Psychology Digest on Flipboard

By Hugo Alves | The best cognitive science and psychology articles from all around the web.

I Can’t Go On!

What’s behind stagefright?

Sara Solovitch, in “Playing Scared: A History and Memoir of Stage Fright” (Bloomsbury), says that while she was a good pianist as a child, she fell apart—sweating, trembling—when she had to play for an audience. She got through the Eastman School of Music’s preparatory …


Please, not another bias! An evolutionary take on behavioural economics

Below is a transcript of my planned presentation at today’s Marketing Science Ideas Xchange. The important images from the slide pack are below, but …


7 Ideas in Psychology That Must Die: Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress

Over the course of human history our collective knowledge is continuously changing shape and growing. We know more today than we did 100 years ago, …


Why Red Means Red in Almost Every Language - Issue 26: Color

When Paul Kay, then an anthropology graduate student at Harvard University, arrived in Tahiti in 1959 to study island life, he expected to have a …


The benefits of realising you're just a brain

Our hopes, loves and very existence are just elaborate functions of a complicated mass of grey tissue. Accepting that can be hard, but

The Brain

Misophonia is a newly identified condition for people hypersensitive to sound - The Washington Post

For many of us, a giant holiday dinner is a bonding experience where family and friends break bread and share stories while stuffing ourselves silly with special food and drink. It’s the one time where sheer gluttony is more or less expected.

But for those with a rare, newly recognized disorder …


3 Lessons IBM's Watson Can Teach Us About Our Brains' Biases

Cognitive computing is transforming the way we work. It also offers a window to the limitations of the mind to help us overcome them.

What can artificial intelligence teach us about human intelligence? Quite a bit, it turns out. IBM's Watson had its crowning moment back in 2011 when the cognitive …

Confirmation Bias

A kiss is not a kiss. In some cultures it’s just gross, researchers find.

Science has taught us a lot about a smooch.

Researchers have discovered kissing helps you choose the right mate and helps you live longer. They have found you use 146 muscles when you pucker up and swap 80 million new bacteria when you lock lips. And you will spend some 20,000 minutes — or two weeks …


The Psychology of the Impossible Campaign: An Investigation Featuring George Pataki

This inquiry into a presidential candidate with no chance of winning begins with an admittedly insulting premise: that its subject, who has technically laid out his reasons for seeking the White House, is running for reasons unknown. But I'm not alone in being baffled by the candidacy of George …


One Head, Two Brains

How a radical epilepsy treatment in the early 20th century paved the way for modern-day understandings of perception, consciousness, and the self

In 1939, a group of 10 people between the ages of 10 and 43, all with epilepsy, traveled to the University of Rochester Medical Center, where they would …

The Brain

A Scientist Deploys Light And Sound To Reveal The Brain

Lihong Wang creates the sort of medical technology you'd expect to find on the starship Enterprise.

Wang, a professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has already helped develop instruments that can detect individual cancer cells in the bloodstream and oxygen …

The Brain

Inside the Empathy Machine: VR, Neuroscience, Race and Journalism

Ashley Rogers sat in a swivel chair, wearing a Zeiss VR One headset and over-the-ear headphones. As events in a world unseen to the rest of us …

Virtual Reality

Using Algorithms to Determine Character

Computers aren’t just doing hard math problems and showing us cat videos. Increasingly, they judge our character.

Maybe we should be grateful.

A company in Palo Alto, Calif., called Upstart has over the last 15 months lent $130 million to people with mostly negligible credit ratings. Typically, they …


The Reality of Color Is Perception - Issue 26: Color

Philosophers have a bad reputation for casting unwarranted doubt on established facts. Little could be more certain than your belief that the …


Musical tastes offer a window into how you think

In a study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, a team of psychologists show that your thinking style – whether you are an ‘empathizer’ who likes …


My Periodic Table

I LOOK forward eagerly, almost greedily, to the weekly arrival of journals like Nature and Science, and turn at once to articles on the physical sciences — not, as perhaps I should, to articles on biology and medicine. It was the physical sciences that provided my first enchantment as a boy.

In a …

Oliver Sacks

The History of Creepy Dolls

Pollock’s Toy Museum is one of London’s loveliest small museums, a creaking Dickensian warren of wooden floors, low ceilings, threadbare carpets, and …


A Neuroscientist Argues That Everybody Is Misunderstanding Fear and Anxiety

Every age believes itself to be the age of anxiety, as Auden’s famous poem first put it. But in his new book, Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand


The Cognitive Neuroscience of Creativity

This article outlines a framework of creativity based on functional neuroanatomy. Recent advances in the field of cognitive neuroscience have …


Pareidolia: Why we see faces in hills, the Moon and toasties

People have long seen faces in the Moon, in oddly-shaped vegetables and even burnt toast, but a Berlin-based group is scouring the planet via


We discovered one of social science's biggest frauds. Here's what we learned.

Earlier this year, we discovered one of social science’s most widely publicized scandals: The data for a celebrated study showing that a face-to-face …

UC Berkeley

Are You a Head Person or a Heart Person?

Imagine meeting a stranger and having a chance to learn what sort of person they are by asking just one question. You might try the obvious: “Are you …


Why do babies cry? You asked Google – here’s the answer

In the top 10 of unpleasant sounds, a crying baby ranks very high. It instantly activates a key part of your brain called the amygdala, which, among other things, acts as a sort of radar for emotional threats. So why would babies need to trigger this sort of urgent reaction? To get you to respond – …


Neuroscientist Sam Harris Selects 12 Books Everyone Should Read

From Bertrand Russell to the Buddha, or why you should spend a weekend reading the Qur’an.

On an excellent recent episode of The Tim Ferriss Show — one of these nine podcasts for a fuller life — neuroscientist Sam Harris answered a listener’s question inquiring what books everyone should read. As a …

Cool Stuff

Stereotyping Stereotypes

I’ve attended a number of talks on stereotypes; I’ve read many more papers in which the word was used; I’ve seen still more instances where the term …


In Love—and in Debt

Financial disagreements are a strong predictor of divorce. How do couples with differing amounts of student loans pay them off together?

Chris Davis, a 28-year-old videographer and graphic designer, had been working hard to pay off his student-loans when he and his girlfriend Monique Seitz got …


The Best Way to Win an Argument

You are, I'm afraid to say, mistaken. The position you are taking makes no logical sense. Just listen up and I'll be more than happy to elaborate on the many, many reasons why I'm right and you are wrong. Are you feeling ready to be convinced?

Whether the subject is climate change, the Middle East …


What It’s Like to Be Profoundly Face-Blind

Prosopagnosia is a neuropsychological condition that impairs the sufferer’s ability to recognize faces. It’s also known as face-blindness, and those …

The Lord of the Rings

So Apparently There Are 4 Kinds of Introversion

Introversion, thanks largely to Susan Cain's 2012 best seller Quiet, is having something of a cultural moment. Once a mostly misunderstood personality …