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CN 11-1911/B

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    Reports of Empirical Studies
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    Reports of Empirical Studies
    Meaningful contingent attentional orienting effects: Spatial location-based inhibition and capture
    WANG Hui-Yuan, CHEN Ai-Rui, ZHANG Ming
    2021, 53 (2):  113-127.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00113
    Abstract ( 303 )   PDF (1342KB) ( 876 )   Peer Review Comments
    It is well-known that attentional orienting is contingent on the features of attentional settings, and in recent years, an increasing number of studies have supported that the meaningful contingency between cue and target stimuli modulates spatial attention. However, the spatial distribution of meaning-guided attentional orienting has not been thoroughly elucidated, especially in noncentral space. To address this issue, we examined the attentional orienting effects by establishing the meaningful contingency between the objects and how the attentional orienting was affected by the nature of the objects. Furthermore, the attentional distribution in the noncentral fields was analyzed.
    A modified spatial cueing paradigm was employed in the current study. In Experiment 1, cues were presented as strawberry or watermelon sketches, and targets were presented in red or green. The participants were asked to discriminate the location of the gap of the target square in different cue-target blocks. Experiment 2 was identical to Experiment 1, except that the cues were white Chinese characters, “红” (meaning red) or “绿” (meaning green), and the number of possible positions was increased from four to six. Experiment 3 was identical to Experiment 2, except that the cue and target stimuli were swapped, where cues were presented in red or green and targets were Chinese characters in white.
    The results indicated that the inhibition effects were found in the lower spatial field and the increasing capture effects were found in the left and right and the upper spatial fields when the sketches were adopted as cues in Experiment 1. In Experiment 2, it was found that there was a general trend of inhibition and capture effects from the lower to upper locations, but only part of the inhibition effects reached significance when the number of the positions was increased and the Chinese character cues were employed. Experiment 3 replicated the results obtained in Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 when color cues were utilized, but more robust inhibition and capture effects were obtained.
    The results of this study indicated that (1) the meaningful contingency between the objects guided the visuospatial attentional orienting, highlighting the inhibition and capture effects in different visuospatial fields; (2) the nature of the object modulated the meaningful-contingent attentional orienting, showing that the more vivid the object was, the more modulated it was, whereas the more abstract the object was, the less modulated it was; and (3) the meaningful-contingent attentional orienting was performed regularly in different visual fields, highlighting the location-based inhibition and capture from the lower to the upper fields.
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    Changes in the level of conflict trigger conflict adaptation
    ZHANG Mengke, LI Qing, YIN Shouhang, CHEN Antao
    2021, 53 (2):  128-138.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00128
    Abstract ( 213 )   PDF (435KB) ( 544 )   Peer Review Comments
    Conflict adaptation is an important phenomenon, as the interference effect on the current trials is reduced following incongruent versus congruent trials. Moreover, conflict adaptation effect (CAE) is thought to measure adaptive control on a trial-by-trial basis. There are two main theories explaining the mechanisms underlying CAE: conflict monitoring theory and adaptation by binding theory. However, both theories have not explicitly proposed a clear relationship between conflict strength and cognitive control adjustment. Previous studies have mostly focused on the type of conflict that triggers CAE, which reflected qualitative analysis. Hence, it remains unclear whether changes in the level of conflict of the same conflict type affect conflict adaptation.
    To address the above issue, the present study recruited 31 healthy participants with a mean age of 19.74 years to perform the variant of the letter flanker task without feature repetitions. Each stimulus was composed of “F/H/N/P” letter components and arranged such that a central target letter was flanked by symmetric arrays of two distracter letters. Experiment manipulated the level of conflict by parametrically varying the target-distracter compatibility. Flankers were 100% compatible with the central target for no-conflict condition (e.g., NNNNN), 50% for low-conflict condition (e.g., HNNNH), and 0% for high-conflict condition (e.g., HHNHH). Congruent stimuli were presented on 50% of trials with each incongruent condition occurring equally often on the remaining 50% of trials.
