Knowledge is (still) power: Memory for chess positions is better for experts with more chess knowledge and chess experience

Memory researchers love chess. Chess experts have been studied by psychologists to try to explain the role of higher-level processing in memory. One reason chess is a great domain in which to ask these questions is because its rules and concepts provide meaning to the spatial positions of the pieces only if one knows them. […]

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Reproducible studies may not generate reliable individual differences

The scientific process relies on the ability to replicate findings. This is as true in psychology as in any other discipline. If findings can be reliably replicated, researchers can draw theory-changing conclusions from relatively few data points. But all is not well, and psychology has been dealing with the famous “replication crisis.” Recently a very […]

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The NIH definition of clinical trials: An update for the holiday season

As many of you know, the NIH has broadened its definition of “clinical trials” in a manner that looks like it will include a lot of basic human behavioral and brain sciences that would not normally be included in the conventional definition of a clinical trial. I have outlined this issue in two previous posts […]

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CRPI: Read it, Cite it, Submit to it! (and check out our end-of-year offer)

The Psychonomics Society’s open access journal, Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications (CRPI) is coming to the end of its second year of publication. You can (and should) check out the latest articles here. We started the journal for two main reasons. First, we wanted the Society to have an open access journal and second, we […]

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Looking at Toto or Kansas: The Tyranny of Film versus Top-Down Cognition

What are your favorite, best-ever movie quotes? Is it “I’ll have what she’s having”? Or “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”? What about “This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”? If you are unsure, here is a list of the best 100 movie quotes of all time according to Hollywood. But […]

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The Unbearable Distraction of Being Sweet: Performing in the Presence of Candy

Think eating is easy? Think again. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight worldwide in 2016. Of these, over 650 million were obese—a number equivalent to roughly twice the population of the United States. And most of the world’s population lives in countries in which obesity kills more people […]

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Through the Goal Post: Evaluating the Psychological Value of Goal Achievement

A basic assumption of human nature is that we all want the greatest reward for the least amount of effort.  Take for example the students in my class. Often they apply just enough effort to earn a satisfactory grade (e.g., a low B or high C), while avoiding extra-credit assignments like the plague. But in […]

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