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A Meta-Analysis of Crowding Affects Consumers’ Emotion and Shopping Responses
Recent years, marketing scholars showed increasing interest in examining how crowding affected consumers’ emotion and behavior. A vast amount of empirical literature on crowding therefore boomed. However, these crowding . . .
DOI:
The cross-level double-edged-sword effect of boundary-spanning behavior on creativity
There has been much interest in boundary spanning behavior recently. The existing studies about boundary spanning behavior focus on its positive outcome from the perspective of social network. In the decades, research ha. . .
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  25 August 2020, Volume 52 Issue 8 Previous Issue    Next Issue
Reports of Empirical Studies
An eye movement study for the guidance mechanism of long-distance regressions in Chinese reading
YANG Fan, SUI Xue, YI Yutong
Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (8): 921-932.  
DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00921

Abstract   ( 2773 ) HTML   PDF (584KB) ( 2084 ) Peer Review Comments

Regression is one of a usual phenomenon in normal reading. But the eye movements go against normal reading order during regressions. According to the eye moving distance during regressing, researchers divide regressions into long-distance regressions and short-distance regressions. Some English studies suggest that long-distance regressions are guided by memory and two theories can explain the mechanisms of regression, which are the spatial coding hypothesis and the verbal reconstruction hypothesis. Both theories have their rationality and get some studies' supporting, but there are some arguments between them. The spatial coding hypothesis suggests that the eye movements are guided by spatial memory during regressions, but the other suggests that they are guided by verbal memory. And researchers find that first regression was always followed by some small corrective saccades. There is also no consensus among researchers on the guiding mechanism of corrective saccades. The purpose of this study is to explore the guiding mechanism of long-distance regression in Chinese reading and to provide new evidence for the resolution of this dispute.

In order to explore the effect of memory on regressions, we recruited 20 students as participants in Experiment 1, and divided them into 2 groups: reading group and non-reading group. First, the reading group was presented with a sentence. After reading the sentence, the subjects were presented with a cue word. The subjects were required to locate the cue wword in the sentence. The non-reading group was presented with the cue word directly, and a sentence was presented before the cue word. The subjects were asked to locate the cue word in the sentence. The formal experiment was organized into a 2×2×3 mixed experimental design. The first variable was the reading condition with 2 levels: reading and non-reading; the second variable was the word frequency with 2 levels: high-frequency words and low-frequency words; the third variable was word location with 3 levels: in the first/middle/last third of the sentence. In Experiment 2, we adopted the procedure similar to Experiment 1 for exploring the effect of text visibility on corrective saccades with another 20 student as participants. It was also a 2×2×3 mixed experimental design, and only the first variable was different. The first variable in Experiment 2 was regression visibility with 2 levels: visible and invisible. It meant that the participants in visible condition, they could see the sentence which they have read before. On the contrary, the participants in invisible condition, when they regressed the goal word, the sentence was masked by ‘※'. In both experiments, we adopted 4 measures of regressions, included initial regression size, initial regression error, and cumulative regression size and regression reaction time.

The results in Experiment 1 indicated that initial regression error was higher in the non-reading group than in the reading group. Initial regression size was not different between the two groups, but the first regressing location of the reading group was related with prearranged word location rather than the non-reading group. Word location was significant in all measures except initial regression size. The results in Experiment 2 indicated that initial regression error was shorter in the invisible group than in the visible group and initial regression size was higher in the invisible group than in the visible group. It was because the invisible group might use more time to read. Cumulative regression size was higher in the invisible group than in the visible group. Word location was significant with initial regression size and initial regression error. Word frequency was not significant in all two experiment conditions.

The results proved that initial regression was guided by spatial memory. Verbal attributes such as word frequency had no significant effect on regression. Corrective saccade affected by text visibility.

