This study examines the attitude change process based on the heuristic-systematic model (HSM) in persuasion among two individuals holding different opinions, as the simplest situation of multiple directions of persuasion by different sources. Participants with restricted or unrestricted cognitive resources were asked their attitudes after reading two different persuasive messages: one was a persuasion from in-group member with weak arguments and the other was from out-group member with strong arguments. Cognitive resources were manipulated with a dual task (Study 1) and time constraints (Study 2) to allow either heuristic or systematic processes to predominate. Both studies showed participants were more likely to form their attitudes in response to the persuasion from in-group member, which had positive heuristic cues, with weak arguments under a restricted condition than under an unrestricted condition. This provides evidence that the HSM can explain the attitude change process under multiple-source-and-direction persuasion.
Focus groups (FGs) led by trial consultants are popular in the USA but not in Japan. Additionally, the effectiveness of this method has not been examined. This study examined the effect of FGs on the Saiban-in system. First, eleven undergraduates participated in FGs, discussing the perception of certain words (e.g., self-defense) and a theme (e.g., how to evaluate a wrongful act when losing self-control because of fear) that were points of dispute in a simulated case. The contents were compared with three law students’ estimation of how undergraduates perceived these topics. Second, a law student wrote a final case argument before and after reading a summary produced by FGs. Third, another set of thirty-one undergraduates participated in one of two conditions (whether based on an FG result or not), read the arguments (sixteen read arguments not based on an FG result; fifteen read arguments based on one), judged the case, reported their confidence in the judgment, and marked the words that affected them. The effect of the FG on the conviction rate was not significant. However, confidence in the not-guilty verdict increased and participants were influenced by the final arguments based on the FG result. This indicates the efficacy of focus groups in writing a final argument mentioned in the deliberation.
Previous studies have confirmed that the perception of procedural fairness promotes the acceptance of political decisions and that people’s impressions of authority affect such perceptions. On the other hand, it is thought that people do not always consider political problems in detail, often performing cognitive processing by the heuristic of using peripheral information and thereby forming their attitudes. An experiment was conducted on how impressions were formed of the Japanese prime minister’s speeches on the restart of nuclear power plants. Participants were divided according to degree of focus of attention, and analysis was conducted of the relationship among impressions of the prime minister, procedural fairness, and support for the decision. Overall, it was confirmed that evaluation of accountability fostered support for procedural fairness and decisions reached, but the higher the degree of focus, the more pronounced the effect was regarding assessment of accountability in procedural fairness.
The literature in the field of fear of crime posits that fear results from perceived likelihood of victimization. This causal relation, however, has not yet been confirmed in empirical research. This paper examined this relationship by providing participants with information regarding the actual numbers of a crime. In Study 1, the survey data on the fear of crime was collected from 173 undergraduate students, and a hierarchical cluster analysis was conducted to select the types of crimes as materials in the experiment. In Study 2, 274 undergraduate students were randomly assigned to one of the two conditions: one where the annual number of a type of injury due to crime was presented or the control condition, where no crime statistics were presented. The results revealed that the participants with the statistical information about the crimes decreased their perceived likelihood of victimization as well as their fear of crime. These results provide preliminary confirmation of the causality from the perceived likelihood of victimization to fear of crime. The practical implications and limitations of this research were discussed.
There has been an increase in the number of Japanese people who disagree with traditional gender roles which has resulted in diversified male roles. Based on a nine-male-roles model, this study examined the chronological changes and differences in male characters as per their ages and relationships with the heroine in NHK’s morning drama serials known as “asadora,” which is a Japanese TV drama. Results indicated that the roles of middle-aged men evolved from “high communion” in the ’60s and ’70s, to “high social status” in the ’80s and ’90s, to “commitment to household responsibility” in the ’00s and ’10s. Meanwhile, young men’s roles evolved from “high agency” in the ’90s to “attentiveness to women” in the ’10s. Additionally, the heroines’ husbands, ex-husbands, male friends, and romantic partners demonstrated “low effeminacy,” “superiority to women,” and “attentiveness to women.” Conversely, the heroines’ brothers, sons, and neighbors demonstrated “psychological and physical strength” and “emancipation from emotional restriction and toughness.” Based on social changes in Japan, implications of this study and future prospects were discussed.