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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 52 Issue 9 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    Reports of Empirical Studies
    Predictability impacts word and character processing in Chinese reading: Evidence from eye movements
    LIU Zhifang, TONG Wen, ZHANG Zhijun, ZHAO Yajun
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (9): 1031-1047.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01031
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (713KB) ( 1026 )

    It has been extensively documented that the predictability of a word in context is closely related with how easily it can be processed. Although there is evidence that the precise time course of predictability effects facilitates the parafoveal processing of alphabetic words, i.e., the extraction of their visual, orthographic, phonological, and semantic features, the issue of how context impacts the early stages of word processing in Chinese reading remains a matter of debate. In particular, does it affect early word and character processing when identifying multi-character words? This issue was explored in the present study by manipulating the predictability of the target words and the frequency of words or characters. The hypothesis that predictability facilitates the early stage of word processing, i.e., word/character processing, predicts reliable interaction effects of predictability with word/character frequency. Three experiments were conducted to check this prediction.

    Eye movements of participants were tracked as they read Chinese text. The sentences that contained target words were displayed in Song font, with each Chinese character subtending approximately 1.32 degrees of visual angle. The target words embedded in the sentences in the experiments were composed of two Chinese characters. All three experiments manipulated target words’ predictability, in addition to which we also varied the target words’ frequencies in Experiment 1, the frequencies of the initial characters of the target words in Experiment 2, and the frequencies of the end characters of the target words in Experiment 3. The movements of the participants’ right eyes were recorded with an Eye Link 1000 device manufactured by SR Research Ltd.

    Pervasive predictability effects were observed in the eye movement measures in all three experiments, such that high predictability words were fixated for longer times than low predictability words (i.e., first fixation duration, gaze duration, and total reading time), and were re-fixated and regressed less often and skipped more often than low predictability words. Except for skipping probability, a similar pattern was observed for the effects of word frequency, where frequency had a significant impact on first fixation duration, gaze duration, total reading time, and re-fixation and regression probability in Experiment 1. Reliable frequency effects of the initial character on probability measures were observed in Experiment 2, with higher probability of skipping and regression, and less re-fixation on words with high initial-character frequency than those with low initial-character frequency. Reliable or marginally reliable frequency effects of the end character were also observed in Experiment 3. Although no reliable interaction effects of predictability with frequency factors were observed in Experiments 1 and 2, pronounced interaction effects of predictability with end character frequency were observed on fixation time and re-fixation probability in Experiment 3.

    The particular concerns of the present study were the interactions between word predictability and frequency variables. Bayes factor analyses of the linear mixed models in relation to first fixation duration, single fixation duration, and gaze duration were conducted for Experiments 1 and 2 whose results favored the null hypothesis. The lack of interaction effects in the first two experiments suggests independent impacts of word predictability and word or initial character frequency on Chinese word processing, while reliable interaction effects between word predictability and end character frequency in Experiment 3 suggest that word predictability affects prelexical processing, i.e., character processing in Chinese reading, thus suggesting that context directly impacts character processing in Chinese reading. Finally, the theoretical implications of the data are discussed.

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    The role of left orbitofrontal cortex in selective attention during automatic emotion regulation: Evidence from transcranial direct current stimulation
    HUA Yan, LI Mingxia, WANG Qiaoting, FENG Caixia, ZHANG Jing
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (9): 1048-1056.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01048
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (683KB) ( 1044 ) Peer Review Comments

    Emotion regulation plays an important role in maintaining mental balance. Automatic emotion regulation is an important aspect of emotion regulation. Previous studies has found that automatic emotion regulation can influence emotional attention bias, and the activation of the left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) was related to attention allocation to negative emotional stimuli. Although previous studies have provided evidence to the involvement of left OFC in the mechanism of automatic emotion regulation's influence on attention, little studies provided evidences for this hypothesis by manipulating the activation of left OFC. In order to examine the role of left OFC in attention allocation under automatic emotion regulation, the present study manipulates the cortical excitability by using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). We hypothesized that under the cathodal stimulation codition, the effect of subliminal emotional control words on attention avoidance of fear stimulation was diminished.

