There is mixed evidence concerning the processing of word meaning. Early research into language assumed that word meaning was processed in the left temporal lobe. However, more recent research suggests that words are processed by distributed neuronal assemblies. This fMRI study explores embodied semantic processing and semantic system of Chinese action idioms. In the study, thirteen participants were asked to read one hundred and twenty four-character Chinese idioms, which are related to hand, face, mouth and feet action. Next, the participants were asked to judge whether the idiom’s meaning was related to mouth pronunciation. Functional brain imaging was conducted on a Siemens 3.0T scanner while participants performed Go/No go semantic judgment tasks. Imaging data were processed by spm8 software. Multi-comparison tests were conducted between the scores of the semantic comprehension task under four conditions (hand idioms, face idioms, mouth idioms and feet idioms). The activation was corrected by AlphaSim at the threshold of p<0.001 and cluster size > 39. The brain systems which are engaged in the processing of action idioms related to body parts were tested and Marsbar software was used to create images of the relevant areas of the cortex. The result showed: (1) when comparing activations for face and mouth idioms with activations for hand and feet idioms, more activations were observed for face and mouth idioms in the bilateral parietal lobe, precentral gyrus, postcentral gyrus, the dorsal premotor of the middle frontal gyrus and superior frontal gyrus, and inferior temporal gyrus; hand idioms caused more activation in the posterior of inferior parietal lobe bilaterally, inferior frontal gyrus in anterior part of premotor cortex, and middle frontal gyrus and in the dorsal of the premotor cortex; more activations were observed for feet idioms compared to hand idioms in dorsal along the midline and superior parietal lobe. (2) There were more activations for face and mouth idioms in the bilateral occipital lobe, the left dorsal premotor of the middle frontal gyrus and superior frontal gyrus, the pars triangularis in the inferior frontal gyrus and BA47, and in the left lingual gyrus when compared to hand and feet idioms. Superior frontal and middle frontal region of BA8 are activated to a greater extent for face idioms as opposed to mouth idioms. Mouth idioms specifically activated the left Broca and BA47. (3) Chinese action idioms activated prefrontal cortex, parietal lobe, occipital lobe and temporal lobe. But some differences were observed in activation between these regions. More activation was observed in parietal lobe for hand and feet idioms than face and mouth idioms. Face and mouth idioms were found to generate more activation in the occipital cortex than hand and feet idioms. This finding confirmed that the prefrontal-parietal-temporal network is the constitution of semantic system. The embodied semantics theory, states that verb meaning is represented in the cortex within the same sensory motor circuitry which executes the action. The cortex activation induced by Chinese action idioms in frontal-parietal lobe engaged action execution, and this pattern is consistent with the hypothesis of embodied semantics comprehension theory which indicates that semantic representation on imageable verbs is correlated with the somatotopic activation of motor and premotor cortex. The results demonstrate that semantic comprehension of Chinese action idioms is affected by our experience.
