Cognitive Daily

Archives for September, 2008

John McCain, risk, and anger

Thomas Levenson has written an interesting post about John McCain and his fascination with high-stakes gambling. While it’s clear that his gambling habit isn’t going to put McCain in any serious financial danger, it does raise questions about his personality. One of the most difficult things voters try to do in an election is to…

Last week we sought to uncover the truth behind the stereotype: Are Prius owners really just like Mac owners? In a non-scientific fashion, we quizzed our readers about several of the most common stereotypes that seem to follow these two trendy groups: They’re arrogant, they think they’re better informed than the rest of us, not…

Notwithstanding the cute pictures from yesterday’s post, Jim is now nearly seventeen years old. He’s taller than me, has a beard, and is much less interested in having his photo taken, so I don’t have any recent pictures. He also plays a mean bass guitar, and he’s in a band, which means — you guessed…

When Jimmy and Nora were toddlers, we bought them great little plastic scooters to ride around the house. They were the perfect size for a small child. Yet Jimmy preferred to ride around on a plastic garbage truck instead, despite the fact that there was no steering wheel and the “seat” wasn’t nearly as comfortable,…

Operant conditioning at the NC Zoo

You might think the zoo is an odd place for psychology bloggers to meet up. But on Saturday not only did Greta and I get a chance to connect with some of our readers and fellow bloggers, we also received some fascinating insight into the psychology of zookeeping. Our group toured the North Carolina Zoo,…

A few days ago I noticed a comment on an online forum: “Prius owners are just like Mac owners.” As a Mac owner and Prius owner, I felt that this comment needlessly stereotyped me. Were they implying that there was something wrong with me? That I was superficial? That I thought I was better than…

One of Jimmy’s favorite toys as a toddler was a simple little bucket of blocks. There were three shapes: a rectangular prism, a triangular prism, and a cylinder. The bucket’s lid had three holes: a square, a triangle, and a circle (The picture at right was the only one I could find online — this…

Greta and I will be at the North Carolina Zoo this coming Saturday, September 20, to meet with readers and practically all of the North Carolina ScienceBloggers. We’ve arranged a special tour of the zoo with an expert member of the zoo staff, a party afterwards at a local watering hole, and now, ScienceBlogs will…

It’s now taken as a given that the musical score of a movie can have huge influence on our perception of the movie. From the pulsating terror achieved in films like Psycho and Jaws, to the triumphant victories in Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s hard to think about a great film without…

Last week we asked readers how much sleep they lost staying up to watch the political coverage of the Democratic and Republican conventions, and how that compared to the sleep they lost a few weeks earlier watching the coverage of the Beijing Olympics. Do people stay up later to watch politics, or sports? Or are…