When an outgroup member's behavior proves harmful for an ingroup member, a member of the victim's group sometimes retaliates against a member of the perpetrator's group. This phenomenon is called intergroup vicarious retribution. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect on intergroup vicarious retribution of being observed by ingroup members (ingroup audience effect). In this study, we allowed the winner of a one-on-one match to impose a fine on the loser in order to manipulate and measure aggression. It was found that participants imposed a bigger fine on an outgroup member when observed by ingroup members than when they were not. Path analysis revealed that being observed by ingroup members has an effect on the fine imposed on the outgroup member through expected admiration from ingroup members and the motivation of retaliation only in the condition of being informed about harm. Being observed by ingroup members enhances the expectations of gaining admiration from ingroup members and intergroup vicarious retribution occurs to a higher degree. The findings of this study suggest that intra-group processes, such as being observed by ingroup members, escalate intergroup conflict.
According to Construal Level Theory, psychological distance (e.g., spatial distance) is an important determinant of how information will be processed. When the target message seems more proximal (vs. distant) to the recipient, people attend to a concrete message (vs. abstract information). We investigated the possibility that people showed more agreement in response to a concrete message (vs. abstract information) when the target is proximal (vs. distant). In Study 1, spatial distance was measured by asking participants how far the target was (from Japan). In Study 2, spatial distance was manipulated using a world map. Results were consistent with our hypothesis. The implications of these findings for psychological distance and persuasion are discussed.
Factors contributing to individual differences of empathy were examined using behavioral genetics methodology. Data related to individual levels of empathy and parental warmth received during childhood were collected from approximately 450 pairs of twins (ages 14-33). A bivariate model analysis clarified that shared family environmental factors did not contribute to the formation of empathy. No common shared environmental factors were detected between empathy and parental warmth, either. The positive correlation between the two variables was mediated principally by genetics. The result does not support socialization theory, which holds that warm parenting nurtures children's empathy. However, the subsequent gene-environment interaction model analysis revealed that shared family environmental factors significantly affected the formation of empathy for those with high or very low parental warmth. The results imply that individuals with a strong or very weak attachment to their parents were more influenced by the shared family environment.
In this study, we investigated the effect of experiencing a delay while viewing a webpage on the viewers' attitudes toward the information provided on the webpage. In the world of the Internet, not all viewers of a webpage are highly motivated to seek information. Many are less motivated and are thus susceptible to peripheral cues such as experienced delays while they view a webpage. Participants were requested to view a fictitious webpage about oral contraceptives (OC) and to rate their attitudes regarding the use of OC. Half the participants experienced a time lag while viewing the webpage, whereas the other half viewed the webpage without the time lag. Results indicated that although the delay did not influence the participants' attitudes toward the use of OC, participants' perception of the delay negatively affected the participants'attitudes toward the use of OC. Moreover, a mediation analysis revealed that the effect of the perception of the fluency on participants' attitudes was mediated by the perceived benefits of OC. A possible underlying mechanism, experienced fluency of information processing, was discussed.
Regulation of anger is fatal for well-being. Recent study has revealed that an effective means of anger regulation depends on interpersonal relationships in that constructive expression has a positive effect on relationship quality in close and equal relationships. To reveal the effective process of anger regulation, the present study focused on attitudinal factors toward emotional expression as determinant factors on constructive anger expression in close relationships. A survey was conducted on romantic adolescent couples and pairs of close friends. Results showed that a negative attitude toward one's emotional expression restrained constructive expression. While another attitudinal factor, expectation of others' emotional expression, had no effect on partners' use of anger regulation tactics, one's cognition of the partners' attitude promoted constructive anger expression. The role of communication for attitude decoding and changeability of attitude were discussed.
From the perspectives of interdependence theory and sociometer theory, we tested the hypothesis that greater costs of relationship loss lead to heightened sensitivity to rejection cues and to increased motivation to behave in more relationship-constructive ways. We conducted a questionnaire study in which 319 undergraduates listed activities they shared with their closest same-sex friend and indicated how they would feel and behave if they were rejected. As predicted, a greater amount of shared activities with a friend led individuals to experience stronger negative self-relevant feelings following imaginary rejection by that friend, which in turn generally promoted relationship-constructive behaviors (and inhibited relationship-destructive ones). The results suggest that state self-esteem effectively functions as a relationship maintenance mechanism.