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The influence of shame on deceptive behavior: The role of self-control
FAN Wei,REN Mengmeng,XIAO Junze,JIAN Zengdan,DU Xiaoming,FU Xiaolan
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (9): 992-1006.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00992
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1000KB)

Shame, as a typical moral emotion, has an influence on individual behavior that is both complex and controversial. Previous studies have found that shame produces both an unpleasant experience and a moral emotion that encourages individuals to produce positive behaviors. In recent years, Hooge’s research has proceeded from the perspective of motivation. He believes that, no matter how shame makes individuals perform, their motivation is to restore and protect the damaged self. Therefore, based on Hooge's theory, this research will examine this typical immoral behavior as an example to discuss the impact of shame upon it and its ways.

In this study, students from a university were randomly selected as participants, and the number of each experiment’s participants was arranged according to the experimental requirements. Questionnaires and behavioral experiments were used throughout the experiment, and the experimental procedures were completed in accordance with the regulations of each experiment. The requirements for each experiment were different and the procedures for conducting the experiment were different. The statistical methods of the study were also based on the requirements of each experiment.

Experiment 1 examines whether shame has an effect on deceptive behavior. Its results show that the number and tendency of deception in the shamed group were significantly lower than in the control group. To more fully explore the impact of shame on deceptive behavior in different contexts, Experiment 2 improved upon the deficiencies of Experiment 1 and divided shame situations into two types: moral anomie and lack of ability. It was found that the number of deceptions in the moral anomie shamed group was significantly lower than that in the control group, and the number of deceptions in the lack of ability shamed group was significantly higher than that in the control group. To examine the specific methods and mechanisms of shame in affecting deception, we propose that shamed individuals increase their self-control resources and, thus, reduce the theory of fraud. Experiment 3a examined the impact of shame on self-control resources and found that the self-control resources of the shamed group were significantly higher than those of the control group. Experiment 3b explored the specific mechanisms of shame affecting deceptive behavior. It was found that self-control resources played a complete mediating role in the process of shame in affecting deception.

In summary, these findings suggest that shame can deter deception under certain conditions. The condition is that shame is caused by moral disorder rather than lack of ability; the mechanism of shame in affecting behavior may be: Individuals who feel shame will restore and protect the damaged moral self by mobilizing more self-control resources to influence behavior.

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Emotional regulation goals of young adults with depression inclination: An event-related potential study
LI Hong,YANG Xiaoguang,ZHENG Wenyu,WANG Chao
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (6): 637-647.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00637
Abstract   HTML   PDF (2166KB)

Researches on deficits in emotion regulation of depression have mainly focused on the selection and application of emotion-regulation strategies; however, it remains unclear whether it is also related to emotion-regulation goals, i.e., the direction of emotion regulation. Situation selection is an antecedent-focused regulation strategy that is worked before the emotional reactions occur and it can be used as an index of emotional-regulation goals.

In our current study, the event-related potential (ERP) technique was used to investigate the emotion-regulation goals of young adults with depression inclination. Participants were asked to freely select the emotion-inducing scenes in which they want to put themselves and to report their emotional preferences。

ERP results revealed that the amplitudes of Late Positive Potential (LPP) were significantly decreased when viewing the sadness scene in young adults with depression inclination, and they selected to view sadness scene more frequently than healthy young adults. In addition, the ratings of sadness preferences were significantly higher among subjects with depression inclination, while the happiness preferences were lower.

The current results suggest that, compared to the control group, the individuals with depression inclination are more willing to use situation selection to maintain or enhance their sadness rather than weaken it or enhance their happiness. These findings further indicate that emotion regulation goals of depressive subjects may be related to their motivations for selecting emotional stimulus, and provide a new perspective for exploring the causes and mechanisms of emotion regulation deficits in depressive disorders.

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The effects of capacity load and resolution load on visual selective attention during visual working memory
LI Shouxin, CHE Xiaowei, LI Yanjiao, WANG Li, CHEN Kaisheng
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (5): 527-542.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00527
Abstract   HTML   PDF (905KB)

Selective attention plays an important role in processing relevant information and ignoring irrelevant distractors. The relationship between visual working memory (VWM) and visual selective attention has been extensively studied. VWM is a complex system consisting of not only visual maintenance functions, but also executive control functions. High load on visual maintenance functions drains the capacity for perception and prevents distractors from being perceived, while high load on executive control functions drains the capacity available for active control and results in increased processing of irrelevant distractors. There are two types of load in VWM: capacity load referring to the number of items to be stored, and resolution load emphasizing the precision of the stored representations. It has been found that these two types of load exert opposite effects on selective attention. However the mechanism underlying the effects of different types of VWM load on selective attention is still unclear. In the present study, four experiments were designed to investigate how different types of VWM load affect selective attention.
Thirty-six participants were enrolled in Experiment 1, 2 and 3, respectively, and 14 participants were enrolled in Experiment 4. Participants were asked to perform both a VWM task and a visual search task. In the VWM task, participants had to retain colors in VWM to perform a change detection task. There were three levels of VWM load: baseline load, high-capacity load and high-resolution load. In the baseline load condition, participants were required to retain two colors and the change between the memory colors and the probe colors was large. In the high-capacity load condition, participants had to retain four colors and the change between the memory colors and the probe colors was also large. In the high-resolution load condition, participants had to retain two colors and the change between the memory colors and the probe colors was small. In Experiment 1 and 2, the visual search task was a Flanker task that was presented either in the periphery or in the center of the memory array. The Flanker task was presented with the memory array simultaneously in Experiment 1 and sequentially in Experiment 2. In Experiment 3, the visual search task was a Navon task. It was presented after the memory array and only in the center of the memory array. In Experiment 4, a Flanker task was presented after the memory array and only in the center of the memory array. EEG data during the memory interval were recorded by a 64-channel amplifier using a standard 10-20 system.
The results showed that high-capacity load and high-resolution load reduced Flanker interference, compared with baseline load, when the VWM task and the Flanker task were presented simultaneously, regardless of whether the Flanker task was presented in the periphery or in the center of the memory array. High-capacity load and high-resolution load also reduced Flanker interference, compared with baseline load, when the VWM task and the Flanker task were presented sequentially and the Flanker task was presented in the periphery of the memory array. Compared with baseline load, high-capacity load increased Flanker interference and high-resolution load reduced Flanker interference when the VWM task and the Flanker task were presented sequentially and the Flanker task was presented in the center of the memory array. Under the high-capacity load condition, the Navon interference for attending to global level was larger than that for attending to local level; under the high-resolution load condition, the Navon interference for attending to global level was smaller than that for attending to local level. ERP results showed that relative to the baseline load condition, the high- capacity load condition elicited smaller N2, whereas the high-resolution load condition elicited larger N2.
In conclusion, when the Flanker task is presented during encoding stage of VWM, high-capacity load and high-resolution load reduce interference. When the Flanker task is presented in the periphery of the memory array during maintaining stage of VWM, high-capacity load and high-resolution load reduce interference. These findings support the load theory of selective attention. However, when the Flanker task is presented in the center of the memory array during the maintenance stage, high-capacity load and high-resolution load lead to opposite effects. High-resolution load reduce interference, while high-capacity load increase interference. The underlying mechanism is that the different patterns of neural activity associated with the two types of VWM load may result in different distribution of cognitive control resources to selective attention.

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Adaptive time management: The effects of death awareness on time perception and intertemporal choice
WANG Peng,WANG Xiaotian,GAO Juan,LI Xialan,XU Jing
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (12): 1341-1350.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01341
Abstract   HTML   PDF (599KB)

Death awareness refers to thinking about and the recognition of the inevitability of personal death. As a critical component of the human-unique ability of autonoetic consciousness, death awareness can be viewed as a cognitive adaptation for time management. We hypothesize that activating death awareness may affect intertemporal choice, in which people make tradeoffs between rewards across different time points. Such effects of death awareness on intertemporal choice may be mediated by time perception, a subjective assessment of the speed of time passage. In this research, we investigate the impact of death awareness on time perception and intertemporal choice, and the relationships among them.
Study 1 examined the relationship between death awareness and time estimation. Eighty-three college students were randomly assigned to either a death awareness activation group where mortality was made salient to the participants or a control group where the participants imagined their toothache experience. After a word-search distraction task, the participants in both groups completed a time-passage (400ms, 800ms, 1200ms, 1600ms) estimation task. The results showed that the participants in the group of death awareness activation gave significantly shorter estimates than the participants in the control group.
Study 2 (n = 123) extended the measure of time perception to a more extended period and also measured the delay discounting rate of the participants from their intertemporal choices between a smaller-and-sooner reward and a larger-and-later reward. The participants were randomly assigned to either a death awareness activation group or a toothache awareness activation group. The participants then indicated how long ten years was to them by marking on a line with the statement “10 years is very short” on the left end side of the line and the statement “10 years is very long” on the right end side. The participants in the death-awareness activation group marked the line closer to the left end (“life is short”) than those in the control group. As predicted, the participants in the death-awareness activation group had a lower delay discounting rate and were more future-oriented in making intertemporal choices. Moreover, bootstrapping analysis revealed a partial mediation effect of time-passage estimation between death awareness and delay discounting.
In conclusion, death awareness serves adaptive functions in time management. Activating death awareness makes people feel that time passes more quickly and promotes future-oriented decisions.

