This study was a part of a U. S.-Japan joint project, titled “A cross-cultural study of the influence of socializing agents upon cognitive functioning, communication styles, and educability in children,” co-directed by R. D. Hess of Stanford University and H. Azuma of the University of Tokyo. This paper surveyed the stylistic measures of maternal communication with children and their relation with measures of children's cognitive development one and two years later. Sixty-four U. S. mothers and fifty-five Japanese mothers were observed on a referential communication game. The mother's task was to explain one target picture among four similar ones so that her four-year-old child could choose it from the same set of pictures. The protocols of their interaction were analyzed in four general categories:“preparation” or how the mothers start their explanation,“description” or how they explain each target picture,“feedback” or what kind of feedback they give to the child's errors, and “re-explanation” or how they re-explain the target after those errors. 1) Internal correlatians. In the category of “feedback,” there seemed to be three specific styles in the U. S.; to negate child's errors explicitly, to explain how errors were different from the target, or to give no feedback. It was speculated that the U. S. mothers used explanation to avoid negative expressions. In Japan, only two styles were identified; to give feedback (either negation or explanation), or not. Giving diverse explanation was related to repetitive re-explanations in the U. S., while it was related to modified re-explanations in the U. S., while it was related to modified re-explanations in Japan. This suggested that there could be two culturally different ways to pursue the task: U. S. mothers tended to explain the target fully before they had their children choose it and Japanese mothers tended to modify their explanations according to children's errors. 2) Correlations with child's communication-game performance. Structured preparation showed good effects only in Japan. In both countries, modifying original expla nations after errors was related to better performance. Totally renewed explanation was correlated with poorer performance in the U. S., while repetitive re-explanation showed the same negative effect in Japan. 3) Correlations with child's cognitive development measures. In Japan, giving organized pre-viewing remarks seemed to have a possibility to help children develop cognitive skills. In the U. S., the descriptive explanation style seemed effective. This variable of descriptiveness showed the clearest cultural differences be tween the two countries. Giving explicit negative feedback to errors was negatively correlated with cogntive measures in both countries. As for re-explanation styles, Japanese data showed a complex pattern; the modifying type was correlated with higher spatial and numerical abilities whereas the renewing type was with higher verbal ability. In the U. S., the renewing type showed general negative pattern. Verbal ability seemed to be rather promoted by the modifying type.
The two following experiments were carried out in order to point out that earlier studies of social reinforcement were defective in the way of presenting reinforcement, and to state that the social context should be chosen as a determinant of social reinforcement effectiveness. The manipulations in each experiment had much in common. First, day-nursery boys and girls were subjected to a 10-minute treatment session, in which they received the reinforcing stimuli either twice (deprivation) or 16 times (satiation) from a male experimeter. This was followed by a discrimination test made of 75 trials, in which the same reinforcing stimuli as in treatment session were given to all correct responses by the experimenter, At the end of the test, they were inquired about their awareness of response-reinforcement contingencies. The measure analyzed was the number of correct responses in the test. In experiment I, the partial replication of Massari (1971) study was carried out to point out that earlier studies of social deprivation-satiation were defective in the way of presenting reinforcement. Forty subjects were instructed to read picture books in treatment session, in which they received the reinforcing stimuli, either “orikou-san-dane”(“good child” in Japanese) or a sound of bell, on the fixed schedule. This was followed by a discrimination test. The dependent measure for the four experiment groups was subjected to an analysis of variance. The results of the analysis showed no significant effects for the type of reinforcement (social-nonsocial) and the treatment (deprivation-satiation). It was discussed that the mechanical presentation of reinforcement in treatment session caused these results. And it was proposed that social reinforcement, in order to find the social deprivation-satiation relation should be presented in social context, and that the procedure in treatment session should be modified. Experiment II was carried out to show that social context was an important factor of social reinforcement effectiveness. One hundred and thirty-six subjects took part in playing with building blocks in a 10-minute treatment session, either with an experimenter (social interaction condition) or alone (no interaction condition). In this session, two-thirds of them received the stimulus words on the fixed schedule, but one-third of them received no words. This was followed by the test. In interaction condition, only boys made more correct responses in the deprivation group than in the satiation group. Among girls in interaction condition, Ss of the satiation group tended to make fewer responses than those in no word condition. These results suggested that the social deprivation-satiation hypothesis was supported only when reinforcement was given in the context of social situation, not when it was given according to the method used in earlier studies. In a general discussion, it was pointed out that social reinforcement ought to be presented in a social context.
Infants behaviors to the eight novel objects were recorded by V. T. R. They were analyzed with vision, contents of manipulation (vigorous manipulation with arms and hands(vertical shake, horizontal shake, hit drop), gentle manipulation with fingers (finger, pinch, scratch), oral behaviors (mouth, appropriate manipulation)) and other behaviors. The Ss were 66, 7-, 9-, 12-month old infants. Simple objects, viz.(1) Ring,(2) Bar,(3) Spoon,(4) Cup were manipulated with arms and mouthed more than complex objects, viz.(5) Figure Box,(6) Rainbow Spring,(7) Uneven Basket,(8) Decorative Rattle. Complex objects were visually regarded and manipulated with fingers more than simple objects in all age groups. Among complex objects, visually complex objects,(5),(6) were visually regarded and manipulated with arms more than tactually complex objects (7),(8). The latter were manipulated with fingers and received emotional responses (vocalization, look at the mother, being afraid) more than the former. The 9-and 12-month old infants had longer visual regard per response, larger percentage of looking within one trial, and longer manipulative latencies than 7-month old infants. And the total manipulation time decreased with age. The manipulations with arms decreased and the manipulations with fingers increased with the age. The latter had larger percentage of responses of visual regard than the former. Males had longer visual regard per response, total manipulation and vigorous manipulation with arms than females. Oral behaviors decreased with the age. But regarding objects (3) and (4), mouthing of their special round parts increased with the age, and 12-month old infants began to manipulate them appropriately. Looking at the mother increased with the age, and 12-month old infants began to point or show the stimulus to the mother.