psychology

Mind Hacks: Have an out-of-body experience

May 2, 2011

As I wrote in an earlier post I’ve been reading this wonderful book called Mind Hacks, with tips on how your brain works (and how to fool it). One that I found particularly interesting was the one entitled Have an Out of Body Experience.  The blurb reads: Our regular experience of the world is first […]

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Brain hacks: My polyphasic sleep experiment

December 14, 2010

So, I’ve always enjoyed experimenting with the familiar rhythms of my body.  I’ve tried different diets (you would be surprised at how vibrant you feel just eating rice and vegetables!), exercise regimes, caffeine intake, etc.  It’s the ultimate inquiry science experiments — when I do this, what happens?  It’s particularly interesting to experiment with your […]

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Why people make stupid decisions: Behavioral Economics

December 15, 2009

One of the things that’s puzzling to anyone, and especially us logic-oriented scientists, is how people can look at strong evidence and seemingly ignore it.  They go with their gut, or what they think they know, instead of the data staring them in the face. This is the basis of a huge amount of work […]

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The construction of causal schemes (Blogging from the AAPT)

July 29, 2009

This is the from PERC (Physics Education Research Conference). This talk was by Andrea diSessa (Berkeley), who developed the theory of phenomenological primitives (or p-prims). diSessa’s recent work is looking at how students’ intuitive ideas help them construct meaning.  For example,  Newton’s Law of cooling says that the rate of change of temperature of something […]

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Cognitive and Neural Aspects of Learning (Blogging from the AAPT)

July 29, 2009

This is the beginning of the PERC (Physics Education Research Conference).  This talk was by Michael Posner, about how brain science informs us about effective classroom learning. Brain research gives us insight into the process of how people learn and understand, including techniques like fMRI.  Neuroimaging contributes to our understanding of how we should teach. […]

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The Chemistry of Kissing

July 19, 2009

Since I’m woefully behind in posting on my own blog, I’m grateful to Sarah over at a Schooner of Science who wrote up an interesting article on the Chemistry of Kissing.  I was meaning to write something on this topic for a while, actually, since there was an interesting symposium at the AAAS Meeting in […]

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Self-refilling soup bowls: An idea whose time should never come

July 6, 2009

One of my favorite blogs, when I get a chance to actually read it, is Cognitive Daily.  They give you all sorts of wonderfully written tidbits and tests from the world of cognitive science.  Fascinating stuff. A recent study highlighted on the blog — self-refilling soup bowls — concerned what happened to how much people […]

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The science of attractiveness

February 27, 2009

A recent volume of Science News had a feature article about attraction and the evolutionary basis of our conception of what makes someone beautiful.  As writer Elizabeth Quill says (I love this quote) — “For humans, there is osmething captivating and unforgettable about the arrangement of two balls, a point and a horizontal slide on […]

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We remember our 20’s and 30’s more because of what happens to us then

December 16, 2008

That long blog post title is the summary of a very interesting piece of research just written up in Cognitive Daily.  This is worth going over and taking a peek at the original post, because it’s quite an interesting piece of research. The research question was whether people’s memories follow a predictable pattern.  After all, […]

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[NASW] This is your brain on marketing

October 27, 2008

[CASW New Horizons; Baba Shiv, Professor of Marketing, The Frinky science of the human mind] Note that all papers on today’s talks are at sciencewriters2008.stanford.edu Baba Shiv is the guy who did the famous study on perception of the quality of wine being intimately connected to how expensive people thought the wine was.  This talk […]

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[NASW] Pain is in the brain

October 27, 2008

[CASW New Horizons: Sean Mackey, Pain Management] I was telling another writing as I walked into this session, “I must be in the wrong business.” All the psychology talks are much more interesting than the other ones on stem cells and bioterrorism. This morning is Sean Mackey talking about pain perception. This is fascinating stuff. […]

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[NASW] Talking machines

October 26, 2008

[CASW New Horizons: How talking machines can manipulate our brains, Clifford Nass] I usually hate hearing about robots, I find pure technogeek stuff incredibly boring. But talk to me about research on the human brain and behavior and I’m rapt. This was an incredible talk with a constellation of research studies on how speech and […]

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