Merging multiple shades of play in multiple ways

The special issue on the evolution and psychological significance of play in Learning and Behavior covers multiple topics, species, and ages and is most welcome. I hope the issue and thoughtful papers receive the attention that they deserve. With the great influx of research interest in play over the last 20 years, some of the […]

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The Engine of Play

Play is rich and fascinating; it is also strange and puzzling. It is playing all kinds of tricks with seriously-minded thinkers and researchers. Play is easy to recognize in children below one year of age, yet professors at the zenith of their play-research career are struggling to work out a simple and useful definition of […]

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Morality Play, New Jersey Style: The American version of isumaqsayuq

In contrast to the animal play that is covered in the special issue of Learning & Behavior dedicated to The Evolutionary and Psychological Significance of Play, humans often use elaborate representation (language and other symbols) in their play.  An example that occurs during contemporary Christmas season is the elf-on-the-shelf. By the time I visited homes […]

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Getting ready to play

The Digital Event on The Evolutionary and Psychological Significance of Play got under way yesterday with an overview post. Today is the first day of this event, and it serves to introduce the special issue of the Psychonomic Society’s journal Learning & Behavior on which it is based. In June of 2016, the Chicago Zoological […]

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38 shades of play: Commencing a digital event on the science of a diverse and pervasive behavior

We all know what it means to play. We play badminton, we play with others, we are playfully exploring an environment…. Come to think of it, there is so much to playing, what does it mean to play? According to the Oxford English dictionary, the verb “play” has 7 different meanings, ranging from “Engaging in […]

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A new look at old data: Results may look better but different

Replication and reanalysis of old data is critical to doing good science. We have discussed at various points how to increase the replicability of studies (e.g. here, here, here, and here), and have covered a few meta-analyses (here, here). Maybe it is because technology is constantly changing, and because we forget where we leave files […]

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From zero to mayhem in 4 to 7 seconds: Memory and temporal preparation

The start of a Formula 1 Grand Prix is always exciting and adrenalin producing, even if you watch it on TV from thousands of miles away and keep the noise level below the pain threshold. (A Formula 1 cockpit is one of the loudest places on Earth.) Have a look at a start of a […]

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