Cognitive Daily

Archives for May, 2007

More and more studies are online these days, which means that researchers can find a whole new array of participants for their studies, and anyone who’s interested can become a real part of cutting-edge research. But how can researchers find interested research subjects — and how can people who want to participate find the studies…

There’s been lots of commentary online about Paul Bloom and Deena Skolnick Weisberg’s article about why children (and adults) often resist learning scientific information. Deric Bownds gives the money quote from the article: Resistance to science will arise in children when scientific claims clash with early emerging, intuitive expectations. This resistance will persist through adulthood…

With the preparations for Europe going on at full steam, I find myself drawn toward psychology articles about traveling. Take, for example, this article in Scientific American. Kaushik Basu explains the “traveler’s dilemma,” a scenario in which identical items purchased by two travelers are both damaged in transit. The airline agent is worried that they’ll…

Last week we wondered whether sports fans and arts buffs were nonintersecting groups. I knew there were some exceptions to the idea that an arts snob wouldn’t set foot inside an athletic complex. For example, a friend of mine is an art history professor, but also such a big football fan that in his spare…

I don’t know what I expected to see when I posted yesterday’s poll about people’s work schedules, but I didn’t expect to find this. With over 250 responses, fewer than half of our respondents said they work a standard 8-5 Monday-Friday schedule. It’s possible that Cognitive Daily’s readership isn’t representative of the population at large…

The visual system is very good at noticing a new object coming into view. However, the system isn’t perfect. If a second object appears near the first one, it takes a little longer to spot it. This phenomenon, known as inhibition of return, has been well-documented. We discussed it in a 2005 post: If an…

Jason Kottke points to an interesting article about why so many people seem to be hanging out in cafes, coffee shops, and parks in the middle of the day while “normal” people are working. Everyone seems to have a different reason: “Jeffrey” (some names changed at owner’s request), writing a poem in a notebook on…

When Joanne Rowling sat in an Edinburgh coffee shop, nearly broke, her baby sleeping nearby in a stroller, penning a fantastic story about a school for wizards, could anyone have predicted that she would soon be the most successful novelist in history? Certainly not the twelve publishers who rejected her manuscript before Bloomsbury finally offered…

A fascinating study has just found that hearing one person’s opinion repeated is almost as effective as hearing several different people’s opinions. Repeated exposure to one person’s viewpoint can have almost as much influence as exposure to shared opinions from multiple people. This finding shows that hearing an opinion multiple times increases the recipient’s sense…

The end of the RSS experiment

Last week we reported on our site statistics after going to a full RSS feed. The results were disappointing; our numbers went down. We said we’d continue the experiment for another week to see if the trend was reversed once more people heard about the option of viewing all CogDaily content in RSS feeds. Now,…