33
votes
4answers
5k views

Is Golden Ratio's association with perceived beauty a myth?

Many people advocate using the Golden Ratio in design (e.g. logo design). Is the Golden Ratio's purported aesthetic appeal supported by scientific evidence?
14
votes
2answers
1k 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 ?
7
votes
0answers
505 views

Cultural brain hypothesis and gene-culture co-evolution

Recently, Joseph Henrich of UBC has been promoting his cultural brain hypothesis. The goal is to explain a selection pressure behind the development of the human brain and general intelligence. The ...
9
votes
1answer
155 views

Does typical duration of Short Term Memory differ between tasks?

The duration of Short Term Memory is a fuzzy thing; Wikipedia notes several disputes over it's length and I recently alluded to this fuzziness myself. However, I wonder if part of the apparently ...
9
votes
1answer
211 views

What is the distribution of performance in academic programming subjects?

On Programmers SE there is a popular question about scientific evidence for whether some people either are or are not able to program. One person cites an unpublished manuscript by Dehnadi and ...
6
votes
1answer
443 views

Does breastfeeding lead to increased intelligence?

Several studies suggest that breast-fed babies become more intelligent children than formula-fed babies (e.g., Lucas et al 1992). Questions To what extent overall does research support the ...
4
votes
1answer
160 views

Is there cognizance or meta-awareness of classical conditioning?

Behaviorism's initial popularity was largely due to it's ability to take cognition and consciousness out of the equation; bringing it close to something that could be tested completely objectively by ...
6
votes
0answers
120 views

Chunking Patterns and Enjoyment of Applying Patterns

I've been reading a book "The Theory of Fun in Game Design" it talks about two concepts of psychology that I wanted to confirm are true. The writer the book isn't a psychologist. The two concepts ...
7
votes
2answers
964 views

What is the average amount of new vocabulary adults retain when learning a second language?

What are the realistic/optimal (or maximal) number of words of vocabulary that can be learned (retained and later successfully accessed) by an adult learner of a foreign/second language? (Unit: Per ...
9
votes
3answers
353 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
1answer
230 views

Is religiousness a genetically heritable feature?

I know that parent beliefs have very strong influence on child, but is it possible that genetic factor also play a role? I doubt that the content of any religion could be heritable through genes nor ...
16
votes
0answers
229 views

Development of social cognition as an alternative to the obstetrical dilemma

Human infants are strange in that they are born more helpless than the infants of other great apes. They are born with about 25-30% of their brain developed, compared to the 40-50% of other great ...
17
votes
1answer
322 views

Do personality survey responses correlate to the success or failure of minimum wage employees?

I recently watched a friend fill out a personality survey for a minimum wage job. These surveys generally have a few dozen to as many as a couple hundred statements with which the applicant must ...
10
votes
2answers
170 views

Computational Model Linking Neural Activity to Behavior

A big question in neuroscience is how neural activity represents knowledge. We can use modelling to explore how different levels of neural activity- subthreshold currents, action potentials, local ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

Measuring meta-intelligence

Does anyone know of any research in measuring metacognitive abilities (i.e. metacomprehension, metamemory, meta-emotions(?), etc) in people? In other words, I'm wondering if the same way we have IQ ...
5
votes
1answer
103 views

What makes the difficulty of an arithmetic item? The operation or its length?

When presenting someone with an arithmetic item, let's say 2+2, what makes it difficult? Is the item 2+2+2 only longer, or also more difficult? Does the mental operation of addition make the ...
6
votes
1answer
74 views

What psychophysical research published its data?

Can you point to published research in psychophysics that made its original* data available? *by 'original' I mean the trial-by-trial responses for each subject, and not some kind of aggregate that ...
56
votes
5answers
8k 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. ...
14
votes
1answer
156 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
109 views

Which type of stimulus results in an optimal learning curve for rats and mice?

When using operant conditioning to train mice or rats, what type of stimulus is most effective? For example, does a negative reinforcement of a loud noise have a more profound effect than a negative ...
10
votes
1answer
127 views

Does teaching a bird an artificial task like eating from a feeder hurt its performance in the wild?

Can training a wild animal through operant conditioning somehow cause the animal to forget or be unable to perform tasks which it had perviously learned? Is it likely that training wild animals ...
37
votes
3answers
3k views

What makes people easily subscribe to pseudoscientific theories?

There are many theories/disciplines that have been categorized as pseudoscience in the scientific community. The list includes many things that are regularly even quoted in media like graphology, ...
8
votes
0answers
131 views

Do the motivations and fears behind Enneagram have any scientific reasoning?

