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  • December 25, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 562 views

Here’s an updated version of the meteorologists ‘Santa Tracker’

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’re taking a break until 2016 so we’ll see you in January! Most of us grew up watching the weather report on TV and seeing a NORAD ‘Santa Tracker’ showing where Santa and his sleigh were on their way for a long night of work. But this is 2015 and if you celebrate the holiday, […]

Related posts:
 Psychopaths cannot understand punishment—what does that mean for the courtroom?
fMRIs and Persuasion: Did anyone tell the jurors?
A new neurolaw caveat to minimize punishmen........ Read more »

Hougaard A, Lindberg U, Arngrim N, Larsson HB, Olesen J, Amin FM, Ashina M, & Haddock BT. (2015) Evidence of a Christmas spirit network in the brain: functional MRI study. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 26676562  

  • December 21, 2015
  • 01:58 PM
  • 1,157 views

Tattoos as a restorative act (for college-aged women anyway) 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We write a lot about tattoos here—perhaps because we have Millennial aged kids and at least half of them have tattoos.  Okay, more than half. The meaning of tattoos has changed over the years and there seems little stigma still associated with them any longer. The authors of new research on college students (2,394 of […]

Related posts:
Ponytails, earworms, tattoos on college women,  and emoticons
The new bumper sticker? Tattoos in the courtroom
Lumbersexuals with tattoos: Are they n........ Read more »

Koch, J., Roberts, A., Armstrong, M., & Owen, D. (2015) Tattoos, gender, and well-being among American college students. The Social Science Journal, 52(4), 536-541. DOI: 10.1016/j.soscij.2015.08.001  

  • December 18, 2015
  • 06:12 PM
  • 951 views

A world by design – even atheists intuitively think the natural world has a designer

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Research over the past few years has shown that many people intuitively think that things in the natural world exist for some ulterior purpose – almost as if they had been designed that way. We have a tendency to agree with statements such as ‘water condenses to moisten the air’, or ‘the sun shines in [Read More...]... Read more »

  • December 14, 2015
  • 03:49 PM
  • 916 views

Self-Explanation: A Good Reading Strategy for Bad Texts (& Good)

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

One of the important study skills we need in our increasingly technology driven world is the ability to learn from hard-to-understand text. Maybe you’re trying to grasp a biology textbook chapter on sexual reproduction. Or perhaps you’re reading articles on the web to figure out how to extend your home network by repurposing an old…
Check out Self-Explanation: A Good Reading Strategy for Bad Texts (& Good), an original post on Thinker Academy.
... Read more »

  • December 9, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,160 views

The Mobile Phone Problem Use Scale and how much you really  use your smartphone

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Most of us don’t know how much we rely on smartphone use and this is likely a very important piece of information to help us understand why it’s so very hard for many jurors to stay away from their phones while serving jury duty. While only a small study (29 participants between the ages of […]

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The NoMoPhobia Scale (NMP-Q): What  happens when you are without your smartphone
More than half of your potential jurors have  smartphones now
Stop looking at your smartphone........ Read more »

  • December 4, 2015
  • 12:02 PM
  • 707 views

Ponytails, earworms, tattoos on college women,  and emoticons

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here it is, our last 2015 collection of things you may find intriguing to know (or not) that we found in our travels but to which we do not choose to devote an entire post. For the most part, these tidbits are based in scientific research and have helped some academic somewhere to obtain tenure. […]

Related posts:
Lumbersexuals with tattoos: Are they new and improved? 
Tattoos: When should you clean up your witness?
“Glasses can’t hide neck tattoos”


... Read more »

  • December 3, 2015
  • 10:09 AM
  • 1,159 views

Conspiracy theories flourish when people feel like things are slipping out of control

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

You young ‘uns may not remember the dark days of 1999, when the imminent arrival of the millennium was met with a fair degree of fear and trepidation. And it wasn’t just your usual end-times hysteria. There was actually some real concern that a software bug – the infamous Y2K bug – a could cause [Read More...]... Read more »