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Mediating roles of gratitude, social support and posttraumatic growth in the relation between empathy and prosocial behavior among adolescents after the Ya’an earthquake
WANG Wenchao,WU Xinchun
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, 52 (3): 307-316.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00307
Abstract   HTML   PDF (471KB)

Empathy refers to the traits, or tendencies, of a person to affectively experience emotions of concern at the suffering of others and to cognitively adopt another person’s perspective. Possession of empathy has been assumed to encourage prosocial behavior. The mechanisms by which empathy affects prosocial behavior for adolescent survivors of disaster, however, are unclear. Posttraumatic growth (PTG) was considered a common positive change following trauma events and was identified as having a high prevalence rate in various trauma types. After experiencing natural disasters, individuals with high empathy are more vulnerable to their adverse environment and the traumatic situations of others. This results in more psychological pressure and fear, and these pressures and negative emotions force individuals to think about the meaning of trauma, thus promoting the generation of PTG. The emergence of PTG brings positive behavioral change among survivors after the disaster. Therefore, it was suggested that empathy may exert indirect effects on prosocial behavior through PTG.
According to current theories, empathy has different emotional and cognitive components. When individuals empathize with others, these components are activated, which may lead to gratitude and, in turn, result in prosocial behavior. As a moral barometer, gratitude informs the beneficiary that a benefactor has bestowed a gift. The prosocial behavior of a benefactor toward a beneficiary is thought to produce gratitude within the beneficiary. This then stimulates the beneficiary’s prosocial behavior, further strengthening the benefactor’s own prosocial behavior.
Furthermore, traumatized survivors with greater empathy may improve communication with others, increase the sense of intimacy, and perceive more support from others—meaning that empathy may lead individuals to have more social support. Social support refers to an individual’s perception of the support provided by others. That perception can be influenced by gratitude. Adolescents with low social support are more likely to interpret other people’s ambiguous actions as aggressive. Thus, stable social relationships seem to promote PTG and prosocial behavior. Taken together, it is possible that empathy can promote prosocial behavior through gratitude, social support, and PTG in post-disaster contexts. The utility of these predictions, however, was unclear.
To examine the relation between empathy, gratitude, social support, PTG and prosocial behavior, this study used an interpersonal reactivity index scale, gratitude questionnaire, social support questionnaire, posttraumatic growth inventory and prosocial behavior questionnaire to assess 542 adolescents following Ya’an earthquake. The results indicated that after controlling the trauma exposure, empathy have a positive association with prosocial behavior through the following routes: three one-mediator paths of gratitude, social support and PTG, respectively; three two-mediator paths of gratitude via PTG, social support via PTG and gratitude via social support, and one three-mediator path from gratitude to PTG via social support. These findings suggested that following a natural disaster, adolescent survivors’ empathy may have an indirect and positive relation with prosocial behavior by gratitude, social support and PTG.

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Good and evil in Chinese culture: Personality structure and connotation
JIAO Liying, YANG Ying, XU Yan, GAO Shuqing, ZHANG Heyun
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (10): 1128-1142.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01128
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1030KB)

The ideas of good and evil characteristics have a long history in Chinese language and culture, with these characteristics considered to be two aspects of the Chinese personality. Abundant descriptions of good and evil characteristics can be found in human nature. However, the specific structures of good and evil concepts have not yet been delineated clearly and detailed studies on these concepts are limited. A careful definition is important with regard to what comprises a good or evil personality and to understand the psychological structure of the two concepts.

A lexical approach was applied to determine constitutes a good or evil personality in Chinese culture. In Study 1, a set of 3, 240 good and evil personality descriptors was selected from The Contemporary Chinese Dictionary and accompanied by daily life expressions. The list was condensed into 62 good and 65 evil items following evaluation and selection by 12 psychology graduates. In Study 2, we explored the dimensions of a good personality using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) with Sample 1 (n = 313) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) with Sample 2 (n = 518). Results revealed that good personality contained four dimensions: conscientiousness and integrity, altruism and dedication, benevolence and amicability, and tolerance and magnanimity. We refined the four-dimensions good personality lexical rating scale, which contained 27 items. In Study 3, we used the same method as in Study 2 to explore the structure of an evil personality (EFA: Sample 1, n = 367; CFA: Sample 2, n = 269). Results showed the evil personality contained four dimensions: atrociousness and mercilessness, mendacity and hypocrisy, calumniation and circumvention, and faithlessness and treacherousness. Thus, we employed a 28-item evil personality lexical rating scale. The internal consistency, reliability, and criterion-related validity of the two scales were verified.

The study found four-factor structures of good and evil personalities using the lexical approach and psychometrics methods, which contributes to knowledge on personality. In China, Confucius regarded benevolence as the highest moral principle for a person. Therefore, good and evil traits are embedded naturally in the personality structure of Chinese people. Understanding the structure of good and evil is useful for researchers interested in Chinese culture and for studies in Chinese indigenous psychology.

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Are we truly irrational and almost impossible to educate? Analyzing the scientific evidence behind libertine paternalism
Gerd GIGERENZER, LUAN Shenghua, LIU Yongfang
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (4): 395-406.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00395
Abstract   HTML   PDF (506KB)

Based on research in psychology, libertine paternalists argue that our mind is systematically flawed, which leads to many cognitive biases that are too deeply entrenched to eradicate through education. Thus, they suggest that authorities should take lead and nudge people into proper behaviors and good decisions. However, from the perspectives of ecological rationality, the outcomes of the so-called cognitive biases may not be bad, and in many instances, can be even better than those of the so-called rational reasoning as suggested by libertine paternalists. We analyze the evidence libertine paternalists use to justify nudging and find two major problems: (1) some of the supposed evidence is the product of researchers’ narrow interpretations of what qualify as human rationality and rational thinking; and (2) some libertine paternalists selectively reported scientific evidence, neglecting or sparsely reporting research that show findings contradictory to their belief. We conclude that there is lack of evidence to support the assertion that people are irrational and almost impossible to educate. To invest on education and make people risk savvy not only has been shown plausible and applicable, but also should be a more sustainable solution than nudging.

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Optimization and asymmetry effects of reward and punishment on control attention: Evidence from eye movements
ZHANG Kuo,ZHAO Ying,WANG Jingxin,
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (11): 1207-1219.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01207
Abstract   HTML   PDF (740KB)

A wealth of research shows that positive and negative reinforcement critically influence behavior. While it is well established that rewards and penalties can strongly influence mechanisms of executive control, it is unclear whether these two factors exert symmetric or qualitatively distinct behavioral effects. In the current research, we conducted two eye-movement experiments to investigate the influence of monetary reward or punishment on attentional control. We employed these cues in Pro/Anti-saccade tasks in Experiment 1 and Go/No-go tasks in Experiment 2. Crucially, we investigated how either a reward (also referred to as “gain”) or penalty (also referred to as “loss”) influenced inhibitory control in the following trial.

In Experiment 1, participants were instructed to produce simple pro-saccades or more difficult anti-saccades, in conditions in which they received a reward for correct responses or a punishment for incorrect responses or either a reward or punishment. The results showed that, while the accuracy of the pro-saccades was facilitated by reward, the accuracy of the anti-saccades was facilitated by punishment. And the velocity of pro-saccades and anti-saccades were significantly improved by both reward and punishment. In Experiment 2, we further adopted the Go/No-go tasks to explore how reward and punishment affect attentional control via exogenous parafoveal visual cues. This showed essentially the same pattern of effects as Experiment 1. For the Go task, saccade latency significantly decreased when rewards were given relative to punishment or no motivation conditions. And for the No-go task, accuracy increased more in the punishment condition compared to the reward or no motivation conditions. An increase in saccade velocity was observed in the no motivation condition, similarly to in Experiment 1.

In sum, the overall results suggest that both reward and punishment can facilitate the oculomotor control, although the findings reveal a striking asymmetry in the effects of the reward and punishment on behavior. Specifically, positive reinforcement appears to improve approach behaviors, while punishment influences inhibitory behavior. These findings suggest that the two forms of reinforcement are distinct in their influence on behavior.

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The influence of moral relativism and disgust on moral intuitive judgment
GENG Xiaowei,FANG Jinru,HAN Yanfang,LI Zhongquan,ZHAO Mi,YANG Ye
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (4): 517-526.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00517
Abstract   HTML   PDF (794KB)

The social intuition model suggests that moral reasoning occurs after moral intuitive judgment. The question of how people make intuitive moral judgments, and whether the process is influenced by reasoning and emotion, remains to be answered. The purpose of this study is to explore the influence of moral relativism and disgust on moral intuitive judgment. According to the unimodel of human judgment, intuitive and deliberate judgments are based on similar rules. The hypotheses are as follows: moral relativism increases moral intuitive judgment (H1) and disgust increases moral intuitive judgment (H2).

We conducted three experiments to test these hypotheses. In Experiment 1, we examined whether moral intuitive judgment exists. A total of 39 undergraduates were selected and asked to answer “yes” or “no” randomly, like tossing a coin, to 20 moral behaviors, 20 immoral behaviors, and 40 fillers. The accuracy of moral judgment is compared to random level (i.e., 0.5). Accuracy greater than 0.5 was considered indicative of moral intuitive judgment. Single-sample t-test showed that the accuracy of the participants’ random responses was significantly greater than random (i.e., 0.5), indicating the existence of moral intuitions.

In Experiment 2, a total of 77 undergraduates were randomly assigned to two different conditions, i.e., moral relativism and moral absolutism. Participants were first primed moral absolutism or moral relativism by scrambling in a sentence, e.g., the scrambled sentence “as to rightness” “cannot” “different types of morality” “be compared” may be recomposed as “Different types of morality cannot be compared as to rightness”, then randomly answer “yes” or “no” to moral judgments. Independent-samples t-test showed that participants were more inclined to make moral intuitive judgments under the conditions of moral absolutism than moral relativism, which suggests that moral relativism weakens participants’ moral intuitive judgment, while moral absolutism promotes participants’ moral intuitive judgment.

In Experiment 3, a total of 80 undergraduates were randomly assigned to two different emotional conditions, i.e., disgust and neutral emotion. Participants’ disgust (or neutral emotion) were primed by eight pictures of disgusting facial expressions (or eight pictures of neutral facial expressions) before randomly answering “yes” or “no” to moral judgments. Independent-sample t-test showed that participants were more inclined to make moral intuitive judgments under the conditions of disgust emotion than neutral emotion, which suggests that moral intuition judgments are affected by emotion, and disgust increases individuals’ moral intuitive judgments.

