A new functional food-labeling system was implemented in 2015. Food products with new functional information are expected to increase along the increase of health awareness in Japan. However, it is difficult for ordinal consumers to understand each functional component of food. When descriptions on food include scientific information,people often misunderstand or excessively expect about a new function. This research investigated how understanding the information of foods was correlated with individual’s cognitive traits conducting a web-based survey using a fictional news report based on real research to two groups, ordinal consumers group and specific occupations group that supposed to have high recognition degree of new functional food-labeling system. We also used three cognitive indices, the cognitive reflection test, numeracy and graph literacy, to investigate the influence of cognitive traits on reading comprehension and interpretation. The results revealed that graph literacy was correlated with understanding and that the other two indices were correlated with psychological factors of interpretation though there was no group difference.
Beginners of art appreciation generally have “reality constraints” in that they show a strong tendency to insist on identifying depicted objects and their realistic expression in artwork. We examined the effect of reading commentaries on artwork on the relaxation of reality constraints and the time taken by appreciators to respond to paintings. In the first session of the experiment, 24 pairs of participants appreciated one of two paintings:either one by van Gogh (“Terrasse du caf´e le soir”) or one by Sisley (“Landscape in summer”). In the second session, the participants appreciated two paintings, by Renoir and Matisse, with the help of any of the following three methods: reading commentaries on the objects depicted in each painting, reading commentaries on the formal aspects of the paintings, and reading no commentary. In the third session, the participants viewed a painting (either van Gogh’s or Sisley’s) that they had not viewed in the first session. In each session, the participants freely talked to one another while viewing the painting for 5 minutes. The verbal protocols and gestures, such as pointing to objects in the painting, in the first and the third sessions were analyzed. In the case of the van Gogh painting, the participants generally tended to focus on the salient objects in the painting in the early stage of appreciation and to gradually shift their attention to more peripheral objects. The participants shown the formal commentary tended to focus on formal aspects of the painting, especially on the exaggerated perspective integrating the objects. On the contrary, in the case of the Sisley painting, the participants showed a strong tendency to insist on identifying the depicted objects. The characteristics of the paintings and the effects of the commentaries are discussed.
Clusters of holes, such as those in a lotus seedpod, induce strong discomfort. This is called ‘Trypophobia’. Recently, some researchers addressed what trypophobia is and try to form theories on it. We overviewed the previous studies of trypophobia that have published and presented up to now, and discussed the mental mechanism. Moreover, this article is aimed to ignite future studies of trypophobia by pointing out some unsolved issues and proposing potential solutions.
The existence of meaning arbitrarily created and shared among playing partners, or the existence of culture as a network in which the created meaning and another meaning connect with each other have been claimed to separate animals from humans. A play pattern, so-called play chasing with a target object is observed among juvenile Japanese macaques in provisioned Arashiyama troop. This play pattern is characterized by following two interactive regularities: participants regard only the thing involved now as a target of the play, and a holder of the target object takes a role of the chasee. This play pattern has been established among juvenile macaques in Arashiyama troop, but not established among those in non-provisioned Kinkazan troop. These findings suggest that in play activities, creation of arbitrary meaning and the connection between their food culture and the created meaning can be found among not only humans but also among non-human animals.
Interacting Cognitive Subsystems (ICS), which explain mechanism of mindfulness, are originally information processing model for multi-modality among audition, vision and body-state. The ICS defines “meaning” as a function of cross-modal stimulus-response transfer, which constructs recursive process that can amplify maladaptive state of mind. Thus, ICS illustrates how we make extra meaning in recursive multi-modality. Here,we propose expanded use of ICS in other fields of cognitive science besides mindfulness.
Recently, the user interface (UI) has become more important because devices have become complex and give us excessive information. In this study, we investigated “what type of knowledge users use” for information search. We tested the hypothesis that graphical UI users would utilize perceptual knowledge (the knowledge of the visual cues on the display) rather than structural knowledge (the knowledge of how information is categorized). The results of the experiment showed that participants acquired little structural knowledge. Further, the computer simulation results indicated that the model with only structural knowledge was inadequate to explain the search patterns observed in the experiment. The model that had perceptual knowledge was better able to explain the results of the experiment.
Previous research has revealed that the subliminal priming of hints can help in solving insight problems, yet the effect is inconsistent. Why are sometimes unable to aid in problem solving? The authors hypothesized that hints may be suppressed by effective inhibitory function. Experiment 1 tested 55 participants, using the 8-coin problem. Their inhibitory function was measured by the Eriksen Flanker Task. Half of the participants were exposed to subliminal hints. The results showed that the hints decreased the degree of constraint violation in the high-inhibition group. In Experiment 2, 44 participants solved insight problems (Remote Associates Test: RAT) with or without subliminal hints. The Eriksen Flanker Task was conducted twice (before and after the insight problems). Experiment 2 demonstrated that the hints hindered problem solving for those who were able to sustain their inhibition abilities through RAT problems. These results conform to the predictions, and suggest that effective inhibitory function would suppress not only the exogenous cue, but also the endogenous generation of the solution.