from month 09/2009

Faculty position at CEU, Budapest

The Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary, invites applications for an open-rank faculty position to extend its recently established Cognitive Science Program. This new position can be taken at Fall 2010. We are seeking candidates with a PhD in a relevant discipline who have an ...

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Cultural anthropology of the distant future?

In a provocative post at  3 Quarks Daily Sam Kean asks: "Will the Manhattan project always exist?" raising interesting possiblities about future representations of the present, which by then will be a distant past. He writes: "Will historians and archaeologists a few ...

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A bubble in the Humanities market?

Philip Gerrans discuss bubbles in the academic market in "Bubble Trouble", published July 9, 2009 in the THES and available here.  He argues that the humanities are in the same state financial markets were in before they crashed. Of relevance here both as a critique of, and as ...

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How to Think, Say, or Do Precisely the Worst Thing for Any Occasion

An excellent, humoristic and refreshing paper by Daniel M. Wegner explains why under cognitive load we tend to do precisely what we try not to do! The counterintentional error is "when we manage to do the worst possible thing, the blunder so outrageous that we think about it in advance and ...

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In the Journal of Cognition and Culture

Good stuff in the last issue (vol 9, 1-2, 2009) of the Journal of Cognition and Culture (that provides "an interdisciplinary forum for exploring the mental foundations of culture and the cultural foundations of mental life. The primary focus of the journal is on explanations of cultural ...

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A debate in Nature on Darwin and the mind

Last April, Johan J. Bolhuis and Clive D. L. Wynne published in Nature (458(7240), 832-833) a paper entitled "Can evolution explain how minds work?" doubting the use and usefulness of evolutionary analysis in understanding cognitive mechanisms. In response, Lewis Wolpert ("Cognition: ...

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A scientific evaluation of Charles Dickens

  A paper - or is it an hoax ? - by MV Simkin, forthcoming in Physics and Society. I didn't know one could hate a writer so much.   Abstract: I report the results of the test, where the takers had to tell the prose of Charles Dickens from that of Edward Bulwer-Lytton, who is ...

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The Chameleon effect in Capuchin Monkeys

Imitation, as you probably know, has received considerable attention during the past 20 years or so because it was first argued that it was a uniquely human psychological mechanism that could partly explain the development of human material culture (see Whiten et al. 2004 for a review with histor...

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Keyboards, Codes and the Search for Optimality

For some of our readers, this may be old hat, but for others this article by Robert Dorit in the September-October 2009 (Volume 97, Number 5, Page: 376) issue of the American Scientist entitled "Keyboards, Codes and the Search for Optimality" available here revisits in a cogent manner the ...

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The quest for Jesus

One of my interests is the history of Christianity, particularly the first few centuries, when there were some interesting varieties of the religion—my religion—quite unlike anything we see today, or will probably ever see again. Figuring out what exactly happened back then is no easy ...

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The compromise effect or, cross-cultural psychology is messy

Among the many ‘irrational' effects unearthed by decision making researchers, one has been the focus of a relative wealth of cross-cultural work: the compromise effect. Strictly speaking, the compromise effect stems for an unwarranted shift towards an option when it becomes a compromise ...

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Is autonomy as a universal aspiration?

A 'Science News' dispatch reporting on the work of Charles Hewlig, Eliot Turiel and other cross-cultural moral psychologists, answers yes. Read it here. Excerpts : During the teen years, kids in Asian and Western cultures alike gravitate toward a broader class of moral imperatives, ...

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