In sum, the present research investigated the influence of moral relativism and disgust emotion on moral intuitive judgment, which helps to further understand the mechanism of moral intuitive judgment. In addition, it also provides some guidance for the daily moral judgment. The limitations and further research are also discussed.

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The effect of bimodal divided attention on inhibition of return with audiovisual targets
TANG Xiaoyu, SUN Jiaying, PENG Xing
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, 52 (3): 257-268.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00257
Abstract   HTML   PDF (521KB)

Inhibition of return (IOR) has been greatly explored in the visual or auditory modality. Investigations on spatial IOR even have extended to the cross-modal link between visual and auditory information processing. The present study examined the generation and variation of IOR effects when targets from the visual and auditory modalities were presented simultaneously (audiovisual targets). In addition, it explored the effect of bimodal divided attention on IOR with audiovisual targets by directing the attention to different modality to form two conditions of attention.
The present study consisted of 3 experiments. In these experiments, we mainly manipulated the target modalities (including visual, auditory, and audiovisual modalities) and cue validities (including cued, neutral, uncued). Thirty-seven college students in Liaoning province were recruited in Exp. 1. The visual (V) target was white horizontal square wave grating (4° × 4°; the spatial frequency was 1 cycle/degree), the auditory (A) target (duration of 100 ms) was a 1000 Hz sinusoidal tone presented by the speakers. The audiovisual (AV) target was composed by the simultaneous presentation of both the visual and the auditory stimuli. During the experiment the fixation stimulus was presented for 800~1000 ms in the center of the monitor. Following the fixation stimulus, uninformative exogenous visual spatial cues were presented between 400~600 ms prior to the onset of targets for 100 ms at the left or right location. Then, the probability of the target (A, V, or AV) appeared for 100 ms in the center was 0.6 (No-go trials), the probability of the target may occur on left or right location was 0.2 (Go trials). The participants were instructed to pay attention to both V and A modalities, then respond to the target stimulus in the left or right location by pressing the response button as quickly and accurately as possible. Thirty-two college students were recruited in Exp. 2. The auditory stimuli were unattended and presented peripherally. Thirty-nine college students were recruited in Exp. 3. The auditory stimuli were unattended and presented centrally, the others were identical to that in Exp. 2.
Based on the results of accuracy (ACC), it can be seen that the overall ACC was very high in Exp. 1. The mean ACC of AV targets was significantly higher than to either V or A targets. According to the results of reaction times (RTs), the mean RT of AV targets were significantly faster than to either V or A targets as expected, indicating the appearance of the bimodal advancement effect. For V targets, the RTs in the cued condition were slower than those in the uncued condition, demonstrated a typical IOR effect. There weren’t IOR effect elicited by AV targets when paying attention to both V and A modalities (Exp. 1). From the results of the relative amount of multisensory response enhancement (rMRE), we found a larger rMRE in the cued condition than that in the uncued condition. In Exp. 2 and Exp. 3, we found the comparable IOR with V and AV targets when the simultaneous auditory stimuli were unattended and presented peripherally or centrally. In addition, we found the comparable rMRE with V and AV targets when the simultaneous auditory stimuli were unattended and presented peripherally or centrally.
These results suggested that the IOR effect elicited by AV targets was reduced when paying attention to multiple modalities. However, when auditory stimuli were unattended, there was no difference between the visual and audiovisual IOR effects. Based on the aforementioned findings, it indicated that bimodal divided attention can influence IOR with audiovisual targets.

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How state anxiety influences time perception: Moderated mediating effect of cognitive appraisal and attentional bias
LIU Jingyuan,LI Hong
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (7): 747-758.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00747
Abstract   HTML   PDF (785KB)

Anxiety is associated with high levels of arousal. Both theoretical and empirical work have determined that when an individual experiences anxiety, he/she shows attentional bias toward negative stimuli. High arousal and negative attentional bias, as the two key characteristics of anxiety, are associated with a series of subjective feelings and experiences of individuals with state anxiety, among which time perception is significant. However, how this process operates remains an open question. In this article, we investigate how state anxious individuals perceive time, especially the roles of attention bias and cognitive appraisal in this process.
Sixty college students participated in the study and were randomly assigned to a high state anxiety group (n = 30, completed a procedure of anxious state induction) and a low state anxiety group (n = 30, completed a procedure of calm state induction). Then, a 2 (high state anxiety group vs. low state anxiety group) × 2 (negative stimuli vs. neutral stimuli) × 3 (2000 ms vs. 4000 ms vs. 8000 ms) mixed-design experiment was conducted with the attentional bias as the mediator, the cognitive appraisal as the moderator and the time perception as the dependent variable. State anxiety was manipulated by an induction process, time perception was measured by the time reproduction task, attentional bias was measured by the dot-probe task and cognitive appraisal was assessed by the visual analogue mood scales.
The results showed that (1) State anxiety had an effect on time perception, namely, individuals with high state anxiety overestimated the 2-second interval of the negative stimuli. (2) Attentional bias played a partial mediating role in the relationship between state anxiety and time perception of 2000 ms. (3) Cognitive appraisal moderated the mediation effect of attentional bias on the influence of state anxiety on time perception of 2000 ms. Specifically, when the score of cognitive appraisal was high, attentional bias played a mediating role in the influence of state anxiety on time perception, while when the score of cognitive appraisal was low, attentional bias did not play a mediating role in the influence of state anxiety on time perception.
Therefore, the effect of state anxiety on college students’ time perception was a moderated mediating effect. The moderated mediating model significantly revealed the effect mechanism of state anxiety on college students’ time perception, which can contribute to a better understanding of how individuals in an anxious state perceive time. Furthermore, it suggests that the adjustment of cognitive appraisal or attentional bias is an important way to alleviate the time distortion of anxious individuals.

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The role of masking stimulation in target recognition processing: Evidence from fNIRS
YANG Haibo,LIU Hejun,ZHANG Peng,LI Liang
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (11): 1187-1197.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01187
Abstract   HTML   PDF (8556KB)

When our visual system processes target signals, it usually receives large amounts of irrelevant information from the target, leading to a reduction in the visibility of the target. A wealth of research has shown that visual search for target letters against a masking background is largely determined by the masker type. Informational maskers, such as either randomly positioned and oriented letters or randomly distributed letter fragments, induce stronger masking effects on recognition of target letters than the energetic maskers do, such as the random-phase masker (same spectral amplitude composition as the letter masker but with the phase spectrum randomized) or the random-pixel masker (the locations of the letter maskers’ pixel amplitudes being randomized). However, the mechanisms under informational masking and those under energetic masking are still unknown.

The current study examined both cortical activities and behavioral performances in the visual search task, which is determined by whether one of four letters presented at four symmetrically-located positions differs from the others under three masking conditions (random pixels, letter fragments, and random letters). Both the oxygenated hemoglobin concentration (HbO) responses in the primary visual cortex (V1) and secondary visual cortex (V2) with a functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) were recorded. Twenty (4 males, 16 females) healthy adults (mean age: 22.5 ± 1.67 years) participated in the experiment. Each masking condition contained 5 blocks, and each block contained 8 trails. There was a resting phase of 20 seconds between the two blocks. Spatial registration methods were applied to localize the cortical regions underneath each channel and to define two regions of interest (ROIs), which are the primary visual cortex (V1) and secondary visual cortex (V2).

The behavioral results showed that the performance of recognizing target letters improved when the masker type shifted from random letters to letter fragments and to random pixels, suggesting that the letter masker interfered the most with performance than the letter fragment and random-pixel maskers. The random-pixel masker caused the least masking effect. The fNIRS results showed that both letter masker and letter-fragment masker produced an increase in cortical oxygen level. Many regions of interest (ROIs), particularly the visual cortex (including V1 and V2), were more activated under the letter or the letter-fragment masking condition compared to the random-pixel masking condition. Moreover, the differences in cortical activation between the masking conditions further suggested that the V1 and V2 are the critical brain regions involved in visual letter search and informational masking of letter recognition.

To summarize, this study used fNIRS to explore the cortex activation patterns of different types of masking on target recognition. The results showed that information masking had much more interference on visual search and caused greater processing loads in primary and secondary visual cortex, compared with energy masking under the same conditions. Furthermore, the differences between letter fragments masking and letters masking are reflected in the activation mode of V1 and V2 regions.

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Classroom bullying norms and bullying behavior:The mediating role of fear induced by group identity and peer pressure
ZENG Xinran,WANG Yue,DING Junhao,ZHOU Hui
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (8): 935-944.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00935
Abstract   HTML   PDF (654KB)

Evidence from past years has documented that group factors, such as group norms, are related to bullying in schools. Studies have revealed that groups’ bullying norms positively predicted individuals’ bullying behaviors. However, the mechanism underlying this phenomenon remains unclear. Studies have documented that peer pressure mediates the relationship between bullying norms among friends and cyber bullying. Moreover, when conflict is inevitable, fear leads to aggressive behavior. Therefore, the current research included two studies to clarify the relationship between classroom bullying norms and bullying behavior.


In the first study, a scenario-based experiment was conducted. A total of 89 male and 97 female primary school students in grades 4 through 6 were invited to participate in the study. Participants were randomly divided into the bullying norm priming group and the control group. After priming, participants in both groups completed the questionnaires addressing fear induced by group identity, peer pressure, and bullying behavior. Students from 23 classes were invited to participate in Study 2. A total of 459 males and 422 females (62 were lacking gender data) from grades 4, 5, 6, and 8 completed the questionnaires on classroom bullying norms, peer pressure, and bullying behavior. HLM version 7.0 was used for the hierarchical linear model.


