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    Neural mechanism underlying the effects of object color on episodic memory
    ZHOU Wenjie, DENG Liqun, DING Jinhong
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2021, 53 (3): 229-243.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00229
    Abstract8654)   HTML1538)    PDF (1154KB)(15147)      

    Color diagnosticity is the degree to which a color is associated with or symbolizes a particular object. Typical color is often associated with high color diagnostic objects and activates the visual (perceptual) or semantic (conceptual) knowledge in long-term memory. However, the relationship between different processing levels (perceptual and conceptual) of object color information and episodic memory retrieval components (familiarity and recollection) remains poorly understood. It is hypothesized that color information can facilitate memory encoding at the perceptual level but inhibit it at the conceptual level. In recognition retrieval, color has a greater impact on familiarity and recollection at the perceptual level, while at the conceptual level, recollection is more affected than familiarity.

    In the present study, event-related potential (ERP) and a study-test paradigm were used to investigate the effects of color consistency (visual color input and object color knowledge) on episodic memory encoding and retrieval by using pictures and names of objects with high color diagnosticity. Twenty-seven college students participated in experiment 1. During the study phase, a picture of an object in its diagnostic color (such as a red apple) or non-diagnostic color (purple banana) was presented on a white background for 500ms. The participants were asked to determine whether the color of the object in each picture was consistent with its actual (diagnostic) color. During the test phase, participants provided old/new judgments about the objects that had appeared in the study phase and the equal number of new items. Twenty-five college students participated in the experiment. A similar procedure was used for experiment two, except that items were the names of the objects in their diagnostic or non-diagnostic color rather than pictures. During both experiments, the participants responded by pressing a mouse button. Their reaction time and EEG (electroencephalography) were recorded.

    The results of experiment 1 showed that, during the encoding phase, color-inconsistent objects were identified less accurately and more slowly, and this triggered a larger N400 than the color-consistent ones. During the retrieval phase the color-consistent objects were recalled more quickly and accurately, and this triggered larger FN400 (frontal negativity) values than the color-inconsistent objects. However, the opposite effects were observed in experiment 2. Color-inconsistent object names were identified more quickly and accurately, and they elicited the same ERP wave as the color-consistent names. During the recognition stage, the color had an effect only during the period of late positive components (LPCs).

    In conclusion, color was found to have different effects on encoding and retrieval of episodic memory at both perceptual and semantic levels. (1) Color had different effects on item coding at the perceptual and semantic levels. Color consistency was found to help the viewer identify objects at the perceptual level, but it hindered object identification at the semantic level. (2) Color congruence was here found to promote familiarity and recollection in object retrieval (perceptual level), but it only improved recollection of an object’s name (conceptual level). (3) The consistency effect in the processing of object name recognition showed that color is closely related to object name, and it also affects the semantic representation of objects, which further supports the spreading activation model.

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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
    Abstract11113)   HTML749)    PDF (646KB)(14649)      

    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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    Mobile phone addiction and depression: Multiple mediating effects of social anxiety and attentional bias to negative emotional information
    HOU Juan, ZHU Yingge, FANG Xiaoyi
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2021, 53 (4): 362-373.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00362
    Abstract9813)   HTML1563)    PDF (892KB)(13809)      

    Depression is an important and widely studied measure of individual psychological and social adaptation. Previous studies have explored the mechanism of depression from various perspectives and found that addiction is a significant risk factor for the development of depression. In recent years, with the rapid development of mobile Internet technology and smart phones, researchers have found that mobile phone addiction, as another important aspect of behavioral addiction, also has a potential impact on depression. Further studies have found that mobile-addicted individuals spend too much time and energy in the virtual world, thus leading to social anxiety. In addition, when social anxiety is so high that it affects the daily life of individuals, individuals are prone to suffer depressive symptoms. According to the cognitive behavioral model of social anxiety and emotional consistent effect, attentional bias to negative information is a key factor in maintaining the anxiety state among individuals with social anxiety. When an individual experiences social anxiety, they will pay more attention to negative information. Depression cognitive theory also posits that attentional bias to negative emotional information is closely related with the occurrence, development and maintenance of depression.
    Therefore, social anxiety and attentional bias to negative emotional information may be important factors in the effects of mobile phone addiction on depression. This study integrated emotional and cognitive factors and explored the effects of social anxiety and attentional bias to negative emotional information on the relationship between mobile phone addiction on depression through two studies. For study 1, a sample of 545 college students completed the Mobile Phone Addiction Index, Beck Depression Inventory and Social Interaction Anxiety Scale. For study 2, 51 college students were selected to complete questionnaires and a 2 (Emotional types of paired facial expressions: negative, neutral) × 2 (Detection point position: same as negative emotional face expression, different from negative emotional face expression) within-subjects task to investigate the serial mediating effects of social anxiety and attentional bias to negative emotional information on the relationship between mobile phone addiction and depression.
    All the data were analyzed by SPSS 20.0 and Mplus 8.3. Some valuable results were obtained as follows. (1) There were significant positive correlations among mobile phone addiction, social anxiety and depression. Social anxiety fully mediated the effect of mobile phone addiction on depression. (2) Social anxiety and attentional bias to negative emotional information serially mediated the relationship between mobile phone addiction and depression. However, attentional bias to negative emotional information did not significantly mediate the effect of mobile phone addiction on depression. Specifically, mobile phone addiction affects depression through two pathways: one is the separate mediating role of social anxiety; the other is the serial mediation pathway of social anxiety → attentional bias to negative emotional information.
    This study expands previous research on mobile phone addiction and individual psychological adaptation, enriches the field of addiction and depression research, and has significance regarding the reduction or control of the negative effects of addiction on depression. Additionally, this study also provides evidence for causal inference that social anxiety and attentional bias can alter depression levels, suggesting that attentional bias training is likely to be a promising alternative therapy for depression and providing new ideas for the intervention and treatment of clinical mental disorders.

