This study examined the effects of attention by a third party to a comparison target on self-evaluation in social comparison. University students (N=114; 42 males and 72 females) were randomly assigned to comparison-target (superior, inferior) and perspective-taking (perspective taking of a third party, non-perspective taking) conditions. First, participants completed a linguistic performance test and were given feedback on their results. Next, participants were asked to look at another's score (either high or low) from the viewpoint of a friend, or from their own viewpoint. Finally, participants rated their own test performance. In social comparison research, a contrast effect is said to occur when self-evaluation is displaced away from the evaluation of the comparison target. The results indicated that undergraduate females who saw the other's score from the viewpoint of a friend had a contrast effect in their self-ratings. Conversely, undergraduate males who saw the other's score from their own viewpoint showed a contrast effect in their self-ratings. The results suggest that social comparison depends on the attention of a third party and that there are gender differences in the direction of this influence.
This study investigated change of cognitions and feelings before, during, and after the process of procrastination. A questionnaire was administered to 358 undergraduate students asking them to recall and rate their experience of procrastinating. The results revealed that negative feelings which take place during procrastination interfere with task performance. Planning before procrastination is associated with positive feelings after procrastination, and these positive feelings assist task performance. Optimistic thinking is positively related to both positive and negative feelings; the former take place during procrastination, and the latter take place after procrastination.
The present study investigated the effects of dynamic information on the recognition of emotional facial expressions across the visual field (i.e., central or peripheral vision). Facial stimuli with three pleasant expressions (excited, happy, and relaxed) and three unpleasant expressions (fearful, angry, and sad) were selected on the basis of valence and activation. The facial stimuli were presented dynamically or statically at either the central or peripheral visual field. Participants evaluated the emotional state of the target facial expression using a forced-choice task (N=34) and an Affect Grid (Russell, Weiss, & Mendelsohn, 1989) (N=39) requiring categorical and dimensional judgments about facial expressions. The results of the forced-choice task showed that only dynamic angry faces in peripheral vision had better recognition than the equivalent faces in the static condition. The results of the Affect Grid indicated that only the pleasant expressions presented in the peripheral field were significantly rated as more strongly pleasant. These findings suggest that an effect of dynamic information is more salient in peripheral vision than in central vision for recognizing certain facial expressions.
This study investigated heterosexual undergraduates' behavior with a same-sex close friend and their attitudes toward homosexuality after this friend disclosed his/her sexual orientation. The study also examined whether the heterosexual friend was regarded as a romantic love object or not. Participants were 77 male and 139 female undergraduates. Males decreased their behaviors with their close friend and adopted more positive attitudes toward gay men after they knew their friend's sexual orientation. Females decreased their behavior with their close friend more after learning that they were a romantic love object of their friend, compared to when tehy were not. Also females adopted more positive attitudes toward lesbians only after knowing they were not a romantic love object. These gender differences are discussed.
This study investigated the effects of subliminal mere exposure to ingroup or outgroup members on intergroup evaluation as measured in the Implicit Association Test (IAT). Participants first memorized the members of two groups. Then, they were assigned to either group by lot, and completed the IAT for intergroup evaluation (Time 1). In the next phase, half the participants were subliminally exposed to ingroup members and half to outgroup members. Upon completion of the exposure, the same IAT was administered at Time 2. The results showed that participants who were exposed to ingroup members evaluated the ingroup more positively at Time 2 than at Time 1. Participants who were exposed to outgroup members did not show an effect toward the outgroup. The finding that the mere exposure effect occurred only for the ingroup exposure condition suggests that unconscious awareness of the ingroup enhances the mere exposure effect.
“Racket feelings” is a term used in transactional analysis to describe familiar, private, negative feelings. This study focused on racket feelings that have persisted from early childhood and examined the relationship between racket feelings, life events, and personality traits among university students (N=73). Participants drew two curves: one showing the degree of racket feelings that they experienced at different ages, and the other showing life events at different ages. Participants also responded on the Egogram. We measured the lengths of each curve from the baseline of 0 to each 0.5 year of the Participant's age. We calculated the degree of racket feelings that they had experienced in their life, as well as the quality of life events. Participants who had strong racket feelings had more negative life events and tended to be self-restrained in terms of psychological disorders. These results suggest that racket feelings had a negative influence on their life.
