Bob better had a round face and Kirk a square jaw: People are liked better if their names go with their faces

What does Bob look like? … Bob who? … No, just Bob, any Bob. And while you are at it, what does Kirk look like? At first glance those questions appear absurd. How could anyone infer an unknown person’s looks from their name? Why would the average Bob look any different from the average Kirk? […]

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Chunks amidst the ruins of Giuoco Pianissimo: Superior expert memory for random domain-relevant material

In 1974, philosopher Thomas Nagel famously asked, what’s it like to be a bat? I am not sure that this question has been answered satisfactorily, so maybe we should focus on a slightly more circumscribed variant of the same question: What’s it like to be a chess grand master? Cognitive scientists have been addressing this […]

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Nursing psychology: Welcome to Kimele Persaud

It gives me great pleasure to introduce our new Digital Associate Editor, Kimele Persaud, who joined our team a few weeks ago: Welcome, Kimele, great to have you. Kimele is currently a graduate student in Psychology at Rutgers University, where she works with Dr. Pernille Hemmer on computational models of memory. Kimele started out as […]

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Dobby did it!

Dobby. Dobby did it! We have a new and powerful platform for the Featured Content section of the Psychonomic webpage. The team of elves at TRG (a Hogwarts subsidiary) has worked tirelessly behind the scences to convert all our existing content to the new platform. The chief deputy elf, Ryan Stoeffler, deserves a particular “thank-you” for […]

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When HOOK lets you remember the voice of BOOK: generation effects for context

Get ready to think of some antonyms. Ready? Now fill in the blanks: HOT-C____, SHORT-T_____, and LEFT-R____. Decades of memory research have converged on the strong conclusion that your memory for cold, tall, and right will be better after you generate them in response to the antonym cues than if you had merely read those […]

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Ir nugalėtojas yra: from 0 to a little Lithuanian in an hour

And the winner is….. in 2014, cognitive scientists from University College London launched an international competition, with a $10,000 prize, to find the best way of tackling a challenge faced by millions every day, namely how best to acquire the vocabulary of a new language. Prof David Shanks and Dr Rosalind Potts from UCL teamed […]

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We need to talk about Kevin (and psychopathy)

We need to talk about Kevin has been described as masterful. But the film (or book) will probably leave you horrified. And perhaps you will be wondering about psychopathy afterwards. Psychopathy is characterized by “persistent antisocial behavior, impaired empathy and remorse, and bold, disinhibited, egotistical traits”, according to Wikipedia. People with psychopathy make up 25% […]

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From scatter (plot) to statistical perception: you can see a lot by looking

Yogi Berra once famously said that “You can observe a lot by watching”. Yogi Berra observed and said a lot of things, but this line has a lot going for it. The idea that information can be gathered by “just looking” entered statistics many decades ago. For example, John Tukey, one of the 20th century’s […]

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