    Results showed that reaction times (RTs) increased with the number of incompatible flankers, suggesting a correlation with the level of conflict. Moreover, the interaction between previous trial congruency (no-conflict/low-conflict/high-conflict) and current trial congruency (no-conflict/low-conflict/high-conflict) was significant, which suggested that congruency of previous trials affected the interference effect of current trials. Follow-up analyses revealed that there were classic conflict adaptation phenomena between no-conflict and low-conflict, no-conflict and high-conflict, and low-conflict and high-conflict conditions. These results showed that conflict adaptation was also triggered by the level of conflict in addition to the occurrence of the conflict. Overall, the present study demonstrated that the conflict strength of previous trials was related to the cognitive control level of current trials, showing that larger conflict led to stronger cognitive control adjustment. In addition, the function of conflict-induced cognitive control may be realized by attention focusing.
    In conclusion, the present study emphasizes that changes in the level of conflict could trigger conflict adaptation that provides more direct supporting evidence for attention adjustment mechanism of conflict monitoring theory. Combining existing research, we infer that conflict monitoring was sensitive to the type and level of conflict and that it adjusted the level of cognitive control to facilitate conflict resolution.
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    The influence of feature integration and processing depth on metaphorical association between moral concepts and container space
    WANG Congxing, YANG Yuqing, XIONG Meng, YE Yiduo
    2021, 53 (2):  139-154.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00139
    Abstract ( 177 )   PDF (514KB) ( 411 )   Peer Review Comments
    How to understand abstract concepts has always been a research focus in cognitive linguistics. The viewpoint, which is represented by conceptual metaphor theory and perceptual symbol theory, demonstrates that abstract concepts are acquired and grasped through the experience of perceptual movement of the body, and through the understanding and construction of metaphor. As a typical abstract concept, the acquisition of a moral concept's meaning is also based on relevant experience. We propose and test a general hypothesis, which we call the metaphorical retrieval hypothesis (MRH). According to this hypothesis, metaphor mapping is bidirectional and feature integration and processing depth affect the retrieval of metaphor association. In Chinese, there are some psychological metaphors in moral concepts and container space, but there are no linguistic metaphors. Therefore, this metaphorical association is weak, which helps us to verify the metaphor retrieval hypothesis. To explore these questions, the metaphorical association between moral concepts and container space is investigated through three experiments in this study.
    All experiments were performed using Eprime 2.0. The Stroop paradigm was adopted in Experiment 1 to explore the metaphorical association between Chinese moral concepts and container space. Participants were asked to make moral judgments about words appearing on the inside and outside of the circle. The purpose of Experiment 2a was to investigate the mapping of the target domain to the source domain at low or deep levels of perceptual processing. A priming paradigm was used in which participants were asked to judge the position of the letters in one block task and the category of the letters in another block task, respectively, when a letter was shown on the inside or outside of the container, then the words appeared in the position of the letter and participants judged whether it was moral or immoral. Experiment 2b utilized the same paradigm as Experiment 2a, but the present order of the letter judgment and the moral judgment was reversed in order to explore the mapping of the source domain to the target domain at low and deep levels of perceptual processing depth. Experiment 3a used the same paradigm as experiment 1, during which participants were required to make moral judgments by pressing different buttons about the Chinese words based on whether it appeared inside or outside the circle. The aim of Experiment 3a was to explore the influence of the feature integrational degree on the orientation mapping from the target domain to the source domain. Similarly, to explore the influence of feature integrational degree on the orientation mapping from the source domain to the target domain, Experiment 3b adopted the same paradigm as Experiment 3a, but participants were asked to make container space judgments by pressing different buttons about the Chinese words based on whether it was moral or immoral.
