Posts Tagged ‘Automatic Processes’

Fidget Less, More Success!

November 23rd, 2014 5 comments

You’re sitting in class trying to scratch down notes as your professor drones on and on. In the midst of the monotonous task, you begin to think of the busy day ahead of you. Lost in thought, you shift in your seat, and soon your notes have become little more than a few random words on a page, and you realize you’ve missed the last five minutes of the lecture.


We’ve all been there. We all find our minds wandering off from time-to-time, and we’ve all experienced that feeling where your leg starts shaking, fingers start tapping, and you just can’t seem to sit still and focus on the task at hand.

It makes sense that if your mind is elsewhere, your performance on the current task will be largely inhibited, but why is it that the deeper we fall into this trance, the less control we have over bodily movements too? What is the connection between this occurrence of motor and mental restlessness—that is, how do fidgeting and mind wandering relate?

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To cheat, or not to cheat? The cognition of relationship maintenance

image source: rm magazine

image source: rm magazine

Why stick with the girl/guy next door when a supermodel moves to town?  Long-term romantic partnerships are difficult enough to maintain on their own, without the temptation of alternative mating partners.  Why then, do people in committed relationships tend to stay faithful to one another?  Or rather, what psychological processes do people exhibit to help protect their relationships in the threat of desirable—especially physically attractive—mating alternatives?

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Who’s That Chick? How You Identify and Recognize the Hotties Around You

April 30th, 2014 5 comments


It happens to everyone: you’re walking around campus when all of a sudden you see “Hottie Number One” or “Hot Girl Number Three,” or “Hot Dude From Dana.” We are students on a small campus; therefore, we start to recognize people after just a few weeks of being here. But why do we recognize some people more than others? Based upon personal interactions, people from all aspects of the sexuality spectrum seem to say that they run into “Hottie Number One” more often than they do other people. Perhaps even more interesting is that people seem to recognize potentially compatible hotties – straight people tend notice straight hotties whereas gay people tend to notice gay hotties. What makes us recognize the hotties better than we do other people? And how do we manage to focus on potentially compatible hotties? What about the hotties with non-compatible sexual orientations?

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Stroop Interference and Reading Ability

April 8th, 2013 3 comments

If you have ever taken an introductory level class in Psychology, chances are you learned about the Stroop task.  For those of you who haven’t, try this activity out for yourself; look at the list of words written below. Simply name the color ink the word is written in. It sounds easy enough, but is actually much harder than you might think.



Undoubtedly you were able to read the first line with ease, but the second line, well that was a different story. Chances are you find yourself inclined to read the word initially and then must pause to actually say the color ink instead. This task can be frustrating! Why is it so hard? Why is the bottom row where color words are written in their inconsistent ink so much harder do than the top row where words are in consistent ink color?

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