Cognitive Daily

Archives for March, 2006

Casual Fridays: Corrected vision

Our son Jim doesn’t like wearing his glasses, so we got him contacts. Then we found out that he wasn’t wearing his contacts, so about a month ago we made him start wearing his glasses again. Today at our parent-teacher-student conference, his English teacher remarked that today was the first time she had ever seen…

Last week’s Casual Friday study attracted the most e-mails and questions we’ve ever received. It also attracted the largest number of responses ever: we cut it off at 400, before our Surveymonkey bill got too large (this is probably thanks mostly to our mention in the Seed Daily Zeitgeist on Monday). What was all the…

When emotions make you see colors

A Witches’ Bible states that “the sensitive is psychically aware of character qualities, or emotional or spiritual states, in the subject, and this awareness presents itself to him or her as visual phenomena.” It’s easy to dismiss such claims as pseudoscientific claptrap, yet there exist humans who, when presented with nonvisual stimuli such as tastes…

If my twentieth high school reunion last year was any indication, we seem to hang on to the music we listened to as adolescents longer than any other time period. Everyone was dancing to “Purple Rain” and “Rock Lobster” like the music written in 1984 was the best ever written. A 1996 study confirmed this…

In case you’re reading Cognitive Daily on RSS or don’t always check out the links to the (generally very good) seedmagazine.com articles in the column just to the right of this blog, I did want to point you to an article I wrote for them about peer review. One of the things we like to…

Top secret casual Friday study

This week’s Casual Friday study requires participants to be unaware of its purpose. It’s nothing insiduous, just a quick survey that should, as usual, take no more than a minute of your time. We do think it’s a clever little experiment, so we hope you’ll participate, even knowing nothing of its purpose. Click here to…

Does being a movie expert make you a better predictor of the Oscar winners? Comedy Central pundit parodist Stephen Colbert claims that he made his oscar predictions without having seen any of the movies, but then went 5 for 5, even predicting the upset of the year, Crash, to win best picture. If you take…

We’ve reported on studies about cell phones and driving before. A general consensus has formed that driving with cell phones (even hands-free phones) is dangerous. What matters most, it appears, isn’t so much the physical aspect — holding and operating the phone — but how demanding the conversation itself is. Research on aging has suggested…

The Prisoner’s Dilemma is an ethical conundrum that’s been used for years by psychologists, economists, and philosophers to explore human behavior. The basic scenario is this: two criminals have been captured and placed in separate cells. Neither prisoner is allowed to talk to the other, and the interrogators don’t have enough evidence to prosecute either…

We usually try to stay focused on cognitive psychology here at Cognitive Daily, but today I did want to point you to a book review I’ve written in The Quarterly Conversation. I think Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers may just be the kind of book that can change the way the world thinks about global…