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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 45 Issue 12 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    Comparison of Implicit Learning Effect between Multisensory and Unisensory
    SHI Wendian;LI Xiujun;WANG Wei;YAN Wenhua
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (12): 1313-1323.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01313
    Abstract   PDF (363KB) ( 2006 )

    There is a controversy between two models (modality-dependent versus abstract representations) concerning knowledge gaining in the cognitive psychology in recent years. Some studies showed that participants gained their knowledge base on the legal regularities (Barbey & Wilson, 2003), and gained their implicit learning not only across letter sets, but also across sense modalities (Tunney & Altmann, 2001; Kirkham, Slemmer, & Johnson, 2002). Transfer effects are explained by proposing that the learning is based on abstract knowledge, that is, knowledge is not directly tied to the surface features or sensory instantiation of the stimuli (Pena, Bonatti, Nespor, & Mehler, 2002). On the contrary, other studies showed different results that supposedly grounded in modality-specific sensorimotor mechanisms demonstrating implicit learning is not only sensitive to stimulus-specific features (e.g., Chang, Knowlton, 2004) but also to modality-specific features (e.g., Barsalou, Simmons, Barbey, & Wilson, 2003; Conway & Christiansen, 2005, 2006, 2009; Emberson, 2011). Therefore it needs more exploration about the root of implicit learning which employs a central mechanism or multiple modality-specific mechanisms. Previous researches mainly focus on comparison of single modality, but the sensory environment is seldom limited to a single modality or input source (Stein & Stanford, 2008), thus it is possible that implicit learning may use simultaneously both auditory and visual modalities. The objective of current research is to explore to what extent multimodal input sources are processed independently. There were 169 college students took part into three experiments. Artificial Grammar Learning task was used. In Experiment 1, visual and auditory implicit learning effects were measured respectively, and the result of Experiment 1 provided a baseline learning rate for comparison in subsequent experiments. In Experiment 2, audiovisual sequences were presented simultaneously with the same grammar rules. In Experiment 3, audiovisual sequences were presented simultaneously with the different grammar rules. Results showed that: (1) there was significant implicit learning effect both for visual and auditory. (2) there was marginally significant implicit learning effect on visual and auditory when audiovisual sequences were presented simultaneously with the same grammar rules; and there were no significant differences between unisensory and multisensory. (3) There were significant implicit learning effects both of visual and auditory when audiovisual sequences were presented simultaneously with the different grammar rules, and there were no significant differences between unisensory and multisensory. One conclusion of current research is that multisensory has almost the same implicit learning effect as unisensory. Participants are able to track simultaneously two sets of sequential regularities regardless of the similarity of grammar rules, which indicates learners possess multisensory implicit learning ability. Multistream statistical learning is processed independently for each modality which perhaps indicates the involvement of multiple learning subsystems. The research result supports implicit learning’s modality-specific theory and challenges abstract representation’s theory.

    The Effect of Topological Properties on Duration Perception of Oddball Stimuli
    LI Baolin;CHEN Youguo;YUAN Xiangyong;Todd JACKSON;HUANG Xiting
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (12): 1324-1333.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01324
    Abstract   PDF (386KB) ( 1084 )

    Previous studies have revealed that the visual system is highly sensitive to topological differences. Topological properties, which are first represented and processed, influence ongoing visual information processing. In addition, as a fundamental human ability, perception of duration can be affected by non-temporal information, including the magnitude, motion, and spatial frequency. Topological properties are another type of important non-temporal information, but little is known whether these can also affect duration perception. Recently, researchers have found that when an unexpected “oddball” stimulus is embedded in a train of repeated standard stimuli, its duration typically seems to be longer. This phenomenon is termed the oddball effect, and illustrates how duration perception can be affected by stimulus novelty. According to the topological approach to perceptual organization, the core intuitive notion of an object may be characterized precisely as topological invariance, and changes in topological properties will be regarded as the emergence of new objects by the vision system. Therefore, the impact of topological properties on duration perception of oddball stimuli was investigated in this research. In Experiment 1a 18 participants (7 men, 11 women) were asked to judge whether oddball stimuli (i.e., disks with one or two holes) were longer or shorter in duration than the standard stimuli (i.e., squares with one or two holes). In Experiment 1b, 14 participants (7 men, 7women) rated whether oddballs (i.e., disks with two holes, squares with one hole or squares with three holes)were longer or shorter in duration than standard stimuli (i.e., squares with two holes). Experiment 2 included 40 participants (15men, 25 women) and was designed to compare effects on duration perception of oddball stimuli between topological properties and other geometric properties. Participants were required to judge whether the oddballs (i.e., parallelograms, trapezoids, circles or rings) were longer or shorter in duration than standard stimuli (i.e., either squares or beeps of 1000 Hz). Results of Experiment 1 indicated that when there were topological differences between standard stimuli and the oddballs, the magnitude of the oddball effect was significantly larger than that of non-topological differences. Findings from Experiment 2 showed the magnitude of the oddball effect increased monotonically with increasing levels of stability of structural differences between standard stimuli and the oddballs. Compared with other geometrical properties, changes of topological properties induced the largest magnitude of oddball effect. These results suggest that topological properties are one type of important non-temporal information that affect duration perception of oddball stimuli. Furthermore, the current study supports the topological definition of perceptual objects.

