Cognition Essential Reads

10 Things to Know About Déjà Vu

Acceptance of déjà vu has widened in recent decades. Research psychologists are just beginning to understand this phenomenon.

If You Want to Become More Mindful, Check Your Watch

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on September 24, 2016 in BrainSnacks
if the “monkey mind,” as the Eastern practitioners call it, has a mind of its own, how does one become more “mindful?” How can your mind stay focused, when it loves to wander?

How Eye Contact Alters Our Behavior

Eye contact has the power to alter our behavior, our attention, our memory, and our appraisal of who's looking at us. Is that always a good thing?

Is It Too Late to Say Balti?

By Vyv Evans Ph.D. on September 20, 2016 in Language in the Mind
What is the nature of punning? Musical puns in TV adverts provide an unexpected venue to explore the linguistics of humor.

$50m Judgment Says Brain Training a Sham

By Richard E. Cytowic M.D. on September 19, 2016 in The Fallible Mind
Letting someone else sharpen your brain sounds great. Except it doesn't work, and you have to do the work yourself. The good news is that it isn't so hard.

The Power of Contamination and Taint in Language

By Laura Niemi, Ph.D. on September 18, 2016 in Morality in Language
Do we need to distinguish between harm and purity to understand moral psychology? Contamination concepts in political rhetoric and coping suggest that we do.

Remembering Under Pressure

People often justify procrastination by claiming that they "work better under pressure." New research indicates that, in some kinds of tasks, there may be some truth to that claim.

The Psychology Behind Donald Trump's Unwavering Support

By Bobby Azarian Ph.D. on September 13, 2016 in Mind In The Machine
The political ascent of Donald Trump seems to defy all logic, but psychology and neuroscience research explains how quirks of the brain underlie the mind-boggling phenomenon.

Therapy Without a Therapist?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on September 13, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
Learning and practicing new skills is at the heart of CBT—whether you're working with a therapist or on your own.

How to Remember Everything

By Ryan Anderson on September 13, 2016 in The Mating Game
Learning the basics of the Method of Loci technique is possibly one of the most effective ways to spend the next 15 minutes of your life

Why Is the Backward Research Method So Effective?

It forces up-front thinking about use of research results and required data, and removes guess-work on the researcher's part.

How Others See You

By David Ludden Ph.D. on September 10, 2016 in Talking Apes
Our intuition is a powerful information processor that helps us make quick judgments of others, but it also has built-in biases that lead us astray.

3 Simple Ways to Keep Procrastination from Making You Late

If you find that you’re always late to everything, the culprit may lie in your internal clock. These tips, based on new time-estimation research, may provide the cure.
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How Drum Circles Can Improve, if Not Cure, Your Depression

Have you ever wondered how people used to treat depression before prescription medications were invented?

Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease Is Easier Than You Think

By Georgia Ede MD on September 07, 2016 in Diagnosis: Diet
The long, slow journey to Alzheimer's Disease begins in your twenties. Find out if you are already on the road to dementia, and how you can change course right now.

Seven Steps Toward Better Critical Thinking

How to avoid knowing what isn't so.

People Think Popular Actions Are the Right Actions

By Art Markman Ph.D. on September 06, 2016 in Ulterior Motives
How do people figure out what they should be doing? New research explores the relationship between the way you explain things and your ethical judgments.

Play, Newness, and You

By Wilma Koutstaal Ph.D. on September 04, 2016 in Our Innovating Minds
What leads us to try new things?

Do Coincidences Signal It’s ‘Meant to Be’ or Not?

All coincidences are best not painted with the "It's all good." paint brush

Can a Dog's Size Predict Its Intelligence?

New data shows that very large or very small dog breeds rank lower in intelligence.

Video Game Play Benefits Coordination

By Art Markman Ph.D. on August 31, 2016 in Ulterior Motives
Over the years, I have written a lot about both the potential dangers and benefits of playing video games. Does game play benefit coordination?

Bird Brain: An Exploration of Avian Intelligence

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on August 29, 2016 in Animal Emotions
Dr. Nathan Emery's new book "Bird Brain: An Exploration of Avian Intelligence" is a gold mine of information and surprises about the latest research on bird smarts.

Are Conservatives More Anti-Science Than Liberals?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on August 26, 2016 in Talking Apes
Skepticism about scientific findings depends on your core beliefs, not your level of science literacy.

The Problem With Positive Thinking

By Joel Minden, PhD on August 25, 2016 in CBT and Me
Does positive thinking lead to greater happiness? If only it were that simple. When negative thinking gets you down, here’s what to do instead.
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10 Ways Your Brain Keeps You From Maintaining Healthy Weight

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on August 25, 2016 in Science of Choice
Our cognitive biases lead to craving and overeating, and contribute to weight gain and obesity.

To Bribe or Not to Bribe

Reading incentive programs, where students get points or prizes, and sometimes even grades, for reading “fun” books, are a ubiquitous feature of many literacy programs.

This Is How We Make Our Worst Decisions

By David DiSalvo on August 22, 2016 in Neuronarrative
The brain is an energy hog that uses 15-20% of the body’s circulating blood glucose each day, and that energy isn't insignificant when it comes to making sound decisions.

Can You Learn a Second Language After Childhood?

By David Ludden Ph.D. on August 19, 2016 in Talking Apes
While it’s true that that it’s easier to learn a language when you’re young, adults can still learn languages with the right motivation.
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Who Blames the Victim?

By Laura Niemi, Ph.D. on August 18, 2016 in Morality in Language
Moral values constitute a core framework that organizes psychological processes to motivate predictable patterns of condemnation toward victims. Still, language matters!

Should You Share Your Cocktail Hour With Your Dog?

Evidence shows that sharing alcoholic beverages with your dog is a bad practice.