Questions tagged [cognitive-psychology]

For questions focusing on the interaction of many internal mental processes. If your question involves only one of memory, attention, language, decision-making, or perception then use the associated specialized tag instead of cognitive-psychology.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
65
votes
3answers
17k views

Does writing something down help memorize it?

This is a question inspired by this recent question on the Chinese Language & Usage website. Someone asked why they needed to learn how to write Chinese characters, since today we mostly use ...
65
votes
4answers
6k views

What makes people easily subscribe to pseudoscientific theories?

There are many theories/disciplines that have been categorized as pseudoscience in the scientific community. The list includes many things that are regularly even quoted in media like graphology, ...
55
votes
5answers
26k views

Does evidence support Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs?

Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs (shown below) is a popular concept and is often taught in basic psychology courses, and often less objectively taught in Business and Marketing courses. A common problem ...
53
votes
1answer
12k views

By learning to read and write upside down, what did I do to myself?

If you've ever read Encyclopedia Brown books, you'll be familiar with the backwards writing in the back of the book that explains the solution to the case. When I was in my mid-late teens (I don't ...
39
votes
8answers
10k views

What is the current “accepted” science behind dream interpretation?

I'm doing some casual reading about dream interpretation (meaning I'm reading the wikipedia entry) and the article mentions that there are several ways of thinking about dreams from a psychological ...
35
votes
4answers
2k views

Is multitasking a myth?

Often, the term 'multitasking' is applied to very busy and 'wired' people. There is an adage that women multitask better than men. My question is, do we actually multitask? If so, what are the ...
33
votes
2answers
208k views

How valid is Lumosity's Brain Performance Index and what normative information is available?

Background There is a test called Lumosity's Brain Performance Index. A sample profile of scores might be: ...
28
votes
4answers
35k views

Why do you sometimes write down one word while actually intending to write another?

I've caught myself writing (typing) "possible" instead of "possibly" a few times over the past few days, while I do intend to write "possibly". Only upon rereading the sentence I notice my mistake. ...
28
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there psychoactive music?

Listen to this music for X minutes to observe Y result. Is there something like that that has been demonstrated to work for general public? The only example of an experiment that is similar that ...
24
votes
3answers
62k views

Is extreme empathy and compassion considered a disorder?

Can extreme empathy and compassion get to a point where it is considered a disorder? For example, if someone is so empathetic, when feeling someones pain it negatively affects their life to the same ...
23
votes
2answers
11k views

Is it possible to think in a second language?

Those who have learned a second language are guaranteed to consciously think of words and their corresponding meaning in your native language or vice versa. This is common with more "complex" ...
22
votes
3answers
5k views

What, if anything, sets humans apart from other species?

As I grew up, I was taught that the difference between humans and animals was that human beings have free will and animals do not. The basis is that animals will act accordingly to the nature of their ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Why are people inclined to praise or fear the unknown?

Human beings are inclined to "praise" the unknown, and are often afraid of the unknown. This inclination has led to the creation of mythology and many gods. To this date we are still carrying this ...
20
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
998 views

Is the mathematician's activity psychologically healthy?

I am a professional mathematician, and I regularly meet other mathematicians. I have come to wonder if there is something like a slight neurosis, specific to this activity. To be more precise, let ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do people fear statistically unlikely things?

Over 10 times more people die in circulatory diseases than accidents (source). Nevertheless people (in general) fear accidents more than circulatory disease. There are statistically even more ...
17
votes
2answers
829 views

Does any evidence show that Smartphone users have poorer memory?

An ages old complaint is that new technology harms memory. Why remember something when you can look it up? In a course on Human Memory I distinctly recall an interesting discussion on phones and ...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

How is a young child able to learn language so easily?

It's a well known fact that the earlier children are exposed to languages the better, as young children have a better ability to learn new languages than adults. Why is this? At what age does a ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Effect of words highlighting on reading comprehension

I'm interested if there are studies dealing with text understanding and POS (part of speech) coloring, or coloring syntactic/semantic information. The studies should solve the questions like: Which ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Thinking, Fast and Slow vs. Mindfulness vs. Flow

I've been wondering how dual-process theory, which is described in Daniel Kahneman's book "Thinking, Fast and Slow", relates to mindfulness and the state of being in the present moment and the flow ...
16
votes
5answers
14k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
14k views

Is it possible to run multiple thought processes concurrently?

For example, let's say I have a friend sprinting a 50m distance and that friend wants me to time the race, but I don't have a stopwatch so I have to count "manually". Can I count while simultaneously ...
16
votes
1answer
572 views

Do cultures differ in the perception of emotions from body expression?

In their classic study, Ekman and Friesen (1971) identified seven facial expressions recognised by people universally across all cultures as depicting certain emotions: happiness, sadness, surprise, ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Why are most people not persuaded by rational arguments?