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    The impact of gender orientation of names on individuals’ evaluation of impressions and interpersonal interaction
    ZUO Bin, LIU Chen, WEN Fangfang, TAN Xiao, XIE Zhijie
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2021, 53 (4): 387-399.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00387
    Abstract6916)   HTML825)    PDF (703KB)(11846)      

    People can infer personal traits from names and, thus, the impressions of an individual can be influenced by how others perceive his or her name. Previous research has found that people have a distinctive perception of masculine and feminine names. This raises an interesting question: How do people evaluate individuals with opposite gender-oriented names, and how will this evaluation affect interpersonal interaction based on the main two dimensions of social cognition (i.e., warmth and competence). To answer these questions, the first aim of this study was to evaluate the perception of warmth and competence of names within the Chinese context and examine the effects of an individual’s gender and name-gender orientation on impression formation. The second aim was to explore the behavioral aftereffects of evaluation of impressions based on individual’s names.
    Four studies were conducted to explore the research questions. In Study 1, a total of 100 masculine and feminine names were presented to 176 undergraduate students who were asked to rate these names according to four traits: two traits for each dimension of warmth and competence. In Study 2, 121 undergraduate participants were presented with information about target genders and names. Participants were asked to rate these targets based on warmth and competence. In Study 3a, 136 undergraduate participants were presented with two targets that had masculine or feminine names within the context of imagining going on a trip with them. Furthermore, in Study 3b, 131 undergraduate participants were asked to imagine that they would meet two individuals with different names within the context of finishing a difficult task. Participants in Study 3a and Study 3b were then asked to evaluate these individuals based on their warmth and competence traits and choose one of them as their partner to complete the corresponding activities.
    The results were as follows: (1) Feminine names were rated higher on warmth than masculine names, and masculine names were rated higher on competence than feminine names; (2) Individuals with gender-consistent names were considered to have the typical characteristics of their gender: women with feminine names were perceived as warmer than women with masculine names, and men with masculine names were perceived more competent than men with feminine names; (3) Individuals with gender-inconsistent names were considered to have the characteristics of the opposite sex: men with feminine names were perceived less competent than women with masculine names, whereas women with masculine names were perceived less warm than men with feminine names; (4) Participants intended to make friends with women whose names were consistent with their gender, and the perception of warmth completely mediated the effect of name-gender orientation on willingness to interact; and 5) Participants preferred to finish difficult tasks with men whose names were consistent with their gender, and the perception of competence completely mediated the effect of name gender orientation on willingness to cooperate.
    This is the first study to explore how gender and name gender orientation affect individuals’ impressions by applying stereotype content in China. We examined the influence of name gender orientation on individuals’ perceptions about others, as well as their behavior intention and mechanism, from the perspective of the perceiver’s motivation. This study provides new theoretical explanations and empirical support for impression evaluation and interpersonal interaction based on names, and has important implications for future research on the social cognition of names. Further studies should explore the content of gender-ambiguous names and their effects on individuals’ impressions and behavioral aftereffects. The effects of emotional and cognitive processes on names and interpersonal interaction should also be assessed.

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    Outstanding others vs. mediocre me: The effect of social comparison on uniqueness-seeking behavior
    GONG Xiushuang, ZHANG Honghong
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, 52 (5): 645-658.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00645
    Abstract8596)   HTML676)    PDF (707KB)(11766)      

    Uniqueness-seeking behavior can be driven by various factors. Despite the common phenomenon that better-off individuals seem to seek more uniqueness and express individuality more frequently, no researcher has investigated whether and how social comparison influences uniqueness-seeking behavior. According to the better-than-average effect, people tend to perceive themselves better off than the average on many important dimensions and are inclined to see themselves as unique when there are no social comparisons. Building on the compensatory consumption model, we aim to investigate the impact of social comparison on uniqueness-seeking behavior, and further examine why this effect occurs as well as when it will be attenuated or intensified.
    In social comparisons, comparing upwardly (vs. downwardly) may threaten individuals’ pervasively held better-than-average self-evaluation bias, which motivates them to adjust their self-evaluations downwardly to the average. Prior research suggests that the average is mostly seen as ordinary, mediocre and unexceptional. Therefore, we infer that people comparing upwardly may experience a decreased sense of uniqueness, which drives them to seek unique options in subsequent unrelated contexts. This effect holds for many dimensions, such as economic status. In that case, perceived economic mobility acts as an important moderator. We predict that when perceived economic mobility is high, threats induced by upward comparisons will be mitigated, as are individuals’ psychological and behavioral responses. However, when perceived economic mobility is low, the responses will be intensified.
    Across five experiments, we demonstrate that upward comparisons increase consumer preference for less popular scenic spots (Study 1). The psychological mechanism underlying this effect is that upward comparisons lower perceived uniqueness, leading individuals to choose minority-endorsed products to compensate for the negative self-discrepancy (studies 2a and 2c). The fundamental driving force of the main effect is that upward comparisons increase consumers’ uniqueness-seeking tendency (Study 2b). Furthermore, when comparing upwardly on economic status, consumers still show stronger preference for niche book clubs, and the effect of social comparison on perceived uniqueness and uniqueness seeking will be mitigated when perceived economic mobility is high but is strengthened when perceived economic mobility is low (Study 3).
    The present research provides evidence that upward comparisons can lead to uniqueness-seeking behavior by examining the mediating role of perceived uniqueness, supporting our basic premise that individuals perceive themselves as unique when making no comparisons. In doing this, we make theoretical contributions to research on both uniqueness seeking and the strategies for coping with upward comparisons. This also sheds light on marketing strategies that enterprises can employ to increase sales of unpopular or customized products as well as coping strategies that consumers can use to alleviate threats of upward comparisons on different dimensions.

