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Tag Archives: psychology

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

Psychologists are split on the existence of “birth order effects”, where oldest siblings will have different personality traits and outcomes than middle or youngest siblings. Although some studies detect effects, they tend to be weak and inconsistent. Last year, I … 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

SSC Survey Results On Trust

Last post talked about individual differences in whether people found others basically friendly or hostile. The SSC survey included a sort of related question: “Are people basically trustworthy?” The exact phrasing asked respondents to rate other people from 1 (“basically … Continue reading