Wednesday, June 19

Psychology

Sometimes it’s the simplest studies that reveal how deeply culture shapes our thinking. Take a 2009 experiment involving only a researcher, a child, and a two-word instruction.1 The researcher announces, “Let’s dance!” and demonstrates a series of movements: He holds his hands together at eye level and extends them—first to the left, then to the […]

In 1898, American psychologist Edward Thorndike published a seminal dissertation on animal intelligence. Thorndike, then at Columbia University, had spent hours experimenting with cats and special contraptions of his own design: puzzle boxes, confined spaces the cats could only escape by, for example, pawing at levers in order to trigger a release mechanism. Once out, […]

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