    Repeated ANOVA analysis was used to analyze the data in the experiments. In Experiment 1, we collected the reaction time of lexical judgment of participants, and the results did not reveal a significant Stroop effect. In Experiment 2a, the reaction time of participants in the lexical judgment task was also recorded. The results showed that the effect of metaphorical consistency, which was incomplete, was only in the deeper perceptual processing depth. In Experiment 2b, the reaction time of participants in the letter judgment task was analyzed. Consistent with Experiment 2a, an incomplete metaphorical consistency effect was found only in the deeper perceptual processing depth. In Experiment 3a, the reaction time of participants in the lexical judgment task was collected, and a complete and strong metaphorical consistency effect was proved. Finally, in Experiment 3b, the reaction time of participants in the container space judgment task was recorded, and the results also suggested a complete and strong metaphorical consistency effect.
    In summary, the following conclusions were drawn from the three experiments. First, there was a psychological metaphor between moral concept and container space, which was represented as moral internally and immoral externally, respectively. The mapping between container space and moral concepts was bidirectional. Second, the metaphorical association and bidirectional mapping between container space and moral concepts were affected by the depth of perceptual processing and degree of feature integration. Finally, this study also provided evidence to support the Metaphorical Retrieval Hypothesis.
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    Shyness prediction and language style model construction of elementary school students
    LUO Fang, JIANG Liming, TIAN Xuetao, XIAO Mengge, MA Yanzhen, ZHANG Sheng
    2021, 53 (2):  155-169.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00155
    Abstract ( 266 )   PDF (533KB) ( 699 )   Peer Review Comments
    The present study aimed to explore a new method of measuring shyness based on 1306 elementary school students’ online writing texts. A supervised learning method was used to map students' labels (tagged by their results of scale) with their text features (extracted from online writing texts based on a psychological dictionary) to build a machine learning model. Key feature sets for different dimensions of shyness were built and a machine learning model was constructed based on the selected feature to achieve automatic prediction. The labels were obtained through “National School Children Shyness Scale” completed online by elementary students. The scale includes three dimensions of shyness: shy behavior, shy cognition and shy emotion. Students with Z-scores of each dimension over 1 were labeled as shy and others were labeled as normal. Students’ online writing texts were collected from "TeachGrid" (https://www.jiaokee.com/), an online learning platform wherein students writing texts.
    The dictionary applied in the present study was Textmind, a widely used Chinese psychological dictionary developed based on Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC). The dictionary was compiled mainly based on the corpus of adults. To ensure the validity of extracted features, we modified the original dictionary by expanding the categories and vocabulary with the real writing text of elementary students. The revised dictionary contained 118 categories.
    Features were extracted based on the revised dictionary. Chi-square algorithm was applied to identify the features that can distinguish between shy and normal groups to the greatest extent. Three sets of key features confirmed a significant lexical difference between shy and normal individuals. Among the selected features, some were shared by multiple dimensions reflecting the universal textual expression of shy individuals (e.g., The average number of words per sentence and the frequency of social words of shy individuals were less than that of normal counterparts.), and there were certain features reflected the unique characteristics of certain dimension (Perception words predicted shy behavior reflecting that high shy behavior individuals frequently felt being watched).
    Based on the selected features, Python 3.6.2 was used to construct the six prediction modes: Decision Tree, Random Forest, Support Vector Machine, Logistic Stitch Regression, K-Nearest Neighbor and Multilayer Perceptron. Overall, random forests have achieved the best results in the present study. The F1 score was 0.582, 0.552 and 0.545 for behavior cognition and emotion showing the feasibility of automatically predicting shyness characteristics of elementary school students based on textual language. The implication of word embedding, and deep learning models would improve the final prediction.
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    Healthy context paradox in the association between bullying victimization and externalizing problems: The mediating role of hostile attribution bias
    LIU Xiaowei, PAN Bin, CHEN Liang, LI Tengfei, JI Linqin, ZHANG Wenxin
    2021, 53 (2):  170-181.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00170
    Abstract ( 930 )   PDF (525KB) ( 1948 )   Peer Review Comments
    Bullying victimization represents the experience of being the target of aggression by one or several peers while not being able to defend oneself. This phenomenon has high prevalence among children and youth, with approximately 32% school-aged children across the world being bullied by their class- or schoolmates. Exposure to bullying victimization puts children at risk for a variety of social-psychological maladjustment, both internalizing and externalizing. However, the likelihood of victimization leading to maladjustment might vary across contexts. Recent research found that victims were more likely to be maladjusted in relatively healthier contexts (i.e. classrooms with low overall levels of victimization) -- a phenomenon that has been referred to as the "healthy context paradox (HCP)". Specifically, extant studies found that victimized children were more likely to exhibit internalizing problems in classrooms with low levels of victimization. However, little is known about whether classroom-level victimization moderates the link between bullying victimization and externalizing problems.