It has been demonstrated that the spatial representation of time is psychologically real, and the experience responsible for the formation of the "Time is Space" conceptual metaphor is associated with reading/writing directionality. Perceptual symbol theory assures that the spatial mapping of time derived from reading/writing is perceptual. That is to say, the temporal-spatial metaphor is grounded on modality- specific systems. Previous studies have shown that facilitation for the association of past with left and future with right was found only in the visual and motor modality, while none in the auditory modality. The difference of time metaphor between the visual and motor modality remains largely unexplored. In this study, three experiments were conducted to compare the spatial mapping of time between the visual and motor modality. In each experiment, a spatial Stroop task was carried out. Time series, which were displayed on the middle of the screen, were used as clues. Arrows, as targets, were displayed on the left, right, top or bottom of the screen, pointing to four directions. Arrow location and pointing direction were completely orthogonal to temporal reference. The participants were asked to indicate the direction to which the arrow pointed. Experiment 1 used a square as clues to explore whether the horizontal and vertical facilitation effects were modality-specific. The results proved that the horizontal and vertical facilitation effects existed in the visual and motor modality. Experiment 2 explored the difference of horizontal time metaphor between the visual and motor modality by Mandarin Speakers. A 2×2×2 repeated measure design was adopted with independent variables of temporal reference (before/after), target location (left /right) and response side (left / right).The results showed horizontal metaphoric representation of time was observed both at the visual and motor level of Mandarin Speakers. Processing time series affected the orienting of visual attention and the activation of motor responses. Participants were faster both to identify targets and to respond to the left when the cue was a word in a forward position of time series, and the opposite was true when the cue was a word in a afterward position of time series. Experiment 3 adopted the same task as Experiment 2, except changing target location and response side into top/ bottom. Experiment 3 observed the same facilitation effect in the visual modality as Experiment 2. But facilitation effect in the motor modality was not complete. Participants were faster to respond to the top only when the cue was a word in a forward position of time series. Processing words in a forward position of time series could not accelerate the response to the bottom. Experiment 4 increased the number of target location and response side. A 2×4×4 repeated measure design was adopted with independent variables of temporal reference (before/after), target location (left /right/top/bottom) and response side (left /right/top/bottom). Results showed facilitation effect of vertical direction in the motor modality which was not complete in Experiment 3 totally disappeared. It indicated that vertical metaphoric representation of time in the visual modality was stronger than the one in the motor modality. The explanation could be that Mandarin speakers' former top-down reading/writing directionality has been changed into "from left to right". The vertical sensori-motor experience from the visual and motor modality were unequal, which led to the incomplete time metaphor in the motor modality. In a word, Spatial information activated when processing time series was perceptual, which was different from the one activated by the spatial clue. In different modalities, time metaphor was different.
The detection superiority of perceived direct gaze has been considered as a general phenomenon, but several recent studies had found that the advantage effect for direct gaze detection would disappear under the frontal-viewed condition. Recent studies showed that the perception of gaze includes two periods: the component information processing period and the configural information processing period. Accordingly, there are two possible reasons to explain why direct gaze is not significantly faster than averted gaze under the frontal-viewed condition: (1) The detection-time of direct gaze and averted gaze is equally fast in configural information processing, having a cancelling effect on each other, so the detect direct gaze is not faster than the averted gaze. (2) Detecting direct gaze is faster than averted gaze in the configural information processing, but detecting averted gaze is faster than direct gaze in the component information processing. Thus, both processings cancelled each other out in this condition. So, what was the real reason behind the disappearance of the detection superiority of perceived direct gaze? Previous studies were not clear about this issue, we intended to investigate this question in the current study. We had conducted three experiments in this study as follows: Experiment 1: We used a visual search task. Stimuli pictures are consisted of the eye region cut from color photographs of one Chinese female face. There were two gaze directions been used in our experiment: direct gaze (the eye directed straight towards the camera/observer), and averted gaze (the eye averted by 30°).This experiment was a two by two factor design with the target gaze direction (direct gaze and averted gaze) and the display orientation (upright and inverted) as independent factors. Fourteen volunteers (7 males, 7 females) participated in the experiment. They were asked to judge whether there was a discrepant eye in the array as quickly and accurately as possible. The result demonstrated that detecting direct gaze was not significantly faster than detecting averted gaze under the upright condition, while detecting averted gaze was notable faster than detecting direct gaze under the inverted condition. Experiment 2: The experiment task and stimuli were set as the same as in experiment 1 except that two different gaze deviated angle (10°, 20°) were adopted as averted gaze stimuli. The experiment included three factors: target gaze direction (direct gaze, averted gaze), gaze deviation (10°, 20°) and display orientation (upright, inverted). Fourteen volunteers (7 males, 7 females) participated in this experiment. The result revealed that the detection advantage of direct gaze only occurred when gaze deviated 10°in the upright display condition; the reaction time (RT) for detecting averted gaze was significantly faster than that for detecting direct gaze when gaze deviated 20° in the inverted display condition, while there was no significant difference between the RT for detecting direct gaze and the RT for averted gaze in gaze deviation 10° condition. Experiment 3: The experiment task was the same with the experiment 1, however, the face picture was used as stimuli. As for the averted gaze stimuli, three different gaze deviations (10°, 20°, 30°) were adopted. There are three factors in this experiment: target gaze direction (direct gaze, averted gaze), gaze deviation (10°, 20°, 30°) and display orientation (upright, inverted). Sixteen volunteers (8 males, 8 females) participated in the experiment. The result showed that when face picture was displayed upright, the detection advantage of direct gaze was observed under three gaze deviated angle conditions; when face picture was displayed inverted, the RT for detecting direct gaze and averted gaze was not significantly different under all gaze deviated angle conditions. The above results showed that the disappearance of advantage for direct gaze detection was probably caused by the specificity of averted gaze in the component information processing. The detection superiority of perceived direct gaze is a universal phenomenon, however, it is vulnerable to be affected by the component information in such kind of laboratory measurement.
