12
votes
1answer
124 views

Learning of new concepts being impeded by an error in previous work

Note: I'm framing this question in terms of tutoring math since that's what I tutor most, though it applies to a wide range of subject matters. I do a decent amount of tutoring, and this is one ...
11
votes
5answers
390 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
1k 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" ...
11
votes
2answers
720 views

What can we learn from the neural networks of C.elegans to understand human brains?

Recently I am reading some works about Caenorhabditis Elegans. A C.elegans has 302 neurons and we already know the function and connection of every one of their neurons so that we can exactly ...
11
votes
4answers
338 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

Can we smell in dreams?

I'm interested in whether people can smell in their dreams. Do people really experience smell in their dreams? For example, if I dream of smelling a flower, will I feel the smell, too? Is there any ...
11
votes
3answers
233 views

How can I find open access journals for cognitive science research?

What open access journals that publish research in cognitive science/psychology exist? Apart from PLOS ONE, are there any other open access journals that publish research in cognitive ...
11
votes
3answers
303 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What was the experiment where you pour liquid from a tall container to a short one and ask a child which has more?

From Developmental psychology 101 I remember an experiment where the person conducting the experiment would pour liquid from a tall, narrow container into a short, narrow container and ask a child if ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What transient factors affect performance on IQ tests?

While performance on intelligence tests aim to measure an underlying relatively stable trait, there are presumably a range of transient factors that could temporarily lower or possibly even raise ...
11
votes
3answers
780 views

Why is the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard so intolerable?

I am curious as to what current research shows regarding why scraping noises such as fingernails on a chalkboard, a knife/fork scraping against a plate, metal grinding against metal or stone etc are ...
11
votes
3answers
230 views

What is the status of evolutionary psychology in academia today?

Having an interest in human psychology (but no formal training) I decided to take Coursera's Introduction to Psychology as a Science. Here's a snippet from an introductory lecture (it requires ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

Open source software for running Internet psychological experiments that collect reaction time data

I've often used Inquisit to run psychological experiments online. The software enables delivery of stimuli (e.g., text, images, etc.) and collection of reaction times. Obviously general purpose ...
11
votes
2answers
162 views

Perception of probability of being right

The probability that people percept may be different from the real one due to a number of factors, including the form in which their are presented, their context and biases (due to misinformation or ...
11
votes
1answer
254 views

Is Behaviorism incompatible with Cognitive Psychology?

Both disciplines have historically been at each other's throats, and Radical Behaviorists like B.F. Skinner often completely reject cognitive psychology at a philosophical level. It seems that today ...
11
votes
2answers
589 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
473 views

To what extent are correlations of father's age with birth defects and autism causal?

I read the following in the paper today: Dr Karin Hammarberg ... said that while most children are born healthy, large studies of parental age were starting to show higher rates of birth ...
11
votes
2answers
173 views

Do the students that report “friendly” teachers perform better on standardized tests?

I'll preface this by saying that I've been considering this question in light of the "Summer of Love" initiative and subsequent blog posts, which are looking at the extent to which comments are ...
11
votes
1answer
331 views

Under what conditions does 60hz video produce visual artifacts?

There are some important thresholds of frame rate in video playback that effect whether or not animation appears fluid. This wikipedia page about Visible Frame Rate suggests that a framerate of 60 ...
11
votes
1answer
90 views

Has an upper-limit on the physical spacing represented by grid cells in Entorhinal cortex been probed?

There is considerable research reporting activity of unit recordings from grid cells in the Entorhinal cortex (e.g. [1]) - typically of rats running around in enclosed spaces. Is there any ...
11
votes
2answers
554 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
128 views

Have there been any studies which report a positive correlation between eating certain foods and reported sleep disturbances?

This Skeptics question touched on the subject, but I'm more focused on studies that have been conducted under highly controlled circumstances, like a university sleep lab. We've all heard these old ...
11
votes
1answer
232 views

What causes laughter?

I was looking at this video from VSauce: "Why did the chicken cross the road?", where several facts about this old joke are exposed and explained. At some point, (6:59) Michael explains that there is ...
11
votes
1answer
229 views

Is dissociative identity disorder a medical condition or artifact of psychotherapy?

The popular media has offered such examples as "Eve" (based on Chris Costner-Sizemore) and "Sybil" (based on Shirley Ardell Mason) as sufferers of dissociative identity disorder (at one point known as ...
11
votes
2answers
176 views

Can the Philosophy thought game “The experience machine” be answered by Positive Psychology?

