Based on mere exposure studies, we proposed that repeated exposure to stimuli belonging to a common category leads to a positive evaluation of that category. Furthermore, to investigate the implicit effects of mere exposure, indirect measures were used. In a series of experiments, participants were repeatedly exposed to mimetic words written in Japanese hiragana or katakana, or nothing (control). Then their evaluations of the category (“hiragana” or “katakana”) were measured using indirect and direct measures. In Experiment 1 (Implicit Association Test; IAT), we adopted a traditional design using an exposure paradigm, such that the rating stimuli were identical to the exposed stimuli. Significant effects were observed for both measures. In Experiment 2 (IAT) and Experiment 3 (Go/No-go Association Task; GNAT), we used non-exposed stimuli that belonged to a common category as the rating stimuli. Significant effects were observed only for indirect measures. These results indicate that repeated exposure has unconscious positive effects on category evaluation. Theoretical and methodological implications of the findings are discussed.
The Parenting Scale is a measure of parenting practices that has been shown in studies in the United States to have sound psychometric properties. This study examined the psychometric properties and factor structure of a Japanese translation of the Parenting Scale. A community sample of 529 mothers with children from 4 to 8 years old completed the Japanese translation of the Parenting Scale. An exploratory factor analysis identified two factors labeled “Over-reactivity” (10-items) and “Laxness” (8-items), which closely resembled two of the factor analyses, using data from a clinical sample(N=167). The factors were significantly correlated with measures of child behavior, with mothers' efficacy, and with mothers' general health and mental health. Suggestions for future research and clinical use of the Japanese scale are discussed.
Twenty participants observed and interpreted 16 nail-hammering movies, each of which was composed of motion of four point-lights that were attached to an actor's hand, elbow, and shoulder and the hammer head. Each participant judged the length and the weight of hammers, the sizes of the nails, and the degree of hammering skill, and rated the actor's motion in terms of briskness, lightness, regularity, smoothness, quickness, stability, complexity, and politeness. The results showed the following perceptual characteristics. A higher angular velocity of the hammer at the hand contributed to the perception of the hammering action as more skillful and brisk, whereas an increase in linear velocity of the point at the shoulder was judged as less skilled. The judgment of nail size was positively correlated with the linear velocity of the points at the hand. The judgment of hammer weight was negatively correlated with the linear velocity of the points at the hammer. The different roles that linear and angular velocities of light points play in biological motion perception were discussed.
People tend to spontaneously make trait inferences from exposure to others' behaviors without the intention to do so. In the present study, two experiments investigated the occurrence of spontaneous trait inferences (STIs) among Japanese 5th graders, 7th graders, and undergraduates using a relearning paradigm. Participants' recollections of portrait-trait pairs after being presented with congruent behaviors were compared with their recollections after incongruent behaviors. If participants showed better recollections after being presented with congruent behavior descriptions, this indicated that they spontaneously inferred the actor's trait from the behavior. The results suggested that 5th and 7th graders as well as undergraduates showed STIs from behavior descriptions that implied negative traits, although they showed few STIs from descriptions that implied positive traits. It was assumed that STIs are developed by 10-11 years of age at the latest, and that the processes of STIs from negative and positive descriptions might differ.
Studies have shown that young children persuade others in a self-oriented manner while older children use an other-oriented manner. This study investigated the development of the ability to use other-oriented persuasion. Two experiments with 4-year-old and 5-year-old children investigated developmentally (a) the ability to focus on the reason for opposition by others, and (b) the ability to present information to overcome the opposition of others, as well as the relationship between these abilities. The results indicated that both abilities develop in the 5th year of life. Additionally, children who could correctly focus on the reason for opposition by others could also present appropriate information to overcome this opposition. These results clarify the abilities required for effective persuasion and the development of social skills for better social adjustment. The implications of these findings for elucidating the development of children's use of other's mental states are discussed.
This study examined the determinants of social withdrawal using data from a survey by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office for Youth Affairs and Public Safety (2008). In addition, this study identified young people who showed an affinity for social withdrawal although they were not in a state of withdrawal, and examined the determinants of an affinity for social withdrawal. The results of stepwise discriminant analysis showed that factors such as social phobia, depression, violence, and emotional bonds with family differentiated between the general youth group and the social withdrawal group and the “affinity group”. Social phobia, violence, and refusal to be interfered in self-decision making differentiated between the social withdrawal group and the “affinity group”. This study shows that an “affinity group” should be cared as well as an actual withdrawal group.