    More importantly, no empirical study has specifically examined the underlying mechanisms of HCP. According to the social information processing theory and existing studies, it is reasonable to assume that in relatively healthier contexts, victimized children are more likely to feel targeted by peers and develop a hostile attribution bias, which in turn leads to more externalizing problems. Therefore, hostile attribution bias, a tendency to attribute hostile intent to another person in ambiguous and even neutral situations, can be a potential mechanism explaining the paradoxical effect of classroom-level victimization on victim's externalizing behaviors.
    The present study examined whether classroom-level victimization moderated such victimization-externalizing associations, and further examined the mediating role of children’s hostile attribution bias in the associations. The sample comprised 1764 fifth- to eighth- graders (956 boys, Mage = 14.46) from 47 classes in 5 schools in Shandong, China. Bullying victimization was assessed via the Olweus Bully/Victim Questionnaire. Hostile attribution bias was measured through the Assessment of Intent Attributions for Ambiguous Provocation Situation. Externalizing problems were assessed on the Child Behavior Checklist-Youth Self-Report (CBCL-YSR). Classroom-level victimization was calculated by averaging individual bullying victimization scores for each classroom. All measures had good reliability and validity. Multi-level structural equation models were conducted to test the hypothesis.
    The results revealed that: (1) after controlling for sex, parental education, grade, and class size, classroom-level victimization moderated the association between bullying victimization and externalizing problems, such that the victimization-externalizing association was stronger in classrooms with a lower level of victimization compared with those in the classrooms with a higher level of victimization; and (2) low levels of classroom-level victimization strengthened victims' hostile attribution bias, which in turn was associated with externalizing problems.
    The present study has two major strengths. First, we extended the literature on the healthy context paradox by examining the role of classroom-level victimization in the victimization-externalizing association. In line with the hypothesis regarding the healthy context paradox, victimized children were more likely to exhibit externalizing problems in classrooms with a low level of victimization. Second, a mechanism regarding the healthy context paradox was identified, such that low classroom-level victimization had an impact on victims’ externalizing problems by increasing their hostile attribution bias. These findings highlight the importance of concentrating on specific victims and providing help for them in prevention/intervention practices. Specifically, to alleviate victims’ maladjustment, teachers and school counselors could take efforts to reduce their hostile attribution. Future studies would benefit from replicating these findings using a longitudinal design, and multiple informants to assess externalizing problems. Moreover, future studies need to test more possible explanations for the healthy context paradox.
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    The status quo and characteristics of Chinese mental health literacy
    JIANG Guangrong, LI Danyang, REN Zhihong, YAN Yupeng, WU Xinchun, ZHU Xu, YU Lixia, XIA Mian, LI Fenglan, WEI Hui, ZHANG Yan, ZHAO Chunxiao, ZHANG Lin
    2021, 53 (2):  182-198.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00182
    Abstract ( 464 )   PDF (983KB) ( 1557 )   Peer Review Comments
    Based on a new conceptual frame of mental health literacy (MHL), which refers to two structural dimensions including “coping with mental illness-mental health promotion” and “self-others” and three aspects including knowledge, attitude, and behavior tendency, a systematic nationwide sampling survey was conducted for the purpose of understanding the mental health literacy profile of the Chinese. This study further explored the influences of four group variables (geographical and gross domestic product (GDP) distribution, basic demographic variables, socio-economic status, and mental health background) on mental health literacy. Another aim of this study was to provide some strategies for improving mental health literacy more effectively.The Chinese Mental Health Literacy Questionnaire and Basic Background Information Questionnaire were used to assess the mental health literacy levels of the Chinese and their influencing factors. The Chinese Mental Health Literacy Questionnaire contains six sub-scales (knowledge and concepts related to mental health, knowledge and concepts related to mental illness, attitudes and behavior tendency to maintain and promote one’s mental health, attitudes and behavior tendency to cope with one's mental illness, attitudes and behavior tendency to maintain and promote the mental health of others, and attitudes and behavior tendency to cope with the mental illness of others). The questionnaires were administered to 8866 Chinese adults in nine cities (Beijing, Wuhan, Chengdu, Lishui, Kaifeng, Guilin, Zhangye, Baoding, and Linfen), which covered the well-developed, developing, and less-developed regions in China.