    Thirty-nine healthy right-handed college students participated in this study. Each participant was settled into cathodal and sham tDCS sessions in random order. After entering the laboratory, the participants completed a state-trait anxiety questionnaire. Then they completed the pre-task, in which emotional control goal was subliminally presented in the beginning of each trial. And fear related dot probe task was adopted in the pre-task. After the task was completed, the participants received tDCS stimulation. A relatively weak current (±1.5 mA) was constantly delivered over the left OFC for 20 min. For the sham tDCS, the stimulation only lasted for 15 sec. After stimulation participants immediately completed the post-task, in which the same task with the pre-task was used. The present study analyzed accuracy and reaction time by a 2 (pre-tesk and post-task) × 2 (tDCS: cathodal, sham)×2 (left-right location consistency of snake picture and target) repeated measures ANOVA.

    The results showed that the main effect of location consistency was significant (F(1, 37) = 5.11, p < 0.05, ηp2 = 0.12), and the reaction time under the consistent condition was significantly greater than that under the inconsistent condition. The interaction between the location consistency and stimulus conditions was significant, F(1, 37) = 9.78, p < 0.01, ηp 2 = 0.21. The simple effect analysis revealed that under the condition of sham stimulation, the reaction time under the consistent condition was greater than that under the inconsistent condition (ps < 0.05). For the cathodal stimulation, there was no significant difference between the reaction time under the consistent condition and the inconsistent condition (p > 0.05). The interaction between the consistency of pre- and post-task, stimulation condition and location consistency was significant, F(1, 37) = 11.41, p < 0.01, ηp2 = 0.24. Simple effect analysis showed that under the condition of sham stimulus, the response time under the consistent condition was greater than that under the inconsistent condition (ps < 0.05). Under the cathodal stimulation condition, the response time under the consistent condition was greater than that under the inconsistent condition (p < 0.05), while the response time under the consistent condition was significantly less than that under the inconsistent condition (p < 0.05).

    The present study examined the role of left OFC in attention allocation under automatic emotion regulation using subliminal goal priming and dot-probe task. Our findings revealed that after cathodal stimulation, attention avoidance of fear stimuli induced by subliminal control goal priming would be diminished, suggesting that the activation of left OFC influenced emotional attention allocation in automatic emotion regulation.

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    The development of creativity in senior primary school students: Gender differences and the role of school support
    ZHANG Jinghuan, FU Mengmeng, XIN Yuwen, CHEN Peipei, SHA Sha
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (9): 1057-1070.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01057
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (709KB) ( 3461 ) Peer Review Comments

    Creativity has been emphasized as a key competence for adolescents to achieve success in the rapidly changing world. Although developmental psychologists have put tremendous efforts into identifying the developmental trajectory of creativity, no consensus has yet been reached. Researchers have found many factors that potentially affect the development of creativity, including individual differences (such as gender differences), and the influence of the classroom environment. Besides, previous studies have not examined the creativity trajectory taking both the initial level and the growth speed into consideration. To address these flaws, the present study adopted a longitudinal design to explore the creativity development of senior primary school students through the between-person comparisons of different gender groups and school supports (the support from teachers and peers) as well as the within-person changes in response to the changing supports from schools.

    Two hundred and three Grade-4 primary school students (109 boys and 94 girls, mean age = 10.43 years, SD = 0.62 years, during the first phase of the test, T1) from three elementary schools participated in the three years’ longitudinal study and were assessed for three times (T1, T2, T3). Runco Creativity Assessment Battery (figural divergent thinking tests from rCAB) and Perceived School Climate Scale were used to measure creativity and school support, respectively. The study project was reviewed and approved by the Ethics Committee of Shandong Normal University and obtained the informed consent of parents of the participants. The data were managed and analyzed using SPSS 22.0 and HLM 6.08 software. A series of analyses, including descriptive, correlation, and multilevel analyses, were conducted to explore the developmental trajectory of creativity and the potential relationship between the school support and creativity.

