Intentionality

Cognitive Daily

Category archives for Intentionality

Take a look at this movie (QuickTime Required): The moving object is exactly the same in each picture, but the background is different. If you’re like most people, you’ll see one object as an ice skater, and the other as a spinning top. This puts the objects in two different classes — animate (something that…

[originally posted January 26, 2006] Kids in America grow up in a society that overwhelmingly believes in life after death. At the same time, these same kids grow up learning more and more about the nature of living organisms, and what makes something living or dead. At some point, these two belief systems inevitably collide:…

Take a look at these two pictures. Who is more dangerous? It’s not hard to decide, although I wouldn’t hurt a fly, and Nora, even at age three, could be brutal with her sarcasm. Now, what’s the most dangerous situation? Again, an easy decision. While Carhenge is certainly an awe-inspiring monument (and perhaps Jim could…

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 know, too. How can they have a prayer…

Any grown-up would be surprised to see SpongeBob Squarepants show up in a Batman movie. Clearly, these characters inhabit two different fantasy worlds: one lives in a fabulous mansion near bustling Gotham City, while the other inhabits an underwater pineapple. Grown-ups divide fantasy worlds into non-intersecting sets: If Batman has even heard of SpongeBob, he…

Smells Like Clean Spirit

Occasionally you read a journal article so well-titled, you have to steal it for your blog post title. “Smells Like Clean Spirit” is a report by Rob Holland, Merel Hendricks, and Henk Aarts, in which they use smells to unconsciously modify their victims’ participants’ behavior. In some ways, this research is nothing new. As the…

Developmental psychologists since Piaget have been interested in how well children are able to take the perspective of another. Piaget’s laboratory had a large table with elaborate models on top; children who were able to take the perspective of a doll on the table and explain what the table looked like from her perspective instead…

Americans, as any ScienceBlogger will tell you, have a woefully poor understanding of math and science. For the most part, even the most ignorant among us are able to stumble through life, but what happens when we’re confronted with a genuine scientific question with a real impact on our lives? Consider the typical doctor’s office…

Kids in America grow up in a society that overwhelmingly believes in life after death. At the same time, these same kids grow up learning more and more about the nature of living organisms, and what makes something living or dead. At some point, these two belief systems inevitably collide: pure religious faith suggests that…