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The influence of foveal processing load on parafoveal preview of fast and slow readers during Chinese reading
ZHANG Manman, ZANG Chuanli, XU Yufeng, BAI Xuejun, YAN Guoli
Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (8): 933-945.  
DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00933

Abstract   ( 478 ) HTML   PDF (713KB) ( 485 ) Peer Review Comments

Parafoveal pre-processing contributes to highly efficient reading for skilled readers. Research has demonstrated that high-skilled or fast readers extract more parafoveal information from a wider parafoveal region more efficiently compared to less-skilled or slow readers. It is argued that individual differences in parafoveal preview are due to high-skilled or fast readers focusing less of their attention on foveal word processing than less-skilled or slow readers. In other words, foveal processing difficulty might modulate an individual's amount of parafoveal preview (i.e., Foveal Load Hypothesis). However, few studies have provided evidence in support of this claim. Therefore, the present study aimed to explore whether and how foveal lexical processing load modulates parafoveal preview of readers with different reading speeds (a commonly used measurement of reading skill or reading proficiency).

By using a three-minute reading comprehension task, 28 groups of fast and slow readers were selected from 300 participants (234 were valid) according to their reading speed in the current study. Participants were then asked to read sentences while their eye movements were recorded using an Eyelink 1000 eyetracker. Each experimental sentence contained a pre-target word that varied in lexical frequency to manipulate foveal processing load (low load: high frequency; high load: low frequency), and a target word manipulated for preview (identical or pseudo-character) within the boundary paradigm.

Global analyses showed that, although fast readers had similar accuracy of reading comprehension to slow readers, they had shorter reading times, longer forward saccades, made less fixations and regressions, and had higher reading speeds compared to slow readers, indicating that our selection of fast and slow readers was highly effective. The pre-target word analyses showed that there was a main effect of word frequency on first-pass reading times, indicating an effective manipulation of foveal load. Additionally, there were significant interactions of Reading Group × Word Frequency, and Reading Group × Word Frequency × Parafoveal Preview for first fixation and single fixation durations, showing that the frequency effects were reliable for fast readers rather than for slow readers with pseudocharacter previews, while the frequency effects were similar for the two groups with identical previews. However, the target word analyses did not show any three-way or two-way interactions for the first-pass reading times as well as for skipping probability. To be specific, the first-pass reading times were shorter at the target word with identical previews in relation to pseudocharacter previews (i.e. preview benefit effects); importantly, similar size effects occurred for both fast readers and slow readers.

The findings in the present study suggest that lexical information from the currently fixated word can be extracted and can be used quickly for fast readers, while such information is used later for slow readers. This, however, does not result in more (or less) preview benefit for fast readers in relation to slow readers. In conclusion, foveal lexical processing does not modulate preview benefit for fast and slow readers, and the present results provide no support for the Foveal Load Hypothesis. Our findings of foveal load effects on parafoveal preview for fast and slow readers cannot be readily explained by current computational models (e.g., E-Z Reader model and SWIFT model).

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The time course of self-relevance affecting emotional word processing
ZHANG Qi, DENG Nali, JIANG Xiumin, LI Weijun
Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (8): 946-957.  
DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00946

Abstract   ( 860 ) HTML   PDF (2214KB) ( 1127 ) Peer Review Comments

In successful social interactions, distinguishing between our own and another person's emotions is important. For individuals, both self-related information (such as self-name) and emotional stimuli with high sociality or adaptive meaning can automatically capture one's attention, leading to prior and deep processing. Previous studies have confirmed that self-relevance can affect the processing of emotional words. However, there is currently no research using name as a self-relevance clue to investigate whether and how name influences the cognitive processing of emotional words. In the current study, we used names as self-relevance clues to explore the dynamic temporal characteristics of self-related information affecting emotional information and its integration mechanism.

