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4 Things Most People Get Wrong About Memory

4 Things Most People Get Wrong About Memory
Human memory has been shown again and again to be far from perfect. We overlook big things, forget details, conflate events. One famous experiment even demonstrated that many people asked to watch a video of people playing basketball failed to notice a person wearing a gorilla suit walk right through the middle of the scene. So why does eyewitness testimony continue to hold water in courtrooms? A new nationwide survey of 1,500 U.S. adults shows that many people continue to have the wrong idea about how we remember—and what we forget. Here are four common incorrect assumptions about memory, held by some of the survey subjects, that experts say should be forgotten: 1. Nearly two thirds (63 percent) of those in the random telephone survey said that they agreed with this model of a passively recorded memory. 2. More than three quarters (77.5 percent) of people thought that this would be the case. 3. Image courtesy of iStockphoto/DebbiSmirnoff

Dissecting the empathic brain: An interview with Christian Keysers Why do we shudder when we watch a tarantula crawling across James Bond’s chest in a 007 movie? And what can looking into a monkey’s brain tell us about our capacity to share in the emotional experiences of other people? Answers to these questions appear in The Empathic Brain: How the Discovery of Mirror Neurons Changes our Understanding of Human Nature, the fascinating and entertaining new book by Christian Keysers, Professor for the Social Brain at the University Groningen in the Netherlands. Keysers, one of the world’s most distinguished and innovative neuroscientists, was part of the famous team at the University of Parma, Italy, that discovered auditory mirror neurons in the macaque monkey, which has revolutionised thinking about how empathy works in human beings. In this exclusive interview for Outrospection, I talk to him about his book, and how far neuroscience has really taken us in our understanding of empathy. We all know this, and take it for granted.

47 Mind-Blowing Psychology-Proven Facts You Should Know About Yourself I’ve decided to start a series called 100 Things You Should Know about People. As in: 100 things you should know if you are going to design an effective and persuasive website, web application or software application. Or maybe just 100 things that everyone should know about humans! The order that I’ll present these 100 things is going to be pretty random. Dr. <div class="slide-intro-bottom"><a href=" A Radical New Definition of Addiction Creates a Big Storm | Drugs If you think addiction is all about booze, drugs, sex, gambling, food and other irresistible vices, think again. And if you believe that a person has a choice whether or not to indulge in an addictive behavior, get over it. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) blew the whistle on these deeply held notions with its official release of a new document defining addiction as a chronic neurological disorder involving many brain functions, most notably a devastating imbalance in the so-called reward circuitry. This fundamental impairment in the experience of pleasure literally compels the addict to chase the chemical highs produced by substances like drugs and alcohol and obsessive behaviors like sex, food and gambling. Indeed, the new neurologically focused definition debunks, in whole or in part, a host of common conceptions about addiction. The bad behaviors themselves are all symptoms of addiction, not the disease itself.

Einstein On Creative Thinking: Music and the Intuitive Art of Scientific Imagination "The greatest scientists are artists as well," said Albert Einstein (Calaprice, 2000, 245). As one of the greatest physicists of all time and a fine amateur pianist and violinist, he ought to have known! So what did Einstein mean and what does it tell us about the nature of creative thinking and how we should stimulate it? In our last post, we suggested that community singing might be a simple way to introduce creativity into one's life. For Einstein, insight did not come from logic or mathematics. But how, then, did art differ from science for Einstein? Einstein first described his intuitive thought processes at a physics conference in Kyoto in 1922, when he indicated that he used images to solve his problems and found words later (Pais, 1982). Anyone in science education reading this?! In other interviews, he attributed his scientific insight and intuition mainly to music. Wow! So much for Einstein's admission that he often had a feeling he was right without being able to explain it.

The Partner Paradox: Why Buddying Up to Achieve Goals May Backfire MY WIFE AND I go to spinning class a couple of mornings a week. It is something we like to do together, and I feel that I benefit from having a regular workout partner. Some days I am just lazy or I do not want to venture out in the predawn cold, but having a supportive partner motivates me. She bolsters my self-discipline when it flags. Or does she? Two psychological scientists have been exploring this novel idea in the laboratory. Honey, Help Me Exercise Fitzsimons and Finkel recruited a group of women in their 30s, all of whom were in a romantic relationship, for an online experiment. The idea was to see if thinking of a partner’s support depleted personal effort and commitment—and that is just what the scientists found. I’ll Do It Later The scientists wanted to double-check these findings, and they did so in an interesting way. A Combined Effort These experiments make it sound as if having a wingman (or -woman) is a disadvantage.

