Here’s a little challenge for ya. Take a look at this chart of cognitive biases and see if you can identify two that you’re especially guilty of, and two that you’re reasonably good at avoiding. I suffer inordinately from reactive devaluation and gambler’s fallacy, and I’ve gotten reasonably skilled at avoiding confirmation bias and hyperbolic discounting, when I try. How about you? Continue reading “May PsychNotes”
The first mass media April Fool joke was reportedly the BBC’s 1957 Panorama segment on spaghetti harvesting, for which a cameraman hung “pounds of spaghetti over trees in a little Swiss village” and persuaded locals to harvest the crop. The BBC was inundated with calls. “[T]he majority either wanted to know where they could see a spaghetti harvest, or obtain information to start a spaghetti farm” (Humphrys 1999).
It was a simpler time. Here are some research goodies from last month. Continue reading “April PsychNotes”
Hey, you wanna buy a car? Here’s my offer: If you give me $50,000 I’ll deliver a vehicle to you next year. Until then, you don’t get to drive it or see it. Maybe it’s a new Lamborghini, or maybe it’s a ’77 Pinto with a tendency to explode.
Any takers? I didn’t think so. No one with a lick of common sense would take that deal, yet I routinely meet men, and more than a few women, who use that method to make a much more important decision: they marry people they haven’t truly gotten to know. Occasionally they get lucky, but more often they deeply regret it. Continue reading “Men, Never Marry a Misstery”
What is green and pecks on trees? Woody the Woodpickle. (That joke never fails with kids.) Here are some goodies from last month, including studies on woodpecker brain damage, preventing extramarital affairs, and why your brain might not trust certain people. Continue reading “March PsychNotes”
Wanna hear a joke? A neuron and a glial cell went to summer camp. When they arrived at the barracks, the neuron demanded the top bunk. “Why should I get stuck on the bottom,” asked the glial cell. The neuron answered, “because I want to have a high resting potential!” (I didn’t say it was a good joke.) Here’s some recent news, starting with the brain’s tiny unsung heroes. Continue reading “February PsychNotes”
So you’re thinking about tying the knot. Congratulations! Not to rain on your parade, but have you considered what might happen if you ever need to untie the knot? Continue reading “How to Talk to Your Girlfriend about Prenuptial Agreements”
Someone once said the problem with the future is that it usually arrives before we’re ready for it. Ready or not, happy new year! Here are a few items that caught my attention as 2017 wound down. Continue reading “January PsychNotes”
My favorite study of the week says dogs have about 530 million cortical neurons, and cats have 250 million. However, cats make up the deficit by forcing their owners to boast about feline superiority. Here are some other tidbits that caught my attention this month. Continue reading “December PsychNotes”