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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 46 Issue 7 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    The Role of Phonetic Radicals and Semantic Radicals in Phonetics and Semantics Extraction of Phonogram Characters: An Eye Movement Study on Components Perception
    ZHANG Jijia;WANG Juan;YIN Cong
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (7): 885-900.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00885
    Abstract   PDF (549KB) ( 2203 )

    A phonogram character consists of a semantic radical, usually reflecting the meaning of the character; and a phonetic radical, typically supplying partial information about the pronunciation of the character. A majority of these phonogram characters have a left-right structure, with the two radicals standing side by side; about 90% of them have the semantic radical on the left and the phonetic radical on the right (SP character), and the other 10% have the semantic radical on the right and the phonetic radical on the left (PS character). The ratio between SP characters and PS characters is about 5.5 to 1. When people are reading, how to make use of visual input to extract words’ phonetic and semantic information from mental lexicon? The question has been highlighted in the study of psycholinguistics. The study was conducted to investigate eye movements of Mandarin Chinese native speakers while they made readable judgement and word categorizing tasks in SP characters and PS characters. Two experiments were adopted to investigate SP characters and PS characters’ processing characteristics. Readable judgement task was performed in Experiment 1. 32 college students (14 males and 18 females respectively) were tested. Single-factor which comprises SP and PS characters was used. The target stimuli included 60 phonogram characters (30 SP characters and 30 PS characters). Frequency and strokes numbers were balanced between these two characters. Word categorizing task was performed in Experiment 2. Thirty college students (14 males and 16 females respectively) were tested. The experiment design was the same with Experiment 1. The target stimuli included 48 phonogram characters (24 SP characters and 24 PS characters). Four compound semantic categories were used: (1) person (semantic radical of “亻” was included) or place name (semantic radical of “阝”was included); (2) female (semantic radical of “女”wad included )or bird (semantic radical of “鸟”was included); (3) Actions tools by fire or knife (semantic radical of “火” or “刂”was included); (4) Body actions by eyes or mouth (semantic radical of “目” or “口”was included). Behavioral data and eye movement indexes (proportion of dwell-time, proportion of fixations, and first-fixation-index) were analyzed. In two experiments, SP characters were judged more quickly faster than PS characters. There was no significant difference in error rate. Comparison of the eye movement indexes between SP characters and PS characters were shown that, significance difference existed among different interest areas, but the trend was different. For SP characters, right components acquired more proportion of dwell-time and more proportion of fixations, and subjects gave priority to right component. For PS characters, left component acquired more more proportion of dwell-time and more proportion of fixations, and subjects gave priority to left components. For the index of first-fixation-time, SP characters were fell earlier than PS characters. For the index of first-fix-interest-area-x-offset, in Experiment 1, both two characters were focused on the right side of center of the priority areas; in Experiment 2, both two characters were focused on the left side of center of the priority areas. The results showed that: (1) In phonogram characters’ processing, readers’ attention priority to components’ spatial position were mediated by phonetic components’ position. For SP characters, right side of characters were paid more attention by readers, for PS characters, left side of characters were paid more attention by readers; (2) Position-function connection which left component reflects semantics and right component supplies pronunciation existed in readers’ orthographic rules. (3) Phonetic radicals were paid more attention than semantic radicals in both phonetic and semantic processing of the phonogram characters, and the advantages are more significant in phonetic processing: phonetic radicals act more independently in readable judgment task, while phonetic radicals need to combine the information provided by semantic radicals in categorizing task.

    The Updating of Situation Model: Further Evidence of Event Frame-Dependent Hypothesis
    ZHAO Xueru;HE Xianyou;ZHAO Tingting;YANG Huilan;LIN Ximing;ZHANG Wei
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (7): 901-911.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00901
    Abstract   PDF (363KB) ( 1085 )

