Cognition Essential Reads

What Is a Democracy?

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on October 10, 2015 Hidden Motives
Jimmy Carter's shocking statement about our democracy disappeared in the media

Why Do Brain Injuries Look Like ADHD?

What you should know about the similarities and differences between brain injury and ADHD.

Hallucinated Happiness

If only imagination could sustain our happiness! Alas, we remain shackled to reality. Examples of continued attempts to psych ourselves into happiness – or others into unhappiness – range from the entertaining to the disturbing.

Why Does Misinformation Continue to Affect Thinking?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on October 01, 2015 Ulterior Motives
Vaccination for childhood diseases like Measles and Whooping Cough was one of the most significant public health victories of the second half of the 20th century. When I was in elementary school in the 1970s, these diseases had been relegated to the past.

User's Manual for the Male Brain

Theory and practice of getting the best and avoiding the worst in male humans

Attack of the Killer Robots

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on September 23, 2015 Mental Mishaps
The killer robots are coming after you. While this is a common plot theme in science fiction, it isn’t just fiction. Robots have killed before and will kill again. Beware beautiful robots who seem to be aware. Don’t let them out.

Why Study Coincidences? Part 2

Meaningful coincidences can jolt us into examining our own minds and our relationship with the world in which our minds are immersed.

5 Reasons Why Poverty Reduces Self-Control

Bad choices can certainly be a factor in poverty. But just because someone makes bad choices doesn’t mean they lack virtue or have no self-control.

Thinking About “The Rationality of Rage”

In The New York Times, Matthew Hutson surveys some recent research pointing to the social benefits of anger. But might anger be too difficult to control to use strategically? Let's ask some philosophers what they think.

6 Reasons Why Selfie-Taking Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Another death by selfie: a 66-year-old Japanese tourist fell down a flight of steps at the Taj Mahal while taking a selfie. Questions that arise include reactionary suggestions of governmental requirements for ‘cautionary messages’ on selfie taking and even legislation. If regulatory bodies want to do something useful, they should teach people more biology.

Top 10 Lessons From Donald Trump's Body Language

Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, is certainly a unique individual, with his own personal style (love it or hate it). Here is an analysis of the nonverbal cues that Trump commonly uses, and the possible effects they may have on others.

Say Your Dog's Name and He May Form an Image of Your Face

Recent research suggests that dogs can recognize human voices and have an expectation, or mental image, of which faces go with which voice.

No Such Thing as a Free Evolutionary Lunch

By Jesse Marczyk on September 14, 2015 Pop Psych
If you want to do good psychology, you don't get to take the existence of cognitive mechanisms for granted. Brains take energy, and that energy better be doing useful things.

Can You Really Catch Madness From Your Cat?

By Guy P. Harrison on September 08, 2015 About Thinking
Billions of human brains are infected with a bizarre cat parasite that seems to influence our personality and behavior. Could they be altering the course of human history as well?

Is Consciousness a Stream? An Update

Neuroscience and Indian Buddhist philosophy agree that perceptual consciousness seems continuous but is really discrete.

Murder and the Digital Self

Social media have changed us into directors of scripts of our own lives. This creates a detachment and possibly a change in "self", making us spectators and would-be journalists who act out our scripted fantasies, which in some tragic cases such as the Virginia live TV shootings, include murder.

Does Anticipating Temptation Help You Resist Temptation?

By Art Markman Ph.D. on August 27, 2015 Ulterior Motives
In Smart Change, I talk about the importance of planning for temptations. The idea is that temptations are hard to deal with in the moment, because they suggest something that would feel good to do right now. Those temptations can capture your motivational system and drive you to do something that is not in your long-term best interests.

The Most Important Way to Fight Insomnia

Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia, or CBT-I, is a powerful non-drug treatment. Find out one of the main principles that underlies its effectiveness.

Dogs Avoid People Who Are Not Cooperative with Their Owners

New data shows that dogs, like young human children, continually watch the social interactions going on around them and use information from what they observe to decide who to avoid in the future.

The Surprising Power of Conspiracy Theories

Can merely being exposed to popular conspiracy theories make you less pro-social?

Can a Building Make You Sad?

By Colin Ellard Ph.D. on August 22, 2015 Mind Wandering
Time worn principles in architecture suggest that we might like buildings that mirror the proportions and harmonies of the human form. But what about faces? New research shows how computer analysis of building facades might be used to show how face-like images on the surfaces of buildings affect our emotions.

What Most People Get Wrong About Critical Thinking Tools

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 20, 2015 Ambigamy
Just because they defend their position with a weak argument, it doesn't mean their position is wrong. Weak arguments are irrelevant. Contrary to popular belief, they are not evidence that the position being supported by the argument is incorrect.

Cognitive Signatures of Creativity and Genius

By Kaja Perina on August 14, 2015 Brainstorm
Dr. Albert Rothenberg articulates cognitive processes that undergird breakthrough discoveries and the most inventive minds.

Seeing Inequality--or Not

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on August 08, 2015 Hidden Motives
The rich not only tend to care less than the poor about our growing economic inequality, but also they just don’t see it, according to recent studies reported in Psychological Science.

Why Are the Candy Crushes of the World Dominating Our Lives?

What happens when an organic form of existence, after evolving for millions of years, meets the last word in planned and designed addictiveness? Darwin goes searching for the gas pedal in this evolutionary phenomenon of his.

The Wonder of New Worlds

By Neal Roese Ph.D. on August 06, 2015 In Hindsight
On July 23, 2015, the discovery of the planet Kepler-452b was announced -- the most Earth-like planet yet found, with a size similar to earth and an orbital distance from its sun just right for sustaining We aren’t going there any time soon, yet star travel nonetheless animates our imaginations. What might we find out there?

Welcome to "I Got a Mind to Tell You"

Want the facts about mind, brain, mental and mental disorders. Follow "I Got a Mind to Tell You."

A Riddle For All Ages

By Kaja Perina on August 03, 2015 Brainstorm
When my son was old enough to understand the basic concept of infinity (but hardly its nuance), he presented me with a “trick riddle.”

Can Improv Comedy Treat Social Anxiety?

By Jon Fortenbury on August 02, 2015 NeuroProgress
People are increasingly turning to improv comedy (theatre made up on the spot) to reduce social anxiety. The reason it's working for some and not all is simple, but powerful.

Why We Think We're So Much Smarter Than We Really Are

By Susan Greenfield Ph.D. on August 02, 2015 Mind Change
Searching the Internet for information creates an illusion of knowledge, in which we think we are smarter than we really are.