Background The Enneagram personality typing system defines set of motivations and basic fears for its nine personality types among people. The system seems to be aimed at personal development of a ...
12
votes
1answer
378 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
2k 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
0answers
181 views

Human behaviour in one-shot perfect information games

Background A one-shot game is one where two participants have some set of actions $\{1, ... , n\}$, they make their decision on which option to take (without knowing the decision of their partner, or ...
13
votes
3answers
433 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
228 views

What is the mechanism explaining the effect of a positive attitude on immune system functioning?

It seems likely that a positive attitude can speed up the healing process. but I can't decide by what mechanism it would operate by. Questions Does having a positive attitude improve immune system ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

What conditions are associated with more intense feelings and stronger reactions to stimuli? [closed]

What conditions are associated with more intense feelings and stronger reactions to stimuli? i.e., where someone may normally feel small amounts of happiness, pleasure, sadness, grief, etc., someone ...
8
votes
1answer
95 views

Reproducible meta-analysis in psychology

I am a big proponent of reproducible data analysis. In particular, I like when researchers share documents in formats like Sweave and knitr which weave statistical output (e.g., text, tables, and ...
9
votes
0answers
59 views

What are some known roles or correlations of glucocorticoid receptor function to behaviour?

The NR3C1 gene encodes for a neuron-specific glucocorticoid receptor (GR), of which methylation levels have been shown to relate to altered maternal care and stress response in rodents (Weaver et al., ...
4
votes
0answers
92 views

Technical model of how babies and young children learn suited to a parent with an engineering background?

Background: I'm looking forward to be a father come fall. My son will have Downs Syndrome, so there are a lot of early interventions we have to think about to support our son - logopedics, ...
6
votes
2answers
958 views

Is there a correlation between facial features and personality?

Background: From block buster movies, to Snow White and the Seven Dwarf's, characters with certain personality and mental traits are portrayed looking a certain way. For example, the clumsy one has ...
4
votes
2answers
398 views

What is a source of case studies of personality disorders?

What is a good source for case studies on a broad range of personality disorders? I'm a writer and I'm interested in reading some case studies for character work. I've found some websites with ...
8
votes
1answer
132 views

Problem understanding the calculation of normative (Bayesian) base rates

I am having trouble understanding Table 1 of Gigerenzer, Hell, and Blank (1988, PDF, table on page 516): Focusing on the Jack row, it is stated that the mean probabilities of Jack being an engineer ...
11
votes
2answers
181 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
153 views

Controlling for response bias in a forced choice memory task

I want to present participants a pair of items $a$ and $b$, each with an association $x$ or $y$. Later on participants will presented with the items singularly, and asked 'what was the association?'. ...
10
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
271 views

Is there an effect of visual expertise on eye movements when examining an image?

In the following linked image, you can see the eye movement traces of a subject examining a bust of Nefertiti (I came across this image while reading the following blog). When I was in grade ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
143 views

Hebbian Learning Rule, Local or Global?

I just learned about the Hebbian Learning Rule. It essentially says "Neurons that fire together, wire together". I'm wondering if the learning rule is affected by the spatial distance of the two ...
7
votes
1answer
119 views

Judgments of similarity between samples of writing

I was thinking last night about the possibility of an experiment that investigates the factors contributing to peoples' judgments of 'stylistic similarity' between two samples of writing. For example, ...
4
votes
1answer
645 views

Reducing adverse impact, discrimination and unfairness when using psychological assessments for selection purposes

How can we reduce adverse impacts such as bias, discrimination, and unfairness when using cognitive ability tests and personality tests for selection purposes in an international context?
4
votes
0answers
333 views

Is human Central Nervous System arousal related to choice of activity?

I'm interested in learning more about the central nervous system (CNS) arousal and the choice of what people do and how they feel about it. Lets define CNS arousal in the context of this question as ...
8
votes
0answers
429 views

How much sleep is required to restore maximum cognitive functioning? [closed]

Background: Recently I have really messed up my sleep schedule due to my procrastination. The internet points to some very basic conclusions but I would like to see actual experiments on effects of ...
8
votes
0answers
130 views

Advantage of active learning on classification tasks

I am looking for a specific type of experimental test of active learning. Given some artificial or natural learning task that consists of classifying inputs $x$ from a large input space $X$. There is ...
4
votes
0answers
90 views

When one activity makes you less distracted doing another activity? [closed]

Background: When I'm coding, I sometimes make tea, and as long as I'm drinking the tea, I find myself more focused. Drinking tea seems to make me focus more. Thus, it seems that while doing something ...
12
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
101 views

Who first used the term 'heuristic' in a cognitive science context?

I seem to recall that Herbert Simon borrowed the term from computer science, but I cannot remember the initial paper in which he made use of this borrowing. A google scholar search reveals some ...
4
votes
1answer
255 views

Is StackExchange.com Addiction Dangerous?

I recently looked at the meta.math.stackexchange.com and found the second anniversary was celebrated. As in the last year's Happy-Birthday post (linked therein) , some people declared the addiction to ...

15 30 50 per page