psychoBlogy

I See Psychology… Everywhere

Autistic Stephen Wiltshire

This is the website of British autistic Stephen Wiltshire, who’s been called the “Living Camera” for his ability to draw huge landscapes upon viewing, entirely from memory. His site provides some insight into autism, and his work is incredible!

Here‘s a video of his construction, via Neatorama.

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31 August 2006 Posted by | Clinical, Sensation & Perception | Leave a comment

New (yet somehow more primitive) Skinner Box?

Here‘s a video that Richard Norton has created of a cat exercise wheel that makes the cat exercise for treats. You’ll see how it works in the video.

Anyone with overweight cats knows they’ll work hard for the snacks!

via Neatorama

31 August 2006 Posted by | Learning | Leave a comment

Correlation: Wine Bottle Dimple Depth & Price!

Itchy Squirrel has conducted extensive (and pleasurable!) research on the relationship between the depth of the dimple on the bottom of a bottle of wine (if you didn’t know there was a dimple, you’re not drinking very good stuff) and its price. So now you can see if your friends really care when they bring it over to you! A nice look at correlational research with a purpose! Don’t forget, correlation doesn’t imply causation!
Via Neatorama

31 August 2006 Posted by | Quantitative, Research | Leave a comment

Psyc of Religion or Confirmation Bias?

Neatorama has a nice roundup of recent religious “sightings.” Through chocolate, wood, and reptile skin, we either find revelations or selective perception–seeing what we expect (or want) to see. Enjoy.

virgin-mary-turtle.jpg

31 August 2006 Posted by | Cognitive, Research, Sensation & Perception | 1 Comment

Erroneous Causality Argument

In my classes when I cover research methods, I show some newspaper articles that appropriately or inappropriately argue causality. I think it’s nice to show that journalists (and researchers) often read more into their data than they should, but it’s also nice to make the point about 3rd variables and reverse causality problems.

Here‘s a great example I got from Yahoo’s news site. The headline: Sexual Lyrics Prompt Teens to Have Sex. They provide little hint of the possibility that kids who have sex are drawn to music that contains such lyrics. Even the researchers make this assertion without acknowledging alternative explanations.

I’m not sayin’ that the claim is wrong, just that they don’t have the basis for the argument, at least beyond speculation.

7 August 2006 Posted by | Research, Social, Students | Leave a comment

Old Drug Ads

thorazine.jpgMy, how our perceptions of drug treatment have changed! Take a look at some of these ads, many of which are for treatment of psychological disorders.

via Folderol

7 August 2006 Posted by | Clinical, Psychopharmacology | Leave a comment

Emo Phillips’ Operational Definitions

emo.jpgHow’s this for a nice illustration of the importance of operational definitions?

via Bob Harris

4 August 2006 Posted by | Research | Leave a comment

Brilliant Gestalt Commercials!

Here are a couple of wonderful wonderful illustration of the Gestalt principles… of course used to sell stuff. Take a look. Try Here, here, here, and here.

via YouTube

4 August 2006 Posted by | Cognitive | Leave a comment

Evolution’s Rainbow and Homosexual Animals

Evolution's RainbowThis book, Evolution’s Rainbow, by Joan Roughgarden of Stanford, documents homosexual activity among non-human animals. Of course it’s a little controversial, but some persuasive arguments.

4 August 2006 Posted by | Comparative, Stereotyping, Prejudice, & Discrimination | Leave a comment

Chimp Plays Ms. Pac Man

Here‘s a YouTube video of a chimp playing Ms. Pac Man. How much of its behavior is strictly operant conditioning, vs. a more cognitive response?

via Neatorama

4 August 2006 Posted by | Comparative, Learning | Leave a comment