The author introduced the past and current research that focuses on cognitive function in schizophrenia. Based on a comprehensive clinical neuropsychological examination, it was determined that schizophrenia has a background involving a wide range of cognitive dysfunctions. In particular, it is suggested that there is a substantial problem in memory and in processing speed. Furthermore, there are also problems with both attention and execution functions. The recent memory impairments in schizophrenia were not the same as that observed in amnesia. Aspects of memory organization and memory strategy have been characterized and have resulted in intervention methods to improve cognitive impairment with positive and verifiable effects. Improvement after cognitive remediation therapy seems to lead to improved social adaptation, and the therapeutic approach will likely become more popular with additional studies.
In the early part of the 20th century, there were many studies on the functional differentiation of the brain. However, many psychologists considered the brain to be a “black box”. Although there were a few psychologists who investigated the brain in relation to cognitive processes, the majority of the studies in psychology and in neuroscience were conducted independently. In the latter part of the 20th century, advancements in neuroscience research clarified the mechanisms in the brain relative to various cognitive processes, such as perception, memory, and motivation. In this era of the 21st century, there are many, newly-devised neuroscience methods, such as gene recombination, optical recording, see-through brains, optogenetics, and chemical genetics, which are used to determine brain mechanisms involved in cognitive processes, including attention, consciousness, theory of mind, and social interaction.
Recently, in many universities in Europe and in the USA, the departments of psychology have been combined with the departments of neuroscience, resulting in the departments of psychology and neuroscience. It appears that neuroscience and psychology are not distinct fields and that the fields should cooperate to clarify cognitive processes.
The purpose of this study was to clarify how psychological research contributes to suicide prevention. First, we introduced previous reviews dealing with this problem from two perspectives: the theory on prediction of suicide occurrence and validated suicide prevention methods. Although not fully dealt with in previous reviews, we next reviewed studies on suicide prevention education, utilization of internet-related technologies for suicide prevention, and the grief of suicide survivors. In addition, we discussed the issues of psychological research on suicide as a way of improving the prediction accuracy on the occurrence of suicide and generating alternatives for psychiatric discourse on suicide countermeasures. Finally, we discussed the question of whether promoting suicide prevention using psychological knowledge was synonymous with the contribution of psychology to our society based on a review of the research on the value of statistical life.
This report outlined psychological support activities and psychological studies related to the Great East Japan Earthquake. After the disaster, psychological support programs were funded by the Japan Society of Certified Clinical Psychologist, Tohoku University and by other organizations to assist and care for the victims of this Critical Incident Stress. Studies have been conducted on the support systems at disaster areas and research on the mental health of disaster victims. In addition, there have been studies on the critical incident stress of those treating the victims and information behavior after the earthquake with regard to rumor damage and risk perception. The sharing of this knowledge was proposed to allow for better preparedness for the next disaster.
In this paper, the state of communication between psychology and society were discussed from both aspects of psychology receiving information from society (data collection) and psychology transmitting information to society (science communication) using actual practices by the author. Concerning receiving information from society, social psychology research on Internet communication that analyzed real-world data (i.e., posts on blogs, social media, and other online communication forums) was introduced, and the significance of using actual data was demonstrated. Concerning transmitting information to society, practical examples of science communication as an initiative to channel back scientific findings to society (i.e., creating press releases and science news articles) was introduced. In addition, current issues and the necessity of the open science movement were discussed.
Sounds play an important role in our daily life. We can enjoy music, conversation, etc. However, sometimes conversation and sleep may be disturbed by sounds. These disruptive sounds are called “noise”. Noise is defined as “unwanted sound”. There is no physical definition of noise. Therefore, a psychological approach along with a physical approach is indispensable to solving noise problems. Various laws and regulations related to noise have been issued based on the Basic Environmental Law. Taking these laws into consideration, the author introduced in this paper how psychological studies can contribute to resolving noise problems. A neighborhood noise problem was introduced as an example of environmental noise. Even very soft sound may disturb neighbors, and thus, human relationships are involved. Therefore, research on a psychological approach is useful. The presence of temporally varying sounds is also another candidate for a psychological evaluation. The author and her colleagues found that the overall impression of temporally varying sounds can be evaluated with LAeq (A-weighted equivalent continuous sound pressure level). The results are reflected in the Environmental Quality Standard in Japan, JIS, and ISO, which are closely related to the QOL.
Experimental psychologists and corporate researchers generally have very different goals. Whereas the former are more interested in deepening our understanding of the human mind and human behavior, the main task of corporate researchers is to bring a new product or service into reality. In this paper, how experimental psychology can assist product design and development was discussed. Experimental psychologists have three resources that are not usually employed by corporate researchers who do not specialize in psychology. These resources are: (a) skills in collecting multifaceted data from humans through the use of a wide variety of methods, (b) a general framework for understanding human functions and constraints, and (c) up-to-date knowledge on human behavior in a specific domain. The concrete steps that university psychology researchers can take to collaborate with corporate researchers were presented.
