Sexual selection is the professional, at sifting between genes.
Geoffrey Miller, The Mating Mind
Have you ever had this awkward experience at a conference cocktail party: a rosy new acquaintance asks you about the morning’s keynote, which you attended with no capture device but yourself? So you couldn’t recall anything about the lecture to convey to your interested, appealing conversant.
This post discusses the problem of taking mental notes. As more than an example, I will use a lecture on Zen and Creativity that my date and I recently attended on July 30. Continue reading Tea, Zen, Creativity and Taking Mental Notes with the Method of Loci
The Globe & Mail published an article yesterday morning by Lawrence Martin called “We need Jon Stewart to set Canada straight“. He wrote “Too bad [Stewart didn’t cover Harper]. Imagine the fun he could have lampooning this place?”
As it happens, on June 3, 2015 I sent Comedy Central an email urging them to cover Mr. Harper and to invite Mr. Mulcair or Mr. J. Trudeau to The Daily Show.
Well, it can be said that Jon Stewart did cover the Conservative Government of Canada —in his own way.
Continue reading Jon Stewart Skewered Stephen Harper on the Daily Show: Illustrating Cognitive Productivity with Twisted Canadian Politics
In my previous blog post, I talked about the 2-second file access rule in relation to an excellent reference management app, Papers 3 for Mac. This rule (which I explained in Cognitive Productivity: Using Knowledge to Become Profoundly Effective) states that you need to be able, 8 times out of 10, to access a knowledge resource (typically a PDF or a meta-doc) within 2 seconds. That normally means without using your mouse. I noted in that post that if you enable Papers 3 syncing, it’s hard to satisfy that constraint.
I encourage researchers to consider using Papers 3. So this blog post briefly explains the file name issue and proposes a solution.
Continue reading More on Accessing PDFs Managed by Papers 3 for Mac
Update. I’ve written a post that follows up on this one.
I want to make it clear that although I am documenting some glitches here, I highly recommend Papers for Mac.
In Cognitive Productivity I described and advocated for a 2s rule: You need to be able to access 80% of the files you work with on any given day within 2s. So, if there are a 10 PDFs that are critical to your project, and you need access to some random file in that lot, 8 times out of 8 you should be able to get to such a file in 2s. Obviously, if you want to access the same file twice that day, then it the probability of quickly accessing it should increase.
This is a very important rule, because when you are doing cognitive work, time is of the essence. For example:
Continue reading Papers 3 Wi-Fi syncing, Virtual Disk, File Naming and the 2-Second File Access Rule
We can’t get away from “folk psychology” and “intuitive physics” (also known as “naive physics”), i.e., from using everyday concepts like emotion, memory, force and energy. However, in everyday discussions as in more technical ones, those words can trip us up. “Emotion” in particular is a tricky one. This difficulty is acknowledged in multiple articles in the emotion literature (and elsewhere on this web site). But, even in psychology, often the term is used without reference to particular theory of emotions. And therein lies the problem:
without a reference theory of emotion, the term “emotion” doesn’t mean much at all.
Continue reading On Having One or More Theories of Emotion: Perturbance and Ur-Emotions
I attended and presented at two conferences this summer:
- ISRE-2015 July 8-10, in Geneva (International Society for Research on Emotions),
- CogSci 2015, July 23-25 in Pasadena (37th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society).
I enjoyed and will continue to benefit from both conferences. But there were psychosocially interestingly differences.
Continue reading A Tale of Two Summer Conferences: ISRE-2015 and CogSci 2015
Following a lead this morning in my ongoing attempt to reverse engineer the brain’s sleep-onset control system (SOCS), I came across a lush collection of articles on the brain’s propensity to predict. Continue reading Promising Research Problems are Like F-16’s
Earlier this year I described a grant proposal to research knowledge workers’ cognitive productivity. Tomorrow (July 25, 2015), I will present my second CogSci 2015 poster (in Pasadena, California). This one is co-authored with Prof. Geneviève Gauthier of the University of Alberta and Prof. Philip H. Winne of Simon Fraser University. It is humbly called “Cognitive Productivity Can Cognitive Science Improve How Knowledge Workers Use IT to Learn from Source Material?” If you read this blog, you know the answer is “yes”. So the questions really are:
Continue reading Presenting the Cognitive Productivity Research Program at CogSci 2015 in Pasadena
This afternoon, we will present preliminary results on the cognitive shuffle at CogSci 2015 in Pasadena (that’s the annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society). This is research with Professor Nancy Digdon from MacEwan. I’m looking forward to receiving feedback from our peers on this research.
Continue reading Presenting Preliminary Results on the Cognitive Shuffle at CogSci 2015 in Pasadena
Review of “Checking email less frequently reduces stress” (Kushlev & Dunn, 2015)
Knowledge workers are now having to deal with unprecedented levels of information, on a number of different platforms and devices. We are constantly bombarded, and one of the most inescapable arenas of assault is our email inbox. Many people have difficulty managing their inboxes, organizing work and home emails, dealing with the daily influx, and adhering to the expectation that they respond to emails quickly. Managing your inbox requires that you attend to it, which means frequently switching between email and other tasks. Attention is a limited resource, and other research has shown that people whose cognitive resources are in excessive demand experience compromised well-being in other areas of their lives, like feelings of social connectedness and general life satisfaction.
Continue reading Try as You Might: Does Checking Email Less Frequently Reduce Stress?