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Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, Vol. 51 Issue (6) : 714-723     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00714
Reports of Empirical Studies |
The effects of different power relations on negation bias of negative descriptions
LI Ting1,WEI Xiaoping4,ZHENG Zixin1,YI Xiangjie1,ZHAO Xueru5,HE Xianyou1,2,3()
1 School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
2 Center for Studies of Psychological Application, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
3 Guangdong Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Cognitive Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
4 Poly Group, Guangzhou 510220, China
5 Research Institute for Basic Education Professionals, Beijing Institute of Education, Beijing 100044, China
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Abstract  

Negation is an important language expression that can be used to euphemistically express a speaker's opinions and wishes. Due to the restriction of realistic situational factors, when an individual uses negative statements to describe behaviors that are inconsistent with experience or expectation, that is called negation bias. China has a high power distance culture between individuals, and people in China pay more respect to authority. The power difference makes individual expression different. High-power individuals show low empathy due to having control of more resources and having less dependence on others, and they tend to express themselves directly in communication. Individuals in low-power positions have needs, and they deal with the difference in power when meeting high-power individuals by using euphemisms of negative expression to maintain communication. Differences in negation used in various power relations are untested, and this study aims to explore these differences through experimental design.

In this study, three experiments were used to explore the influence of different power relations on negative negation bias. Experiment 1 used the fixed reaction paradigm: 3 (power relations: high vs low/ low vs high/ no difference) ×2 (words type: affirmative/negative) within subject design, and it investigate subjects’ choice of affirmative and negative sentences. Experiment 2 used the subjective evaluation: 3 (power relations: high vs low/ low vs high/ no difference) ×2 (words type: affirmative/negative) within subject design, and it investigated the degree of suitability for negation in different power relations. In experiment 3, the free reaction paradigm was adopted, calculating the frequency of negation to investigate the influence of different power relations on negative bias

Results show that: (1) Power relationships will influence the use of negation sentences. When low-power individuals evaluate high-power individuals, subjects tend to use negation and believe that this form of expression is more suitable, causing negation bias to appear; negation bias does not appear in conditions when high-power individuals evaluate low-power individuals or when no power difference exists. (2) When no power difference exists, social distance will influence the use of negation sentences; the greater the social distance, the more frequently negative sentences are used.

Keywords power relationship      negation bias      fixed reaction paradigm      free reaction paradigm     
ZTFLH:  B849:C91  
  B842  
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Corresponding Authors: Xianyou HE     E-mail: xianyouhe@163.com
Issue Date: 25 April 2019
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LI Ting
WEI Xiaoping
ZHENG Zixin
YI Xiangjie
ZHAO Xueru
HE Xianyou
Cite this article:   
LI Ting,WEI Xiaoping,ZHENG Zixin, et al. The effects of different power relations on negation bias of negative descriptions[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2019, 51(6): 714-723.
URL:  
http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00714     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2019/V51/I6/714
  
反应 条件类型
权力高对低 权力低对高 权力平级
肯定 20.62 ± 3.19 11.79 ± 2.76 15.91 ± 2.31
否定 6.37 ± 3.19 15.21 ± 2.76 11.09 ± 2.31
  
反应 条件类型
权力高对低 权力低对高 权力平级
肯定 1333 ± 298 1428 ± 290 1428 ± 298
否定 1408 ± 350 1410 ± 314 1454 ± 322
  
反应 条件类型
权力高对低 权力低对高 权力平级
肯定 5.25 ± 0.88 3.98 ± 1.04 4.23 ± 0.76
否定 3.97 ± 1.22 4.85 ± 1.27 4.35 ± 1.08
  
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