Come Play: It's the Bluff the Psychologist Challenge

With apologies to NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me! It is time to play the Bluff the Psychologist Challenge. Two of these effects are made up. Which one is real?

The Heuristic that Caused the Ebola Panic of 2014

How did the media cause an Ebola panic? The human mind did half the work.

Hunger Comes From Your Mind, Not Just Your Stomach

You might think you get hungry when your stomach is empty. It's not that simple.

Four Things Scientists Get Wrong About Spacing Effects

When I tell an audience about the benefit of spaced practice I always ask them to think of an example from their own life. When they do, certain misunderstandings always come up.

Why Does Retrieval Enhance Learning? It's All About Trying

Why do tests enhance learning? A new study shows that whether you successfully retrieve or not doesn't seem to matter. As long as you make a retrieval attempt, and find out the answer, getting it right or wrong doesn't much matter.

Is Being Male a Talent or an Opportunity?

Treating people with different levels of talent differently is an inevitable, and in many ways beneficial, part of society. But men should not get more opportunities than women simply because they are men. And unlike talent, we can control how much opportunity we give each other.

K-12 Tenure Rates = Elite College Graduation Rates

K-12 teacher tenure rates are around 95%. That's seen as bad. Elite college graduation rates are around 95%. That's seen as good. How is that not hypocritical?

How Major Depression Impaired My Cognitive Ability

Major depression affected my mind in every way, not just my mood and motivation but also my ability to think and concentrate.

Should Police Lineups Be Sequential or Simultaneous?

New analyses have rekindled debate over whether police should show lineups to witnesses with possible criminals presented one at a a time or all at once.

Inside the Eating-Disordered Mind

Eating disorders are associated with have mild cognitive impairments that can have far-reaching consequences. These impairments do not necessarily go away when patients get healthy. Acknowledging these impairments can promote better heath for victims and better understanding for all involved.

Is Taking a Flipped Class Flipping My GPA?

Flipped classrooms seem like a great idea but here's how they look from a student's perspective.

Cookies, Milk, and Action Slips: A Cautionary Tale

Our attention is like a spotlight. It is selective and limited. But giving it to someone can mean so much more than we tend to think.

How to Tell if a Finding Should be a Target for Replication

It's important to replicate scientific findings. But which ones? You can't replicate them all. Researchers should give collaboratively describe a set of principles we can all follow as we select studies to replicate.

Why Replicators Should Take Charges of Bullying Seriously

If you really want replication to succeed, promote it by inviting people in. It’s not as fun as being snarky, and it’s more work. But it's time to step up and be supportive. Maybe the culture of psychological science will actually change.

Would You Have Done it Better? Four Ways to Tell

When the local hospital closed, lots of people jumped on the decision makers. A natural bias, but unfair.

The Lesson a Kid Taught Her Dad about Doing Homework

Tweak the way you do math homework. You'll learn more—and you'll be able to tell if you really get it.

Study Better: Tough Studying Makes Easy Tests

Don't be fooled: Study habits that seem like a quick and easy way to learn don't work. Here are three techniques that lead to real success.

Three Ways to Criticize a Model

When someone says "I have data that your model doesn't predict" it can mean many things.

Lessons Learned (The Hard Way) About How To Frame A Job Talk

If you're giving an academic job talk don't make the mistakes I did.

Do Spectacular Findings Lead to Spectacular Frauds?

You don't bring a knife to a gunfight. When merely interesting data aren't enough, researchers have an incentive to "enhance" their findings to make them look spectacular.

Some Concerns on Regulating Scientists Via Preregistration

Do we need preregistration in psychology and in science more generally? Let's try it and find out.

The Problem With Control Conditions in Research on Learning

Research on training and education is plagued by two consistent problems. One is that studies are not double-blind. The other is that we don't compare new treatments to standard practice.

Do the Best Professors Get the Worst Ratings?

Two recent studies highlight biases that can make students disapprove of teachers who instill deep learning

Close That Laptop in Class!

Using a laptop in class is distracting for the user and it distracts students nearby too. New research looked at whether these distractions have a meaningful impact on learning.

Do You Know Where the Nearest Fire Alarm Is?

At a recent fire-safety meeting, Keith Holyoak was stumped.

Different Responses to Criticism in China and the US

A recent article examined how American and Chinese children respond to criticism (Heyman, Lee, & Fu 2013). The findings may help explain the persistent academic gap between children in the two countries.

Eyewitness Recognition Can Fail When Recall Succeeds

Eyewitnesses testimony can be unreliable in a surprising way. Witnesses are good at describing the perpetrator of a crime, but describing involves recall, whereas identifying someone in a lineup requires recognition. Even eyewitnesses who are good at recall can fail at recognition.

A Better Way to Practice Piano (or Any Instrument)

Every musician knows it: When you practice, you have to break a piece of music down and practice individual passages over and over and over. But does this strategy work?

In Defense of Cumulative Exams

Laboratory research hints that cumulative exams should enhance learning. A new study tested this idea in the real world.

Motivating Students by Ending on a High Note

Two recent studies show that students remember learning more positively if lessons end on a high note.

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