12
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
644 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 ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a reduction of “Brain Fog” with fewer hours of sleep?

I've heard patients who complain of "brain fog" (and fatigue) claim a reduction in "brain fog" (and more mental clarity) when they get fewer hours of sleep (usually less than 5.5 hours). Here I'd ...
15
votes
2answers
567 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
332 views

What is the cognitive cost of switching contexts?

A common reason to use Conventions and standards in Human Computer Interaction is to limit the cost of Context Switching. I searched to find general evidence of the cognitive costs of context ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Is Apple's iPhone Retina Display really accurate to human eye resolution?

Apple based their Retina Display on the following claim, as cited by Wikipedia: The display has a contrast ratio of 800:1. The screen is marketed by Apple as the "Retina Display", based on the ...
7
votes
2answers
321 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
115 views

What is a more modern interpretation of the terms egosyntonic/egodystonic?

Egosyntonic thoughts/ideas are those that are consistent with self-image, and egodystonic thoughts are recognized as inconsistent. For example, in obsessive compulsive disorder, the patient will ...
14
votes
2answers
917 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
165 views

Why is it common for people to default to a single causal source to explain new phenomena?

I am constantly bombarded by allegations that almost every relatively unusual event is the result/proof of some conspiracy/plan set by a specific powerful entity. The typical reasoning behind such ...
13
votes
2answers
309 views

What concepts of perception should designers be aware of when designing?

Visual perception is a huge topic, much of which is relevant to the work of a designer. I have identified topics in visual memory, visual cognition and colour perception that are relevant, and I'm ...
4
votes
2answers
216 views

Is there a psychological model or theory that describes strangers in the vicinity unknowingly causing discomfort?

The closest thing I found to this is social anxiety or agoraphobia, which is a fear of socializing or a fear of public places, respectively. However, I think the idea that strangers can cause ...
6
votes
1answer
496 views

What are the purported mechanisms of eidetic memory and why is it comorbid with autism?

Eidetic memory, often called "photographic" or "flashbulb" memory, is often associated with amazing feats of recall. Is the mechanism behind this phenomenon an aberration of the visualization of a ...
17
votes
2answers
443 views

Do the neural substrates behind motivation to retain/dispose of property govern whether certain people view their friends and partners as possessions?

I'm trying to understand why people have sometimes have the ability to sever ties with valuable connections, e.g., people that have up until that time meant a lot to them. Colloquially, people use ...
15
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
20
votes
9answers
2k views

How can I create computer based psychology experiments using OS X?

I've used E-prime to create computer based psychology experiments (you know, the kind where you for example show a number of pictures to the participant and record their responses to them, for example ...
8
votes
1answer
113 views

Why aren't sleep measures consistently measured as mediators/moderators of cognitive performance?

Knowing that sleep quantity and quality affects cognitive performance across many domains, why aren't pre-test sleep measures or intra-test measures of arousal a standard part of all cognitive test ...
12
votes
10answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
212 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
250 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
401 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
547 views

What is a validated single-item measure of mood?

Has anyone validated, proposed or tested a single-item state-based positive affect or happiness measure? I am particularly interested in something for tracking mood every day.
9
votes
2answers
268 views

Does Facebook activity predict job performance?

I've seen a little bit of discussion in the media about Facebook being used in selection and recruitment settings. Assuming an employer can gain access to a person's Facebook profile, have any ...
16
votes
2answers
784 views

Are spaced flashcards effective for learning?

Several apps and sites offer flashcard-based learning that repeat the cards you do poorly on over a period of time (the more inaccurate the answer the closer to each other the repetitions are). One ...
9
votes
1answer
164 views

When is higher confidence predictive of less accuracy?

Normally, when an individual is more confident in a particular response (e.g., memory decision, general knowledge answer), he or she is also more likely to be accurate. There are also studies in which ...
12
votes
2answers
931 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
286 views

Is positive self-talk beneficial for those with low self-esteem?

According to the paper Positive Self-Statements: Power for Some, Peril for Others by Wood (2009) positive self-talk is beneficial when the person has a reasonable level of self-esteem in the ...
2
votes
0answers
167 views

What is the relationship between computer game performance and measures of ability? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Any work being done on Perception, Action, and/or Cognition in Video games? What is the relationship between computer game performance and measures of ability?
9
votes
2answers
266 views

How does the brain act on the information gained via eye saccades?

