Brain & Behavior

Category archives for Brain & Behavior

Communication as Art and Science

I alluded to this on Twitter, and meant to leave that be, but the other thing I was going to blog today didn’t come together, and I probably shouldn’t leave a cryptic tweet as my only comment. So… One of the links getting passed around a lot in my social-media circles is this Tumblr post…

One of the hot topics of the moment is the E. O. Wilson op-ed lamenting the way math scares students off from science, and downplaying the need for mathematical skill (this is not news, really– he said more or less the same thing a few years ago, but the Wall Street Journal published it to…

Mastermind by Maria Konnikova

I saw Maria Konnikova’s Mastermind on the book lottery stacks at Science Online, and the subtitle “How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes” practically screamed “This is relevant to your interests!” Not only am I writing a book about how to think like a scientist, one of the chapters I have in mind uses mystery novels…

This has been out for a little while now, and Chris has been promoting it very heavily, and it’s sort of interesting to see the reactions. It’s really something of a Rorschach blot of a book, with a lot of what’s been written about it telling you more about what the writer wants to be…

Jonah Lehrer has a big article at Grantland on concussions in high school football that paints a fairly bleak picture: The sickness will be rooted in football’s tragic flaw, which is that it inflicts concussions on its players with devastating frequency. Although estimates vary, several studies suggest that up to 15 percent of football players…

A bunch of people I follow on social media were buzzing about this blog post yesterday, taking Jonah Lerher to task for “getting spun” in researching and writing this column in the Wall Street Journal about this paper on the “wisdom of crowds” effect. The effect in question is a staple of pop psychology these…

A little while back, Jonah Lehrer did a nice blog post about reasoning that used the famous study by Gilovich, Vallone and Tversky, The Hot Hand in Basketball (PDF link) as an example of a case where people don’t want to believe scientific results. The researchers found absolutely no statistical evidence of “hot” shooting– a…

Science Stereotypes and Threats

One thing that I thought of while writing yesterday’s mammoth post about scientific thinking and stereotypes was the notion of stereotype threat, the psychological phenomenon where students who are reminded of negative stereotypes right before a test tend to score worse than they do when taking the test without the negative reminder. This is a…

Socialization of Toddlers

In last weekend’s post about arguments from innate differences, I suggested that I might be willing to illustrate my position with adorable toddler pictures. On thinking more about it, I’m a little hesitant to write about this at length, because it could easily topple over into arrogant-physicist territory. But then, it’s an excuse to post…

The Problem With Innate Differences

In yesterday’s post about the experience of science, I mentioned that I had both a specific complaint about the article by Alexandra Jellicoe (which I explained in the post) and a general complaint about the class in which the article falls. I want to attempt to explain the latter problem, partly because I think it…