Bringing a friend along for the ride: Why are we slower to respond when we’re talking to someone else while driving?

A computational model of mental processing speed in drivers who are holding a conversation suggests that having a passenger in the car is not a distraction, but it does make us more cautious and slower to make decisions. A reality of living in much of the United States and many other parts of the world […]

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How long till today’s cigarette will make me ill? Time estimation revisited

Today’s cigarette may yield considerable satisfaction to a smoker, although that satisfaction will likely pale in comparison to the disutility arising from that person’s lung cancer in the future. Likewise, today’s Big Mac and extra-large bag of potato chips may gratify the consumer but the long-term consequences—from obesity to diabetes to heart attacks—are unlikely to […]

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When South Butt makes you think of buying North Face

Imagine standing in an isle of cereals and you want to find THE cereal that has been advertised to you as exceptionally yummy and at the same time, exceptionally healthy—and all that for a great price! What will influence your decision regarding what cereal box you’ll eventually place into your cart, and how could companies […]

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Stitching time onto a tree: joining models of accuracy with response times to understand cognition

“Time is what we want most, but what, alas! we use worst.” —William Penn There are many dimensions of human behavior. Consider a typical recognition memory task in which a participant is given a list of words to remember. A little while later, suppose this participant is shown the word “bear” and asked whether it […]

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When EZ does it: Simpler models are sometimes better than their complex cousins

You are in the cognitive laboratory to participate in an experiment.  A tight cluster of 300 lines at various orientations is projected onto the screen in front of you. Are they predominantly tilted to the left or to the right? The experimenter has instructed you to respond as quickly as possible by pressing one of […]

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#goCRPI: Bayes battling baserate neglect in medical diagnosis

You are an intern in the premier hospital in Tierra del Fuego and you are seeing about 240 patients daily, who always suffer from one of two possible diseases (things are a little different in Tierra del Fuego), namely meowism or barkosis. The tricky thing is that the same symptoms are associated with both diseases, […]

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