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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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BTW, the questionnaire is available via web, the link is in the BBC page. I didn't see it the other day.

http://www.peopleintomusic.com/

I use psychological services for the marathon. They also have a similar questionnaire and, in this case, the study is supported by a couple of Ph.D theses. I only see a curve with a Gauss shape but it is very surprising how they can describe troubles or old injuries just by interpreting the results, and the most important, how to (try to) control some situations during the race.

Perhaps the journalist only sees a curve with a Gauss shape


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(@chris-c)
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psychologists should learn statistics don't mean that much at all. If anything at all.

Hey, they're not all bad. Psychologists are as varied as musicians. Musicians have a wide range of styles, ideas, likes, dislikes and opinions - so do psychologists. Trust me - I know quite a few as friends, and I've been married to one for nearly 30 years. In reality, they're no easier to stereotype than any other group of people. On the other hand, I only know one psychiatrist so I'm much easier to convince that they're all mad ...

Yeah.... It's all stereotypical BS.

As soon as I read the three that EB had listed, I thought it was a pretty limited and useless study.

+1
I turned my back on the psych world long ago.
They're just not grounded in the everyday realities of actual LIFE, and all it's wonderful variety and idiosyncricies.
Always trying to pigeonhole human behavior

Ken, that's rather like saying you listened to some pop radio stations and have concluded that music is worthless! Psychologists come in many varieties, and work in a big range of areas. Vicki has spent her whole career applying her knowledge in a practical way to everyday situations, as have many other psychs. This could range from devising a series of steps to help teach an institutionalised client the skills needed to do something like turning a light switch on, or dressing themselves, through to taking a hatful of erratically optimistic ideas from bureaucrats and politicians and turning it into a policy document that has some chance of actually working in a useful way. :)

Perhaps what you should turn your back on is the sort of crummy media that reports only shallow 'pop psychology'. There's no shortage of mediocrity in any profession that you can name, but that doesn't mean there isn't some excellent work being done. You do need to look in the right places though and, as with anything that hasn't been reduced to the simplistic for mass consumption, you do need to be able to understand what you're reading.
Where's they psych study on Musicians????

Ken

There's been some interesting research done on the brain's response to music, musical memory etc. but again you usually only get to hear about it if it can be reduced to a 5 second grab with a sensationalist angle. A couple of books that might be of interest, which are 'pop' enough to be readable by a wider audience are Musicophilia by Oliver Sachs and This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin who works at McGill University in Canada.

A young friend of mine is currently writing up some research he did in the area, for a Phd, and I had a bit of a look around after reading his research proposal (which I thought had a few holes in it...). It didn't take long to track down a fair few studies. Some was patchy student stuff, some was hard to read unless you have a background in the terminology, etc but the Sachs and Levitin books are both readable by a wider audience (and have both apparently sold well).

Good hunting.

Chris


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(@ricochet)
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this is typical here in the US, there was an award given out in the past called "the golden fleece" to spotlight these types of things. the one that comes to mind was a study on why children fell off of tricycles. there are many examples.
Sen. William Proxmire was the one who gave out the "Golden Fleece" awards.

I remember seeing summaries of research news in the front of one medical journal that had two published reports from Johns Hopkins University next to each other. In one, someone had observed a bunch of fussy babies with their parents and reported that the babies cried less when being held. In another, someone had phoned 10,000 Baltimore people and questioned them about their height, weight, how they felt about it, and whether they'd dieted. They found no correlation between actual obesity and whether they'd dieted, but patients who perceived themselves as overweight were likely to have dieted. Learning those nuggets of vital information made me feel good about how my tax dollars were being spent on research.
:D

(Just isolated things that stuck in my head. There's lots more like them.)

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
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Twisted: Not trying to defend these specific cases as I know not much about them, I've often found that studies being ridiculed in newspapers made a lot of sense when explained in full. If I can take the 'why do kids fall of their bikes' example: I've studied Artificial Intelligence for a number of years, and it mostly focussed on two questions. The first is how to make a program think/talk/learn like a human. The second is how to make it move in the advanced ways humans move. A very tricky thing (atleast a few years back) was making a robot walk stairs without falling over. For us walking stairs is as easy, though slightly more intensive, then just walking. But from a technical point of view it's not: by lifting your feet/leg up relatively much when walking stairs you have to constantly make big adjustment in where you place your weight, keeping your balance is an automatic but highly complex process.

So how do you learn how people walk? You can't ask them because none of us can really explain in words everything we do when we walk stairs. We can't just observe people walking because it doesn't teach us how the brain handles everything. That's where kids come in the picture. Young infants are hopeless at walking stairs but in a trial-and-error fashion learn to deal with it. By carefully registrating these attempts you could potentially figure out step-by-step how to learn to walk.