The results of Study 1 showed that (1) participants in the bullying-norm priming group showed higher levels of bullying behavior, peer pressure, and fear induced by group identity than those in the control group; (2) fear induced by group identity and peer pressure was positively associated with bullying behavior; (3) after controlling for the effect of gender, peer pressure marginally but significantly mediated the relationship between classroom bullying norms and bullying behavior at the 95% confidence level (β = 0.064, p = 0.063). The result of Study 2 demonstrated that the mediating effect of peer pressure was significant at both the individual and the classroom level, even after controlling for the effect of gender. Specifically, (1) the indirect effect of peer pressure accounted for 22.24% of the total effect at the individual level and (2) the indirect effect of peer pressure accounted for 28.35% of the total effect at the classroom level.


The results of both studies highlighted the mediating role of peer pressure in classroom bullying norms and bullying behavior. The current study is the first to identify this mediating mechanism. The findings of the present study suggest that classroom norms and peer pressure deserve more attention in further prevention and intervention addressing school bullying.

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Do more contacts bring stronger contact intention? It depends on valence and efficacy
HUANG Fei,WANG Changcheng,SHI Kuankuan,HALIKE Ababaikere,LI Linpeng
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (11): 1256-1268.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01256
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Since they are critical components of today’s societies, interethnic relations can exert a great effect on the stability and harmony of a given social system. For multi-ethnic countries like China, achieving harmonious relations among different ethnic groups is an important but difficult task. Intergroup contact has been confirmed as one of the most effective prejudice reduction strategies across different target groups, situations, and cultural contexts, especially when the four optimal conditions, equal status, cooperation, common goals, and institutional support, are present. However, past contact research is biased because its predominant focus is on positive contact; insufficient attention has been paid to the examination of negative contact, especially in China. Moreover, much of the prior research has focused on intergroup contact from the perspective of majority groups. To address these limitations, this article tested the effects of positive and negative contact from the points of view of both majority and minority groups, and intergroup efficacy was examined as a mediator in positive and negative contact effects.

Two studies were conducted within two interethnic backgrounds on six samples in total. They were 448 Han (Mage = 20.3, SD = 1.66) and 375 Uyghur (Mage = 21.7, SD = 1.75) from several inland cities, and 791 Han (Mage = 20.1, SD = 1.23) and 901 Uyghur (Mage = 20.8, SD = 1.19) from Xinjiang Province of Study 1, 957 Han (Mage = 15.7, SD = 1.80) and 565 Hui (Mage = 15.9, SD = 1.91) from Ningxia Province of Study 2. All participants completed a battery of self-report questionnaires measuring their positive and negative interethnic contact experiences, interethnic self-efficacy, and intention of interethnic contact. All the measures in the present study showed good reliability and validity for each sample. Data were then analyzed using descriptive statistics, dependent t-test, correlation coefficients comparison, and path analysis to test the hypotheses related to the valence of contact and the role of efficacy.

he results indicated that: (1) the quantity of positive interethnic contact was significantly much more than negative interethnic contact in all six samples. The weighted average effect size measured by Cohen’s d was 1.75. (2) The correlations between positive interethnic contact and intention of interethnic contact in all six samples were positively significant with medium sizes; the correlations between negative interethnic contact and intention of interethnic contact in all six samples were negatively significant with small sizes, with weighted average rs 0.57 and -0.24 respectively. (3) Valence asymmetry effect showed positive interethnic contact’s effects on enhancing intention of interethnic contact were greater than negative interethnic contact’s effects on weakening intention of interethnic contact. The weighted average r difference was 0.38. (4) Positive and negative interethnic contact exerted significant indirect effects on intention of interethnic contact via interethnic self-efficacy with weighted average indirect effects of 0.13 and -0.08 respectively; positive and negative interethnic contact could also affect intention of interethnic contact directly. (5) Positive and negative interethnic contacts’ effects on intention of interethnic contact were stronger among Han compared with Uyghur in Xinjiang, and positive contact’s effect was significantly lower among Han than Hui in Ningxia. No significant differences were found between majority and minority samples in inland samples on both effects, and no significant difference was found in Ningxia samples on negative contact’s effect. In general, the moderation effect of the majority-minority status was not supported.

Research into the effects of positive and negative interethnic contact and the mediating role of interethnic self-efficacy demonstrates both theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, conducting research taking into positive and negative interethnic contact simultaneously could not only serve as a response to the call for strengthening negative contact research, but more importantly, it enriches intergroup contact theory through acquiring evidence from Chinese ethnic background and contributes to a comprehensive understanding of intergroup contact. Practically, the findings presented above suggest that to achieve harmonious interethnic relations, effective measures can be taken to promote positive interethnic contacts and prevent negative interethnic contacts through increased interethnic self-efficacy or directly enhancing the contact intention.

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Language and culture influence cognition: Effects of indirect or direct language
YANG Qun,ZHANG Qirui,FENG Yiran,ZHANG Jijia
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (5): 543-556.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00543
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The relationship between language and color cognition is key to understanding language and cognition. With the arguments between linguistic relevance and linguistic universal hypotheses, researchers prefer the eclectic theory that color cognition includes physics, perception, and culture-related properties. Given these theories and various investigations, interaction theory between color terms and color cognition has been proposed. One argument suggests that color perception should be influenced by language and culture, given the normal sense organs and level of intelligence.
Numerous types of studies have proven that language and culture play a role in color cognition, but how such a role is performed remains to be fully understood. Discussions on the essential mechanism of this effect remain lacking, and whether this effect is a direct or indirect effect (i.e., language strategies or cognition structure changes) continues to be unclear. According to the literature, the color category perception effect proposes that people are more likely to distinguish colors from different colors than those that landed in the same area. Thus, two categories of color were used as materials in past research, which made it difficult to distinguish between the direct and indirect effects. Accordingly, this paper employed just one category color, which was further divided into two different categories. Color culture is import to a nation. Thus, green is vital to Uygur culture, with red as the counterpart for the Han culture. In relation to this, the present study designed a perceptual task (Experiment 1) as well as classification and recognition tasks containing memory (Experiments 2 and 3), in order to explore the effect of language and culture on color cognition for the Uygur and Han nationalities.
Focal colors of red (RGB: 0, 255, 0) and green (RGB: 255, 0, 0) were selected as base points, and a vertical demarcation line was drawn on the RGB chromatography. On each side of the line, nine different stimuli in the same lightness saturation level (240-120) but with different chromaticities were selected. In Experiment 1, three colors (two from the same side of green or red and another from the other side) constitute one set of experimental material. Participants were asked to judge as quickly and as accurately as possible whether the left or the right color block looked more similar to the middle one, and press the corresponding button on a response box. A total of 62 college students participated in the experiment (31 of Han nationality and 31 of Uygur nationality). In Experiment 2, the materials and the participants (in terms of number and categories) were identical to those in Experiment 1. Participants were instructed to remember the colors and identify as quickly and as accurately as possible whether the following colors belong to the left or to the right of the color pair, and then press the corresponding button on a response box. In Experiment 3, 62 participants from the two nationalities who were using identical materials were asked to judge as quickly and as accurately as possible whether the left or the right color looked more similar to the standard one, and then press the corresponding button on the response box.
Results showed significant differences in the perception, classification, and recognition tasks between the Uygur and Han nationalities. Compared with the Han nationality, the Uygur nationality had the advantage in distinguishing, classifying, and even recognizing green, but suffered a disadvantage when processing the color red. For the perception task, the two groups both spent a long time in the classification and recognition tasks. Accordingly, we believe that language and cultural differences in terms of perceiving the green and red colors affect color cognition and that such an effect is indirect, that is, language and culture can influence the color perception structure.

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The influence of dopaminergic genetic variants and maternal parenting on adolescent depressive symptoms: A multilocus genetic study
CAO Yanmiao, ZHANG Wenxin
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (10): 1102-1115.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01102
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For decades, there is increasing evidence for the importance of single-gene by environment interactions (G × E) in understanding the etiology of depression. However, several concerns have been raised about the ignoring the polygenic traits of depression when conducting G × E research using single loci. Within this context, the multilocus genetic profile score (MGPS) have recently emerged as an approach of capturing polygenic nature across multiple genes. In line with the monoamine deficiency hypothesis, recent research has begun to show that the combined effects of multiple dopaminergic genetic variants are stronger than the influence of any single gene examined in isolation. Additionally, genes related to the functioning of the dopaminergic system, which coordinates individual’s response to stress. However, existing G × E research has largely focused on adverse family environments (i.e., maltreatment, maternal unresponsiveness) and to a lesser extent on positive environment, such as positive parenting. Therefore, the present study aimed to examine the interaction between dopaminergic genetic variants and maternal parenting on adolescent depressive symptoms, by adopting the approach of multilocus genetic profile score.

Participants were 1052 mother-offspring (adolescents mean age 12.31 ± 0.37 years old at the first time point, 50.2% females) dyads recruited from the community. Youth completed assessments twice with an interval of one year. Saliva samples, self-reported depressive symptoms and mother-reported parenting were collected. All measures showed good reliability. Genotyping in three dopaminergic genes were performed for each participant in real time with MassARRAY RT software version 3.0.0.4 and analyzed using the MassARRAY Typer software version 3.4 (Sequenom). To examine whether multilocus genetic profile score moderates the effects of parenting on adolescent depressive symptoms and whether this potential moderating effect act in a diathesis-stress or differential susceptibility manner, hierarchical regression analyses were conducted. We also tested above questions by recoding into categorical variables and re-conducted analyses.

The results found that multilocus genetic profile score was a significant risk factor of depression, with higher dopamine genetic risk scores (indicating lower dopaminergic neurotransmission) predicting higher levels of depression. After controlling for gender and prior depressive symptoms, the G × E effect with positive and negative parenting were also significant, suggesting that G × E interaction significantly predicted change in depression level between Time 1 and Time 2. Specifically, adolescents with higher MGPS exhibited higher risk for depression when encountered with lower levels of positive parenting and higher levels of negative parenting, compared to their counterparts with lower MGPS. The results support the diathesis-stress model and highlight the complex ways that genes and environment interact to influence development.

These finding underscores complex polygenic underpinnings of depression and lends support for the mulitlocus genetic profile scores-environment interactions implicated in the etiology of depressive symptoms.

