Cognitive Daily

We’ve heard from a few teachers who use Cognitive Daily in class, and we know several class web sites link to CogDaily. So we were wondering: if you’re a teacher, instructor, or professor, how do you use Cognitive Daily in your class? As a suggested supplemental reading? A required assignment?

Or maybe you’ve consciously chosen not to use CogDaily in class. We’d also appreciate it if you’d let us know why you don’t use it. Maybe there’s something else we could do to make it more usable for your class. We’re open to suggestions.

Even if you feel like you’re just repeating someone else’s comments, please let us know — we’d like to get a relative sense of the numbers of people falling into each category.



  1. #1 mary
    February 4, 2008

    Well. I don’t use it in my class; I am a speech-language pathologist in an elementary school. But when the county started blocking scienceblogs I made noise and they unblocked it after awhile. Certainly I have passed some entries to colleagues, particularly psychologists, but I’m sorry to say that on the whole, there’s a lack of curiosity about the underpinnings– what makes us what we are– among teachers. I think I am considered an ubergeek. Their problem, not so much mine.

  2. #2 Benjamin Rooney
    February 4, 2008

    I am in fact a graduate student in Japan Studies, so opportunities to use your blog in my lectures have been very limited.

    That being said, I wanted to at least throw in my opinion: If I were teaching a concept discussed on CogDaily I would absolutely use the blog as a resource. The writing here is of a very high quality and you have a talent for keeping the content scientific without being dry or overly complicated.

    The thing that I have repeatedly thought when reading here, though, is that it would be an excellent resource for a high school classroom or freshman level science course. You do a fantastic job of demonstrating the scientific method, as a great many posts actually go through the whole process of identifying a question, posing a hypothesis and designing an experiment.

    So kudos to you from my side. I’ll be waiting for an article relating to the cognitive effects of learning an “alphabet” of 2200 characters so that I can put CogDaily to the test in class.

  3. #3 Kay
    February 4, 2008

    I use Cognitive Daily in my Introduction to Cognition course in two ways. First, I like to start lectures with “things to trick and amaze your friends”, basically interesting research that students might find cool enough to go show their friends (the McGurk effect is always a hit, as is the inattention gorilla movie). My class has both majors and non-majors so this helps get the non-majors more interested in cognition. Cognitive Daily is often part of this presentation. Second, I require my students to keep a cognition journal where they are required to visit Cognitive Daily or CogNews once a week and write about something they thought was interesting. They have to explain the concept and talk about about how it relates to cognition and tell me what they found interesting. Also, I ask them to see how the results relate to life. I like Cognitive Daily because it is Cognition widely construed, so student see that cognition is everywhere. (as we chant in my course. COGNITION is LIFE)

  4. #4 Marianne
    February 4, 2008

    Entries from cognitive daily have become a frequent supplement to my courses. Many of them are excellent for statistics and research methods and I have even gone so far as to assign printouts with questions on exams (most recently the wine/price study was on the research methods final).

    Like Kay mentioned, I often bring one to class as a starting point for discussions. I have successfully done so in the courses listed above as well as in perception and lifespan development. Today we were starting to talk about randomness in statistics and I showed the article on the #17 being the “most random.” (As an aside, not a one of my 19 students picked it compared with my graduate course in which nearly half made that choice.)

    What makes it a great choice is that it is accessible reading without losing the scientific method (as often happens in news reports) or graphs of the data.

    Although you did not directly ask for this information, whenever you report on research related to a student’s or colleague’s project, I pass the link along as well.

  5. #5 Anne
    February 4, 2008

    Funny you should ask this today. Tomorrow morning I was going to show Cognitive Daily to my undergraduate cognitive psychology class as a place to browse for ideas for their paper. They need to do a proposal and I think CD hits a lot of high points for cognitive psych. Hopefully they are bound to find something interesting.

    It is always difficult to assign a paper early in the semester before you’ve gone over enough material to give students a sense of what will be covered.

  6. #6 Qalmlea
    February 4, 2008

    I’ve found this a great site for statistics related ideas. I often borrow your graphs (with citations, of course) for students to interpret on homework or tests. I’ve also used some of your scenarios for students to pull out the experimental setups, controls, and whatnot. It’s an intro level stats class, and it’s nice to have a resource with some real info for them to use.

  7. #7 dileffante
    February 14, 2008

    Like Marianne, I cited the “17 most random” poll, when introducing the topic of evaluating random numbers generators. However, since I knew I’d have just a dozen students in the room, I asked them for numbers from 1 to 6. From the analysis you did in the blog, I (correctly) predicted (on my next slide) that 3 and 5 would be the favorites. I rarely see the students so surprised (some 2/3 had chosen 3 or 5).

    Btw, thanks for all the nice polls and posts! (I’m a usual lurker).

New comments have been disabled.