    With a balanced development considering geographical and GDP distribution, the results indicated that the mental health literacy levels among adults in different cities were low to moderate. Their influences on mental health literacy were small but significant with respect to geographical distribution, gender, age, familiarity with professional mental health service, and the frequency of contact with psychiatric patients. Regarding the structure of mental health literacy, the results of the development of national mental health literacy demonstrated that mental health maintenance and promotion literacy was better than mental illness coping literacy, and self-help literacy was better than helping others literacy. The survey found that the knowledge had relatively high individual differences, whereas attitudes and behaviors had relatively low individual differences concerning the contents of the mental health literacy. In addition, among the social influencing factors of mental health literacy this research tested, the socio-economic status was the most effective one, which showed large effect size in the knowledge and small to medium effect size in the attitudes and behavior tendency.
    These findings implicate that (1) improving mental health literacy is an arduous task; (2) improving the literacy of coping with mental illness should be the focus and breakthrough point of the current practice of mental health literacy promotion; (3) socio-ecological perspective should be adopted when developing a mental health literacy promotion policy; and (4) the mechanism of the attitude and behavior tendency change needs to be explored and clarified.
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    The effects of employee mindfulness on spouse family satisfaction and work engagement
    NI Dan, LIU Chenlin, ZHENG Xiaoming
    2021, 53 (2):  199-214.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00199
    Abstract ( 231 )   PDF (545KB) ( 583 )   Peer Review Comments
    Based on conservation of resources (COR) theory, this paper examines how and when employee mindfulness influences spouse family satisfaction and work engagement. It proposes that employee mindfulness as an important resource is positively related to spouse family satisfaction and work engagement by strategic emotional connecting display. Meanwhile, COR theory suggests that threats to resources would urge individuals to protect rather than consume the remaining resources. Thus, this study considers spouse family negative emotional expression as a moderator in the relationship between employee mindfulness and employee strategic emotional connecting display.
    We collected data from front-line employees in a commercial bank in Northern China and their spouses by experience sampling methodology. At Time 1 (one week before the start of the daily surveys), we invited 129 front-line employees to offer demographic information. We also asked their spouses to provide demographic information and rate the variable at the between-person level (i.e., family negative emotional expression). During 10 workdays, we invited participants to rate the variables at the within-person level. At 9 a.m., spouses received a link to assess their work engagement. At 8:30 p.m., employees and their spouses received a link respectively. Employees rated their mindfulness and strategic emotional connecting display, and spouses were asked to rate their family satisfaction. The final valid sample consisted of 114 employees and 114 their spouses. Mplus 8.0 and the bootstrap technique were used to test our hypotheses.As hypothesized, our study found that employee mindfulness was positively and significantly related to employee strategic emotional connecting display. Employee strategic emotional connecting display was positively and significantly associated with spouse family satisfaction and work engagement in the next morning. Additionally, employee strategic emotional connecting display mediated the effects of employee mindfulness on spouse family satisfaction and spouse work engagement in the next morning. Moreover, spouse family negative emotional expression moderated the positive relationship between employee mindfulness and employee strategic emotional connecting display. That is, when spouse family negative emotional expression was higher rather than lower, the positive relationship between employee mindfulness and employee strategic emotional connecting display was weakened. The moderated mediation model was also supported such that the indirect effects of employee mindfulness on spouse outcomes (i.e., family satisfaction and work engagement in the next morning) via employee strategic emotional connecting display were weakened when spouse family negative emotional expression was higher rather than lower.