    The results of the study were as follows: (1) The fluency of creativity of senior primary school students from grade 4 to 6 showed a linear growth trend, while the flexibility and originality of creativity showed a non-linear growth trend. In addition, the initial level of creativity was positively correlated with its growth speed. (2) Individual differences existed not only in the initial levels of fluency, flexibility, and originality, but also in the growth speed of fluency and originality. (3) Senior primary school girls performed significantly higher at initial levels of flexibility and originality than their male counterparts. (4) On the between-person level, the interaction between teacher support and gender significantly predicted the initial level of flexibility; teacher support significantly positively predicted the initial level of fluency; teacher support significantly positively predicted the growth speed of originality. (5) On the within-person level, time-varying teacher support significantly positively predicted time-varying fluency.

    The current study is, to our knowledge, the first exploration to describe the developmental trajectory of senior primary school students’ creativity in Mainland China using a longitudinal design. These findings will deepen the understanding of developmental rules of creativity, and provide implications for the cultivation of creativity among senior primary school students.

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    The influence of multilingualism and multiculturalism on individual and social switching: Evidence from the Xibe
    GUO Renhao, WANG Ting, ZHANG Jijia
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (9): 1071-1086.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01071
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1924KB) ( 819 ) Peer Review Comments

    Humans are quintessentially social, yet much of cognitive psychology has focused on the individual, in individual settings. The literature on joint action is one of the most prominent exceptions. Joint-action research studies the sociality of our mental representations by examining how the tasks of other people around us affect our own task performance. Executive functions are a family of general-purpose cognitive processes that allow us to regulate cognition. The main executive functions are inhibition, shifting, and updating of working memory. Growing evidence suggests that executive functions can be automatically activated in non-social contexts as well as social ones. It is necessary to test whether people automatically engage in doing the tasks their partners do even when it requires executive functions.

    The Xibe is one of the ethnic groups in China, mainly inhabits Liaoning, Jilin, and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The “westward migration” separated the Xibe in Xinjiang and Northeast China and embarked on different development paths. Xibe living in Xinjiang is in a multilingual culture, which not only retains the Xibe language (part of the Tungus-Manchu group of the Altaic phylum), but also absorbs the language and culture of the surrounding ethnic groups, such as the Uigur and Kazak. While the Northeast Xibe merges with the Han ethnic group and gradually loses their own ethnic culture and language. The present study investigates the influence of multi-language and multi-culture on social cognitive function, using a task-switching paradigm to examine one of the core executive functions, which is switching.

    In Experiment 1, the classical cognitive switching task was conducted to compare cognitive flexibility between the Xingjiang Xibe and the Northeast Xibe. Participants performed either a parity task (odd or even) or a magnitude task (bigger or smaller than 5), according to the frame around the number (diamond or square). The results showed that Xingjiang Xibe have smaller switch costs in the RT measure and greater accuracy. Experiment 2 employed socially relevant stimuli (faces) to tap into the switching flexibility between 2 types of categories (age and gender) and replicated the cognitive benefits of Xingjiang Xibe. These results showed that Xingjiang Xibe has the switching flexibility advantage in individual setting.

    Experiment 3 compared the switching flexibility of Xingjiang and Northeast Xibe using task-switching paradigm. A switching task was distributed between two participants. Each participant performed only one of the tasks, and did nothing on the trials of the other. In the social condition, two participants shared a computer. Each performed his task on his trials, and did nothing on the trials of the other participant. In the solo (control) condition, there was only one participant, who passively viewed the stimuli when it was not his turn. There were evident switch costs in the social condition and Xingjiang Xibe showed bigger switch costs compared with the Northeast Xibe, which meant they were more automatically engaged in this joint-action situation. It might be argued that, in the social condition, participants were distracted by the presence of a partner, or that they were sometimes uncertain about whose turn it was, and these factors lowered their efficiency. These costs are referred as turn-taking costs. In order to address this issue, Experiment 4 isolated turn-taking costs from task-switching costs by adding a condition in which two participants took turns, but they performed an identical task. This condition didn’t result in switch costs, indicating that costs in Experiment 3 should be interpreted as switching costs. Experiment 5 applied eye test to further prove that Xingjiang Xibe had strong individual tendency to understand the others’ intentions.

