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Destination Memory: Stop Me if I’ve Told You This Before. Nigel Gopie. 2009; Psychological Science – Wiley InterScience

4 December, 2009 Leave a comment

Destination Memory: Stop Me if I’ve Told You This Before. Nigel Gopie. 2009; Psychological Science – Wiley InterScience.

Everyone has recounted a story or joke to someone only to experience a nagging feeling that they may already have told this person this information. Remembering to whom one has told what, an ability that we term destination memory, has been overlooked by researchers despite its important social ramifications. Using a novel paradigm, we demonstrate that destination memory is more fallible than source memory—remembering the person from whom one has received information (Experiment 1). In Experiments 2 and 3, we increased and decreased self-focus, obtaining support for a theoretical framework that explains relatively poor destination memory performance as being the result of focusing attention on oneself and on the processes required to transmit information. Along with source memory, destination memory is an important component of episodic memory that plays a critical role in social interactions.

Categories: Papers Tags: ,

OnFiction: Remembrance and Imagination

4 December, 2009 Leave a comment

OnFiction: Remembrance and Imagination.
Dan Schacter, Donna Addis, and Randy Buckner (e.g. 2007), … have found that people who have episodic memories that are detailed and specific in terms of time and place tend also to make predictions of possible future events that are detailed and specific in the same way.

Categories: Papers Tags: ,

PLoS ONE: An Auditory Illusion of Infinite Tempo Change Based on Multiple Temporal Levels

4 December, 2009 Leave a comment
Categories: Papers

Journal: The Speculative Grammarian

17 November, 2009 Leave a comment

Stay abreast of breaking research in satirical linguistics with The Speculative Grammarian.

Categories: Journal, Websites

Computation & Blending

16 November, 2009 Leave a comment

Veale, O’Donoghue, and Keane present a computational model of conceptual blending that directly implements the productivity constraints of Fauconnier & Turner, and which operates in polynomial time.

PDF link.

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Behavioral & Brain Sciences: The WEIRDest People in the World

14 November, 2009 Leave a comment

Heinrich, Heine, and Norenzayan publish a fantastic paper examining the assumptions about the generalizability of psychological findings from mostly American undergraduates. They bring up fantastic examples demonstrating the cognitive relativism throughout all sorts of levels of perception and action to suggest that using WEIRD subjects (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) is probably not easily or freely generalizable.

For example – The Mueller-Lyer line-length ‘illusion’? Used to make universal claims about human perception? Not an illusion for some cultures, who grew up in a context not dominated by right angles. Even preconscious perception is apparently shaped by experience.

Ultimatum game behavior research used to claim that ‘fairness’ is a human universal, perhaps evolved trait – Fehr & Gächter, 1998; Hoffman, McCabe, & Smith, 1998 – seems to also be displayed in WEIRDs, but this behavior is an extreme outlier compared to other groups.

The examples go on – 20 pages of references, and very fun to read.

PDF link.

Behavioral scientists routinely publish broad claims about human psychology and behavior in the world’s top journals based on samples drawn entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Researchers—often implicitly—assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that these “standard subjects” are as representative of the species as any other population. Are these assumptions justified? Here, our review of the comparative database from across the behavioral sciences suggests both that there is substantial variability in experimental results across populations and that WEIRD subjects are particularly unusual compared with the rest of the species—frequent outliers. The domains reviewed include visual perception, fairness, cooperation, spatial reasoning, categorization and inferential induction, moral reasoning, reasoning styles, self-concepts and related motivations, and the heritability of IQ. The findings suggest that members of WEIRD societies, including young children, are among the least representative populations one could find for generalizing about humans. Many of these findings involve domains that are associated with fundamental aspects of psychology, motivation, and behavior—hence, there are no obvious a priori grounds for claiming that a particular behavioral phenomenon is universal based on sampling from a single subpopulation. Overall, these empirical patterns suggests that we need to be less cavalier in addressing questions of human nature on the basis of data drawn from this particularly thin, and rather unusual, slice of humanity. We close by proposing ways to structurally re-organize the behavioral sciences to best tackle these challenges.

Categories: Papers Tags: ,

Thinking about what we are asking speakers to do

26 September, 2009 Leave a comment

Schütze, Carson (2005)
PDF via author’s web site
in Kepser, S and M Reis (eds.), Linguistic evidence: Empirical, theoretical, and computational perspectives

Schütze offers insightful review of linguistic evidence gathering, critiquing Hay 2001, Prasada & Pinker 1993, and Ullman 1999 among others, including applications of the venerable Berko 1958 ‘wug’ test.

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