In this study, we used ERP technology and created a 3 (name type: self, friend, unknown) × 3 (emotion type: positive, neutral, negative) within-subjects design. A total of 21 college students (9 males, Mage = 20.4) participated in the experiment. Prior to the experiment, we gathered the participants' own names and their best friends' names, then we found a name that we confirmed was unfamiliar to all participants. All names included three characters. The experimental stimuli were 171 two-character words taken from the Chinese Affective Words System, which included 57 positive, 57 negative and 57 neutral words. The participants were asked to silently read the names (self-name, friend-name and unfamiliar name) and emotional words (positive, neutral and negative) presented in succession, unaware that the presented words were emotional words, while their EEG was recorded.

The ERP results showed the following. (1) The main effect of the emotional words was significant in the early processing stage, and the negative words elicited larger EPN amplitudes (200-300 ms) than the positive and neutral words. (2) In the late processing stage, the emotional words were further processed. The negative words elicited reduced N400 (300-450 ms) compared to the neutral words, and they enhanced LPP compared with the neutral and positive words during 450-650 ms. (3) More importantly, a significant interaction between the names and emotional words was discovered in the LPP time window. The negative words paired with self-names elicited significantly more positive LPP than the neutral words paired with self-names, while the negative words paired with friend-names elicited significantly larger LPP than the positive words and neutral words paired with friend-names. Nevertheless, no significant difference was found among the LPP amplitudes elicited by the three kinds of emotional words paired with unknown names.

Overall, our study demonstrates that there is a processing advantage for negative words in different stages, and self-relevance contained in a name can affect the cognitive processing of emotional words, which mainly occurs in the late stage of emotional lexical processing. Importantly, it seems that individuals first filter information according to whether it is self-related and then process the emotional content (especially negative stimuli) related to themselves or their friends more deeply and elaborately. The negative bias can be explained by the fact that negative stimuli are considered to carry greater informational value than positive stimuli. Therefore, negative stimuli automatically capture more attention and cognitive resources than neutral and positive stimuli, resulting in higher order coding.

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The neural mechanism of approximate number processing for mathematical anxious individuals: An EEG study
LIU Jie, LI Jinqi, SHEN Chaoran, HU Xiaohui, ZHAO Tinghao, GUAN Qing, LUO Yuejia
Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (8): 958-970.  
DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00958

Abstract   ( 387 ) HTML   PDF (6061KB) ( 486 ) Peer Review Comments

The approximate number system (ANS) underlies the ability to approximately represent numerical magnitude or to estimate the number of a quantity without counting. ANS acuity is a reliable predictive factor of mathematical achievements and is most likely not influenced by educational or cultural factors of general cognitive processing. It is well established that individuals with mathematics anxiety (MA) perform normally in general cognitive tasks but significantly below-average in mathematical tasks such as numerical magnitude processing, computation and mathematical problem solving. Previous behavioral study reported significant negative correlations between MA level and ANS acuity but it remained unclear whether MA individuals are deficient in their ANS functioning.

The current study explored the approximate number processing in individuals with mathematics anxiety at a neural level and gathered electrophysiological evidences for ANS deficiency in MA individuals. We selected 31 individuals with high math anxiety and 29 individuals with low math anxiety who were matched for mean general intelligence, rapid visual perception ability, visual searching ability and mean general anxiety level. The participants completed a dot array task both actively and passively as their electroencephalogram (EEG) data were recorded. In the active dot array task, the participants were required to make judgements on the relative quantities of blue and yellow dots while the ratio of the dots were manipulated to be high or low. In the passive viewing task, the participants were required to complete an irrelevant task to ensure that proper attention was paid to the stimuli while the ratio was also manipulated.

We found that the behavioral performances of the two groups were comparable in both active and passive viewing tasks. However, event-related potential (ERP) analysis revealed that the high anxiety group had larger P2p amplitudes at the occipital electrodes than the low anxiety group in both active and passive viewing tasks. Furthermore, time-frequency analysis was performed and significant ratio effects were found in the low anxiety group in δ band (1~5 Hz) event-related synchronization (ERS) and β band (29~34 Hz) event-related desynchronization (ERD) while no ratios effects were found in the low anxiety group.