    When comprehending narrative text, a reader forms situation models that represent occurring events. As events unfold in the text, the reader must update his or her situation model, or mental representation. Zwaan, Langston and Graesser (1995) suggested that the event is the core unit in constructing the mental representation of narrative reading. The reader establishes the mental representation of events by tracking in five dimensions: time, space, characters, causality and target. If any one of the five dimensions changes, the situation model requires updating. The temporal and spatial dimensions were the focus of the current study. A large number of studies have shown that both play important roles in constructing the situation model, yet it remains unclear whether a change in time or space is a sufficient condition for situational model updating. Xia et al. (2013) found that space shift and event shift had a close relationship. However, they did not find the combination of space shift and removing objects caused the updating of spatial situation model. He et al. (2013) further proposed and tested the Event Frame-Dependent Hypothesis to explore the effect of time shift on the updating of situation model. Results of their study confirmed the hypothesis. However, because differences between the updating of the temporal situation model and the updating of spatial situational model were not found, questions remained about the effects of the temporal and spatial situations. Therefore, in the current study we conducted four experiments to further explore the effects of temporal and spatial shift on updating of the situation model. A multi-target detection paradigm and within-subjects design were used in the study. Each experiment included eight experimental materials. 66 college students who did not participate in formal experiments rated experimental materials, and 144 additional college students participated in formal experiments. E-prime 1.1 was used to present stimuli and to collect the behavioral data (reaction time and accuracy). All statistics were analyzed with repeated measures in SPSS 13.0. Experiments 1a and 1b replicated previous study, showing that within the event frame, reaction time and accuracy between space shift and no shift conditions did not differ significantly. That is, the space shift did not cause a change of the event, and thus did not update the situation model. However, within the event frame, the combination of space shift and removing objects caused the updating of the spatial situation model. Whereas beyond the event frame, differences of reaction time and accuracy between space shift and no shift conditions were significant, the situation model updated when space shifted. In Experiments 2a and 2b, we explored the effect of different activities on temporal and spatial situation model updating within the event frame. Results showed that readers paid attention to information of activities in the updating of the temporal situation model and ignored the information of activities in the updating of spatial situational model. In sum, the event frame affects different dimensions in the updating of the situation model. Within the event frame, dimension shift was not a sufficient condition for situation model updating: It did not cause the updating of the situation model. However, time shift combined with activity information cause rapid updating of the temporal situation model. Furthermore, space shift and object information caused rapid updating of the spatial situation model. As such, whereas beyond the event frame, dimension shift is a sufficient condition of situation model updating, dimension shift, such as temporal dimension, spatial dimension, can cause the updating of situation model situation model updating. We also can infer that the five dimensions of the event-indexing model are all affected by event frame. Within and beyond event frame, the changes of dimension have different effects on situation model updating.

    Associations of Body Parts and Early-Learned Mandarin Verbs and Their Effect on AoA of These Verbs
    CHEN Yongxiang;ZHU Liqi
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (7): 912-921.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00912
    Abstract   PDF (467KB) ( 1372 )

    Though verbs are more difficult to learn than nouns in many languages, including English and other western languages, Chinese-speaking children learn many verbs before three years old and demonstrate only a weak ‘noun bias’ (Tardif et al., 2009). Ma et al. (2009) found that the imageability of early-learned Chinese verbs was higher than that of early-learned English verbs, and that imageability could partly explain the variance of age of acquisition (AoA) when input frequency was controlled. However, why early-learned Chinese verbs are highly imageable still remains unclear. The present study hypothesizes that early-learned Chinese verbs may have strong associations with specific body parts, and these associations may increase these verbs’ imageability and, in effect, lower their AoA. In Study One, a free association task using 50 Chinese adult participants examined relationships between body parts and 169 early-learned Chinese action verbs taken from the Chinese Communicative Development Inventory (Tardif et al., 2008). The free association task was adopted from Maouene’s (2008) study, wherein “adults were asked to provide the single body part that came to mind when they thought of each verb”. In Study Two, the imageability of these verbs was rated by 30 Chinese adults, and these ratings were used to assess a possible relationship between verb-body part associations and AoA. The results confirmed our hypothesis. The main findings of the present study are as follows: 1) Most early-learned Chinese verbs have associations with a specific body region; 2) Chinese children first learned verbs that had strong associations with the hand and arm area, and then learned verbs that were associated with mouth, leg, and other regions; 3) The number of body regions that verbs were associated with could account for 12% of variances of imageablity; 4) There was a positive relationship between verb-body part association (i.e., the number of body regions that verbs were associated with) and the AoA of these verbs, with imageability demonstrating a partial mediation effect. This latter finding also supports Ma’s (2009) results connecting imageability to AoA. The results of the present study suggest that early-learned Chinese verbs have consistent associations with body regions, and the strength of such associations affects the AoA of these verbs through imageability. These results might help explain why Chinese children learn many verbs at a young age. Moreover, the acquisition pattern of Chinese verbs that were related with different body regions was different from the acquisition pattern of English verbs (see Maouene et al., 2008). This suggests that different body areas might be emphasized in early verb learning in English and Chinese, hence cultural differences should be noted in verb learning.