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Effects of embodied simulation on understanding Chinese body action verbs
WANG Bin,LI Zhirui,WU Limei,ZHANG Jijia
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (12): 1291-1305.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01291
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Recent approaches on embodied cognition and theories of semantic and conceptual “grounding” have emphasized the role of perceptual and motor skills in language comprehension and action understanding. Evidence on the role of sensorimotor information in language processing has been obtained from behavioral and neuroimaging studies. These findings have been taken as a support for the claim that language is understood through sensorimotor simulations of actions and events being described. The theory on Perceptual Symbol Systems holds that the sensorimotor system participates in the language comprehension process, which is an empirical simulation of a situation through a series of complex language cues. Chinese characters may show different characteristics from English words because semantic radicals are linked with the meaning of these characters. These semantic radicals may affect the embodied effect of Chinese characters.
In the study, authors used single-character body action verbs in Chinese as experimental materials. Body action verbs are words that use body parts to perform mechanical movements. The directional semantic feature of body action verbs reflects the direction of physical space and can be perceived. Experiment 1 investigated the influence of semantic direction on the spatial judgment of an arrow direction in the motion channel under whole word priming. The repeated measurement design of 2 (Chinese character embodied direction: up/down) × 2 (arrow direction: up/down) was adopted. Thirty-five participants volunteered in this study. Experiment 2 investigated the influence of semantic orientation on the spatial judgment of letter orientation in visual channels under whole word initiation. The repeated measurement design of 2 (Chinese character direction: up/down) × 2 (letter position: up/down) design was used. Thirty-eight participants took part in this experiment. Experiment 3 investigated the embodied simulation of the semantic radical and whole character under the radical priming paradigm. Chinese body action verbs formed by semantic radicals “扌” and “?” were used as experimental materials. A within-subject design of 2 (priming type: semantic radical’s priming/control priming) × 3 (character type: consistent/inconsistent) × 3 (SOA: 43 ms/72 ms/243 ms) was used. Before the behavioral experiment, the participants were asked to hold their hands up for one minute to reinforce the bodybuilding experience of having their hands above and their feet below. Character type shows the direction and orientation between the character and its semantic radical. Consistent character type means that the character and its semantic radical have a similar direction and orientation. For example, the semantic radical “?” means “foot, ” which is below the body. Thus, “蹲” is a consistent character, whereas “跳” is an inconsistent character.
Results suggest the following: (1) When Chinese characters are in a downward semantic direction, the downward arrow is judged faster than the upward arrow. When characters are in an upward semantic direction, the direction of the arrow has a null effect. (2) Chinese characters with upward semantic movement can be used to recognize upper letters more quickly and characters with downward semantic movement can be used to recognize lower letters more quickly. (3) In the middle and late stages of Chinese character processing, the response of consistent and inconsistent Chinese characters is significantly different, indicating that the semantic radical is activated from the middle stage of the Chinese character processing until the late stage.
The present findings demonstrate the following: (1) An action-character compatibility effect is present in Chinese body movement verbs in the movement and visual channels. Understanding Chinese body movement verbs is a cross-channel embodied simulation process. (2) The semantic radical activation of the phonogram starts from the middle stage to the late stage of Chinese body action verb processing. A semantic understanding of Chinese body action verbs has an embodied simulation at the whole character and component (semantic radical) levels.

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HRV evidence for the improvement of emotion regulation in university students with depression tendency by working memory training
PENG Wanqing,LUO Wei,ZHOU Renlai
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (6): 648-661.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00648
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Emotion regulation provides an effective way to understand and control our emotion. The lack of emotion regulation skill is viewed as one of the major causes of emotional problems, such as depression, anxiety disorder and others. Researchers have attempted to find an effective way to improve individuals’ emotion regulation ability. In recent years, a promising direction is working memory updating, which is an essential element in the central executive component of working memory. Some studies suggest that working memory updating plays a critical role in modulating the emotion regulation process and that working memory updating training can enhance emotion regulation ability.

Thus, it is possible to improve depression-prone individuals’ emotion regulation ability through working memory training.

In order to examine the effect of working memory training on the emotion regulation ability of depression-prone college students, we used CES-D (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale) and BDI-II-C (Beck Depression Inventory II Chinese) evaluation to recruit 40 depression-prone students and 20 healthy students. The depression-prone students were further divided into training and control groups voluntarily. The depression-prone training group completed a 20-day working memory training program. The depression-prone control group and healthy control group did not take part in the training. Participants’ scores for 2-back and 3-back tasks, Emotion Regulation Scale (ERS) scores, subjective emotion ratings for emotion regulation tasks, and HF (High Frequency Power) HRV (Heart Rate Variability) and LF (Low Frequency Power) HRV measurements for five conditions (resting, neutral, attending, relaxed and regulation) during pre-test and post-test phases were collected and analyzed. Statistical methods, including observation and variance analysis, were used to compare collected data from the three groups.

We found a significant main effect of condition on subjective emotion ratings. Participants’ subjective emotion scores for the regulation and attending conditions were significantly higher than those for the neutral condition. In addition, the emotion scores for the regulation condition were significantly lower than those for the attending condition. As for the HRV data, during the pre-test phase, the depression-prone training and control groups had no significant difference with respect to HF-HRV, and their HF-HRV was significantly lower than that of the healthy control group. As for the ratio of LF/HF-HRV, a significant condition × group interaction was found. Resting LF/HF-HRV of the healthy control group was significantly higher than that of the depression-prone training and control groups. During the post-test phase, there was a significant increase in HF-HRV for the depression-prone training group. HF-HRV for the depression-prone training group became closer to that of the healthy control group and was marginally significantly higher than that of the depression-prone control group. Moreover, HF-HRV for the depression-prone training group was significantly higher with respect to the regulation condition than the resting condition, while there was no difference for the other two groups. During the post-test phase, the ratio of LF/HF-HRV for the depression-prone training group was significantly higher than for the depression-prone control group, and there was no significant difference between the depression-prone training group and the healthy control group.

In conclusion, the HRV data for the depression-prone training group was more similar to that of the healthy control group during the post-test phase than that of the depression-prone control group, which indicated an improvement in emotional regulation ability. For future research, a larger sample size and a more sophisticated experimental paradigm for HRV data collection are needed.

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The influence of parent-child relationship and “good resource” on unmarried males’ unrestricted sociosexual attitudes
WANG Yan,HOU Bowen,LIU Wenjin
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, 52 (2): 207-215.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00207
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As a Chinese popular saying goes, “Money turns a good man into a bad man”. Is this saying reflecting the truth or not? This research would discuss this phenomenon from the evolutionary perspective.

“Good Resource” has been regarded as one of the most important aspects that males self-evaluate in the mating process. However, little has been known regarding whether and why male mating strategy would vary under different levels of resource availability. According to Life History Theory, the development of humans’ sexual strategy is based on childhood experiences, which would be influenced by current environmental conditions as well. According to previous research, two studies explored how resource-acquiring cues and childhood experiences (including childhood economic condition and parent-child relationship) would influence unmarried males’ unrestricted sociosexual attitudes.

Study 1 adopted the imaginary method, recruited 62 college students (M = 19.53 years, SD = 2.78) in a psychology class at Fudan University. Participants were randomly divided into two groups and filled their demographic information including childhood economic background and parent-child relationships, followed by the task of writing an article. The article was based on the imagination of living either a wealthy life or an underprivileged life. Participants completed the questionnaire adapted from the SOI-STMO (Sociosexual Orientation Inventory - Short-term Mating Orientation Scale; Jackson & Kirkpatrick, 2007) after writing the article. The results showed that parent-child relationship during early childhood was a moderator in the association between the quality of resource and their sexual attitudes. However, the moderating effect of childhood economic background was not found to be statistically significant.

Study 2 utilized Experiences in Close Relationships-Relationship Structures questionnaire (ECR-RS) to explore the moderating effect of attachment styles on the association between the quality of resource and participants’ sexual attitudes. Participants were randomly divided into two groups and filled out their demographic information including childhood economic background and the ECR-RS. Participants were presented with three pictures that showed either “good” or “bad” resource, wrote an article regarding the experience, and completed the questionnaire adapted from the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale (Hendrick, Hendrick, & Reich, 2006). Participants’ photos of their own face were integrated in those pictures to increase a sense of authenticity. According to the results, avoidantly-attached behaviors in the early childhood had the most significant moderating effect on the relationship between resource-acquiring capability and participants’ sexual attitudes. To be specific, highly avoidant participants were more likely to have more open sexual attitudes if they had “good resource.” Those on the lower end of avoidance tended to show a significant lower level of unrestricted sexual attitudes under the situation of “good resource” (vs “bad resource”).

Given these two studies, the previous statement of “Money turns a good man into a bad man” seemed to be true only for those who showed an avoidant attachment style to their parents at the young age. The current study aimed to enrich the Life History Theory literature and provide useful implication and direction for future studies.

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Scene effects on facial expression detection: The moderating effects of trait anxiety
LI Wanyue,HAN Shangfeng,LIU Shen,YANG Yaping,ZHANG Lin,XU Qiang
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (8): 869-878.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00869
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Facial expressions are fundamental emotional stimuli. They convey important information in social interaction. Most previous studies focused on the processing of isolated facial expressions. However, in everyday life, faces always appear within complex scenes. The emotional meaning of the scenes plays an important role in judging facial expressions. Additionally, facial expressions change constantly from appearance to disappearance. Visual scenes may have different effects on the processing of faces with different emotional intensities. Individual personality traits, such as trait anxiety, also affect the processing of facial expressions. For example, individuals with high trait anxiety have processing bias on negative emotional faces. The present study explored whether previously presented visual scenes affected the identification of emotions in morphed facial expressions, and whether the influences of visual scenes on the identification of facial expressions showed differences between individuals with high and low trait anxiety.