The Motivational Dimensional Model (MDM, Gable & Harmon-Jones, 2010c), based on a series of experiments on attention, memory, and cognitive categorisation, proposes that the positive affect high in approach motivation narrows the scope of cognition, whereas the positive affect low in approach motivation broadens the scope of cognition (Gable & Harmon-Jones, 2010b, 2011a; Price & Harmon-Jones, 2010). The current study examined the influence of positive affects differed in approach motivational intensity on the effect of global precedence on mental rotation of compound stimuli on the basis of MDM hypothesis. We carried out two experiments using behavioral and cognitive emotion-eliciting methods to examine the influence of positive affects differed in the approach motivational intensities on the effect of global precedence on mental rotation of compound stimuli. In Experiment 1 we adopted 3 body postures (leaning forward, sitting upright and reclining backward) accompanied by the facial expression of smile to elicit positive affects with high, moderate and low approach motivation, respectively. In Experiment 2 we adopted Monetary Incentive Delay Paradigm, which added neutral condition lacked in experiment 1. Twenty eight and thirty one university students completed the parity judgment task that requires mental rotation of compound stimuli in each experiment. The first object was to examine the influence of positive affects differed in approach motivation on mental rotation. The second object was to examine the different effect between the positive affect in different approach motivation and the neutral condition on mental rotation. The results were: (1) In Experiment 1 Individuals responded faster to global targets than local targets when sitting upright and reclining forward, while their performance remained in the same level given local and global targets when leaning forward; (2) In Experiment 2 the results showed that the main effect of the reward (gain/no gain) on the RTs of mental rotation task was not significant, but individuals responded faster to global targets than local targets in the postgoal expected and postgoal unexpected condition while did not differ in their RTs to local and global targets after the pretgoal cue. We concluded that the approch motivation moderated the influence of positive affect on the effect of global precedence on mental rotation. The effect of global precedence on mental rotation showed up when the approach motivation was low but disappeared when the approach motivation was high. These results suggest the positive affect low in approach motivation broadens the scope of mental rotation, whereas the positive affect high in approach motivation narrows the scope of mental rotation. But we did not found that the valence (positive affect / neutral condition) moderated the effect of global precedence on mental rotation.