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    The attention bias effect of infant face: The mechanism of cuteness and familiarity
    LEI Yi, XIA Qi, MO Zhifeng, LI Hong
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, 52 (7): 811-822.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00811
    Abstract7491)   HTML643)    PDF (1473KB)(11275)      

    Previous studies found attention bias towards an infant’s face among parents and non-parents. Ethologist Konrad Lorenz proposed the concept of “baby schema,” indicating that the rapid reaction towards an infant’s information is an innate releasing mechanism. The follow-up research found that the attention bias effect was affected by individual differences, such as gender, characteristics, hormones, etc. However, little is known about an infant’s facial features and the impact of those features on the attention bias.
    This study investigates the influence of cuteness and familiarity on the attention bias effect towards an infant’s face. A 2 (cuteness:high cuteness, low cuteness) × 2 (familiarity: high familiarity, low familiarity) within subject design was used in this study. Before the formal experiment, according to 31 participants’ rating of cuteness after pictures of infants’ face with high and low cuteness were shown. The familiarity of faces was manipulated by infant face learning. There were 35 participants in our formal experiment and each participant completed 3 parts: infant facial images learning and recognition task, dot probe task, and rating task. This study used eye-movement tracking and subjective ratings to investigate the influence of cuteness and familiarity of infant’s faces on the preference/ attention bias effect towards an infant’s face by comparing the attention bias indexes under four conditions in the dot probe task.
    The dot-probe task indicated that compared to adult’s faces, participants reacted quicker when the target was presented at the same location with an infant’s face. The reaction time bias under the high-cuteness infant face condition was stronger than the low-cuteness infant face condition. The eye-movement tracking results showed that participants preferred looking at the high-cuteness infant faces, indicating first fixation duration bias and the total gaze duration bias. However, there was no significant difference in the direction of eye movement and first fixation latency bias. These results implied an attention maintenance pattern for high- cuteness infant faces. Furthermore, this pattern only existed under the low-familiarity condition. The attention bias effect between high and low-cuteness infant faces was not significantly different under the high-familiarity condition. For the rating of cuteness, infant faces with high-familiarity were rated as cuter than the low-familiarity infant faces, regardless of their cuteness.
    In conclusion, our experiment identified that the cuteness of infants’ face influences the effect of attention bias towards an infant’s face under the low-familiarity condition. Regarding the preferences, there may be a dissociative situation between subjective rating and gazing behavior.

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    The relationship between social media use and fear of missing out: A meta-analysis
    ZHANG Yali, LI Sen, YU Guoliang
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2021, 53 (3): 273-290.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00273
    Abstract6028)   HTML919)    PDF (1153KB)(10801)      

    Social media use and fear of missing out are both common phenomena in our daily life. Numerous studies have discussed the relationship between these two variables, but the results were mixed. Theoretically, there are two main arguments about the relationship between social media use and fear of missing out. To be specific, the social cognitive theory of mass communication suggested that there was a significant positive correlation between the two variables, while the digital goldilocks hypothesis argued that there may be a U-shaped relationship instead of a significant linear correlation between the two. Empirically, the effect sizes of this relationship reported in the existing literature were far from consistent, with r values ranging from 0 to 0.75. Therefore, this meta-analysis was conducted to explore the strength and moderators of the relationship between social media use and fear of missing out.

    Through literature retrieval, 65 studies consisting of 70 independent effect sizes that met the inclusion criteria were selected. In addition, a random-effects model was selected to conduct the meta-analysis in Comprehensive Meta-Analysis 3.3 software, aiming at testing our hypotheses. The heterogeneity test illustrated that there was significant heterogeneity among 70 independent effect sizes, indicating that the random-effects model was appropriate for subsequent meta-analyses. Based on the funnel plot and Egger’s test of regression to the intercept, no significant publication bias was found in the included studies.

    The main effect analysis indicated a significant positive correlation between social media use and fear of missing out (r = 0.38). The moderation analyses revealed that the relationship between social media use and fear of missing out was moderated by the indicator of social media use, as well as the type of social media. Specifically, compared with the frequency, the time as well as the intensity of social media use, social media use addiction had the strongest correlation with fear of missing out; compared with Snapchat and Facebook, Instagram had the strongest correlation with fear of missing out. Other moderators such as gender, age, measurement tools of fear of missing out as well as individualism index did not moderate the relation between these two constructs. The results supported the media effect model, which suggested that social media use, especially social media use addiction may be an important risk factor for individuals’ fear of missing out. Longitudinal studies are needed in the future to explore the dynamic relationship between social media use and fear of missing out.

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    The development of creativity in senior primary school students: Gender differences and the role of school support
    ZHANG Jinghuan, FU Mengmeng, XIN Yuwen, CHEN Peipei, SHA Sha
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, 52 (9): 1057-1070.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01057
    Abstract6481)   HTML746)    PDF (709KB)(10660)      

    Creativity has been emphasized as a key competence for adolescents to achieve success in the rapidly changing world. Although developmental psychologists have put tremendous efforts into identifying the developmental trajectory of creativity, no consensus has yet been reached. Researchers have found many factors that potentially affect the development of creativity, including individual differences (such as gender differences), and the influence of the classroom environment. Besides, previous studies have not examined the creativity trajectory taking both the initial level and the growth speed into consideration. To address these flaws, the present study adopted a longitudinal design to explore the creativity development of senior primary school students through the between-person comparisons of different gender groups and school supports (the support from teachers and peers) as well as the within-person changes in response to the changing supports from schools.

    Two hundred and three Grade-4 primary school students (109 boys and 94 girls, mean age = 10.43 years, SD = 0.62 years, during the first phase of the test, T1) from three elementary schools participated in the three years’ longitudinal study and were assessed for three times (T1, T2, T3). Runco Creativity Assessment Battery (figural divergent thinking tests from rCAB) and Perceived School Climate Scale were used to measure creativity and school support, respectively. The study project was reviewed and approved by the Ethics Committee of Shandong Normal University and obtained the informed consent of parents of the participants. The data were managed and analyzed using SPSS 22.0 and HLM 6.08 software. A series of analyses, including descriptive, correlation, and multilevel analyses, were conducted to explore the developmental trajectory of creativity and the potential relationship between the school support and creativity.

