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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Grandma, where’s Waldo? Comparing Goal-directed and Habit-based Attention in Older Adults

Visual search can be a very daunting task, whether it’s looking for keys among a pile of office supplies on a desk, or looking for a dime among a bunch of coins in your purse. It seems like no matter how many times you have checked and re-checked certain locations, the object of your affection […]

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From “Rush Hour” to a tidy room: effective conversations find common ground

Have you ever had a conversation with someone, maybe with your spouse, your co-worker, or a student, and based on their response (or lack thereof) you ask yourself, “Did they even hear a word I said?” In the famous American movie, Rush Hour, the actor Chris Tucker posed the question a different way: In these […]

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“Fuhgeddaboudit” if you can: When remembering may help you forget about a bad date

Have you ever had a day where nothing seemed to go according to plan? Maybe you had a flat tire, were caught in the rain, or maybe even a bad date? The type of day that feels like a page out of Judith Viorst’s, “Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good very bad day”. Click […]

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Call your first witness (and again and again…): Multiple trial viewings have no effect on eyewitness outcomes

Have you ever watched one of your favorite procedural crime shows (there are plenty, so pick your poison) and wondered who designs the techniques used to elicit eyewitness accounts of the crime? Certainly shouting in the face of the witness is likely to influence the quality of recall, but what other factors play a role […]

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