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Miscellaneous Psychology & Neurobiology

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Memory, Choice, Free Will

  • 7 (+/-2) random numbers are the maximum people can hold in memory
  • Keeping 7 numbers in memory will mitigate the logical mind; People trying to remember 7 numbers lead people to choose cake rather fruit; (people keeping trying to remember 7 digits choose cake twice as often as people trying to remember 2) - (RadioLab 11/18/08)
  • Loss hurts approximately twice as much as gain feels good. E.g. the average person would invest a dollar in a coin flip if they'd win $2. (RadioLab 11/18/08)


The Just World Hypothesis

  • The Just World Hypothesis - "The sight of an innocent person suffering without possibility of reward or compensation motivates people to devalue the attractiveness of the victim in order to bring about a more appropriate fit between her fate and her character.... The irony of the Just World Hypothesis is that it demonstrates how our faith in justice leads directly to injustice." ( The Frontal Cortex )


Rosenhan Study

  • 1973 D.L. Rosenhan, Stanford
  • 8 subjects go to 12 hospitals and report hearing voices.  Seven of the eight were diagnosed as schizophrenic and hospitalized for an average of 19 days. (The other patient was diagnosed as manic-depressive).
  • Robert Burton article


Smart males use more of their brains to solve math problems

  • For most mental tasks, smarter people use less of their brains -- i.e. they learn brain efficiency
  • Solving mathematical problems is an exception, but only for males.  Male with higher math ability use more brain energy than other males, but females do not (even though males and females performed at the same level)
  • Richard J. Haier, Scientific American Mind Nov/Dec 2009




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