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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 46 Issue 2 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    The Inhibitory Process of Part-list Cuing Effect: Evidence from Emotional Stroop Task
    BAI Xuejun;LIU Tuanli;SHEN Deli
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (2): 143-155.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00143
    Abstract   PDF (616KB) ( 3272 )

    When people are asked to recall items from a previously studied list and are given a subset of the items on that list as retrieval cues, they often do more poorly at recalling the remaining items on the list than do people asked to recall the items in the absence of such retrieval cues (Slamecka, 1968). Such part-list cuing effect has often been attributed to inhibitory executive-control processes that supposedly suppress the non-cue items′ memory representation. Our aim in the present study was to further evaluate the inhibitory executive-control account of part-list cuing effect. Using a new paradigm which combines the classical part-list cuing paradigm with emotional Stroop task, adopting a more sensitive index, the present study retested the retrieval inhibition hypothesis of part-list cuing effect. Four experiments were included. In Experiments 1, we explored whether the inhibition occurs after the presence of part-list cues by inserting the emotional Stroop task between the presence of part-list cues and the retrieval phase, In Experiments 2 and 3, we explored whether the inhibition still persist after the retrieval phase by inserting the emotional Stroop task after the retrieval phase, On the basis of Experiment 2 and 3, in Experiment 4, an inadequate retrieval time was used to further investigate the inhibition process during the retrieval phase. The findings showed that: when the emotional Stroop task was performed after the presentation of the part-list cues, the reaction time of part-list cuing recall group was shorter than free recall group; while when the emotional Stroop task was performed after the retrieval phase, no difference between part-list cuing recall group and free recall group was observed; and when the retrieval was not fulfilled, the reaction time of part-list cuing recall group was shorter than free recall group. The present findings revealed that in the part-list cuing effect, inhibition occurred as soon as the part-list cues were provided, and before the full completion of the retrieval task, the inhibition process would persist. The results support the retrieval inhibition hypothesis of part-list cuing effect, and do some supplement to the retrieval inhibition hypothesis—— the duration of inhibition was mediated by the retrieval task.

    Self-Reference Influence the Directed Forgetting of Emotional Memory
    YANG Wenjing;LIU Peiduo;CUI Qian;HAO Xin;Xiao Xiao;ZHANG Qinglin
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (2): 156-164.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00156
    Abstract   PDF (341KB) ( 3126 )

    Intentional forgetting of emotional memories refers to the phenomenon that people attempt to actively put the unwanted memories out of awareness. The item method directed forgetting is often used to explore the intentional forgetting of emotional memory. Most of the directed forgetting studies suggest that both the selective encoding and retrieval inhibitory contribute to the directed forgetting effect. Though the emotional material can enhance the memory, people can use the inhibitory mechanism to forget the emotional memory. Self-reference effect is an important effect of memory. It seems that the self is a well-developed construct that promotes both elaboration and organization of encoded information. Although forgetting is an important process of memory, most studies concentrated on the encoding of the memory when it comes to the self reference effect. As we know, few studies focused on whether self-reference can influence the directed forgetting. Most studies suggest that people can intentionally forget the emotional memories. If these materials are enhanced by emotion and self-reference, can people forget them? As the best knowledge of us, no study concentrated on this problem up to now. But this problem is common in our daily life. Thirty eight undergraduates or master students participated in the Experiment 1. Two hundred and forty four trait adjective words were included in the materials which were randomly distributed to two lists (one is the study list and the other is the distracter in the recognition test). The experiment was divided into three separate parts. In the study period, participants should finish two tasks. Firstly, subjects were first asked to judge whether the adjective was proper to describe the self or luxun, and then they were instructed to remember or forget the front word. After carrying out a distraction task, there was a recognition task in which participants should discriminate whether the word was old or new. The same experimental procedure was applied in the experiment 2. The difference was that a recalling test replaced the recognition after the distraction task. A three-factor analysis of variance (ANONA) was performed after the experiment with the valence of the materials, the type of the reference and the type of the memory instruction as within-subjects variables. The results of experiment 1 showed that there was a main effect of memory instruction. However, the main effect of the type of the reference and the interaction effect of the valence, the type of the reference and the memory instruction were not significant. However, the results of the experiment 2 showed an interaction within the valence, the type of the memory instruction and the type of the reference. This discussion focused on the self-enhancement effect. The results suggest that self-reference can influence the directed forgetting of the emotional memory. Self-reference can enhance the discrimination of the materials. Then, participants can fully use the inhibition mechanism to inhibit the TBF items and more cognitive resources can be used to encode the TBR items. The results also suggest self-reference produce different influences on different emotional memories and the self-enhancement motivation play an important role in these influences. In order to have a positive self-image, participants try to forget the negative self-reference items, and keep the positive self-reference items.

