For Vajrayana Buddhism, the now is an interval, a boundary, a point of tension and suspension with an atmosphere of uncertainty. It is a bifurcation point of variable length; its name is “bardo.” The bardo is immersed in the conventional, or “seeming” reality. It emerges from what is called the “unstained” ultimate or primordial emptiness or “basal clear light.” Further, the ultimate is not the sphere of cognition. Cognition, including cognition of time, belongs to conventional reality. Buddhahood, in contrast, is (...) a condition of uncompounded knowledge where basic mind blossoms without temporal or other cognitive distinctions, unmade, unfabricated, luminous and pristine. Cyclical existence involves both the ultimate and the conventional as it moves through six bardos—all of which are the effulgent of the basal clear light—until Buddhahood. The six are: the bardo of this life ; the bardo of dream; the bardo of meditation; the bardo of dying; the bardo of dharmata ; and the bardo of existence. Each realm is both ultimate and conventional, and has specific initiation-based yogas to investigate these differences. The process of transition from one to the next involves at least three bodies, one mind, and aspects of speech. In each bardo, the character of the now as embodiment and temporal knowing varies yet a complete and consistent cross-bardo yogic wisdom leads to its total cessation in the basal clear light; the now is extinguished. The author presents, from the viewpoint of a knowledgeable practitioner of over 30 years, an essay on Vajrayana Buddhist time, drawing implications for Fraser’s time typology. The essay will draw from English translations of significant older, tantric texts on dream yoga, deity yoga, the Chod, tantric time, the bardo of death, and empowerment. Useful practices that can be applied by the audience to test the tradition and author’s assertions will be suggested. (shrink)
An analytic cognitive style denotes a propensity to set aside highly salient intuitions when engaging in problem solving. We assess the hypothesis that an analytic cognitive style is associated with a history of questioning, altering, and rejecting supernatural claims, both religious and paranormal. In two studies, we examined associations of God beliefs, religious engagement, conventional religious beliefs and paranormal beliefs with performance measures of cognitive ability and analytic cognitive style. An analytic cognitive style negatively predicted both religious and paranormal beliefs (...) when controlling for cognitive ability as well as religious engagement, sex, age, political ideology, and education. Participants more willing to engage in analytic reasoning were less likely to endorse supernatural beliefs. Further, an association between analytic cognitive style and religious engagement was mediated by religious beliefs, suggesting that an analytic cognitive style negatively affects religious engagement via lower acceptance of conventional religious beliefs. Results for types of God belief indicate that the association between an analytic cognitive style and God beliefs is more nuanced than mere acceptance and rejection, but also includes adopting less conventional God beliefs, such as Pantheism or Deism. Our data are consistent with the idea that two people who share the same cognitive ability, education, political ideology, sex, age and level of religious engagement can acquire very different sets of beliefs about the world if they differ in their propensity to think analytically. (shrink)
While individual differences in the willingness and ability to engage analytic processing have long informed research in reasoning and decision making, the implications of such differences have not yet had a strong influence in other domains of psychological research. We claim that analytic thinking is not limited to problems that have a normative basis and, as an extension of this, predict that individual differences in analytic thinking will be influential in determining beliefs and values. Along with assessments of cognitive ability (...) and style, religious beliefs, and moral values, participants judged the wrongness of acts considered disgusting and conventionally immoral, but that do not violate care- or fairness-based moral principles. Differences in willingness to engage analytic thinking predicted reduced judgements of wrongness, independent of demographics, political ideology, religiosity, and moral values. Further, we show that those who were higher in cognitive ability were less likely to indicate that purity, patriotism, and respect for traditions and authority are important to their moral thinking. These findings are consistent with a “Reflectionist” view that assumes a role for analytic thought in determining substantive, deeply-held human beliefs and values. (shrink)
Recent evidence suggests that people are highly efficient at detecting conflicting outputs produced by competing intuitive and analytic reasoning processes. Specifically, De Neys and Glumicic demonstrated that participants reason longer about problems that are characterized by conflict between stereotypical personality descriptions and base-rate probabilities of group membership. However, this finding comes from problems involving probabilities much more extreme than those used in traditional studies of base-rate neglect. To test the degree to which these findings depend on such extreme probabilities, we (...) varied base-rate probabilities over five experiments and compared participants’ response time for conflict problems with non-conflict problems. Longer response times for stereotypical responses to conflict versus non-conflict problems were found only in the presence of extreme probabilities. Our results suggest that humans may not be consistently efficient at detecting conflicts during reasoning. (shrink)
Individual differences in the mere willingness to think analytically has been shown to predict religious disbelief. Recently, however, it has been argued that analytic thinkers are not actually less religious; rather, the putative association may be a result of religiosity typically being measured after analytic thinking (an order effect). In light of this possibility, we report four studies in which a negative correlation between religious belief and performance on analytic thinking measures is found when religious belief is measured in a (...) separate session. We also performed a meta-analysis on all previously published studies on the topic along with our four new studies (N = 15,078, k = 31), focusing specifically on the association between performance on the Cognitive Reflection Test (the most widely used individual difference measure of analytic thinking) and religious belief. This meta-analysis revealed an overall negative correlation (r) of -.18, 95% CI [-.21, -.16]. Although this correlation is modest, self-identified atheists (N = 133) scored 18.7% higher than religiously affiliated individuals (N = 597) on a composite measure of analytic thinking administered across our four new studies (d = .72). Our results indicate that the association between analytic thinking and religious disbelief is not caused by a simple order effect. There is good evidence that atheists and agnostics are more reflective than religious believers. (shrink)
During the mid-18th century, when electricity was coming into its own, natural philosophers began to entertain the possibility that electricity is the mysterious nerve force. Their attention was first drawn to several species of strongly electric fish, namely torpedoes, a type of African catfish, and a South American "eels." This was because their effects felt like those of discharging Leyden jars and could be transmitted along known conductors of electricity. Moreover, their actions could not be adequately explained by popular mechanical (...) theories. Many of the early documents supportive of the hypothesis of animal electricity were associated with the Dutch colonies in South America. This article presents and examines those documents, and shows how Dutch scientists on both sides of the Atlantic conducted experiments and communicated with each other in the 1750s and 1760s. It reveals the important roles played by inquisitive physicians and lovers of nature in South America, and by natural philosophers and collectors of exotic specimens in the Netherlands—learned men who began to make a credible case for animal electricity in some exciting places at a pivotal moment in time. (shrink)
Manipulations that draw attention to extensional or set-based considerations are neither sufficient nor necessary for enhanced use of base rates in intuitive judgments. Frequency formats are only one part of the puzzle of base-rate use and neglect. The conditions under which these and other manipulations promote base-rate use may be more parsimoniously organized under the broader notion of case-based judgment.
