Cognitive Daily

Archives for January, 2006

Chad Orzel has challenged the ScienceBloggers to come up with the greatest experiments in their respective fields. While Greta and I are reluctant to say this is the greatest experiment ever (there are so many great experiments!), we both independently came up with the same one: Roger Shepard and Jacqueline Metzler’s 1971 experiment on mental…

Seeing emotions in dots

Point-light displays can tell us an amazing amount about other people. Looking only at a few glowing spots corresponding to joints and set in motion, we can tell what people are doing, whether they are over- or underweight, and even identify a friend among strangers. We can also identify animals or determine the emotional state…

Now that we’re settling in to our new home, we’d like to introduce a fun new feature to Cognitive Daily: Casual Fridays. Every Friday, we’ll post a quick, nonscientific survey or experiment for you to participate in. These “studies” will be very, very short — fewer than five questions for surveys, and for experiments, the…

There was a fascinating article in the Washington Post last May about Dilbert creator Scott Adams’ battle with focal dystonia. Though the symptoms of this disorder are involuntary muscle contractions (in Adams’ case, his right pinky finger), the root of the problem is in the brain. For Adams, it has meant suspending his cartooning career…

Moving Day

Welcome to the new Cognitive Daily! If you’ve been a regular visitor to the old Cognitive Daily, then I don’t expect you’ll find much has changed. Cognitive Daily, whether in our old digs or with our snazzy new host, is a great place to read about peer-reviewed psychology research explained in language that everyone can…

The Flying Spaghetti Monster (source: verganza.org) is a satirical retort to advocates of “intelligent design,” created as a joke to mock the belief that some “intelligent designer” created life. While the Flying Spaghetti Monster is funny, no one takes it seriously. Meanwhile, belief in a Christian God is stronger than ever, and advocates of the…

My son Jim loved his bottle when he was a baby. By about 15 months of age, he loved baby formula so much that he was going through over a hundred dollars’ worth a week — more than the rest of the food budget for the entire family! (Yes, we were buying the powdered stuff,…

Much of the research on violent video games, like a vast proportion of all psychological research, has focused on college students. This shouldn’t be surprising, since most college psychology departments require students to participate in experiments as a part of the Introduction to Psychology course. It’s an easy way for researchers to find human participants,…

Kids love robots. I have a three-year-old friend who can identify the 1950s cult icon Robbie the Robot at 20 paces. My own son Jim could do an impressive multi-voiced impression of R2D2 by age five. Now that real robots are beginning to be everyday household items (when I was a kid, if I’d known…