Cognitive Daily

Archives for May, 2009

Last week we asked readers to rate a set of statements they might see on Twitter. The premise of our study was that sometimes it’s difficult to decide whether someone is insulting you or complimenting you. But we were actually examining a slightly different question: what effect does an emoticon have on a statement? Can…

Take a look at this video. Your job: decide which person speaks first: Click to view Video 1 (QuickTime required) Let’s make this a poll: Which person in Video 1 speaks first?(web poll) Now, try another one. Once again, decide which person speaks first: Click to view Video 2 (QuickTime required) Make your response here:…

A common defense in murder cases is “focal retrograde amnesia”: the defendant claims to have simply forgotten what occurred around the time of the crime (perhaps due having consumed too much alcohol or other drugs). In fact, “amnesia” is claimed in as many as 45 percent of murders. Psychologists know that this sort of amnesia…

Encephalon, the biweekly collection of the best psychology and neuroscience posts on the web, is now available at Neuroanthropology. In addition to great science, there’s a collection of clips from a classic movie about Italian food, “Big Night.” Here’s my favorite:

[This article was originally posted in December, 2006] I’m not bitter about this, honest I’m not, but it does often seem that people who know you very well end up buying really lousy gifts. What I really want to find out is this: why do they do that? It turns out, market researchers want to…

It’s never been easy to communicate clearly online (or in person, for that matter). Often a statement meant as a compliment can be taken the wrong way. Or someone can mistake a statement made in jest for a serious statement. Now with tools like Twitter and texting limiting the total number of characters in a…

Last night in the U.S. many televisions were tuned to one of the biggest spectacles of the year: the American Idol finale, where America would learn which singer had been chosen as “America’s favorite” (or, more cynically, who inspired the most teenagers to repeatedly dial toll-free numbers until all hours of the night). Greta and…

When I was in elementary school, we had two recesses every day: 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the afternoon. Plus, we had a 30-minute lunch period, and as soon as we finished eating we were free to go outside and play until the bell rang. So I was a little surprised…

For nine months, you’ve been able to read posts on ResearchBlogging.org in German and English. Soon, the site will be launching support for Spanish. Evaristo Rojas-Mayoral has created a blog to collect the names and URLs of interested blogs. If you blog in Spanish, or you know someone who does, send them to http://spanish.researchblogginglanguages.org/, where…

If, like me, you grew up in the U.S. in the 1970s and 80s, you probably remember the game show Name That Tune, where contestants heard brief snippets from popular songs and had to name them as quickly as possible. Even though I didn’t know most of the music, which was primarily American Standards from…