    The results of the study were as follows: (1) The fluency of creativity of senior primary school students from grade 4 to 6 showed a linear growth trend, while the flexibility and originality of creativity showed a non-linear growth trend. In addition, the initial level of creativity was positively correlated with its growth speed. (2) Individual differences existed not only in the initial levels of fluency, flexibility, and originality, but also in the growth speed of fluency and originality. (3) Senior primary school girls performed significantly higher at initial levels of flexibility and originality than their male counterparts. (4) On the between-person level, the interaction between teacher support and gender significantly predicted the initial level of flexibility; teacher support significantly positively predicted the initial level of fluency; teacher support significantly positively predicted the growth speed of originality. (5) On the within-person level, time-varying teacher support significantly positively predicted time-varying fluency.

    The current study is, to our knowledge, the first exploration to describe the developmental trajectory of senior primary school students’ creativity in Mainland China using a longitudinal design. These findings will deepen the understanding of developmental rules of creativity, and provide implications for the cultivation of creativity among senior primary school students.

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    Evolution of Napoleon complex: Relative height disadvantage, mating motivation and men’s risk-taking behavior
    WU Qi, ZHONG Chunyan, XIE Jingyuan
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2021, 53 (1): 95-110.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00095
    Abstract4883)   HTML507)    PDF (1176KB)(10633)      

    Throughout the animal kingdom, larger animals are more likely to attain dominance and thus enhance their ability to acquire mates. In human males, body height is also associated with the success and failure in sexual selection. For example, studies have found that taller men have higher strength or fighting ability, are more likely to higher overall income and higher social status, and hold greater potential for acquiring mates. However, shorter men are not necessarily doomed with disadvantages. Previous studies have suggested that men have a flexible status psychology that may allow them to exercise behavioral flexibility (e.g., by showing more indirect aggression or feeling more jealousy toward sexual rivals) to compensate for their disadvantage in height. Given the importance of risk-taking behavior in signalizing the quality of ones’ genes, in the present study, we hypothesized that when encountering a taller same-sex rival, shorter men would compensate for their disadvantages in height by showing more risk-taking behavior, and their mating motives would modulate such an effect in men.
    This hypothesis was tested by four behavioral studies. We measured risk-taking behavior by employing a well-validated and computerized laboratory task (i.e., Balloon Analogue Risk Task, BART). In Studies 1 and 2, male or female participants (176 participants in Study 1, and 246 participants in Study 2, respectively) were paired with taller or shorter same-sex opponents, and were asked to compete with their opponents in a computerized game (i.e., the BART task. In Study 3 (255 male participants), we further tested our hypothesis by situationally activating the mating motives of male participants (i.e., by watching videos depicting highly attractive females) and paired them with taller or shorter male opponents in the BART task as in Studies 1 and 2. In Study 4 (90 male participants), we further investigated the effects of chronic mating motive and the relative height disadvantage on men’s risk-taking by employing the Mate Seeking scale of Fundamental Social Motives Inventory.
    The results showed that: 1) male participants had significantly higher BART scores (i.e., the average numbers of pumps per unexploded balloon) when their opponents were taller; 2) such an effect was caused by the increase in risk-taking propensity when facing a taller opponent; facing a shorter opponent didn’t affect the risk-taking of male participants (also be compared to a no-height-info control); 3) the relative height difference between participants and their opponents did not affect the risk-taking of female participants; 4) situationally activating the mating motives of male participants significantly affected the effects of relative height disadvantage on male risk-taking, after watching the mating prime, male participants were more likely to elevate their risk-propensity to compensate for their disadvantage in height; 5) male participants with higher level of chronic mating motivation were also more likely to elevate their risk-propensity to compensate for the height disadvantage.
    The above results support our hypothesis, suggesting that men may have evolved a behavioral strategy to elevate their risk-taking propensity to compensate for their height disadvantage, and this strategy iswas driven by motives of intrasexual competition and mating. Our study thus provides further evidence for the evolutionary theory of Napoleon complex.

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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
    Abstract7783)   HTML296)    PDF (599KB)(10049)      

    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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    Eliminating threat or venting rage?The relationship between narcissism and aggression in violent offenders
    LIU Yuping, LI Shanshan, HE Yun, WANG Doudou, YANG Bo
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2021, 53 (3): 244-258.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00244
    Abstract4655)   HTML769)    PDF (771KB)(9785)      

    Narcissism is a component of “the dark triad” and it is closely related to maladaptive and even antisocial behaviors. Aggressive behavior is a typical anti-social behavior, and serious aggression constitutes violent crime. Narcissism is often divided into grandiose and vulnerable narcissism. Aggression also has many subtypes, such as premeditated and impulsive aggression. Previous studies have shown that narcissists are aggressive, especially when facing provocation. On the one hand, narcissists feel threatened when they are challenged. To maintain their ego and eliminate threat, narcissists may show aggressive behavior, which is explained by the theory of threatened egotism. On the other hand, when challenged, narcissists also show strong negative emotions because of their inflated but fragile ego, leading to out-of-control behaviors and even triggering them to attack others, which is the so-called “narcissistic rage.” However, most studies are in the background of Western culture, and the participants are mainly college students. Most judicial field studies use questionnaires, and experimental studies to confirm the relation of narcissism and aggression are lacking. The mechanism how they operate is also unknown. Previous studies failed to make distinctions of the subtypes of narcissism and aggression, especially the subtype of vulnerable narcissism. To overcome the disadvantages of previous studies, this study explored the relationship between narcissism and aggression with a questionnaire in experiment 1 and analyzed the manipulating function of provocation with a competitive response time in experiment 2.

    In study 1, we administered the Narcissism Personality Inventory-13, Hypersensitivity Narcissistic Scale, The Trait Anger Scale, Entitlement Scale, and Impulsive/Premeditated Aggression Scales in 498 violence offenders to establish a structural equation model. Then, the significance of effects was examined using Bootstrap to explore the relationship between narcissism and aggression and its mechanisms. In study 2, we recruited 90 violent offenders for scenario-based experiment. Participants were randomly divided into a provocation group (n = 46) and a no-provocation group (n = 44). Participants in both groups completed the questionnaire for narcissism. Then, they finished the first stage to manipulate provocation. Participants were told to compete with another participant (a fake participant) in racing the speed of reactions. In the provocation group, participants lost the game and received negative feedback from their rivals; in the no-provocation group, participants won the game and received positive feedback from their rivals. Then, they completed the questionnaire for manipulation testing and measured negative affect and perceived threat for the mediating variables. Finally, they finished the second stage in which they could send their rivals’ noises, which can be considered as the aggressive indicator.