The current study provided electrophysiological evidences for ANS deficiencies in individuals with MA. The findings of this study have important theoretical implications for the causes of the impaired mathematical abilities in MA individuals as well as for effective interventions for MA.

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The association between parental meta philosophy and adolescent's behavior problem: The moderating role of vagus
HE Xiaoli, YUAN Xiaolong, HU Ming, ZHOU Lichen
Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (8): 971-981.  
DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00971

Abstract   ( 951 ) HTML   PDF (613KB) ( 1152 ) Peer Review Comments

Emotional and behavior problems including anxiety, depression, withdrawal, and attack are commonly occurred among adolescents. The perceptiveness and attitude of parents to their children's emotional reaction, which is defined as the parental meta-emotion philosophy (PMEP), can affect the regulation of children's emotional and behavior problems. These influences are also distinct as the individual physiological factors. However, several questions are still understudied. Previous studies ignored the effect of father's meta-emotional philosophy on individual behavior problems. Domestic studies paid close attention to the preschool or school-age children other than to adolescent group. No conclusion was drawn on the relationship between parental emotional coaching and the externalizing problems of adolescents. Whether the relationship was affected by other regulatory factors need further analysis. The role of PMEP, on the other hand, may also vary in different cultures. In the current study, we attempt to explore the relationship between the PMEP and adolescents' behavior problem and investigate the influence of adolescents' vagus nerve function on this relationship.

224 adolescents aged from 12 to14 recruited from a middle school of Yinchuan and their parents were selected in the current study. The MP150 (16 channels) physiological multichannel apparatus was firstly used to record adolescents' breathing and heart rate during the resting period and the mental arithmetic period. The baseline vagal tone and vagal suppression in task period were then calculated. Participants and their parents were asked to fill in questionnaires to measure the behavior problems of adolescents and the PMEP after the physiological measurement. The physiological data were analyzed offline using Acqknowledge software (version-4.3), and the physiological data and questionnaire data were imported into SPSS 20.0 for statistical analysis.

Results and conclusions were as follows: (1) PMEP can predict adolescents' behavior problems: the more emotion coaching mothers have, the less internalizing and externalizing problems adolescents have; the more emotion dysfunction mothers have, the more internalizing and externalizing problems adolescents have; the more emotion noninvolvement mothers have, the more externalizing problems adolescent have; the more emotion coaching fathers have, the less internalizing problems adolescents have; the more emotion dysfunction fathers have, the more externalizing problems adolescents have. (2) PMEP in adolescents' problem behaviors is regulated by the vagus nerve: when adolescent's vagal tone was low, the more emotion noninvolvement the mothers have, the more externalizing problems adolescents have; when adolescent's vagal suppression was low, the more emotion dysfunction mothers have, the more internalizing and externalizing problems of adolescents.; When adolescents' vagal suppression was low, the more emotion dysfunction fathers have, the more externalizing problems adolescents have.

In summary, the rise of individual behavior problem is not only due to the effect of single factor, but also due to the result of the interaction between the outside and individual factors. It is suggested that we should investigate the occurrence and development of the individual behavior problems from the multiple perspectives of physical, psychological and social factors.

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The effects of episodic simulation on expected responsiveness of partner and attachment security
CAO Xiancai, WANG Dahua, WANG Yan
Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (8): 982-992.  
DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00982

Abstract   ( 1478 ) HTML   PDF (627KB) ( 1502 ) Peer Review Comments

The control-system model of attachment is the most commonly used model to characterize the function of the adult attachment system. It posits that the way for individuals to attain security is to access information on the availability and responsiveness of the attachment figure. According to previous attachment theory, when the attachment figure is absent, the information related to their availability and responsiveness is acquired by accessing the secure base script. However, the function of episodic representation is overlooked during this process. Inspired by the research on episodic simulation and attachment theory, we hypothesized that episodic simulation is an effective episodic representation that could help individuals access information on their partner's availability and responsiveness, and attain security in the attachment control system.

