The present study focused on the effects of avoidance of failure on the trend of trials of insight problem solving.First, we hypothesize that the stronger avoidance of failure becomes, the more likely participants will avoid the same or a similar trial, and the avoidance of failure induces the diversity of participants' reactions. Our second hypothesis is that if some participants' avoidance of failure is relatively strong, they will reach the goal with the lesser trials than other participants whose avoidance is not so strong. In order to examine these hypotheses, we conducted psychological experiments as follows: 28 participants were asked to solve an insightful pictorial puzzle controlled by a PC. As the experimental group, 13 participants tried to solve the puzzle with teacher signals, which indicate the trial has been already tried when the participant repeated the same one. 15 participants tried to solve the puzzle without these teacher signals as the control group. The effect of participants' avoidance of failure was examined by comparing the experiment group and the control group. The results revealed that avoidance of failure affected the diversity of trials, the number of trial and the solution time. Effect of avoidance of failure on so-called implicit learning during a trial were discussed. Our discussion proposed the expansion of the previous model (Jimura et al., 1999; Komazaki, 2001) which explained the effect of implicit learning.
This study examined two assumptions on the occurrence of on-line inferences: coherence-based and accessibility-based assumptions. To distinguish the predictions of these assumptions, two types of bridging inference conditions were designed. In the case of prediction-consistent condition, contents of bridging inferences matched those of predictions invoked by their prior contexts. In the case of prediction-inconsistent condition, events that were drawn as bridging inference did not match events which were drawn as predictions in their previous contexts. According to the coherence-based assumption, inferences that contribute to establishing coherence of text representations should occur routinely during reading. So, the assumption would expect no differences between prediction-consistent and prediction-inconsistent bridging inferences because both inferences were similarly required for establishing coherence. Following the accessibility-based assumption, the more contextual cues were provided, the more inferences were activated during reading regardless of types of inferences. If this is the case, prediction-consistent bridging inferences would be activated stronger than prediction-inconsistent ones because prediction provides cues to bridging events in prediction-consistent condition but not in prediction-inconsistent condition. As results of priming experiments, accessibility-based assumption was supported. Furthermore, priming effects in prediction-consistent bridging condition were larger than those in sole predictive condition, which suggested additive increment of accessibility for inferences.
Recent literature has shown that verbal expressions of uncertainty (verbal probabilities) can be dichotomized. One type is “positive”, which leads to the focus on the occurrence of an uncertainty event. The other, negative terms, suggests its non-occurrence. The present study explored how this distinction, called directionality, affects decisions by analyzing decision reasons. The results showed that focus on attributions of alternatives stayed intact regardless of the types of probability words, but the non-occurrence event was more salient when a negative term was presented than when a positive term was presented. These results jointly indicated that the semantic function of directionality can explain the effects of directionality on decisions. This study also showed the possibility that the decision processes based on negative terms are highly analogous to those based on numerical probabilities. Other implications on decision processes are discussed.