I've often heard that the process of saccading can be described as a statistical sampling technique. Specifically, the standard textbook definition of the function of saccades seems to be that the ...
9
votes
1answer
283 views

Are there sex differences in inter-rater consistency of attractiveness ratings of opposite-sex faces?

Is there any research that assesses whether males or females judge faces of the opposite sex with a greater internal consistency? That is, is the standard deviation of attraction ratings for a ...
11
votes
3answers
229 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
386 views

What is the current status of tetrachromacy in humans?

Tetrachromacy is a condition of having four colour channels. There is a hypothesis that some women posses 4 different types of cone cells (each with different opsin responsible for different ...
7
votes
1answer
129 views

Any attempts at testing or modeling the 'cognitive conception' of language?

For those unfamiliar, the 'cognitive conception of language' refers to a claim made by some theorists that, in the words of Carruthers: "besides its obvious communicative functions, language also ...
10
votes
1answer
213 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
145 views

Is there evidence that STDP is responsible for the ability to infer causation?

Spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) is a property of synapses that modifies their efficacy based on timing relationships between action potentials in the pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neuron. A ...
6
votes
0answers
240 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
352 views

Is it possible to create a false memory by trying to remember something that eludes you?

Sometimes I have difficulty remembering the specifics of an event, specifically if I'm tired or possibly have recently consumed alcohol. A close friend of mine has gotten me in the habit of ...
6
votes
2answers
322 views

Are there any laws of memory?

Several years ago, my adviser wrote an article discussing the observation that a hundred years of studying memory had not resulted in the discovery of a "law" of memory. He wrote (p. 247): When ...
2
votes
2answers
171 views

What is Asperger's Syndrome? [closed]

I have read through the Wikipedia article on and looked at the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome (AS) and am still not sure how it is connected with autism. It seems like compared with autism it is ...
6
votes
2answers
341 views

What can cognitive psychology tell us about the results of the Stanford Prison Experiment?

One of the experiments that are always taught as prime examples of social psychology in action is the Stanford Prison Experiment In 1971, Zimbardo accepted a tenured position as professor of ...
6
votes
1answer
156 views

What causes systematic under- or over-estimation of general knowledge quantities?

What psychological theories predict whether individuals will underestimate or overestimate when responding to particular kinds of general knowledge quantity questions? For instance, I have seen an ...
9
votes
3answers
610 views

Simulate colorblindness in non-colorblind individuals

Is there any way by which individuals with normal color vision could "see" the effects of Deuteranopia or any of the common colorblindness types, say by using special lenses or anything? Color ...
9
votes
2answers
165 views

How do humans optimize noisy multi-variable functions in experimental settings?

Imagine an experiment like this: A participant is asked to optimize an unknown function (let's say minimize) . On each trial the participant provides several input values, and receives an output ...
7
votes
2answers
297 views

Is it easier for people to remember longer words than words mixed with symbols?

I'm doing a study on why it is difficult to remember passwords. I would imagine that it would be easier for people to remember a password like "strawberryhouse" than "$tr@wb3rr!", even though the ...
4
votes
1answer
123 views

What neurobiological changes are associated with the end of the critical period in children?

Developing children are in a critical period during which they are much better at learning certain tasks like speaking a language. After the critical period ends, children have a qualitatively more ...
20
votes
1answer
969 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
242 views

Obey any command given suddenly, as in the Jumping Frenchmen of Maine [closed]

There is behaviour I'm looking for information about, below are two examples of this behaviour, although the 2nd example is from fiction. The first example is featured on the TV show QI, "Jumping ...
9
votes
2answers
336 views

Do porn and other remotely perceived entertainments work because of Mirror Neurons?

As you might have known, Mirror Neurons are hypothetically the neuron pair - each of which is carried by other person - that make people to share their feeling although one of them just observes the ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there evidence that listening to music can aid/hinder concentration or performance?

I, like many computer programmers, love to listen to music while I work. I have always believed that music helps me stay focused and motivated, and improves my performance on many types of tasks, ...
6
votes
1answer
272 views

Why do dual N-back games use certain letters?

Every implementation of dual n-back that I've ever seen uses the set of letters 'C', 'H', 'K', 'L', 'Q', 'S', 'R' and 'T'. Why is that?

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