The present study explores the division of labor for consciousness and the unconscious by examining the effect that the conscious mental compilation of implementation intentions has on unconscious goal priming. Temptations (e.g., leisure activities) that compete with goals (e.g., to study) inhibit relevant goal pursuit. However, forming an implementation intention to pursue a goal without succumbing to temptations may set off automatic self-regulation based on renewed associations where activation of temptation triggers goal pursuit. An experiment with undergraduates (N=143) revealed that in the “no conscious compilation” control condition, goal priming facilitated and temptation priming inhibited subsequent task performance. However, in the “conscious compilation” condition, temptation priming facilitated subsequent task performance equally as much as goal priming did. These results are consistent with the notion that automatic goal pursuit in the direction counter to existing mental associations could be achieved following conscious compilation of implementation intentions. Implications of these findings for effective coordination of consciousness and the unconscious in self-regulation are discussed.
This study tested the prediction that preferences induced by hidden factors would be justified and even accelerated by other factors that seem to be plausible determinants as causes but, in fact, do not have any influence on the preferences. Participants were repeatedly exposed to a variety of product logos of detergents and then asked to choose one from a pair of detergents with different logos. For half of the participants, information on product quality was available at choice; for the other half, only logos were available. The participants showed a tendency to prefer detergents with the logos that were more frequently exhibited, and this tendency was stronger when information was available about the product quality. The participants seemed to believe that they based their decisions on the relative superiority of quality between the pairs as well as their logos. Provided with convincing, but incorrect, reasons to make a choice, the participants were encouraged to select the detergents whose attractiveness had actually been manipulated by exposing the participants to their logos.
This study investigated the relationship between stress and attitudes toward negative emotions in adolescents. Adolescent students (N=1 500) completed a questionnaire that measured attitudes toward negative emotions, emotional-stress reactions, and stress coping. Analysis of date yielded, two factors of the attitudes toward negative emotions: “Negative feelings about negative emotions” and “Capabilities of switching of negative emotions”. In order to examine the theoretical relationships among attitudes toward negative emotions, emotional-stress reactions, and stress coping, a hypothetical model was tested by covariance structure analysis. This model predicted that students who have a high level of attitudes toward negative emotions would report enhanced problem solving which promoted stress coping. The results indicated that “Negative feelings about negative emotions” enhanced avoidable coping, and avoidable coping enhanced stress reactions. “Capabilities of switching of negative emotions” was related to a decrease of avoidable coping. Based on the results from covariance structure analysis and a multiple population analysis, the clinical significance and developmental characteristics were discussed.
The present research investigated the role of experienced ease of retrieval in predicting future behavior of others. People retrieve past examples of others' behavior to predict how they would behave in the future. But well-defined, high trait evaluations about others decrease the informational value of the retrieved content. In this case, people may base their predictions on the ease or difficulty which they experienced during the retrieval of examples. In two experiments, participants were asked to think of an acquaintance who they evaluated as being assertive or less assertive. The trait evaluations were manipulated by using different experimental instructions (Experiment 1) or using measured trait evaluation scores (Experiment 2). Then, participants retrieved one (easy) or four (difficult) past examples of the acquaintance's behavior. In the case of an assertive acquaintance, participants predicted a higher likelihood of assertive behaviors after retrieving one example than after retrieving four examples, whereas in the case of a less assertive acquaintance the reverse was true. These results suggest that subjective experiences can have informational value even when making predictions of others' future behavior.
Research on retrieval-induced forgetting has shown that remembering can cause forgetting of related information. This study examined whether such forgetting occurred for associatively structured lists and if aging influenced such forgetting. We compared retrieval-induced forgetting during a free recall test by using Deese/Roediger-McDermott (DRM) lists with an associative structure as the stimulus. Two age groups of young and old adult participants were tested. The results indicated that both age groups showed the same degree of retrieval-induced forgetting of the lists. These results suggest that the association between items causes retrieval-induced forgetting and that the inhibitory function of the association in retrieval-induced forgetting does not decline with age.
This study examined the relationship between self-concept variability and psychological well-being. We hypothesized that the meaning of interpersonal relationships moderated the effect of self-concept variability on psychological well-being. Participants were 152 female undergraduate students, who completed a questionnaire about their self-concept variability, psychological well-being (depression/anxiety), and the meaning of interpersonal relationships. The results showed that subjective self-concept variability was positively correlated with psychological well-being, although self-concept differentiation was not correlated with psychological well-being. The correlation between the degree of self-concept variability and psychological well-being was affected by the meaning of interpersonal relationships. The results suggest that the meaning of interpersonal relationships is an important determinant of the integration of self.