The present study examined the determinants of public trust in railroad companies. The constructs studied were as follows: trust in companies, familiarity toward companies, recognition of company values, perceived frequency of traffic accidents, perceived involuntary risk, perceived function as watchdogs of other institutions, and perception of safety measures. We conducted a survey in the Tokyo Metropolitan area and obtained answers from 1,081 respondents. The postulated model was tested using structural equation modeling procedures. The results indicated that the proposed model fits the data very well. It was shown that perceived function as watchdogs, perception of safety measures, recognition of company values, and familiarity had direct effects on trust.
Regional subsistence can be improved if and only if at least one local resident exhibits altruistic and cooperative behavior. This is known as the volunteer's dilemma. This study aimed to examine the social conditions that encourage such pro-social behavior in a local community. For this purpose, a mechanism creating altruistic behavior is modeled that is based upon the idea of multilevel selection in evolutionary theory. We present a dynamic model including both group selection and individual selection. We derive analytical solutions from the model in order to investigate the conditions under which altruistic behavior can emerge. A numerical analysis of time-dependent solutions is conducted using the Runge-Kutta method. Stationary solutions of the dynamic model are then analytically derived. The result indicates that group selection could be an important force to encourage altruistic behavior. Finally, based on the analysis, measures that promote voluntary pro-social behavior are discussed.
This research investigated the motives behind helping and exploitive behaviors from the perspective of the Equity with the World (EwW) hypothesis, which claims that people will maintain equity in trans-relational relationships. It was hypothesized that (a) people redress inequity even from third parties, and (b) in comparison with monetary issues, when the exchange resource involves helping out, over-rewarded people offer more resources to others, while the under-rewarded are less likely to exploit others. In addition, (c) people redress inequity more strongly with interested parties. A total of 343 college students completed a questionnaire that contained two hypothetical situations. In each of these situations, respondents were initially either given resources, or had resources exploited from them, and were then asked about subsequent situations. The evaluation of the first interaction and their intent toward offering resources to third parties were assessed. The results generally supported the hypotheses. However, the second hypothesis was not supported. They were less exploitive when they were under-rewarded regarding money allocation. Differences in the method of restoring inequity regarding the resources were discussed in terms of generalized exchange.
We investigated how differently people punish a free-rider in three experiments. Experiment 1 was conducted to examine how individual levels of trust and self-fairness influence their punishing behavior in a 5-person social dilemma. The results showed that trustful and unfair people, as well as distrustful and fair people, punish a free-rider more. To account for these results, we carried out a vignette-type study in Experiment 2, in which participants rated how likely they were to engage in a variety of punishing behaviors that typically happen in the real world. A factor analysis indicated that people usually assign two different types of meanings to punishing behaviors. One is "Vengeance," which unfair people, regardless of their levels of trust, tend to inflict; the other is "Warning," which tends to be favored by fair people. The results of Experiment 3, another vignette study, showed that observers also consider Vengeance as unfair and Warning fair. These findings imply that participants assigned one of the two meanings to their punishments in Experiment 1 depending on their levels of trust.
The effect of PC e-mail usage on social tolerance was investigated by analyzing representative survey data collected from electorates in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. The results showed that PC e-mail usage had a positive effect on social tolerance because it allows for mediating communications with heterogeneous others. These results are a clear-cut contrast to previous research, which showed that mobile-phone e-mail usage had a negative effect on social tolerance because of the increasing homogeneity of personal networks. The results indicated that while the technological limitations of mobile phone e-mail usage selectively strengthen communications with homogeneous others through the exchange of short messages, PC e-mail usage facilitates communications between heterogeneous people, because it is suitable for the exchange of the longer messages necessary for sharing the assumptions made during correspondence. From the viewpoint of nourishing "bridging" social capital, it is suggested that the promotion of PC e-mail should be encouraged by establishing appropriate policies and that the functional development of the use of the Internet on mobile phones should be empirically investigated.
In this study, we examined how the patterns of emoticons and emotional word marks appeared in CMC, especially in e-mail exchanges. A text-mining analysis was used in the study. Eighteen university students were requested to exchange e-mails over a period of two weeks with unknown correspondents who were, in fact, cooperating in the experiment. One hundred and forty-one e-mails thus obtained were analyzed. A text-mining software "True Teller" extracted 4,125 words of 257 kinds for further analysis. As a result, various emotional expressions that appeared in the CMC as well as in Face-to-Face communication were clarified. In addition, emoticons were seen to appear frequently in the early stages of communication and had the effect of softening tense relationships between e-mailers.
The Japanese school lunch system is considered to be a product of the interdependent view of the self derived from Japanese culture, in the sense that it gives weight to children eating the same food at the same place as their peers in order to bring about a mutually close relationship. The latest form of school lunch is the so-called "interactive lunch," where children have lunch with not only their peers but also with the principal, teachers, office staff, and even sometimes with residents of the school area. In the present study, three surveys of schoolchildren were conducted to clarify the effects of the interactive school lunch on their cognition and attitude toward school lunch. It was found that children provided with an interactive lunch generally showed a more favorable attitude to school lunch than their counterparts who were not so provided, and that these effects of an interactive lunch depend on the length of the period for which the service continues. It was also suggested that children internalize an interdependent view of the self through their experiences of school lunch.