A large number of studies have revealed that memories not only easily fade away but also can occasionally be changed spontaneously; memory errors are everywhere, reminding us that memories are not an exact copy of the experienced events. The influences of the various types of stimulus and emotional states on false memories were first studied by using the classical DRM paradigm. Furthermore, we investigated the influence of time stress on mood-congruent false memories.
The first experiment was performed to identify the influences of different emotional stimuli on false memories under time pressure. The hybrid design method was used, namely, 2 (time stress: stress group and control group) × 3 (word titer: positive word, negative word, and neutral word). The between-subject variable was time pressure, the within-subject variable was word titer, and the dependent variable was the number of the false recognitions of the critical lures. The results of experiment 1 showed that the main effect was remarkable under time stress, as was the valence of words. The interaction between the time stress and valence of words was significant. The results demonstrated that the number of false recognitions for the subjects in the stress group with respect to the negative critical lures was much higher than were those of the neutral and positive ones.
The second experiment sought to uncover the influences of different emotional states on the false memory under time pressure. The design method of 2 (time stress: stress group and control group) × 3 (emotion titer: positive emotion group, negative emotion group, and neutral group) was used, and the dependent variable was the number of the false recognitions of the critical lures. The results of experiment 2 showed that the main effect was marginally significant under the time stress, and the emotion was significant. The interaction between time stress and emotion was significant. The results revealed that the false recognition for the subjects in the positive emotion group with respect to the critical lures had the largest number.
The third experiment utilized the hybrid design method of 2 (time stress: stress group and control group) × 4 (mood type: positive mood-congruency, negative mood-congruency, positive mood-inconsistency, and negative mood-inconsistency) to investigate the influences of time pressure on mood-congruent false memories, demonstrating that both the pressure group and the control group subjects showed a significant mood-congruent false memory. The results of experiment 3 showed that the number of false recognitions with respect to the mood-congruency for the subjects in the stress group and the control group were both higher than that of the mood-inconsistency, and the stress group had a larger number of false recognitions than did the control group under the condition of mood-congruency.
The results of three experiments show that time pressure has a positive effect on false memories and further promotes negative mood-consistency false memories. Individual negative emotions can undermine the generation of false memories under time pressure.
Creativity has been previously defined as a behavior or product that is both novel and appropriately useful. It is a complex concept with many different processes, indicating that some of these processes require heavy executive processing. Executive function is the basic ability of cognitive processes to control one’s thoughts and behaviors, which is related to the prefrontal cortex, and it is mainly composed of three components: mental set transformation, inhibitory control, and working memory updating. Previous studies examining the relationship between cognitive inhibition and creative thinking have obtained inconsistent results. The following three hypotheses can be formulated regarding the relationship between cognitive inhibition and creative thinking. Creative thought has been variably associated with focused attention and effective inhibition control, disinhibition, and defocused attention or a flexible adaption of inhibition control.
The aim of present study was to investigate the relationship between cognitive inhibition and creative thinking using behavioral and physiological indexes, and the effects of time pressure on the relationship between cognitive inhibition and creative thinking. In this study, undergraduate students with different divergent thinking levels were asked to perform the Stroop task. In Experiment 1, a Stroop color naming task was carried out to test participants’ cognitive inhibitory ability. In Experiment 2, a more flexible Stroop word-color naming task was adopted and the physiological data was recorded to further investigate the relationship between cognitive inhibition and creative thinking, and time pressure situation was applied concerning reaction time. When participants responded after more than 550 ms, feedback of “too late” appeared on the display.
The results found that in Experiment 1, the highly creative persons showed smaller interference effect than did less creative persons; in Experiment 2, there was a significant time pressure condition × group × stimulus congruence interaction. The interference effect between the condition of time pressure and no time pressure of the highly creative persons was smaller than that of the less creative persons. Moreover, the time pressure condition × group interaction reached significance; the less creative persons showed significantly greater increases in skin conductance responses (SCRs) under the time pressure condition than in the no time pressure condition, but there was no significant difference for SCRs between the condition of time pressure and no time pressure of the highly creative persons. Furthermore, the highly creative persons exhibited significantly greater increases in SCRs under the incongruent condition in color naming task than in the congruent condition; however, they showed no significance between the congruent and incongruent conditions in the word naming task. There was no significant difference in SCRs between the congruent and incongruent in word and color naming tasks of the less creative persons.
The above results indicated that highly creative persons showed stronger cognitive inhibitory ability than did less creative persons; they could effectively suppress dominant but irrelevant response tendencies. Moreover, time pressure played a moderate role in the relationship between cognitive inhibition and creative thinking. Highly creative persons could focus on task-related information and inhibit task-unrelated information, adjust their attention to adapt to different time pressure task situations, and inhibit the interference characteristics. The highly creative persons showed variability in autonomic arousal levels in different conditions; the less creative were essentially fixed in a state of cognitive inhibition. The results agree with the hypothesis of adaptive cognitive inhibition of creative thinking.
It was argued that thinking is characterized by the action of two distinctive cognitive systems, namely, intuitive (Type 1) processing and analytic (Type 2) processing. Intuitive processing is generally described as rapid, automatic, unconscious, and effortless, whereas analytic processing appears to be slow, controlled, conscious, and effortful. Decades of research have established that human judgment is often predisposed to rapid, intuitive processing. However, recent research has indicated that intuitive processing can support reasoning and even enhance it under certain conditions. Recent findings have suggested that intuitive processing should be as affected by cognitive resources and consciousness as analytic processing. However, intuitive and analytic processing will interfere with one another through a series of classical paradigms in which the results of two distinctive cognitive systems are in conflict. To avoid this interference, the present study applied the Chinese character chunking decomposition task, predicting that intuitive processing positively affect problem solving, but that it would disappear under conditions wherein cognitive resources were extremely scarce.
In the present research, we first drew up the Chinese character chunking decomposition task as materials, and participants were asked to judge whether the target character (e.g., “又”) was a component of the original character (e.g., “支”). Then, the formal experiment was organized into a 2 × 2 × 2 within-subject design. The first variable was the duration time of the target character, consisting of 2 levels: 24 ms and 200 ms; the second variable was the material category, consisting of 2 levels: intuitive material and analytic material; and the third variable was the inclusion relation, consisting of 2 levels: inclusion and exclusion. The inclusion condition meant that the target character was a component of the original character, whereas the exclusion condition denoted that the target character was not a component of the original character.
The results indicated that participants showed a lower rate of accuracy and a longer response time on analytic materials than on intuitive ones. However, no difference was observed between the two types of materials in terms of response time and accuracy when the duration time of the target character was 24 ms, and the inclusion relation was inclusion. Meanwhile, the accuracy scores of intuitive and analytic processing were approximately 0.5 at the guessing level. Signal detection analysis showed that the results under the unconsciousness condition were not influenced by the response bias.
