Prior research suggests that higher socioeconomic status (SES) individuals help others less than lower SES individuals due to the lack of empathic concern. This is thought to be because higher SES individuals are less likely to pay attention to others and, as a result, less likely to perceive their emotions accurately. Then, it is possible that when the distress of others is clear, higher SES individuals can perceive it and show the same level of empathic concern and intention to help as lower SES individuals. To test this possibility, an experiment was conducted. First, subjective SES of the participants was manipulated to create higher/lower SES conditions by comparing themselves with lower/higher SES individuals. Participants then listened to a tape in which an inpatient expressed either clear/ambiguous distress. After that, they reported their intention to help her or other inpatients, perceived distress, and empathic concern. Contrary to our prediction, only the main effect of the clarity of distress was significant both on perceived distress and empathic concern. Additionally, an unexpected interaction was significant; while there was no effect of the manipulation of subjective SES when they heard ambiguous distress, participants in the higher SES condition were more willing to do volunteer work than those in the lower SES condition when they heard clear distress. There were no differences between the two SES conditions in overall intention to help and intention to do the indirect help such as donation whether they heard clear/ambiguous distress. These results can be explained by the possibilities that the manipulation of distress might have served as the level of distress, which resulted in one's overestimation of the difficulty of volunteer work, and that increased sense of control among participants in the higher SES condition assured them that they could do the volunteer work.
The aim of the study was to investigate usefulness and validity of the short form of the Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE). Data were obtained from a large cohort study. Participants were 1684 community dwellers in a rural town (their age ranged from 40 to 94 years old). The SMMSE score was built from orientations of time, six memory items, serial 7's, a 3-stage command and a copy of a pair of intersecting pentagon. The receiver operating characteristic curve showed an area under the curve of 0.98. The cut-off between the sensitivity and the specificity of the SMME score for screening dementia was 24. The sensitivity was 84.3 %, the specificity was 91.9 %, the positive predictive value was 66.0 % and the negative predictive value was 99.2 % in SMMSE. The short form of the Mini-Mental State Examination was good screening test for dementia in older individuals.
The relation between the postural stability and cognitive ability (attention and logical memory) in healthy elderly people was examined using Yakumo Study longitudinal data. Based upon the regression coefficients for 11 years developmental changes from age 65 to 75 years old, participants were classified into two groups who have preserved digit cancelation test performances and who have shown a substantial decline. Performances of postural ability measured by Ronberg ratio (RQ) using stabilometer, digit cancelation test and logical memory test were compared between two groups. Results showed RQ and digit cancelation test performance were highly correlated while RQ and memory performance did not. These results suggest strong mutual relations between postural motor-kinesthetic function and prefrontal cortex related cognitive function.
Judgment of facial impressions rather than physical features of a face improve subsequent recognition memory. This memory phenomenon is known as the semantic superiority effect pertaining to facial recognition memory. However, the problem with these two types of judgment is that they incorporate not only factors pertaining to levels of processing, but also factors of holistic processing. Therefore, in this study, we established four judgment tasks, including factors pertaining to levels of processing (semantic and structural) and factors of holistic processing (configural and part-based). Our analysis shows that the main effect of the two factors is not statistically significant, but rather, only their interaction is. That is, the judgment of facial impression, which semantically processes the face as a whole, had a greater effect on recognition memory in comparison with other types of judgment. These findings show that both configural and semantic processing are necessary for the semantic superiority effect to occur.
The purpose of this article is to propose a solution of the problem of the independence assumption in multiple-process views of memory retrieval, especially the process-dissociation procedure (PDP) models. We refer to and justify certain naïve introspection that people cannot recollect anything without familiarity. Based on this point and the definitions of recollection and familiarity in several articles, we argue that it is impossible to assume the independent relationship between recollection and familiarity. Instead of these processes, we propose two new constructs, correct event recovery (CER) and derivative-based recovery (DBR), so that they can be independent logically. Particularly, DBR is an improved version of gist-based recovery (GBR) that Tsukimoto & Hirano (2009b) have suggested.
In this study, I investigated the effect of the recall time of autobiographical memory on conscious and automatic memory processes. Two-second and six-second recall time conditions were used as experimental variables in two different experiments. The contribution degree of conscious and automatic memory processing in relation to the recall time of autobiographical memory were calculated using the Independence/Remember-Know procedure (Jacoby, 1998; Jacoby & Hay, 1998). For conscious memory processing, the results of both experiments showed that the six-second recall time condition exceeded the two-second recall condition. In contrast, for automatic memory processing, both experiments showed no significant difference between the two-second recall time condition and the six-second recall time condition. These results show that, although the recall of automatic memory processing functions well at two seconds, the recall of conscious memory processing was still increasing at six seconds. The observed differences between conscious memory processing and automatic memory processing confirm the validity of the separation of conscious and automatic memory processing in relation to the recall of autobiographical memory.