This study investigated whether episodic simulation could promote the expected responsiveness of a partner and attachment security through an experiment. A total of 46 young adults currently involved in a romantic relationship for more than six months were recruited as participants. All of the tasks were arranged into two sessions. In session 1, the participants completed a scale related to attachment orientations, then rated six scenarios related to distressful situations that frequently occurred in close relationships from four aspects, namely, distressful feeling, willingness to ask one's partner for help, expected responsiveness of one's partner, and state attachment security. Three days later, the participants were randomly arranged into an experimental group and a control group to complete the tasks of session 2. For each distressful situation, participants in the experimental group needed to simulate and write down how they asked their partner for help and how they would solve the distressing problem with the help of their partner. Participants in the control group needed to write down the possible outcomes when the situation happened in a regular couple. Subsequently, all participants rated the situation again from the four aspects in session 1.

The results revealed no rating differences between the two groups in the pre-test. In the post-test, the experimental group had higher ratings in expected responsiveness of their partner and state attachment security compared with the control. When considering the changes from the pre-test to the post-test in each rating (calculated using the scores in the post-test minus that in the pre-test), we found the promotion in expected responsiveness of partners significantly correlated with the promotion in state attachment security. Moreover, the experimental group had higher promotions in their rating of expected responsiveness of their partner and state attachment security, as well as higher reduction in state attachment avoidance, compared with the control group. However, no group differences were observed in the rating changes related to distressful feelings, willingness to ask one's partner for help, and state attachment anxiety. All of the results were the same after controlling for attachment avoidance and attachment anxiety, which are rooted in individuals' stable attachment script.

The results indicated that episodic simulation could function independently of the attachment script in the attachment control system. The episodic simulation could help individuals access information related to the responsiveness of their partner and attain security. This study provided a supplement for the attachment control-system model.

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The intergroup sensitivity effect and its behavioral consequences: The influence of group identification
SONG Shijie, ZUO Bin, WEN Fangang, TAN Xiao
Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (8): 993-1003.  
DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00993

Abstract   ( 1115 ) HTML   PDF (544KB) ( 1160 ) Peer Review Comments

The intergroup sensitivity effect (ISE) shows that people have more pronounced negative emotional responses and are less likely to respond with acceptance to criticism from outgroup members than to criticism from ingroup members. Although ISE has been confirmed in a variety of group contexts (e.g., country, religion, and gender), many issues still remain to be resolved. For instance, it is still unknown how social interaction may affect the strength of ISE and what its aftereffects may be. Therefore, the first aim of the current study was to assess the applicability of ISE in an inter-group interaction context and examine the effect of intra-individual group identification on ISE. The second aim of the current study was to explore the behavioral aftereffects of ISE and its emotional-behavioral mechanism.

Experiment 1a (N = 93) repeated the test of ISE in Chinese participants who identified with a specific college group. Experiment 1b (N = 114) examined the influence of negative group evaluations from different sources (an ingroup critic versus an outgroup critic) on emotion in the context of inter-group interaction with the minimal group. In experiment 2 (N = 137) we explored the influence of negative group evaluations from different sources (an ingroup critic versus an outgroup critic) on emotion by instructing participants to read their school's negative evaluations on college BBS, and we also assessed their group identification. Experiment 3 (N = 138) further tested group-donation behavior as an indicator of positive intragroup behavior to examine the influence of group identification and sources of negative group evaluations (an ingroup critic versus an outgroup critic) on behavioral consequences, while the negative emotions may act as important intermediates in the relationship between the interaction and positive intragroup behavior.

