Cognitive Daily

Archives for May, 2008

A few weeks ago, Greta got a new iPod. I was, naturally, interested to see how it worked since it was supposed to be the latest technology, but Greta would hardly let me touch it: “It’s mine, and I want to learn how to use it before you do,” she told me. This was surprising…

History Week: Gestalt-o-mania!

Inspired by this post, we’ve decided to devote a week to the analysis of studies from the history of psychology. Gestalt theory hit the psychology world by storm in the 1920s, and the Gestalt school’s unquestioned leader (though probably not the originator of the concept) was Max Wertheimer. While many people have an intuitive understanding…

Inspired by this post, we’ve decided to devote a week to the analysis of studies from the history of psychology. Today we consider the work of Millicent Washburn Shinn, one of the first women admitted to the University of California, Berkeley (in 1874), and the first to earn a Ph.D. there. In 1890, her niece…

Encephalon is up at Neurocritic

The biweekly neuroscience / psychology carnival Encephalon is now live over at the Neurocritic. There are tons of great posts but one of my favorites has to be this one: Would you vaccinate your kids against drugs?

Inspired by this post, we’ve decided to devote a week to the analysis of studies from the history of psychology. Today’s post discusses a small fraction of the work done by Hermann Ebbinghaus, a pioneer in the study of memory. Ebbinghaus spent two excruciating year-long periods (1879-80 and 1883-84) painstakingly studying the limits of human…

Quick, solve this problem 3 + 5 * 7 = ? If you still recall high school algebra, you’ll remember that you should be doing the multiplication problem first. So the answer would be 35 + 3, or 38. But if you just punch the numbers into your calculator (or if you haven’t had occasion…

Negative stereotypes about Blacks in the U.S. have declined dramatically since the 1930s — practically no White person to will say that Blacks are lazy, or superstitious, or many other stereotypes, when these views were common 80 years ago. Yet huge racial disparities still exist infant mortality, unemployment, and poverty are found more than twice…

Just a few quick notes about Michael Frese’s talk, “Learning from Errors by Individuals and Organizations.” Frese gives a rule: “You make about 3-4 errors per hour no matter what you’re doing.” If errors are so ubiquitous, maybe it makes more sense to train people to deal with errors, rather than to try to flush…

This morning I attended a session on the Science of Learning, and heard a bunch of great talks. I was especially impressed by “There’s Nothing so Practical as a Good Theory,” by Robert Seigler. Siegler discussed his work with children’s learning of the number line. As children get older, they develop better and better representations…

APS convention in Chicago

As I write this, Greta and I are on the plane to Chicago, to attend this year’s Association for Psychological Science convention. We’ll be participating in a symposium on Sunday, talking about Cognitive Daily and ResearchBlogging.org, but until then, we’ll be attending other sessions and reporting intermittently here on CogDaily. We won’t be “liveblogging” every…