The results proved that intuitive processing was rapid and analytic processing was slow. As predicted, intuitive processing positively affects the problem solving process. In addition, the experiment showed that intuitive processing was effortful and relied on cognitive resources, which was inconsistent with prototypical dual-process theories. Therefore, the positive effect would disappear when the cognitive resources were below demand.
Studies have shown that choline is a substance that is closely related to memory. Previous studies focused on the effect of cholinergic drugs on explicit memory, and those results revealed that explicit memory is sensitive to most cholinergic drugs. However, relatively few studies have discussed the effect of cholinergic drugs on implicit memory. Furthermore, whether the effect of cholinergic drugs on implicit memory is consistent with explicit memory is still uncertain.
The effect of cholinergic drugs on memory was investigated by drawing a comparison between the participants with nicotine condition and those without. We used lexical decision and lexical recognition tasks to test implicit and explicit memory, respectively. In experiment 1, 30 subjects participated in two occasions, 2 days apart. They participated once in memory tasks after receiving 12 mg/ml body weight of nicotine and once after receiving 0 mg/ml placebo. Experiment 2 examined whether receiving treatment before encoding or before the retrieval phase would moderate the cholinergic effect in explicit and implicit memory. In experiment 2, 19 subjects participated in two experimental occasions, 2 days apart, as follows: after receiving 12 mg/ml body weight of nicotine before the encoding phase; after receiving nicotine before the retrieval phase. In addition, we adopted event-related potential (ERP) technology to observe the affected ERPs. Participants were instructed to response to corresponding items by pressing keyboard. The Reaction Time and Accuracy data on retrieval phase of the two memory tasks were recorded and analyzed.
Implicit and explicit memory performance declined under nicotine condition in both experiments. It reflected that receiving nicotine not only impacted explicit memory but also implicit memory. Furthermore, nicotine effects are moderated by the level of processing at the encoding phase. Such impact only occurred on the deep processing level. Moreover, memory retrieval after receiving nicotine was affected. These effects were more remarkable on implicit memory retrieval than on explicit memory. The results of ERP data also showed that related ERPs of memory were affected by nicotine.
In conclusion, results from the current study revealed that effects of cholinergic drugs were similar on implicit and explicit memory. The rest of the segregated results might have been due to the discrepancy of memory tasks rather than the differences in physiological mechanisms of the two memory types. Implicit memory and explicit memory might not belong to two extremely independent memory systems, because there are some covariant effects existing between them.
Music and language are unique to the human beings. It has been suggested that music and language have a common origin as an emotional protolanguage. The development of socialisation has resulted in the development of language into a symbolic communication system with explicit semantics. By contrast, music has become an important means of emotional expression. However, whether language with explicit semantics affects the emotional processing of music remains uncertain. Given that songs contain melody and lyrics, previous behavioural studies have focused on songs to analyse the influence of lyrics on the processing of musical emotion. However, several studies have also shown the influence of lyrics, although such findings are relatively contradictory.
Thus, the current study used behavioural and electrophysiological measurements to investigate the impact of lyrics on the processing of musical emotion. Experiment 1 analysed whether the emotional connotations in music with and without lyrics could be perceived by listeners at the behavioural level. Experiment 2 further investigated whether there are different neural responses to emotions conveyed by melodies with and without lyrics.
A cross-modal affective priming paradigm was used in Experiments 1 and 2, in which musical excerpts served as the prime and emotional faces as target. To avoidthe impact of familiarity, 120 musical stimuli were selected from European opera. Each was sung by a vocalist with and without lyrics, thereby resulting in 240 musical stimuli in two versions as potential prime stimuli. A total of 160 facial expressions affectively congruent or incongruent with the preceding musical stimuli were selected as potential target stimuli. Three pre-tests were conducted to ensure the validity of the stimuli. Eventually, 60 musical stimuli for each music version were selected as the prime stimuli, whilst 120 images were used as the target stimuli, thereby resulting in 240 music-image pairs. To ensure that each stimulus appears only once for each participant, two lists were prepared using a Latin square design. Each prime and target was presented in either the congruent or incongruent condition within each list. Thus, each list comprised 120 trials, with 30 trials in each condition. During the experiment, the two lists were equally distributed across the participants. A total of 40 healthy adults participated in Experiment 1. They were asked to judge as quickly and accurately as possible whether the emotion of the target was happy or sad. The accuracy and reaction time were collected. Meanwhile, 20 healthy adults participated in Experiment 2. They were required to judge whether the emotion between music and image was congruent or incongruent whilst their EEG waveforms were recorded. ERPs were analysed and compared between conditions at the time windows of 250~450 ms and 500~700 ms after the onset of the target.
The Experiment 1 results showed that when faces were primed by music either with or without lyrics, the participants responded faster and more accurately under affectively congruent condition compared with affectively incongruent condition. This finding indicated that the emotional connotations in music with and without lyrics could both be perceived. The ERP results in Experiment 2 showed that distinct neural mechanisms were activated by music with and without lyrics. Specifically, when faces were primed by music without lyrics, a larger N400 was elicited in response to affectively incongruent pairs than to affectively congruent pairs at the time window of 250~450 ms. However, when faces were primed by music with lyrics, a more positive LPC was observed in response to the affectively incongruent pairs than to the affectively congruent pairs at 500~700 ms. This finding confirms the results of Experiment 1, thereby suggesting that the emotion conveyed by music with and without lyrics could be perceived by the listeners. Moreover, the emotional processing between music with and without lyrics differs in the time course of neural processing. That is, the emotional processing of music with lyrics lagged behind that of music without lyrics.
In conclusion, the present results suggest that the neural processing of emotional connotations in music without lyrics preceded that of music with lyrics, although the emotional connotations conveyed by music with and without lyrics could both be perceived. These findings also supported theory of musical philosophy, which suggests that music without lyrics can express emotion more immediately and more directly than music with lyrics owing to the lack of “translation” from the propositional system. On the other hand, considering that lyrics influenced the time course of emotional processing in music with lyrics, our results also provide evidence that the emotional processing of music and language may share neural resources to some extent.
Researches on helping behaviors have always been a hot topic. Especially nowadays, helping others has become a risk-taking decision-making. Helping behavior is defined as an action that benefits others without return. In strange situations, the face, as the only clue to communicate or obtain information from, can affect people’s behaviors to a great extent. However, previous studies on helping behaviors did not take this issue into account, this study intended to combine situational factors and individual factors to comprehensively explore their impact on helping behaviors and to further investigate the moderating role of attachment security in the relationship between facial trustworthiness and helping behaviors.