Using the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), we placed 29 participants who scored in the top 27% in the high trait anxiety group (9 men and 20 women; mean age 19.76 ± 1.3 years) and 28 participants who scored in the bottom 27% in the low trait anxiety group (11 males and 17 females, mean age 19.71 ± 1.2 years). The images of faces (4 models, half male and half female) used in this study were selected from the NimStim Set of Facial Expressions. The face stimuli showed typical happy, neutral, and fearful expressions. Facial expressions were morphed to create a series of gradually varied images of facial expressions. Specifically, fearful face (100%) versus neutral face (0%) and happy face (100%) versus neutral face (0%) were morphed in 20% increments. In addition, 40 surrounding scene images were used, with 20 positive scenes and 20 negative scenes. In the face-emotion detection task, participants were asked to determine whether the emotion from the faces presented after the scenes were fearful, happy, or neutral.


For the repeated measure ANOVA of the accuracy for facial expression detection, the results showed scene effects on the identification of emotions in facial expressions. The scene effects were varied between the different intensity of face emotion: for the emotionally vague faces, the detection of happy and fearful expression showed significant scene effects; for the faces with moderate emotional intensity, only the detection of the fearful faces showed significant scene effects; for the intense emotions on faces, there was a significant effect on happy and neutral faces but not on fearful faces. Trait anxiety as an individual factor was found to play a moderating role in the identification of facial expressions. For the high trait anxiety group, there were no significant differences in the accuracy of emotional detection between congruent and incongruent conditions. This means that the high trait anxiety group did not show significant scene effects. The low trait anxiety group showed a significant difference in the accuracy of identification of emotions in facial expressions between congruent and incongruent conditions, i.e., significant scene effects.In summary, the present study demonstrated that, for facial expressions with low emotional intensity, the identification of happy and fearful faces was more likely to be affected by visual scenes than the identification of neutral faces. Visual scenes were more likely to affect the identification of moderately fearful faces than moderately happy faces. Trait anxiety played a moderating role in the influence of visual scenes on emotional detection of facial expressions. Specifically, individuals with high trait anxiety were less affected by surrounding visual scenes and paid more attention to facial expressions.

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Does mobile shopping make fast decisions? The role of contextual factors and thinking style
Minxue HUANG,Wei WANG
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (5): 612-624.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00612
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Previous studies have proposed that firms attempt to reduce online shopping choice deferral, which may lead consumers to abandon or drop their shopping carts before making their final purchase. Moreover, given their mobility and tactile effects, the use of mobile devices can make consumers more emotional compared with the use of desktop computers, thereby triggering a decision-making process. However, the results of some surveys reject such case and instead reveal that the decision-making process of consumers is influenced by the interaction between contextual factors and product attributes. In this paper, these contextual factors were classified into mobile devices and personal computers, while product attributes were classified into low price and high price. Inspired by dual-process theory, we supposed that high (low) price might evoke the rational (experiential) thinking styles of consumers and that mobile devices (personal computers) could trigger their experiential (rational) thinking styles. When these thinking styles are triggered by price and device types, the online choice deferral of these consumers will be reduced.
We performed two studies to verify these hypotheses. In Study 1, we collected 3, 674 order data from the Tmall online shopping platform for around two months with the cooperation of a wine company based in China. The threshold regression analysis of secondary data showed that the shopping terminal (mobile phones and personal computers) had no main effect on online shopping choice deferral. However, these results highlighted a significant interaction between product price and device type. As predicted in hypothesis 1, the results indicate that online consumers have significantly more choice deferral for a low-price product when shopping using their personal computers than their mobile phones. Meanwhile, these consumers have significantly more choice deferral for high-price products when shopping using their mobile phones than their personal computers. We also conducted a laboratory experiment to test our hypotheses and verified the mediating effect of thinking style by bootstrapping. We recruited 138 participants in Study 2. Our 2 (device type: mobile phone vs. personal computer) × 2 (price level: low vs. high) between-subject design showed that these participants had significantly lower tendency of choice deferral for low-price products when using mobile phones than when using personal computers. On the contrary, these participants showed a significantly lower tendency of choice deferral for high-price products when using personal computers than when using mobile phones. The mediating effect of thinking style was also verified.
The results suggest that online shopping choice deferral is affected not only by product attributes (such as price level in this paper) but also by specific situations (such as device type in this paper). High- (low-)priced products may evoke the rational (experiential) thinking styles of these consumers, while mobile devices (personal computers) can trigger their experiential (rational) thinking styles. When the thinking style is triggered by the product price and device, the online choice deferral of these consumers can be reduced. On the contrary, triggering these two thinking styles at the same time can increase their online shopping choice deferral.
The theoretical contributions of this research are as follows. First, this study offers a deeper understanding of the consumer shopping scenario by showing that different types of devices can trigger different thinking styles, thereby extending the current perspectives toward mobile shopping. Second, this study enriches the previous research on choice deferral by exploring the situational effect on the decision-making process. Third, this study extends the current understanding of the experiential and rational thinking styles by examining the relationship between these two styles, thereby contributing to dual-process theory. The findings of this study can also help companies improve their scenario-based target marketing.

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Preview processing of between words and within words in Chinese reading: No word highlighting effect
GUAN Yiyun, SONG Xini, ZHENG Yuwei, ZHANG Yingliang, CUI Lei
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (9): 969-981.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00969
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In the present study, readers’ eye movements were recorded to investigate the influence of word highlighting information on the preview processing of between-words and within-words.

Most studies on preview effects have found that the size of the preview effects is 30~50 ms. Hy?n? et al. (2004) examined parafoveal processing of the end lexeme of a long Finnish compound while the beginning lexeme of the compound was fixated. And the results found 80ms preview effect which was more pronounced than previous literatures. The larger preview benefit may have been due to the fact that the preview word is part of one larger linguistic unit (within-words); however, in previous experiments, the preview word and the current fixated word belong to different words (between-words). Consequently, researchers speculated that within-words might induce larger preview effect than that of between-words. Some researchers used compound words (within-words) and phrases (between-words) to further explore this issue and they found that there were no differences between within-words and between-words in preview effects. The results cannot exclude the possible explanation that larger preview effect for within-words is caused by the higher syntactic expectations of nouns comes from adjectives in phrases inducing larger preview effect and then counterbalances the possible differences between the two kinds of words. The present study adopted the boundary paradigm to probe the preview processing differences between within-words and between-words. In the present study, the first character of a two-character compounds (between-words) and the second character of a two-character compounds (within-words) was manipulated to be presented normally or replaced by a pseudo-character for previews. Moreover, word highlighting sentence and non-word highlighting sentence were introduced to examine whether the word boundary information could exert different influences on the preview processing of between-words and within-words. Marking word boundary by word highlighting has its unique advantages. Most of all, compared with word spaces, word highlighting can not only keep the same sentence length meanwhile providing the word boundary information but also control the same word lateral masking on different conditions.

Firstly, the results indicated that the preview effect for between-word was smaller than that of within-word. The results were consistent with the results of Hy?n? et al. (2004), which showed that the morphological information of target word could impact on preview processing. Secondly, we found that there were no differences among normal condition, highlighting condition and non-word highlighting condition. Even so, we did not found the significant influences of word boundary demarcation for preview processing, the possible benefit effect of word boundary still could not be ruled out thoroughly. As Bai et al. (2008) pointed out that readers are familiar with the text without any word boundary signals in normal reading; consequently, the null effect between normal and word boundary text may show a priming effect on word boundary condition, which is the one readers are not familiar with. Thirdly, the results showed that word boundary information had similar effects on within-words and between-words.

Results of the present study indicated that word morphological information could affect its preview processing; however, word boundary information do not necessarily facilitate preview processing for both between-words and within-words. The possible explanation may be that word segmentation and word recognition occur simultaneously. These results are consistent with the model of word segmentation and word recognition.

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Aging effect of picture naming in Chinese: The influence of the non-selective inhibition ability
YANG Qun, ZHANG Qingfang
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (10): 1079-1090.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01079
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Older speakers frequently report more linguistic dysfluencies, verbose and even anomia in speech production than young speakers. The transmission deficit hypothesis assumes that normal aging reduces the activation transmission between the meaning and the word form of target words, which results in more failures. By contrast, the inhibition hypothesis assumes that the inhibitive ability about irrelevant information in older adults is decreased in comparison with young adults, thus more word retrieval failures in the old than in young adults. On the other hand, semantic interference effect and distractor word frequency effect have been observed in picture-word interference (PWI) task. Researchers interpreted the two effects via the competitive (i.e., lexical selection competition during lemma retrieval) and the non-competitive hypotheses (i.e., response exclusion hypothesis). The present study aims to investigate the influence of non-selective inhibition ability in picture naming by examining distractor frequency effect in young and older native Chinese speakers.

In the PWI task, participants were instructed to name pictures as quickly and accurately while ignoring distractor words. In experiment 1, we manipulated age (young vs. older), the frequency of distractor words (High vs. Low), and the onset interval between distractors and target pictures (-100 ms, 0 ms, and 100 ms). In experiment 2, we manipulated age, the frequency of distractor words, and the frequency of target names (High, Medium, and Low). The non-selective inhibition ability was measured by stop-signal task in both groups. Distractors and pictures were presented simultaneously.

Results indicated a target name frequency effect in both young and older groups. Importantly, we found distractor word frequency effects in young adults, but non in older adults. The distractor frequency effect in older adults was absent due to weaker phonological activation of distractor words, and thus support the transmission deficit hypothesis. The correlations between the ability of non-selection inhibition and distractor frequency effect were not significant in both groups, indicating this kind of ability did not affect the magnitude of distractor frequency effect. However, the ability of non-selection inhibition positively correlated with mean naming latencies only in older adults, indicating that the decrease of non-selective inhibition ability influences naming latencies in older adults, while the absence in the young due to the small variations of naming latencies, which need to be investigated further by covering a wide age range (18~80 years).

