16
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 ...
14
votes
7answers
554 views

Can creativity be taught?

I have heard of classes that teach 'creativity'. To me, the whole concept is absurd. I approached a student of the aforementioned class and asked him why he chose to learn creativity. He stated that ...
14
votes
7answers
3k 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" ...
14
votes
3answers
1k 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).
12
votes
2answers
800 views

What form might Jungian archetypes take in the brain?

Modern psychology and psychiatry are very well grounded in scientific principles. Both, however, have a history in various analytical philosophies. Jung had the notion of an archetype, a universally ...
11
votes
1answer
262 views

At what point does a complex become pathological?

I've a first question so I apologize if the format is completely awry. I'm reading Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature and I came across this passage by Edward C. ...
2
votes
2answers
294 views

What books should I study to have a decent understanding of psychology?

Background: I am a student currently doing my undergraduate degree (Electrical and Electronics, if it interests anyone). I am very much interested in studying psychology. I have read quite a bit on ...
1
vote
8answers
5k views

What's the major difference between mind and brain?

I am preparing a presentation on "Mind Reading Computer", and all articles that I came across were focused on reading interpretations from brain through sensors. Articles like this clearly show a ...
16
votes
5answers
40k 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, ...
16
votes
2answers
707 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
884 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
574 views

Is the theory of Information Metabolism a reasonable scientific theory?

Background I have been checking out various personality typing assessments lately when I came across a Personality typing system known as Socionics which aims at explaining relationships between ...
13
votes
1answer
357 views

Does the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis apply to artificial (specifically programming) languages?

As a computer programmer, I have an intuition that the idea "language influences thought" is very relevant to programmers and programming languages. Is there any research that examines whether ...
10
votes
3answers
493 views

Do measures of Big 5 personality have a positive bias towards extraverted, conscientious, emotionally stable, ageeable and open individuals?

Background: One free measures of the Big 5 is the IPIP. I have noticed that IPIP items seem to have a positive bias towards items loading on the extraversion (EX), emotional stability (ES), ...
9
votes
10answers
2k views

Can the mind affect the physical brain? - a simple thought experiment

Scientists maintain that "a physical action requires a physical cause". However, if I am in deep thought about my dead spouse, for example, and a tear comes to my eye, how is it that the mind ...
8
votes
1answer
242 views

Evidence that positive rewards are learnt faster than negative rewards?

Its folk psychology wisdom that its easier to reward positive behavior than punish negative behavior (e.g. any book on parenting or dog training), but is there any evidence in the cognitive science ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do people suddenly look back if you look at them for a while?

You possibly are familiar with the following situation, I do not know if this is a researched phenomena or not however. You look straight at somebody for some time and suddenly, even though he or she ...
7
votes
1answer
140 views

Is there evidence for a unique isolated internal representation of loved ones?

Some time ago, I've read that the most significant people in a person's life have their own internal representation/model of within the person's mind. For example: An internal representation of a ...
7
votes
1answer
6k views

Which neurotransmitters can be measured in a living human brain?

I'm interested in learning more about the modern techniques that are used for scientific studies of neurotransmitters in the living human brain. As far as I know, there are 4 neuromodulator systems ...
6
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
104 views

Conscious basis for gender identification

What conscious experiences lead a transgender person to identify with the opposite sex? Physiology is clearly not determining. Sexual orientation is not determining (homosexuality). Clothing ...
5
votes
1answer
407 views

What is the difference between drug withdrawal and sleep deprivation effects?

Personal sleep-deprivation study: Recently, I posed a question that I'm sure many people find tough already: "Do I really need to sleep?", and so I tested myself, I spent two days without sleeping. ...
22
votes
4answers
1k views

Perception of time as a function of age

For many people time seems to run faster as they get older. That is, for an old person an hour, a day or a year seems to be shorter than for a young person. Is there any hard data for such ...
10
votes
4answers
292 views

Why do humans cry?

People cry when they experience intense emotions. Crying seems to occur most frequently in intense episodes of sadness and fear, but sometimes also happens when people are very happy or angry. What is ...
10
votes
2answers
267 views

How long do dreams last?

What is the relationship between time perceived in a dream and time in the external world? Is time running in dreams always faster than the time running in the real world? Is it ratio of real time ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What causes a person to be curious, inquisitive and explorative?

Why do humans (primates) tend to be curious, inquisitive and explorative? They want to know things that they do not. They explore stuff in an attempt to find something new which makes them ...
7
votes
2answers
298 views

Will Our Brain Speed Reduce As Our Memory “Mail Boxes” Fill Up?

