Tag Archives: psychology

[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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Fight Me, Psychologists: Birth Order Effects Exist And Are Very Strong

“Birth order” refers to whether a child is the oldest, second-oldest, youngest, etc. in their family. For a while, pop psychologists created a whole industry around telling people how their birth order affected their personality: oldest children are more conservative, … Continue reading