    Experiment 1 showed that narcissism can predict aggression and that the trait anger and entitlement play multiple mediating roles. Significant effects were found in the mediating paths of grandiose/vulnerable narcissism→trait anger→premeditated aggression, grandiose/vulnerable narcissism→trait anger→impulsive aggression, and grandiose/vulnerable narcissism→entitlement→premeditated aggression. However, the effect of the mediating path grandiose/vulnerable narcissism→entitlement→impulsive aggression was not significant. Compared with grandiose narcissism, vulnerable narcissism was a stronger indicator of premeditated and impulsive aggression. Experiment 2 showed that under provocation, grandiose narcissism and aggression exhibited significant correlation. Meanwhile, perceived threat and negative affect served a mediating function. Grandiose narcissism cannot predict aggression behaviors if not provoked, but the mediating role of perceived threat was still significant. For vulnerable narcissism, the influence on aggression and the mediating role of perceived threat and negative affect were all significant whether provoked or not.

    The following conclusions can be obtained from the two experiments: (1) The association between narcissism and aggression was still effective in violent offenders in Chinese culture; (2) “Threatened egotism” and “Narcissistic rage” could explain the relationship between narcissism and aggression. In specific, “threatened egotism” could predict premeditated aggression rather than impulsive aggression, and “narcissistic rage” could predict both subtypes of aggression; and (3) Vulnerable narcissism was non-adaptive, exerting a larger effect size on aggression and a wider applicability compared with grandiose narcissism. Researchers should pay attention to the effects of vulnerable narcissism on maladaptive behaviors, such as aggression, and distinguish the subtypes of narcissism and aggression. Furthermore, the above results could be used in the prevention of crime and the management and correction of criminals by judicial practice departments.

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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
    Abstract6955)   HTML243)    PDF (1030KB)(9510)      

    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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    The relationship between musical training and inhibitory control: An ERPs study
    CHEN Jiejia, ZHOU Yi, CHEN Jie
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, 52 (12): 1365-1376.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01365
    Abstract4718)   HTML639)    PDF (4267KB)(9331)      

    Inhibitory control, a fundamental component of executive function, refers to the ability to control one’s attention and suppress internal and external interferences effectively to achieve the setting targets. It plays a crucial role in allowing us to adapt to the environment, and serves as a basis of other cognitive functions, such as reasoning, planning and learning. Moreover, several psychiatric disorders, such as addictions, attention deficit hyperactivity and obsessive-compulsive disorder have been shown to involve deficits in inhibitory control. Thus, establishing ways in which inhibitory control can be improved constitutes an important issue for psychologist and medical scientist. In recent years, musical training has been suggested to be associated with improved executive functions, such as inhibitory control. However, the overall findings in these studies have been mixed. While some studies indicated a positive relationship between musical training and inhibitory control, other studies showed no facilitative effect of musical training. Importantly, however, inhibitory control is not a single function, but can be divided into response inhibition and interference control. Previous studies that assessed the relationship between musical training and inhibitory control failed to investigate these two separate components within the same experiment. Furthermore, its underlying neural mechanism remain elusive. Based on these considerations, the present study aimed to examine the relationship between musical training and inhibitory control through the Go/No-go (response inhibition) and Stroop (interference control) tasks by using event- related-potentials (ERPs).
    Experiments were carried out in an acoustically and electrically shielded room, and lasted approximately 40 minutes. In the Go/No-go task, participants had to press a keyboard button in response to white shapes (Go trials, 75%), while they had to inhibit responding to purple shapes (No-go trials, 25%). Each stimulus was presented for 500 ms with an interstimulus interval of 1000 ms. The experiment consisted of 320 trials, presented in a random order. Performance was evaluated using a Signal Detection approach by calculating perceptual sensitivity via: d′ = z(No-go hit rate) - z(Go false alarm rate). Higher d’ values indicate better response inhibition. In the Stroop task, participants were presented with Chinese color words (red, green, blue, yellow), printed in different colors. Stimuli were divided into word-color consistent trails (congruent, 50%) and word-color inconsistent trails (incongruent, 50%). A stimulus was presented for 1000 ms with a random interstimulus interval of 1000~1500 ms. Participants had to name the color in which the word was presented without paying attention to the word’s meaning. The experiment consisted of 240 trials, presented in a random order. The difference between accuracy in the congruent and the incongruent conditions is referred to as Stroop interference effect. Smaller effects are indicative of better interference control. The experimental sequence was balanced between participants.
    The behavioral results showed that music group had smaller interference effect than the control group in the Stroop task, while both groups performed similarly in the Go/No-go task. As for the ERP results, in Go/No-go task, the amplitudes of the N2 (N2d) and P3 difference waves, contrasting No-go and Go trials, were larger in music group than in control group. In the Stroop task, the amplitude of the N450 (N450d) difference wave, contrasting congruent and incongruent trials, were also larger in music group than in control group. However, the amplitude of the SP (SPd) difference wave, which serves as an index of conflict resolution, was similar between the two groups.
    The aim of present study was to explore the influence of music training on the cognitive and neural mechanisms governing inhibitory control. The present results supported the hypothesis that individuals that received music training had stronger conflict monitoring and motor inhibition abilities when completing the response inhibition task, as well as a better conflict monitoring ability when completing the interference control task. This indicates a potential association between music training and inhibitory control.

