Olivier Morin

A debate on Robin Dunbar’s social brain hypothesis

  This post is part of a Webinar, Debating Dunbar's Number. Part 1 — Part 2 — Part 3   Some months ago, an article by Jan de Ruiter, Gavin Weston and Stephen Lyon appeared in American Anthropologist. The paper's target is Robin Dunbar's Social brain ...

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Incredible! Listening to ‘When I’m 64’ makes you forget your age

As an illustration of the power of priming experiments to produce astonishing findings, a recent study shows that people tend to underestimate their age (but not their father’s) after listening to the Beatles’ song « When I’m 64 ». The study was published in Psycholo...

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Blogs from ICCI contributors

ICCI contributors also blog elsewhere. I am happy to recommend two new blogs: Hugo Mercier's Social by Design on Psychology Today is devoted to popularizing his and Sperber's argumentative theory of reasoning. It will teach you the truth about gulliblity (trust me). Simon Barthelmé...

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How much trust should we put in experimental results?

Thinking back on the year 2010, cognitive scientists will probably remember it as the year the Hauser affair broke out after years of rumors. That summer, a Harvard investigation committee found Marc Hauser responsible for eight cases of "scientific misconduct". The most serious problem ...

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Denis Dutton (1944-2010)

In twelve years of existence, Arts and Letters daily hardly ever let a day pass without publishing its three witty three-liners. On the 28th of december, the feed was unusually late. It quickly resumed to announce the death of its founder, Denis Dutton. Reading the reports (here and here), you ...

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Is human communication biased?

This post is part of our 'Pedagogy theory week' series. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday For a very short presentation of pedagogy theory, see the Monday post. This one is about the genericity bias. You can read György's reply on this topic on Friday. According to Pedagogy ...

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Pedagogy week starts today!

This week, the Cognition and Culture blog will be hosting a series of posts discussing György Gergely and Gergely Csibra's theory of Pedagogy, a theory of communication and cultural transmission that ICCI bloggers love to discuss (see these two posts by P. Jacob, and this one by György Gergely). ...

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camphor – ammonia = anniseed x peppermint

How can we count? Where does our arithmetic capacity come from? A lot of progress has been made on this question, thanks, in no small part, to the work of cognitive scientists like Susan Carey and Stanislas Dehaene. The picture that emerges from this kind of work looks something like this: many ...

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Religion science: if you pay the piper, do you call the tune?

A hot debate has been taking place these last few days, in the comments section of Harvey Whitehouse's recent post on religion. Part of the dispute has to do with the way cognitive scientists working on that topic might be influenced by the money they get, particularly from a Christian founda...

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Conversation Hackers

Olivier Morin and Sophie Claudel Human argumentation is at the center of recent (and less recent) psychological work. We are learning a lot about our ability to argue. But the motivation behind human arguing is less well known. What makes us want to argue back at other people, even when we know ...

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How much of a difference does culture make ?

In my latest post, I mentioned a very nice study that looked at differences in face-processing between East Asians and Westerners. Though it made a couple of fascinating points, the study also claimed that Asian culture strongly hindered Asians from understanding Western emotions. In fact, their ...

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Japanese smileys vs. Ekman faces

Some medias and the blogosphere (see here, here and here) are celebrating a new study published in Current Biology, allegedly showing that recognition of facial expressions is not universal. Psychological universalists and relativists never seem to get tired of chewing that old bone of conten...

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