Two experiments investigated the hypothesis that the need to protect positive self-regards mediates the causal attribution of one's failure to discrimination. Female undergraduates read a scenario in which either the participant herself or another woman (in-group member) took a job interview. The outcome was depicted either as failing (Studies 1 and 2) or passing the interview (Study 2). Participants attributed the failure to gender discrimination only when the interviewers were unanimously sexists. The attribution to discrimination was negatively correlated with the state self-esteem in the social domain. When the protagonist was an in-group member, a moderate level of discrimination was sufficient to elicit the participant's discrimination attribution. For the positive outcome scenario, the participants were more likely to acknowledge the influence of favoritism on their own success than on other's success. These results suggest that the unwillingness for attributing a failure to discrimination functions for the protection of the self-esteem among the members of a disadvantaged group. Implications for the study of coping strategies used by victims of discrimination are discussed.
This study investigated Japanese mimetic words “Gitai-go” that can describe personality, through classification based on factor analysis and correlation analysis with the Five Factor Personality Questionnaire (FFPQ). Japanese participants, mostly undergraduates (344 men and 702 women), were asked to rate themselves on a five point scale on each of 120 words. Factor analysis of the ratings yielded six groups of words.: “Cowardliness, ” “Slowness, ” “Preciseness, ” “Irritableness, ” “Candidness, ” and “Frivolousness.” Correlations between these ratings and the personality scales were as follows. (1) “Cowardliness” showed a positive correlation with Emotionality, and a negative correlation with Extroversion. (2) “Preciseness” had a high correlation (r=.70) with Controlling and a low positive correlation with Extroversion and Attachment. (3) “Irritableness” showed a negative correlation with Attachment and a positive correlation with Emotionality. (4) Low negative correlations were observed between “Slowness” and Extroversion, “Candidness” and Emotionality, and “Frivolousness” and Controlling. The ambiguous but expressive nature of mimetic words was discussed in relation to the conceptualizations and descriptions of personality used in daily interaction.
A reminiscence bump is a phenomenon that people typically remember the events experienced the ages of 10 and 30 more often than these experienced in other period. This paper investigates (1) whether a reminiscence bump is found in autobiographical memory in Japanese elders, and (2) the features and content of autobiographical memories in general and in the bump. Twenty-five participants more than sixty-years old recalled past events using a cue-word method, described the content of each memory, dated the event, and rated the features of the memory on five scales, i. e., vividness, importance, present self-involvement, past self-involvement, and frequency of recall. The results showed that although a reminiscence bump emerged, memories within the bump did not differ from other memories in terms of rated features nor in content. Approximately 50% of autobiographical memories were “self-centered”, 30% were about “self-other relations”, and the rest were “other-centered” and “scenes” which did not involve people. The results were discussed in relation to theories about the reminiscence bump.
This study investigated how graphic aids facilitate learning from text by examining what kinds of representations might be constructed when readers read either a text containing a line graph or the text only. Undergraduates (n=106) read a text concerning digitization. Then, they were asked what they had thought about while reading in order to examine whether they constructed graphical mental representations. Next, a comprehension test was administrated (pre-test). Next, they were shown either part of the text contained a line graph (graph group) or part of the text only (text group). Finally, the same test was administrated again (post-test). The results showed that when the readers had insufficient graphical representations, the graph group performed better on the post-test than on the pre-test, but text group did not. In contrast, when readers had elaborate graphical representations, there were no differences between the pre-test and the post-test for both groups. These findings suggest that graphic aids help readers to construct graphical representations, which might comprise the situation models that readers build for learning from text.
Involuntary recollection of autobiographical memories refers to memories of personal experiences that pop into consciousness with no preceding attempts at remembering. In a laboratory experiment, we examined the effect of emotional valence on the involuntary recollection of autobiographical memories. Participants evaluated the familiarity of four words referring to various events (cues for autobiographical recollection) and then reported whether they had unintentionally recalled past experiences during these evaluations. We manipulated the emotional valence (positive/negative) and specificity (specific/common) of the cue words. In the specific-event condition, cue words for positive events elicited more involuntary memories than those for negative events. In addition, the mean frequency of recollection was higher in the specific-event condition than that in the common-event condition. These results are consistent with studies that used diary methods, which showed a dominance of positive events in involuntary recollection of autobiographical memories.
Projective tests are considered to uncover unconscious emotions while avoiding psychological resistance. However, the results of projective tests may be affected by conscious emotions. This study investigates whether self disclosure, which is a conscious factor, affected the results of a sentence completion test (SCT), which is a projective test. Eighty-five university students completed a questionnaire about their degree of self disclosure, and a SCT. The results showed that low disclosers gave more negative responses on the SCT (such as denial responses, physiologically related responses, short responses, and short emotional responses) than high disclosers. High disclosers expressed more emotions, thoughts and feelings (i. e., opinions, positive emotions, wishes, directive disclosure responses, and positive self-images) than low disclosers. Although projective tests are assumed to minimize psychological resistance, the low disclosers gave more defensive responses on the SCT, and the high disclosers exhibited more emotional responses. In summary, self-disclosure, which is a conscious factor, affected SCT responses.
Several metamemory questionnaires have been widely used in psychological research with various populations including young or elderly, and clinical or non-clinical participants. This study investigates the factor structures in three typical metamemory questionnaires. The Everyday Memory Questionnaire (EMQ: 28 items), the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ: 25 items), and the Memory Ability Questionnaire (MAQ: 31 items) were administered to 860 undergraduate students. Factor analyses for the data from each questionnaire indicated that the EMQ, the CFQ, and the MAQ mainly consisted of five, five, and four factors, respectively. A factor analysis was performed on the combined data relating to these 14 factors to examine the relatedness among the factors. Three factors were obtained: retrospective memory, prospective memory, and memory for person's names. The results were discussed in terms of the differences of content and formats of the questionnaire.
Mental sweating plays an important role to make handgrips smooth. This study examined the relationship between mental sweating and handgrips focusing on the timing of sweat secretion. Five students were instructed to grip a soft ball (nine centimeters diameter) as strongly as possible. Electrodermal and sweating responses were collected from five seconds before to five seconds after the beginning of their handgrips. The results showed that electrodermal responses increased one second before the beginning of the handgrip, and that sweating responses one second after. These results suggest that sweating responses in handgrip performance show a different response pattern from the electrodermal responses. Readiness for handgrip performance required for the maximum might evoked electrodermal responses before the performance, and this process facilitated sweat secretion as the strength of the handgrip reached the maximum.
Previous studies, mainly with Caucasian samples, have shown that facial expressions of emotion are contagious, a phenomenon known as facial mimicry. This study examined facial mimicry using a Japanese sample. Participants were shown a series of Japanese faces (from Matsumoto and Ekman, 1988) on a computer screen expressing “happiness”, “sadness”, “anger”, or “disgust.” While viewing the facial expressions, electoromyograms (EMG) of the participants' faces were recorded to see whether their own facial muscles corresponding to the stimulus faces were activated. Consistent with the previous studies using Caucasian samples, all four facial expressions were mimicked. The peak time of mimicry of angry or happy faces was later, while that of disgusted faces was relatively sooner. The potential relation of facial mimicry to “emotional contagion”, a social phenomenon whereby subjective feelings transfer between people, is discussed.