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    Effect of power on conspicuous prosocial behavior
    YAO Qi, WU Zhangjian, ZHANG Changqing, FU Guoqun
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, 52 (12): 1421-1435.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01421
    Abstract5591)   HTML738)    PDF (790KB)(9317)      

    Conspicuous prosocial behavior refers to prosocial behaviors that are publicly displayed to enhance the image of the helper in the eyes of others. The existing research suggests that sense of power simultaneously generates self-interested behaviors and inhibits individual prosocial behavior. However, an increased number of recent researches indicate that several personal traits and environmental factors encourage individuals with power to conduct more prosocial behaviors. Moreover, less research has been conducted to explore the relationship between power and conspicuous prosocial behavior. The present study proposes that powerful (vs. powerless) individuals are more willing to engage in conspicuous prosocial behaviors with self-presentation as a mediating variable.
    Five experiments (Experiments 1, 2a, 2b, 3, and 4) were performed to test the hypotheses. Experiments 1 and 3 explored the relationship between power and conspicuous prosocial behaviors using the class role imagination task to manipulate sense of power. Experiment 1 participants (139 adults, 50 men) were provided with information about two backpacks. Experiment 3 participants (237 adults, 121 men) were shown an advertisement. Experiment 2a participants (147 adults, 75 men) involved powerful and powerless individuals who were instructed to report donation willingness and amount under two conditions, namely, public acknowledgment and control. Experiment 2b is a field study in which participants (210 adults, 93 men) who completed a recall task decided whether to write down their e-mail after perusing the information about a public service advertisement. Lastly, Experiment 4 examined the mediating role of self-presentation for which 117 adults were asked to indicate their sense of power, self-presentation motivation, and willingness to participate in blatant benevolence by a random sequence.
    Experiment 1 indicated that the powerful (vs. the powerless) tend to buy conspicuous green products with clear environmental labels. Experiment 2a demonstrated that powerful individuals display higher levels of willingness to donate and donate more compared with the powerless and under the public acknowledgment condition. Experiment 2b revealed that the powerful rather than the powerless tend to write down their e-mail under the public acknowledgment condition. Experiment 3 provided evidence that a strongly conspicuous inclination among powerful participants is not attributed to a general tendency to show off when engaging in prosocial behaviors. Finally, Experiment 4 not only replicated the effect of power on conspicuous prosocial behaviors, but also established the mediating role of self-presentation.
    The current study demonstrates the relationship between power and conspicuous prosocial behaviors. That is, individuals with high (vs. low) power are more willing to engage in conspicuous prosocial behaviors with self-presentation as a mediating factor. The findings of this work have important practical significance for marketing managers in terms of the utilization of sense of power to effectively guide individuals to engage in prosocial behaviors.

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    Reciprocal relations between relative deprivation and psychological adjustment among single-parent children in China: A longitudinal study
    XIONG Meng, LIU Ruojin, YE Yiduo
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2021, 53 (1): 67-80.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00067
    Abstract4421)   HTML543)    PDF (567KB)(9132)      

    Increasing divorce rates in China have led to greater numbers of children growing up in single-parent homes. Previous studies have indicated that such single-parent children reported greater senses of relative deprivation and more psychological adjustment problems than their counterparts in undivided families. However, few studies have yet examined associations between relative deprivation and psychological adjustment and their directions. We thus explored characteristics of relative deprivation, psychological adjustment, and associations among them over 1.5 years beginning March, 2017. A sample of 273 single-parent children (50.5% boys) was recruited from two primary schools and two junior middle schools in Hubei, China. Attrition was relatively minor, namely, 93.4% of participants completed all surveys during three assessment waves.
    Participants provided self-report data on individual and group cognitive and individual and group affective relative deprivation, and depression, loneliness, social anxiety, and self-esteem, as well as demographic variables (i.e., gender, academic period, and family economic status). All the measures had good reliability and validity. Results indicated that relative deprivation of single-parent children was not obvious, and psychological adjustment was generally good. Boys reported higher levels of depression and loneliness than girls. Moreover, single-parent children with poor family economic status reported higher levels of relative deprivation, depression, and loneliness, as well as lower levels of self-esteem than their counterparts.
    To explore the possible reciprocal relations between relative deprivation and psychological adjustment, as well as to separate between-person effects from within-person effects, we analyzed data by using the random intercepts cross-lagged panel model (RI-CLPM). Results showed that there were reciprocal relations between relative deprivation and psychological adjustment at the within-person level when controlling for between-person effects and key demographic variables. Specifically, initial relative deprivation significantly negatively predicted psychological adjustment at Time 2, which in turn negatively predicted relative deprivation at Time 3. Moreover, relative deprivation at Time 2 also negatively predicted psychological adjustment at Time 3. These reciprocal relations between relative deprivation and psychological adjustment did not differ by gender and academic period (i.e., primary or secondary school). However, the association between psychological adjustment and relative deprivation was stronger for single-parent children with poor family economic status than for those with good family economic status.
    These observations expand the understanding of the complex relations between relative deprivation and psychological adjustment among single-parent children in China. Additionally, they have important implications for intervention and improvement of mental health for vulnerable groups, especially single-parent children. For instance, programs that aim to improve the mental health of single-parent children and to reduce the levels of relative deprivation among this vulnerable group may be helpful in breaking the detrimental cycle between relative deprivation and psychological adjustment.

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    “You were what you eat”: Food gender stereotypes and their impact on evaluation of impression
    ZUO Bin, DAI Yuee, WEN Fangfang, GAO Jia, XIE Zhijie, HE Saifei
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2021, 53 (3): 259-272.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00259
    Abstract5199)   HTML889)    PDF (717KB)(9089)      