    The Influence of Time Perception Difference on Intertemporal Choice
    SUO Tao;ZHANG Feng;ZHAO Guoxiang;LI Hong
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (2): 165-173.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00165
    Abstract   PDF (412KB) ( 2875 )

    Intertemporal choice refers to decisions involving tradeoffs among costs and benefits occurring at different points in time. Despite a large number of studies have shown that impulsive behavior is closely related to subjective experience of time, but the relationship between impulsive behavior and perception of time is still controversial in intertemporal choices. From the perspective of personality differences, using a simple intertemporal choice task, this study investigated the differences in behavioral responses between two groups who had different tendencies of time perception (those who tended to overestimate time or underestimate time) in intertemporal choice to explore the role of time perception on intertemporal choice. In the present study, 32 participants who overestimated time (18 males and 14 females, average age = 20.36±1.25 years) and 32 participants who underestimate time (15 male and 17 females, average age = 20.64±1.98 years) were selected by using a time-production task from 120 volunteers recruited from some universities in China. They were asked to engage in a simple intertemporal choice task, in which, they were forced to make choices between two amounts of money attained in different delay time, and moreover, the difficulty of the intertemporal choice task was also manipulated through different amounts of money in options. The participants in the experiment were all right-hand, had normal or corrected-to-normal vision and had no neurological or psychological disorders. Each participant signed a consent form prior to the experiments and was paid after the experiment, according to their performance. The study was approved by the local academic committee. The results indicated that, (1) regardless difficulty of choice task, compared to the group who tended to underestimate time, the group who tended to overestimate time prefered to smaller-immediate rewards. (2) there is no significant difference in reaction time of intertemporal choice between the group who tended to overestimate time and the group who tended to underestimate time; and the reaction time of the group who tended to overestimate time was not affected by difficulty of choice task, while the reaction time of the group who tended to overestimate time in easy choice task was significantly longer than that in difficult task. In conclusion, the present study suggested that time perception plays an important role in intertemporal decision-making. Individuals who tend to overestimation of time may lead to overestimation of the cost of revenue, which would result in his/her impulsive choices in intertemporal choices

    Mechanisms of Attentional Resource Limitations and Dual-task Interference
    Wu Yanwen;You Xuqun;Li Haixia
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (2): 174-184.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00174
    Abstract   PDF (468KB) ( 2998 )

