The IAFOR Academic Review | Volume 1 | Issue 1
Editorial Committee Introduction
One of the central missions of The International Academic Forum or IAFOR is to provide avenues for academics and researchers to explore international, intercultural and interdisciplinary. One of the ways in which we do this is through our in-house magazine Eye, our various conference proceedings, our peer reviewed Journals, and now beginning in 2015 our special editions’ of the IAFOR International Academic Review.
In this the first issue of the IAFOR International Academic Review we the editorial committee bring together a selection of the most interesting contributions from our recent Asian Conferences on Psychology and the Behavioral Sciences. The papers selected by the editorial committee for this special edition on Psychology and Behavioral Sciences certainly reflect the international, intercultural and interdisciplinary mission that IAFOR is fostering. They enable us to examine and reflect on critical areas for future discussion and intellectual inspiration.
Brian Birdsell, of Hirosaki University, Japan opens this edition with Cornering the Muses: A Multifaceted Approach to Measuring Creativity. In his paper Birdsell considers that creativity is far from a straightforward construct within the field of psychology. His paper attempts to uncover some of the complexity and uncertainty surrounding it. It provides an overview of creativity, it’s importance in society, the various stereotypes and contradictory assumptions attached to it, and the search for a working definition of what the creativity actually means. The paper also focuses on a multi-dimensional approach to measuring creativity in order to grasp the many different aspects of it. Birdsell looks at ways to measure the creative process by using divergent thinking tests. He examines the creative product and subsequent assessment test, and also the creative personality test both from a personality trait perspective, as well as, from a biographical inventory of creative behavior and accomplishments. Birdsell considers, that though all the methods are rather standard within the field, they are most often administered in isolation. His view is that bringing them together into one study can broaden the concept of creativity and add understanding to how the different aspects relate to each other. The paper reveals that the creative process appears to be one area that can be developed and expanded further, especially by utilizing creative metaphors, as an instrument for measuring how people combine and connect highly dissonant concepts in both new and insightful ways.
Graham Pluck, from Chuo University, Japan and Daniel Banda-Cruz, from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, in their study Meta-analysis of Intelligence Scores of ‘Street Children’ in Developing Countries, reveals how unsupervised ‘street children’ spending much of their living in the inner city urban environments and in conditions of extreme poverty, are generally not attending school and are found to have high rates of psychological traumas and substance abuse. Their paper reveals that these children suffer multiple deprivations and exposure to factors mitigating their normal neurocognitive development. Pluck and Banda-Cruz suggest that because of this, the children’s attainment of optimal intellectual functioning is hindered. They consider that this circumstance will have ongoing implications for any interventions aiming at bringing these children back into mainstream society, such as through reintegration into educational programs. Although limited by the dearth of research on the topic, the current results by Pluck and Banda-Cruz suggest that the multiple deprivations suffered by street children in developing countries tend to impair normal neurocognitive development, but that the extent of this varies by culture.
Matthew Escobido and Gillian Stevens from the Asian Institute of Management, Philippines ‘Can Personality Type be Predicted by Social Media Network Structures?’ examine how social media platforms have become an integral part of how we live our lives. In particular for those generations who have grown up in the digital world and use these platforms to connect and communicate with many different individuals and groups. Escobido and Stevens show how personality profiling now underpins many facets of our lives. They use the example of digital marketing campaigns that target specific audience groups by using information gleaned from how a person actually engages with social media. Their paper presents an initial summary of work undertaken by them to explore the nature of structural patterns represented by an individual’s Psychological Type, as defined by their MBTI type and specific aspects of their social network data, as defined within the context of their Facebook connections and usage. Their initial findings suggest that the virtual world is able to reflect personality differences that exist in the external world.
In her paper Applying Culture Bound Theory to Acute Social Withdrawal (Hikikomori), Maree Sugai from Tohoku University of Community Service and Science in Japan, highlights the identification of factors that implicate a cultural bound theory, both in the socio demographic orientation of Hikikomori, and in the physical manifestation of `opting out` by `shutting in.` Sugai includes a comparison of those factors from a control culture with the related social expectation withdrawal of a runaway. It uses as a baseline for analysis, Japan`s position in three of the cultural value indices as defined by Hofstede, namely the dimensions of: individualism (IDV), power distance (PDI), and uncertainty avoidance (UAI). Through this Sugai seeks to analyse how, in conjunction with educational norms, peer behavioural patterns, employment expectations within a society, and cultural values can determine how an individuals social withdrawal and `opting out` may be present. It is Sugai’s contention that Hikikomori is not a social situation that is disappearing in Japan, even though it is no longer the hot topic it was over a decade ago. Sugai believes that as popular interest wanes and the media inevitably moves its attention on to the next cult like phenomenon among young people who behave differently, the growing Hikikomori population of over one million suffers should not be forgotten. Sugai considers that educators are in a prime position to facilitate change and questions that often teaching styles that may actually play a critical role in the responsibility for such a huge, national, culturally specific, social epidemic that is not vanishing like its members, but is instead rampant and growing.
Pierluigi Diotaiuti, Angelo Marco Zona, and Luigi Rea, of the Department of Human, Social and Health Sciences, University of Cassino and South Latium, Italy, provide a fascinating article titled ‘Influence of Emotional Induction and Free or Forced Affiliation on In-group and Out-group Trust Attitude.’ Their paper revisits prior studies on social categorization that understands Emotional Induction as a determinant of intra-group favoritism and inter-group discrimination. Diotaituti, Zona and Rea studied 100 college students and administered to them the two scales taken from the MPP test to assess empathy, pro-sociality, sociability, interpersonal trust, self-esteem, social desirability, cynicism, management of their own impression. They then divided the participants into four experimental conditions: positive and negative emotional induction, free or forced social categorization. Diotaituti, Zona and Rea also submitted to the subjects an IAT so as to measure the change in the attitude of trust or distrust towards the in-group and out-group with respect to the administration of the emotional stimuli. Diotaituti, Zona and Rea reveal that social and emotional intelligence of the subject is a factor that mediates between the induction and trust in the in-group and the out-group, and that negative induction reduces confidence in the members of their own group in a much more significant way than in the out group members and yet more in the forced social categorization.
William Baber, of Kyoto University, Japan is the final paper presented in this special Psychology and Behavioral Sciences edition. Titled ‘Cognitive Change among Foreign Managers in Japan’s IT Sector,’ Baber considers that though there is a large volume of research on foreign worker adjustment in Japan, little research has taken on the issue of cognitive change. His study opines that Japan is considered a “difficult” culture for foreigners to access, and has been lagging as a topic of business study since the end of the Bubble Era two decades ago. However Baber argues that Japan is nevertheless a major employer of foreign IT workers and is increasingly innovative within that sector. The paper is based upon an original qualitative study taken between Winter 2012 and Spring 2014, which included nine cases interviews. According to Baber these interviews reveal the changes that have occured in cognitive style and management style preferences. The case studies presented and discussed by Baber were based on Nisbett’s (2003) holistic and analytic cognitive styles, Berry’s (1980) acculturation scheme and Adler and Gundersen’s (2007) concept of synergy with implications for foreign workers and their managers in Japan.
Finally the editorial committee of the IAFOR International Academic Review would like to thank our conference chairs Professor Monty Satiadarma from Tarumanagara University, Indonesia and Professor Dexter De Silva from Keisen University, Japan for their continual guidance with our Psychology and Behavioral Sciences conference program and publications. We also would like to thank the many delegates who attended our conferences and who submitted academic papers to our previous proceedings.
Michael Liam Kedzlie
Editorial Committee Member
The IAFOR International Academic Review