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Entries Tagged as 'psych'

The 7 Minute Solution

March 22nd, 2016 · No Comments

I’m intrigued by the proliferation of explicitly time-based self-care plans, like the 7 Minute Workout. They aren’t a new phenomenon – we’ve had 30 day diets and things like NaNoWriMo for decades. But it feels like the duration of these plans are getting shorter and shorter.
The Science
Part of the change is surely due to science. [...]

Tags: neuro · psych · science

Invariable Reinforcement

December 9th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Our office manager Sophie passed me the phone. “It’s someone from Google,” she said. I raised an eyebrow. Perhaps this was an invitation to an event, or another chance to test prototype hardware, or something even more magical.
I unmute the phone. “Hello?”
“Hi, I’m Tim, from Google Digital Development. I’d love to talk about how we [...]

Tags: neuro · psych · tech · web

Brain Training Games Don’t Work

October 24th, 2014 · 1 Comment

A few days ago, 73 scientists signed a letter asserting that brain training games – which typically feature puzzle games and mental exercises on smartphones, tablets, PCs, or handheld devices – do not successfully increase general measures of intelligence or memory.
I have long had my doubts about the efficacy of games like Brain Age in [...]

Tags: edu · games · neuro · psych · science

We’re Smart People and We Mean Well

June 30th, 2014 · No Comments

By now, many of you will know about Facebook’s experimental study in which they attempted (successfully, they claim) to make their users sadder or happier by manipulating their News Feeds – without their informed consent. To call the study controversial would be an understatement. Unethical, arrogant, and bone-headed would be a little more accurate.
Beyond [...]

Tags: adrian · psych · tech

You Have A Lucky Face

June 20th, 2011 · 336 Comments

I’d been walking back from a meeting in town when it suddenly began raining. I’m the type of person who packs an umbrella even at the slightest possibility of rain – in fact, at school my friends found it amusing how I always seemed to have an umbrella even in the middle of summer.
Lately though, [...]

Tags: adrian · psych

On Fun, Learning, and Craft

May 4th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Last week’s show of Thinking Allowed had a solid-gold conversation between Prof. David Gauntlett, author of Making is Connecting, and Prof. Richard Sennett, a sociologist at NYU and LSE, on Craft and Community. It began as an exploration of David Gauntlett’s book about ‘modern craftsmen’ on YouTube and other online venues but quickly flowed into [...]

Tags: philosophy · psych

One More Turn

August 16th, 2010 · 6 Comments

It’s the mantra of any Civilization player – just one more turn. Whether you’re exploring uncharted territory, or researching a new technology, or anticipating a Wonder of the World that’s about to complete, there’s always a reason to play one more turn. And once you’ve played that turn, there’ll be another, and another, and before [...]

Tags: adrian · civilization · games · psych

Tip of the Tongue

April 15th, 2008 · 1 Comment

A phenomenon well-known by psychologists, and pretty much everyone else, is called ‘tip of the tongue’, and it’s described in this American Scientist article:
When we have something to say, we first retrieve the correct words from memory, then execute the steps for producing the word. When these cognitive processes don’t mesh smoothly, conversation stops.
Suppose you [...]

Tags: future · neuro · psych · spec

Brain Enhancement

March 9th, 2008 · 1 Comment

One of the many sad results of Perplex City being put ‘on hold’ is that I can’t explore the effect of cognitive enhancement on society. As a former neuroscientist who studied experimental psychology at university, I always enjoyed writing about my pet fictional company, Cognivia, and its range of cognitive enhancements including Ceretin (wide-spectrum enhancement), [...]

Tags: future · neuro · perplexcity · psych

Future Selves, Other Selves

March 9th, 2008 · No Comments

There’s a fascinating series of articles at the New York Times Magazine this week about charitable giving. While many of the articles tend to cover the same ground (e.g. the move towards measuring the effectiveness of donations) there are some real gems there:
Consider Mr. Improvident, who is just like us except that he is not [...]

Tags: charity · letschangethegame · philosophy · psych