15
votes
7answers
630 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 ...
15
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).
15
votes
2answers
439 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
1k views

Software for online psychological experiments that don't require users to download anything

We are currently using Inquisit to conduct Internet experiments. Since it is not compatible with non-Windows systems, we lose a lot of potential subjects. Ideally, we would like to implement something ...
15
votes
2answers
2k 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
932 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
432 views

Is there a region of cortex which over a period of development becomes the seat of self?

Background Mountcastle's hypothesis, which is based on the observation of uniform cortical anatomy, suggests that the there might be a uniform cortical "algorithm". The only reason that some cortical ...
15
votes
2answers
590 views

Biological plausibility of bayesian models of cognition

Inspired by this question: What are drawbacks to probabilistic models of cognition? I would like to know more about the biological plausibility of Bayesian models of cognition. Is there any neural ...
15
votes
2answers
920 views

Do men and women differ in their desire to have children?

I was reading the comments of the following article on paternal health and birth defects. Someone made the following comment. The other thing is that mens interest in being a father is nowhere ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is Asperger Syndrome poorly recognised in France?

Asperger Syndrome is quite well-known in psychiatric circles, as well as (to a lesser degree) the general public, in many countries the western world. However, in France, Asperger Syndrome is ...
15
votes
5answers
763 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
379 views

Does dream recall disturb the processes of memory consolidation?

Psychology in the time of Freud was occupied with dreams. Relaying these to one's analyst was an important part of treatment. Fast-forward to less than 100 years later, and we know so much about the ...
15
votes
3answers
151 views

Is there any study on the effectiveness of taking notes in a lecture vs taking notes on written materials?

In many lectures I heard, I basically copied the lecture notes of the professor from the board into my notebook (I study mathematics). For me those lectures are comparable with going into the library, ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the effect of viewing pornography on children?

It is generally accepted that porn shouldn't be seen by children, and we even sometimes punish parents who fail to stop their children from finding porn. How much are these laws based in science? Can ...
15
votes
1answer
900 views

Can you catch up on sleep over the weekend?

The lack of sleep has many negative effects associated with it. Maintained sleep deprivation results in a degraded performance over time (in this case reaction time). Assuming one needs 8 hours of ...
15
votes
1answer
328 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, ...
15
votes
0answers
149 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
610 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there evidence that brain and mind are separate?

I've heard countless discussions about whether or not the mind is separate from the brain, but they have all been philosophical. I am looking for peer-reviewed studies that suggest the mind is not ...
14
votes
3answers
660 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
380 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 -- ...
14
votes
4answers
342 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do humans prefer symmetrical arrangement of objects?

Most of the times, we associate symmetry with beauty. The symmetry may be in architectural/interior design for instance. Why would this be so ?
14
votes
3answers
421 views

How does the brain learn what something is for the first time?

I'm trying to understand how the idea of what a thing is originates in humans. For example, in computer science, it is possible to know what an object is and what it does, by examining its ...
14
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
168 views

How is the size of a video related to its perceived quality?

Video is often presented at different sizes. On the Internet, many websites provide quite a few size settings. In the store, you can buy TVs of many different sizes. In both cases, it's the same ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the term for when too many choices results in inability to decide?

A common problem is that when offered too many choices, consumers give up and make no choice. Too many options results in no sale where fewer options might have resulted in more sales. It's like the ...
14
votes
1answer
377 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
577 views

Is photographic memory possible?

Photographic memory is a fairly well known phenomena, but is it theoretically possible? In Marvin Minsky's The Society of Mind claims it is a myth: "...we often hear about people with ...
14
votes
1answer
707 views

What effect do random visitors have on children in orphanages and people in old age homes?

Leading a volunteering team, I've been to an orphanage where the sister (who did a psychology course) running the orphanage was strict that volunteers should spend a minimum of 3 months teaching the ...
14
votes
3answers
700 views

Are there any personality theories that use the scientific method?

Background I have come across a number of personality theories. There are even disciplines of personality theories, dividing these theories according to the assumptions they are based upon. The most ...
14
votes
3answers
413 views

Why do people fear statistically unlikely things?

Over 10 times more people die in circulatory diseases than accidents (source). Nevertheless people fear (in general) more accidents than circulatory disease. In addition, there are statistically even ...
14
votes
3answers
559 views

Why do we always wake up at the climax of our dreams, even when it is an alarm that wakes us?

I know that it probably has something to do with the fact that our dreams didn't really end at the same time our alarm clock rang, our brains just make us think so for some reason.
14
votes
1answer
1k views

How to measure dominance and submissiveness?

Introduction Interpersonal dimensions of personality (Sullivan, 1953) have been described in a circular model, the interpersonal circumplex, since Leary (1957). The two dimensions that define this ...
14
votes
1answer
991 views

Is there a reasonably valid and reliable self-measure of computer literacy?

Measuring computer literacy or skill is important when grouping respondents for usability studies and other Human Computer Interaction studies. But for the life of me I can't find a good, simple but ...
14
votes
2answers
790 views

What stimulus features determine the psychophysical power law exponent?

Following the work of Stanley Stevens, psychophysical functions of stimulus intensity are commonly assumed to follow power laws, as illustrated below: This appears to be true for a wide variety of ...
14
votes
1answer
272 views

Computational models of early learning in children

What are currently used biologically plausible computational models/frameworks of early learning in children? Personally, I have used cascade correlation neural nets to model pronoun acquisition ...
14
votes
1answer
288 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 ...
14
votes
0answers
302 views

Does dream recall interfere with “reverse learning”? (Crick and Mitchison's theory of REM sleep)

I've recently became aware of the idea of "reverse learning" that might happen during REM sleep - the brain's attempt to eliminate pathological attractors that might appear in neural networks. The ...
13
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
13
votes
11answers
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 ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Why are most people not persuaded by rational arguments?

The sentence could look as a provocation for many people, but the thoughts are not always rational and linear. But why this happens? Is it possible to give a short answer? "Counter to what you might ...
13
votes
3answers
252 views

Can we be conscious of our dreams?

During the day time, we are conscious of our surroundings and the brain does its work. During sleep, we are not conscious. We have dreams. But the brain continues to function. After we awake ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Running on autopilot

Sometimes, people say that they are "running on autopilot", meaning that they are doing the things that they normally do, without any real conscious involvement. I have read that it is not uncommon ...
13
votes
5answers
22k views

What causes some people to unconsciously imitate the accents of others?

Background: I often notice that when I talk with someone with an accent that I often unconsciously start to imitate their accent. Similarly, you see some people that very quickly after moving to a ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

What do the super-large brains of whales and elephants map to?

Elephants and whales have brains that are much larger than those of humans. It is presumed that much of their brain is used up for their larger bodies (after all, there is a allometric scaling between ...
13
votes
2answers
346 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
535 views

Is “brain training” effective?

We've had quite a few questions about "brain training" on this site (see questions tagged brain-training). And the effectiveness of "brain training" has been touched on in several questions (this ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Why might a stutterer not stutter when talking to themselves, whispering, or singing?

Background: I'm a stutterer myself and have always wondered what caused my stuttering. There have been reports of the effects of certain genes and environmental factors that causes stuttering. But ...

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