Distributive justice is the core content of children’s moral development. Its development describes a child’s progressive understanding and application of what constitutes fairness during resource distribution. Previous work has suggested that younger children often allocate rewards in a self-interest centered manner as a result of limited cognitive abilities. However, recent studies have indicated that 3- to 5-year-old children could perform fair distribution, even infants hold the expectation of resource allocation according to one's effort. Incidentally, the dual-process theory emphasized that there are two different underlying processes of children’s distributive justice: the automatic emotional process and the controlled cognitive process. Given that children should first attribute others’ beliefs and intents, and hereafter take account of each person’s contributions through understanding and making use of high-level distributive justice principles, Theory of Mind (ToM) may participate an important role during this procedure. Based on current understandings, in order to get a clear overview of distributive justice development and its underlying mechanisms, this study aims in investigating how children’s Theory of Mind affect the two aspects of distributive justice (distributive justice judgment and distributive justice behavior) in the involved and uninvolved contexts. Experiment 1 focused on the relationship between Theory of Mind and children’s distributive justice judgment in two different contexts (involved and uninvolved). 61 preschool participants aged from 4- to 5- participated in the Giving Game and 40 adult participants completed the Giving Game Context Questionnaire. The results from the uninvolved context indicated that judgments made by children who passed the Theory of Mind tasks were similar to the judgments by the adults’, and both Theory of Mind and uninvolved context promoted children’s distributive justice judgment. Experiment 2 explored the question of how Theory of Mind affected children’s resource distributing behavior using distributive justice principles. This study compared the influence of Theory of Mind of 61 4- to 5-year-old children’s distributive justice behavior in the involved context, with the impact under uninvolved context. The results showed that there was an interaction between Theory of Mind and the involvement of distribution context. Under involved context, children who passed Theory of Mind tasks performed much more fairly than the children who didn't pass; whereas in uninvolved context there were no group differences. Together, these two experiments associated a link of how children would understand distributive justice principles, and how they could use in allocating resources. On the basis of the whole structure, Theory of Mind may have stable and context-sensitive impact on children’s distributive justice. This brought support to the dual-process theory, where automatic emotional process is dominant under involved context, while controlled cognitive process is guiding the uninvolved context. These results provided enriched evidence for current researches and brought new perspectives for future studies. Meanwhile, we can improve children’s development of distributive justice by strengthening their Theory of Mind abilities over training, which is valuable for educational purposes.
Individuals are born with the need to interact with others and may do so in a variety of ways. Most have sufficient social skills to do so successfully. Some, however, suffer loneliness because they are shy. Shyness, often described as discomfort and behavioral inhibition in social interactions, has been shown to have detrimental effects on individuals’ social adaptation. Studies have shown that shyness coexists with negative emotions and is a robust predictor of loneliness. However, there has been little attention paid to the mediators explaining the relationship between shyness and loneliness. Self-report measurements support expectations of rejection and interpersonal incompetence. Social support, self-esteem and humor style were confirmed as mediators of the relationship. Additionally, self-efficacy appears to be the likely mechanism accounting for the indirect relationship between shyness and loneliness. Social cognitive theory postulates that self-efficacy, a person’s confidence in his or her ability to execute a course of action, plays a vital role in determining their psychosocial functioning. Shy people tended to report lower self-esteem in social interactions and have lower confidence in their ability to maintain a relationship, resulting in difficulty developing intimate relationships. Shy people are thus likely to have a greater sense of loneliness due to low self-efficacy in socioemotional domains. Studies have shown that shyness was closely related to lower regulatory emotional and social self-efficacy, fewer social interactions and greater feelings of loneliness. Regulatory emotional self-efficacy, a measure of an individuals' perceived capacity to form, maintain and inhibit emotion has always been regarded as a domain related form of the construct of self-efficacy. Social self-efficacy, which refers to an individual’s beliefs and confidence in their ability to establish and maintain a lasting relationship, is a related construct. Integrative model of self-efficacy postulates that self-efficacy is a multiple level concept, in which the more general self-efficacy would exert influence on individuals’ social behaviors directly and indirectly