8
votes
2answers
524 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
756 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
750 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
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 ...
20
votes
5answers
599 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does neuroplasticity decrease in adults?

Although adult brains are malleable and even undergo limited neuorgenesis, the extent of the neuroplasticiy is much lower than in children. This is most obvious in language acquisition, and recovery ...
14
votes
1answer
791 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
594 views

Longitudinal mobile mood tracking app with random reminders

The goal is to take simple measurements of mood using Likert scale over an extended period of time (e.g. two months). I know there is a large number of mobile apps for tracking mood on every ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Modern treatments of Alan Turing's B-type neural networks

In the cognitive sciences Alan Turing is best known for launching AI with his Computing machinery and intelligence (1950). However, this was not his first contribution to the cognitive sciences, in ...
13
votes
1answer
355 views

What are the minimal requirements for successful gamification?

I am very interested in the concept of Gamification, the idea (used here on Stack Exchange) that by making mundane tasks into a game, you can elicit desired behavior from users of software. (For ...
12
votes
2answers
225 views

Have the core CBT “Thinking Errors” been found to NOT be effective in evidence-based clinical practice?

This is his chart of the ten "thinking errors." It's taken from The Feeling Good Handbook. Table 3–1. Definitions of Cognitive Distortions ALL-OR-NOTHING THINKING: You see things in black-and-white ...
11
votes
3answers
235 views

Is there a random walk theory that can account for situations with more than two choices?

In the article "Two-stage Dynamic Signal Detection: A Theory of Choice, Decision Time, and Confidence" from 2010 by Pleskac and Busemeyer, a random walk model is presented for situations where a ...
9
votes
1answer
381 views

Do characters in a dream have their own separate thoughts or identity?

I am very curious as to if any research has been done in this area, or if such a question even can be researched given the current tools and methods available to cognitive scientists. When one dreams, ...
6
votes
1answer
602 views

What positive writing exercises improve happiness?

Writing seems like a perfect medium for expressing ones problems but can it also be used to improve happiness somehow? Maybe through some sort of creative writing exercises that focus on positive ...
6
votes
2answers
372 views

Is procrastination greater when skill is low and rewards offer low status boost and does this lead to efficient task allocation in groups?

I am very interested in procrastination, because it is such a clear sign of lack of motivation. I have a hypothesis about why we procrastinate, which I would like to get tested by you. The assumption ...
1
vote
1answer
293 views

How does cognitive science explain the origins of intuition and intelligence, that accurately describes the laws of nature?

What is the origin of non-incremental, revolutionary intuition and intelligence? For example, a human mind like Albert Einstein's can "come up" with revolutionary ideas and theories that correctly ...
13
votes
1answer
612 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
509 views

Does intelligence cause greater alcohol consumption?

I just stumbled on a blog post that asserts that more intelligent people drink more than less intelligent people. The author writes: Controlling for a large number of demographic variables, such ...
13
votes
2answers
324 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
192 views

What defines the easiest time to get out of bed in the morning for humans?

I'm interested in sleep research, and sometimes in conversations with people the following idea gets discussed: "A person becomes aware at a certain time in the morning and feel great(while still in ...
12
votes
3answers
791 views

In what ways can neurons fire randomly?

When developing a model of a biologically-plausible neural network, it is important to know all the circumstances under which neurons can fire. But, I am limiting this question to random firing. In ...
11
votes
2answers
257 views

How can the success of Bayesian models be reconciled with demonstrations of heuristic and biased reasoning?

In recent years, Bayesian models of cognition have been used - with considerable success - to explain human reasoning in a variety of inferential tasks (Chater, Tenenbaum, & Yuille, 2006). These ...
11
votes
1answer
232 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
2answers
4k views

How is fasting related to insomnia?

Yesterday I started a new diet using intermittent fasting. For this reason I only ate one meal all day. I was pretty surprised how well I passed that day: I studied a lot, did some sports and ...
10
votes
1answer
131 views

What happens when a person “imagines” how food could taste like just from looking at it?

What processes are triggered by imagining the taste of food (let's assume it's sealed so that its smell doesn't reach the test subject's nose) only by looking at it, based on memories of food with ...
10
votes
2answers
154 views

Measuring the adoption of norms

I'm trying to make a survey and I'm having trouble to find a scale to measure the adoption of norms. The people who fill in the survey have to think about a situation in which they were ashamed. For ...
9
votes
1answer
342 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
274 views

How are people able to wake themselves up after a pre-specified amount of time?