This study included two experiments. Experiment 1 explored the effect of the characteristics of helpers’ trait attachment and facial trustworthiness by using a mixed experimental design of 2 (facial trustworthiness: high/low) × 3 (attachment type: security/anxiety/avoidance). Experiment 2 used a 2 (facial trustworthiness: high/low) × 2 (state-security attachment priming: yes/no) to investigate whether priming security attachment had safe influence as trait security attachment. During both experiments, subjects were presented randomly with faces of different facial trustworthiness. Participants selected their willingness to help others and donate money. The amount of money they donated represented their helping behaviors. These two indices were selected as dependent variables. A 7-point scale was used to measure help-willingness. The higher the score, the stronger of the willingness to help the seeker of participants. The amount of donation was between 0-100. The larger the number of donation, the more they were willing to contribute.
This study used SPSS 20.0 to analyze the data of the experiment, and the results verified the research hypotheses. The results of experiment 1 showed that there was a significant interaction between facial trustworthiness and the types of helpers’ attachment. The simple effect analysis showed that there were significant differences in the willingness and people’s behaviors with security attachments in both of the two facial trustworthiness, the willingness and money they input in high-facial trustworthiness were significantly higher than those in low-facial trustworthiness situation. There were also significant differences in the willingness and behaviors between low and high facial trustworthiness both anxious individuals and avoidance individuals. The willingness and behaviors to help in high-facial trustworthiness situation were significantly higher than those in low-facial trustworthiness situation. The results of experiment 2 on willingness and behaviors showed that there was a significant different in the interaction between facial trustworthiness and the types of helpers’ attachment. The simple effect analysis showed that there was a significant difference between the two facial trustworthiness situations for individuals of security attachment and a significant difference between the two facial trustworthiness situations for individuals of insecurity attachment, the willingness and helping behaviors in the high facial trustworthiness situation was higher significantly than low-facial trustworthiness situation. The different value in willingness and behavior in both experiment 1and experiment 2 under two facial trustworthiness situations for individuals of security attachment were significantly smaller than those for individuals of insecure attachment, indicating that attachment security to some extent had a regulatory role, it could buffer the risk-aided behavior to bring down.
This study has some significance. First of all, this study incorporated facial trustworthiness into helping behaviors, which provided a new way of researches of helping behaviors. Looking from the perspective of the face helped to distinguish the unfamiliar environment’s helping behaviors from the familiar environments. Second, the study found that individuals’ attachment types and the seeker’s face trustworthiness affects the helping behavior, indicating that the help-taking behaviors were the result of multiple factors, to remind the public to combine the help-seeking environment objectively and justly to see others’ behaviors. The media should also adopt a pragmatic attitude towards reports of people’s help behaviors so as to avoid reporting off the factual basis.
Abstract It has been well documented that attentional capture is contingent on the features of attentional control settings; however, whether and how the semantic contingency between cue and target stimuli modulates spatial attention is poorly understood. Here, we tested this question with strict experiment designs by focusing on pure contingent attentional capture for the semantic meaning of feature attributes or semantic concept cues, and we then examined the nature of attentional control in human visual spatial performance.
A modified spatial cuing paradigm was employed in the current study. In Experiment 1, cues presented in red or green and targets were white Chinese characters “红” (meaning red) or “绿” (meaning green). We had participants discriminate the location of the gap of the target square in different cue-target blocks. Experiments 2 and 3 were identical to Experiment 1, except that in Experiment 2, cue property and target character were randomized, and the task was to discriminate the target as “红” or “绿”; Experiment 3 swapped the cue and target stimuli, where cues were Chinese characters in white and targets were presented in red or green.
The results showed that semantically congruent color cues exclusively captured attention when participants searched for a specific semantic meaning in Experiment 1. In contrast, cuing effects were observed in Experiment 2 in the two-color cue conditions when participants discriminated two Chinese characters, and the effects were independent of the semantic congruency of cue and target. Experiment 3 replicated the results in Experiment 1; cues with semantically congruent Chinese characters captured attention only when participants were required to search for a specific color.
It is concluded that (1) the effects of semantic attentional capture were modulated by attentional control setting, consistent with a contingent attentional orienting hypothesis; (2) the perceptional representation of stimuli activated by semantic concept modulated the processing of stimuli on the location of spatial attention, but the magnitude of the effect decreased; (3) the congruent semantic representation was activated by attentional control setting for perceptional feature and subsequently modulated the allocation of attention; and (4) activation of semantic concept and perceptional representation may be bidirectional and resemble each other in traits of attention shift guidance.
Aging is a complex process of physical, psychological and social changes. With the advent of the era of China’s aging, the physical and mental health of the elderly has drawn more and more attention by our society. Aging is set of unavoidable and irreversible processes, but it is possible to age gracefully. Successful aging has always been an important subject in positive psychology. It focuses on the development of the mental health of the elderly.
Based on the theory of positive psychology, the current study investigated the mediating effects of hope and loneliness on the relationship between perceived social support and social well-being in the elderly via a questionnaire survey. In addition, the indirect effect model of hope was verified to establish the relationship model among these three variables and to explore the internal mechanism that enhances the development of psychological well-being among the elderly.
The findings indicate the following: (1) social support, hope, and loneliness are all related to social well-being; (2) social support plays a vital role in social well-being among the elderly; (3) hope plays a partial mediating role in the relationship between social support and social well-being; (4) loneliness plays a partial mediating role in the relationship between social support and social well-being; and (5) hope and loneliness play part of the mediating role of the multiple mediating effects that social support affect social well-being.
The current study validates the impact of social support on social well-being and the partially mediating roles of hope and loneliness. Accordingly, this study enriches positive psychology research and can ease the psychological health of the elderly to provide an effective empirical basis, and it provides suggestions for the well-being education of the elderly. The study is beneficial to improving the mental health of the elderly in practice, to improve the awareness of the elderly for seeking social support, and promote the good mentality of elderly training. In addition, the study is helpful to reduce the negative experience of loneliness, enhance their hope for future life, and so improve the social well-being of older people.
Online gaming is very popular among college students in China. Whereas low to moderate levels of online gaming may be entertaining and provide opportunities to interact with other players online, excessive gaming can lead to online gaming addiction and associated problems such as depression and anxiety. Prior studies have investigated the risk for online gaming addiction in terms of the ecological context in which addiction occurs. The present study has taken a further step by focusing on students’ perceptions of relative deprivation as a macrosystem influence on online gaming addiction. According to the cognitive-behavior model of Pathological Internet Use (PIU), the perception of relative deprivation may increase the risk for online gaming addiction by inducing negative thoughts and emotions or by increasing escape motivation. Importantly, the effect of relative deprivation may be mediated by maladaptive cognition; that is, the perception of relative deprivation may lead to maladaptive cognition, which in turn would predict online gaming addiction. Furthermore, individual differences in mindset may moderate this mediation process, in that entity theorists may be more vulnerable to maladaptive cognition than incremental theorists. In sum, we proposed a moderated mediation model to account for online gaming addiction. Specifically, we tested the relationship between relative deprivation and online gaming addiction, the mediating effect of maladaptive cognition, and the moderating effect of mindset, in a sample of college students.
