Hot answers tagged

49

Yes, writing increases the modality and attention given to a piece of information. Increasing the effort and the ways that you have experienced a bit of information helps you encode that information better; this is Elaborative Encoding. More generally the more deeply you process a thing the more likely you are to properly encode the memory for future ...


48

There are two great TED talks that together help shed some light on your question: David Deutsch (2005) "A new way to explain explanation", and Richard Dawkins (2009) "Why the universe seems so strange" At a fundamental level, science is about explanation (and sometimes using that explanation to make predictions). Thus, to most people, science is useless ...


40

Negative Transfer A common scientific term to describe what you are talking about is called negative transfer. I.e., where learning one skill actually results in lower performance on another skill. This is contrasted with positive transfer, when learning one skill facilitates performance on another skill. In general (although I don't have refs on hands) ...


28

General thoughts on brain training: Lumosity is a commercial tool that aims to improve brain functioning. In general, I am sceptical of the potential for "brain training programs" to improve cognitive functioning in a generalised way (e.g., see this Nature discussion). Practice is powerful, but tends to be domain specific. So if you want to become skilled ...


26

Mahmoud A. Wahba, Lawrence G. Bridwell, Maslow reconsidered: A review of research on the need hierarchy theory (1976), or a free pdf scan here Its abstract says: The uncritical acceptance of Maslow's need hierarchy theory despite the lack of empirical evidence is discussed and the need for a review of recent empirical evidence is emphasized. A review ...


23

I'm going to disagree with Ben here. My colleague Adam Putnam has spent several years researching whether it's best for memory to speak, write, or even think particular responses out loud. His research has continued to turn up no differences between these different modalities, despite what we know about transfer-appropriate processing and elaborative ...


23

As far as I know, there is no accepted science to dream interpretation. In fact, there's no science to it at all. Evidence has shown that indeed, dreaming draws material from people, places, and things in our lives, but there's absolutely no scientific data out there (that I'm familiar with) that links dreams to anything meaningful in our actual daily lives. ...


23

Scientists studying the matter generally believe multitasking, and women's superiority at it, to be a myth. Men come out slightly better multitaskers than women but there's not really any meaningful difference. The way it's defined is critical though; it's being able to do two things that typically require focal attention at the exact same time. For ...


20

One relevant study by Sparrow et al. (2011) that came out last year in Science was on the "Google effect": When subjects expected that they'd be able to have later access to information, their memory was poorer for it. We can extrapolate to smartphones -- if individuals know they have information at their fingertips, they don't need to worry so much about ...


19

It's theorized that there is a Critical Period of language development in children below the age of five (roughly, as age ranges always are in Developmental Psychology). Probably the most significant and readily verifiable finding is that a critical period exists for the learning of Phonemes. Research has suggested children readily differentiate phonemes ...


19

Yes and No By the standards of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (or DSM-IV in its current form), perhaps the most prominent all-in-one manual to assist physicians in accurately defining a patient's disorder, has specific criteria for a disorder, including: is associated with present distress (e.g., a painful symptom) or disability (...


18

You may be thinking of the Backfire Effect. When presented with logical and rational evidence disputing a strongly-held belief, most people's natural tendency is to hold on even tighter to those beliefs rather than to reassess their position. As for why it happens... that's a matter of some debate (surprise, surprise), but the general thinking seems to be ...


17

It is possible for some people to think in a second language. And given that you are asking about possibility, to some extent anecdotes are evidence. Many children who change linguistic communities at a young age lose the ability to talk in their first language. This is particularly the case where the first language is different to the language in which ...


15

There are at least two problems with measuring high intelligence: (1) Any IQ test has a maximum difficulty. That means that all subjects above a certain intelligence answer all questions correctly and get the same maximum score. This is called the "ceiling effect". Now you might say, that we simply need to construct a test that is difficult enough for even ...


15

"Science" refers to a methodology for obtaining knowledge, and often to the knowledge itself as well. Science is often confused with another term "technology", that refers to the application of such knowledge for practical uses. Some people might incorrectly refer to "computers" and "cars" as examples of "science", when in fact they are examples of "...