    The Construction of Verbal Label and Response Label in Rule-Based Category Learning
    RU Taotao;MO Lei;Zhang Ting;JIAO Honghao;HUANG Yulan
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (12): 1334-1344.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01334
    Abstract   PDF (397KB) ( 726 )

    There are two major models account for the mechanism of rule-based category learning, including single association model and two associations’ model. The former claims that a stimulus-to-label association associates the stimuli and category labels directly in the rule-based classification. While the latter holds that rule-based classification as a kind of implicit learning, is affected by both a stimulus-to-label association and a label- to-response association. The two kinds of associations were also called verbal label and response label respectively. Previous researchers found that the construction of the two kinds of labels follows a stimulus- to-label-to-response pattern, like chain processing, when people learn verbal and response label successively. To our knowledge, the question is whether this construction order of verbal label and response label was artificially arranged by these former researchers, since participants were asked to complete the response label firstly according to stimulus’s verbal label which needs no response. In other words, it is still unknown that whether the learning order of the two labels would affect the way of the construction of two labels. The current study conducted two experiments to investigate whether there would be a stimulus-to-response pattern, like parallel processing, when participants learn the two labels randomly or reversely. Using the standard label conversion paradigm (Maddox, Glass et al. 2010), experiment 1 explored the question whether the main way of the construction of the two labels is chain processing or parallel processing when the learning order of verbal label and response label was random. Experiment 2 further investigated whether the reverse learning order of the two labels would change the way of the construction of them. Experiment 1 found that the construction of the labels follow the chain of stimulus-verbal label-response label when the learning order of two labels was random. Experiment 2 also confirmed this chain processing pattern even though the response label of stimulus was learned priority. In conclusion, the present research indicates that the main way people construct the language category and the experience category of the stimuli is the chain processing, which is not influenced by the learning order of the labels. Moreover, the order of the chain was individually default and stable.

    The Development of Pathological Internet Use and Its Relationship with Self-Esteem among Junior High School Students: The Moderating Role of Classmate Relationship
    ZHANG Guohua;DAI Bibing;LEI Li
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (12): 1345-1354.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01345
    Abstract   PDF (434KB) ( 2348 )