    Effect of Emotional Valence and Time Interval on the False Memory of Pictures among Older Adults
    XIAO Hongrui;GONG Xianmin;WANG Dahua
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (7): 922-930.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00922
    Abstract   PDF (386KB) ( 2758 )

    During the past decades, an increasing amount of studies have focused on the emotional effect of old adults’ memory. However, not a consensus has been reached yet on the effect of emotional valence on false memory in older adulthood. To explain this inconsistency among previous studies, the present study suggested a lack of consideration on both participants' memory quality and response bias. In addition, few studies have ever taken the temporal factor into account; the emotional effect of memory may alter with time. To fill this gap, the present study examined how emotional valence and time interval would influence older adults’ false memory (FM) for emotional pictures within the framework of Signal Detection Theory (SDT). SDT allows for a simultaneous inspection on both discriminability (d′; an index of memory quality) and judgment criteria (β; an index of response bias). Twenty-one elderly participants (aging 67.17 ± 5.03) completed a recognition memory task consisting of one learning phase and two follow-up recognition tests. The learning materials consisted of 180 pictures (60 positive, 60 negative and 60 neutral) selected from the International Affective Pictures System (IAPS). After the learning phase, participants were asked to finish two follow-up recognition tests half an hour later (short time-interval) and three weeks later (long time-interval), respectively. Two different sets of 90 pictures (30 positive, 30 negative and 30 neutral) selected from the IAPS were respectively used as interfering materials in the two recognition tests. It was found that (1) both discriminability (d′) and judgment criteria (β) were negatively correlated with FM (using false alarm rate as its index) in the short time-interval follow-up recognition test, suggesting a joint contribution of these two factors to FM. However, in the long time-interval recognition test, only β could predict older adults’ FM, suggesting that β, rather than d′, took a critical role in FM as memory blurred with time. (2) Regardless of the length of time- interval, no evidence of distinct d' was revealed between negative and positive pictures. To clarify, d′ might have nothing to do with the divergence of emotional effects on older adults’ FM. (3) Negative emotion caused a lower β and a higher FM in the recognition test with a short time-interval. However, when it came to the long time-interval condition, positive emotion took a similar effect. These results altogether suggest that the emotional valence influence older adults’ FM by impacting response bias (i.e. β) but not memory quality (i.e. d′). The effects of positive and negative valence on FM may reverse as encoding-retrieval time-interval prolongs. Specifically, when the time-interval is short, negative emotion leads to a lower β and a higher level of FM. However, as the time-interval prolongs, it may be positive emotion that causes the same effect. In the domain of FM, older adults’ disposition for positive information, named as “the positivity effect”, may be reflected as an increasing tendency to inaccurately reconstruct positive information into their memory with time.

    Association between COMT Gene Rs6267 Polymorphism and Parent-Adolescent Cohesion and Conflict: the Analyses of the Moderating Effects of Gender and Parenting Behavior
    WANG Meiping;ZHANG Wenxin
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (7): 931-941.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00931
    Abstract   PDF (448KB) ( 1321 )