    In summary, the results showed that multilingualism and multiculturalism have different effects on cognitive switching function, positive effect in individual context and negative effect in social context. The results of this study provide important inspiration for the construction of a multi-ethnic country.

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    “Psychological Typhoon Eye Effect” and “Ripple Effect”: Double perspective test of risk perception and anxiety characteristics of people in different COVID-19severityregions
    WEN Fangfang, MA Shuhan, YE Hanxue, QI Yue, ZUO Bin
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (9): 1087-1104.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01087
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1121KB) ( 3018 ) Peer Review Comments

    COVID-19 has greatly affected the psychological state of Chinese people. This study carried out a dynamic follow-up survey of the psychological state of Chinese people and their evaluation of Wuhan residents during the epidemic period since the day of Wuhan’s citywide lockdown. The purpose of this work was to explore differences in degree of concern, risk perception, and anxiety response among regions affected by COVID-19 to different degrees. Our findings have important practical value for future crisis emergency management.

    This work included a large-scale survey covering 4833 Chinese residents, and it was conducted after Wuhan was closed. Its purpose was to assess whether COVID-19 invoked the psychological typhoon eye effect of a disaster event. The survey involved two angles, the “actor” angle, in which participants evaluated their own psychological states, and the “bystander” angle, in which participants evaluated other Wuhan citizens’ psychological states. We called these Study 1 and Study 2. Study1 explored the psychological state of residents themselves and the results were consistent with the ripple effect to some extent within the epidemic period, which is the opposite pattern of the psychological typhoon eye. The residents who lived near the hardest-hit areas showed significantly higher risk perception and anxiety. Study 2 explored how people from different areas evaluated Wuhan residents’ psychological state. The results of Study 2 did show a replicated psychological typhoon eye effect in terms of anxiety, and number of psychological workers and doctors residents needed. However, when it came to risk cognition, residents in low-risk areas rated Wuhan citizens’ risk cognition as significantly lower than people in high-risk areas did, which generally manifested as a ripple effect.

    This study also showed a marginal zone effect and a psychological controllable threshold. The concave effect means there was a phenomenon in which risk perception was lower in the middle zone or middle-risk area than at either end. The psychological controllable threshold is one of the sub-scales of risk cognition. That is, uncontrollability did not show the psychological typhoon eye effect in the bystander portion of our study.

    This paper further expands and enriches the boundary conditions of the psychological typhoon eye effect of public risk events, provides more abundant and direct research evidence for the perception difference between actor and bystander angle in the study of psychological typhoon eye effect, and has important implications for a deeper understanding of the psychological evolution of public health emergencies and public crisis management.

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    How to facilitate employee green behavior: The joint role of green transformational leadership and green human resource management practice
    PENG Jian, YIN Kui, HOU Nan, ZOU Yanchun, NIE Qi
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (9): 1105-1120.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01105
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (641KB) ( 1169 ) Peer Review Comments

    Faced with the critical environmental pollution, organizations are expected to plan and implement the environmental management practice. Employees, as the implementers of environmental management practice, have been considered to play a crucial role in organizational green management. Hence, how to facilitate employees’ green behavior is of particular importance for contemporary organizations. Employee green behavior is defined as a kind of behavior in the workplace that contributes to environmental sustainability. Given that employee green behavior is relevant to the sustainable development of the organization, this topic increasingly attracts attention and interest from scholars and practitioners alike. In particular, they focused on how to facilitate employee green behavior.

    Previous research revealed that green (environmentally specific) transformational leadership and green human resource management practices (HRM) played a crucial role in shaping employee green behavior. However, previous studies took an “either…or…” approach to investigate the effects of green transformational leadership and green HRM (separately), while ignoring their joint effects. Recent studies indicated a trend to examine the joint effects of leadership and HRM. Accordingly, this study explored the joint effect of green transformational leadership and green HRM on employee green behavior in the Chinese context. In particular, we proposed two alternative hypotheses. Based on cue consistency theory, we claimed that green transformational leadership and green HRM positively interact to shape employee green behavior. Based on leadership substitute theory, we demonstrated that green transformational leadership and green HRM negatively interact to shape employee green behavior. Moreover, we proposed that pro-environmental goal clarity mediates the interactive effect of green transformational leadership and green HRM on employee green behavior.

