As an approach to exploring the design of effective study materials, we investigate the influences of processing fluency. Sixty-eight university-student participants received two types of study materials; one was presented in an easy-to-read font and the other was presented in a difficult-to-read font. Our comparisons of learning performance for the different materials focused on both monitoring(i.e., participant predictions of own memory scores)and control (i.e., participant allocations of study time).The participants were instructed to study the materials so that they would obtain similar scores on subsequent memory tests. The results indicated that the learners predicted lower memory scores and allocated longer study times for the materials in the difficult-to-read font compared to those in the easy-to-read font. However, no correlation was observed between study times and memory scores. Moreover, the results suggest that individual differences in terms of learner control and performance may arise from learning strategies, intrinsic motivation, and the efforts allocated to study materials.
In a prior study of object recognition, Rosch and colleagues (1976) argued that within the hierarchical structure of categories, from superordinate (e.g., stationary), basic (e.g., pen) and to subordinate categories (e.g., red pen), basic-category objects are recognized first. However, their prior study did not investigate the higher concept of function. Accordingly, in this study, we examine the role of functional categories(e.g., something to cut with)within the object-recognition system in terms of access speeds for the relevant concepts. The results from Experiments 1 and 2 indicate that object recognition based on functional categories is executed faster than recognition based on superordinate categories. In Experiment 3, which employed the rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) detection task, the performance differences for the functional and basic categories were not significant, but detection results were higher for functional categories compared to superordinate categories. These results suggest that functional categories are recognized during the initial stages of object recognition and that this concept plays an important role in the recognition of man-made objects.
Autobiographical memory refers to the memories of personal events. Although autobiographical memory is assumed to be influenced by cultural, gender, and developmental differences, very few studies have examined the autobiographical memories of Japanese adolescents. Accordingly, a number of questions remain unanswered concerning the existence and nature of gender and developmental differences in the autobiographical memories of Japanese adolescents. We asked Japanese junior high and high school students to record their important autobiographical events, their ages when the events occurred, and the valence of the experience(i.e., positive, negative, mixed, and none/neutral).The respondents shared many events, with most related to school (e.g., entrance, graduation, and club activities).The responses for certain events indicated gender and/or developmental differences. More specifically, junior high and high school students tended to report that their most important events occurred at the ages of 12 and 15 years, respectively. However, irrespective of school level or gender, such peaks were only observed for events associated with positive and mixed (positive and negative)experiences.