    In classic Psychological-Refractory-Period (PRP) paradigms, decreasing stimulus onset asynchronies (SOA) between the two tasks typically leads to increasing reaction time (RT2) to the second task (T2), but there is no influence on the reaction time (RT1) to the first task (T1). Traditionally, the causes of this interference have been considered to be the limitations of attentional resources or the inherent nature of central bottleneck. The PRP effect has been extensively studied and has been traditionally explained by Pashler’s response selection bottleneck (RSB) model, which proposes the processing of one task consists of three stages: (1) perceptual identification stage, which selects the task-relevant stimulus and extracts relevant attributes of said stimulus; (2) response selection (bottleneck) stage, which decides upon the appropriate motor response; (3) response execution stage, which mainly executes explicit actions. Perceptual identification stage and response execution stage were generally assumed to operate in parallel with other cognitive processing, but the bottleneck stage was assumed to operate sequentially, meaning the stage of T2 response selection was often postponed until the corresponding stage of response selection of T1 had been completed. Tombu and Jolicoeur (2003) described the Central Capacity Sharing (CCS) model, assuming that the capacity limitations of the central stags were not all or none and the processing of both tasks occurred at reducing rates due to the sharing of limited common resources. Thus, the two models had different predictions to the RT1. The RSB model assumed that T1 could get access to the bottleneck as soon as required, so RT1 remained the same at all SOA, whereas the CCS model predicted that RT1 increased with decreasing SOA. The present research used a standard PRP paradigm, in two reaction time experiments, in which participants made speeded responses to both a tone (T1) and a Stroop task (T2), the two tasks arriving in rapid succession, and stimulus intervals presenting with varying SOA. The aim is to examine the predictions of the RSB model and the CCS model, in the meantime exploring the limitations of attentional resources and the interference mechanisms in dual-task situations. The results showed that: (1) In the overlapping tasks paradigm, when T1 was processing in the central bottleneck, the response to T2 was heavily affected by the T1, and the effect of PRP was significant. Varied SOA and different difficulty T2 information substantially influenced the response selection and response execution on T1. (2) When two tasks demanded central response selection processing at the same time, the one task using more available attention resources would lead to the other task using less attention resources. The amount of resources directly determined the processing efficiency of this task. (3) There existed interference in dual-task situations, this interference not only existed in the central response selection stage, but also existed in the stage of response execution. Taken together, RT1 effects may occur when central resources are shared between the Task 1 and Task 2 processes. These results provide strong support for CCS models of dual-task interference in the overlapping tasks paradigm.

    The Effect of Cue-Target Relevance and Search Strategies on Attentional Capture
    WANG Huiyuan;ZHANG Ming;SUI Jie
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (2): 185-195.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00185
    Abstract   PDF (348KB) ( 1419 )

    There is large amount of evidence showing that the saliency of a stimulus on a dimension (singleton) can involuntarily capture attention. Previous work has also demonstrated that attentional capture induced by feature singleton is modulated by top-down factors. For example, the semantic relationship between target and distractors impacts on the capture of attention; search strategies (Singleton Detection Mode and Feature Search Mode) are another potential factors affecting attentional capture. Here we measured how these factors guided attentional capture in a visual search task by manipulating cue-target relevance and search strategies and attempted to provide systematically evidence on capture of attention. A modified spatial cueing paradigm was employed in the current study. In a trial, a fixation screen was presented for 500 ms, followed by an uninformative red cue which appeared for 100 ms. Then a fixation screen was showed for 100 ms, followed by a target screen with Chinese characters surrounding by squares displayed 1000 ms. Participants had to make a judgment for the gap orientation of a target square while ignoring other distractors. Targets were Chinese characters randomly presented at the cued or non-cued locations, making cues valid or invalid. The effect of attentional capture referred to the fact slower responses to invalid contrasting to those to valid targets. The magnitude of the effect was computed to assess the effect size across different experimental conditions. In the current study, there were ten experimental conditions according to various combinations of perceptional relevance, semantic relevance between cue and target and singleton detection mode and feature search mode. The order of experimental conditions was counterbalanced across participants. As a result, the capture effect was not observed when cue and target were irrelevant whilst no search strategy was adopted, but feature search mode was induced. However, the capture effect was observed when singleton detection mode was used, and when the semantic relevance between the cue and the target was established. The capture effects were also reliable significant when there was the perceptional relevance between the cue and target. In contrast, the capture effects induced by singleton detection mode and by semantic relevance were eliminated when perceptional relevance occurred. It was concluded that (1) the perceptional relevance between cue and target was more pronounced to drive attentional capture than the semantic association between cue and target and search strategies, (2) although the latter was also able to modulate the magnitude of attentional capture, but the effect exclusively occurred when there was no perceptional relevance between cue and target. (3) attentional capture was modulated by the search strategy - singleton detection mode, but not by feature search mode after controlling the perceptional relevance and the semantic relevance between cue and target.

