Previous research indicates that people implicitly prefer self-chosen objects to other chosen objects, even when both kinds of objects are in their possession. Extending this finding, we investigated how the number of choice options and independent vs.interdependent social orientations affect this choice effect in Japanese students. Using the implicit association test, we found that self-chosen possessions were implicitly preferred to possessions chosen by others. Furthermore, this choice effect was larger when participants selected items from a large array of choice options (30) compared to fewer options (12), reflecting positive consequences of their own choices from a larger number of options. Moreover, the effect of the number of choice options on the choice effect arose clearly when participants ’ levels of independence were relatively high. We discuss the implications of the present findings for research on choice, its contexts, and social orientations.
Previous studies about heuristics have mainly focused on whether heuristics work adaptively in the individual inference. However, adaptive nature of heuristics may differ in collective decision making. In the present study, we theoretically examined effect of individual inference on collective decision making. We compared performance of collective decision making among groups who used one of inference strategies (recognition heuristic, fluency heuristic, familiarity heuristic, or knowledge-based inference). Furthermore, we compared two situations that made different assumptions about how group made decisions. Our findings are summarized as follows:. First, heuristics that worked adaptively in individual inference did not always work adaptively in collective decision making. Second, adaptive natures of heuristics in collective decision making can vary depending on how group makes decisions. Thus, present findings indicate that adaptive nature of heuristic has to be discussed in terms of not only individual inferences, but also “wisdom of crowd.”
The purpose of this study was to examine what information women search about and the information searching process that takes place when they are approached by a male stranger on the street. A total of 82 female Japanese undergraduates performed an information-monitoring task. In this task, participants were shown six scenarios,information list, and response list on the computer display. Each scenario described a situation in which a woman is approached by a male stranger on the street. After presenting the scenario, participants were asked to imagine the situation and recall the response list to decide whether they would talk to the male stranger or not. If participants would need more information before deciding, they could utilize the information list. After participants recalled the response list, participants were also asked how they would feel if they experience the situation in real life. This procedure was done in each of the six scenarios. Results showed that women searched for important information for high social uncertainty at an early stage of the information searching process and for other information at the last stage of the process. However, results suggested that the information searching process only took place when participants did not feel any positive emotions. The details of women ’s information searching process and the relationship between the process and emotions were also discussed.
In order to generate novel ideas, it is necessary to find obscure features in objects. We propose commonality search as a way to find obscure features between apparently unrelated objects. We carried out two experiments to examine the effectiveness of this method. In Experiment 1, we investigated the effects of commonality search on evoking original perspectives. Twenty undergraduates were asked to rate the degree of relatedness within 18 pairs of objects: 9 related (e.g., a strawberry and a melon) and 9 unrelated pairs (e.g., a banana and a motor bike). They were then asked to list commonalities between the paired objects. Three independent raters scored commonalities in terms of validity, originality, and attractiveness. The results revealed that the unrelated pairs evoked commonalities with higher originality and attractiveness scores. In Experiment 2, we investigated how commonalities were discovered using a protocol analysis. Twenty-one participants were asked to think aloud while listing commonalities. Two independent raters scored commonalities in the same way as Experiment 1. The effects of relatedness between objects on perspectives was replicated. The results also showed that the participants discovered more original commonalities through the adaptation strategy. We conclude that commonality search between unrelated objects evokes original perspectives and the adaptation strategy is effective in evoking more original perspectives.
Previous studies show that, in a binary choice task, people often choose one object between two objects using a simple heuristic (e.g., recognition, familiarity, or fluency heuristic), and that such a simple strategy is ecologically rational. These studies almost exclusively pay attention to subjective knowledge (i.e., familiarity) about two alternatives. However, we pointed out that familiarity of an object presented in a question sentence might affect people’s inferences. Specifically, we hypothesized that, in a binary choice task, when an object in a question sentence was familiar (unfamiliar) to a decision maker, he or she would choose a more familiar (unfamiliar) object from the two alternatives. We call this heuristic “familiarity-matching.” We examined whether people actually employed familiarity-matching and whether familiarity-matching was an ecologically rational strategy. The results of three experiments generally confirmed usage and ecological rationality of familiarity-matching. Experiment 1 showed that if an object in a question sentence was familiar (unfamiliar) to participants, then they were likely to choose a more familiar (unfamiliar) object from the two alternatives;that is, participants indeed employed familiarity-matching. Experiment 2 showed that when participants felt difficult to make a decision, they were more likely to employ familiarity-matching. Experiment 3 showed that familiarity-matching could be applied in an ecologically rational manner in real-world situations. The results of present study collectively shed light on important cognitive mechanisms involved in inference tasks. We believe that the present findings make a substantial contribution to reveal unsolved human cognitive processes.
