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Chromostereopsis

The effect varies for different people. Take a moment and look at this. Some people don’t see anything special: just a blue iris in a red eye. Image: CC-BY Tom Stafford 2022 For me though, there is an incredibly strong depth illusion – the blue and the red appear as if they are at different distances. I can enhance the effect by...

Pandemonium’s friendly demons

Oliver Selfridge was an early pioneer of artificial intelligence, and in 1959 wrote a classic paper outlining a system by which simple units, each carrying out a specialised function, could be connected together to perform complex, cognitive tasks. This ‘pandemonium architecture‘ inspired research in neural networks, which in turn led to modern...

Do we suffer ‘behavioural fatigue’ for pandemic prevention measures?

The Guardian recently published an article saying “People won’t get ‘tired’ of social distancing – and it’s unscientific to suggest otherwise”. “Behavioural fatigue” the piece said, “has no basis in science”. ‘Behavioural fatigue’ became a hot topic because it was part of the UK Government’s justification for delaying the introduction of stricter public...

The Choice Engine

A project I’ve been working on a for a long time has just launched: The Choice Engine is an interactive essay about the psychology, neuroscience and philosophy of free will. To begin, follow and reply START — ChoiceEngine (@ChoiceEngine) September 20, 2018 By talking to the @ChoiceEngine twitter-bot you can navigate an essay about choice, complexity...

After the methods crisis, the theory crisis

This thread started by Ekaterina Damer has prompted many recommendations from psychologists on twitter. Can anyone recommend an (ideally brief) introductory paper or post or book explaining what makes for a good theory? For example, how to construct a good psychological theory, what are key things to consider?@psforscher @lakens @talyarkoni @chrisdc77...

Open Science Essentials: Preprints

Open science essentials in 2 minutes, part 4 Before a research article is published in a journal you can make it freely available for anyone to read. You could do this on your own website, but you can also do it on a preprint server, such as psyarxiv.com, where other researchers also share their preprints, which is supported by the OSF so will be around...

Believing everyone else is wrong is a danger sign

I have a guest post for the Research Digest, snappily titled ‘People who think their opinions are superior to others are most prone to overestimating their relevant knowledge and ignoring chances to learn more‘. The paper I review is about the so-called “belief superiority” effect, which is defined by thinking that your views are better than other people’s...

Review: John Bargh’s “Before You Know It”

I have a review of John Bargh’s new book “Before You Know It: The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do” in this month’s Psychologist magazine. You can read the review in print (or online here) but the magazine could only fit in 250 words, and I originally wrote closer to 700. I’ll put the full, unedited, review below at the end of this post. John Bargh...

Did the Victorians have faster reactions?

Psychologists have been measuring reaction times since before psychology existed, and they are still a staple of cognitive psychology experiments today. Typically psychologists look for a difference in the time it takes participants to respond to stimuli under different conditions as evidence of differences in how cognitive processing occurs in those...

spaced repetition & Darwin’s golden rule

Spaced repetition is a memory hack. We know that spacing out your study is more effective than cramming, but using an app you can tailor your own spaced repetition schedule, allowing you to efficiently create reliable memories for any material you like. Michael Nielsen, has a nice thread on his use of spaced repetition on twitter: The use of spaced...

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