    The Effect of Task Demands on Semantic Negative Compatibility Effect
    WANG Jiaying;ZHANG Ming
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (2): 196-203.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00196
    Abstract   PDF (458KB) ( 1204 )

    Negative Compatibility Effect (NCE) is the surprising result that masked prime arrows inhibit the responses to compatibility arrow targets and facilitate the responses to the opposite direction arrow targets at the prime-target Interstimulus Interval of around 100 ms in the masked prime paradigm. NCE has been hotly investigated in terms of its subconsciousness and being counterintuitive. But whether NCE can be observed with semantic stimuli is still unknown. Traditionally, it is believed that subliminal information processing is automatic and is not down-regulated by top-down cognitive control process. However, recent studies challenged this conventional view. As a kind of subliminal perception effect, whether NCE is affected by top-down cognition control is still unknown. The present study combined masked-prime paradigm and Go/No-go paradigm to examine whether there was semantic NCE and whether task demands modulated semantic NCE. Eighteen subjects participated in the study. All stimuli were black against white background presented in the center of the screen. In masked-prime paradigm, Primes were Chinese character “左” (Left) or “右” (Right), targets were character or double arrows in go condition, either compatibility or incompatibility to the prime. Participants were instructed to judge the direction of the arrow or the character by pressing the one of left and right arrow keys. There were no responses to no-go trials. Reaction times were entered into 2 (compatibility) × 2 (task demand) analyses of variance (ANOVA). The results showed that, the main effect of compatibility and task demand were both significant; the interaction between compatibility and task demand was also significant. Further analysis demonstrated that NCE was significant only in the condition when the prime was related to task demands; there was no significant effect when the prime was not related to task demands. The behavioral data supported the existence of semantic NCE, but it was only observed when the prime was related to task demands. ERP waveform analysis revealed that P3 latency is longer only when prime was related to the task demand in Go trials. In No-go trials, N2 mean amplitude has significant difference between two character primes conditions in the related condition; P3 mean amplitude showed a significant difference between the related and unrelated conditions. The results suggest that P3 latency is an effective component to measure semantic NCE, especially in the Go trials. The findings indicated the existence of semantic NCE. In addition, task demands influenced semantic NCE through top-down cognitive control process.

    The Processing of Isolated Negative Sentences with Uncertain States
    CHEN Guangyao;WU Mingyi;WEI Xiaoping;ZHOU Miao;HE Xianyou;MO Lei
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (2): 204-215.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00204
    Abstract   PDF (321KB) ( 1144 )

    Affirmation and negation are semantic and grammatical categories present in virtually all languages. Many different theories have been proposed to explain the processing mechanism of negation. The schema-plus-tag model and the two-step simulation hypothesis have been accepted by many researchers. However, neither of these hypotheses cannot explain the processing mechanism of isolated negative sentences with uncertain states, such as the skirt is not red. In this study, we proposed anchor-based activation and satisfaction constrained model, to solve this problem. The sentence-verification paradigm was adopted in three experiments to explore the processing mechanism of negated sentences with uncertain states. In these experiments, participants were presented with affirmative or negative sentences with target objects, such as the skirt is/isn’t red. After reading the sentences with a delay condition of either 250ms, 750ms, or 1500ms, pictures were presented instantly. The task of participants was to verify whether the objects in the pictures appeared in the previous sentences. In these experiments, we designed three kinds of probing pictures. The first kind was “N”, which depicted the negated state of affairs of negated sentences, such as a red skirt for the sentence The skirt is not red; the second kind was “×+N”, which depicted the actual state of affairs of negated sentences, such as a red skirt plus negated marker (×); the last kind was “A”, which depicted one of the alternative states of affairs of negated sentences, such as a blue skirt. Results of Experiment 1 indicated that both of the data patterns of the affirmative and negated sentences were “N = ×+ N, ×+ N