This study investigated how argument omissions of a sentence affects language learning by focusing on Japanese object case-markers. To examine this point, we clarify how argument omission of the sentence input affects Japanese children at age four to seven to learn artificial case-markers. Particularly, it explores which of the following two is useful in children: the full-argument sentence with word order information and high processing cost or the argument-omitted sentence with no word order information and low processing cost. Participants watched and imitated four single-action-scenarios while listening to sentences where two artificial case-markers, po and bi, referred to the subject and object, respectively. Half of the participants learned full-argument sentences (“saru po ushi bi oshita: monkey-NOM cattle-ACC pushed”), and the other half learned argument-omitted sentence with one argument omitted (“saru po/bi oshita: monkey-NOM/ monkey-ACC pushed”). In a later test, participants completed forced-choice discrimination of scenarios after hearing sentences (OSV, OV, SV and SOV) with either po or bi.
A mixed effect model for children’s response (correct answer or incorrect answer) showed that the argument-omitted group of five, six and seven year-old children comprehended OSV and OV sentences well. However, the full-argument group of five, six,seven year-old children comprehended those sentences poorly. On the other hand, the four year olds could not apply it to learning “bi”. These results indicate that sentences without case-marker omission was less useful for children in learning object case-marker compared to sentences with case-marker omission. A possible explanation of this result is that children pay more attention to case-markers when they process sentences with argument omission since case-markers are the only reliable cue to distinguish the subject and the object. This study provides the first empirical evidence that argument omission plays a positive role in case-marker learning by the children who learn a language with frequent argument omission.
Onomatopoeiae alter perception of a visual stimulus. Given that language affects emotional processing of visual stimuli and visual textures with high viscocity are perceived disgusting, the present study investigated whether onomatopoeiae that represent viscocity modulate disgust for visual textures. We presented a mimetic word a kind of onomatopoeiae simultaneously with a visual texture, and asked observers to rate disgustingness of the texture visually (Experiments 1, 3, and 4) or auditorily (Experiment 5). Three Japanese mimetic words (betobeto, sarasara, and reherehe) were used for representing high, low, and no viscocities, respectively. The results in Experiments 1,3, and 5 commonly showed that in Japanese observers the rated disgustingness was significantly modulated by the mimetic words. However, the effect was not observed in Chinese observers (Experiment 4). Moreover, Experiment 2 showed that the mimetic words also modulated apparent moistness of the textures. Lastly, Experiment 6 revealed that the mimetic words modulated the disgustingness of the texture within a temporal window of around 1800 ms. The present findings suggest that sound symbolism of onomatopoeiae is integrated with stimulus information that induces disgust regardless of modality.
The present study examined whether the spontaneous verbal production scaffolds the accomplishment of analogical reasoning by children and adults. In the experiment, 4 to 5-years old children and adults were assigned to either of the following two experimental conditions. In the passive listening condition, the participants were told the two picture-stories which were conceptually similar but denoted by complementary verbs,such that the subject of the one event was the object of the other. In the spontaneous verbal production condition, the participants saw the same picture-stories but asked to explain what was going on in the picture-story. In both conditions, the participants were then asked to judge whether the pair of stories had similarities, and to draw an inference about the one story from the other story (i.e., analogical reasoning). The results showed that adults could find the similarities between the two stories and then accomplish analogical reasoning, regardless of the experimental conditions. Children on the other hand could detect the similarities between the two stories only in the spontaneous verbal production condition. Furthermore, children’s success in analogical reasoning depended on how they verbalize the stories; children who produced the same verbs across the two stories succeeded in the analogical reasoning. The findings suggest that spontaneous verbal production facilitates children’s analogical reasoning only when they help children to re-represent the relational knowledge between the base and target structures.
More than one diachronic corpus has shown that the Nominative-Genitive Conversion (NGC) in Japanese, which might appear to be a free alternation in adnominal clauses,has declined its frequency in the last 100 years or so (Nambu, 2014; Ogawa, 2016). Harada (1971, 1976) also identified two dialects roughly corresponding to two different age groups at the time; NCG in some specific syntactic environments was not acceptable for the Tokyo dialect speakers in their twenties, although it was acceptable for those in their forties. Primarily based on Kim’s (2008) observations, Miyagawa (2011) proposes that synchronically, the more stative predicates are more likely to accept NGC. With these three previous analyses as backgrounds, this study administered an experiment of introspective judgments to 300 participants from three different age groups ranging from 74 to 20 years old. We discovered the fact that high stativity of an adnominal clause renders its Genitive subject more acceptable, and that younger participants are less likely to accept its Genitive subject. These two results enable us to conclude that the diachronic corpus investigation made by Ogawa (2016) is correct in that the restriction on NGC has been getting stronger and stronger and language change in this area is still in progress for the last 40 years. The generalization that more stative (or less eventive) predicates are more likely to accept NGC is to be attributed to the proposed hypothesis that more stative predicates need a smaller syntactic structure and that unlike the syntactic size of an adnominal clause with a Nominative subject, which is uniformly CP, the syntactic size of an adnominal clause with a Genitive subject has been shrinking from CP to VP/AP in the last 100 years or so.
