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Questions tagged [terminology]

For questions about definitions, names, and terms used in the psychology & neuroscience literature.

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165
votes
6answers
12k views

How is it that taking a break from a problem sometimes allows you to figure out the answer?

As a computer programmer, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon: If I am stuck on a particular problem in my work, often if I stop thinking about the problem and do something else, the answer will ...
28
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2answers
3k views

What is an effective metric of complexity for an Artificial Neural Network?

After asking the question What is the most complex neural network... I realized I don't really have a good metric of "complexity" in a general sense. The simplest measure would likely be count of ...
26
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4answers
16k views

Is pedophilia a sexual orientation or a mental disorder?

There are some different claims being made that pedophilia is a sexual orientation rather than a mental disorder. At the moment there seems to be a growing group of psychologists advocating that ...
26
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2answers
4k views

Is there a term for individuals who can “visualize” numbers and advanced mathematics?

I recently saw an episode of 60 Minutes about Jacob Barnett, a 13 year old boy who is currently attending advanced physics classes at a local university and was portrayed by the show as being a child ...
23
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2answers
2k views

Subconscious vs Unconscious

From what I know, we use the term 'subconscious' to refer to the things that we can bring into our conscious. and, we use the term 'unconscious' for things that we can't know, they come automatically ...
22
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2answers
11k views

Is there a term for trying to remember a word, but only remembering its first letter?

This happens to me frequently. I'll say, "Oh you know that guy... uhh... I can't remember his name. But he starts with a 'Z'." You can remember part of the word but not the whole word. Is there a ...
18
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2answers
30k 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 ...
17
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3answers
6k views

What is the term for human beings' tendency to obey without thinking?

I'm wanting to read more about a certain human behavior, but I am not sure what the proper term for it is, so some of the things I am finding aren't what I am looking for. I'm interested in how Humans ...
17
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3answers
18k views

What is the term for when too many choices results in inability to decide?

A common problem is that when offered too many choices, consumers give up and make no choice. Too many options results in no sale where fewer options might have resulted in more sales. It's like the ...
14
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4answers
925 views

Do people have a tendency to stick to one opinion after they formed it?

Scytale's assessment, from the science fiction novel "Dune Messiah" (1969) When a creature has developed into one thing, he will choose death rather than change into his opposite. While reading ...
14
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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
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2answers
3k views

What is the relation between measures, constructs and concepts?

It is uncontroversial to say that the cognitive sciences do not exclusively deal with directly observable phenomena, but nonetheless aim to study the physical causes of behavior and cognition ...
14
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1answer
11k 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, ...
13
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4answers
32k views

Difference between Instinct and Intuition

Sometimes I've heard people using the term gut feeling rather than their 'intuition or instinct' and I'm not sure which one do they mean. So, can both the terms be used interchangeably and simply ...
13
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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
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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 ...
12
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3answers
1k 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 ...
12
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3answers
1k views

Is “gaslighting” a mainstream concept in the cognitive sciences?

The term "gaslighting" (referring to abusive manipulation of the facts to confuse victims) is common in pop-psychology sources, and I have friends who report that their psychologists or psychiatrists ...
12
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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
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1answer
148 views

Learning of new concepts being impeded by an error in previous work

Note: I'm framing this question in terms of tutoring math since that's what I tutor most, though it applies to a wide range of subject matters. I do a decent amount of tutoring, and this is one ...
11
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3answers
44k views

What is the difference between biological and artificial neural networks?

I read that neural networks are of two types: a) Biological neural networks b) Artificial neural networks (or ANN) I read, "Neural Networks are models of biological neural structures," and the ...
11
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7answers
11k views

Are brain waves electromagnetic waves?

Depending upon its activity, the brain emits waves, which represent the summation of individual neurons firing. Are these waves electromagnetic waves?
11
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3answers
508 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 ...
11
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1answer
5k 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
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2answers
405 views

What is the bias/thought process that results in distrust of “formal” knowledge in favor of “folk” knowledge?

An interesting effect I've noticed is that certain groups of people seem to accept "folk knowledge" and value it over significantly better founded "formal" or scientific knowledge. In particular this ...
11
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1answer
171 views

Definition of or research on fun

What does research have to say about defining "fun"--what it is or when it happens? I've found some research on whether or not people rate specific things as fun, and lots of misleading titles with ...
11
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1answer
190 views

Bias towards purchasing tangible vs virtual goods

People may have very little hesitation in spending $3 on a coffee once a week, but when it comes to buying things online, such as virtual goods or services, they are often much more reluctant. Is ...
10
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4answers
787 views

What is the name of the bias when one expects you to possess his knowledge?

