Mixing Memory

Archives for May, 2007

Are Conservatives Less Creative?

The belief that creativity and political conservatism are negatively correlated is widespread not only among the general public (except, maybe, among some conservatives), but among researchers in a variety of fields. And there are some indirect empirical justifications for this belief. Political conservatism is associated with less openness to experience (as measured with Big Five…

There Died a Myriad

Originally posted on the old blog on Memorial Day 2005. On Memorial Day, I’m always reminded of the poems of war because, perhaps more than any other form of literature, they paint of it a picture that is more real than romantic (except maybe in Tennyson). In particular, I am reminded of the poetry of…

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post describing some research showing that there are cognitive barriers to understanding evolution. There I listed three specific factors: Intuitive theism, in which our intuitions lead us to make design inferences about complex kinds or under conditions of uncertainty; intuitions that can be reinforced culturally to…

Blogroll

I haven’t really updated the blogroll much since, well, I first created it. So if you’ve got a blog that fits into one of the categories over there on the left, including “seriously good but I don’t know what to call it,” and you want me to add you, leave a comment or drop me…

My Son’s Favorite Song

Last night, I took my son to his favorite diner to celebrate the end of 3rd grade. Just before our dinner arrived, a song came on the radio and he stopped talking, listened for a second, and said, “Hey, it’s my favorite song!” This is what was playing: His revelation was timely, since today is…

Everybody’s seen Kanizsa’s triangle: It’s a simple illusory figure illusion, first reported by Kanizsa(1). The illusion is likely caused by the processes that the visual system uses to separate figures from their ground(2), but to date there doesn’t appear to be any consensus about exactly how these processes cause the perception of illusory figures (here’s…

Mind Metaphors

Some of you who are interested in the history of psychology or philosophy of mind might find this paper interesting: Gentner, D., & Grudin, J. (1985). The evolution of mental metaphors in psychology: A 90-year retrospective. American Psychologist, 40(2), 181-192. Abstract It seems plausible that the conception of the mind has evolved over the first…

In honor of the announcement of the Best Visual Illusion of the Year (via Steve), I thought I’d revive the old cool visual illusion series. I may post about this year’s winner, the leaning tower illusion, in the future, but I just now read the paper, so I have some work to do first. Instead,…

The second Online Philosophy Conference has begun, and the first week’s presentations are up. If you didn’t participate in last year’s OPC, here’s how it works: a presentation and one or two responses are posted for you to read, and comments are open to everyone for discussion. This year, they’ve also included two keynote addresses,…

File this one in the annals of “huh?” There’s been a lot of research over the last decade or so on what only be described as the bizarre implicit priming of social concepts. In a typical experiment, participants are given lists or scrambled sentences that contain words associated with a particular stereotype or attitude and…