With behaviorism turning 100 in 2013, a review of those developments, and their implications for other natural sciences and today’s world, seems appropriate. The natural science of behavior can elevate the status of the natural sciences, lead to solving more human problems, reduce susceptibility to superstition and mysticism (both theological and secular), and improve human [...]
Do psychic powers exist? No: Psychologists must change the way they analyze their data.
In the late 1950s, three men who identified as the Son of God were forced to live together in a mental hospital. What happened?
The accuracy of computer speech recognition flat-lined in 2001, before reaching human levels. The funding plug was pulled, but no funeral, no text-to-speech eulogy followed. Words never meant very much to computers—which made them ten times more error-prone than humans. Humans expected that computer understanding of language would lead to artificially intelligent machines, inevitably [...]
If you’ve ever heard anything about cognitive psychology, then you’ve probably heard about H.M.
Henry Gustav Molaison (February 26, 1926 – December 2, 2008), better known as HM or H.M., was a memory-impaired patient who was widely studied from the late 1950s until his death. His case played a very important role in the development [...]
Joe Queenan in the LA Times tries to justify his hatred of sharks, hyenas and anacondas:
Like most people in this country, I have long hated sharks, largely because of what they did to Robert Shaw in “Jaws.” For years, I thought of sharks as mindless, demonic eating machines, an attitude reinforced by [...]
Back in the 1970s, a chimpanzee named Nim Chimpsky took part in a Columbia University research study called “Project Nim.”
Project Nim was led by Herbert Terrace, a psychologist at Columbia who was attempting to find out if a chimpanzee could learn to communicate using American Sign Language.
“Everyone knows that words are learned [...]
University of Iowa neuroscientists studying spatial learning and the effects of stress on memory announced Tuesday that a little son-of-a-bitch mouse ruined an experiment on cognitive performance by effortlessly navigating a maze that researchers spent nearly a year designing and constructing.
The test subject, a common house mouse, briskly traversed the complicated wooden maze [...]