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HEAD IN THE CLOUD

What 'Big Data' means to Psychological and Brain Sciences at IU

As in many other areas of contemporary life, Big Data has become a powerful tool in psychological and brain sciences, where it is opening up novel forms of investigation into questions both old and new.

WE ARE ALL BAYESIAN NOW. OUR SCIENCE SHOULD BE TOO.

John Kruschke’s career as an experimental psychologist took an unexpected turn when he began to question traditional statistical methods.

If you think statistics is dull and dry, and the math outright intimidating – well, you may have a point. It can be intimidating. As for dull and dry? Think again. 

A Bayesian Case Study:

Does a teacher’s enthusiasm improve student learning?

A renaissance in the science of learning has led psychologists to uncover strategies that reliably improve student memory and testing performance. Among those strategies are spacing out study items over time, taking practice tests and self-explanation of course material. Yet, as a student, you are unlikely to include any of the above in the list of qualities you look for in a class. Rather, as the research has shown, you are most likely to seek out a class with an enthusiastic instructor.

SEEKING CANINE COMPANIONS: A STUDY IN HUMAN DECISION MAKING

On most weekends, you can find Indiana University graduate student Sam Cohen at Bloomington Animal Care and Control, the local animal shelter, where she has volunteered for two years as a pet adoption counselor. She gets to know the dogs, talks with visitors and helps them identify which dogs they might want to adopt. But, according to Cohen, people have minds of their own when it comes to choosing their pets, and their logic is not always easy to follow.