In Philosophy, a thought game exists called "The experience machine" {1}. In summary, it's a machine you plug into that enables you to always experience positive events, and never negative ones. One ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Do the Jungian Cognitive Functions/ Processes really exist?

Background Many of us must have come across personality theories like MBTI which use part of Carl Jung's concepts to make a theoretical system used to divide people into types. For example, MBTI ...
11
votes
1answer
138 views

How does daily amount of sleep vary within and between healthy adults?

I'm interested in research that has employed the following or similar research design: Measure the daily amount of sleep every day for an for an extended period (e.g., more than a month) in a ...
11
votes
1answer
256 views

Does dopamine signal become stronger when goal distance is defined using time?

Howe et al (2013) found that a dopamine signal becomes stronger as a goal is approached. The experiment involved rats running in a maze. If the rats were close to solving the maze, the dopamine signal ...
11
votes
1answer
621 views

Can you catch up on lost sleep?

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 ...
11
votes
1answer
311 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 ...
11
votes
0answers
104 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is recognition easier than recall?

The main ways of memory retrieval are recognition and recall. Why has it been found that recognition is "easier" to perform, meaning it is usually faster or is more likely to yield an accurate ...
10
votes
3answers
415 views

What are the key examples of the use of computational methods in the study of biological neural networks?

In an upcoming postdoc, I'm going to be looking through biological neural network data in the hopes of finding some interesting "patterns". I'm coming at this field from a mathematics/computer ...
10
votes
4answers
361 views

Is the mathematician's activity psychologically healthy?

I am a professional mathematician, and I regularly meet other mathematicians. I have come to wonder if there is something like a slight neurosis, specific to this activity. To be more precise, let ...
10
votes
5answers
320 views

Visual search: complexity of positive vs negative search tasks

Thinking about experiments where participants perform visual search tasks, I remember hearing in a Cog Psych lecture that if the instructions of the task were of the form "find the element that has ...
10
votes
5answers
159 views

Web-based tools for documenting studies?

I am interested in how open science could be done in psychology. Are there good web-based tools that could house and share a study? When I say "study" I mean: Lab notes from collecting data Raw ...
10
votes
5answers
183 views

Which human instincts do gamification systems appeal to?

As a Stack Exchange user, I spent quite a while thinking about how they managed to trick me into putting so much effort into it. Reputation, badges, etc., are all virtually useless, yet I put great ...
10
votes
4answers
10k 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, ...
10
votes
3answers
401 views

Why are mind maps recommended for study and recap?

In both my last year of high school and my freshmen year at the university, I got strong recommendations to study using mind maps - especially because this is apparently better to cope with large ...
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
2answers
281 views

Why do we not remember things from the first couple of years of childhood?

As parents of a soon-to-be three-year-old, my wife and I spend a lot of time planning activities and trips for our son. However, my wife wanted to hold off on some of the big ones (i.e. Disney ...
10
votes
3answers
19k views

Can sleep become addictive?

Can a person become dependent on sleeping (more than they otherwise physically need) in a way that fits the definition of addiction, in the same way some psychology professionals may describe a person ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Public domain scientific intelligence test available for use in research

The IPIP is an example of a public domain scientific personality inventory that can be used for research. Are there any good public domain scientific measures of intelligence? Requirements Do ...
10
votes
3answers
214 views

Can experience alter one's preferences for beauty?

My friend (a woman) is convinced that all men who find those posters of "women scantily clad in their bathing suits or thongs and big breasts (often fake)" attractive are simply brainwashed by ...
10
votes
3answers
954 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
653 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
410 views

Is it possible to quantify cognitive bias?

We know that bias exists, and that it affects our judgment and perception. This effect has to do with user's experience in life. That experience is taken care of by the brain, and if you counter a ...
10
votes
1answer
216 views

How do humans control saccades?

I've gathered the standard rational for a visual system utilizing saccades from perception textbooks: the neural cost of processing an entire scene at a high level of detail would be prohibitive, but ...
10
votes
3answers
216 views

What neural mechanism explains the tendency to visually attend to the whole scene before attending to details?

I have the intuition that human vision first attends to large-scale objects and then small-scale details. Is there any mechanism in the visual cortex that will explain this phenomenon? Is there a ...
10
votes
1answer
189 views

Are there additional animal studies about superstitions?

In one particular case, Skinner decided to go random on his hungry pigeons. He dropped food into the box at completely random times, independent of any behavior on the part of the pigeons. But ...

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