In the context of examination as for the relation between handedness and brain function, many studies have investigated cognitive function of the left-handed people using behavioral measures such as the Stroop test, however the relation still remains unclear. In this study, the relation between handedness and executive function was examined using the Stroop test performances of 100 left-handed (50 males and 50 females) and 100 age-matched right-handed (50 males and 50 females) healthy community dwellers. They were from the database of the Yokumo Study. The mean age of the participants was 61.7 (SD = 10.8). The results of the present study did not show any significant difference either in the color naming speed or the Stroop interference effect size. Possible contribution of aging effects of hemisphere lateralization on cognitive function in upper middle aged left-handedness was discussed.
Human well-being or happiness is affected by various elements. Well-being is not only determined by the degree to which individuals can meet their basic physical needs, but also how individuals behave. An example is the effect of altruistic behaviors, which are defined as putting others' needs before one's own. Why do altruistic behaviors contribute to a greater sense of well-being in agents? Based on the theoretical account of the role of altruistic behaviors in biological adaptation, it was hypothesized in this study that enhancement of biological fitness underlies subjective well-being. It is important to note that, in theory, the adaptive role of altruistic behaviors differs depending on the recipients. Kin selection and reciprocity underlie altruistic behaviors toward family members and others, respectively. In particular, altruistic behaviors toward non-family members are predicted to increase the fitness of the agents through reciprocal interactions with others; however, altruistic behaviors toward family members may not necessarily have the same effect on agents. To test the possibility that altruistic behaviors might affect well-being differently depending on the recipient, a survey was conducted using self-report scales on subjective well-being and daily altruistic acts toward family members, friends, and strangers. As a control variable or moderator, subjective socioeconomic status was also measured. As predicted, the results indicated that altruistic behaviors toward non-family members positively affected subjective well-being, but those toward family members did not. This effect was particularly prominent among individuals with a relatively lower subjective socioeconomic status. These findings indicate that a lifestyle based on direct and indirect reciprocal interactions results in increased well-being. Accordingly, the present study suggests that subjective well-being and biological adaptation are intimately connected.
A referendum in a manner of direct democracy has been occasionally adopted in Japan for a political decision. However, it may not always maximize public interest, and it may thus lead failure. This referendum failure can easily emerge when those who insist a controversial policy, such as politicians who can benefit from the policy, use sophistry to justify the policy. This is because voters can not rationally judge the policy ouing to the sophistry. In this research we focus on politicians' remarks related to the referendum of "Osaka Metropolis Concept" of which voting day was 17th May, 2015 in Osaka City. We quantitatively analyzed remarks by 2 politicians, who are representative debaters in 2 major political parties in Twitter for a month (from 17th, April, 2015 to 17th, May, 2015), and remarks by them in a debate TV program casted in 12th, February, 2015. The result indicates that sophistry accounted for 33.9 % of the Twitter sentences and 48.0 % of the verbal sentences spoken by a politician who insisted the concept, whereas almost no sophistry (only 0.1 %) for the other politician. This result implies that there was risk that voters might not be able not rationally judge based on such frequent sophistry.
Previous studies have revealed that stereotypic (vs. non-stereotypic) information about individuals spreads more easily among communicators in face-to-face communication. It is also known that more dispositional terms (i.e., more "abstract" words such as nouns and adjectives according to the Linguistic Category Model) are used to describe behaviors that are consistent with stereotypes of the actor's group, whereas more context-specific and less dispositional terms (e.g., verbs) are used to describe counter-stereotypic behaviors. In the present study, we investigated to what extent the stereotypicality and linguistic abstractness influence the spread of information in social media which is currently growing into a major arena for prejudiced communication in place of face-to-face discourse. Specifically, we examined whether tweets with higher stereotypicality and linguistic abstractness receive a greater number of retweets. Five hundred tweets posted by Japanese users containing "men" or "women" in Japanese were sampled, and were rated by independent coders with respect to their perceived gender-steretypyicality. The number of nouns, adjectives, and verbs contained in each tweet was respectively counted to assess the linguistic abstractness. Consistent with our predictions, gender-stereotypic tweets contained a greater number of abstract terms (i.e., nominal adjectives) than did less stereotypic tweets. Furthermore, perceived stereotypicality significantly predicted whether or not the tweet was retweeted, as well as how many times the tweet was retweeted. Implications of the results are discussed with regard to the influence of linguistic abstractness on stereotypic generalization in social media. Theoretical significance concerning communication and collectively shared cognition is also discussed.
The aim of this study was to disclose the reasoning behind the teaching for children with intellectual disabilities (ID). Based on findings of developmental studies, we looked from the viewpoint of four developmental stages; (1) to 6 months, (2) 6 to 9 months, (3) 9 to 18months, and (4) to 24 months. Especially, as a peripheral area to cognitive abilities, this study identified the characteristics of para-cognitive abilities (e.g., non-cognitive abilities or GRIT as a related technical term) which included motivation, vigor, inquiring mind, concentration of attention, collaboration, emotional intelligence, and other positive qualities. Finally, we discussed the effective teaching methods focused on para-cognitive area for children with ID based upon the findings of developmental studies.