When you think about thinking, you probably focus most often on your ability to make decisions or solve complex problems. An important part of your thinking abilities, though, is the ability to predict what is going to happen in the future
For a little while after the tragic shooting of 19 people in Tucson in early January including Rep. Gabriele Giffords there was increased sense of national unity. In this context, I was reminded of a 2007 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Part of learning about anything new involves learning about the objects and individuals in that arena. This issue is particularly important in classroom settings. So, what is the best way to teach people about objects?
There are many activities in your life where you might choose between doing an action and not doing that action. A new study explores the contribution of these kinds of goals for people's choices of what seem to be contradictory actions.
Our goals often conflict. Research suggests that we have two modes for dealing with these conflicts--an active mode and a passive mode. Which one is active matters a lot for how likely you are to achieve your goals.
The idea that willpower is a resource that can be used up is called ego-depletion. One factor that affects whether you show ego-depletion effects is whether you believe that willpower is a limited resource.
Ulterior Motives is about the interface between motivation and thinking. Your goals have a huge influence on your behavior. The active goals that you have also influence your emotions, which in turn affect your preferences and thinking. The beauty of this set of topics is that it ultimately covers just about every area within cognitive science.