The participants of this study were 1,008 college students (mean age = 19.03 years, SD = 0.97 year; 795 males, 213 females) who had experience in online game playing. Their average time gaming was 1.74 hours (SD = 2.21 hours) per day in the past half year. The participants completed a battery of questionnaires, including the Financial Relative Deprivation Questionnaire, Maladaptive Cognitions Scale, Implicit Person Theory Measure, and Internet Gaming Disorder Scale.
The proposed moderated mediation model was tested using regression analysis and the PROCESS macro. Previous studies have suggested that online gaming addiction may differ by gender and age. Hence, the effects of gender and age were controlled in all analyses. Results showed that: (1) Relative deprivation positively predicted online gaming addiction in college students. (2) Maladaptive cognition partially mediated this association. (3) This mediating effect was moderated by student mindset, in that it was stronger for students who were entity theorists than for those who were incremental theorists.
The present study is the first to demonstrate the detrimental impact of perceived relative deprivation and the moderated mediation effect of maladaptive cognition and mindset on online gaming addiction. Our findings provide further evidence of the role of ecological context in the risk for online gaming disorder. They also have potential applied value with regard to online gaming addiction in college students. Because incremental theory may be more helpful than entity theory for online gaming addicts, and because incremental theory can be learned through training, understanding students’ self-theories can inform the development of prevention and intervention programs for online gaming addiction.
Although there are many studies focusing on competitive advertising, brand advertising, category advertising, advertising clutter, and advertising interference, there has been little research focusing on strong brands competition. The extent literature focuses on Product Crisis Spillover Effect, Umbrella Branding Spillover Effect, Advertising Spillover Effect, and Corporate Social Responsibility Reputation Spillover Effect. However, what is the spillover effect for competition taking place among strong brands on weak brands? What will happen to the weak brands when two strong brands competing in the same category? Is it explained by the spillover effect theory? And what is the mechanism? These are a series of interesting questions that have both theoretical and practical value.
A total of 855 college students (mean age = 22.6 years, SD = 3.4 years) participated in the experiments. First, advertising repetition and advertising length were used as the stimuli indicating competition strength, and perceived competition was used to represent competition strength. Then, the following focus question was investigated: will there be spillover effect on weak brands when two strong brands competing in the same category? Finally, the moderating role of product involvement and product attribute similarity for the main effect was tested. Experimental methods were adopted in these studies and fictitious brands were used to test the research hypotheses.
The results of the present study indicates that, advertising repetition is closely related to perceived competition, and the more repetitions of two brand advertisements, the higher the competition level perceived by the subjects is, which indicated that advertising repetition can be used as a specific means of operating the advertising competition. However, the advertisement length has no effect on the perceived competition. Strong brand advertising competition has a spillover effect on weak brands. With the increase in the competition strength of strong brand advertising, the spillover effect on weak brands has also increased accordingly. The degree of product involvement and similarity of product attributes have a moderating effect on the main effect, and the lower product involvement and the higher similarity of product attributes tended to produce the greater spillover effect.
The current study enriches the existing spillover theory and discovered the spillover effect of strong brand advertising competition within the same category on weak brands for the first time. At the same time, the study found that the product involvement and product attribute similarities have a moderating effect on the spillover effect. The conclusions of the research can be used to guide advertising practice and brand owners and market managers in different market positions.
The tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) refers to when a speaker seems to have accessed a word’s meaning adequately but is unable to complete the sound form or phonological label of the word. Both diary studies that document TOT episodes and experimental methods designed to generate TOT have demonstrated that older adults experience more TOT than young or middle-aged adults. With regard to the aging mechanism, the inhibition deficit theory supposed that older adults are more likely than young adults to fail to retrieve the words due to the activation the irrelevant information, which interfere with the retrieval of the target name. The contents of inhibition include limiting access to irrelevant information (access), deleting information that is no longer relevant (deletion), and restraining the production of dominant responses (restrain). This study consisted of two experimental tasks, which were designed to explore the roles of access and deletion functions respectively in TOT among the elderly.
In experiment 1, a 2 (age group: old and young) × 2 (interferential condition: with/without interference) mixed design was adopted to examine the role of access function in TOT among the old adults. In order to investigate the impact of deletion function, 30 young people (aged 18 to 33 years) and 30 older adults (aged 60 to 79 years) were recruited. Participants in interference condition were asked to not pay attention to the interferential stimuli when performing the TOT task. To examine the role of deletion function in TOT among the elderly, a 2 (age group: old and young) × 2 (activating condition: activate interferential stimuli or not) mixed design was adopted in experiment 2. Thirty young people (aged 19 to 27 years) and 30 older adults (aged 61 to 78 years) were recruited for experiment 2 and they were presented the interferential stimuli before the TOT task in the condition of activating interferential stimuli.
A two-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to analyze the data. In experiment 1, the interaction between age and interference condition were significant. Only the old group had significantly higher rates of TOT in the condition with interference than that of those without interference. In order to analyze the role of access function further, we compared the age difference between the 2 conditions, and the age difference in the interference condition was significantly larger. This result indicated that the access function influences the rates of TOT among the old people. In experiment 2, the interaction between age and activating condition was significant. The old group had higher rates of TOT in the condition of activating interferential stimuli, rather than the young group.
The results demonstrated that the deficits in access and deletion functions of older adults may be responsible for the higher rates of TOT, which provided supportive evidence for the inhibition deficit theory. The study implied that intervention on inhibition may be useful in improving the TOT of old adults.
Prosodic boundary is an integrative part of spoken language that segments ongoing utterance into prosodic units. These boundaries are correlated with the perception of a pause, a lengthening of the pre-boundary syllable and tonal movement at the end of the phrase. Stuttering is characterized by involuntary disruptions in the flow and rhythm of speech, which was reflected by repetitions of words, sounds or syllables, prolongations and silent blocks. Behavioral response and neural processing results in the past few years indicated that adults who stutters exhibit processing differences compared with fluent speakers during syntactic, semantic and phonological (rhyme) processing. However, existing studies did not examine whether stutters encounter difficulty during perception of prosodic boundary.