    In recent years, the Internet has been developing at an unimaginably high speed, imposing an increasingly important impact on our daily life. It's worth noting that the number of adolescent Internet users is soaring fast. The Internet provides people not only with many benefits, but also with a lot of negative outcomes, such as online pornography, Internet gambling and fraud. Excessive Internet use may also lead to “Internet addiction” (or commonly called Pathological Internet Use, PIU). There are several common characteristics in the current studies of Pathological Internet Use, among which most sampled college students more than other ages of population, rarely concerning about the adolescents who have just entered adolescence and engaged in Internet use for a short time. Besides, most of the recent studies of Pathological Internet Use were based on cross-sectional study design, but few on longitudinal study design. By longitudinal study design, the developmental tendencies of adolescents’ Pathological Internet Use and its influence on the individual development can be better revealed, and the effects of relevant psychological variables can be investigated so as to contribute to the prevention and intervention of adolescents’ Pathological Internet Use. Based on the analysis above, this study sampled adolescents who have just begun their junior high school study as our subjects to investigate their developmental tendency of Pathological Internet Use and its relationship with self-esteem, and to explore the moderating role of classmate relationship between self-esteem and Pathological Internet Use through longitudinal design and Hierarchical Linear Model (HLM). We suppose that junior high school students’ level of Pathological Internet Use increased gradually with the growing use of the Internet, teenagers with higher self-esteem are more unlikely to be involved in Pathological Internet Use, and classmate relationship can relieve Pathological Internet Use of adolescents with lower self-esteem. This study employed Self-esteem Scale and Adolescent Pathological Internet Use Scale to 123 grade one junior high school students in Beijing, in a period of 18 months with 6 times of investigations. Besides, Classmate Relationship Subscale of Class Environment Questionnaire was used to examine their classmate relationship. The results were as followed: (1) in the period of 18 months, the level of Pathological Internet Use among junior high school students presents a rising trend significantly. There are significant differences between the initial level and developmental tendency of Pathological Internet Use (χ2=391.51, p﹤0.01; χ2=174.49, p﹤0.01). The higher the initial level is, more gently the rising trend will be (τ10 is -0.22); (2) self-esteem has a significantly negative prediction on adolescents’ Pathological Internet Use (γ20=-0.54, p﹤0.05); (3) individual with better classmate relationship has a lower initial level of Pathological Internet Use (γ02=-1.16, p﹤0.05). But from the perspective of the growing trend of Pathological Internet Use, better classmate relationship weakened the protective role of self-esteem to Pathological Internet Use (γ22=0.09, p﹤0.05). The research showed that the level of adolescents’ Pathological Internet Use increased gradually in their junior high school years, self-esteem played a protective role in the development of adolescents’ Pathological Internet Use while better classmate relationship is apt to aggravate the protective role of self-esteem in the development Pathological Internet Use.

    Links between Marital Relationship and Child-Parent Relationship: Mediating Effects of Parents’ Emotional Expressiveness
    LIANG Zongbao;ZHANG Guangzhen;DENG Huihua;SONG Yuan;ZHENG Wenming;SUN Ling
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (12): 1355-1367 .   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01355
    Abstract   PDF (502KB) ( 3791 )

    Family is viewed as a hierarchically organized system, which is comprised of marital, parental and sibling subsystems. The interaction of family subsystems is important for understanding children’s social development. Although numerous studies have indicated that marital and child-parent relationship are interrelated, it is unclear how marital relationship influences child-parent relationship. Researchers have argued that marital relationship impacts child-parent relationship through parenting behavior. Parents who experience harmonious marriage tend to exhibit sensitive parenting, and develop warm parent-child relationship, while parents who experience conflictive marital relationship may exhibit harsh parenting, and develop low quality parent-child relationship. In addition, parental emotional socialization behavior may serve as a mediator of links between marital relationship and child-parent relationship; marital conflict or ambivalence is associated with parents’ negative expressiveness, and a supportive marital relationship is associated with parents’ positive expressiveness. Positive or negative parental expressiveness in turn may affect parent-child relationships. The current longitudinal study explored the mediating effects of parental emotional expressiveness in family on relations between marital relationship and parent-child relationship during three preschool years. We hypothesized that parents with a good quality marital relationship would display more positive emotional expressiveness and inhibit negative emotional expressiveness in the family, which result in good relationships with their children. Four hundred and fifty four preschoolers (254 boys and 200 girls, Mage = 50.92 months, SD = 4.21 at the first stage) and their parents participated in this study. Fathers and mothers reported their marital quality and emotional expressiveness, and rated their relationships with their child. The path analysis revealed that paternal positive and negative emotional expressiveness and maternal positive emotional expressiveness in the second year completely mediated the relation between marital quality in the first year and child-parent intimacy in the third year when intimate child-father relationship or intimate child-mother relationship were controlled in the first year. Specifically, father who experienced higher marital quality in the first year tended to express more positive emotions and less negative emotions in family in the second year, and had more intimate child-father relationship in the third year when intimate child-father relationship in the first year was controlled. However, maternal negative emotional expressiveness in the first year did not mediate the relation between marital quality in the second year and intimate child-father relationship in the third year. Moreover, mother who experienced higher marital quality in the first year tended to express more positive emotions in family in the second year, and had more intimacy child-mother relationship in the third year when intimate child-mother relationship in the first year was controlled, and paternal negative emotional expressiveness in the first year did not mediate the relation between marital quality in the second year and intimate child-mother relationship in the third year. We discussed the results from the family system and parental emotional socialization perspectives, and provided suggestions for family education.