    Interpersonal evaluations refer to people’s perception of someone and how they judge personalities based on existing information. Recent research has focused on food gender stereotypes and their effect on impression evaluations. However, past studies on food gender stereotypes were mostly conducted within Western cultural context, while few studies were based on non-Western culture, and unsystematically only focused on the impressions of sexual attractiveness, personal qualities, or masculinity/femininity. Therefore, this study examined whether food gender stereotypes exist in the Chinese cultural context while investigating these stereotype effects on impression evaluations based on the Big Two model, which provided a good theoretical basis and measurement index. We hypothesized that the Chinese also held food gender stereotypes and had different impression evaluations on individuals consistent or inconsistent with food gender stereotypes of different genders. To test these hypotheses, we performed two separate studies. In total, 788 participants were recruited online and 132 through advertising on campus. Study 1 comprised examining whether participants held explicit and implicit food gender stereotypes using open nomination, self-reporting, and semantic priming paradigms. Study 2 involved measuring participants' evaluation of competence and warmth on individuals with given food gender stereotypes using questionnaires and Implicit Relational Assessment Procedures. Results revealed that both genders held the explicit food gender stereotype of “men like masculine food and women like feminine food,” but only women held implicit food gender stereotypes. Additionally, participants reported higher evaluations for competence and lower evaluations for warmth on men who were consistent with the food gender stereotype, while for women who were consistent, participants thought they were warmer but less competent. Implicitly, both genders held stereotyped evaluations that inconsistent men were warmer. In conclusion, this research explored and examined the unique content of food gender stereotypes in the Chinese cultural context, which deepens the understanding of food gender stereotypes and contributes significantly to the field of cross-cultural food gender stereotypes. Furthermore, we creatively combined our study purposes with the Big Two model and systematically investigated people’s evaluation of individuals with consistent/inconsistent food gender stereotypes in two aspects, which has important implications for future research.

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    The generalization effect in gap evaluation: How large is the gap between you and me?
    WANG Tianhong, CHEN Yuqi, LU Jingyi
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, 52 (11): 1327-1339.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01327
    Abstract5195)   HTML548)    PDF (834KB)(8774)      

    In many social comparisons, people know exactly how they and others do. These comparisons induce a self-other gap. A variety of important decisions are made on the basis of judgments of the gap between ourselves and other people. Existing research indicates biased judgments of self-other gaps, with unknown absolute performance of others. However, the question we are interested in is whether judgments of a self-other gap will be accurate when both absolute performance of oneself and others are specified. This research investigated how the self-other gap was shaped by absolute and relative performances. We proposed the generalization effect, in which individuals generalized their absolute performance to rate their relative position to others though the actual self-other gap was specified.
    We conducted seven studies (N = 2766) to test our proposed generalization effect on perceived self-other gap. Study 1 adopted a 2 (absolute performance: gain or loss) × 2 (relative performance: gain or loss) between-subjects design. The participants, who were informed their performance as well as their classmate's performance in a test, rated the gap between themselves and the classmate. The result indicated that absolute gain caused a larger perceived self-other gap for relative gain (“I am far ahead of her”) than for relative loss (“I am not far behind her”). Conversely, absolute loss caused a larger perceived self-other gap for relative loss (“I am far behind her”) than for relative gain (“I am not far behind her”).
    Studies 2 and 3 replicated the results in Study 1 with investment and social media scenarios. Besides, Study 2a excluded the influence of information order and Study 2b excluded the effect of emotion. Studies 3a and 3b ruled out the alternative explanations of numeric size.
    Study 4 tested the association mechanism by cutting off the associations between multiple dimensions. We adopted a 2 (association: cutting-off or control) × 2 (absolute performance: gain or loss) × 2 (relative performance: gain or loss) between-subjects design. In the cutting-off condition, we designed a debiasing intervention where general associations among multiple dimensions were cut off. As a result, the effect found in Studies 1 to 3 persisted in the control condition but disappeared in the cutting-off condition where associations among multiple dimensions were cut off. The result indicated that generalization among dimensions accounted for the effect we found. The result also ruled out the explanations of egocentrism and focalism.
    Study 5 manipulated the reference point in social comparison and found a null effect for reference point on the generalization effect, which ruled out the explanation of reference point.
    We reveal that assessments of relative performance are biased even when people have sufficient information about their own and others' absolute performances because people generalize their absolute performance to relative performance. The generalization effect reflects the overgeneralization bias in social comparison. People fail to realize that absolute performances are not necessarily related to relative performances. Moreover, the current research offers a feasible approach to reduce such a bias.

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    How visual novelty affects consumer purchase intention: The moderating effects of self-construal and product type
    ZHU Zhenzhong, LI Xiaojun, LIU Fu, Haipeng (Allan) Chen
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, 52 (11): 1352-1364.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01352
    Abstract4057)   HTML592)    PDF (831KB)(8470)      

    This paper studies the effect of self-construal on consumers' purchase intention of products that vary in visual novelty, its underlying mechanism and boundary conditions. Specifically, we propose that products with low (high) visual novelty should increase the purchase intention among interdependent (independent) consumers through decreased social risk perception (increased consumer needs for uniqueness). In addition, the interaction between visual novelty and self-construal should be reduced when product type (hedonic and utilitarian) is made salient. This is because all consumers should prefer utilitarian products with low visual novelty but prefer hedonic products with high visual novelty, regardless of self-construal. Three experiments provide empirical support for these predictions.
    Study 1 uses 2 (visual novelty: low/high) × 2 (self-construal: independent/interdependent) between-subjects design. A night-light with an ambiguous product type is selected as the stimulus in the form of a color print advertisement. We recruit 112 participants, design different models, distribute product pictures with different appearances, and use an existing scale to measure participants' self-construal. We confirm the interaction between visual novelty and self-construal on purchase intention.
    Study 2 uses a similar between-subjects design, and a wrist-watch with an ambiguous product type as the stimulus. We recruit 140 participants and manipulate the product's visual novelty and self-construal. Consistent with our prediction, we find an interaction between self-construal and visual novelty on consumers' purchase intention. In addition, we provide supporting evidence for the proposed mechanism for the interaction effect that is due to consumer needs for uniqueness and perceptions of social risks.
    Study 3 uses a 2 (visual novelty: low/high) × 2 (self-construal: independent/interdependent) x 2 (product type: hedonic/utilitarian) between-subjects design, to test the moderating effect of product type. Product visual novelty and self-construal are manipulated in similar manners as in Study 2. Desk-lamp is used as the stimulus. In order to minimize confounds, we manipulate the product type and verify our manipulation in a pretest. In another pretest we also verify the effectiveness of the visual novelty manipulation and rule out the potential confound of functional novelty. We recruit 302 participants for this study. The results provide support for the moderating effect of product type. Specifically, we find that, regardless of self-construal, all consumers prefer a utilitarian product with lower appearance novelty, but prefer a hedonic product with higher appearance novelty. In addition, these effects are mediated by consumer needs for uniqueness and perceptions of social risks.
    In summary, the results of three studies provide convergent evidence for an interaction between self-construal and product visual novelty on consumers' purchase intention, the moderating effect of product type, and the underlying mechanism due to consumer needs for uniqueness and social risk perceptions.

