People have naive theories about the relationship between motives and behaviors. Based on recent developments in attribution theories and negativity bias in social perception, we hypothesized that people would associate negative behaviors only with negative motives, while they would associate positive behaviors with not just positive, but also negative motives. These hypotheses were tested in three studies. In Studies 1 and 2, we found that behavioral information inconsistent with naive theories was best recalled under conditions with no cognitive load. However, this recall advantage dissipated when participants were under time pressure during the encoding of the behavioral information. In Study 3, participants were presented with positive and negative behaviors, and were asked to infer the actors' motives from these behaviors. The results showed that naive theories guided their inferences: negative motives were likely to be inferred from negative behaviors, whereas both negative and positive motives were inferred from positive behaviors. Implications for attribution theories and negativity bias in social perception are discussed.
This study examined the characteristics typically seen before the start of delinquency. Questionnaire surveys were administered twice to 1524 junior high school students, in the first and again in the second school term. Students were classified into three groups according to the time when they started engaging in delinquent behavior: “experienced” (having engaged in delinquency before the first survey: N=304), “started” (reporting their start of delinquency after the first survey: N=157), and “no experience” (having no experience of delinquency: N=1063). Comparisons of the three groups showed that the “started” group shared the same characteristic factors with the “experienced” group. Compared with the “no experience” group, both delinquency groups reported a less intimate relationship with their parents, more experience of domestic abuse, less parental control, and more conforming behavior with their friends. Also, the “started” group showed a sharp change in their degree of enjoyment of school life. Although the “started” group reported the same level of school life before starting delinquency as the “no experience” group, they reported a lower degree of enjoyment, nearly equal with that of the “experienced” group, after starting delinquency.
This study examined visuotactile cross-modal interactions in the identification of tactile stimuli. In Experiment 1, participants were required to discriminate the orientation of tactile target stimuli (line segments with left and right diagonal orientations) presented at the tip of the participant's left index finger via an Optacon, while trying to ignore a task-irrelevant visual diagonal line presented with a 200-ms or 700-ms stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA). The results show that the participants responded faster when the orientation of the tactile stimuli were congruent with the orientation of the visual stimuli than when they were incongruent in the 200-ms SOA condition. To assess at what level of processing the reaction time advantage obtained with congruent orientation trials takes place, Experiment 2 served as a replication of Experiment 1 with somatosensory event-related brain potential (ERP) recordings. ERP effects of orientation congruency were observed between 200 and 350ms post-stimulus, suggesting that visuotactile cross-modal interactions may occur at intermediate perceptual-cognitive stages rather than at early sensory-specific or late motor-related stages.
This study examines the hypothesis that a knife attracts witnesses' attention because of its pointed shape. In Experiment 1, 60 participants were shown a picture of a kitchen scene in which a woman held one of three items: a pointed knife, a square-shaped knife, or a detergent spray bottle. The weapon focus effect was measured by the recognition of details related to the object. Recognition information was significantly greater in the pointed knife condition than in the other conditions. In Experiment 2, 40 participants viewed slides that depicted the assembling of a plastic model using either pointed tweezers or square-shaped tweezers. As in Experiment 1, participants remembered more details in the pointed tweezers condition than the other condition. Both results show that visual features of a weapon affect witnesses' memory and suggest that the pointed shape of knife is a factor that attracts witnesses' attention.
The goodness of fit hypothesis (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984) posits that it is adaptive to use emotion-focused coping and not to use problem-focused coping in uncontrollable situations. This study examines the coping skills that defensive pessimists (DPs) tend to use in uncontrollable situations. The participants were 282 Japanese college students, from which 61 DPs and 64 strategic optimists (SOs) were identified. Based on the controllability they reported about recalled stress situations, they were classified into controllable or uncontrollable subgroups. Eight coping skills, which are concerned with emotion-focused or problem-focused coping, were compared. T-test and analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that DPs in uncontrollable situations tended not to use emotion-focused coping, which is not consistent with the goodness of fit hypothesis, but they also tended not to use problem-focused coping, which is consistent with the hypothesis. These results imply that DPs can control their behavior adaptively so they do not increase stress more in uncontrollable situations, although they have a vulnerability to feel stress easily because they can not use emotion-focused coping effectively.
This study examines the factors that determine satisfaction with the policies regarding disaster wastes, focusing specifically on the case of flood. A survey was conducted of residents in previously flooded areas of Sanjyo, Fukui, and Toyooka. The respondents rated the extent to which the affected administration explained things to them, listened to their opinions, damage from the flood, and problems with disaster wastes. The results showed that the perception of the distance from home to the garbage station determined the satisfaction with the policies regarding disaster wastes among the respondents who had less disaster wastes. On the other hand, the perception of listening to their opinions determined satisfaction with the policies among the respondents who had a lot of waste. The findings suggest that the determinant factors are different depending upon the situational factors.
We used the newly developed “modality differential” (MD) method to investigate the sensory-relevance properties of adjective scales that are widely used in the semantic differential (SD) technique. Participants (N=342) were asked to rate the relevance of each of 17-19 adjective pairs, selected from a total 75 pairs for ten sensory modalities, using a 7-point scale. We conducted a principal component analysis and a cluster analysis on the obtained MD data. We found that this data were well explained by the three components or three categories of proximal, proprioceptive, and distal-type senses, corresponding to psychological classification of sense modalities. In addition, we analyzed the sensory-relevance properties of the adjective scales that make up the three factors of the SD technique. We found that the adjectives of the Evaluation factor can be regarded as multi-sensory scales that show generally higher relevance magnitudes for multiple modalities. On the other hand, the adjectives making up the Activity and Potency factors show high relevance to specific modalities such as auditory/kinesthetic and tactile modalities, respectively. We discussed differential uses of the MD method for measuring the sensory-relevance of several materials such as artworks or industrial products.