Many people who say they can multitask show a cognitive deterioration when trying to perform more than one task at once. But according to Psychology Today, there are a small group of people who can actually multitask flawlessly.
Is Psychometric g a Myth?
- "As an online discussion about IQ or general intelligence grows longer, the probability of someone linking to statistician Cosma Shalizi's essay g, a Statistical Myth
approaches 1. Usually the link is accompanied by an assertion to the effect that Shalizi offers a definitive refutation of the concept of general mental ability, or psychometric g
." [more inside]
Psychologists are now theorizing that humans have a depletable reservoir of self-control, and that this is why poor people remain poor
"The result is almost unprecedented in film studies, I think: an effort to test a critic’s analysis against measurable effects of a movie." - Watching You Watch There Will Be Blood [more inside]
Does the language we speak shape our thoughts?
The Economist is hosting an interactive online debate running all this week. Lena Boroditsky
, a Stanford psychologist, supports the motion that it does, while Mark Liberman
, a linguist from the Univ of Pennsylvania opposes it.
Elsewhere you can read a WSJ article in which among other things Boroditsky argues that Japanese and Spanish speakers have a different sense of blame
, and listen to a lively in-depth seminar
at the Long Now Foundation. All her articles and papers are available in PDF
Is seeing believing?
BBC Horizon looks at sensory perception, illusions and the interplay of our different senses. (Full program for UK viewers here
). Makes you feel like you've entered The Twilight Zone. [more inside]
's 1984 book, Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology
was a seminal work for its discussion of how one might design a system (biological or otherwise) in order to generate behavior like that seen in beings with brains. He embarks on a series of thought experiments in which he creates thirteen "vehicles"
through simple components that (arguably) display intelligent behavior, evolving in a Darwinian fashion to demonstrate what appears to be high-level cognition. [more inside]
“The psychoanalytic mystique was overwhelming. It was a little bit like the evangelical movement.”
How Aaron Beck
and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helped increase empiricism in psychotherapy.
How Google Is Making Us Smarter:
Humans are "natural-born cyborgs," and the Internet is our giant "extended mind."
A New State of Mind.
"New research is linking dopamine
to complex social phenomena and changing neuroscience in the process."
"Over and over he scoops up a chick with his left hand, expels its droppings with a squeeze of his thumb, opens its vent with his fingers, peers through the magnifying lenses attached to his spectacles and determines its sex."
It's a dirty job
(YT). Sexing chicks early
is important so that the cockerels can be separated and culled^
or fed to be broilers^
. The obvious differences
take weeks to develop, so when the vent sexing method was developed in Japan
in the 1920s, professional chicken sexers
became sought after. [more inside]
Neurogenesis, the birth of new brain cells, was something we were all taught was impossible after a certain point. Professor Elizabeth Gould, doctor of psychology at Princeton, has claimed that it happens all the time. (more
) Now, she and her team at Princeton are saying not only is our brain always changing, stress and environment directly affect brain development.
FRANCISCO VARELA (1946 - 2001)*
One of the more quietly influential thinkers of our times. A neuroscientist turned immunologist whose formulation of the theory of autopoiesis (with Humberto Maturana) has challenged conventional thinking in areas as diverse as Artificial Intelligence, Ecology and AIDS research.The mathematics of self-reference involves creating formalisms to reflect the strange situation in which something produces A, which produces B, which produces A. That was 1974. Today, many colleagues call such ideas part of complexity theory.
On 28th of May, Varela's own autopoiesis ceased.
*pointer via fmh
How Culture Molds Habits
is a fascinating article. Read this article, tally another point for nurture. I've long thought this was true, but Nisbett's supposedly gathered rather a lot of data proving it is so. The article raises some interesting parts of the study, but I think the ramifications bear some considering. I'd be interested in reading the full study when it's published, but I haven't a clue where to get the Psychological Review.
And can you imagine what the advertising execs will do with this stuff? Ads tailored to the way you think. Wheee. It does, of course, raise some fun questions about religion and politics.