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Quality or price? The effect of stock-out middle option on consumer choices
YAO Qing, CHEN Rong
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (5): 625-636.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00625
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Consumers in real world sometimes face situations in which information about unavailable products is still present in the decision contexts. For example, consumers may find that certain options are sold out and thus marked by an out-of-stock stamp in such a way that consumers can still examine their attributes information. Traditional models of consumer choices have assumed that the addition of an unavailable alternative to a choice set has no impact on the shares among the original alternatives. However, recent studies on asymmetrical dominance choice sets suggest that adding an alternative that asymmetrically dominates a targeted alternative and is declared to be unavailable increases preference for the target in the original choice set. Three categories of theories, range-weighting, similarity-substitution and relative-advantage, have been used to explain the phenomenon.
Despite prior research interest in extending attraction effect in unavailability context, little is understood about how unavailable options influence preferences among available options in other choice settings. Dominant literature have advocate for the preference for the compromised option in a three-option set. Thus, it is typical that the unavailable option is the compromised one. The above three explanations all fail to predict the preference on the remaining options in this situation.
We propose that consumers are experiencing increasing decision difficulty or feeling greater conflict deciding in the unavailable compromise set than in the two-option set, and thus are likely to alleviate this negative task-related emotion by engaging in conflict-reducing heuristics. In particular, if choice of the compromise option that is associated with smallest maximum error or likelihood of being criticized is impossible, consumers forced to make difficult trade-offs among extremes are likely to rely more on the unambiguous attribute in the evaluations, because unambiguous outcome is associated with a lower likelihood of criticism. Thus, consumers seek to guarantee (avoid) advantages (disadvantages) of their selected option in precision rather than in ambiguity. Based on findings that attributes in quantitative nature (e.g., price) are easier to trade-off than attributes (e.g., quality) in qualitative nature, we predict that the relative preferences for low-quality, low-price option which has a precise and certain advantage will be stronger in presence than in absence of an unavailable intermediate option.
Study 1 establishes that the addition of an unavailable compromise option into a two-option local set can increase the relative share of the cheaper option. In Study 2, we demonstrate that the degree to which the quality advantage (disadvantage) can be ambiguously evaluated moderates this effect. When the value of quality becomes less ambiguous to evaluate (providing experts’ quality evaluations, Study 2A) or more ambiguous to evaluate (describing product quality by a range of performance, Study 2B), the effect that the cheaper option fares better in the unavailable middle option set attenuates or strengthens. Study 3 further examines the underlying mechanism by testing the moderating effect of consumer product knowledge, and the mediating effect of decision conflict. We conclude with a discussion of the theoretical and managerial implications.

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The pursuit of fame at the expense of profit: The influence of power motive and social presence on prosocial behavior
WANG Jianfeng, DAI Bing
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, 52 (1): 55-65.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00055
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Power motive often aims at status and superiority and has been associated with antisocial decision-making, dehumanization of others, infidelity, and aggressive behaviors. In light of such findings, it is not surprising that the power motive has acquired a bad reputation. However, there is also a benevolent, prosocial side to power that has not received equal attention. From the beginning, researchers have emphasized the dual nature of power motive: people realize their power motive in either an antisocial or a prosocial direction. Although the stereotypical picture associated with power implicates a kind of offensively aggressive and imperious behavior, such behavior is unlikely to result in sustainable strategic condition beneficial to attaining and maintaining dominance, and cannot typically characterize individuals mainly driven by power motive. Instead of self-serving or egotistical actions, behavioral strategies in a socially preferable manner would advantage power motivated individuals to achieve the ultimate goal. On the contrary, egocentric behavioral strategies can impress other individuals with antisocial characters, such as imprudence and arbitrariness. 
Research has shown that social presence (e.g., a subtle cue of being watched) has a significant influence on individuals’ behavior in social dilemmas. Specifically, it has been observed that individuals’ tendency to engage in prosocial behavior increases when acting under conditions of a social presence. With respect to social presence, reputation has been discussed as a critical factor determining individuals’ tendency to contribute to a public good and to behave prosocially. The relevant argument holds that individuals are willing to invest private resources under conditions where they can expect to build a positive reputation that may be beneficial in (future) social interactions involving indirect reciprocity. For example, research has demonstrated the status benefits of selfless behavior. Individuals pursue status by enhancing the apparent value they provide to their group and compete for status not by bullying and intimidating others, but by behaving in ways that suggest high levels of competence, generosity, and commitment to the group. This seemingly selfless behavior leads to them being perceived as more generous in their groups and, in turn, leads to a higher status and a good reputation. Therefore, individuals who sought reputation and status attained them by acting strategically prosocially.
The present work builds on previous research on social presence and reputation and addresses the question of whether the effect of power motive on prosocial behavior is dependent on social presence. In essence, the current work put the assumption to the test that, under conditions where a subtle cue of being watched (study 1) or public situation (study 2) render reputational concerns salient, individuals are more likely to act in fairness (study 1) or cooperation (study 2) if they have a higher level of power motive. In contrast, under anonymous conditions, individuals’ power motive should not be related to fair and cooperative behaviors. The results confirmed our hypothesis that under conditions where a subtle cue of being watched or in a public situation, high power motive individuals, relative to low power motive participants, allocated more money to interactive partners in the ultimatum game and provided higher provision levels of public goods in the public good game. On the contrary, under anonymous conditions, no significant relationship was found between individuals’ power motive and fair and cooperative behaviors.
The results suggest that people with high power motive also exhibit prosocial behaviors in consideration of strategies of reputation and status. The present work demonstrates that power motive can play a critical role in social dilemma situations. Moreover, the findings emphasize that one must take the specificity of a situation into account (particularly, whether social presence as a situational factor influences individuals’ decisions) in order to explain individuals’ behavior in dilemma situations.

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Exploring ideas of embodied psychology in Chinese Mythology
SU Jiajia,YE Haosheng
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, 52 (3): 386-398.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00386
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Which branch of science does psychology fall under? Does China practice psychology? How should China establish its own scientific discipline of psychology? These three questions urgently need to be resolved since the birth of psychology. With the current development of Western psychology, the rise of ‘embodied cognition’ has allowed us to foresee the greatest possibility of Chinese-Western psychological dialogue and the establishment of China’s own discipline of psychology. The ‘embodied cognition’ of Western psychology is closely related to the ‘body-knowing’ ideas existed in Chinese culture with the concept of ‘nature-human integration’ as the core, whereas Chinese culture has its own body elements that are different from the Western culture. The source of culture is indeed a myth. This study attempts to explore the ‘embodied wisdom’ of Chinese traditional culture from the visual threshold of Chinese myths. The objective is to make a sound basis for the comprehensive scientific orientation of psychology, contributing to the integration of psychology and establishment of China’s own scientific discipline of psychology.
On the basis of a purely embodied psychological position, this study is summarised in three parts. Firstly, from the ontological dimension, the phenomenological interpretation method is used to describe how a mythical body is generated, and the myth of world, things and human origin are used as the example to reveal the ontological characteristic of China’s ‘body’ (monism). Secondly, from the spatial dimension, theory of conceptual metaphor is used to analyse how the mythological body phenomenology field is extended, and the perspectives of things and human beings are one, nature and human beings are one and Gods and human beings are one demonstrate the spatial characteristic of China’s ‘body’ (theory of Qi). Finally, from the time dimension, social construction theory is used to deconstruct that how the mythical body is changed in the time field and from the three levels of social, cultural and history to express the time characteristic of China’s ‘body’ (theory of Yi).
Since the ancient times, Chinese culture and Western culture have been two different points, obviously. It is impossible naturally for Chinese people to produce ‘epistemology’ in the Western sense of ‘observing knowledge’, because the soil foundation of Chinese culture is ‘ontology’ (experiencing knowledge). China’s ‘monism’ emphasises that the body contains the soul, and the soul embodies the body, which means that the body and soul are perceived as one. From the perspective of Chinese creation myth, China’s ‘body’ can be viewed as the ‘Tao’, the body possesses the ‘power’ and the body also owns ‘will’. China’s Qi theory emphasises that the Qi is full of the three worlds, namely heaven, earth and human beings, hence, from the perspective of Chinese mythology, human beings are integrated with everything, human beings and nature share the same destiny and human beings and gods are connected. China’s Yi theory emphasises that change itself is constant, which due to the meaning of relations always outweighs the meaning of elements in Chinese philosophy. Thus, cultural imagery, social thinking and historical sense existed in China’s creation myth are also the result of the human body’s real-time construction. Inferred from ancient Chinese mythology, the Chinese people know that this world is based on the changing cosmic schema of the ‘body-human beings-things-gods’, which means that the ontological, spatial and temporal dimensions are all dissolved at the starting point of the body. Therefore, China’s ‘embodied psychology’ ideas pay attention to ‘nature-human integration’ in the sense of ontology. So, there is only one body clearly embodied in the world of Chinese traditional culture. Thus, we will no longer be able to judge Chinese psychological ideas under the standards of Western psychology.
In summary: (1) psychology should be a unified study that combines natural and humanities science, in which the potential representative is embodied cognition; (2) the integration path of psychology must draw on the wisdom of embodied ideas of psychology that have existed in ancient Chinese culture, especially in the root of the Chinese mythology; (3) China must combine the creative transformation of Chinese and Western embodied psychology to establish the discipline of Chinese scientific psychology.

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Effect of childbearing deadline on women’s wanted fertility
XING Cai,MENG Yuqi,LIN Qingqing,QIN Ziyu
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (4): 428-436.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00428
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The transition to ultra-low level of fertility in China has become a major challenge to its sustainable development. As the population of reproductive-aged women will continue to decline in the upcoming years, enhancing women’s childbearing motivation is important and urgent to avoid further decline of fertility rate. This work is the first attempt to examine the effect of childbearing deadline on women’s childbearing motivation. With socioemotional selectivity theory, life-span theory of control, and previous findings about the ending effect in the field of decision making as basis, this work aims to examine the causal link between women’s childbearing deadline and motivation.