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    “Psychological Typhoon Eye Effect” and “Ripple Effect”: Double perspective test of risk perception and anxiety characteristics of people in different COVID-19severityregions
    WEN Fangfang, MA Shuhan, YE Hanxue, QI Yue, ZUO Bin
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, 52 (9): 1087-1104.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01087
    Abstract4822)   HTML368)    PDF (1121KB)(8434)      

    COVID-19 has greatly affected the psychological state of Chinese people. This study carried out a dynamic follow-up survey of the psychological state of Chinese people and their evaluation of Wuhan residents during the epidemic period since the day of Wuhan’s citywide lockdown. The purpose of this work was to explore differences in degree of concern, risk perception, and anxiety response among regions affected by COVID-19 to different degrees. Our findings have important practical value for future crisis emergency management.

    This work included a large-scale survey covering 4833 Chinese residents, and it was conducted after Wuhan was closed. Its purpose was to assess whether COVID-19 invoked the psychological typhoon eye effect of a disaster event. The survey involved two angles, the “actor” angle, in which participants evaluated their own psychological states, and the “bystander” angle, in which participants evaluated other Wuhan citizens’ psychological states. We called these Study 1 and Study 2. Study1 explored the psychological state of residents themselves and the results were consistent with the ripple effect to some extent within the epidemic period, which is the opposite pattern of the psychological typhoon eye. The residents who lived near the hardest-hit areas showed significantly higher risk perception and anxiety. Study 2 explored how people from different areas evaluated Wuhan residents’ psychological state. The results of Study 2 did show a replicated psychological typhoon eye effect in terms of anxiety, and number of psychological workers and doctors residents needed. However, when it came to risk cognition, residents in low-risk areas rated Wuhan citizens’ risk cognition as significantly lower than people in high-risk areas did, which generally manifested as a ripple effect.

    This study also showed a marginal zone effect and a psychological controllable threshold. The concave effect means there was a phenomenon in which risk perception was lower in the middle zone or middle-risk area than at either end. The psychological controllable threshold is one of the sub-scales of risk cognition. That is, uncontrollability did not show the psychological typhoon eye effect in the bystander portion of our study.

    This paper further expands and enriches the boundary conditions of the psychological typhoon eye effect of public risk events, provides more abundant and direct research evidence for the perception difference between actor and bystander angle in the study of psychological typhoon eye effect, and has important implications for a deeper understanding of the psychological evolution of public health emergencies and public crisis management.

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    The establishment of Chinese Emotion Regulation Word System (CERWS) and its pilot test
    YUAN Jiajin, ZHANG Yicheng, CHEN Shengdong, LUO Li, RU Yishan
    Acta Psychologica Sinica    2021, 53 (5): 445-455.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00445
    Abstract4744)   HTML533)    PDF (906KB)(8364)      

    Implicit emotion regulation has become a hotspot of emotion regulation research recently. However, currently there is no standardized emotion regulation word system for researchers in the field of implicit emotion regulation. The purpose of this study is to establish a Chinese Emotion Regulation Word System (CERWS) by multi-dimensional ratings and analysis of emotional regulation words, and then to verify the effectiveness of the system by experiments.
    In Study 1, two hundred and twenty-six emotion regulation words (N = 226) were selected as preliminary materials by group discussion. Among them, 176 were judged as emotion regulation words that corresponded to five commonly used strategies (acceptance, distraction, venting, suppression and reappraisal) and 50 as neutral words. One hundred and twenty-eight participants (N = 128) rated the representativeness of words on five emotion regulation strategies. To ensure that the selected words are not mixed in strategic meanings, the words that exclusively represent one regulatory strategy or neutral meanings were selected into CERWS as emotion regulation words or neutral words, respectively. The words of CERWS were further rated by participants on the dimensions of valence, arousal, dominance, motivational tendency, familiarity and spelling complexity (N = 128). Thirty participants were randomly selected and retested one month later (N = 30).
    In Study 2, the emotion regulation effect of words in CERWS was further investigated. The regulatory effect of 5 strategies of CERWS on negative emotion was tested using a typical implicit emotion regulation paradigm (sentence unscrambling task). One hundred and ninety-six participants (N = 196) were involved in Study 2, who were divided into six groups (five implicit emotion regulation groups and one control group). Before viewing neutral and disgust pictures, the participants in implicit emotion regulation groups were required to complete the sentence unscrambling tasks to prime the emotion regulation strategy, while the participants in the control group were required to complete the sentence unscrambling task that was unrelated to emotion regulation.
    The CERWS was established in Study 1. One hundred and forty-nine emotion regulation words (N = 149) were selected into 6 groups (acceptance, distraction, venting, suppression, reappraisal and neutral) of CERWS. Comparing the attributes of emotion regulation words with those of neutral words, we found that five emotion regulation strategies had different affective connotation. For example, acceptance strategy was characterized by high pleasure, high dominance, high approach tendency and low arousal. In terms of gender differences, males were more pleasant with the words of distraction strategy, while females were more familiar with the words of acceptance strategy. The test-retest reliability was more than 0.7 after one month. The Cronbach’s α coefficients and Kendall’s coefficients of concordance of CERWS fit with relevant criteria. Moreover, results of Study 2 showed that implicit reappraisal and implicit suppression strategies decreased the emotional valence and arousal ratings significantly, and implicit distraction strategy decreased the emotional arousal ratings significantly.
    In conclusion, this study has established a standardized emotion regulation words system with good reliability. Moreover, this study has verified the regulatory effect of implicit reappraisal, suppression and distraction strategies on negative emotions, which provides a reference for the future use of the system.

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