Science and religion: God didn't make man; man made gods - Before John Lennon imagined "living life in peace," he conjured "no heaven … / no hell below us …/ and no religion too." No religion: What was Lennon summoning? For starters, a world without "divine" messengers, like Osama bin Laden, sparking violence. In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to unravel religion's "DNA." Like our physiological DNA, the psychological mechanisms behind faith evolved over the eons through natural selection. For example, we are born with a powerful need for attachment, identified as long ago as the 1940s by psychiatrist John Bowlby and expanded on by psychologist Mary Ainsworth. Scientists have so far identified about 20 hard-wired, evolved "adaptations" as the building blocks of religion. In addition to these adaptations, humans have developed the remarkable ability to think about what goes on in other people's minds and create and rehearse complex interactions with an unseen other.

Not Interested in Having a Good Time? By Rick Nauert PhD Senior News Editor Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on August 14, 2009 A new study suggests a decreased desire for pleasure may be a key predisposing factor for major depression. The research is in contrast to the long-held notion that those suffering from depression lack the ability to enjoy rewards, rather than the desire to seek them. Vanderbilt psychologists Michael Treadway and David Zald led the study published by current edition of the online journal PLoS One. “This initial study shows that decreased reward processing, which is a core symptom of depression, is specifically related to a reduced willingness to work for a reward,” Treadway, a graduate student in psychology, said. Decreased motivation to seek and experience pleasurable experiences, known as anhedonia, is a primary symptom of major depressive disorder. Anhedonia is less responsive to many antidepressants and often persists after other symptoms of depression subside. Source: Vanderbilt University

Stanley Milgram & The Shock Heard Around the World Next to Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment, Stanley Milgram’s obedience studies are arguably the most famous, influential and controversial of psychology experiments. The obedience studies started in 1961 at Yale University when Milgram was just a 27-year-old assistant professor. Muzafer Sherif, also a pioneer in social psychology who conducted experiments at a summer camp to test intergroup conflict, remarked that: “Milgram’s obedience experiment is the single greatest contribution to human knowledge ever made by the field of social psychology, perhaps psychology in general.” At the time, before Sherif and Milgram’s experiments, researchers believed that individuals who inflicted harm on others, particularly the horrific acts of the Holocaust, were somehow different from the “normal” public. But Milgram believed otherwise. Why Milgram Conducted the Obedience Experiments Stanley Milgram was born to Jewish parents in 1933 in New York City. Alexandra Milgram also writes:

The little-known roots of the cognitive revolution Many psychologists rightly credit the likes of George A. Miller, PhD, Noam Chomsky, PhD, and Allen Newell, PhD, with kick-starting cognitive sciences in the academic world. But few are aware that earlier psychologists laid its groundwork during behaviorism's heyday. And fewer still know that one of its more pre-eminent forebears, Otto Selz, PhD, was killed by the Nazi regime at the height of his career. Selz, a Jewish German psychologist born in 1881 in Munich, studied philosophy at the influential University of Wurzburg in central Germany. Behaviorism—the reigning approach to experimental psychology of its day—couldn't bring much to the discussion. Selz began to lay the foundation for cognitive research in a series of experiments he and his colleagues conducted from 1910 to 1915. Based on these statements, Selz concluded that their minds were doing more than simply associating words and images they'd heard in conjunction before. Finding no favor That was not the case.

Why being relaxed makes us spend too much money The typical casino is an intentionally unpleasant place. The ceiling is low and the sight lines are hidden, producing a claustrophobic effect. The lights are dim and the air is filled with the clatter of randomness, as slot machines spit out coins and sound effects. The floor is a labyrinth of drunk gamblers and card tables, making it all but impossible to navigate. (There are also no clocks, so people have no idea what time it is.) Why are casinos so uncomfortable? In recent years, however, the design of high-end casinos has undergone a dramatic shift. The redesign of the casino had a profound effect on revenues: in 1999, the Bellagio set the record for gaming income in Vegas. There's now some interesting evidence to explain the Bellagio phenomenon. The research was straightforward. Here is where the data gets interesting: those who felt more relaxed spent more money. Why does relaxation turn us into spendthrifts? And this returns us to casinos. PS. Source: