11
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the effect of viewing pornography on children?

It is generally accepted that porn shouldn't be seen by children, and we even sometimes punish parents who fail to stop their children from finding porn. How much are these laws based in science? Can ...
11
votes
1answer
599 views

Why do humans like being touched?

I wonder why people like to be touched so much, why would it make sense from a evolutionary perspective. I know people enjoy hugs and company of opposite sex but even people from the same sex hug and ...
11
votes
1answer
143 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
160 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
1answer
266 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
213 views

What is the influence of “effort put into pursuing wealth” on happiness?

As presented in the TED talk by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (3:30) repeated research has been unable to show a correlation between happiness and level of material wealth (above a certain minimum ...
11
votes
0answers
185 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 ...
11
votes
0answers
105 views

What do anatomical substrates of conditioned taste aversion tell us about treatment?

Conditioned taste aversions (CTAs) or Garcia effect are a byproduct of feeling ill after we've consumed a certain food. These aversions is present even if the illness is not related to ingestion and ...
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
6answers
2k views

Where to post online psychology studies for participant recruitment?

A common challenge when running psychological studies is getting enough participants. Of course, there are many general strategies for recruiting participants, but I was specifically interested in ...
10
votes
5answers
328 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
2answers
382 views

Folding (wrinkles) in cortex: Why is surface area more important than volume?

When we look at the cortex of the brain, it has a folded structure. It is said that this is because this enables a greater number of neurons to exist, which is obviously advantageous. However, we ...
10
votes
2answers
3k 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
5answers
161 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
203 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
15k 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
414 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
3answers
607 views

Neurotransmitter based imaging techniques

All the brain imaging techniques I know fall into two categories: Tracking blood Either by looking at the magnetic (fMRI), or near-infared absorption (diffuse optical imaging, NIRS) properties of ...
10
votes
2answers
258 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
3answers
21k 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
296 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
273 views

Bias by which we tend to accept vague descriptions of ourselves

There's an effective strategy employed by horoscopes and "psychics" where they say vague statements like "You like being with friends but you value your time alone"; statements that basically "cover ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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
224 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
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
242 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
3answers
2k views

What is the standard way to analyze EEG data in a mismatch negativity paradigm?

I'm running an EEG experiment using a modified auditory mismatch negativity (MMN) design, and I'm wondering if anyone can tell me the best method for data analysis (and recommend any stats ...
10
votes
1answer
196 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
224 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
338 views

What is the term for a psychological effect which does not have a neurobiological/genetic basis?

When a psychological condition is the result of irregular brain structures or neurotransmitter imbalances we say the condition has a neurobiological basis; this is analogous to the classic Nature in ...
10
votes
3answers
217 views

Are older people more likely to be politically conservative and why?

J.Campbell suggest that the difference between age groups on being politically conservative is small. But F.Glamsers article concludes: there was a significant positive correlation between age ...
10
votes
2answers
518 views

What is the “static” in human vision called?

Sort of like a cheap digital Camera, the human eye has certain feedback that's perceived but doesn't actually exist in the real world; a little layer of Static that's especially noticeable in pitch ...
10
votes
4answers
6k views

How to temporarily induce low latent inhibition?

As the Wikipedia article says, High levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine (or its agonists) in the ventral tegmental area of the brain have been shown to decrease latent inhibition. Certain ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How long does it take to refocus after context switching?

Context switching has been highlighted for the toll it takes on productivity at great length, particularly by people who work in software and project management. Are there any ...
10
votes
3answers
113 views

Do safety features cause drivers to engage in more risky behavior than they otherwise would?

It seems to be generally assumed that making cars safer for the occupants will reduce death, injury, and damage from traffic accidents. What are some examples of significant empirical research on ...
10
votes
4answers
45 views

What are the key algorithms for learning optimal behavior of economic agents?

I'm playing around with social learning of near-optimal behavioral rules on a set of agents. The idea is roughly that given an income process (or technology process, depending on the question) an ...
10
votes
2answers
268 views

What is the support for a global personality factor?

The Big 5 is a popular framework for describing major factors of individual differences in personality. More recently, I've been hearing people talking about the utility of conceptualising personality ...
10
votes
1answer
129 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
231 views

What is a reliable physiological measure (e.g., serotonin levels) of positive affect?

Is there a reliable physiological measure or correlate to positive affect? What does research say on this? I thought that serotonin levels are correlated with self-reported happiness levels, but, ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What does “veridicality” mean in terms of psychology?

I'm reading the paper "Visual Space Perception and Visually Directed Action" by Loomis, Da Silva, Fujita and Fukusima (1992; pdf). In this paper, the word 'veridicality' is used in several sentences. ...
10
votes
1answer
259 views

Are there any modern mechanistic theories of motivation?

I remember hearing about the old 'drive' theory of motivation in Psych 101, and despite continuing my cognitive science education for another 4 years, that's the last theory of motivation I've heard ...
10
votes
1answer
48 views

Has there been any research done that contrasts point-based and achievement-based gamification methods?

Stack Exchange is a good example of these two methods of gamification: Reputation Badges I am curious as to whether there has ever been any research done that defines and contrasts these methods? ...
10
votes
1answer
133 views

Are there any studies that examine the phenomenon of songs stuck in the head?

Frequently I hear people say (and myself included) "darn it, I can't get that song out of my head!". Are there any studies that examine this phenomenon of songs getting stuck in people's heads? ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Motivation vs Goal Oriented Behavior

What's the difference between these two terms when used in the context of cognitive psychology? To the best of my knowledge, research on 'Goal Oriented Behavior' refers to the subset of motivation ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Why do people talk fast in presentations when nervous?

I was at a professional development seminar today, and the presenter, while being interesting and knowing his subject admitted to being nervous and was speaking very fast. I know I do this when I am ...
10
votes
3answers
523 views

Is there a cognitive bias for ascribing agency to inanimate objects?

I am curious to know if any research might have been done on this topic or if it is any way even described in scientific literature. It's not uncommon for people to ascribe agency to inanimate ...
10
votes
1answer
126 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
175 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
292 views

How does neural spiking begin in the fetus?

I'm interested in modeling human brain spiking activity. How does the very first spiking activity begin in the fetus? I imagine all spiking activity is initiated by the senses and internal ...
10
votes
1answer
572 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 ...

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