In some cases, intermediate learners perform tasks worse than novices. For example, those who drink wine frequently but yet only have their limited expert (verbal) knowledge about it fail to recognize wine they drunk after they verbalized its taste using technical terms (Melcher & Schooler, 1996). It seems that the verbalization of insufficient perceptual knowledge does not always help intermediates to perform the recognition tasks. However, it is unclear whether the negative effect is caused by verbalization itself or by the cognitive load with the verbalization. The present experiment examined the question by minimalizing the verbalization, i.e., making participants do categorical classification in one technical term. Using music as a material, the present experiment examined what effects the categorical classification in a technical term would make on perceptual memory performance as a function of the acquisition of the expert skills. Twenty novices and twenty intermediates in classical music participated in the experiment. The intermediates were junior members of an amateur orchestra but had little knowledge of music history. Half of each group listened to piano pieces and classified each into one of three musicological categories: baroque, classical, and romantic. The rest listened to the pieces and performed another task as filler. Then, all of them took a recognition test of the pieces. As a result, when doing the classification in technical terms, the novices could recognize the pieces significantly more successfully than the intermediates. The categorical classification in technical terms tended to improve the perceptual memory performance by the novices but had not any effects on that by the intermediates. The findings suggest that verbalization itself affects the intermediates' performances.
Recent studies indicated that salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) is useful not only as a surrogate biological marker for sympathetic nervous activity, but also as a non-invasive index of psychological stress. Some psychophysiological studies have revealed significant increases of aAA during acute stress induces by experimental stressors such as the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), which were comparable to other endocrinological indices such as salivary cortisol. However, association between change of sAA and performance of public speech within the TSST remain unclear. Thus, in the present study, we recruited 10 participants (mean age = 20.60, SD = 0.80 yrs) to investigate the associations between transition of sAA and performance of speech. SAA and pulsatile heart rate were measured three times before, and three times after the social stress challenge. SAA was measured with a portable sAA biosensor (Salivary amylase monitor; NIPRO, Japan). The Profile of Mood State (POMS) test and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) were administered to participants after the TSST protocol. An ANOVA revealed a significant increase of sAA after the task. However, no significant change of pulsatile heart rate was observed. Neither a correlation between sAA and VAS nor a correlation between POMS and VAS was observed. These results suggest that sAA induced by the TSST would be a reliable biomarker of acute stress. However, associations between sAA response and performance of public speech during the TSST still remain under question to be further explored.
One of the features in psychopathy is a deficit of empathy. Without empathy, psychopathy can not inhibit to harm others. However, previous studies revealed that offenders had more empathic traits than non-offenders. Empathy is defined as multidimensional components (e.g.; cognitive empathy and emotional empathy), but not as a unitary. Generally, psychopathy is consisted of two subcomponents: Primary Psychopathy (PP; features of callousness and lack of empathy) and Secondary Psychopathy (SP; features of impulsiveness and uncontrollability to own behaviours). Here, we hypothesized that psychopaths, particularly who are dominant in PP, have less empathic traits both in cognitive and emotional domains, on the other hand, SP is more linked with emotional empathic trait, but less linked with cognitive one. Furthermore, we investigated not only to relate psychopathic traits and multidimensional empathy, but also to validate a Japanese version of the Primary and Secondary Psychopathy Scales (PSPS), using both Machiavellianism (MACH) scale and Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire (BAQ). Results indicated that correlations between PP and MACH and between PP and BAQ subscales of physical aggression and verbal aggression were higher than correlations between SP and MACH and BAQ, while correlations between SP and BAQ subscales of anger and hostility were higher than correlations between PP and the BAQ subscales. About empathy, consistent with our hypothesis, PP was linked with less empathy both in cognitive and emotional domains, whereas SP was linked with more emotional empathy, but was linked with less cognitive empathy. This reveals that PSPS dissociated PP and SP well. Although there remain some problems, PSPS is a useful scale for measurement of psychopathic traits.
Many people regularly listen to music for stress reduction and for healing. A number of studies have investigated the effects of music on psychological and physiological states. However, there have been few studies to examine the effects of music on recovery from stress states. Therefore, the present study investigated how psychophysiological stress states can be recovered through listening to music. Sixteen participants (3 men and 13 women) were assigned both to a music-condition and to a no music-condition, and performed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). The psychological parameters, stress hormones (salivary cortisol and salivary chromogranin A) and autonomic indices (heart rate and heart rate variability; HRV) were measured. All parameters, except autonomic indices, significantly increased after the TSST. Psychological parameters and salivary cortisol showed more significant reduction in participants listening to music than in participants who did not listen to music. When participants listened to music, the heart rate increased and the high frequency of HRV decreased. There was no change in salivary chromogranin A and low frequency/high frequency ratio (LF/HF ratio) of HRV. These results suggest that listening to music led to sympathetic nervous activation rather than parasympathetic nervous activation. Within physiological parameters, salivary cortisol corresponded to psychological stress state most. It could be interpreted that uplifting music made sympathetic nervous activation and led to exultation or excitement rather than to relaxation. Therefore, the autonomic indices would also be corresponding to psychological stress states.
There were two primary purpose of this study. One major purpose was to test the effects of disbelief in free will on self-control and the other purpose was to examine whether free will beliefs affect causal attribution of success and failure. Although a great deal of effort has been made on the definition or existence of free will, only few attempts have so far been made at how people's belief in free will influences subsequent judgment and behavior. As an example of such attempts, Rigoni, Wilquin, Brass, and Burle (2013) found that induced disbelief in free will weakens people's motivation of self-control, which suggests dismissing free will leads people to rely on more automatic and impulsive actions. On the basis of this earlier research, the authors intended to confirm the phenomenon that disbelief in free will reduces motivation of self-control. Furthermore, we investigated the processes of causal attribution by belief in free will since they are thought to be associated with both free will beliefs and self-control. Fifty-two undergraduates participated in the study and they were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions (free will, determinism, or control). After free will manipulation, participants completed the Stroop task, whose performance reflects motivation to self-control. Finally, participants received false feedback of success or failure in the Stroop task and they answered attributional questionnaire. The results did not confirm our hypothesis regarding self-control: Participants who were induced to disbelieve in free will performed equally well in the Stroop task as other conditions. However, causal attribution was linked with manipulation of disbelief in free will: Participants who were induced to disbelieve in free will showed less self-effacing bias in task attribution. The findings are suggestive that free will beliefs alter causal attribution processes, which in turn affect a person's social judgment and behavior.