  • November 18, 2015
  • 05:49 PM
  • 1,018 views

Sticks and stones (2): How names work

by Michael Ramscar in The Importance of Being Wrong

A stranger in the village On immigrating to Sweden, migrants are given the option of exchanging their current last name for one that sounds a little more Swedish. The process is administered by the Patent- och registreringsverket – the Patent and Registration Office (PRV) – and of the many rules it enforces, an important one requires that anyone wanting to adopt a Swedish surname prove their […]... Read more »

Brown, P. F., Pietra, V. J. D., Mercer, R. L., Pietra, S. A. D., & Lai, J. C. (1992) An estimate of an upper bound for the entropy of English. Computational Linguistics, 18(1), 31-40. info:/

Shannon, C. (1948) A Mathematical Theory of Communication. Bell System Technical Journal, 27(3), 379-423. DOI: 10.1002/j.1538-7305.1948.tb01338.x  

  • November 18, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 719 views

The Motivation to Express Prejudice Scale 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We hear a lot more these days about covert or “modern prejudice” than we do about plain old overt prejudice. So it’s a little surprising to see this measure but it makes sense. There are some people who do want to express prejudice and here is a scale you can use to measure their wishes […]

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Detecting Deception Using the Law of Sufficient Motivation
The Bias Awareness Scale 
The Generic Conspiracist Beliefs Scale 


... Read more »

Forscher PS, Cox WT, Graetz N, & Devine PG. (2015) The motivation to express prejudice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109(5), 791-812. PMID: 26479365  

  • November 15, 2015
  • 06:00 PM
  • 1,404 views

Critical Thinking Skills: What are They and How Do I Get Them?

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

Critical thinking is often touted as a superior way to confront the issues one faces. But what is critical thinking, really? How is it done?   Can anyone do it, or are Spock-like mental abilities required? Critical thinking is sometimes talked about as a near-mystical skill that exercises untapped parts of your brain. The supposed…
Check out Critical Thinking Skills: What are They and How Do I Get Them?, an original post on Thinker Academy.
... Read more »

  • November 13, 2015
  • 04:24 PM
  • 1,156 views

Make people uncertain then remind them about God, and they become more fearful of sin

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

There’s plenty of research about suggesting that feeling uncertain can increase the strength of belief in god in different ways. But what’s not clear is whether belief in god reduces the ill effects of uncertainty, or is a response to it. One theory is that a belief in God provides a kind of reassurance, which [Read More...]... Read more »

  • November 13, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 747 views

Things You Want to Know: Stereotypes, biases,  defensiveness, and when work strikes awfully close to home

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This is a conglomeration of articles we thought were interesting and useful but chose not to devote an entire post describing them. Think of this as a series of articles that might pique your interest and make you want to learn more. We’ll provide links so it’s easy to learn more. Christians and Science: A […]

Related posts:
Cognitive Biases: A pictorial primer 
Do Whites, Blacks, and Asians have different  biases than Biracial adults?
Have you seen our latest work in The Jury Exp........ Read more »

Phillips, LT, & Lowery, BS. (2015) The hard-knock life? Whites claim hardship in response to racial inequity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 12-18. info:/

  • November 9, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 516 views

The Generic Conspiracist Beliefs Scale 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You likely know we love a good conspiracy theorist here. For entertainment value it adds a lot to an otherwise dull story. In fact, one of our favorite blog-moments was when a conspiracy theorist left a raging comment for us regarding a post that questioned the existence of Big Foot. We’ve posted a few scales […]

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Conspiracy beliefs and the relation to emotional uncertainty
Is there an effective strategy that reduces a conspiracy  theorist’s intense beliefs?
Measuring........ Read more »

  • November 6, 2015
  • 06:47 AM
  • 1,110 views

Broca’s area processes both music and language at the same time

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

When you read a book and listen to music, the brain doesn’t keep these two tasks nicely separated. In a new article just out, I show that there is a brain area which is busy with both tasks at the same time (Kunert et al., 2015). This brain area might tell us a lot about […]... Read more »

  • November 5, 2015
  • 09:47 PM
  • 1,187 views

Your good deeds are pleasing God? That might impress kids but it doesn’t impress adults!