through more specific self-efficacy. In applying the model to this study we postulated that regulatory emotional self-efficacy may impact an individuals’ sense of loneliness both directly and indirectly by influencing self-efficacy in social interactions. The present study aimed to determine whether one's regulatory emotional self-efficacy and social self-efficacy would medicate the relationship between shyness and loneliness among Chinese adolescents. Seven hundred and seventy seven adolescents (346 girls) at grade 7-12 were randomly recruited from two middle schools in Shanxi, China. Adolescents’ shyness, affect self-regulation efficacy, social self-efficacy, and loneliness were assessed the Shyness Scale, the Regulatory Emotional Self-Efficacy Questionnaire the Social Self-Efficacy Questionnaire, and the UCLA Loneliness Scale. Structural equation model and bootstrapping analyses were utilized to test the hypothesized mediating model. Path analyses showed that shyness was positively associated with adolescents’ loneliness directly and indirectly through the mediation of regulatory emotional self-efficacy and social self-efficacy. Specifically, shyness was related to lower self-efficacy of expressing positive emotions and regulating negative emotions, then to lower social self-efficacy, and finally to higher loneliness. Moreover, self-efficacy of expressing positive emotions and regulating negative emotions was associated with loneliness to the same extent, but self-efficacy of expressing positive emotions displayed stronger association with social self-efficacy than did self-efficacy of regulating negative emotions. Shyness has great implications for loneliness due to lower regulatory emotional self-efficacy and social self-efficacy. Psychosocial interventions targeting at improving adolescents’ self-efficacy in socioemotional domains should be delivered to shy adolescents to eliminate or weaken the potential detrimental effects of shyness on loneliness.
Class stereotypes are simplistic generalizations about attributes, differences of the social class, and about roles of individuals and/or groups. Stereotypes provide perceives a basis to generate inferences about unseen or unobserved aspects of a stereotypic schema, enabling them to make conjectures beyond the information given. Multinomial Processing Tree Models (MPT) are theories about the decision processes that were involved in source monitoring and can provide separate parameters for source discrimination, item detection, and response biases. It has been suggested by stereotype studies in a framework of source monitoring that stereotypes provided after encoding and before test, might produce a response bias in favor of the stereotype. This bias can distort memory representations of earlier events, resulting in false memories. Previous studies suggested that participants may resort to guess based on their stereotypes knowledge in situations when they cannot remember the source in a source-monitoring task (Bayen, Nakamura, Dupuis, & Yang, 2000). According to this guessing hypothesis, if stereotypes are activated during retrieval in an explicit way, participants are prone to consciously make use of stereotypes knowledge and to guess the source in a stereotype consistent manner, particularly when they fail to remember the actual source. However, recent research has provided mixed evidence. By controlling the guessing, other researchers still found that participants create illusory recollections when stereotypes are activated during retrieval in an explicit way (Dodson, Darragh, & Williams, 2008). So an intriguing question is: If guessing plays a critical role in creating false memories, what other factors should be responsible for false memories after controlling guessing? In this study, MPT were used for the measurement of cognitive processes in two source monitoring experiments. Sixty-six college students of normal vision, twenty-six in Experiment 1 and forty in Experiment 2, were enrolled to participate. The purpose of Experiment 1 was to determine how stereotypes influence source-monitoring decision processes when the class stereotypes are subliminally primed during retrieval. The results showed that when the subliminally primed class stereotype is provided during retrieval, participants’ memory performance was distorted in a stereotype consistent manner, presumably through guessing responses. Particularly, the automatically activated class stereotypes affect source guessing process, thus producing false memories. In Experiment 2, explicit warning was provided to reduce false memory. We aimed to investigate how stereotypes influence decision processes of source monitoring, when the class stereotypes are explicitly primed during retrieval. Our results demonstrated that participants showed similar stereotype-induced false memories even after the stereotypes guessing at conscious level was controlled. Although it was difficult to fully control the stereotypes guessing at unconscious level, the explicit warning could lower the rate of false recall. Thus, the unconscious stereotypes guessing and illusory recollections might be the basis for false memories in a stereotype consistent manner. To sum up, the present study indicated that class stereotypes can affect source memory under different conditions in a flexible way. The activation of class stereotypes, in a source monitoring framework, affects not only guessing processes but also illusory recollections, both of which provide a potential basis for erroneous source attributions.