The results showed the following: a) We replicated and extended the basic view of ISE and found negative evaluations from outgroup members can cause more intense negative emotional responses than similar evaluations from ingroup members, even within an inter-group interaction context. b) Group identification was found to play a moderate role in ISE: for high-group identification individuals, negative evaluation from outgroup members caused stronger negative emotional responses than from ingroup members, while for those low-group identification individuals, this effect was not significant. c) Group identification performed a mediated moderating role on the influence of different sources of negative group evaluations on negative emotion response and positive intragroup behavior: under high-group-identification condition, sources of negative group evaluations had an indirect positive effect on positive intragroup behavior via emotional responses, whereas under low-group-identification condition, emotional responses did not mediate the relationship between sources of evaluation and positive intragroup behavior.

In conclusion, the current work is the first study to explore the intergroup sensitivity effect in China. We examined the influence of negative group evaluation on individual emotion and behavior and its mechanism from the perspective of group identification. This study provides a new theoretical basis and empirical support for the individual's psychological and behavioral response in the inter-group interaction context, and has important implications for future inter-group relationship research. Future research should further explore the dynamic relationship for the change of inter-group attitude and behavior caused by negative group evaluation and the influence of interactions of situational factors and intra-individual factors on intergroup sensitivity effect.

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Effect of legacy motivation on individuals' financial risk-taking: Mediating role of future self-continuity
WANG Lin, CHEN Zengxiang, HE Yun
Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (8): 1004-1016.  
DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01004

Abstract   ( 391 ) HTML   PDF (702KB) ( 583 ) Peer Review Comments

Legacy motivation refers to the phenomenon that individuals want to leave a mark on this planet and be remembered by others for a long time. It is a fundamental motivation that has been widely possessed by human beings. It can have important psychological and behavioral consequences because it offers individuals an enduring meaning for self-identity and motivates them to extend themselves into the future. Previous work examined the influences of legacy motivation in the domains of intergenerational decision making and employee behaviors. However, research on how legacy motivation influences individuals' other behaviors remains in infancy. The current work takes a novel perspective and focuses on the influence of legacy motivation in the domain of financial decision making. We examine how and why legacy motivation affects individuals' risk- taking behavior and when it occurs. We propose that legacy motivation would diminish individuals' tendency to engage in risk-taking behavior. This effect is driven by future self-continuity perception and occurs among people with a high socioeconomic status (SES).

Four experiments were conducted to test our proposed hypothesis. Study 1 was designed to offer initial evidence that legacy motivation would lead to a greater perception of future self-continuity. This study employed a one factor (legacy motivation: legacy vs. control) between-subject design and manipulated legacy motivation by asking participants to write an essay on what they wanted to be remembered for by future others. In the control condition, participants were instructed to imagine and write about what life would be in 30 years. Study 2a established the main effect of legacy motivation on individuals' risk-taking tendency. Participants were presented a job recruitment advertisement featuring a high wage but low job security to measure their risk-taking tendency. They indicated their likelihood of adopting this new job. Study 2b replicated the effect of legacy motivation on risk-taking behavior and explored the underlying mechanism of future self-continuity. Risk-taking behavior was operationalized by asking participants to select one of three financial portfolio products that represent different degrees of financial risk. Study 3 investigated the moderation role of individuals' SES. A 2 (legacy motivation: legacy vs. control) × 2 (SES: continuous variable) design was employed, in which legacy motivation was manipulated, and SES was measured.