So who cares about walking stairs? Take this example: robots can already detect humans. Every second-year student there could program a robot to keep looking at you as you walked around the room, or someone else who comes in. Robots can to a certain degree find their way around. Not perfect by a long shot but it's going somewhere. Now imagine a robot that can detect humans, find it's way to them and climb stairs. I think it's clear how fire departments would love to have something like that. People die every year because firefighters simply cant safe them, no matter how brave and willing they are.

Riding a bike is a similarly complex activity but on a different axis. The more we understand of movement the more we could replace people doing dangerous jobs in hostile environments for machines better equipped to deal with the situation, unable to expeience fear or doubt and totally replacable when something goes wrong instead of leaving a family without a parent/husband.

A lot of seemingly pointless research can add up to really great inventions. I don't know, by the way, how the US works but most research over here is privately funded through corporate sponsorships. Pharmaceutical companies sponsor medical research and robotica-companies pay for a lot of mathematical/psychological/biological/ICT research. Most of the really crappy research projects are student-initiated to get their diploma. The quality might at times be dubious (and I've seen some sad cases!) but there's zero governmend funding for it. For those wondering if it works: less then ten students and one professor in their graduation year collected over 10 million euro from corporations to finance their research. There are plenty of invenstment companies, if you have a good idea for a research project it'll be funded. And if your idea suchs you're free to do it on your own.

Finally, a lot of the research posted in newspapers are unpublished in scientific media.

And I'm aware you already know most of this, kinda forgot what my point was. But there you have it anyway. :P By the way, I assume everything anyone says about anything on the internet is an opinion. I just didn't agree with the opinion. Which doesnt mean you're wrong, I just have a dirty habit of sounding like the opinion-gestapo when I disagree with someone. I beg thee forgiveness!


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(@citizennoir)
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Hey Chris!
Good to see ya :D
Hope you and the family are all wonderful.

Well, I guess I can see your point.
As Vic is always good at pointing out, I have a tendency to see the big picture (Even though I'm a detail obsessed
perfectionist :? Wonder what a phychologist would say about that....?)

At one point in my life I was absolutely fascinated with psychology, and wanted very much to study to become
a psychologist.
The deeper I got into it, the more and more it seemed like it was going 'round in circles with itself.

I concluded that it was a psudo-science, and washed my hands of it. (Especially Psychiatry! Crazy indeed!)

I found much greater fulfillment/enlightenment in philosophy and astrology.

Learned way more about myself, and why I do the things I do, as well as how to modify my behavior for the better
with astrology.

Of course most people would dismiss astrology as a psudo-science.
Too bad.

Maybe a coupling of phychology/astrology would yield some interesting and benificial results.

And the closer we get to the actual Age of Aquarius.... the more we'll see such mergers.

Just as 'Science' was once the enemy of Christian religion.... it now has actually ended up proving (thereby supporting)
Christianity/Judaism,
even if inadvertantly.

Well, I had better quit now before I get TOO carried away - lol.

Ken

Oh yeah, almost forgot....
Here's something interesting concerning Music/Astrology:

http://khaldea.com/rudhyar/astroarticles/starmelodies.php

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


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(@kingpatzer)
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At one point in my life I was absolutely fascinated with psychology, and wanted very much to study to become
a psychologist.
The deeper I got into it, the more and more it seemed like it was going 'round in circles with itself.

Psychology is a rather broad subject. There is a big difference between clinical psychologists, let alone between research psychologists and clinicians. I did work as a statistician for a research psychologist who was part of a UT medical research group. The work done was first rate from a scientific viewpoint, on par with anything I ever did with the Department of Energy.
I concluded that it was a psudo-science, and washed my hands of it. (Especially Psychiatry! Crazy indeed!)

Psychiatry is vastly different from psychology. It is in fact quite more rigorous in many ways in that research in that arena is basically simply a sub-set of pharmacology.
I found much greater fulfillment/enlightenment in philosophy and astrology.

I am so not going down this path ...

As all of this pertains to this study, without knowing the protocol and the measurement methods employed, seeing the data and the statistical methods, and doing a deep dive into how that information is interpreted, it is not possible to say anything one way or the other about the validity of the conclusions reached. What I do know from working in research science for many years is that what the reporters write and what the scientists say very rarely have anything to do with each other.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


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(@slejhamer)
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Maybe a coupling of phychology/astrology would yield some interesting and benificial results.

And the closer we get to the actual Age of Aquarius.... the more we'll see such mergers.

Instead of bass and drums, bands could have biorhythm sections.

Get it? Rhythm section / biorhythm section?

Ha.

: rimshot :

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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(@ricochet)
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Tick, tick, tick...

