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.
(Click through for full sized version and for the red button caption.) via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Of course, as we discussed on the Selfish Gene post, even if we are acting completely altruistically at a conscious level, our impulse to do so is broadly tied up with evolutionary survival advantages.
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
Somewhat related to Zach Weiner's cartoon on our continuing death, this TED talk looks at how transitory the self actually is. We seem to have no problem recognizing our transitory our self from ten years ago was, but not how much our current self is. This has big implications for how we make, or should … Continue reading The psychology of your future self
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
I think this ties in rather well with my comments on beauty yesterday. Click through to see the full sized version. via Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
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
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
If you think you know what you just said, think again. People can be tricked into believing they have just said something they did not, researchers report this week. The dominant model of how speech works is that it is planned in advance — speakers begin with a conscious idea of exactly what they are … Continue reading You don’t always know what you’re saying
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