    This study contributes to the mindfulness literature in multiple ways. First, our study enriches the interpersonal effects of mindfulness literature and advances research on the work-family interface by linking employee mindfulness to spouse work and family outcomes. Second, this study opens the “black box” between employee mindfulness and spouse outcomes by exploring the mediating mechanism of strategic emotional connecting display. This study also extends the antecedent of strategic emotional connecting display and enriches the nomological network of this construct. Third, this study explores the moderating role of spouse family negative emotional expression, which responds to the call of the previous studies and enhances our understanding of the boundary conditions of the effects of employee mindfulness. Finally, by adopting experience sampling methodology, this study can obtain a large number of ecological data sets to capture the dynamic nature of relationships in the model. In addition to the theoretical contributions, this study also provides useful guidance for management practice.
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    Effects of customer empowering behaviors on employees’ career growth: Perspective of self-determination theory
    GUO Gongxing, CHENG Bao
    2021, 53 (2):  215-228.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00215
    Abstract ( 218 )   PDF (583KB) ( 567 )   Peer Review Comments
    Customer empowering behaviors, an emerging research topic in the fields of service management and organizational behavior, refer to employees’ perceptions of certain behaviors of customers or certain conditions created by customers in the service encounter contexts that make them feel motivated and competent to make independent decisions for achieving the desired service objects in the process of providing services. Although this concept originally comes from empowerment, prior research on empowerment mainly focused on organizations (or leaders) empowering employees (e.g., empowering supervision, leadership empowerment behavior, employee empowerment, or employee psychological empowerment) and organizations empowering customers (e.g., customer empowerment or customer psychological empowerment), customers empowerment of employees (i.e., customer empowering behaviors) was given little attention.
    Therefore, this study focuses on the relatively new concept of customer empowering behaviors and aims to investigate their effects on the career growth of frontline service employees. To unravel the linking mechanisms and boundary conditions of the relationship between customer empowering behaviors and employees’ career growth, we introduce organization-based self-esteem as a mediator and career centrality as a moderator, respectively, from the perspective of self-determination theory. We conducted a three-wave research design and achieved 245 valid samples from the frontline service employees of six garment sales enterprises in Guangzhou and Shantou cities of Guangdong Province.
    Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to examine the discriminant validity of key variables (i.e., customer empowering behaviors, organization-based self-esteem, career centrality, and career growth); the results yielded good distinctiveness. Then, we employed hierarchical multiple regression analyses and bootstrapping analyses to test the hypotheses. The results indicated the following: (1) customer empowering behaviors have a significant positive impact on employees’ career growth; (2) organization-based self-esteem plays a mediating role in the relationship between customer empowering behaviors and employees’ career growth; (3) career centrality plays a moderating role in the relationship between customer empowering behaviors and organization-based self-esteem; (5) career centrality further moderates the indirect effect of customer empowering behaviors on employees’ career growth via organization-based self-esteem.
    This study offers several theoretical and practical implications. First, it explores the impact of customer empowering behaviors on employees’ career outcomes (i.e., career growth) of frontline service employees. This is conducive to a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the consequences of customer empowering behaviors and provides new empirical evidence for expanding and enriching the research on customer empowering behaviors. Second, from the perspective of self-determination theory, this study confirms the mediating role of organization-based self-esteem and the moderating role of career centrality on the “customer empowering behaviors-career growth” connection, which reveals the “black box” and the boundary condition of the effects of customer empowering behaviors on employees. In practice, this study can help service enterprises and their managers understand the connotation and the effects of customer empowering behaviors more accurately, to improve their insight into the possible positive effects of these actions, and to strengthen their positive effects, such as promoting organization-based self-esteem and the career growth of their employees.
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