The comprehension of graphs is achieved through interaction between bottom-up and top-down processing. This study experimentally investigated the interaction between the graph representations determining bottom-up processing and the reader's perspective relating to top-down processing. Different representations on graphs generated from an identical data set elicited different interpretations of the graphs. We call this the “representation effect” on graph comprehension. In Experiment 1, we confirmed the characteristic of the bottom-up process of graph comprehension by using a set of line graphs which were identical in perceptual characteristics. In Experiments 2A and 2B, the participants were given a perspective for reading the graphs, and then they interpreted the graphs. The results showed that this perspective affected their comprehension of the graphs. Previous studies have shown that top-down processing may not be compatible with bottom-up processing in graph comprehension. However, our result indicated that top-down processing controlled by a perspective for reading the graph was not inconsistent with bottom-up processing, and therefore does not violate bottom-up processing.
In Japan, Seiichi Terada (1884─1922) was the first psychologist who applied psychological knowledge to the field of law, working in collaboration with the law professor Eiich Makino (1878─1970). Terada's work was mainly in the tradition of clinical psychology, although in his 1915 paper titled “How useful are testimonies?” he described a set of seven experiments concerned with the empirical relationship between eyewitness testimony and memory. This is probably the first experimental study of law and psychology carried out in Japan. This article introduces Terada's history as a psychologist, and his collaboration with Makino, followed by explanation of their experiments. Finally, we discuss perspectives on testimony research in consideration of Terada's approach.
Often after opening an emergency door, an evacuee may need to turn right or left or go further straight ahead to reach the emergency exit. This study examined whether the currently-adopted emergency exit sign could be made more effective with advance information on the evacuation route. The current sign was modified by adding a left-bent or right-bent arrow to its left-facing or right-facing version respectively. In a computer-simulated evacuation task, participants were required to decide as quickly as possible which direction to turn after going through the door under the current or the modified exit sign. The modified sign was shown to be effective in leading the participants to choose the direction consistent with its directional arrow, whereas the current sign, whether left-facing or right-facing, showed no such effect. However, in a recognition memory test given immediately following the completion of the simulated evacuation task, many of those who had successfully chosen the direction suggested by the modified sign falsely selected the current left-facing sign as what they had seen.
This study explored the phonological role of punctuation in silent reading. Previous studies have suggested that commas trigger prosodic information, such as a pause, in implicit phonological processing during reading, which influences sentence processing considerably. In this study, 24 graduate and undergraduate students read, either silently or under articulatory suppression, syntactically ambiguous Japanese sentences with different types of semantic bias. Each sentence was presented with or without a comma that was either compatible or incompatible with each semantic bias. The results showed that in the silent reading condition, commas affect the duration of sentence reading and that even a comma that was incompatible with the semantic bias increased the interpretation that each comma favored. However, in the articulatory suppressed condition these effects of commas disappeared. We concluded that commas phonologically affect the processing of syntactically ambiguous sentences, which indicates that commas elicit prosodic information when constructing phonological representations in reading.
We examined skill-based differences in the anticipation of ball direction during the catching of a grounder in baseball. In Experiment 1, we used film stimuli which included a sequence of pitching and hitting action from the shortstop's customary perspective, and participants judged the ball's direction (left or right). Also, we used white-circle stimuli, and participants reported whether the circle was displaced to the left or to the right. Baseball players responded faster than non-players in the film task, but there was no significant difference between the two groups in the white-circle task. In Experiment 2, we used film stimuli which were cut off at four different temporal occlusion periods to examine the time of extraction of important visual cues. Accuracy exceeded the chance level prior to the bat-ball contact in both groups, but was earlier for players than for non-players. Our results suggest that players may extract anticipatory visual cues more effectively and earlier than non-players.
A marital love scale was created to study the marital quality of middle-aged and elderly couples, and the scale's reliability and validity were examined. In this study, 888 middle-aged and elderly married participants completed the marital love scale questionnaire as well as answering questions regarding marriage satisfaction and husband-wife communication. In all age groups, men scored higher than women on the marital love scale. The marital love score gradually increased from the middle-aged to the senior period, and like the marriage satisfaction score, the marital love score showed a U-shaped curve in the whole married life. The results also showed that the scale was highly correlated with marriage satisfaction and spousal self-disclosure. Thus, the validity and internal consistency of the marital love scale were confirmed.
This study constructed and evaluated a facial expression database of children age 11 to 13 years old. To construct the database, we took 535 facial images of 53 male and 54 female Japanese children. The children were requested to express one neutral and four other emotions (happiness, surprise, sadness, and anger). To evaluate the subjective strength of the facially-expressed emotions, we had 43 Japanese participants (mean age = 22.67 years old) rate the strength of the four emotions for the facial images using a seven-point scale. We found that (a) the participants appropriately recognized the emotions from all the facial images except those showing sadness, (b) the male faces were rated as expressing surprise, sadness, and anger more strongly than the female faces, and (c) the female faces were rated as expressing happiness more strongly than the male faces. These results suggest that there may be a gender difference in the production of facial expressions in children 11 to 13 years old.
The present study investigated the effects of social anxiety on judgments about gaze direction. The participants (N = 123) were divided into two groups on the basis of social anxiety scores (social anxiety and control group). Participants who scored high on a social anxiety scale judged the direction of slightly averted gaze to be straight more often for angry faces than for neutral faces. This pattern was reversed for participants in control group. An angry face looking straight at a person may be seen as an overt threat. People suffering from social anxiety tend to interpret ambiguous situations as negative or threatening. This negativity bias may contribute to the increased judgments of straight-gaze responses for angry faces with slightly averted gazes.
The present study investigated the effects of cognitive load on the temporal focus of mind wandering. Participants performed a cognitive-load task under three load conditions (0 back, 1 back, 2 back). During each condition, thought sampling was conducted to measure task-unrelated thoughts. When a thought probe was presented, participants responded what they were just thinking. The results showed that future-related thoughts were reduced with increasing cognitive-load. On the other hand, past-related thoughts were not reduced under moderate cognitive-load but were under high cognitive-load. This indicates that future-related thoughts require additional resources. Furthermore, future-related thoughts were more prevalent than past-related thoughts under low cognitive-load. These findings may indicate that a future prospective bias is important for survival.