In this research, we investigated cultural differences between Chinese and Japanese participants concerning perceptions of emotions by facial expressions (about specific feelings and to what extent those feelings can be experienced). We used gradual morphing images that express countenances from neutral facial expressions to anger or joy as stimuli. By doing this, participants identified emotion types and evaluated emotional strength. As a result, Japanese participants evaluated the emotional strength for moderate to distinct expressions of anger to a greater extent than Chinese participants. From this, we suggest that compared with the Chinese, the Japanese have a tendency to infer stronger internal anger (i.e, “augment”) than what is actually expressed.
Previous studies have indicated that heterosexuals who had faced their close friends’ coming out tend to have a more positive attitude toward homosexuals in general but have decreased interactions with their close homosexual friends. We investigated why such a difference between heterosexual attitudes toward homosexuals in general and toward their close homosexual friends emerges after their friends came out. We conducted two imaginary vignette studies with Japanese undergraduates. Results from Study 1 (N = 186) revealed that both male and female heterosexuals with high gender self-esteem positively changed their attitudes toward homosexuals in general after their friends came out. Results from Study 2 (N = 147) revealed that social contagion concerns served as a significant predictor for avoidance responses to their friends who came out. However, such links between social contagion concerns and avoidance behaviors observed in heterosexuals were moderated by gender self-esteem. Heterosexual males’ gender self-esteem promoted the relations, but heterosexual females’ gender self-esteem mitigated the relations. The role of gender self-esteem in the context of coming out is discussed beyond the traditional and narrow-sense sex-role perspectives.
The aim of this study was to develop the Mother’s Cognition of Father’s Parenting Time following divorce (MCFPT) scale and examine its reliability and validity. MCFPT items were developed from a questionnaire administered to 281 divorced mothers living with their children. Factor analysis identified six factors that influence mothers’ cognition of fathers’ parenting time: (a) belief that fathers’ parenting time benefits children, (b) concerns about their own safety and the safety of their children, (c) concerns about remarriage, (d) expectations of financial support, (e) jealousy of the father, and (f) disappointment with the father’s lack of interest in the children. These factors had a high degree of internal consistency. The MCFPT scale was significantly correlated with the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Caregiving System Scale, and others. The effect of the manner in which the divorce took place, children’s age, violence perpetrated by the father, and the father’s parenting time on MCFPT were evaluated using the t-test or one-way ANOVA. The MCFPT scale is reliable and valid for measuring mothers’ cognition of fathers’ parenting time after divorce.
In cognitive science, self-disturbance in schizophrenia is regarded as an unusual sense of body ownership. This study examined the possibility of discriminating self-disturbance between patients with schizophrenia and healthy individuals using the rubber hand illusion (RHI). We evaluated RHI in inpatients with schizophrenia with mainly negative symptoms (n = 26) and normal control subjects (n = 10). The group with schizophrenia had a significantly higher score than the control group on only the following item: “It seemed as if I might have an extra left hand,” suggesting that patients with schizophrenia have strong self-disturbance. This indicates that it is difficult for them to have an appropriate sense of body ownership and normal reality testing. The RHI evaluation might be useful as an assessment tool for schizophrenia since it is easy to use for evaluating self-disturbance, even when not recognized by patients with schizophrenia themselves. This study supports the usefulness of the RHI evaluation as a tool for assessing self-disturbance in patients with schizophrenia.
The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between the Big Five personality traits and a person’s body mass index (BMI). We used three large datasets (survey 1, N = 3,063; survey 2, N = 4,242; survey 3, N = 17,471) including Japanese participants and examined the associations using correlation and multiple regression analyses. Consecutively, we conducted a meta-analysis including the results in the present study and a previous study. The results of these analyses show that Conscientiousness is consistently negatively associated with BMI. Extraversion is positively associated with BMI only for male participants. The pattern of relationships between the Big Five personality traits and BMI in Japan is similar to Western countries rather than to other East Asian countries. We discuss these associations in terms of eating habits and lifestyles.