Mittwoch, 7. Oktober 2015

Big Decisions:

"children's development is the end of a much longer process that involves many complex decisions by parents, one of which is how many children they should have and how much love and care they should lavish on each. But even before they get to this stage, the parents must agree to choose each other as mates. It's probably fair to say that these are the two biggest decisions that we make in our lives".

Evolutionary Psychology (2005)
R. Dunbar, L. Barret & J. Lycett

Samstag, 3. Oktober 2015

Genetic specificity of face recognition

Genetic specificity of face recognition
Nicholas G. Shakeshaft and Robert Plomin (2015)


Diverse cognitive abilities have typically been found to intercorrelate highly and to be strongly influenced by genetics. Recent twin studies have suggested that the ability to recognize human faces is an exception: it is similarly highly heritable, but largely uncorrelated with other abilities. However, assessing genetic relationships—the degree to which traits are influenced by the same genes—requires very large samples, which have not previously been available. This study, using data from more than 2,000 twins, shows for the first time, to our knowledge, that the genetic influences on face recognition are almost entirely unique. This finding provides strong support for the view that face recognition is “special” and may ultimately illuminate the nature of cognitive abilities in general.


Specific cognitive abilities in diverse domains are typically found to be highly heritable and substantially correlated with general cognitive ability (g), both phenotypically and genetically. Recent twin studies have found the ability to memorize and recognize faces to be an exception, being similarly heritable but phenotypically substantially uncorrelated both with g and with general object recognition. However, the genetic relationships between face recognition and other abilities (the extent to which they share a common genetic etiology) cannot be determined from phenotypic associations. In this, to our knowledge, first study of the genetic associations between face recognition and other domains, 2,000 18- and 19-year-old United Kingdom twins completed tests assessing their face recognition, object recognition, and general cognitive abilities. Results confirmed the substantial heritability of face recognition (61%), and multivariate genetic analyses found that most of this genetic influence is unique and not shared with other cognitive abilities.

Montag, 28. September 2015

Two types of media for women serve as supernormal stimuli:
(1) Images and advice on becoming ideally appealing and (2) romance novels, soap operas, and other media providing vicarious relationships.

Deirdre Barrett

Zur Methodik der Psychologie:

"Die Psychologie ist eine empirische Wissenschaft. Sie baut auf beobachtbaren Ereignissen und Sachverhalten auf. Ihr Gegenstand ist das (zumeist menschliche) Erleben und Verhalten, ihr Ziel ist es, allgemeingültige Aussagen über diesen Gegenstand zu machen - ihn zu beschreiben, beobachtbare Regelmäßigkeiten und Zusammenhänge aufzudecken, diese zu erklären, und womöglich Vorhersagen zu machen."

Peter R. Hofstätter
Spearman & Jones, 1950:
"On the whole," [a] "combination of noegenesis* together with abstractness does satisfy the g-loadings almost perfectly."

*This word has been coined out of the Greek nous and genesis to designate the creation of knowledge in its two chief forms, the eduction of relations and that of correlates.