# All Questions

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### 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 ...
265 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 ...
210 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 ...
147 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 ...
182 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 ...
103 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
327 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 ...
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 ...
365 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 ...
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 ...
197 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 ...
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, ...
410 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 ...
257 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 ...
21k views

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 ...
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 ...
272 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 ...
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 ...
223 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 ...
995 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 ...
234 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 ...
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 ...
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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 ...
223 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 ...
336 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 ...
213 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 ...
509 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 ...
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 ...
948 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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### 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 ...
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 ...
230 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, ...
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. ...
256 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 ...
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? ...
131 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? ...
265 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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### 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 ...
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 ...
231 views

### Why do participants prefer to give input values that are “round numbers”?

Background I have just been analysing some data where participants attempt to control a dynamic system with integer numeric inputs between 0 and 100. I've noticed that there is a general tendency for ...
569 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 ...
432 views

### Why is an image of a face without features disturbing?

Below is a snapshot of an article linked from LinkedIn today. What I find more disturbing than the topic at hand is the featured image used to head up the article. Clearly it's important to provide ...
171 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 ...