The private beta launched. So far, I'm seeing no positive differences. There are meta questions:
- What is it that sets us apart?
- What is Mental Fitness
- What types of answers do we expect?
The latter two mention us specifically, acknowledging similarities.
Here are the 12 questions that are up so far:
- How to cope with emotions?
- Does remembering things improve memory?
- Improving mood and well-being in schizophrenic patients without antipsychotic / antidepressant drugs
- What are operational steps one might take to climb out of depression in the shortest amount of time?
- How to detect depression on oneself without external observer?
- Effectiveness of QuizUp and similar games on acquiring general knowledge
- Which nootropics have good science behind them?
- How to train concentration on environment (when trafficing)?
- Does hearing a TV/radio in background really help with language learning?
- What mental skills are build up by solving Sudokus?
- What food can maximize brain fitness?
- Which of Lumosity's mental games are backed with research for their transfer effects?
Having skimmed each, I can at least say the titles are all pretty self-explanatory. I'd argue they all fit in here, and therefore should be here (if anywhere), since we're far from having too many questions. Some of them may already be here – if you know a duplicate, comment here, and I'll link it in a comment there.
It's still a little early to judge the site, because it lacks any clear definition at all, but what definition it has is still completely duplicative of this site. I can't think of a question that I'd rather ask there, but I'll keep trying. In the meantime, I expect most of my activity there will be in pointing users this way. Our site is approaching viability for site-graduation (see What site statistics might indicate that our site is ready to graduate from beta?), and
would benefit from a bump in attention.
If there actually is any useful distinction to draw between Mental Fitness and Cognitive Sciences, we might consider broadening our scope to eliminate any such distinction, though it's hard to imagine any good distinction. As other answers here and on the Area51 questions I linked in the OP suggest, the clearest available distinctions offered thus far would appear to be differences in generality and scientific expertise/support/rigor, but these are not desirable distinctions.
- I see no indication here that we restrict our scope to nomothetic theory to the exclusion of idiographic theory, but I doubt Stack Exchange wants any site to specialize in questions that don't apply to others.
- I especially doubt SE wants answers about mental health that are not based on scientific theory or expertise...but it's not like we don't see plenty of those over here anyway. We have a better-established, more experienced community here (Mental Fitness is brand new, but the fact of the matter will not change anytime soon), so we have clearer rules (Mental Fitness currently has none whatsoever that are unique from SE as a whole) and better enforcement of minimal quality standards. I don't think Mental Fitness wants to define itself as a home for all questions and answers that are not good enough for us; this is not a viable distinction.
Thus far, I see no reason for Mental Fitness to remain open and separate, and plenty of reasons for it not to. I'll keep an eye on it for any hint of meaningful, useful distinction, but seeing none now and foreseeing none later, I'd much sooner want to see the site closed and its questions migrated here rather than promote it as a sister site.