The cost and probability bias in social situations are considered to be a maintaining factor for social anxiety disorder (SAD) symptoms. However, the process by which the cost and probability bias influences other SAD symptoms, such as avoidance behavior, self-perception of autonomic responses, and anxiety in social situations has not been investigated. We developed a model of the cost and probability bias and investigated the process through which the cost and probability bias influences SAD symptoms. Undergraduate students (N=290) were administered self-report measures assessing each component of SAD symptoms. A path analysis was conducted using the cost and probability bias model, which indicated high validity for the model (goodness of fit index=.99, adjusted goodness of fit index=.92, root mean square error of approximation=.09). The results also indicated that the cost bias had a strong effect on each component of SAD symptoms, and that the probability bias mediated the relationship between fear of negative evaluation and the cost bias. These findings suggest that changing the cost and probability bias may improve SAD symptoms.
Scrolling text presentation refers to a medium where multiple sentences can be presented in a limited space by drifting text from either right to left or bottom to top. In this study we explored the properties of reading scrolling text. First, looking at the actual scrolling devices in daily life, we surveyed the relationship between the scrolling speed and the maximum number of characters displayed on the devices (number of characters). Then, we experimentally investigated the scrolling speed that participants preferred (preferable speed) as a function of the number of characters (Experiment 1). Error detection performance (Experiments 2 and 3) and participants' impressions (Experiment 4) about the scrolling text presented under various conditions (i.e., speed and number of characters) were also investigated related to the preferable speed. The ideal scrolling speed in daily life and the properties of the preferable speed in terms of information processing in reading are discussed.
This study examined a causal model that the effect of information about crime on risk perception, anxiety about crime, and crime prevention is mediated by the informational content and source. We measured risk perception and anxiety about crime from a social and an individual perspective. A web-based survey was conducted with mothers (N=1040) who have children aged 3-12 years. The results of structural equation modeling indicated the following. (a) Information about crime given by the mass media, Internet, and hearsay increased the risk perception and anxiety about crime through the impact of informational content (i.e., “feeling that crime is close,” “emotional fluctuations,” “sympathy for the victims,” and “remembering a similar crime”). (b) Hearsay information directly controlled optimistic cognitions. (c) Mass media and hearsay information directly promoted crime prevention. (d) Cognition about the deterioration of security advanced cooperative crime prevention in the neighborhood.
The present study examined the gap between ideal and actual images about the elderly with regard to the occurrence or repetition of elder abuse. Semantic differential (SD) data for ideal and actual images were collected from 267 staff members in nursing care facilities. A factor analysis yielded three factors: “familiarity,” “sadness,” and “selfishness.” A logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the influence of the gap between ideal and actual images with regard to elder abuse. The results indicated that the gap score for “familiarity” had an effect on the occurrence and repetition of violent actions, abusive language, and use of imperative words.
Two experiments, using an indirect recognition procedure (Terasawa & Ohta, 1993) as an implicit memory task, were conducted to examine implicit memory for random tone sequences. The indirect recognition procedure involved two sessions. The second session was a general recognition experiment consisting of learning and a recognition test phase. The effects of the learning during the first session were examined based on the recognition performance in the second session. The interval between the sessions was 10 weeks for Experiment 1 and 8 weeks for Experiment 2. In each session, participants were required to rate their liking for each of the sequences presented. In the second session, participants were required to respond to an old-new recognition test about the items just presented. The targets and distractors in the test consisted of stimuli presented or not presented in the first session. Analyses of the hits and false alarms showed an effect of the number of presentations in the first session. This result indicates an effect of long lasting implicit memory for tone sequences.
Calling attention to potential risks does not always lead to preventative actions. To investigate changes in cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses towards potential risks, longitudinal studies targeting nonclinical samples of undergraduate students were conducted at 4 time points (April, May, June, and July 2009) during the outbreak of swine flu in 2009, which eventually developed in to a global pandemic. During the course of the study, the risk of swine flu infection for the seventy-nine participants became more and more self-relevant as the situation developed in the news and as their university was temporarily closed off. The results indicate that despite increasing knowledge about the swine flu, the level of anxiety showed steady decrease as the time went by. Similarly, despite the expanding infection around the globe, the level of preventative behavior remained low. Moreover, participants reported perceiving their own risk to be significantly lower than that of average undergraduate students at all time points. These findings indicate that even when potential risks are clearly communicated, too much information, saturated emotions, and optimistic bias may obstruct people from taking appropriate preventative actions.