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kottke.org posts about psychology

Unobserved people paid almost three times as

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 28, 2006

Unobserved people paid almost three times as much to the “honesty box” when watched by a photocopied face than in the absence of the face. See also What the Bagel Man Saw by Freakonomists Stephen J. Dubner and Steven Levitt. I wonder if the smiley face on milk cartons deters people from drinking straight from the carton?

Update: Spiegel Online has a story with a graph depicting the results of different sets of eyes…sexy eyes did the worst while serious eyes looking straight ahead performed the best. (thx, roland)

Why online text-only communication is so problematic:

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 14, 2006

Why online text-only communication is so problematic: interpretation of tone in email is successful only about half the time but we think we’re 90% successful. No word on how emoticons affect interpretation success. ;) ;)

Political party members’ brains get a rush

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 26, 2006

Political party members’ brains get a rush from “ignoring information that’s contrary to their point of view”. “None of the circuits involved in conscious reasoning were particularly engaged. Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want, and then they get massively reinforced for it, with the elimination of negative emotional states and activation of positive ones.”

The researchers found that while straight men

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 14, 2005

The researchers found that while straight men are only aroused by females of the human variety, straight women are equally aroused by all human sexual activity, including lesbian, heterosexual and homosexual male sex, and at least somewhat aroused by nonhuman sex.

Good review of Philip Tetlock’s new book

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 12, 2005

Good review of Philip Tetlock’s new book about expert predicitons, Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? “Human beings who spend their lives studying the state of the world, in other words, are poorer forecasters than dart-throwing monkeys, who would have distributed their picks evenly over the three choices.” Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen calls Tetlock’s book “one of the (few) must-read social science books of 2005”.

German researchers are studying the mysterious phenomenon

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 01, 2005

German researchers are studying the mysterious phenomenon of people waking up shortly before their alarm goes off. I’ve been getting better and better at doing this. A friend of mine (can’t recall who exactly) doesn’t use an alarm clock but gets up on time by setting his/her internal alarm clock. Also, this sounds like something Feynman would have been into.

Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 08, 2005

Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.

Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences

posted by Jason Kottke   May 03, 2005

Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. You can be smarter than your friends in nine different ways.