    We conducted two experiments and one survey study to test our hypotheses. In experiment 1a and 1b (2 × 2 between-subject design), the results of ANOVA showed that green transformational leadership and green HRM positively interacted to shape individual green behavior, which supported the hypotheses based on cue consistence theory. Specifically, individuals in the condition of high green transformational leadership and high green HRM were more likely to engage in green behavior. Study 2, a field study based on the survey data from 173 leader-employee dyads, not only replicated the findings of study 1a and 1b but also revealed that the interaction of green HRM and green transformational leadership was positively related to employee green behavior through the mediating role of pro-environmental goal clarity.

    This study contributes to the literature in several ways. First, by revealing the positive interactive effect of green transformational leadership and green HRM on employee green behavior, our findings guide us toward a better understanding of how to facilitate employee green behavior from a comprehensive and balanced perspective. Second, by revealing the mediating role of environmental goal clarity, this study contributes to a detailed understanding of how green HRM and green transformational leadership jointly influence employee green behavior. Finally, our results provide some implications for practitioners with how to promote employee green behavior, such as adopting green HRM and developing leaders’ green transformational leadership simultaneously.

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    Linking emotional appraisal ability congruence of leader-followers with employee voice: The roles of perceived insider status and gender similarity
    LI Shuwen, LUO Jinlian
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (9): 1121-1131.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01121
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1449KB) ( 1142 ) Peer Review Comments

    In recent years, employee voice has become a popular topic in organizational behavior research. However, existing research has failed to identify that voice is a risky behavior on the basis of employees and leaders’ evaluation of each other. Among the few studies that have examined the antecedents of voice behavior from employees or leaders, little attention has been paid to the interaction or mutual evaluation process between leaders and employees, leading to an incomplete understanding of the antecedents of voice. Hence, the present study attempts to broaden our understanding of improving voice behavior.

    Specifically, based on theory of person-environment fit and conservation of resource, we suggest that emotional appraisal ability congruence between leaders and subordinates is an effective way to improve employees’ voice. Subordinates can make voice according to the observed changes in leaders’ emotions, and leaders can also set voice expectations according to the changes in subordinates’ emotions. Importantly, we highlight the role of perceived insider status as an important path. Interaction between leaders and employees can help employees develop a sense of mutual responsibility and thus strengthen the perception of insider status. Meanwhile, employees more likely make voice to maintain insider status. Furthermore, we suggest that certain significant differences determine whether subordinates can perceive insider status in cognition and behavior between men and women. Therefore, this study constructs a moderated mediation model and analyzes the influential path and boundary of emotional appraisal ability congruence on employees’ voice from the gender similarity between leaders and subordinates.

    To test our conceptual model, we collected sample in three phases at a monthly interval from multiple department employees and their direct leaders from four large manufacturing enterprises in Shandong, Shanghai, and Hong Kong of China. Through the paired questionnaire survey of 43 leaders and 182 subordinates, the data were tested by polynomial regression analysis, response surface analysis, and bootstrapping method. The results reveal that (1) four matching situations exist between leaders and subordinates’ emotional appraisal ability. Compared with “low leader and low subordinate” emotional appraisal ability congruence, employees’ perceived insider status is stronger in “high leader and high subordinate” emotional appraisal ability congruence; (2) compared with “high leader and low subordinate” emotional appraisal ability in-congruence, employees’ perceived insider status is stronger in “low leader and high subordinate” emotional appraisal ability in-congruence; (3) perceived insider status plays a mediating role among emotional appraisal ability congruence, promotive voice, and prohibitive voice; (4) when the gender between leaders and subordinates is different, the mediating effect of perceived insider status is stronger than when the gender is the same.

