Cognitive Daily

Archives for April, 2009

Today we’re introducing a new feature on Cognitive Daily. Every month, in addition to our regular blog posts, we’re going to create a downloadable mini-book (or maxi-article, take your pick) about an issue related to cognitive psychology. Surprise, surprise, it’s called Cognitive Monthly. Although based on posts that have appeared in CogDaily, it goes beyond…

When you selected the college or university you planned to attend, how did you do it? Did you read narratives offered by college guides? Did you compare relevant statistics such as the student/teacher ratio and percent of students who went on to graduate school? Did you listen to the advice of older friends who had…

Last year’s movie Changeling tells the story, from the late 1920s, of a mother whose son is kidnapped. Then, six months later, the police say they’ve found the boy and return him to his mother, who immediately claims that the boy they returned was not her son. She’s then coerced into taking this child in,…

On Tuesday I got to see Greta and Nora performing with the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra. As usual, they did a fantastic job playing and the orchestra received a standing ovation. One of the pieces they played was BedÅ™ich Smetana’s tone poem “The Moldau,” which, as the conductor explained, took us on a journey across…

Imagine the following scenario: Matthew is playing with his new kitten late one night. He is wearing only his boxer shorts, and the kitten sometimes walks over his genitals. Eventually, this arouses him, and he begins to rub his bare genitals along the kitten’s body. The kitten purrs, and seems to enjoy the contact. How…

I was a member of my high school debate team, and I did fairly well, but my partner, Glenn, always got better marks from the judges. Most often, they praised his hand gestures, which were proclaimed to be “expressive” and “informative.” One year our topic was arms control, and our opponents were arguing that “NATO…

How many of these faces can you recognize? Even though these are extremely famous individuals, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to identify all four of them, because the pictures were taken early in life, before they became famous. But give it your best shot and try to name them in the comments. I’ll reveal…

Last week I created a survey that was truly humbling. The goal was to find out if time and money invested in preparing for the SAT and other standardized college admission tests is worth it. The first thing I learned from the study was that Cognitive Daily readers are incredibly smart — much smarter than…

Several studies have confirmed this bizarre proposition: If you’re taking a test of rote memorization, like words from a list, move your eyes from side to side for about 30 seconds before you start. Really. Researchers have found, with relative consistency, that if you saccade from left to right and back several times before a…

One of the most controversial topics here on Cognitive Daily is whether playing video games can lead to aggressive behavior or violence — and one of the most dramatic demonstrations of the impact of violent video games was a 2000 study by Craig Anderson and Karen Dill. In that study, participants played violent or non-violent…