# All Questions

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### 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?
106 views

### Psychological journal that focuses on publishing interesting psychological datasets

There are a range of data repositories around. There are also journals that permit online attachments. That said, my general experience with such online attachments is that the data sharing is an ...
418 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 ...
104 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 ...
48 views

### Are cognitive biases hardwired in the brain or they are acquired during lifetime?

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 ...
44 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 ^^)? ...
220 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 ...
168 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?
6k 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 ...
9k 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. ...
2k 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 ...
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 ...
8k 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 ...
272 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 ...
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 ...
2k 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 ...
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 ...
1k 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 ...
543 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 ...
848 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 ...
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 ...
667 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 ...
274 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 ...
5k 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 ...
458 views

### Introductory resources on bayesian modeling for cognitive sciences

On Cross Validated there is a great question about best introductory books for bayesian statistics. Also, Jeromy Anglim blogged recently about use of JAGS, rjags, and Bayesian Modelling, with some ...
3k views

### What is the most effective maximum work duration per day?

A related question asks about the best work-break schedule for an effective eight hour work day. This question presupposes that eight hours of work per day is a good duration and that all you need is ...
801 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 ...
348 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 ...
314 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 ...
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 ...
265 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 ...
391 views

### How to predict romantic attraction

Dating websites and psychological researchers attempt to find those factors that predict the fit between potential romantic partners. Examples for factors taken into consideration are the "big five" ...
659 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 ...
1k views

### What color is this dress? — And why do some see it as white and gold and others see it as black and blue?

Here's the dress (and keep reading, this is actually a serious question): This question about this image has apparently become quite a rapidly spreading meme on the internet. And after conducting ...
1k 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 ...
2k 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 ...
667 views

### What is the optimal repetition pattern to maximize long term memory?

Which is the appropriate repetition pattern to aid long term memory, in terms of time between study sessions? I have been reading about Ebbinghaus and doing some related research, but I can't find a ...
399 views

### Why is training better when following an easy-to-difficult schedule?

As suggested in the answer to this question, experimental results show that training is most effective when it follows an easy-to-difficult schedule. What theories and specifically computational ...
643 views

### What is the most complex artificial neural network created to date?

A few years ago I wrote a research paper for college on neural networks. At the time IBM's Blue Brain was the clear winner. Some rumor went around that they were close to emulating a brain the ...
699 views

### How does goal-tracking and sign-tracking behaviour vary across species?

In Pavlonian (classical) conditioning, conditioned responses of an animal may vary. Some animals focus on the unconditioned stimulus (ie., food / location of food) while others may focus on the ...
664 views

### What are the mathematical models of memory?

Are there mathematical models of memory in humans or animals? I want to know how neuroscientists use mathematics to describe memory in living creatures. How do neuroscientists model memory and show ...
517 views

### What part of the brain locks up when a man is in the presence of an extremely attractive female?

This question is specifically about the male brain and its lack of cognition in the presence of a highly attractive female. This is in contrast to regaining cognitive ability in the presence of an ...
2k views

### Why have historically most inventors been men?

I noticed something strange when I looked at about.com's list of famous historical inventors. You can see that most of the inventors are men, and only a few are women. Can this be explained by ...
714 views

### What makes some things more fun than others universally?

Recently I have been presented with the question, "What makes something addictive, and why are some activities more addicting than others?" This question intrigues me, as logically, the answer would ...
742 views

### Where is the visual “image” that we “see” finally assembled?

David Hubel's online book, Eye, Brain and Vision describes in great detail our early visual system. The image that we are conscious of when we open our eyes goes through a complex path: The final ...
3k views

### How is intelligence correlated to beauty?

Recently, I read several interesting questions on the web about the relationship between IQ and general intelligence and physiological symmetry. But more importantly, what explains the correlation? Or ...
596 views

### Why do we prefer visually aligned objects?

We all know visual alignment is one of the foundations of design. Everything must be aligned with everything else. We also know that when things are aligned it is easier to process information. My ...
760 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 ...