11
votes
4answers
449 views

Why is training better when following an easy-to-difficult schedule?

As suggested in the answer to this question, experimental results show that training is most effective when it follows an easy-to-difficult schedule. What theories and specifically computational ...
11
votes
2answers
773 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
6k views

Is there an accurate online IQ test for measuring 160+ IQs?

Is there some (preferably free) online and accurate IQ test? One which does not give me an genius IQ and then tries to sell me a diploma. I need one which measures upto 160 sd15 (or higher). Such a ...
11
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the psychology behind male pornographic actors having larger than average penises?

There is a question What does scientific research say about the relationship between penis size and attractiveness? This answer and this link give the statistics of penis size. Given these ...
11
votes
2answers
163 views

Which are the multisensory brain areas?

What would be an example of a multisensory brain area, where multiple senses (e.g. smell and taste) are combined to decode the corresponding stimuli from more than one sensory organ? I was thinking ...
11
votes
3answers
456 views

Why do people avoid taking the last “donut”?

In many contexts (family, colleagues, etc), say there is a box of donuts for people to take (or any kind of treat or snack). A lot of the times we can observe that there will be only one left and ...
11
votes
2answers
587 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
2answers
294 views

Why don't people listen to smart people?

Generally speaking, I feel like there are two things everyone can agree on when it comes to intellectuals: They don't know everything. They know more than me (at least about a particular topic). ...
11
votes
1answer
245 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 ...
11
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

What was the experiment where you pour liquid from a tall container to a short one and ask a child which has more?

From Developmental psychology 101 I remember an experiment where the person conducting the experiment would pour liquid from a tall, narrow container into a short, narrow container and ask a child if ...
11
votes
2answers
184 views

To what extent do individuals vary in their ability to mentally visualise?

Background: Yesterday I was shocked when a friend of mine told me that he can see only "completely black darkness" when he closes he eyes. When I close my eyes, I can see some images or "movies" of ...
11
votes
1answer
214 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
744 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
260 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

What transient factors affect performance on IQ tests?

While performance on intelligence tests aim to measure an underlying relatively stable trait, there are presumably a range of transient factors that could temporarily lower or possibly even raise ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
155 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? ...
11
votes
1answer
256 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, ...
11
votes
1answer
2k 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. ...
11
votes
1answer
293 views

Is there a practical limit to the amount of knowledge a human can learn?

There's definitely progressive interference and retroactive interference, which are basically two ways that old memories and new memories can interfere with each other. But on the other hand, do ...
11
votes
1answer
525 views

To what extent are correlations of father's age with birth defects and autism causal?

I read the following in the paper today: Dr Karin Hammarberg ... said that while most children are born healthy, large studies of parental age were starting to show higher rates of birth ...
11
votes
2answers
168 views

Perception of probability of being right

The probability that people percept may be different from the real one due to a number of factors, including the form in which their are presented, their context and biases (due to misinformation or ...
11
votes
1answer
552 views

What are biological primary mathematical skills?

In doing a bit of background reading for this question I came across a section in the book Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind on page 602 stating: There are no sex-related differences ...
11
votes
2answers
416 views

What are different ways to determine centroids of fMRI activation, their drawbacks and perks?

I'm reading an older article on bilingualism (Kim, Relkin, Lee, & Hirsch, 1997) for a seminar. They were interested in the spatial separation of two languages in early and late bilinguals. They ...
11
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
292 views

Are there third party providers of Mechanical Turk psychology experiment services?

For various reasons it can be difficult to run a Mechanical Turk experiment (i.e., you don't have the technical expertise, you don't reside in the United States, etc.) Have any third-party providers ...
11
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
209 views

Is there any recent work on modeling how we rapidly acquire new knowledge?

I work with neural network models of human cognition a lot, and one thing that bugs me about them is the timescale: they learn over thousands of trials whereas humans seem to learn after a couple ...
11
votes
2answers
200 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
266 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
370 views

Under what conditions does 60hz video produce visual artifacts?

There are some important thresholds of frame rate in video playback that effect whether or not animation appears fluid. This wikipedia page about Visible Frame Rate suggests that a framerate of 60 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the relationship between priming and anchoring?

I've recently been dabbling in the behavioral literature, reading about cognitive biases such an anchoring, when one of my friends asked me how this phenomenon differed from the classical cognitive ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the scientific term for unexpected, spontaneous dream recall?

I'm interested if there's a term for spontaneous dream recall. I will try to define the phenomenon I'm talking about. Over 10 years ago, I started to notice that I can spontaneously recall dreams, ...
11
votes
1answer
178 views

Problems with using personal feedback to motivate participation in an online psychological experiment?

I am planning on running an online psychological experiment where participants must learn about various simulated environments and then make inferences about them. Because completing the experiment ...
11
votes
2answers
273 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
2answers
283 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How well can a human-generated “random number” be predicted?

For example, if i ask an individual to write a 20-number-long sequence of random numbers from 0 to 10. How well can I predict the 20th number from the initial 19? More generally, How well can ...
11
votes
1answer
187 views

What constructs help explain limited cognitive processing and the cognitive effects of rules that limit decision making choices?

Supposed that I'm a married man, and my wife asks me to pick out a paint color for our new house. It's not terribly mentally taxing. However, my wife starts to add rules. The color can't be too ...
11
votes
1answer
457 views

Sensory Immersion Research?

Sensory deprivation is a relatively common technique for medititation and general consciousness-exploration. However, I'm more interested in sensory immersion. That is, deliberate overstimulation as ...
11
votes
3answers
130 views

Are there any pragmatic uses of hallucinogens?

Hallucinogens (psilocybin, LSD and others) are often regarded as risky substances, therefore they are banned in most places. Are there ways of using these substances that can be beneficial? Or in ...
11
votes
1answer
454 views

What is the effect of studying logic or mathematics on general thinking skills?

I frequently hear comments from people to the effect that "Studies have shown that students who take (intro) logic courses don't show any signs of improvement in logical/rational/critical thinking." ...
11
votes
2answers
208 views

Can the Philosophy thought game “The experience machine” be answered by Positive Psychology?

In Philosophy, a thought game exists called "The experience machine" {1}. In summary, it's a machine you plug into that enables you to always experience positive events, and never negative ones. One ...
11
votes
1answer
498 views

What are the effects of alcohol on muscle memory?

Muscle memory (also referred to as "motor memories") is a form of procedural memory, which is a form of implicit memory. I'm particularly interested in trained tasks like throwing a dart, shooting a ...
11
votes
1answer
296 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
118 views

Are staircases more efficient than the method of constant stimuli?

A Bayesian Quest adaptive procedure (Watson and Pelli 1983) is the theoretically most efficient procedure for estimating thresholds under a certain, potentially unrealistic, set of constraints. In my ...
11
votes
1answer
262 views

At what point does a complex become pathological?

I've a first question so I apologize if the format is completely awry. I'm reading Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature and I came across this passage by Edward C. ...
11
votes
1answer
590 views

What structures in the brain are called upon to strengthen coupling between bilateral movements?

It is very difficult for the normally-coordinated person to be able to pat his/her head and rub his/her stomach at the same time (or pick a similar activity). It seems to be possible to maintain the ...
11
votes
1answer
205 views

Is it actually helpful to write todo lists?

I've watched these two videos recently How to Get things done which contains some tips from David Allen's book, "Getting Things Done", and the other video How to hack your todo list which also ...

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