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

The most magnificent charitable gesture can fall flat if it turns out that you just did it to get a promotion, or get some other kind of pay off. People don’t like it if they think they detect a hidden motive behind apparently charitable behaviour. Last year, research by University of Kentucky psychologist Will Gervais [Read More...]... Read more »

  • October 26, 2015
  • 04:00 AM
  • 1,046 views

Sticks and stones (1): How names work & why they hurt

by Michael Ramscar in The Importance of Being Wrong

Boiling a frog In 1781, Christian Wilhelm von Dohm, a civil servant, political writer and historian in what was then Prussia published a two volume work entitled Über die Bürgerliche Verbesserung der Juden (“On the Civic Improvement of Jews”). In it, von Dohm laid out the case for emancipation for a people systematically denied the […]... Read more »

Fryer, R., & Levitt, S. (2004) The Causes and Consequences of Distinctively Black Names. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 119(3), 767-805. DOI: 10.1162/0033553041502180  

Nunley, J.M., Pugh, A., Romero, N., & Seals, R.A. (2014) An Examination of Racial Discrimination in the Labor Market for Recent College Graduates: Estimates from the Field. Auburn Economics Working Paper Series. info:/

Zajonc, R. (1968) Attitudinal effects of mere exposure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9(2), 1-27. DOI: 10.1037/h0025848  

  • October 16, 2015
  • 03:00 PM
  • 1,190 views

3 Ways Concept Maps Help You Learn

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

Concept maps are pictures that that show how ideas relate to each other. In a concept map, ideas are represented as nodes, and the relationships between them as links with descriptive labels. Concept maps can be very large and complex—and they can be very small and simple. You can use concept maps to capture, communicate, and simplify…
Check out 3 Ways Concept Maps Help You Learn, an original post on Thinker Academy.
... Read more »

  • October 12, 2015
  • 09:51 PM
  • 1,422 views

What do people think God is actually like?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

The ancient Greek philosopher Xenophanes once scathingly pointed out that people imagine god to be pretty much like themselves: But mortals suppose that gods are born, wear their own clothes and have a voice and body. Ethiopians say that their gods are snub-nosed and black; Thracians that theirs are are blue-eyed and red-haired. Christian tend [Read More...]... Read more »

  • October 9, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 834 views

Police observers are more observant than ordinary  civilians

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Most research has not shown police to be any more observant than ordinary civilians—even though judges and juries often make assumptions that police witnesses are more reliable than civilian eyewitnesses. New research by Dutch researchers shows that police observers were more aware of details in a drug deal near a hotel which had been recorded […]

Related posts:
Are jurors more skeptical of police on the witness stand now? 
“I can look into his eyes and just tell he is lying”
An ........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2015
  • 12:30 PM
  • 799 views

Neury Thursday: Modeling disrupted sleep in Angelman Syndrome

by Allison in Dormivigilia

This study came out of our group here at Morehouse School of Medicine. It concerns a mouse model of disrupted sleep in Angelman Syndrome. Basically, was it the circadian or homeostatic system that is responsible, or both? It was the homeostatic. ... Read more »

Ehlen, J., Jones, K., Pinckney, L., Gray, C., Burette, S., Weinberg, R., Evans, J., Brager, A., Zylka, M., Paul, K.... (2015) Maternal Ube3a Loss Disrupts Sleep Homeostasis But Leaves Circadian Rhythmicity Largely Intact. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(40), 13587-13598. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2194-15.2015  

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