Cognitive Daily

Archives for December, 2009

[Originally published in November 2007] Both Greta and I are big wine fans. Despite Jonah’s recent extremely popular post, I, at least, believe that I can tell the difference between good and bad wines. I’m still convinced that a good wine is more than just an attractive label (though I’m a sucker for labels with…

Television can have a huge influence on our lives. But the most important influences may be the ones we don’t even notice. I discuss several fascinating studies about television in my latest column on Seedmagazine.com. Here’s a snippet: Travis Saunders, a PhD student at the University of Ottawa who studies the impact of sedentary lifestyles,…

[Originally published in January, 2006] Clicking on the image below will take you to a short Quicktime movie. Make sure you have your sound turned up, because I’ve recorded a few sentences that play along with the movie. Your job is to determine, as quickly as possible, if each sentence is grammatically correct — while…

Suppose your organization is interviewing candidates for an important job. Would it be better for one trusted person to have an extended interview with them, or for several people to talk to them for less time? How many people would you need to conduct the interviews? Would three be enough? Would ten be too many?…

My column on Seedmagazine.com today explores citizen science: serious, peer-reviewed research that relies on the contributions of ordinary individuals. While the projects range from cosmology to zoology, there are plenty of psychology projects too: Project Implicit is an ongoing series of experiments into the nature of human bias, hosted by Harvard University but incorporating research…

For last week’s Casual Fridays study we asked respondents to answer James Lipton’s famous ten questions from Inside the Actor’s Studio. In case you’ve never seen the show, here are the questions: What is your favorite word? What is your least favorite word? What turns you on? What turns you off? What sound or noise…

I attended an unusual middle school. It was designed on an “open concept,” with the idea that there should be no walls between classrooms. Social pressure would keep the noise levels down, because if kids got too loud, then their peers in other classes would encourage them to hush up. This actually worked most of…

Nalini Ambady has become famous for her research on “thin slicing,” the idea that ordinary people can make accurate judgments about others amazingly quickly. We’ve discussed work from her lab showing that people can accurately predict teaching ability by watching just six seconds of video of a teacher at work. Other judgments, like gender, race,…

At the end of every episode of Inside the Actor’s Studio, interviewer James Lipton asks his celebrity guests the exact same 10 questions, most notably, “What’s your favorite curse word?” But why should celebrities have all the fun? We thought it would be neat to ask the same set of questions to our readers —…

My picks from ResearchBlogging.org

In case you missed them, here are my picks of psychology/neuroscience posts from ResearchBlogging.org from the past two weeks: The fatter we get, the less we seem to notice. Peter Janiszewski examines changing perceptions of what it means to be “overweight.” Barn owls use feathers to find sounds. A new study confirms that the facial…