The propositions were supported by several convergent results. Study 1 provided initial evidence that activating legacy motivation would result in a higher future self-continuity perception (Mlegacy = 4.25, SD = 1.50, Mcontrol = 3.81, SD = 1.44; F(1, 182) = 4.08, p = 0.045, Cohen's d = 0.30). Study 2a documented the main effect by showing that legacy motivation weakened individuals' likelihood of engaging in financial risk taking (Mlegacy = 4.22, SD = 1.84, Mcontrol = 4.66, SD = 1.72; F(1, 259) = 4.09, p = 0.044, Cohen's d = 0.25) and ruled out several alternative interpretations such as self-esteem, mood, and impression management. Study 2b confirmed the mediation role of future self-continuity in driving legacy motivation's effect on financial risk taking (b = 0.12, SE = 0.06, 95% CI = 0.03~0.26). Study 3 investigated the moderating role of participants' SES. We found that the legacy effect on financial risk taking as a function of future self-continuity only existed in participants with a relatively high SES (b = 0.19, SE = 0.08, 95% CI = 0.05~0.37) and disappeared with a relatively low SES (b = 0.03, SE = 0.05, 95% CI = -0.04~0.15).

This study contributes to the literature on legacy motivation, future self-continuity, and financial risk-taking behavior. It extends the research on legacy motivation by documenting an important behavioral consequence in the domain of individual financial decision making. It also provides a new antecedent for future self-continuity and financial risk-taking behavior.

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Theory and History of Psychology
On Piaget's epistemological methodology and its contemporary significance
JIANG Ke, LI Qiwei
Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2020, 52 (8): 1017-1030.  
DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01017

Abstract   ( 1504 ) HTML   PDF (833KB) ( 1386 ) Peer Review Comments

Piaget's works covered philosophy, psychology, biology, and logic, as well as other fields. The psychological community attaches great importance to Piaget's influence in the field. For example, he was the President of the Swiss Psychological Society, the President of the French National Psychological Federation, the President of the 14th International Union for Psychological Science, and was awarded the Outstanding Scientific Contribution Award by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1969.

Should Piaget's academic identity be that of a philosopher or a psychologist? This question is essentially about Piaget's methodology, as it is not the object of the study that defines which branch an approach belongs to, but the method of study it adopts. Piaget's theories are rich and complex, and his works are numerous. What connects such theories into a whole system is the constructional method of Piaget's epistemology.

This article focuses on Piaget's works in the fields of philosophical epistemology, biological analogy methodology, as well as methodology of structuralism and dialectics, so as to analyze the key concepts in the construction process of Piaget's Genetic Epistemology. It was hoped that through such reviews, we can learn from the core constructs of Piaget's theoretical system, which are often misunderstood and ignored. It is also hoped that, by analyzing these contents, Piaget's theory can be explained as being neither psychological in the traditional sense nor philosophical epistemology in the general sense. Rather, we should think of Piaget's Genetic Epistemology as an innovative science of the mind. From this perspective, we can better understand how the Genetic Epistemology can deal with many “difficult problems” faced by contemporary cognitive science.

Piaget defined his core concepts by the theory of equilibrium-construction. He demonstrated the bidirectional interaction between organisms and the external environment based on the concepts of adaptation and equilibrium in biology. Furthermore, he constructed a structuralist epistemology of Genetic Epistemology through the “isomorphism” of cognitive and biological processes.

Structuralism was not only a theoretical proposition, but a construction method of Piaget's meta-theory. Piaget established structuralism as a methodology by defining three characteristics of structure: integrality, transformation, and self-adjustment.

Piaget's way of thinking was dialectic. This dialectic referred to any two separate and different systems, not necessarily opposed to each other, which could merge and produce a new system.

Finally, Piaget's research method was clinical interview, as well as the Geneva Discovery Technique. In terms of research methods, Piaget could be regarded as an early pioneer of qualitative research techniques.

In general, Piaget's theoretical construction method had two important characteristics. First, he emphasized that relative to structure, function would be the precondition, in the sense of logic; that is, function was the adaptation of the organism to the environment. Second, the ideological basis of Piaget's methodology is dialectics. His epistemology on the one hand criticizes rationalism, while on the other hand criticizes empiricism, finally forming a unique epistemological system. Piaget's Genetic Epistemology may provide guidance and inspiration on many “difficult problems” in the study of philosophy of mind nowadays, such as the “other-mind problem” and the “induction problem.”

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