Are social psychologists biased against conservatives? A simple check for ideological bias.

Maria Konnikova has an article in the New Yorker on whether there is bias in social psychology against conservatives.  One of the people calling attention to the issue is Jonathan Haidt, whose work my long time readers will know I'm generally a fan of. The core issue that Haidt is calling attention to is the … Continue reading Are social psychologists biased against conservatives? A simple check for ideological bias.

The attention schema theory of consciousness deserves your…attention

Michael Graziano published a brief article in the New York Times on his attention schema theory of consciousness, which a number of my fellow bloggers have linked to and discussed.  I'm not sure this article was the clearest description of it that he's given, and I suspect the title biased readers to think his theory is another consciousness-is-an-illusion … Continue reading The attention schema theory of consciousness deserves your…attention

People attribute free will to mind, not soul

Broadly speaking, there are two conceptions of free will.  The first is libertarian free will, where one has metaphysical freedom from the laws of nature in making decisions.  Libertarianism is usually understood to require mind-body dualism, in other words, a non-material soul. The second is compatibilist free will, which generally recognizes that thoughts arise from the brain … Continue reading People attribute free will to mind, not soul

Beauty is determined by both biology and culture

Science can't determine values, and this includes aesthetics, beauty.  But that doesn't mean science has nothing to say about beauty.  As this article at PolicyMic indicates, it can study what most of us see as beauty and explore the reasons why we see it as beautiful. The primary reason we are alive is to reproduce … Continue reading Beauty is determined by both biology and culture

Self Deception | Conscious Entities

Peter Hankins at Conscious Entities does a book review of 'Kidding Ourselves' by Joseph T Hallinan. Joseph T Hallinan’s new book Kidding Ourselves says that not only is self deception more common and more powerful than we suppose, it’s actually helpful: deluded egoists beat realists every time. Philosophically, of course, self-deception is impossible. To deceive … Continue reading Self Deception | Conscious Entities

The importance of (experimental) design — ScienceDaily

One of the hottest debates in evolutionary biology concerns the origin of behavior: is it genetically encoded or do animals and birds copy their parents or other individuals? A classic experiment published in 2000 seemed to provide overwhelming evidence that a particular behavioral choice (whether individuals of a species of swallow breed in a small … Continue reading The importance of (experimental) design — ScienceDaily