What is the name of bias or fallacy when, often while in argument, someone expects you to know the same things as he does. Usually, you just say "well, how should have I known that. I'm not inside of ...
10
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2answers
451 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
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2answers
3k views

What are “Stimulus locked” and “Response locked” in Philiastides & Sajda (2006)

While going through the below-mentioned paper, I came across some plots which were said to be "locked" with reference to either response or stimulus. Does the locking refer to the initiation of the ...
10
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2answers
648 views

What is the difference between solving a problem and acquiring a skill?

Within the confines of cognitive psychology, what is the difference between these two tasks? In the literature, playing chess is generally seen as the exemplar of problem solving. But recently (thanks ...
10
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3answers
5k views

Classification of Attachment Styles

The concept of attachment and different attachment styles has a long tradition in developmental psychology. Mary Ainsworth developed a classification for three different attachment styles that she ...
10
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2answers
1k views

What are the characteristics that make complex problem solving complex?

In real-world problem-solving tasks that many people call "complex" (like flying a jet, programming, fixing a car, fighting a fire - the type investigated by the naturalistic decision making community)...
10
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1answer
190 views

Hearing first but understanding later?

I have experienced this phenomenon several times and checked with other people as well. It goes like this: you hear something, but it's just a sound with no meaning. Some seconds later, you ...
10
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1answer
1k views

Do the motivations and fears behind Enneagram have any scientific reasoning?

Background The Enneagram personality typing system defines set of motivations and basic fears for its nine personality types among people. The system seems to be aimed at personal development of a ...
9
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2answers
258 views

Study on commitment and follow-through

I'm faced with a UX problem of looking for ways to position a website to increase attendance at future "real world" events, and I'm remembering a study once conducted along these lines (details a bit ...
9
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2answers
2k views

Is there a neutral term for people who tend to avoid face-to-face or video/audio communication?

Imagine a person who: Mostly prefers written communication (email, instant messaging) to making phone/video calls or seeing face-to-face Hardly ever watches videos on the internet. Prefers reading At ...
9
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2answers
9k views

What is the difference between Avolition and Laziness?

What is the difference between Laziness and Avolition? They seem behaviorally similar. Is the difference cognitive perhaps?
9
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1answer
255 views

'Model-free' learning in humans

In reinforcement learning, there is a stark distinction between model-based and model-free learning algorithms, where model-free methods don't make use any explicit information about the dynamics of ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Does Stockholm syndrome have an equivalent for victims of stalking?

According to Wikipedia, Stockholm syndrome is: a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of ...
9
votes
1answer
196 views

Is there evidence for a unique isolated internal representation of loved ones?

Some time ago, I've read that the most significant people in a person's life have their own internal representation/model of within the person's mind. For example: An internal representation of a ...
8
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3answers
2k views

What is the name of the cognitive bias where an expert overestimates the knowledge of others?

I'm looking for a name of a cognitive bias that describes the following phenomenon: A person has been exposed to some area of expertise from a very early age (think 7-10), and for an extended period ...
8
votes
2answers
146 views

What is the name of a test presenting words in different colors?

What's the name of this psychological test where you. Read and pronounce words in three colors (red, blue, green). - Words and colors match. - Say word and color (which are the same). As above - ...
8
votes
3answers
222 views

What is the name of the effect whereby socialising in a group reinforces group beliefs?

Background: There's this effect when you have some idea, i.e. that eating other people is (probably) cool, you join the group of like minded people, you talk about how tasty people are, everyone ...
8
votes
2answers
370 views

What is the psychological term for disregarding correct but unwanted information?

Sometimes people seem to be very resistant to information that is in conflict with prior beliefs, even when this new information is very plausible. For example, a patient might change a doctor, ...
8
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3answers
5k views

What is the difference between affect and feeling?

What exactly is the difference between affect and feeling? Affect seems to refer to conscious experience: Affect is the experience of feeling or emotion. And confusingly, so does feeling: In ...
8
votes
2answers
947 views

Is there a scientific term for when you fall asleep because you can't handle something?

I'm wondering if there is a scientific term that describes when you fall asleep or pass out after some traumatic event? This effect happens when people witness something gruesome (a friend being ...
8
votes
4answers
776 views

Is there a specific term for false justifications?

I'm not sure "false justifications" is the right term, but it's the closest I can think of. I'm referring to a situation in which a person has already made up his mind for reasons he won't publicly ...
8
votes
1answer
13k views

What's the difference between projecting and mirroring?

In Psychology 101, I learned about Projecting and Mirroring... I know one is where an individual sees his own problems in other people... I always forget the other concept and/or confuse the two. What'...
8
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2answers
130 views

How are musical hooks defined/studied in psychology?

I know about the common concept of a 'musical hook': a "short riff, passage, or phrase, that is used in popular music to make a song appealing and to 'catch the ear of the listener'." The Wikipedia ...