic, I think that trying to help people simply by giving them direct advice doesn't work. I also think that ...
43
votes
4answers
5k views

Does writing something down help memorize it?

This is a question inspired by this recent question on the Chinese Language & Usage website. Someone asked why they needed to learn how to write Chinese characters, since today we mostly use ...
50
votes
5answers
7k views

Why do humans have sex in private?

Human couples usually have sex in private, hidden not only from predators, but also - other humans. It is unlike behavior of most species, including our relatives: bonobos, chimpanzees and gorillas. ...
23
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do higher incentives lead to lower performance for non-rudimentary tasks?

I have watched a number of times this excellent video where Dan Pink discusses the science of motivation. The video states that the higher incentives, the lower performance for non-rudimentary (not ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there experimental support for John Perry's “Theory of Structured Procrastination”?

John Perry's theory of structured procrastination can be summed up as follows: Some people are inherently predisposed to be procrastinators across a wide range of domains Such procrastinators are ...
27
votes
4answers
1k views

Is The magical number 7 still valid?

George A. Miller published "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information" in 1956 and is one of the most highly cited papers in psychology. It ...
16
votes
1answer
246 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 ...
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 ...
29
votes
4answers
6k views

Does evidence support Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs?

Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs (shown below) is a popular concept and is often taught in basic psychology courses, and often less objectively taught in Business and Marketing courses. A common problem ...
21
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the psychology behind trolling?

For those new to the internet, trolling is an activity where one person intentionally tries to upset other members of the same community, presumably for entertainment. This has been informally ...
18
votes
1answer
467 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
571 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 ...
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 ...
14
votes
5answers
563 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
225 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
6answers
3k views

How to analyze reaction times and accuracy together?

Is there a good way to analyze reaction times and accuracy together, other than MANOVA? I have data from an experiment in which participants had to respond to stimuli in two different conditions in a ...
18
votes
5answers
659 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
304 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
954 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
289 views

What factors improve mood and increase cognitive functioning when people wake up?

I'm a software engineer doing some research in order to figure out if developing some applications are worth the effort. This work is applied to computational devices including mobile devices and even ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

Are there any cognitive test (or test suites) available on the iPad?

I find the IPad to be a great piece of hardware that is easy to bring along and that has an intuitive touch interface. This would make it an ideal platform for many cognitive tests such as n-back. As ...
10
votes
2answers
252 views

References for biologically plausible models of knowledge representation?

I'm looking for references that deal with the issue of how various kinds of semantic knowledge are (or might be) represented neurally. Most of the discussion of this topic seems skewed by social ...
10
votes
3answers
943 views

Is it possible to improve reading speed and visual comprehension by doing exercises?

Background I'm trying to capture detailed information from the images in my visual memory, mainly text. My daily life requires reading many documents on varying topics. I want to increase my reading ...
9
votes
1answer
456 views

What is the effect of imagining doing an exercise on muscle growth?

I recently read a study by Yue, G et al. (1992) which I found incredibly interesting. I have no background in physiology and I was hoping that someone who does can clear things up. If I understood it ...

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