    Temporal-Spatial Metaphor in Conceptual Representation: Can Spatial Information be Activated When Processing the Temporal Reference Which Implied in the Changing Shape of Objects?
    SONG Yiqi;ZHANG Jijia
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (2): 216-226.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00216
    Abstract   PDF (399KB) ( 1765 )

    Although time is abstract, unbodied and intangible, human also can feel it in some way. The changing shapes of objects show the existence of time. As time goes on, the shape of objects will change or be changed. The objects in a forward position of time series refer to “earlier”, while the objects in a afterward position of time series refer to “later”. It has been demonstrated that English participants were faster responding to “earlier” objects presented on the left of the screen and to “later” objects presented on the right of the screen. Both the perceptual symbol theory and the propositional symbol theory assure that this finding can be explained by the opinion of the reading/writing directionality affecting the representation of temporal sequences. Therefore, the former studies haven’t solved the disputes of the above two theories. The substantial difference between two theories is whether the information, activated during the concept processing, is perceptual. In present research, two experiments were conducted to investigate whether the perceptual traits (the degree of shape change) affected congruency effects between temporal reference and spatial relation. In each experiment, pairs of words or pictures of objects, which were displayed on the left and right of the screen respectively, were used as targets. It is called metaphor-consistent condition, if the “earlier” objects in this condition were on the left of screen and the “later” ones were on the right; by contrast, it is called metaphor-inconsistent condition. Pairs of objects were divided into two groups. In the one group, the shapes of objects in pairs have changed gradually as time goes on. There are still a lot of same traits between two objects; in the other group, the shapes of objects in pairs have changed abruptly. There is little resemblance between two objects. In Experiment 1, Participants were instructed to carry out semantic relatedness judgment to pairs of object names with go/no-go task. The results showed semantic processing was inhibited in metaphor-inconsistent condition rather than metaphor-consistent condition. Participants were faster responding when the “earlier” objects in the left of the screen and the “later” objects in the right of the screen. It indicated that the temporal reference which implied in the changing shape of objects was activated. Furthermore, there were more significant temporal-spatial congruency effects in the shapes-changing-abruptly group. This result showed that perceptual traits were activated when processing the concept. Experiment 2, which was same as Experiment 1 except changing words into pictures, got the same temporal-spatial congruency effects as Experiment 1. Furthermore, Experiment 2 got a very important and different result. Perceptual traits affected the semantic relatedness judgment to pairs of object pictures which did not observe in Experiment 1. Participants were faster responding to the objects of gradually changing shapes than the ones of changing abruptly shapes. In short, it is claimed that spatial information can be activated when processing temporal reference which implied in the changing shape of objects. Combining the results of two experiments, it suggested that there were both semantic processing and perceptual simulation in the conceptual processing, which further proved the perspectives of dual-processing theory.

    The Semantic Access of Less-proficient Teochew-Cantonese Bilinguals: Evidences from Processing of Spoken Words
    MAI Suiyan;CHEN Jun
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (2): 227-237.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00227
    Abstract   PDF (388KB) ( 1308 )

