I’ve been coming across these issues from several different directions lately, and I wanted to get the basic idea down without killing myself in the writing of it. So consider this a sketchy first draft.
What if beliefs could be surgically inserted into a patient's brain? This is the basis of one of philosopher Daniel Dennett's thought experiments in exploration of how the brain represents beliefs. ...
Whether for oneself or for others, fairness is preferred by people, but the brain network changes depending on who is actually benefiting. "In previous studies," explains the lead investigator, "we found the same tendency to reject unfair offers regardless of whether the decision involved the subjects themselves or a third party. Brain imaging, however, suggested that the brain was working differently in the two situations."
Network optimality has been described in genes, proteins and human communicative networks. In the latter, optimality leads to the efficient transmission of information with a minimum number of connections. Whilst studies show that differences in centrality exist in animal networks with central individuals having higher fitness, network efficiency has never been studied in animal groups. Here we studied 78 groups of primates (24 species). We found that group size and neocortex ratio were correlated with network efficiency. Centralisation (whether several individuals are central in the group) and modularity (how a group is clustered) had opposing effects on network efficiency, showing that tolerant species have more efficient networks. Such network properties affecting individual fitness could be shaped by natural selection. Our results are in accordance with the social brain and cultural intelligence hypotheses, which suggest that the importance of network efficiency and information flow through social learning relates to cognitive abilities.
Abstract: In this study we provide direct evidence on the relationship between social status and personality traits. Using survey data from the 2006-2012 waves of the HRS, we show that individuals’ self-perceived social status is associated with all the “Big Five” personality traits, after controlling for observable characteristics that arguably reflect one’s actual status. We also construct an objective status measure that in turn is influenced by personality traits. Objectively measured status is positively but not highly correlated with its subjective counterpart and, when incorporated in a regression specification, still leaves room for direct effects of personality traits on status perception.
A good story can make or break a presentation, article, or conversation. But why is that? When Buffer co-founder Leo Widrich started to market his product through stories instead of benefits and bullet points, sign-ups went through the roof. Here he shares the science of why storytelling is so uniquely powerful.
The cognitive capacities of fossil humans cannot be studied directly. Taking the evolution of causal cognition as an example this article demonstrates the use of bridging arguments from archaeological finds as starting point via identification/classification, behavioral reconstruc-tions, and cognitive interpretations to psychological models. Generally, tool use is linked to some causal understanding / agent construal as the tool broadens the subject’s specific capabil-ities by adding new characters to its action sphere. In human evolution, the distance between the primarily perceived problem and the solution satisfying this need increased markedly: from simple causal relations to effective chaining in secondary/modular tool use, and further to the use of composite tools, complementary tool sets and notional tools. This article describes the evolution of human tool behavior from the perspective of problem-solution-distance and dis-cusses the implications for a linked development of causal cognition.
Realistically, we all know there is no magic bullet to get our children – and especially our teenagers – to listen to us. However, we often bypass an important step on the way to delivering life lessons. That step is empathy.Unlike sympathy, which is the capacity to feel pity or sorrow for another’s misfortune, empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, whatever those feelings may be. As a parent – or a therapist for that matter – to empathize is to fully accept and acknowledge a child’s perspective without trying to change it. Bear in mind that acceptance is not agreement, and you may empathize with a person without agreeing with her.
Via Edwin Rutsch
This post isn't as evil as it sounds because it's yourself you'll be tormenting. The method you will use is counterfactual thinking. If you use it right, you can wring money from the gullible and improve all kinds of things about yourself...
Choice Architecture in Democracies: Exploring the Legitimacy of NudgingConference, Humboldt-University Berlin, Jan 12-14th 2015
Is “nudging” – as outlined by Cass Sunstein and Richard H. Thaler in their controversial concept of libertarian paternalism – a modern and efficient tool of governance or a dangerous attack on freedom and individual autonomy? Legal, economic and other experts will discuss the political, ethical and constitutional ramifications of nudging in a two-day conference at Berlin, beginning with a public lecture delivered by Cass Sunstein.
Self-criticism has many faces. It might be a subtle push toward producing better work, or it might be an aggressive or abusive assertion that you’re wrong, bad or seriously flawed, said Ali Miller, MFT, a therapist in private practice in Berkeley...
After two decades of almost complete dominance, a few bright souls started speaking up, asking: are all these brain studies really telling us much as we think they are?
Via Luca Baptista, Jocelyn Stoller
Most of us don’t save enough. When governments try to encourage saving, they usually enact big policies to increase the incentives. But, in Kenya, people were given a lockable metal box — a simple place to put their money.