    Interpersonal Empathy Gap Can Be Overcome: Taking Teachers Forecasting Students’ Emotion as an Example
    CHEN Ning;LU Jiamei;WANG Haibin
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (12): 1368-1380 .   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01368
    Abstract   PDF (488KB) ( 1897 )

    Emotional forecasting was a psychological research hotspot in recent years. Bias not only existed in forecasting self emotions, but also in forecasting others’, which can lead to interpersonal empathy gap. Van Boven and Loewenstein presented the dual judgment model of emotional perspective taking, implying that self forecasting bias and similarity judgment deviation between themselves and others are the main reasons of interpersonal empathy gap. Based on the dual judgment model, this study established an interpersonal emotional forecasting model, which can not only explain the formation of interpersonal empathy gap, but also help to overcome interpersonal empathy gap. Taking the typical interpersonal forecasting phenomenon (teachers forecasting students’ emotions) as example and selecting typical educational situations, this research explored the formation of interpersonal empathy gap as well as ways to overcome interpersonal empathy gap to verify the interpersonal emotional forecasting model. Study 1 (85 teacher participants, 364 students participants) selected caring students and delaying class as forecasting situations. Study 2 (37 teachers and 37 students) selected positive expectation as forecasting situation, where the teachers were asked to forecast students’ emotional responses. The results indicated that whether they are forecasting groups or individual student, there exists a significant correlation between teacher’s self-forecasting and forecasting the student’s emotions. As the empathy anchor, self-forecasting directly affected teachers’ forecasting on the students' emotions. While the influence of empathy anchor on forecasting accuracy has two-sidedness, the extremeness of self-forecasting would lead to a still greater empathy gap between teachers and students. Study 3 (61 teachers, 68 students) selected preparing for tests as forecasting situation, while the teacher’s empathy strategy was manipulated by instructions. It indicated that empathy strategies significantly influenced the teachers' emotional forecasting accuracy. Teachers thinking only from their own perspective and neglecting to imagine emotions from the student’s perspectives would induce greater forecasting bias. Otherwise, teachers placing themselves on students’ position would overcome egocentric bias, thereby effectively closing the empathy gap. Effective emotional prediction strategy was directly presented in this research with realistic effects and sustained the development of the dual judgment model of emotional perspective taking. Interpersonal emotional forecasting model was conducted and verified. This study laid a theoretical basis for further revealing the characteristics and mechanisms of interpersonal emotional forecasting process.

    Can Brand and Price Really Counter Country-of-origin Effects: Different Distribution of Attribute Weight
    ZHANG Qin;WANG Tao;GONG Yanping
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (12): 1381-1392.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01381
    Abstract   PDF (535KB) ( 1392 )

    It is well known that the origin of product has an impact on consumer product evaluation and consumers typically treat products made in developing countries less favorable. Therefore, it is important for firms to develop effective strategies to reduce possible damage caused by negative country-of-origin (COO). Previous studies have found that many attributes of product could influence the strength of COO, especially brand and price. Some researchers pointed out that strong brand and low price could effectively reduce the influences of negative COO. However, consistence about this conclusion has not been reached..According to theory of constructive preferences, the formation of consumer preference is more like architecture, rather than like archaeology. Consumers prefer to build defensible set of values, instead of uncovering values that are already there. There are two important factors which can influence the process of constructing preferences: (1) methods for eliciting preferences; (2) the characteristics of attributes. Based on the theory of constructive preference, this study tried to explore (1) can the relationship between brand and COO and the relationship between price and COO really be affected by the join-separate evaluation mode and the characteristics of attributes? In which evaluation mode, consumers usually weigh brand and price more heavily, which can reduce the effects of COO. (2) Can the amount of evaluable information and the changes of attribute influence the weight assignment? To examine the hypotheses, two studies with five experiments were designed. In study one, a 2 (COO: good and bad) × 2 (product price: high and low) between-subject design was adopted. ANOVA analysis was conducted and the results showed that in joint evaluation mode, consumers weight price more heavily, which reduces the negative influences of a bad COO. Price differential moderates the relationship between price and the effects of COO. In separate evaluation mode, the result was reverse that consumers weight COO more heavily and think the product with a good COO is more favorable. In study two, a 2 (COO: good and bad) × 2 (product brand: strong and weak) between-subjects design was adopted. ANOVA analysis was conducted and the results showed that brand cannot reduce the influences of COO on product evaluation in both evaluation modes. However, increasing the amount of evaluable information of brand or using sorting instead of specific name to present the country of origin of product would make consumers weight brand more heavily in separate mode.