The present study aims to explore how stutters and fluent speakers process prosodic boundary of ambiguous Chinese phrases (Verb NP1 Aux NP2) in lexical and structural judgment task using ERPs. We used 168 typical ambiguous Chinese phrases as experimental materials. These phrases were temporarily ambiguous between modifier-noun construction (MNC) and narrative-object structure (NOS). Eighty-four phrases without ambiguity were used as fillers. Twenty-four (20 males) undergraduates/graduates participated in the experiment. They were told to listen carefully to pairs of phrase in two sessions with the same materials. In session one, they completed a lexical judgment task (to determine whether a visually presented word appeared in the pairs of phrase they heard), while in session two they were asked to complete a structural judgment task (to judge whether the pairs of phrase they heard belong to one kind of structure or not). Electrophysiological data were recorded by a set of 64 electrodes from eegmagine (ANT Neuro) according to the extended 10-20 positioning system. EEG data were time-locked to the offset of verb and Aux (de) of the first phrase using a 100-msec pre-stimulus baseline and an averaging time window of 800 msec. We selected two time windows (0~300 ms and 300~600 ms) for statistical analysis in the midline and lateral areas.
During 0~300 ms, we found that prosodic boundary (v.s. non-boundary) elicited positivity in the midline, F (1, 22) = 24.28, p < 0.001, ηp 2= 0.52, and lateral areas, F (1, 22) = 45.51, p < 0.001, ηp 2= 0.67. Besides, the interaction between Structure and Boundary was significant in the midline, F (1, 22) = 5.84, p < 0.05, ηp 2= 0.21, and lateral areas, F (1, 22) = 4.18, p = 0.053, ηp 2= 0.16. Simple effect analysis indicated that prosodic boundary elicited positive effect for MNC in the midline, while in the lateral areas prosodic boundary elicited positivity for both of NOS and MNC, F (1, 22) = 10.35, p < 0.005, ηp 2= 0.32; F (1, 22) = 29.69, p < 0.001, ηp 2= 0.57. During 300~600 ms, we found that prosodic boundary (v.s. non-boundary) elicited positivity in the midline, F (1, 22) = 36.61, p < 0.001, ηp 2= 0.61, and lateral areas, F (1, 22) = 36.59, p < 0.001, ηp 2= 0.71. Besides, the interaction between Region and Boundary was significant in the midline, F (2, 44) = 10.07, p < 0.005, ηp 2= 0.31, and lateral areas, F (2, 44) = 24.16, p < 0.001, ηp 2= 0.52. Simple effect analysis indicated that although the positivity elicited by prosodic boundary was broadly distributed in the whole scalp area, it was prominent in frontal-central area. More importantly, the interaction between Task, Boundary and Structure was significant in the lateral area, F (2, 44) = 3.95, p < 0.05, ηp 2= 0.15. Simple effect analysis indicated that in lexical judgment task, prosodic boundary of MNP elicited positive shift, F (1, 22) = 23.41, p < 0.001, ηp 2= 0.52, but NOS didn’t, F (1, 22) = 2.47, p = 0.131. However, prosodic boundaries of both MNP and NOS elicited positive effect in structure judgment task, F (1, 22) = 17.02, p < 0.001, ηp 2= 0.44; F (1, 22) = 11.65, p < 0.005, ηp 2= 0.35.
Overall, we found that stutters and fluent speakers exhibit similar neural process during prosodic boundary processing. This finding was reflected by the fact that the stable CPS was elicited by prosodic boundaries of both MNP and NOS. The positive effect elicited by MNC in an earlier time window was distributed more broadly in scalp than that elicited by NOS in both kinds of task. In a later time window, prosodic boundaries of both MNC and NOS elicited the stable CPS regardless of the kind of experimental task in the midline. In the lateral areas, the CPS was detected in the prosodic boundary of MNC in both kinds of task, whereas the CPS was stably observed at the boundary of NOS in structure judgment task. In conclusion, we contend that stutters and fluent speakers are both sensitive to prosodic boundary and their processing was influenced by the structure of ambiguous phrases and experimental task.
Affect unfolds over time. Thus, it is crucial to understand the temporal dynamics of affect. Affective habituation, a form of affective temporal dynamic, refers to the psychological process by which the affective response becomes weak for repeated or continuous stimulation. Although substantial interest has been directed at delineating the affective habituation, it is still unclear that how hedonic affect (pleasure attainment and pain avoidance) and eudaimonic affect (meaning and self-realization) habituate across time. Additionally, it is unknown whether variety affects the habituation and how individual differences in the two types of affective habituation relate to people’s depression. The current study examines the process of the eudaimonic and hedonic habituation in a short time and its relation to depression.
Two experiments were designed in the current study. Experiment 1 was designed to investigate the habituation of positive and neutral affect. It was a 2 (stimulus variability: 1-stimulus vs. 4-simuli) × 2 (positive vs neutral) within-subject design. Thirty-eight participants completed the habituation paradigm, in which people assessed the affective reactions to the repeated positive and neutral pictures using a visual analog scale and their depressive states were measured. We used hierarchical linear models to model the affective habituation and its relation with depression. The results showed that positive affect is more likely to habituate than neutral affect is; variety counteracted habituation; and there is no relationship between affective habituation and depression.
From the hedonism and eudaimonism perspective, we divided positive affect into hedonic and eudaimonic affect. Experiment 2 was a 2 (variety: 1-stimulus vs. 4-simuli) × 3 (affective types: eudaimonic vs. hedonic vs. neutral) within-subject design. The procedure was almost identical to Experiment 1. Hedonic affect was defined as high pleasure but low meaning, such as the scenes depicting a person enjoying delicious food; eudaimonic affect was defined as high pleasure and high meaning, such as the scenes depicting a person helping others in need and spending time with family. The images were standardized with another sample. Seventy-one participants completed this habituation paradigm and their depressive states and neuroticism were measured after the experiment. The results showed that the hedonic affect is more likely to habituate than are eudaimonic affect and neutral affect. Variety counteracted hedonic and eudaimonic affect habituation. Their depressions were associated with rapid habituation of eudaimonic affect, but there was no such association for hedonic affect. Moreover, neuroticism moderated the relationship between the eudaimonic affect habituation and depression.
In general, evidences from the current study found that eudaimonic affect is difficult to habituate relative to hedonic affect in a short time. Variety counteracted both types of affect habituation. Furthermore, depression was associated with rapid habituation of eudaimonic affect and neuroticism could moderate this relationship. The findings may provide insight into temporal dynamics of eudaimonic affect and its implications in mental health of human beings.
As an editorial for Acta Psychologica Sinica’s special column, this paper provides a concise overview of the nudge concept and its progress. The necessity of the concept is analyzed, and the main methods and fields of application are summarized. The effects of the concept on the promotion of people’s health, wealth, and happiness are elucidated, and the related disputes are clarified. Several suggestions that may help researchers in carrying out nudge research are also derived. We briefly draw the outlines for several papers in this special column and discuss the outlook for how nudge research should begin in China with the goal of attracting psychologists to devote to nudge research.