    This study makes three main contributions to literature. First, responding to researchers’ recommendations in recent years, the study investigated the antecedents of voice behavior from the perspective of leader and subordinate congruence. Second, the research explained the effects of emotional appraisal ability congruence on voice, thereby enhancing our understanding of why employees respond to leaders with voice. Third, the study drew on theory of person-environment fit to highlight the boundary condition of gender similarity in the relationship between emotional appraisal ability and perceived insider status, clarifying when emotional appraisal ability congruence more likely or less likely leads to perceived insider status and thus enhancing voice behavior.

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    The multidimensional log-normal response time model: An exploration of the multidimensionality of latent processing speed
    ZHAN Peida, Hong JIAO, Kaiwen MAN
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (9): 1132-1142.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01132
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1168KB) ( 578 ) Peer Review Comments

    With the popularity of computer-based testings, the collection of item response times (RTs) and other process data has become a routine in large- and small-scale psychological and educational assessments. RTs not only provide information about the processing speed of respondents but also could be utilized to improve the measurement accuracy because the RTs are considered to convey a more synoptic depiction of the participants’ performance beyond responses alone. In multidimensional assessments, various skills are often required to answer questions. The speed at which persons were applying a set of skills reflecting distinct cognitive dimensions could be considered as multidimensional as well. In other words, each latent ability was measured simultaneously with its corresponding working efficiency of applying a facet of skills in a multidimensional test. For example, the latent speed corresponding to the latent ability of decoding of an algebra question may differ from encoding. Therefore, a multidimensional RT model is needed to accommodate this scenario, which extends various currently proposed RT models assuming unidimensional processing speed.

    To model the multidimensional structure of the latent processing speed, this study proposed a multidimensional log-normal response time model (MLRT) model, which is an extension of the unidimensional log-normal response time model (ULRTM) proposed by van der Linden (2006). Model parameters were estimated via the full Bayesian approach with the Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC). A PISA 2012 computer-based mathematics RT dataset was analyzed as a real data example. This dataset contains RTs of 1581 participants for 9 items. A Q-matrix (see Table 1) was prespecified based on the PISA 2012 mathematics assessment framework (see Zhan, Jiao, Liao, 2018); three dimensions were defined based on the mathematical content knowledge, which are: 1) change and relationships (θ1), 2) space and shape (θ2), and, 3) uncertainty and data (θ3). One thing to note is that the defined Q-matrix served as a bridge to link items to the corresponding latent abilities, which shows the multidimensional structure of latent abilities. First, exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted with the real dataset to manifest the multidimensional structure of the processing speed. Second, two RT models, i.e., the ULRTM and the MLRTM, were fitted to the data, and the results were compared. Third, a simulation study was conducted to evaluate the psychometric properties of the proposed model.

    The results of the EFA indicated that the latent processing speed has a three-dimensional structure, which matches with the theoretical multidimensional structure of the latent abilities (i.e., the Q-matrix in Table 1). Furthermore, the ULRTM and the MLRTM yield adequate model data fits according to the posterior predictive model checking values (ppp = 0.597 for the ULRTM and ppp = 0.633 for the MLRTM). Furthermore, by comparing the values of the -2LL, DIC, and WAIC across the ULRTM and the MLRTM, the results indicate that the MLRTM fits the data better. In addition, the results show that (1) the correlations among three dimensions vary from medium to large (from 0.751 to 0.855); (2) the time-intensity parameters estimates of the two models were similar to each other. However, in terms of the time-discrimination parameters, the estimates of the ULRTM were slightly lower than the MLRTM. Moreover, the results from the simulation study show: 1) the model parameters were fully recovered with the Bayesian MCMC estimation algorithm; 2) the item time-discrimination parameter could be underestimated if the multidimensionality of the latent processing speed gets ignored, which meets our expectation, whereas the item time-intensity parameter stayed the same.

    Overall, the proposed MLRTM performed well with the empirical data and was verified by the simulation study. In addition, the proposed model could facilitate practitioners in the use of the RT data to understand participants’ complex behavioral characteristics.

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