    The Regulation of Inaction Inertia: From the Forward-Looking Perspective of Multiple Reference Points
    SU Song;CHEN Rong;HUANG Jinsong
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (12): 1393-1409.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01393
    Abstract   PDF (537KB) ( 1074 )

    Inaction inertia causes negative impacts on both consumers who miss a good opportunity and marketers who end a promotion activity. Prior research in this field has mostly looked at the antecedents of inaction inertia, and little research has focused on the mechanism and strategy for regulating inaction inertia. To explore the strategies for releasing the inaction inertia effect, prior research has proposed a “backward-looking” approach which is based on decoupling the present opportunity with forgone opportunity to avoid comparisons between two opportunities. However, the effectiveness of the strategy should be further manifested under more practical conditions such as clear opportunities comparability, short temporal or spatial distance. Given the insufficiency of previous research, we adopted a “forward-looking” approach based on multiple reference point theory by taking present and future similar opportunities into consideration. In specific, we proposed that when a present inferior similar opportunity was highlighted after missing a good opportunity, consumers would take the inferior option as one of their reference point. The effect of multiple reference point might change the judgment and choice of consumers. Inaction inertia might thus be regulated. Similarly, when the information of future opportunity with increased cost was noticed by consumers, they would anticipate the future choice and take it as a reference for their decision. In addition, there are four major theoretical explanations for the psychological mechanism behind inaction inertia in previous research. However, scholars are still in disputes over the psychological processes. The research examined these four possible explanations for the relationship between the history of missing opportunity and the existence of inferior reference points. The hypotheses were tested by two studies. In study 1, two hundred and two students from universities in Beijing were randomly assigned to one of the five conditions in a 2 (difference in opportunity attractiveness: small vs. large) × 2 (inferior opportunity: without vs. with) + 1 (control) between-subject design. Participants were provided with a one-page questionnaire containing the scenario describing a decision about buying T-shirt and questions measuring action likelihood, anticipated inaction/action regret, experienced regret, valuation and perceived loss. In study 2, the experiment was a 2 (difference in opportunity attractiveness: small vs. large) × 2 (anticipation of cost increase: weak vs. strong) + 1 (control) between-subject design. One hundred and eighty six students from universities in Beijing were randomly assigned to one of the five conditions and presented with a brief questionnaire containing the scenario about renting room and the measures. The data were run by ANOVA and regression analysis in both studies. The results demonstrated that inaction inertia could be attenuated by the influence of multiple reference points when an inferior similar opportunity significantly existed (study 1), or when a future opportunity with increased cost was anticipated (study 2). And in both studies, the mediation effect of anticipated inaction regret was significantly confirmed. The findings enrich the research on inaction inertia and shed fresh light on how to overcome inaction inertia by proposing a multiple reference point perspective. The results point to managerial implications by suggesting the strategies of highlighting a new reference point for consumers after an intense promotion campaign concludes. The research also contributes to the literature by demonstrating the mediation role of anticipated inaction regret in leveraging inaction inertia.

    Intergroup Threat and Collective Action Intention: Dual-pathway Model of Mass Incidents
    ZHANG Shuwei
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (12): 1410-1430 .   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01410
    Abstract   PDF (744KB) ( 1369 )