    The organization of bilingual semantic has been a hot topic for cognitive researchers. A common view indicated that bilingual speakers access their languages in a shared semantic system, in which each has a independent lexical representation. However, how the lexical representation of a second language accesses its conceptual representation was still controversial. Revised Hierarchical Model (RHM) assumed that there was a connection between lexical representation and semantic representation of the two bilingual languages, and the strength of links was unequal. So far, the Revised Hierarchical Model has got proved by a number of bilingual researches, yet most of the evidences were collected from national bilinguals but not diglossia speakers. Though belong to a same language family, Teochew dialect and Cantonese are featured by two types of phonetic systems with a shared character system using diverse semantic parameters. The present study aimed to explore the accessing process of the two languages of less-proficient Teochew- Cantonese bilinguals with semantic decision task, and test the Revised Hierarchical Model. Two experiments were designed with cross-language priming semantic decision tasks. All of the participants were native Teochew speakers and began to learn Cantonese in teenage. Two experiments were carried out in Experiment 1, in which the participants were required to judge whether the spoken target words were food-word or not. Stimuli included 64 Teochew words and 64 Cantonese words, half of which were translation equivalents. In Experiment 1a, the Cantonese (L2) target words were primed by their Teochew (L1) translations, while Cantonese (L2) worked as priming words in Experiment 1b in contrast. To confirm whether L2 accesses its conceptual representation without the medium of L1, a same task was retained in Experiment 2(2a and 2b) while the translation equivalents were changed to pair words with the relationship of semantic association. Again, the prime word were L1 in experiment 2a while L2 in experiment 2b. Error rates and reaction times for correct responses were analyzed with ANOVA. Significant priming effects were found in Experiment 1a and Experiment 1b. Typically, it was found that the strength of the priming effect from L1 to L2 was significantly larger than the priming effect from L2 to L1. Also, significant cross-language priming effects were found in Experiment 2 when the relation between the Teochew words and the Cantonese words was semantic association. However, no significant difference was found between the strength of the priming effect from L1 to L2 and vise versa. Total experimental results showed that the two languages of less proficient Teochew -Cantonese bilinguals shared a same conceptual representation while each had independent lexical representation. The findings of cross-language priming effects under different priming condition, priming relationships and priming languages, indicated that the less proficient Teochew -Cantonese bilinguals directly accessed a shared conceptual representation during the processing of spoken words. Nevertheless, the link strength between lexical representation and semantic representation of the two languages were still asymmetric.

    Effects of Parental Support, Friendship Quality on Loneliness and Depression: To Test An Indirect Effect Model
    TIAN Lumei;ZHANG Wenxin;CHEN Guanghui
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (2): 238-251.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00238
    Abstract   PDF (596KB) ( 4567 )

    Rubin et al. (2004) indicated that at least three linking ways might exist in the relationships between emotional adjustment and child-parent relationships and friendship quality: an independence model, an interaction model, and an indirect effect model. The indirect effect model, however, has stayed to be a theoretical hypothesis and lacked enough empirical evidence. Furthermore, it is possibly different when applied to different emotional problems (e.g., loneliness vs depression), developmental stages and genders. Thus, the present study explored the validity and applicability of the indirect effect model. A total of 560 students from grade 5 (late childhood), grade 7 (early adolescence), and grade 10 (middle adolescence) were surveyed with questionnaires, including the Chinese versions of Network of Relationships Inventory (Furman & Buhrmester, 1985), Peer Nomination Questionnaire, the Friendship Quality Questionnaire (Parker & Asher, 1993), the Loneliness Scale (Asher, Hymel, & Renshaw, 1984)), and the Children’s Depression Inventory (Kovacs, 1992). Among them, each of 458 participants had at least one mutual best same-sex friend. At last, the present study conducted correlation analyses, structural equation modeling and its multiple-group analyses mainly on their data using SPSS 13.0 and Amos 7.0. The main findings were as follows: (1) overall, the indirect effect model was found to be significant, parental support negatively affected the participants’ loneliness and depression both directly and indirectly via friendship quality; (2) in terms of emotional adjustment problems, the indirect effect model was significant for both loneliness and depression, but it was more applicable to predict loneliness; (3) from the aspect of developmental stage, the indirect effect model was applicable to both late childhood and early adolescence, particularly to late childhood; (4) from the gender perspective, the indirect effect model was applicable to both boys and girls, particularly to boys. These results suggest that parental support and friendship quality influence emotional adjustments by way of an indirect effect model, i.e., parental support can influence emotional adjustments via friendship quality, whereas the applicability of this model is different in terms of different emotional problems, developmental stages, and genders.

