Bibliotherapy has occasionally been used as a counseling technique. However, most reports are basically single-case studies and the psychological effect of this approach remains unclear. Two experiments using 96 healthy college volunteers were conducted to determine how the reading of emotionally positive, negative, or neutral passages affect one’s mood and level of distraction. Study 1 revealed that participants felt more relaxed after reading positive poems with either personal or social content than after reading negative ones, and they felt least refreshed and calm after reading negative poems with personal content. Study 2 showed that participants reported less depressed feelings both after reading an excerpt from an explanatory leaflet and after a controlled rest period. These results were discussed in terms of the mood congruence effect. Future research may evaluate the effects of reading novels, manga, and life teachings on self-narratives and views of life in normal and clinical populations.
This study examined the factors that influence meaning making and rumination related to stressful events. Six hypothetical scenarios were used, all of which were contextualized stressful events. Participants (N = 779) completed a questionnaire about one of the six scenarios, which assessed the possibility of preventing the event, the probability of the event occurring, the perceived threat of the event, the frequency of rumination, and meaning making. They completed a scale that assessed self-rumination and self-reflection as a way of thinking, and a scale that assessed executive function. Executive function and self-rumination were negatively correlated. Furthermore, self-rumination positively correlated with the frequency of rumination on the event. The perceived threat was high when the probability of the event occurring was low and the possibility of preventing the event was high. Although the perceived threat of the event inhibited meaning making, this was promoted by mediating the frequency of rumination. Self-reflection also directly promoted meaning making. Therefore, this study highlighted a number of factors that affect rumination and meaning making.
In this study we examined the effect on subsequent snack intake of having participants document their lunch menus. In Experiment 1, we asked all participants to have lunch as usual. However, some were instructed to document their lunch menus before eating. These participants demonstrated lower snack intake than control condition participants who had not documented their lunch menus. In Experiment 2, participants in both groups ate snacks freely while viewing TV, which functioned as a stimulus interfering with recall of lunch menus. There was no difference in snack intake between participants who had documented their lunch menus and those who had not.
The latent rank structure of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) was examined and a methodology for “ranking assessment” for use in clinical screening was suggested. Clinical screening is conducted by using dichotomous methods, which is problematic. Recent research has introduced the concept of ranking assessment, which is conducted by dividing clients into ordinal groups according to the Latent Rank Theory (LRT). Participants (N = 949, including 80 neurotic patients) completed the GHQ. They were then divided into four ordinal groups according to LRT. The usual cut-off point of the GHQ (16/17 points) distinguished the third and fourth rank group as the clinical group and the first-rank group as the healthy group. However, the second rank group was classified as neither a healthy or clinical group. These results indicate that the LRT has the potential to facilitate practical and flexible clinical screening.
Quantitative assessment of handedness is required in various clinical and research settings in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine. In the present study we tested the reliability and validity of a Japanese version of the FLANDERS handedness questionnaire, which was a new measure of skilled hand preference originally reported by Nicholls, Thomas, Loetscher, and Grimshaw (2013). Participants (N = 431) completed three types of handedness questionnaires: the FLANDERS handedness questionnaire, Edinburgh Handedness Inventory, and H・N handedness test. Factor analysis revealed that the Japanese version of FLANDERS handedness questionnaire had a single-factor structure and high internal consistency. This questionnaire also possessed high test-retest reliability and criterion-referenced validity. These results indicate that the Japanese version of the FLANDERS handedness questionnaire is a valid and useful measure of skilled hand preference for Japanese participants.
This study aimed to develop a 12-item version of the Erikson Psychosocial Stage Inventory (the 5th stage) (EPSI (5th)) and examine its reliability and validity. University students (N = 545) participated in this study. Confirmatory factor analyses revealed that a two-factor model provided a better fit than alternative one-factor models. An analysis of Cronbach’s α coefficients and the test-retest method showed acceptable scale reliability. In accordance with our hypotheses, correlation analyses revealed that the EPSI (5th) subscale scores (i.e., synthesis and confusion) were significantly related to measures of self-esteem, life satisfaction with life, and identity confusion. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
It is known that lexical decisions to Japanese kanji words get faster as the orthographic neighborhood size of the words grows. This study aimed to show that this facilitative effect of orthographic neighborhood size is due not only to orthographic similarity but also to semantic relationships between words and their neighbors. In the experiment, common and proper nouns each composed of two kanji characters were used as stimuli, the latter having no semantic relation to their neighbors. Lexical decision times for each type of noun were measured with large and small orthographic neighborhoods. The results showed that lexical decision times for both common and proper nouns with large neighborhoods were shorter than those with small neighborhoods, and that the difference was prominent for common nouns sharing their first characters with neighbors. These results suggest that the semantic relatedness of the first characters of Japanese kanji words and their neighbors also facilitates their lexical decision. Finally, variance of neighborhood effects on lexical decision among writing systems and the need to consider various kanji-specific factors are discussed.
While enjoying music and other works of art, people sometimes experience “chills,” a strong emotional response characterized by a sensation of goose bumps or shivers. Such experiences differ from having goose bumps as a defense response or from shivering in reaction to cold temperatures. The current paper presents the phenomenon of music-induced chills and reviews the chill-related emotional response, autonomic nervous system activity, and brain activity. It also reviews the musico-acoustic features, listening contexts, and individual differences that cause chills. Based on the review, we propose a hypothetical model regarding the evocation of music-induced chills. Furthermore, we investigate the strong emotional response associated with chills by exploring the relationship between music-related chills and non-music-related chills, and discuss future research directions.