    As the representation of social contradictions, collective action in China typically involves mass incidents, which refer to the conflicts between certain civilians and local administration. A group member engages in collective action any time that he or she acts as a representative of a group and when the action is directed at improving the conditions for the entire group. This research focused on the motivation mechanism underlying collective action in different intergroup threat (i.e., realistic threat and identity threat) by using a survey (study 1) and an experiment (study 2). The main purpose of study 1 was to investigate the mediated effects of group efficacy (one pathway) and group-based anger (another pathway) on the relation between intergroup treat and collective action intention. Moreover, study 2 explored the moderated effect of group identity in the dual-pathway model. The results indicated that: First, both group efficacy and group-based anger were mediators of the relation between intergroup threat (realistic threat and identity threat) and collective action intention. Specifically, group efficacy mediated the relation between realistic threat and collective action intention; group efficacy also mediated the relation between identity threat and collective action intention; group-based anger mediated the relation between realistic threat and collective action intention; group-based anger also mediated the relation between identity threat and collective action intention. Moreover, the mediating effect of group efficacy on realistic threat-collective action intention relation was stronger than that on identity threat-collective action intention association; whereas the mediating effect of group-based anger on identity threat-collective action intention relation was stronger than that on realistic threat-collective action intention association. Second, group identity moderated the relation between intergroup threat and collective action intention. Specifically, group identity moderated the relation between realistic threat and collective action intention; whereas group identity moderated the relation between identity threat and collective action intention. In addition, group identity was a mediated moderator that group efficacy and group-based anger mediated the relation between the group identity- intergroup threat interaction and collective action intention. An important theoretical implication of this research is that it connects the dual-pathway model of collective action with the different types of intergroup threat at distinct levels of group identity. Furthermore, the current study provides a useful analytical paradigm for mediated moderating effects. Regarding the practical implications, this research examines the social psychological motivation mechanism underlying collective action in China to inform administrators and policy makers on how to monitor and reduce mass incidents in public administration.

    Mediation Analysis for Ordinal Outcome Variables
    LIU Hongyun;LUO Fang;ZHANG Yu;ZHANG Danhui
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (12): 1431-1442.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01431
    Abstract   PDF (595KB) ( 2463 )

    Statistical mediation analyses have been widely used to investigate the mechanism of mediating effects, in which mediator M mediates the effect of independent variable X on dependent variable Y. For the last 25 years, the causal steps approach as described by, for example, Baron and Kenny (1986) had dominated and become the standard procedure for statistical mediation analyses. However, most of the research in these statistical mediation analyses were conducted with the dependent variable being continuous. In this article, basing on the methods of MacKinnon (1993, 2007), we examined a more appropriate procedure of categorical data analysis rather than that for continuous data in the examination of mediation models when the outcome variable is binary or ordinal. We believed that the logistic regression should be used to analyze categorical data, while the ordinal line regression is more appropriate for analyses involving continuous data. Two approaches have been usually used in the analyses of mediation effect: one involving the examination of the product of coefficient while the other involving of the comparison of the difference of the respective coefficients. In this study, therefore, we compared the performance of these two methods with the logistic regression and the ordinal line regression respectively, using the Monte Carlo simulation method. These methods were compared with respective to three factors, namely, sample size, size of mediation effects, and the number of categories in the outcome variable. These factors were systematically varied in the simulations with: i) sample size at 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000; ii)the number of categories in the outcome variable set at 2, 3 and 5; and 3) the standard regression coefficients of a, b and c′ set at 0, 0.14, 0.39 and 0.59respectively generating of 63 combinations of the coefficient combinations (the all 0.59 was dropped due to improper solution). So, a total of 5 sample size ×3 categories of outcome variables × 63 regression coefficient combinations = 945 combination of conditions were generated. Mplus 6.0 was used to generate the simulated data sets, and 500 replicates were used in each of the conditions. Each data set was analyzed using all of the statistical approach mentioned above. The performance of these analytical approaches was then evaluated according to six criteria, namely, (1) convergence rates, (2) the precision of the mediation effects estimates, (3) the precision of standard error estimates, (4)the coverage rates of the CIs,(5) the test power, and (6) Type I error rates. Results showed that firstly, for the mediating model with binary or ordinal outcome variable, the approach using product of coefficient always performed better than the approach using the difference of coefficients irrespective of whether the logistic regression was used or not. Secondly, the ordinal regression for analyzing continuous variables produced lower precision of estimates, poorer performance in statistical tests and an underestimation of SE, as compared with the logistic regression. However, as the number of categories of outcome variable increased, the ordinal regression for continuous variables could be an acceptable alternative with a decrease in the RMSE and estimated standard errors of the mediation effect, and an increase in the statistical power. In conclusion, the approach using the product of coefficients with the logistic regression is the recommended method for mediation analyses of categorical data. We also provide examples to demonstrate the procedures for the implementation of the tests.

    Total Contents of Acta Psychologica Sinica, Vol. 45, 2013
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (12): 1443-1451.  
    Abstract   PDF (348KB) ( 1094 )
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