Vol.30,No.1 August,2014 

Title
A study on how a microgravity environment affects spatial orientation, the cognitive system, and interpersonal relationships
Author
Soichi NOGUCHI(University of Tokyo)
Tomio KINOSHITA(International Institute for Advanced Studies)
Summary
The purpose of this study is to investigate how a microgravity environment affects spatial orientation, the cognitive system, and interpersonal relationships, hence changes in gravity reference frames. After leaving the terrestrial globe, astronauts experience drastic perceptual disturbances (temporary loss of the senses of spatial- and self-orientation).However, they gradually learn to adapt to the novel environment by developing new perceptual and behavioral skills. First, we examined video clips of an astronaut’s body movement inside the International Space Station (ISS) by using a motion video analysis technique. We discovered that a microgravity environment definitely affects spatial orientation. Second, we analyzed how social hierarchy organization, metaphorical expression, and psychological stabilization were affected by space adaptation.
Key words
astronaut, spatial orientation, microgravity environment, perceptual system, interpersonal relationship
Title
Experimental verification of the anchoring effect of a punishment reference histogram
Author
Eiichiro WATAMURA (Department of Psychology, Keio University/Japan Society for the Promotion of Science)
Toshihiro WAKEBE (Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Tokyo/Japan Society for the Promotion of Science)
Masahiko SAEKI (Faculty of Law and Economics, Chiba University)
Summary
This study verified the influence of a punishment reference histogram on the sentences of lay judges. In Experiment 1, 80 undergraduates determined the prison terms of an offender in an audio trial. About half the students were shown a histogram with a peak of the punishment meted out in similar cases and the remainder a histogram without it. The peak was set as a relatively short prison term (5–10 yrs) considering the seriousness of the crime (murder). The result indicated that the peak-histogram group chose significantly shorter prison terms than did the non-peak-histogram group, suggesting that the peak influenced the former’s sentencing. Moreover, Experiment 2 showed that the peak of the histogram influenced participant sentencing more strongly than a table, although both held the same punishment data, and that the same shaped histogram of different data did not. From these results, we concluded that the anchoring effect of the histogram is most likely to be caused by the visual attractiveness of the peak.
Key words
sentencing, lay judge, criminal trial, anchor, anchoring effect
Title
The effects of online news on the political process: Direct and indirect effects on political knowledge
Author
Kakuko MIYATA(Meijigakuin University)
Satoko YASUNO(Chuo University)
Yoshiharu ICHIKAWA(Keio University)
Summary
How do the news media stimulate political deliberation, political interest, and political knowledge? To compare the effects of online news with those of the traditional news media, we collected three types of data: a web-based survey, diary logs of mass media use, and access logs to news sites. The results showed that exposure to news media reinforced political interest and political deliberation. Online news use, however, facilitated only online deliberation, while exposure to TV and newspapers stimulated face-to-face conversation. In addition, online and TV news use had a direct effect on political knowledge. The results also showed that political conversation with the family had a direct effect on interest in politics and political knowledge, while political conversation with friends had a positive impact only on political interest. The implications of the findings were discussed in terms of how occasional political communication narrows the gap between the politically sophisticated and the less sophisticated.
Key words
online news, political discussion, political knowledge, political interest, access logs
Title
Reputational risk caused by The Great East Japan Earthquake: A study on consumer factors leading to restrained buying
Author
Daisuke KUDO (Graduate School of Psychology, Doshisha University)
Kazuya NAKAYACHI (Faculty of Psychology, Doshisha University)
Summary
This study investigated why the restrained buying called reputational risk occurred after The Great East Japan Earthquake, focusing on the psychological factors influencing consumers. A preliminary investigation (N=112) identified affective (System 1) factors—“negative affect,” “association with Fukushima,” “support for quake-hit areas,” and “radiation anxieties”—and reason (System 2) factors—“knowledge-based judgment” and “rational decision”—based on the dual-process theory. Initially, the results of structural equation modeling (SEM) conducted on the main survey data (N=310) indicated the influence of multi-collinearity. Accordingly, the factors “negative affect,” “association with Fukushima,” and “radiation anxieties” were integrated as “anxiety over radiation and nuclear power.” The result of SEM on the refined model suggested this factor causes restrained buying while “support for quake-hit areas” is effective in its mitigation. Finally, future contingency plans to combat reputational risk were discussed based on the findings of this study.
Key words
reputational risk, stigma, dual-process theory, The Great East Japan Earthquake
Title
Reexamination of body image in adolescent Japanese females with new figural stimuli
Author
Tomohiro SUZUKI (Tokyo Future University)
Summary
Body image disturbance and body image discrepancy considered as factors of body dissatisfaction and a drive for thinness were investigated. Participants were presented with new figural stimuli (contour drawings/silhouettes) ranging from thin to heavy developed based on real and objective data—human body size measurements and 3-D image data. Results indicated that female participants overestimated their body size, though the degree of overestimation is not particularly large. It is suggested that competition with members of the same sex generates body dissatisfaction and a drive for thinness. Furthermore, participants rated ideal body size thinner than their perceived body size. It was found that the differences between perceived body size and ideal body size relate to body dissatisfaction and a drive for thinness.
Key words
body image, figural stimuli (contour drawings/silhouettes), body size estimation, body image discrepancy, drive for thinness
Title
Longitudinal study of the use of rear-seat belts
Author
Haruka KOIKE (Takada Junior College)
Aya TAKAGI (Chiba Institute of Technology)
Mitsutaka KITAORI (Kinjo Gakuin University)
Summary
In this study, a survey was conducted concerning the use of rear-seat belts, which had been made obligatory by the Road Traffic Law of 2008. The research involved a longitudinal study using five points in time, from before the use of rear-seat belts became obligatory until the 2010 crackdown on failure to use them. Rates of use of rear-seat belts and awareness of their importance (risk estimation) were both raised after the law went into effect. For all items, the main effects were seen by seat position, and for two items by period.
Key words
seat belt, Road Traffic Act (2008), risk estimation, longitudinal study