Emotional attention bias refers that emotional stimuli usually get priority of attention over the neutral stimuli, which has been frequently replicated in normal participants. However, previous studies reported that teenagers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) had atypical attention patterns of processing emotional faces and pictures, that is, their first attention was located at the neutral stimuli instead of the emotional stimuli. According to the perceptual load theory, some studies demonstrated the deficiency of attention bias to emotions in the teenagers with ASD was due to the perceptual load of the main task was too high for them, so that they can’t process the emotion. Till now, little has been known about the ASD teenagers’ attention in processing auditory emotional stimuli, although emotional expression also actually depends on the changes of acoustic cues in the speech prosody. To testify the generality of attention bias to cross-model emotions in the teenagers with ASD, we extended the experimental materials to emotional prosody. In present study, 14 teenagers with ASD and 17 typical developing (TD) people were recruited in two experiments. The participants were required to complete a main task while the emotional prosody voices were presented as the deviated task-irrelevant stimuli. In Experiment 1, the participants were instructed to ignore sounds and to classify the pictures. In Experiment 2, we adopted a dual-task paradigm, which required participants to respond to the target letters first and then to point whether they hear the novel emotional prosody. And in experiment 2, we also manipulated the level of perceptual load through changing the similarity between the letters in virtual round.
Results showed that: (1) Reaction time of ASD subjects were longer than TD subjects under any different emotions rhyme categories. (2) Whether in high or low perceptual load, reaction times and error rates of the main task as well as accuracy of emotional prosody detection task between two groups of participants have no significant differences. In providing notice indicating conditions, even in a high perceptual load level, ASD subjects of emotional rhythm detection capability and error rates are similar to TD subjects, but for emotional rhythm react time with neutral rhythm no difference. These findings revealed that ASD have the similar attention processing level with TD in attention conditions.
The results of two studies strongly suggested that the attention bias to emotional prosody was deficient in the teenagers with ASD, which was consistent with the results from visual channels and the teenagers with ASD have defect on emotional attention bias in auditory channel, main showed low perception efficiency on emotional rhythm perception.
According to the previous studies, emotional contagion can be regulated by the subsequent cognition which can be retrieved by unconsciousness or consciousness. Can emotional contagion be regulated by people’s antecedent emotion or not? That is, the receiver’s antecedent emotion, which has existed before the sender’s emotional display, regulates the final effect of emotional contagion. If true, there might be two possibilities in the regulation: counter and threshold-descent. Our goal is to explore the regulation effect of the antecedent negative emotion on emotional contagion with two possibilities.
We designed two experiments in this study to verify two mental phenomena, viz., counter and threshold-descent emotional contagion respectively. In these two experiments, a within-subject design was employed, and the biofeedback technology was used to measure the participants’ emotional state in them. All participants should accept the baseline measurement after they took psycho-relaxation exercises at the beginning of the experiment. Firstly, we implemented the experiment of counter emotional contagion. Taking hostility as a case of the antecedent emotion, we aroused Chinese participants’ hostility by playing video of The Nanjing Massacre to them, and then let them watch two funny videos about Chinese and Japanese lives. Meanwhile, the participants’ physiological indices were collected. The aim of the experiment was to compare the participants’ emotional experience when they watched the above two funny videos. Secondly, in the experiment of threshold-descent emotional contagion, the restless experience, as the antecedent emotion, was aroused by undergoing repeated several “unsuccessful” experiments. The participants’ physiological indices were collected and compared too when they watched funny video before and after the restless experience elicited which corresponded to the episodes 1 and 2 respectively. The experiments aimed to explore whether the participants’ antecedent emotional state would affect their emotional contagion via different experimental treatment.
In the first experiment, the results indicated that the funny Japanese video did not infect the Chinese participants after they watched The Nanjing Massacre. Actually, the two funny videos are being earmarked as “Chinese” or “Japanese” at random. The participants’ negative emotion was successfully elicited by watching The Nanjing Massacre. BVP amplitude significantly descended, whereas BVP frequency ascended drastically in comparison with the baseline level. After the experiment, we asked the participants what emotion they experienced while watching The Nanjing Massacre, and their answer was hostility and anger. We compared the participants’ physiological changes when watching the funny Japanese video and The Nanjing Massacre with those of the baseline level respectively. As the results revealed, the participants’ physiological changes when watching the above two videos obtained the same changed trend relative to the baseline level, which proved that the funny Japanese video did not induce the participants’ positive emotional experience successfully. Meanwhile, we compared further the participants’ physiological changes during the process of watching the funny Japanese video with those when watching The Nanjing Massacre. The results showed that their physiological changing tendency in watching the funny Japanese video was the same as that in watching The Nanjing Massacre, and the former’s level of psychological arousal was greater than the latter’s, which further confirmed that the funny Japanese video amplified the participants’ anger rather than the positive emotional experience. We gather, therefore, that the counter emotional contagion appeared in this experiment. Rather, the participants’ positive emotion was aroused when they watched the funny Chinese video, for their physiological changing trend of BVP amplitude and frequency was completely opposite to that when watching the funny Japanese video.
The repeated measures ANOVA were employed to analyze the data from the experiment of threshold-descent emotional contagion. In the episode 1, the results showed that the participants’ positive emotion was aroused successfully by watching funny video 1, in which BVP amplitude significantly descended, whereas BVP frequency ascended in comparison with the baseline level. Statistical analysis of data suggested that the participants’ emotion was more negative when they were feeling down by the repeated “unsuccessful” experience, but more positive when watching another funny video after the restless experience (episode 2), in which BVP amplitude and SC significantly ascended, whereas BVP frequency descended in comparison with watching funny video 1 (episode 1). That indicated the participants’ negative emotion (restlessness) facilitated the positive emotional contagion by lowering the threshold value of the positive emotion perception, so we call it “threshold-descent regulation”. Subjective ratings of funniness of these two videos were obtained, and the scores were compared by using the t test. The result demonstrated that the score of funniness of video 1, which participants evaluated, was significantly higher than that of video 2.
In the experiment of counter emotional contagion, the findings suggested that, the antecedent negative emotion not only prevented the subsequent positive emotional contagion, but also intensified the participants’ antecedent negative emotion experience. So we conclude that the result that “the observer gets ‘infected’ by the emotion he or she perceives” is not always attained as people think. In the experiment of threshold-descent emotional contagion, the antecedent negative emotion could intensify the positive emotional contagion. Hence, the participants’ antecedent emotion did not weaken the effect of emotional contagion, but magnified their subsequent positive emotional experience, instead.
It is well established in a number of studies that there is a cognitive advantage for self-related information, which is called “self-reference effect”. Some researchers have found that the processing of self-related information and the processing of emotional valence information are not only independent, but also interactive. However, these previous studies lacked the investigation of how individuals processed self-related information with different emotional valence. It is difficult to reveal the interaction between self-attribute and emotional valence of stimuli. Moreover, the influence of emotional valence of self-related information on “self-processing advantage” and the cognitive processing of self-expression performs are unclear. So, we used self-expression as stimulus to investigate the processing of self-related information with different emotional valence, and to explore the interaction between self and emotion in the self-face perception process.