The Table-talk Role Playing Game (TRPG) is an analog game. This game progresses by repeating acts of speech between a Game Master (GM) and a Player (PL). The GM progresses a story based on a framework they have prepared. The progression of the story, however, is often changed by the PL. This gap between the planed story and actual story surprises the GM and thus changes the progression of the story. The authors of the present study focus on this observation and have produced a mechanism for generating a story with a surprise element using the model of a story generation in TRPG. In this paper, we prepared for this gap using a technique for the creation of the story and researched the relations between this gap and the act of surprising,using a questionnaire. Results showed that the surprise element was related to this gap. Using the aforementioned technique, we will develop a story generation mechanism for a range of story generation scenarios, to be used in automatic story generation games in the future.
When walking through a crowd, we have to pass through between people safely. How do we judge the passability of an aperture of this kind? Do we use the same information for an aperture composed of people as for one composed of other objects? Because studies on personal space have revealed that people have different sensitivities of personal space for approach from different directions (i.e., “anisotropy” of personal space) (Tanaka, 1973), we examined human aperture passability in terms of personal space in two experiments. In Experiment 1, the participants judged whether they could,without rotating their shoulder, pass between two stationary people or between two rectangular wooden posts. The two people to be passed through stood in four different orientations relative to one another and/or the participants; face-to-face, back-to-back,side-by-side facing towards or away from the participants. The wooden posts, which had the same width and depth as the two people, were set up in two directions (the wider sides facing each other vs. the narrower sides facing each other). In Experiment 2, the participants judged whether they could pass between two stationary people or between two human-shaped panels, which were set up in four different directions as in Experiment 1. In the analyses, we used the aperture-to-shoulder-width ratio (A/S) as an index of aperture “passability” judgment (Warren & Whang, 1987). We found that A/S was larger in the face-to-face condition than the other conditions. This is possibly because personal space is “anisotropic.” That is, when judging the passability of a space between two people, participants may consider the anisotropic personal space of each person. We also found that A/S was not significantly different across the board, implying that participants may have perceived a kind of “personal space” of the human-shaped objects, regardless of whether they were human or non-human.
Recent studies have shown that a subjective experience of difficulty associated with cognitive operations can paradoxically improve cognitive performance. A theoretical account is that a text written in a hard-to-read font can improve retention because disfluency encourages people to engage in deeper processing of the information. Our study critically examined this view by an experiment. Forty-seven participants were asked to learn 40 words written in an easy-to-read font or a hard-to-read font. As a result, disfluency raised the percentage of correct answers; however, this increase was only for participants who have a lower working memory capacity (WMC) or it was for all participants regardless of their WMC depending on the measuring method of WMC. We proposed an alternative view of the effect of disfluency to account for the results assuming multiple routes for information inputted. According to this view, people with low WMC tend to process peripheral information (i.e., surface features of letters, a part of which is relevant to disfluency) resulting in cuing them to retrieve stimuli. People with high WMC, in contrast, are able to focus exclusively on central information (e.g.,meaning of letters) and they may not benefit from the effect of disfluency. This view is consistent with the results of previous studies that suggested the effect of disfluency is not necessarily robust.
Focusing on the semantic similarity between physical and psychological pain, we tested whether people who are sensitive to their own bodily pain are also sensitive to the psychological distress of others. Forty-three undergraduates evaluated the subjective physical pain induced by a tactile stimulus. Then, they rated the negative emotions of the characters depicted in the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and the pro- and anti-social attitudes toward others. Also, we measured how fast they can detect negative facial expressions and negative emotional words. Result indicated that the high pain-sensitivity group (n = 23) projected more avoidant emotion to the TAT pictures (p = .07, d =0.67), and detected negative faces more fast (D =0.37, p = .07) than the low-sensitivity group (n = 20). The high group also felt more prosocial emotions (p = .02, d =0.76), and showed more critical attitudes toward bullying (p = .07,d =0.56). It seems unlikely that the relationship between the sensitivity of physical pain and the prosocial responses can be mediated by the judgment of psychological distress of others. Rather, it is more likely that physical pain can directly enhance the awareness of psychological distress of others and prosocial reactions to them.