Auto-suggestion seems to work. Several people I know seem to be able to tell themselves "I'll wake up after 'N' hours/minutes", and do so within a minute or two of that duration. I thought for a ...
8
votes
2answers
107 views

Does not consistently providing a reward strengthen operant conditioning?

When learning about Operant Conditioning, I remember being taught that not consistently rewarding the desired behavior could (seemingly counterintuitively) actually increase the strength of learning ...
7
votes
1answer
80 views

Can attention be improved to reduce the frequency of mistakes?

There is a class of error that is sometimes colloquially referred to as "not paying attention". These are the sorts of error where the subject knows the correct way to perform a task, but fails to ...
7
votes
0answers
194 views

Does data support Domhoff's neurocognitive theory of dreams?

Background: A friend described consistent feelings and themes during a dream. It is my understanding that the contents of our dreams are our subconscious/unconscious/preconscious processing stimuli ...
7
votes
3answers
177 views

Abstract idealized mental visualization improves motor task performance

I practice martial arts (Aikido), which involves a lot of rotation. When practicing, I find that holding an abstract image in my head, instead of thinking about the actual technique, improves my ...
7
votes
1answer
133 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
135 views

The “Backwards Bike” and implications for how we think

Here's a video of a guy learning to ride a "backwards bike", if you turn the handles left, then the wheel goes right. It took the guy forever to learn to ride a backward bike. He kept remarking that ...
6
votes
1answer
140 views

Is there a relation between speed of executing a task and ones intelligence?

I recently came across a code refactoring problem. Considering the risk of getting into a risky bug later I switched to my usual mode of think and solve it, rather than go and make the changes fast. ...
6
votes
1answer
520 views

Can hypomania be induced by just thinking quickly and variably?

Emily Pronin and Daniel Wegner have shown that fast and variable thinking induces positive affect. This is independent of thought content. Sheri Johnson has noted that the key things that might start ...
6
votes
1answer
149 views

Can learning styles be changed?

Fleming's model of learning suggests 3 types of learners : Visual: Learns by visually taking screenshots of data or by remembering pictures/scenes etc. Auditory: Learns by hearing; can be by hearing ...
5
votes
2answers
170 views

Is perfectionism related to OCD?

Is it right to say that a really strong attitude and stubbornness to do something is really similar to an obsession? I'll try to explain better what I mean. Let's take a really good developer or a ...
5
votes
2answers
117 views

What correlation is there between breath control and personal self confidence?

In yoga, the instructor mentioned that controlled deep breathing can increase self-confidence. (Next time, I will ask him why he believes that but I doubt he has any references...) Furthermore, ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Does IQ affect learning speed?

Supposedly, people of higher levels of intelligence do learn faster than people of lower levels of it. But this is an awfully coarse observation, and different people can learn at drastically ...
4
votes
3answers
391 views

How do personality tests work that require you to choose one of two statement that applies most to you?

There are different kinds of psychometric tests, I think the numerical and verbal ones are fair enough, I can see their usefulness. However, I cannot understand how the 'soft' psychometric tests work ...
1
vote
2answers
168 views

What books should I study to have a decent understanding of psychology?

Background: I am a student currently doing my undergraduate degree (Electrical and Electronics, if it interests anyone). I am very much interested in studying psychology. I have read quite a bit on ...
0
votes
1answer
308 views

Which is the scientific name of stubbornness?

Some people are stubborn, with strong, absolute beliefs, and it's really hard to change the ideas. They tend to see just the evidence that confirms their ideas. What is the scientific name of this ...
14
votes
1answer
161 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
224 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
163 views

Food sharing and mutual aid among the homeless

Since the time of Peter Kropotkin, it's been observed and theorized that cooperation and mutual aid are more common in austere environments. A classic biological example would be slime mold ...
11
votes
2answers
512 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
273 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
1answer
4k views

Are there benefits to learning to write with your non-dominant hand?

There are some articles on the web that recommend learning to write with your non-dominant hand to get in touch with your inner child or a higher power, increase your creativity and be more ...

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