In the present study, we adopted the visual search paradigm and the event related potential technology to investigate the processing of self-expression. We designed a 2 (emotion type: happy VS angry) ×2 (identity type: self VS other) within groups design. A total of 25 college students (11 males, 14 females) participated in the experiment, and 6 of the participants were eliminated because of too much artifacts in EEG. We gathered the happy and angry faces of each participant in advance, and selected other people's emotional faces from the Chinese Facial Affective Picture System. All photos were processed in a unified manner, and only the main features of the face were retained. In the visual search task, participants were asked to search the target expression and to ignore other faces in the 6 faces (1 target expression face with 5 neutral faces or 6 neutral faces). When they see the target expression, they should press the "F" as soon as possible; and if all are neutral faces, then press the "J". We record their reaction and corresponding EEG signals.
Behavioral results showed that, (1) the search of self-expression is significantly faster and better than the others, and it is not influenced by the emotional valence; (2) the search of self-happy expression is significantly faster and better than the self-angry expression, that is, the processing advantage of self-positive expression exist. And the results of ERP showed that the N1, N2 and LPP amplitudes of self-happy expressions were greater than those of self-anger and other people’s expressions. The results reflected that the processing advantage of self-positive expression began in visual coding phase of N1 composition, and there is also displayed in expression decoding stage and behavioral decision stage. It showed that the early attention to self-positive expression is faster, and the middle and later period get more attention resources.
Overall, these results consistently showed that, there was a processing advantage effect of self-positive expression. According to implicit positive association theory, the self-expression with different emotional valences might have different meanings to individuals. To be detailed, the self-positive expression was related to positive attribute in self-concept, and it could promote individual cognitive processing of such stimuli. The self-negative expression was related to negative property of self-concept and it might weaken the advantages of self-processing, thereby causing individuals to slow down the processing of such stimuli.
With the development of science, the internet has become an indispensable tool in college students' study and daily life. However, online aggressive behavior has become a much more serious problem for college students in recent few years. It is necessary to find out which factors have significant effects on online aggressive behavior of college students. According to the previous researches, the violent exposure was found to be able to predict aggressive behavior significantly. In addition, some theorists also have confirmed that ruminative responses and aggressive behavior are strongly related. However, as a special form of aggressive behavior, there was little research focused on online aggressive behavior and violent exposure. So the purposes of the present study is to explore the relationship between violent exposure, ruminative responses, internet moral and online aggressive behavior as well as the mechanism the effect of violent exposure on online aggressive behavior of college students.
A total sample of 1000 college students from some universities was selected, with 326 males and 508 females, the average age was 20.74-year-old. All subjects were gathered in the class and finished the questionnaires within about 30 minutes. The questionnaires included the Violent Exposure Questionnaire (VEQ), Online Aggressive Behavior Scale (OABS), Ruminative Responses Scale (RSS), and the Internet Moral Questionnaire (IMQ). Data was collected and analyzed with SPSS 24.0, Amos 21.0 and Mplus 7.4, and the bias-corrected percentile Bootstrap method was used to analyze the role of ruminative responses and internet moral between violent exposure and college students' online aggressive behavior. A single factor analysis was calculated to test the common method variance. Results showed that the study was in-existent common method variance.
The results show that: (1)The relationships between each pair of violent exposure, ruminative responses, internet moral and online aggressive behavior are correlated significantly and positively, the correlation coefficient ranges 0.07 from 0.96 (p < 0.01); (2)The structural equation model (SEM) reveals that the data fits the theoretical model well (c 2/df = 2.45, CFI = 0.99, TLI = 0.98, SRMR = 0.03, RMSEA = 0.04). (3) Violent exposure has a significant direct effect on online aggressive behavior (β = 0.29, p < 0.01); Violent exposure has a significant direct effect on ruminative responses (β = 0.23, p < 0.01); Ruminative responses has a significant direct effect on online aggressive behavior (β = 0.17, p < 0.01); Internet moral has a significant direct effect on online aggressive behavior (β = -0.17, p < 0.01); Interaction has a significant direct effect on online aggressive behavior (β = -0.17, p < 0.01). (4)Violent exposure has a significant indirect effect on online aggressive behavior through ruminative responses, and the confidence interval of 95% is [0.025, 0.061]; (5) Internet moral moderates the relation between violent exposure and online aggressive behavior of college students, that is, there is a significant positive relation between violent exposure and online aggressive behavior under the low internet moral level, however, there is a non-significant relation between violent exposure and online aggressive behavior under the high internet moral level.
It is concluded that in the structural equation model of violent exposure on online aggressive behavior of college students, ruminative responses plays a partial mediating role and internet moral moderates the direct effect. These findings suggest some measures of prevention and treatment for college students’ online aggressive behavior should be taken. Schools and families should set up a good core self-evaluation system in order to help them improve their moral level and eradicate online aggressive behavior.
In China, disruptive sleep patterns and sleep deficiency are prevalent in preschool children. Literature has largely focused on the relationship between sleep duration and child development in adolescents and school-age children. Yet little is known about the impact of sleep duration in preschool children, for example, on their advanced neurocognitive function. Given that sleep need and sleep maturation develop rapidly in the first years of life, research findings in older children cannot be generalized to preschoolers.
Developmental research indicates individual differences in sleep need. From a developmental perspective, it is crucial to explore whether children’s susceptibility to neurocognitive disruptions is associated with sleep problems. Temperament, one aspect of individual susceptibility, is shown to be relatively stable across situations and developmental periods. In this study, negative emotionality in preschool children was used to indicate temperament. The goal of this study was to examine the links between preschoolers’ initial sleep duration (i.e., total daily sleep duration, ratio of nighttime sleep to total daily sleep, and sleep compensation over the weekend) and later executive function and the moderating role of children’s negative emotionality in the links. The sample was composed of 78 preschool children (Mage = 6.31 years, SD = 0.35) and their mothers. Total daily sleep duration, ratio of nighttime sleep, sleep compensation over the weekend, and child negative emotionality were assessed using parental sleep diaries and mother reports. Child executive function was measured three months later using a set of standardized measurement procedures offered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The results of the present study indicated that controlling for children’s concurrent language ability, initial ratio of nighttime sleep significantly predicted children’s subsequent executive function. In addition, we found that negative emotionality significantly moderated the relation between sleep compensation and the three components of the executive function (working memory, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility), in support of the differential susceptibility model. Specifically, sleep compensation was positively associated with performance in the executive function tests for preschool children with high negative emotionality whereas the association was nonsignificant for children with low negative emotionality.
