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There is little neurological evidence that finds a difference between men and women. However there are psychological studies that do find a small difference in mental strengths. This interesting TED talk debunking psychological myths by a lecturer from the University of Liverpool discusses the psychological differences between men and women. Males and ...


9

The two main folks in crying research (of whom I'm aware) are Ad Vingerhoets and Jonathan Rottenberg. They've (together and separately) published reviews of adult crying and crying across the lifespan, as well as empirical articles. The general impression they give is that we know very little about the neuropsychobiology of crying, given that crying has ...


6

Short answer Hypothesis (1) Background The question is quite broad, as exemplified by the statement: They may be insecure about their looks, their (odd) behavior, or may question whether they belong to a group (of friends, colleagues and what not). Personally and anecdotally, I think that a healthy self-doubt forms the core of self-reflection and allows a ...


5

Marks and Nesse investigated evolutionary causes of anxiety disorders and reported about embarrassment in particular: Social threats evoke responses that promote group acceptance, for example, submission to dominants and to norms of dress, mien, odor, speech, customs, beliefs. This prevents dangerous extrusion from the group. Mild shyness and ...


5

Too lazy to paraphrase right now, so quoting from a newsletter Brehm [the guy how introduced the notion Psychological Reactance--my note] has made but one remark about why people seem to behave as his theory describes. He wrote that the reactance-emotion may have “survival-value” (Brehm 1966, p. 1-2). This explanation seems quite plausible. People and ...


5

A lot of sources might be of use here, but one thing in your question is not clear to me - when you write "envy", do you mean a kind of resentment towards someone with material possessions that you don't have, or a jealousy in a romantic context? Everything that I would write is about the first meaning, and I have no idea about anything connected with the ...


4

First a couple of definitions: Positive reinforcement occurs when an event or stimulus is presented as a consequence of a behavior and the behavior increases. Negative reinforcement occurs when the rate of a behavior increases because an aversive event or stimulus is removed or prevented from happening. Learning may occur as a result of negative or ...


4

Interestingly, the same question you asked has been asked since quite some time: The Act of Creation, 1964 - Arthur Koestler What is the survival value of the involuntary, simultaneous contraction of fifteen facial muscles associated with certain noises which are often irrepressible? Laughter is a reflex, but unique in that it serves no apparent ...


4

Primatologist Jill Pruetz at Iowa State University in Ames was observing savanna chimpanzees in Senegal and found that chimps there have mastered the first step in controlling fire. However there is this article from worldnewsdailyreport.com, which talks about a group of chimps in the Congo mastering the use of fire through experimentation and observation. ...


4

Just because two phenomena (partially!) share brain architecture does not mean they are experientially similar or opposite. There is little understanding of how neuronal activity creates conscious experiences. There is a lot of controversy in taxonomies of emotion because it is not clear what the emotions are or how many there are. Also, note that ...


4

Before addressing your true question, I just want to say that you can find individuals with almost any characteristic, even non-adaptive ones. Variation can exist for many reasons including genetic (e.g. mutations), or non-genetic reasons such as developmental problems or other environmental causes. But back the true question: How can it be explained ...


3

Short answer Cognitive dissonance arises because people want to protect their world-view or self-concept. Even people well versed in science may deny the facts in favor of false beliefs. Background The question spans three levels of grossly different arenas of research: [Why so people strive for internal consistency [] at the expense of truth? This is ...


3

The evolution of higher intelligence in hominids is an empirically difficult enough evolutionary question that (a) it might be better for biology.se and (b) any answer needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, but I'll give you a feel for it. By that I mean, "watch the way multiple accidents of evolutionary history made evolution more favourable among our ...


3

In addition to @mrt's great answer. I feel that the following excerpt from the 'crying' section from the "The Newborn Infant" chapter in my Developmental Psychology classes' textbook would shed light on your question. This is quoted directly from "How Children Develop, Third Edition" by Robert Siegler, Judy DeLoache and Nancy Eisenberg": How do you feel ...


3

I'll try to roughly answer your question. It's not an easy one, and by no means does it have a narrow answer. Scientists have suggested, like you mentioned that stories show a lot about the basis of human thought So why do we like stories at all? From "The Storytelling Animal" (Jonathan Gottschall) “Some thinkers, following Darwin, argue that the ...


3

Human's fear of the dark comes from our evolutionary past. Scientists believe it is genetically encoded in our DNA to be afraid of the dark due to the attacks of predators on our ancestors mostly occurring at night. Our ancestors who were afraid of the dark survived predator attacks and thus lived, transferring that trait to us. Fear is normal and usually ...


2

Is there a name for this phenomenon in cognitive science? What you are describing is a number of things that in general have to do with attention and memory. The first one of them is priming. Memory can be both conscious and unconscious, or declarative and implicit, and attended vs unattended. I've always found the names a bit confusing, but in short ...


2

According to Howard Gardner and his theory of Multiple Intelligence, I can propose that there is no link between IQ and the ability to mimic sound. The IQ test (originating in the work by Alfred Binet) is not a measure of intelligence pre-se, but rather a measure of the ability of the subject to comprehend in the manner expected. [Look for Gardner's ...


2

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/dec/12/japan.justinmccurry Here they talk about scientist who shut down fear of cat in mice behavior. After genetic engineering the mouse isn't afraid of the cat smell. The conclusion of this study is that fear (at least in this case) is not learned through experience, but a consequence of genetic evolution. In the end, ...


2

I agree. The connection between having sex and the pain of labor is so distant, it seems unlikely that it could be selected against. In theory though, there could be enough time in human history for it to have happened, especially early on when child mortality was much higher than now. If every mother who remembered extreme pain in labor never gave birth ...


2

I just finished a special issue on 'Humans - Why we're unlike any other species on the planet' (Sci Am, September 2018). In this issue, Kevin Laland has a paper (How we became a different kind of animal) and he nicely abstracts the answer to your question in your question title: Why are we the smartest species on the whole known universe?, namely: ...


2

Hutchinson, B. (2002), an article in the book Synergy Matters by Adrian M. Castell may help in understanding what is meant by bottom up thinking and the opposite, top down thinking. [T]he term ‘top down’ is used to describe an approach to problem solving where the problem space is defined first. The worldviews of the participants are ...


1

First, it must be understood that not all traits in an animal are evolved or selected traits – some are only variations. Some of these variations may be selected by some evolutionary pressure in the future and then become evolved or selected traits. For example, each of the various hair colors (black, brown, blond, red, white, etc.) is not an evolved or ...


1

Children have high pitched voices relative to adults because their vocal folds are shorter and physics demands that short vocal folds result in higher pitches. The format frequencies of children are also higher than adults due to shorter vocal tract lengths. I think your question is, is there a speech communication reason for the vocal folds and vocal ...


1

If I were to guess, the reason is probably something to the effect of: because children would not understand since they lack the same (or same level of) sexual urges that adults have. Another thought that comes to mind is maybe parents are afraid (or even ashamed) of their children seeing them (the parents) acting essentially like non-human animals. Sexual ...


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