Nondeterministic models of collective choice posit convergence among the outcomes of simple-majority decisions. The object of this research is to estimate the extent of convergence of majority choice under different procedural conditions. The paper reports results from a computer simulation of simple-majority decision making by committees. Simulation experiments generate distributions of majority-adopted proposals in two-dimensional space. These represent nondeterministic outcomes of majority choice by committees. The proposal distributions provide data for a quantitative evaluation of committee-choice procedures in respect to outcome (...) convergence. Experiments were run under general conditions, and under conditions that restrict committee choice to several game-theoretic solution sets. The findings are that, compared to distributions of voter ideal points, majority-adopted proposals confined to the solution sets demonstrate different degrees of convergence. Second, endogenous agenda formation is a more important obstacle to convergence than the inherent instability of simple-majority rule. Third, if members maximize preferences in respect to agenda formation, a committee choice that approximates the central tendency of the distribution of voter preferences is unlikely. The conclusion is that the most effective way to increase the convergence of majority choice is to restrict the role of individual preferences in agenda formation: identification of proposals to be voted up or down by a committee. (shrink)
Jonathan Rosenbaum _Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons_ Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004 ISBN 0-8018-7840-3 hb xxi + 445 pp. _Movie Mutations: The Changing Face of World Cinephilia_ Edited by Jonathan Rosenbaum and Adrian Martin London: British Film Institute, 2003 ISBN 0851709834 hb; 0851709842 pb 224 pp. Jonathan Rosenbaum _Movie Wars: How Hollywood and the Media Limit What Films We Can See_ London: Wallflower Press, 2002 ISBN 1-903364-23-X pb 192 pp.
I agree with Gibbs that the message of the base rate literature reads differently depending on which null hypothesis is used to frame the issue. But I argue that the normative null hypothesis, H0: “People use base rates in a Bayesian manner,” is no longer appropriate. I also challenge Adler's distinction between unused and ignored base rates, and criticize Goodie's reluctance to shift research attention to the field. Macchi's arguments about textual ambiguities in traditional base rate problems suggest that empirical (...) testing is needed to tease apart the effects of problem clarification and problem framing. Macdonald's, Fletcher's and Snow's skepticism about the value of Bayesian methods in real world judgment tasks is treated as a challenge for the next generation of empirical base rate studies. (shrink)
We accept Sunstein's claim that people often use moral heuristics to make judgments and decisions. However, in situations that include a risk of betrayal, we disagree with Sunstein about when the relevant moral heuristic may be said to “misfire.” We suggest that the moral heuristic people apply to avoid the possibility of safety-product betrayal may be reasonable.
Early psychosocial stress (e.g., parental divorce, abuse) is conjectured to place individuals on a developmental trajectory leading to earlier initiation of sexual activity, earlier reproduction, and having more sex partners than those with less early psychosocial stress. But does it also affect an individual’s mate choice? The present study examined whether early psychosocial stress affects preferences and dislikes for opposite-sex faces varying in masculinity/femininity, a putative indicator of mate quality, in premenopausal women (58 with a natural cycle, 53 pill-users) and (...) 196 men. No significant three-way interactions were found when women selected the most or least preferred face with participant group (natural cycle, pill), conception risk (low, high), and early psychosocial stress (low, high) as between-subjects factors. Early psychosocial stress did not affect men’s face preferences when selecting the most preferred face. However, men with high early psychosocial stress disliked masculine faces significantly more so than men with low early psychosocial stress. Overall it was concluded that early psychosocial stress does not affect mate choice with the exception that men with high early psychosocial stress were more likely to dislike masculine female faces. It was suggested that men with high early psychosocial stress may dislike masculine female faces because they have nothing to gain from associating with women with such faces. (shrink)