14

Neher (1991, FREE PDF) summarises and critically evaluates the theory. From the abstract: This critique of Maslow's theory of motivation examines all of its major components. The theory is summarized and its basic propositions are analyzed in the light of internal logic, other relevant theories, and related research. This examination points up ...


13

Analgesia is the term used for inability to feel pain. Hypoalgesia is the term for low sensitivity to pain. Hereditary sensory neuropathy and Congenital insensitivity to pain are two known syndromes that contain these deficits as their symptoms.


13

I can speak to this question somewhat from a cognitive psychology standpoint. We memory researchers would think of text highlighting like this in terms of distinctiveness. (An article by McDaniel and Bugg (2008) may shed some light.) Simply put, highlighting a word in a different color than the rest of the text draws what we call item-specific processing ...


13

First, it is not only your intuition - there are many experimental results showing that we first perceive the gist of scenes (for example, is it outdoors or indoors?), then the major parts of it (was there an animal, or a human figure in it?) then more and more details (is that figure male or female? what is her expression?) [1] [2]. Note, however, that it ...


12

The Directory of Open Access Journals is a great place to start when searching for Open Access Journals in any field. You can browse through journals for the specific subject areas like Psychology or Neurology, or you can search for journals or articles containing certain keywords. The DOAJ lists articles in multiple languages as well, not just English ...


12

My general sense from reading the intelligence literature is that I would not expect there to be much of a relationship between exercise and intelligence. For example, if you read Neisser et al (1996) you can get an overview of the intelligence literature. From the review, you can get a sense of just how difficult it is to systematically increase ...


12

This is called semantic saturation, or semantic satiation; studies of event-related potentials (brain waves) suggest that it is negatively correlated with N400 amplitude (the subjective experience of satiation increases as the N400 amplitude decreases) without any change to upstream sensory components. As N400 amplitude indexes initial lexical integration--...


12

What you describe is an illusion. (a) The human field of view is almost 180° when staring straight ahead and 270° with eyeball rotation (looking to the side without turning your head). If you look at someone from slightly behind and to the side, they will appear to be gazing forward, and you may feel unnoticed, but in fact you are within their field of view....


11

Particulalry short wavelengths (such a UV light) have been shown to suppress melatonin[1], a hormone that regulates sleep. The authors also show that: All subjects had an elevated cortisol level in the 90 minutes prior to onset of light exposure compared with the corresponding clock time on the previous day So there's a kind daily memory in the ...


11

Using the English language, given two sentences that say the same thing, what makes one more readable than the other? Usually terseness while retaining clarity and removing ambiguity. The exact same things make code more readable. Remove everything that doesn't add anything, but don't remove things that do add information. And avoid ambiguity. In code, we ...


11

Here is a study that creates and manipulates the "song stuck in your head" phenomenon. In particular, it is a myth that only "bad" songs are stuck in your head. These songs can be categorized as intrusive thoughts. Also the obvious finding was that recently heard music was more likely to be stuck in your head. The authors comes up with a term called the "...


11

Rather than discuss limits of the human field of view, or extrasensory perception (I don't know anything about the first, and the second is a myth), I think we can look at this as a simple case of illusory correlation (wikipedia), which is both a psychological phenomenon, and something psychologists need to overcome to investigate other phenomena. In a ...


10

In the book "Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief", Wolpert (2007) discusses the evolutionary origins of belief. Although I haven't read it yet, abc news reviewed the book. Wolpert argues that our wide range of beliefs, some of which are clearly false, grew out of a uniquely human trait. Alone in the animal ...


10

I think cognitive scientists would say that these views are compatible, insofar as cogsci admits results from behaviorism as valid results to be explained by understanding the cognitive constructs underlying them. Obviously (they would say) we have minds, our minds arise from physical processes in our brains, and as such have internal states that sometimes ...


10

I'm not familiar with the paper Ofri cites, but will agree with the OP that recognition is generally considered to be an easier task than recollection, and successful recognition considered weaker evidence for any particular memory phenomenon. One common explanation is that recognition can manifest psychologically simply as a result of the increased ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible