Why do people behave altruistically toward others, even in situations where nobody would observe their behavior? We formulated the following hypothesis regarding this question: “Reputations are decided by behaviors in situations that nobody can observe, rather than by behaviors in situations that can be observed by others.” The validity of this hypothesis was examined through a Prisoner’s Dilemma experiment. In the first stage, participants played the Prisoner’s Dilemma game in a situation where nobody could observe them. In the second stage, participants selected another partner in the game, based on information about their behavior in the first stage. The results indicated that participants tended to choose people that behaved altruistically in situations where nobody could observe them. Furthermore, this tendency was stronger with cooperative participants. These results support the hypothesis of this study.
The present study examined the negative evaluations and discrimination against smokers among the Japanese. In Study 1, 52 students rated one of four target-persons differentially depicted in terms of gender and smoking habit using scales to measure coolness, sociability, intellectuality, and earnestness. The results showed that participants rated smokers more negatively than nonsmokers except for sociability. Those who perceived smoking as controllable rated smokers’ earnestness even more negatively, suggesting that the negative evaluations are partially moderated by the perceived controllability of smoking. To examine a hypothesis that negative evaluations of smokers would mediate discrimination, in Study 2 we measured how participants (96 students) responded to target persons asking for a loan or a job, as well as their ratings of the targets on the Big Five personality dimensions. The results support the hypothesis of mediation.
The present study examined influences of reading aloud and performing simple calculation on the cognitive functioning of healthy elderly adults, based on the findings that these tasks activated the prefrontal lobe. The elderly adults’ memory and inhibitory functions were assesed by Short-Term memory, CST, Stroop, and SRC tasks, before and after intervention for 18 months. The study found that the learning group had significant improvement from the pre- to the post-test for the short-term memory, STM, CST, and Stroop tasks. On the other hand, there was significant decline over the 18 months in the control group which was given only the assessment tasks. These results are discussed in terms of the effectiveness of cognitive training.
This study investigated the levels of public trust in organizations associated with the Great East Japan Earthquake. In Study 1 (N = 639), the levels of trust in eight organizations as well as the determinants of trust–perceived salient value similarity (SVS), ability, and motivation– were measured twice, first immediately after the earthquake and then a year later. The results indicated that the trust levels for six of the eight organizations had been preserved, supporting the double asymmetric effect of trust. The results of structural equation modeling (SEM) revealed that SVS explained trust more when the organization had been less trusted. Trust in the organization explains well the perceived reduction of the target risk. The results of SEM in Study 2 (N = 1,030) replicated those of Study 1, suggesting the stability of the explanatory power of the determinants of trust. Implications of the study for risk management practices are discussed.
Despite the widespread popular belief in Japan about a relationship between personality and ABO blood type, this association has not been empirically substantiated. This study provides more robust evidence that there is no relationship between blood type and personality, through a secondary analysis of large-scale survey data. Recent data (after 2000) were collected using large-scale random sampling from over 10,000 people in total from both Japan and the US. Effect sizes were calculated. Japanese datasets from 2004 (N = 2,878–2,938), and 2,005 (N = 3,618–3,692) as well as one dataset from the US in 2004 (N = 3,037–3,092) were used. In all the datasets, 65 of 68 items yielded non-significant differences between blood groups. Effect sizes (η2) were less than .003. This means that blood type explained less than 0.3% of the total variance in personality. These results show the non-relevance of blood type for personality.
This study examined the semantic organization of “sonkei” (a feeling of respect) and respect-related emotion words such as “awe” and “admiration” in Japanese university students. Native Japanese university students rated the semantic similarity of 153 pairs of 18 respect-related words having been collected from synonym dictionaries. Hierarchical cluster analysis of similarity ratings revealed two main distinctions at the highest level of abstraction: “person-focus respect, emotional attitude” (sustained respect for a particular person considered to be superior) and “action-focus respect, emotional state” (temporal respect for a praiseworthy action). The former included three basic categories: (a) respect mingled with mild love; (b) idolatry (worship and adoration); and (c) respect mingled with fear (awe). The latter included two basic categories: (d) admiration and (e) respect mingled with surprise (wonder). The word “sonkei” was included in category (a). Also, multidimensional scaling revealed three dimensions of respect-related words: focus, valence, and self-oblivion. These findings suggest that for Japanese university students, respect is typically a kind of emotional attitude, but they sometimes experience respect as an emotional state (“state respect”).
This study developed a valid and reliable questionnaire measuring individual differences in reality-monitoring error experiences in everyday life. A 50-item preliminary questionnaire was constructed on the basis of the findings from a pilot diary study. In study 1, we administered the questionnaire to 316 undergraduates, along with a dissociative experience scale to examine criterion-referenced validity. Using factor analysis, we obtained the 32-item Reality-Monitoring Error Experience Questionnaire (RMEEQ). A significant positive correlation was found between scores on the RMEEQ and the dissociative experience scale, thereby which indicates the RMEEQ’s criterion-referenced validity. In Study 2, we examined the test-retest reliability of the RMEEQ by administering it to 66 undergraduates on two occasions separated by three weeks. We found a significant test-retest correlation. Taken together, these results show that the RMEEQ is a valid and reliable measure of reality-monitoring error experiences in everyday life.
We conducted two studies to develop a Japanese version of the Personal Growth Initiative Scale-II (PGIS-II), and examined its reliability and validity. PGIS-II was developed as a multidimensional measure of the multiple processes of the Personal Growth Initiative (PGI). The PGI describes an active, intentional engagement in the process of personal growth for self-improvement of life experiences. Study 1 (N = 204) reports the confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the Japanese version of the PGIS-II. The CFA confirmed that 4-factor model showed acceptable fit indices, with reliability coefficients ranging from .67 to .84. Concurrent validity of the PGIS-II was indicated by the correlation with happiness, the positive score for automatic thoughts. Study 2 (N = 101) reports the concurrent validity of the PGIS-II using scales for locus of control, self-esteem and coping. Results suggested significant correlations between scores on the PGIS-II and locus of control, self-esteem and some coping subscales. The overall results suggest that the Japanese version of the PGIS-II has satisfactory statistical reliability and validity.
This study developed a Japanese version of the Perceived Vulnerability to Disease (PVD) scale. Analysis of the data from Japanese university students (N = 435) replicated the two–factor structure of the original scale: one factor that assessed beliefs about one’s own susceptibility to infectious diseases (perceived infectability) and the other factor that assessed emotional discomfort in contexts that connoted an especially high potential for pathogen transmission (germ aversion). Tests of reliability and validity for each subscale indicated overall promising results. It would appear that the results reflect at least in part an evolutionary adaptive psychological mechanism for the ancestral environment.
The Over-Adaptation Tendency Scale is designed to assess internal (self-inhibitive personality traits) and external (other-directed behavioral adaptation strategies) characteristics of over adaptation. The relationships among over-adaptation, subjective well-being, and family relationships were investigated using this scale. The scale was administered to undergraduate and graduate students (N = 408). The results indicated that for both men and women, all internal aspects of over-adaptation were significantly and negatively associated with the participant’s cognition of past, present, and future subjective well-being. Furthermore, for women, all external aspects of over-adaptation were significantly and positively associated with future subjective well-being and family cohesion was associated with both internal and external aspects. These results are discussed in relation to the characteristics of over-adaptation.
This study examined the effect of reading tasks on the integration of content and source information from multiple texts. Undergraduate students (N = 102) read five newspaper articles about a fictitious incident in either a summarization task condition or an evaluation task condition. Then, they performed an integration test and a source choice test, which assessed their understanding of a situation described in the texts and memory for the sources of text information. The results indicated that the summarization and evaluation task groups were not significantly different in situational understanding. However, the summarization task group significantly surpassed the evaluation task group for source memory. No significant correlation between the situational understanding and the source memory was found for the summarization group, whereas a significant positive correlation was found for the evaluation group. The results are discussed in terms of the documents model framework.
This study explored the effects of a comma on the processing of structurally ambiguous Japanese sentences with a semantic bias. A previous study has shown that a comma which is incompatible with an ambiguous sentence’s semantic bias affects the processing of the sentence, but the effects of a comma that is compatible with the bias are unclear. In the present study, we examined the role of a comma compatible with the sentence’s semantic bias using the self-paced reading method, which enabled us to determine the reading times for the region of the sentence where readers would be expected to solve the ambiguity using semantic information (the “target region”). The results show that a comma significantly increases the reading time of the punctuated word but decreases the reading time in the target region. We concluded that even if the semantic information provided might be sufficient for disambiguation, the insertion of a comma would affect the processing cost of the ambiguity, indicating that readers use both the comma and semantic information in parallel for sentence processing.