The sentence could look as a provocation for many people, but the thoughts are not always rational and linear. But why this happens? Is it possible to give a short answer? "Counter to what you might ...
15
votes
2answers
997 views

Is “brain training” effective?

We've had quite a few questions about "brain training" on this site (see questions tagged brain-training). And the effectiveness of "brain training" has been touched on in several questions (this ...
15
votes
1answer
661 views

Is Behaviorism incompatible with Cognitive Psychology?

Both disciplines have historically been at each other's throats, and Radical Behaviorists like B.F. Skinner often completely reject cognitive psychology at a philosophical level. It seems that today ...
15
votes
3answers
10k views

Body Language: Why do we give each other the grumpy/frowning fake smile?

I've recently become aware of this - I kinda knew I was always doing it, but just now it got me self conscious and thinking about it: When crossing paths with a stranger, you are supposed to be ...
15
votes
1answer
531 views

How does the brain calculate velocity?

How does the human brain calculate velocities? For example, when crossing a road and seeing a car coming towards you, how does the brain actually compute the rough velocity of the vehicle and your own ...
15
votes
1answer
293 views

What does cognitive science say about whether to learn mathematics top-down from research papers?

There is currently a popular question on math.SE on whether it is effective to learn math top-down. By top-down I mean finding a paper that interests you which is obviously way over your head, ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

Is psychology a science?

I've read some books from behavioral economy to emotional intelligence, and it kind of makes sense, but when it comes to psychology it feels to me a bit like astrology, where there are some things ...
14
votes
2answers
438 views

What factors improve mood and increase cognitive functioning when people wake up?

I'm a software engineer doing some research in order to figure out if developing some applications are worth the effort. This work is applied to computational devices including mobile devices and even ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Has there been any serious research on subliminal messaging?

I certainly don't question the existence of subliminal perception which has been demonstrated many times in priming studies like those of Daniel Schacter and many others, nor do I reject the notion of ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the theory of Information Metabolism a reasonable scientific theory?

Background I have been checking out various personality typing assessments lately when I came across a Personality typing system known as Socionics which aims at explaining relationships between ...
13
votes
2answers
23k views

Why do people suddenly look back if you look at them for a while?

You possibly are familiar with the following situation, I do not know if this is a researched phenomena or not however. You look straight at somebody for some time and suddenly, even though he or she ...
13
votes
2answers
17k views

Why does repeating one word over and over again sound weird to us after some time?

This effect seems to be observed with almost any word. I would say this phenomenon 'works' for longer and complex words better. When we repeat a word over and over again, it starts to sound very ...
13
votes
1answer
41k views

Why do some days feel fast and others feel slow?

As per the title, why is it some days it just feels like a day can go so fast, yet other days can feel slow? Every day has the same amount of hours, minutes and seconds after all. What is the actual ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the effect of mindfulness practice on cognition?

The following article by ScienceDaily reported on a paper in Psychological Science (Mrazek et al., 2013), claiming that mindfulness training led to improved working memory and GRE scores. These ...
13
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
6k views

Is there a reasonable scientific backing for Carl Jung's type theories?

I have read a lot on how most psychologists reject the Myers Briggs Type Indicator for its lack of scientific backing, but I have yet to find much information on the acceptance of Carl Jung's theories,...
12
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
301 views

How can I find open access journals for cognitive science research?

What open access journals that publish research in cognitive science/psychology exist? Apart from PLOS ONE, are there any other open access journals that publish research in cognitive science/...
12
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the maximum number of objects an average human being can recognize at once?

I'm wondering, how many objects can the average human being can recognize? For example, most of us can't look at this and say how many boxes there are without counting them: But I think we can all ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Effect of Physical Exercise on Intelligence/IQ

I am interested in empirical research relevant to answering the following questions: What is the effect of physical exercise on IQ/intelligence? Does any such effect vary by type of exercise? e.g. ...
12
votes
1answer
218 views

Is post traumatic stress disorder preventable?

Victims of abuse, people exposed to violent situations repeatedly, and people in war zones can develop post traumatic stress disorder as a result. Post traumatic stress disorder is very common and has ...
12
votes
1answer
245 views

Is the depletion effect of self-control reliable?

Although a lot of research (Muraven, 1998) has indicated the ego depletion of self-control, a recent paper (Xu, 2014) claims that they fail to replicate the depletion effect: impaired performance in ...
12
votes
3answers
266 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
282 views

What processes underlies confidence ratings in cognitive decision-making?

Many experiments in cognitive psychology and other domains ask for confidence ratings (e.g., on a 0-100 scale, 100 meaning "I'm sure I experienced this stimulus"). What accounts describe how these ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the primary source of the “mount stupid” graphic?

Online descriptions of the Dunning-Kruger effect are often accompanied by a "mount stupid" graphic similar to the below - from a Psychology Today article: However, the research paper does not contain ...