Some scientists believe the ‘free energy principle’ can explain the behaviour of all living things – but others say it paints the world with too broad a brush to be useful.
Good news for parents…
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A big study accounting for genes and socioeconomic background suggests that video games actually cause children’s intelligence to grow.
Reason is not the only factor that guides vaccine decisions. Understanding human decision-making is the first step in changing behaviour.
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Vaccine hesitancy is often met with one of two responses: Ridicule, or factual information. Both assume a failure of reason, but human behaviour is more complex than reason, so both responses fail.
Research shows that people who have flow as a regular part of their lives are happier and less likely to focus on themselves.
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Research shows that people with more flow in their lives had a higher sense of well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientists are beginning to explore what happens in the brain during flow.
You don’t really need to remember what you ordered at the bakery a couple weeks ago.
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Errors don’t necessarily mean your mind is faulty. They may actually be a sign of a cognitive system with limited capacity working efficiently.
The feeling that something is “on the tip of your tongue” but you can’t quite remember it may be more indicative of a good memory than a bad one.
That feeling of ‘I-know-it-but-can’t-quite-remember-it’ has been studied for decades, but there’s a new twist: It’s more common in groups.
How might a house that comes on the market today affect what you think of this one?
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Cognitive scientists are investigating the ways relative factors like new options and the order they’re presented influence your choices and beliefs.
These psychological tendencies explain why an onslaught of facts won’t necessarily change anyone’s mind.
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Cognitive shortcuts help you efficiently move through a complicated world. But they come with an unwelcome side effect: Facts aren’t necessarily enough to change your mind.
The coronavirus is really just an inanimate packet of genetic material.
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Thinking of SARS-CoV-2 as an invisible enemy with an evil personality and humanlike motivations is a natural offshoot of the way people evolved to anthropomorphize so as not to overlook threats.
Reading lets you experience another time, place, even mind.
People have changed over time, growing ever more distant and isolated from others – while at the same time finding new ways and technologies that let individuals connect and feel with others.
Understandings of truth may be found in the Muses’ words.
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Is making sense of a story more important than getting at its truth? Looking at the treatment of myth in ancient Greece may help us navigate what is true, and whether that matters.
Imitation is the sincerest form of being human?
A quirk of psychology that affects the way people learn from others may have helped unlock the complicated technologies and rituals that human culture hinges on.
Fake news works at a cognitive level to shape our perceptions and drive our decisions.
We fall sway to fake news because it grabs our attention through outlandish claims, suggests false memories and contains appeals to our emotions that align with our politics.
You might just be getting better at the game you’re practicing.
There are reasons to be skeptical, of both the quality of the evidence presented so far and the questionable assumptions that underlie claims of improved cognitive function after brain training.
How can both be sure the other hit it out?
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Sports fans see it all the time: two people arguing about a split-second difference in who did what. New research suggests human beings have a bias to perceive their own actions as happening sooner.
If the goal is to communicate, why should the speaker bear all the burden?
It can be hard to understand a non-native speaker of your own language. But conversation is a two-way street and linguists are figuring out how native listeners can improve their half of the interaction.
One way to see the value of meaning is to share information and cooperate with others.
The self-help books are full of advice on how to get meaning in life, but it helps to understand what meaning actually is. Science may be able to provide some answers.
If consciousness is a by-product of our brains’ nonconscious processes, where does that leave us?
Distractions at work can take up more time than you think, but doodling may just help you get through that lecture or meeting.
Multitasking may not be what you think it is and it might not even help you be more productive if you choose to do the wrong things at the same time.
Even people who claim to hate routines probably follow quite a few.