Making artefacts more friendly and usable is now becoming an important issue in many fields, where either cognitive psychology or cognitive science can contribute, and such contributions are being recognized as an international standard (ISO 13470 or ISO 9241-210). Even though research or methodologies/skills in psychology are useful in these areas, a standard career and employment in psychology for this purpose has not been established. In this paper, we introduce some examples of the contributions of psychology to design areas, and discuss the reasons for the lack of jobs/careers in this area for people who study psychology.
Although traffic accidents in Japan have been decreasing in recent years, rapid technical advances have given rise to new problems. The purpose of this paper was to discuss how psychological studies can contribute to addressing these new problems. Drivers cause accidents when their attention is distracted by mobile information devices, such as smartphones. Driver distraction, which has long been an impediment to traffic safety, has recently become a more serious problem. Driving assistance is fundamentally beneficial for drivers, but establishing coordination between human drivers and automated driving systems poses several problems, including the transition between manual driving and automated driving, as well as the increased confidence in and overreliance on the automated system. Designing a human machine interface reflecting drivers’ psychological characteristics is necessary for solving these problems. Studies focusing on the minds of drivers will be more important in the near future for automotive research and development.
Applications of psychological methodologies to the field of safety were reviewed, mainly focusing on studies conducted by the author and his colleagues. After citing the results of an experiment concerning pointing and calling (that is, gesturing and speaking) to prevent errors, the author reviewed a series of laboratory experiments on cell phone use while walking. The results showed that pedestrians became inattentive to auditory as well as visual targets in detection tasks when using a cell phone, especially when playing a game on a smartphone. Then, two experiments were introduced in an attempt to investigate the effects of safety systems on automobile driver behavior. Finally, the author discussed studies using both a questionnaire survey and psychometrics on workers’ safety behavior. Analyses using Structural Equation Modeling showed that occupational pride improved safety attitudes both directly and indirectly with mediations by both enhanced workmanship motivation and reduced schedule-first motivation. Moreover, occupational pride was found to be enhanced by organizational standards of practice, which also enhanced organizational commitment. These findings suggested the importance of the role of management beyond that of traditional safety measures. The author concluded by emphasizing the necessity for more psychologists to participate in safety research.
Cognitive psychology, which focuses on the learner’s cognitive processes using the terms schemas, naïve concepts, metacognition, learning strategy, and so on, has provided a theoretical foundation for educational psychology. However, the contribution to education was not clear a few decades ago. This was likely due to the fact that the researchers were not participating in educational programs. Cognitive counseling (Ichikawa, 1989) is practical research activity performed by cognitive psychologists in Japan in which the counselor makes a diagnosis and tutors the students with learning difficulties. It was once a local activity but now there are collaborations among research groups, schools, and educational programs. The examples shown in this paper are the seminars for students on study skills based on cognitive psychology and the instructional design called “thinking-after-instruction approach.” Furthermore, these ideas have influenced the national curriculum in Japan through discussions in the central council for education. Several publications and social activities in cognitive and educational psychology were also reviewed in this paper.
A p-value can be simply defined as the probability that under a specified statistical model a statistical summary of the data (e.g., the mean difference between two groups) would be equal to or more extreme than its observed value. p-values do not measure the probability that the studied hypothesis was true, or the probability that the data were produced by random chance alone (Wasserstein & Lazar, 2016). What researchers usually want is p(HjD), the probability that a research hypothesis was true, given the data. Three examples were shown that analyzed using the probability that a hypothesis was true, instead of p-values. A peer-reviewed policy using a new standard for publishing useful papers for society was proposed.
The contribution of educational psychology to society was examined from the perspective of practicality, relative to Japan and mainly to school education. In particular, the discussion was focused on how “researchers” working in universities were involved in school education and how they interacted with “practitioners”. First, the history of educational psychology was reviewed, which indicated that the first generation of researchers regarded this subject as a field of applied psychology. The second generation of researchers considered educational psychology independent from psychology, and practical research was considered important by the third generation. In this evolutionary of thinking, approaches to educational psychology have been revised. Nevertheless, the “educational” and “practical” content of the subject has not been fully investigated to date. Therefore, the attitudes of the third generation of researchers toward practice were classified into three models: the “Doraemon” model, joint development model, and consultation model. The significance and problems of each model were examined, and the conventional framework with the conflict between the terms, “theory” and “application” as well as “research” and “practice” was re-evaluated. It was concluded that the major contribution made by educational psychology was in the process of learning, which has resulted from professional and mutually beneficial interactions between researchers and practitioners.
The purpose of this article was to review the research and real-world practices of forensic interviewing. First, we described the rationale and method used for forensic interviews, and the use of forensic interviews in both social work and criminal procedures in Japan. Second, we focused on the difficulties practitioners face in conducting forensic interviews, including reluctant children and non-disclosure of suspected abuse. Third, we described the recent studies on disclosure, and in particular, the effectiveness of non-suggestive support, merits and demerits of repeated interviews, and concerns with using prompts. The future direction of this research was discussed.