Archive for the ‘Thinking’ Category
New experiments show that the experience of thinking fast makes people more likely to take risks. This discovery suggests that some of the innovations of the modern world—fast-paced movies, social media sites with a constant flow of fresh updates—are pushing people toward riskier behavior. An article describing two experiments showing this effect will appear in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Thoughts can flow quickly or slowly. If you start your day with a cup of coffee, and an inbox full of e-mails with only a few minutes to check them, you may find your thoughts racing. But, if you skip your morning coffee and start the day staring at a blank wall, you probably won’t be thinking that fast. “Many aspects of your everyday environment impact the speed of your thinking,” says Emily Pronin, a psychology professor at Princeton University, who cowrote the article with Jesse J. Chandler.
Nancy J. Nersessian‘s research is driven by the question “How do scientists think?” Nersessian’s research focuses on how the cognitive and learning practices of scientists and engineers lead to creative and innovative outcomes. She is a Regents’ Professor of Cognitive Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology with joint appointments in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts School of Public Policy and the College of Computing School of Interactive Computing.
Her research supports the insight that scientists think not only with ideas, but also with the artifacts they create to investigate nature. Nersessian is one of the pioneers of the interdisciplinary field of cognitive studies of science and technology, which comprises psychologists, philosophers of science, artificial intelligence researchers and cognitive anthropologists.
New research provides the first evidence that depression can be treated by only targeting an individual’s style of thinking through repeated mental exercises in an approach called cognitive bias modification. The study suggests an innovative psychological treatment called ‘concreteness training’ can reduce depression in just two months and could work as a self-help therapy for depression in primary care.
People suffering from depression have a tendency towards unhelpful abstract thinking and over-general negative thoughts, such as viewing a single mistake as evidence that they are useless at everything. Concreteness training (CNT) is a novel and unique treatment approach that attempts to directly target this tendency. Repeated practice of CNT exercises can help people to shift their thinking style.
Young children think like researchers but lose the feel for the scientific method as they age.
Since the 1990s studies have shown that children think scientifically—making predictions, carrying out mini experiments, reaching conclusions and revising their initial hypotheses in light of new evidence. But while children can play in a way that lets them ascertain cause and effect, and even though they have a rudimentary sense of probability (eight-month-olds are surprised if you reach into a bowl containing four times as many blue marbles as white ones and randomly scoop out a fistful of white ones), it was not clear whether they have an implicit grasp of a key strategy of experimental science: that by isolating variables and testing each independently, you can gain information.