Cognitive Psychology

Mixing Memory

Category archives for Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Load and Moral Judgment

I’ve been posting about moral cognition anytime a new and interesting result pops up for a while now, and every time I think I’ve said before, though it bears repeating, that every time I read another article on moral cognition, I’m more confused than I was before reading it. Part of the problem, I think,…

There’s a fair amount of evidence that spatial reasoning abilities and spatial attention are an important constituent of secondary math skills (basically everything after basic algebra)(1), and it stands to reason that secondary math skills are an important determinant of success in math-heavy careers. There’s also a pretty large body of evidence that, on average,…

Over at OmniBrain, Steve has a great summary of a recent article by Thomas and Lleras(1 on embodied cognition/perceptual symbol systems and problem solving. I recommend reading Steve’s summary before going on with this post, but in case you’re really lazy, here’s the abstract: Grant and Spivey (2003) proposed that eye movement trajectories can influence…

Why are so many people convinced that we only use 10% of our brains, or that Eskimos have n words for snow, where n is as high as you need it to be for the desired rhetorical effect? Or more seriously, why have some people, particularly Fox News viewers (no, really), persistently believed in Saddam…

Short answer, no. Duh. Long answer, man do I hate how psychology gets reported in the media. If you were surfing around news sites earlier this week, you might have come across something like this: A study in Current Biology reports some of the first conclusive evidence in support of the long-held notion that men…

Folk Meta-Ethics

There’s a really interesting paper by Geoffrey Goodwin and John Darley in press at the journal Cognition on the subject of lay meta-ethics, and ethical objectivism specifically. That is, the paper explores the question, “How do lay individuals think about the objectivity of their ethical beliefs?” (from the abstract). The paper contains a ton of…

Over at one of her other blogospheric homes, Channel N, fellow ScienceBlogger

How Do We Understand Negations?

Long, long ago, during my first summer as a grad student (technically, I wasn’t even a student yet), in one of my first meetings with my graduate adviser, he suggested that I think about the problem of representing negation. The problem of representing negation? That seemed like an odd suggestion. I mean, I was looking…

The Cognitive Psychology of Baseball!

Ah, yes, a real game (kidding, Scrabble people). If you’ve watched many baseball games or baseball movies, you know that one of the things that makes for a successful hitter is the ability to predict what the next pitch will be. Is it going to be inside or outside? Will it be a fastball or…

Picture in your head one person throwing a ball to another. How were the two people oriented spatially? Was one on the left, and the other on the right? If so, which one was on the left, and which on the right? Chances are, the thrower was on the left, and the catcher was on…