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Tag Archives: psychology

Is Enlightenment Compatible With Sex Scandals?

Last year I reviewed The Mind Illuminated, a meditation guide by Buddhist teacher Upasaka Culadasa. Last month, Culudasa’s Buddhist community accused him of cheating on his wife with prostitutes for many years. Culadasa doesn’t seem to agree with the exact … Continue reading

[Partial Retraction] Age Gaps and Birth Order Effects

On Less Wrong, Bucky tries to replicate my results on birth order and age gaps. Backing up: two years ago, I looked at SSC survey data and found that firstborn children were very overrepresented. That result was replicated a few … Continue reading

A Critical Period For Lactation Fetishes

Enquist et al on lactation fetishes is one of my favorite papers. They wonder – as we’ve all wondered at one point or another – how people develop fetishes. One plausible hypothesis is “sexual imprinting”. During childhood, you have a … Continue reading

Age Gaps And Birth Order Effects

[Parts of this post have since been shown to be wrong, as explained in this post. I endorse this reanalysis as better than the current post.] Psychologists are split on the existence of “birth order effects”, where oldest siblings will … Continue reading

Translating Predictive Coding Into Perceptual Control

Wired wrote a good article about Karl Friston, the neuroscientist whose works I’ve puzzled over here before. Raviv writes: Friston’s free energy principle says that all life…is driven by the same universal imperative…to act in ways that reduce the gulf … Continue reading

The Parentheses Riddle

Because I hate you, I included this question on the SSC survey: It’s a weird trick question, but I would say B is right. Imagine converting “(” to X and “)” to Y. Then the first answer is XYXY, and … Continue reading

Before You Get Too Excited About That Trigger Warning Study…

STUDY: Trigger Warnings Are Harmful To College Students says the Daily Wire, describing a study whose participants’ average age was 37 and which did not measure harm. You can find the study involved here. A group of Harvard scientists asked … Continue reading

Adult Neurogenesis – A Pointed Review

[I am not a neuroscientist and apologize in advance for any errors in this article. A recent study came out contradicting some of the claims mentioned here. See here for study, this comment for some discussion, and entry #20 on … Continue reading

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God Help Us, Let’s Try To Understand Friston On Free Energy

I’ve been trying to delve deeper into predictive processing theories of the brain, and I keep coming across Karl Friston’s work on “free energy”. At first I felt bad for not understanding this. Then I realized I wasn’t alone. There’s … Continue reading

Guyenet On Motivation

Rereading The Hungry Brain, I notice my review missed one of my favorite parts: the description of the motivational system. It starts with studies of lampreys, horrible little primitive parasitic fish: How does the lamprey decide what to do? Within … Continue reading

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