    Ethical Leadership and Employee Voice: Examining a Moderated-Mediation Model
    LIANG Jian
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (2): 252-264.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00252
    Abstract   PDF (460KB) ( 3995 )

    Employee voice received more and more research attention recent years. Among this line of research, ethical leadership was proposed to be a key variable to motivate employee voice. The purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between ethical leadership and employee voice. Drawing on the characteristics of employee voice and relevant theories about ethical leadership (i.e., social learning theory, Bandura, 1977; social exchange theory, Blau, 1964), we propose two psychological mediators to clarify the underlying mechanisms of ethical leadership on employee voice: psychological safety and felt obligations. Furthermore, we propose power distance orientation as a boundary variable to understand its interplay with ethical leadership on psychological mediators. Power distance orientation is expected to influence individuals’ sensitivity to the ethical signal of leadership. It helps to illustrate different psychological processes that better explain the mediating model of ethical leadership. A two-phase survey data were collected from 239 Chinese retailing employees. I administered two versions of surveys at two different time points. In the first survey, the focal employee was asked to provide information about ethical leadership, felt obligations, psychological safety, and power distance orientation. Six weeks later, the immediate manager was asked to assess the focal employee’s voice behavior. All the scales were well-established in the literature. The standard translation and back-translation procedures were employed to translate the English items into Chinese by the researcher. Structural equation modeling technique was employed to test the hypotheses about mediation and moderation, while bootstrap analysis procedures were used to test the moderated-mediation relationships among the study variables. Consistent with predictions, the results showed that both psychological safety and felt obligations mediated the influence of ethical leadership on voice behavior. Meanwhile, the results suggest that power distance orientation not only positively moderated the relationship between ethical leadership and two mediators (i.e., psychological safety and felt obligations): the relationship between ethical leadership and two psychological mediators was much stronger for high power distance employees than for the ones with low power distance orientation. Since both significant mediation and moderation relationships existed, I further examined the possibility of a mediated moderation relationship. The results suggest that two indirect relationships (i.e., ethical leadership-felt obligations-promotive voice and ethical leadership-psychological safety-prohibitive voice) were positively moderated by power distance orientation. Collectively, this research extends our understanding of the leadership-voice relationship and specifies how ethical leaders facilitate employee voice. Our study showed that ethical conducts from the power-holders would be important for motivating employee constructive voice, because the ethical type of leadership actively create two necessary conditions for voice behavior: felt obligations and psychological safety. Therefore, the full integration of ethical standards into leadership is not only preferable, but also necessary for long-term organizational innovation and survival. In addition, managers should play a critical role in advancing moral principles, setting moral examples and emphasizing moral persuasion in the Chinese context, where there is likely to be a much heavier concentration of individuals with a high power distance orientation than other places with low power distance tradition (i.e., the U.S.). Otherwise, employees’ unrest may be easily fuelled by suspicious of abuse of power and official corruption in the management side during the period of restructuring.

    Organizational Behavior Research in 2008 ~ 2011: A Brief Review and Future Direction for Chinese Research
    ZHANG Zhixue;JU Dong;MA Li
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (2): 265-284.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00265
    Abstract   PDF (638KB) ( 3693 )

    This paper summarizes organizational behavior research papers published in top tier English and Chinese journals in 2008 ~ 2011 by identifying the main research topics and research methods. We summarize the fields by computing and reviewing the research topics, main content in each topic, and research methods. Several noticeable findings emerge from our review: 1. The most widely studied topics in English and Chinese journals are similar, they include leadership, team, justice, creativity, trust, OCB and work-life balance. 2. Compared to English journals, Chinese journals are more focused on the “most widely studied” topics. 3. Papers published in the English journals are more likely to have multiple studies, to use multiple research methods, and to conduct cross-level studies than those published in Chinese journals. We suggest that Chinese scholars in organizational behavior can enhance the quality of their research by doing the following. 1. Choose research question s that are closely related to management phenomena in practice; 2. Do not simply follow the “trendy” topics and Western research paradigms; 3. Build new theories based on a thorough understanding of existing theories; 4. Apply multi-disciplinary approaches in theory building, and 5. Use multiple methods in design and capture the multilevel nature of management questions. We hope our paper will help improve the quality of organizational behavior research in China.

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