Previous studies found that when subjects were given a moral dilemma to resolve, high-power participants prefer Rule-based Judgment, while low-power participants prefer Outcome-based Judgement. Lammers and Stapel (2009)attributed this to the benefits attained or retained from the type of judgment, but they did not conduct further research to explain why power-holders felt their benefits were threatened. According to the Evolution of Moral Mechanisms (Krebs 2005), situational involvement connects the power-holders with the moral dilemma story, and compels them to choose the moral judgment that would be advantageous for themselves. Four studies were conducted to explore the relationship between a power-holders’ moral dilemma judgment and situational involvement. Experiment 1 used a disorder sentence task to prime power feelings, and the results showed that the factor of protagonist was not significant as a main effect (F(1,107)=0.38, p=0.54), nor did it interact significantly with the factor of power (F(1,107)=2.27, p=0.14), and no main effect of power (F(1,107)=0.07, p=0.79). In light of moral evolutionary perspectives, we speculate that participants may need more situational priming to elicit their feeling of power, so this paper strengthened the relationship between the moral event and self-experience, and made the priming task more situationalized in experiment 2. Therefore, the differences of moral judgment styles between high and low-power participants disappeared (t(58)=0.56, p=0.58). Furthermore, in experiment 3 and 4, the different situation exposure to moral events can bring different moral judgments among high power participants (t(60)=-4.30, p<0.001), even in natural power conditions without artificial power priming task before presenting moral events. In brief, situational involvement considerably influences the power holders’ moral judgments. When the power holders were presented with a moral dilemma event in which they had personally experienced it, they would shift their moral judgment style from rule-based to outcome-based, which demonstrates that moral judgment is a biological adaptive strategy to a person’s environment.
In order to reveal the processes through which status differentiation and stigmatization occur in daily interactions between migrant workers and out-groups, the present study investigated the effects a stigmatized status characteristic had on influence in the interaction and on the social rejection suffered during this process. This is a multiple site experimental study. Participants were 151 undergraduate students from freshman to senior level. The participants included seventy three male students and seventy eight female students in YanTai. In the experiment, the participants cooperated with a fictitious partner through a local area network to answer questions described as measuring “contrast sensitivity ability.” On the task, participants had the opportunity to be influenced by the partners. Participants then chose partners for the next period task. In accordance with the different identities of the partners, the study has five conditions that differentiated the participants’ partners (all partners were in fact fictitious). In the control condition, the partners are described as male college students just like the participants. In two conditions, the partners are high school students with either a low or high score on an initial contrast sensitivity task. In the remaining two conditions, the partners are migrant workers with either low or high initial test scores. In the study, influence and social distance were the indicators of social status and the degree of stigmatization respectively. Influence was measured as how often participants switched answers to correspond to answers provided by partners, and social distance was measured by whether participants selected the same or a new partner for the future session., The study expects to find out that education level and task ability are status markers that affect influence. It also predicts that migrant workers identity will act as a status marker and stigma, affecting both influence and social distance. The study also predicts that the influence effects of task ability can imply a strategy to decrease the legitimacy of the existing status order. The status measurement results turned out to be that, ① in cooperative tasks, participants in the migrant workers partner group were more inclined to underestimate the partners’ performance and were less influenced by them than the participants in control group and low education partner group, ② the participants who found out that their partners were migrant workers and the partners’ score were higher than them, referred to the partners’ answers more frequently than those who were only informed of their partners’ migrant worker identity. The stigma measurement results indicated that, ① participants in the migrant workers partner group obviously intended to keep longer social distance with the partners, than the participants in control group and low education partner group, ② emphasizing partners’ significant skills in the task did not decrease the social distance that participants sought from migrant workers. The results indicate that “migrant worker” is a status characteristic and a stigmatized identity that indicates a person’s inferior position in the social hierarchy. The low performance expectation and weak influence brought about by status characteristics can be counterpoise and changed by introducing new status characteristics of the partners. However, this method did not attenuate the social distance that accompanies stigma.