I recently stumbled accross the article "When the Brain's Mailbox Is Full", which can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/07/27/health/when-the-brain-s-mailbox-is-full.html. The article ...
7
votes
2answers
194 views

The current recommended text for statistics in behavioural sciences

I have an old book: Statistics for the Behavioural Sciences (4th ed.) by Gravetter & Wallnau. I want to transition my textbooks to eBook format, but this book doesn't come like that (as far as I ...
6
votes
4answers
315 views

is it possible to think without language?

I'm trying to fathom what it might be like for a person with aphasia and for one with agnosia. For a person with a visual agnosia I wonder this: if two unrecognizable objects are shown to them, and ...
6
votes
4answers
280 views

Can scientific evidence support concepts of the soul?

In some spiritual premises, the soul is said to belong to the Almighty. Religions (Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism) all talk about cleansing our inner being because only when it's pure, its actual ...
5
votes
2answers
151 views

Does fixing cognitive biases do more harm than use?

The Kahneman–Tversky interpretation of biases as deviation from rationality was challenged by Gigerenzer on the basis that heuristics help making decisions and, thus, rational from the evolutionary ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

Would most people benefit from psychotherapy?

At least in my country, undergoing psychotherapy is perceived negatively. People in my country perceive people as either healthy (normal), or mad and in need of a psychologist. My perception is ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

How important is eye contact for attraction between a man and woman?

How important is eye contact for creating/inducing attraction & showing showing "confidence" towards them? What is the optimal eye locking duration between 2 persons for inducing this attraction? ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How does raw IQ change over the lifespan at the group-level?

In the classic review of intelligence research (Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns), Neisser et al (1996) write the following Stability. Intelligence test scores are fairly stable during ...
5
votes
1answer
393 views

How much more efficient is interleaving skills when learning?

In an interview with Robert A. Bjork this article suggests interleaving skills is better than focusing exclusively on one skill at a time. How much of a difference does the research indicate that it ...
2
votes
1answer
159 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:
1
vote
2answers
124 views

About the possibility of 'Robot Psychology'

If a Robot system with an advanced A.I. operating system had the 'ability' to 'do' 'undirected' or 'semi-undirected' introspection and 'form' all sorts of 'thought' structures about any subject matter ...
-1
votes
2answers
59 views

Increasing the quantity of something which is initially good will always lead to an excess?

Take this sentence from a psychological article on wikipedia about the comfort zone: However, White (2009) also observes that if the work of Robert Yerkes (1907) is considered in which he ...
9
votes
8answers
6k views

Why do people want what they don't have now?

There are many examples of people wanting what they don't have. For example, a single man may want to have a girlfriend, but after some time of having a girlfriend, he may want to be single again. Or ...
9
votes
1answer
134 views

Hearing first but understanding later?

I have experienced this phenomenon several times and checked with other people as well. It goes like this: you hear something, but it's just a sound with no meaning. Some seconds later, you ...
9
votes
1answer
292 views

How does task difficulty schedule affect the rate and efficiency of perceptual learning?

In perceptual learning (line length/orientation discrimination, visual target detection, tone frequency discrimination, etc), when training people or animals to perform a task better, is there an ...
8
votes
1answer
190 views

Evidence of 'virtually limitless' long-term memory

In his paper, 'What do People believe about Memory?', Professor Svein Magnussen of University of Oslo claims: ... memory science is not aware of any limitation on the amount of information the ...
8
votes
0answers
300 views

Refinements of Rescorla-Wagner model of classical conditioning

The Rescorla-Wagner model is one of the most commonly discussed mathematical models of classical conditioning. It was wildly popular when it came out in 1972, and very successful. The same math, is ...
7
votes
1answer
257 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
385 views

Behaviorist interpretations of decision field theory

Decision field theory is usually presented as a dynamic cognitive model of decision making. However, in its basic form, the theory seems to only be concerned with behavior (decisions) and stimuli ...
6
votes
2answers
272 views

The effect of proper food intake on emotions and brain function

Recently I wasn't eating at the proper time and I often skipped meals. I was angry, stressed before taking my meal, and suddenly, I felt good after having my dinner. I have felt the same way many ...
6
votes
2answers
727 views

What is the scientific definition of “brain training”?

A lot of companies are selling products under the heading of "brain training", and "brain exercises", "brain games" such as Nintendo DS Brain Training, Lumosity, and a host of other companies. I'm ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
162 views

Can one incubate on a specific idea in one's sleep?

In this question it is described that intentionally not thinking about a problem can allow the subsonscious to find an answer to the problem; this is known as incubation. I have heard and read it a ...
5
votes
1answer
81 views

Neural Processes of Inducing Flow

Related to my previous question: Improved Typing as a result of slight movement For context: slight movement (<1 inch in any direction) improves typing, piano-playing, and writing, among other ...

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