In conclusion, our findings suggested that children who sleep longer at night would be more advanced in their EF development. For children with high negative emotionality, sleep compensation over the weekend has a positive effect on their executive function skills. The results of this study provided important practical implications for Chinese preschoolers’ sleep arrangements.
People prefer beautiful visual artworks. Aesthetic experiences to beautiful and ugly images are different. Studies on neuroaesthetics showed different neural responses to beautiful stimuli compared to ugly stimuli. The first stage of aesthetic experience of a visual artwork is visual perception of the stimulus. Most research about aesthetic processing focused on stimuli presented consciously. Little is known about whether aesthetic processing can occur unconsciously. Previous research suggested that both beautiful paintings and attractive faces can elicit activation of the reward circuitry in our brain. Attractive faces break through continuous flash suppression more quickly than unattractive faces. Thus, it is possible that unconscious processing of beautiful paintings is different from that of less beautiful paintings. In two experiments, the present study adopted continuous flash suppression paradigm to investigate whether aesthetic ratings of western paintings influenced the time for stimuli to break suppression. We also compared the suppression effect of achromatic (Experiment 1) and chromatic (Experiment 2) noise pictures.
In Experiment 1, 20 participants (8 females, 12 males) took part in the experiment. The independent variable was aesthetic rating of western paintings (high, average, and low). The achromatic suppression noises were presented to the participants’ dominant eye and continued to flash at 10 Hz. A western painting was presented to the nondominant eye, at either above or below the central cross, with contrast increasing from 0 to 100% within 1s and remaining constant until response. Participants were instructed to respond as accurately and quickly as possible when any part of the painting was detected, and report whether the target was presented above or below the cross. 18 participants (9 females, 9 males) took part in Experiment 2. Experiment 2 was identical with Experiment 1 except that chromatic suppression noises were presented to the dominant eye.
The results of Experiment 1 showed that paintings with low aesthetic ratings took significantly longer time to break into awareness, comparing to paintings with average and high aesthetic ratings. The reaction times were not significantly different between paintings with average and high aesthetic ratings. In Experiment 2, however, the times for breaking suppression were not significantly different among the three categories of paintings. Moreover, the effect of suppression was different between different noises, such that reaction times were longer under suppression by chromatic noises (Experiment 2) than achromatic noises (Experiment 1).
These results suggested different unconscious processing of western paintings with different aesthetic ratings. Similar to attractive faces, paintings with high and average aesthetic ratings were easier to be detected under suppression. Our findings provided evidence that aesthetic processing can occur unconsciously under suppression by achromatic noises. The present study also suggested that the suppression effect of achromatic noises is different from that of chromatic noises. Chromatic noises may interfere with the color information of paintings and disrupt the aesthetic perception of paintings.
There are about 61.02 million left-behind rural children in China, who were left at their hometowns by one or both of their rural-to-urban migrant parents. As a result of parental migration, left-behind children receive compromised parental care and are at higher risk for depression than non-left-behind children. In light of the huge number of Chinese left-behind children and their heightened risk for depression, the association between parental care and left-behind children’s depression and the underlying mechanisms were examined in a sample of 279 fourth-graders and seventh-graders over 2.5 years. The analytic sample included 72 children left behind by both parents, 79 children left behind by fathers, and 56 non-left-behind children. These children’s family structure, guardians, and the left behind type remained stable across the 2.5 years.
The results showed that children left behind at home by one or both of their migrant parents reported less parental care and higher depression at both the pretest and the posttest than non-left-behind children. Depression assessed at posttest was higher than that at pretest among children left behind by both parents. When controlling for gender, parental care at pretest was associated with concurrent depression among left-behind children via self-esteem and neuroticism; parental care at pretest also was associated with left-behind children’s depression at posttest via self-esteem and neuroticism at posttest. When controlling for gender and posttest parental care, pretest parental care was marginally associated with posttest depression but the mediation effects via posttest self-esteem and neuroticism disappeared. Under either controlling condition, the interaction between pretest parental care and pretest friendship quality predicted posttest self-esteem and neuroticism. Specifically, associations between pretest parental care and posttest self-esteem and neuroticism were stronger among left-behind 7th-graders with higher friendship quality than those with lower friendship quality.
The findings of this study supported some propositions of the diathesis-stress theory on depression. Moreover, the findings have several practical implications for future intervention on reducing depression among left-behind children. Programs that aim to decrease those children’s depression should pay attention to strengthening their parental care, improving their self-esteem and emotional stability, and promoting their friendship quality.
Exploratory behavior, derived from one’s motor development, is an important way for infants to obtain information from external environment. Exploration is generally associated with adaptive developmental outcomes, especially cognitive abilities. Although there have been a great number of studies on exploration, most of which focused on the informational value afforded by novel objects, individual differences and different stages of exploration. The environmental factors, more specifically, the maternal behaviors have been obtained little attention. However, two distinctive theories posit mother’s behavior plays a significant role in infant’s exploration, attachment theory and self-determination theory. According to attachment theory, the attachment system and the exploratory system are two distinct yet inseparably linked behavioral systems, and the attachment system contributes to the quality of infant exploration by providing the infant a secure base from which to explore. Self-determination theory argues that infant’s exploration is driven by his/her intrinsic motivation. Individuals will be most intrinsically motivated when the environment supports their need for autonomy, rather than controlling their behavior. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to examine influence of maternal encouragement of autonomy on 14-month toddler’s exploration and the moderating role of attachment in the relationship between maternal encouragement of autonomy and toddler’s exploratory behavior.
Sixty-six toddlers (M = 14.77 months, SD = 0.99) and their mothers participated in the study. Toddlers’ attachment status was assessed by the Strange Situation procedure in the laboratory. A semi-structure family observation was conducted in the next 2 to 4 weeks. Each toddler was shown three novel objects placing on the floor and requested to explore them for 6 minutes. The toddler’s exploration as well as maternal encouragement of autonomy was videotaped and coded.
Results were as follows: after controlling for children’s temperament and family socioeconomic status, (1) maternal encouragement of autonomy positively predicted toddler’s total frequencies of exploratory operations, types of exploratory operations and exploratory persistence; (2) mother-infant attachment negatively predicted toddler’s total frequencies of exploratory operations, and positively predicted toddler’s average duration of exploratory operations; (3) the influence of maternal encouragement of autonomy on toddler’s exploratory competence was significantly moderated by the pattern of attachment. Specifically, the prediction of maternal encouragement of autonomy on toddler’s exploratory competence was significant when the child established a security attachment, while for the insecure infants, this prediction was nonsignificant.
These results indicated that maternal encouragement of autonomy could significantly promote toddler’s exploratory behavior. Toddler’s secure attachment played a significant role in the relationship between maternal encouragement and toddler’s exploration. It highlighted the importance of establishing a secure attachment relationship, which was directly linked to the effectiveness of mother’s positive parenting behaviors.