Three studies were conducted in this work. The first study used an online questionnaire to examine the relationship between the time left women perceived before their childbearing deadline and their childbearing motivation. Women who perceive they are closer to their childbearing deadline reported higher childbearing motivation. The second study, which was conducted in laboratory settings, examined the causal effect between these two factors by manipulating women’s perception of optimal childbearing deadline. Participants were randomly assigned to two experimental conditions: limited and extended. Participants who were told that women’s optimal childbearing deadline is 26 fell under the former condition, and those who were told that the deadline is 32 fell under the latter. Participants’ baseline childbearing motivation served as another independent variable. Participants completed an implicit association test with pictures of babies and baby animals served as stimuli. They also completed a brief questionnaire in which they answered three questions concerning their childbearing motivation. An interaction effect between childbearing deadline and baseline childbearing motivation emerged in the reaction time of the implicit association test. Simple effect analyses revealed that participants with higher baseline childbearing motivation showed greater increase in their childbearing motivation compared with those with lower baseline childbearing motivation. Participants in the limited condition showed greater increase in their childbearing motivation compared with those in the extended condition. Participants in studies 1 and 2 were young single women. Study 3 tested this effect among married women who were aged below 40 with one or no child. Half of them were primed with a childbearing deadline, whereas the other half were in the control condition. Participants primed with a childbearing deadline showed greater number of wanted fertility, which further supported the findings in studies 1 and 2. This work marks only the beginning. When and how does childbearing deadline influence women’s childbearing motivation should be further explored.

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The implicit advantage of a high kindness trait in the action control of emotion regulation
SUN Juncai,XUN Fengjiao,LIU Ping,ZHANG Wenhai
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (7): 781-794.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00781
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Kindness is a desirable trait to possess, and it is therefore commendable to investigate its link with self-regulation and, in particular, emotion regulation. Implicit processes in general are much more consistent and reliable, as they are triggered automatically and run to completion without conscious effort or monitoring. Therefore, the effect of implicit emotion regulation on psychological health is more important than that of explicit cognitive behavior and ability. Based on an action control perspective, which suggests that the regulatory process for emotions usually includes three sub-tasks, in this study, a set of implicit tasks were designed to investigate the influence of the kindness trait on implicit emotion regulation among undergraduate students with different levels of kindness.
The Chinese Personality Scale was used to assess level of kindness. This study surveyed 399 college students, ultimately selecting 60 participants (30 with high scores and 30 with low scores). The results showed that the high-kindness group had significantly higher scores (M = 90.57, SD = 6.17) than did the low-kindness group (M = 52.28, SD = 3.83), t (58) = 28.70, p < 0.001). A subset of participants was selected based on their kindness scores. They then completed three experimental tasks. First, an emotional Stroop task was conducted to compare the interference effect in color identification caused by emotional valence between the two groups. In this task, the experiment materials were positive and negative emotional words related to interpersonal relationships. The second task used an implicit association test of emotion regulation (ER-IAT) to assess differences in implicit attitude toward emotion regulation between the two groups. The third task was a visual face detection task, which used different expressions to determine the efficiency of implicit emotion recovery in the two groups after a negative emotion induction.
The results showed that (1) in the first task, the high-kindness group had a significantly longer reaction time to words describing positive interpersonal relationships than to negative words (p = 0.02). In contrast, the low-kindness participants did not show any difference in reaction times to the two types of words (p = 0.4). (2) In the second task, the high-kindness group had a significantly higher D value (0.34 ± 0.64) than did the low-kindness group (-0.30 ± 0.68), t(54) = 3.64, p = 0.001. (3) In the third task, although the explicit emotion changes did not differ significantly between the two groups at any time point (all p > 0.05), the reaction times for the high-kindness participants were significantly shorter than those for the low-kindness participants in the visual face search tasks using happy-angry combination matrixes (p = 0.01).
This study presented the link between the personality trait of kindness and implicit emotional responses according to action control theory. These results suggested that (1) the emotional valence of words only interferes with the reaction times of high-kindness participants’ color judgment, and a more significant Stroop interference effect was only found for positive valence words. (2) High-kindness individuals were more inclined to demonstrate a positive implicit attitude in emotion regulation and preferred a deliberate, appropriate control of emotions. In contrast, the low-kindness individuals were more inclined toward a negative implicit attitude towards emotion regulation and preferred a direct expression of emotions. (3) The high-kindness individuals shifted their attention away from angry faces more quickly and had greater implicit emotion regulation ability. This study provided experimental evidence that there was an advantage for kindness traits with regard to implicit emotion regulation.

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Visual representation of items with semantic information in sensory memory
HU Jingjing,XU Haokui,CAO Liren
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, 51 (9): 982-991.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00982
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Visual representation is one of the most important topics in sensory memory. Traditionally, visual representation with respect to sensory memory was regarded as an ‘icon’, the processing of which would cease after a subsequent stimulus (backward masking). Recently, an increasing number of researches have suggested a more flexible representation of visual sensory memory in which the features of the visual stimulus could be expressed in an abstract form. As previous researchers paid considerable attention to only the schematic features of a visual stimulus, the abstract information contained in a stimulus has rarely been explored. In this study, we have focused on the semantic information of the visual representation of the sensory memory. In a part-report task, the Arabic digits were employed as the target, and the Chinese digits as the semantic-similar mask, which were semantically related to Arabic digits; the noise patterns were employed as the non-semantic mask. If under the Chinese mask condition, the participants’ performance of reporting target digits decreased, it would reveal a conflict between the representations of the target and the mask, thereby suggesting that the visual representation of the sensory memory contains semantic information of the stimulus.

In Experiment 1, the target stimuli were arrays of 3×4 Arabic digits generated by selecting at random from a set containing digits zero to nine. A mask stimuli could either be (a) a single binary visual noise with an element size equal to the stroke width of the target digits, or (b) a 3×4 array of random standard Chinese-digits in capital form whose spatial arrangement is identical to that of the target and its size is big enough to overlap the corresponding target digits. Both the targets and masks were presented within 23.5 ms (2 frames in 85 Hz) and the inter-stimulus interval (ISI) between the offset of the target and the onset of the mask was 105.9 ms (9 frames in 85 Hz). There were three conditions for reporting: part-report with 0 ms cue-delay, part-report with 447 ms cue-delay, and whole-report with no cue-delay. A correct response was recorded only when the participants reported the correct digits at the locations they occurred in the target array. The results showed a significant difference between the noise and standard Chinese-digit mask under all of the three reporting conditions; there was a significant part-report advantage for the noise mask, but not for the Chinese characters. This indicated that semantic information can influence information processing in the sensory memory. Considering that noise and Chinese characters are different at a schematic level, we inverted the Chinese digits in Experiment 2 to destroy their semantic information but reserve their schematic feature.

Therefore, Experiment 2 was identical to Experiment 1, except the Chinese digits were inverted. The results showed that the difference between the noise and inverted Chinese-digit masks still existed, while both showed significant part-report advantages. We conducted an analysis across-experiment afterwards. There was a significant difference between the standard and inverted Chinese-digit masks, while there was no significant difference between the noise masks across the two experiments. Results above revealed that masks with different semantic information but the same schematic information can influence the target processing differently. Considering that the standard and inverted Chinese digits are different in semantic strength, we employed commonly used Chinese characters in Experiment 3 to ensure that the two masks under comparison have different meanings but a similar semantic strength.

In Experiment 3, we employed Chinese digits and commonly used Chinese characters as masks. These two masks had similar word frequencies and number of strokes. However, the Chinese-digit mask still showed a significant stronger masking effect, which revealed the effect of semantic similarity. This implied that the visual representation in sensory memory could contain semantic information.

In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that the feature represented in sensory memory is not only schematic but also semantic. The functions of such a feature-based representation and its interaction with the icon have also been discussed.

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The underlying mechanism of emotions on co-representation in joint actions
SONG Xiaolei,JIA Xiaoqian,ZHAO Yuan,GUO Jingjing
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, 52 (3): 269-282.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00269
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Joint action is a common phenomenon that involves two or more people cooperating together to achieve a common goal in our daily life. The action representation of co-actors play an important role in joint actions. Self-other integration, as a type of cognitive process, is the foundation of the joint action. Moreover, emotion can influence not only cognitive processes but also social interactions (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). Therefore, it is worthy to investigate whether different types of emotion play an important role in joint action.
Three experiments were conducted in the present study to explore the influences of different dimensional of emotions on joint actions. A total of 48 participants were recruited in Experiment 1a to investigate the change of co-representation ability in joint action under conditions of high level of arousal with high/low level of valence. Joint Simon task was used to measure the ability of co-representation, and PANAS and Affect Grid were used to measure the level of emotional valence and arousal. In Experiment 1b, 48 participants were recruited to further explore the effect of low arousal with different valences on joint actions. In Experiment 2, another 48 participants were recruited to explore the effect of the dimension of motivation on joint actions under the condition of high arousal and high valence.
The results of Experiment 1a showed that high arousal improved Joint Simon effect (JSE) significantly regardless of the valence, which indicated that high arousal played an important role in joint actions. Experiment 1b revealed that high valence played a compensating role under the condition of low arousal. The results of combined analyses of experiment 1a and 1b showed that high arousal could be a key factor in enhancing the ability of co-representation. Experiment 2 found that, only under the condition of low motivation, high arousal with high valence could significantly improve JSE.
In conclusion, these results indicate that (1) high level of emotional arousal is the key factor in improving the ability of co-representation in joint actions regardless of the level of emotional valence; (2) high level of emotional valence played an compensating role under the condition of low level of arousal to maintain the level of co-representation; (3) the high arousal is not the determined factor in the enhancement of the co-representation and moderated by motivation intensity as well; and (4) When completing joint action, emotions adjusts the referential coding of co-actor through regulating range of attention so that influences the ability of co-representation, which further confirming the referential coding account.

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