It has been asked theoretically whether or not more Self-Concept Differentiation (SCD) leads to better psychological adjustment; empirical findings, however, have shown results inconsistent with theoretical hypotheses so far. We argued that previous studies have focused only on the differentiation of self, without acknowledging two types of people being possibly confounded. We hypothesized that the tendency of thinking in more abstract/organized vs. concrete/unorganized ways (as measured by Level of Personal Agency, LPA) would be one of the factors that could distinguish those two types. To examine this possibility, 320 Chinese college students were asked to complete a questionnaire including measures of SCD, LPA, and Subjective Well-Being (SWB). Findings demonstrated the expected significant interaction between LPA and SCD. In the low LPA group, high SCD students self-rated lower in SWB than low SCD students; in the high LPA group, however, high SCD students scored higher in SWB than low SCD students. Those findings suggested that to predict psychological adjustment, we need to take into account not only the extent of SCD, but also the organizing tendency of thinking.
This study focused on social anxiety and examined the effects of approval motivation (including praise-seeking needs and rejection-avoidance needs) and fear of evaluation (including fears of positive and negative evaluations) on social anxiety (social interaction anxiety and the deficit of self-efficacy in interactive social situations). A survey was conducted among university students. The results indicated that positive regressions from fears of positive and negative evaluations to social interaction anxiety were significant. Moreover, positive regressions from rejection-avoidance needs to fear of positive evaluation, fear of negative evaluation, and social interaction anxiety were also significant, whereas negative regressions from praise-seeking needs to fear of positive evaluation, and social interaction anxiety were significant. In addition, negative regressions from praise-seeking needs to the deficit of self-efficacy in interactive social situations were significant. These results indicate that (1) praise-seeking needs, which are a part of approval motivation, decreased social anxiety and fear of positive evaluation, and (2) praise-seeking needs were related to self-efficacy in interactive social situations.
Although previous studies suggest that critical thinking may be beneficial to interpersonal relationships (e.g., Hirooka et al., 2000), no empirical studies investigated this effect. Therefore, to investigate the same, we focused on empathic accuracy as an important factor in establishing and maintaining good interpersonal relationships. One hundred and forty-three individuals participated in our web experiment and survey via a crowdsourcing service. We measured critical thinking ability and orientation using the Japanese Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal and the critical thinking orientation scale. We conducted the Asian Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test to assess participants’ empathic accuracy. We also measured systematic thinking skills using the Cognitive Reflection Test as a relevant variable. Multiple regression analysis showed that empathic accuracy was positively related to critical thinking ability, but not to critical thinking orientation and systematic thinking. These results suggest that critical thinking ability, especially reasoning ability, may be particularly important for increasing empathic accuracy toward nonverbal information.