Cognitive diagnosis is an important topic in modern psychometric area. Now more than 70 cognitive diagnosis models (CDMs) are developed. There are some questions among these models: (1) When the attribute hierarchy structure is known, how to choose the most suitable model? (2) When the attribute hierarchy structure is unknown, and cognitive diagnosis is required, how to do it? These problems seems especially more puzzled for the practice workers. This paper only paid main attention on three international popular models. Therefore, five cognitive diagnosis models (RSM, AHM_A, GDD, DINA and DINA_HC) were compared corresponding to the above questions from psychometric opinion. In this paper, Monte Carlo simulation study was used. Although the number of slips and the hierarchy structure are two important factors that affect the performance on corrected match ratio of cognitive diagnosis, this study would pay attention on other three factors: the distribution of cognitive pattern, the sample size, the number of attributes. The findings identified: (1) When the characteristic of data was known, focusing on specific factor, the five methods had different advantages. a) For the distributions of cognitive pattern, although they have different effects on different methods, the same conclusion could find that the performance on negative bias distribution was the best, and that of DINA_HC and DINA were better than the rest methods on any discussed distributions. b) Considering the sample size, the performance of GDD with small scale assessment (100/20, persons/items)was the best one; with medium and large scale assessment (1000/60, 5000/100, persons/items), the performance of DINA_HC and DINA were better than the rest c) For the number of attributes, the more the attributes are the worse the performance will be. But for the methods, the performance the performance of DINA_HC and DINA were also better than the rest. All these reflected that the most suitable method could be adapt from the three methods: GDD, DINA_HC and DINA, corresponding to the real scenario. And the RSM was the worst cognitive diagnosis method. (2) When the characteristic of data was unknown, an unstructured attribute hierarchy is treated as a coarsened version of a structured one, and the DINA method has a similar performance under unstructured hierarchy with the GDD, DINA_HC methods under structured hierarchy. Thus if the hierarchy structure could not be identified clearly, and the test Q matrix was clear, then the DINA could be adapt.
Although recent Chinese philosophers, such as Sun Yat-sen, have generally believed that "the main fault of the Chinese people is their inherent pessimism", ancient Chinese culture also has a rich tradition of psychological theory that is optimistic in nature. This has had profound implications for Chinese culture and is exemplified, above all, in the Confucian and Taoist philosophies. The optimism propounded by Confucianism is an idealistic one that advocates rationality, involvement in society and taking pleasure in life. It manifests itself in the idea that the person who practices benevolence is free from anxiety, takes a moral attitude to the world, feels concern about the state of the country and its people, endures poverty patiently and remains calm in the face of adversity. The optimism characteristic of Taoism, on the other hand, stresses man's oneness with nature and the need to adapt to circumstances as they arise. It advocates the pursuit of a state of conformity with nature and an abstention from reckless behavior, so as to arrive at a point where "extreme pleasure is no pleasure". Buddhism teaches a way of life aimed at turning suffering into happiness, doing good in order to accumulate merit and devoting oneself to charitable works. By developing and drawing on the positive elements in traditional Chinese psychological thinking, by adhering to its ideas of enterprise and of turning a bad situation into a good one and by rejecting the sort of negative attitude that makes people passively accept a state of poverty or prevents them from aspiring to better themselves, we can help improve our current social climate and maintain and regulate the psychological health of the community. On the basis of previous research conducted in this area the present paper gives a detailed and systematic description of the optimistic psychological thinking underlying traditional Chinese culture. It explores such issues as the relationship between optimism and human psychology, the nature of optimism according to the Confucian and Taoist systems of thought, the realms in which optimism can operate, the channels whereby it can be put into practice and the different ways in which this concept is understood in China and the West. It thus aims to show the wide-ranging implications of optimism as a philosophical position and its significance for present-day society. We also hope that it may lay the foundation for further work on this subject by Chinese researchers in the field of psychology.