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@citizennoir)
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Arjen,

Very interesting point about A.I.
Thankx for that post 8)

From what little I know of photography, sounds like they have their work cut out for them concerning
giving robots real balancing abilities.
(Which probably explains why such robots are usually low to the ground and tracked)

Granted, I'm no scientist or doctor.... though I'm thinking balance has a lot to do with the eyes/ears/nose/throat dept.

Which is why photography is a relevant point here.

For as advanced as camera technology is today.... they haven't come close to replicating the complexities of a human eye.

Photography is very limited compared to how a human eye sees.
(And it's those limitations that allow such dramatic and creative results.... hey, wasn't there a discussion
along similar lines concerning Blues music earlier....? :P )

Something like peripheral vision.... out of the question for a camera.

As far as film goes; average (negative) print film is capable of 'seeing' only 5 stops of light, (positive) film in only 3.
Where as the human eye can detect up to 11 stops of light differential.


To help illustrate what I'm talking about, the above pics were taken on negative film.
In both pics, the backgrounds are 'blacked out'....
Of course, niether the flower nor Harmony were suspended in space somewhere.
As I took those pics, my eyes could see the detail in those blacked out areas with no prob.
The difference between the lit area in the pics and the shadows behind them were greater than 5 stops,
rendering any detail in the shadow areas unseeable by the latitude of the film.

So.... IMO, instead of spending all that money being masters of the obvious when it comes to why children
fall when riding a bike, maybe they should concentrate more on the human eye....?

Ken

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within
begins to live more simply without"
-Ernest Hemingway

"A genuine individual is an outright nuisance in a factory"
-Orson Welles


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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Topic starter  

Sorry for the off-topic. Just I can say some things here...

I work and research on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. I build robots and try to program them. A recent project was the construction of a humanoid robot. We made just the legs (biped robots) and used several techniques to do it walks without falling. When I presented some partial results in a conference, I meet with another researcher who was working for Honda in the team that developed Asimo and the other humanoids. Basically he asked me why are we developing a new humanoid when they already made Asimo...

He was right. Humanoids, Aibos, Segways, Roombas, assisted cars or another mechanical devices are exactly mechanical devices. It could be more or less complex but the formulae for controlling a Segway is developed by mathematicians and physician long time ago. Perhaps we can built them and control them in real time now when the computer technology is more or less "advanced".

Now, Computer Vision and Image Processing. They are two different disciplines. And a different one is Pattern Recognition but it is also related the the other two.

Ken, you used some photographical techniques for those pictures (BTW, really nice) but with several Image Processing techniques perhaps we could detect some elements in the background. If the info was recorded by your camera or the film, it can be restored. "Chemical photography" is different to the "digital photography".

Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition require also Artificial Intelligence. In fact they are usually studied by AI people but also by psychologists, neurophysiologists, etc.

For Robotics both are important: the mechanical part and also the sensorial part. The "intelligence" is the part that links the "sensorial inputs" to the "mechanical outputs" in order to achieve the specific goal. Vision or cameras is just a sensor, complex and important, but also the ultrasounds and infrared sensors for distance measurement or an accelerometer are important.

Oh my God! I was all the day working with those things! Let us talk about guitars! And basses!


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(@chris-c)
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Especially Psychiatry! Crazy indeed!

Oops. What did I start...

Just in case anybody is unclear of the difference, Psychiatry and Psychology are only vaguely linked. And I do know a sane psychiatrist, I was joking about that.... :)

I'm not sure exactly how it's structured in the US, but here in Australia Psychiatrists do a similar basic medical course as any other doctor and then specialise in psychiatry. This takes years of study to work through before you get to the exciting bit which is being allowed to dole out drugs to mad people, through to those who are perhaps just a bit neurotic but enjoy talking about themselves so much that they'll pay for the privilege (often called the "Worried Well". ).

Psychologists often study almost as long (if not just as long) but not at med school. To call yourself a Clinical Psychologist here you need at least Bachelors and Master's psychology degrees. Some Psychologists do work in counseling style roles, but most of the ones know work in more everyday practical situations in industry, general disability, prisons, general management, and all sorts of areas. None of the ones I know get let loose at the drugs cabinet - that's for the psychiatrists, who have been trained in that side of things.

Psychiatrists and psychologists are probably a bit like Classical musicians and rockers, sometimes on friendly terms, but not always agreeing on style or content....

Chris


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(@ricochet)
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That's basically the same as in the U.S.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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 Cat
(@cat)
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Hmmm...Charlie Manson was into The Beach Boys and Adolf loved Wagner. So much for the "soothe the savage breast" bit!!!

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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(@ricochet)
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But if Adolf could have heard the Beach Boys, he'd've been dancing instead of trying to conquer all of Europe, surely.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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 Cat
(@cat)
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Ha! IMAGINE Schicklegruber on a surf board!!! ...Speaking of "Wipeout"...

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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