    Parent-child relationship has been a longstanding theme of research in developmental psychology. Theories of socialization view parent-child relationship as a family environment which has a significant and profound effect on child development. Since 1990s, studies from qualitative behavior genetics adopting the twin-study design have demonstrated that family environment including parent-child relationship has both genetic and environmental underpinnings. With the advancement of molecular genetics in the last decade, investigations about the gene-environment interactions yielded meaningful findings that significantly updated and deepened the scientific understanding of the nature of parent-child relationship. However, existing research on gene-environment interplay in parent-child relationship has mainly focused on the role of 5-HTTLPR and DRD4 gene polymorphisms, the possible association between COMT gene rs6267 polymorphism and parent-child relationship remains to be examined. Besides, most of previously reported findings were obtained on mother-infant attachment. It remains to be seen whether parent-adolescent relationships also have significant genetic underpinning, and whether there are moderating effects of gender and parenting behavior, including positive and negative parenting behavior on the association between rs6267 polymorphism and parent-adolescent relationship. The present study aimed to extend the previous research by examining the association between rs6267 polymorphism and parent-adolescent relationship, with particular focus on the moderating effect of gender and parenting behavior. The subjects of this study were 208 grade 7-9 adolescents (male = 106, female = 102). DNA was extracted from saliva, and genotype at rs6267 was performed for each participant in real time with MassARRAY RT software version 3.0.0.4 and analyzed using the MassARRAY Typer software version 3.4 (Sequenom). Data analysis was performed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences 18.0 (SPSS 18.0). A series of hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to examine the interaction of rs6267 polymorphism with gender and with parenting behavior on parent-adolescent relationships. The findings showed that there was no main effect of rs6267 polymorphism on parent-adolescent relationship, but the interactions between rs6267 polymorphism and gender on parent-adolescent cohesion and mother-adolescent conflict reached significant, such that male adolescents with GG genotype possessing lower levels of cohesion with their parents and higher levels of conflicts with their mothers, while female adolescents with GG genotype reporting higher levels of cohesion with their parents and lower levels of conflicts with their mothers. There was only a marginally significant interaction between rs6267 polymorphism and maternal negative parenting behavior on mother-adolescent conflict. These above mentioned results will remain to be verified due to the limited sample size of the present study.

    Effects of 45 Days -6°Head-down Bed Rest on Males’ Frontal Alpha Asymmetry and Emotion
    XIU Lichao;TAN Cheng;JIANG Yihan;ZHOU Renlai;CHEN Shanguang
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (7): 942-950.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00942
    Abstract   PDF (481KB) ( 1117 )

    Suffering from the anxiety and depression under spaceflight may impair astronauts’ cognitive performance. It is difficult to investigate human emotion changes in real space environment. Previous studies suggested that the head-down bed rest (HDBR) which simulated weightlessness environment was used to evaluate emotion changes with self-reported scales and turned out to be useful tools. In addition, scientific research suggests that emotional responses are composed of initial emotional reactivity and ongoing emotion regulation. However, it is still uncertain that whether the emotion regulation competence will be impaired or not under HDBR. Therefore, we investigated the effects of 45 day -6° HDBR on participants’ self-reported anxiety and depression as well as the frontal EEG asymmetry which represents their emotion regulation competence. Sixteen healthy non-smoking young men whose mean age was 26.33 years old (SD = 4.13) were recruited in the experiment. The participants had no history of chronic or acute diseases and normal vision. They were right-handed, non-athletes and none of them were allowed to use medication, tobacco, or caffeine-containing drinks during the experiment. They should keep lying in the bed with -6 degree for 45 days. EEG data and Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) as well as the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were assessed and analyzed on two days before HDBR, 11th, 20th, 32nd and 40th day under HDBR together with the 8th day after HDBR respectively. According to the previous studies, we mainly measured EEG alpha asymmetry in the frontal area (FP1, FP2, F3 and F4) and the EEG was referenced on-line to the left mastoid and re-referenced off-line to the Cz electrode. Throughout the EEG recording, the impedance of the electrodes was maintained under 5 kΩ. The electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded by 40 Ag/AgCl electrodes mounted on a custom-made cap according to the extended 10-20 system and continuously sampled at 1000 Hz by a Neuroscan NuAmps amplifier. The band-pass filter range of 0.01 to 200 Hz was used during the EEG recording. The artifact-free EEG was analyzed with Discrete Fourier Transforms (DFT) which use a Hanning window of one second width and 5% overlap. Power was extracted from the 8~13 Hz frequency band and measured with mean square microvolt as its unit. The raw data of power was then transformed in the natural log (ln) in order to normalize the data distribution. The value of the frontal EEG asymmetry was calculated by subtracting the value of the left EEG power from the value of the right EEG power. Statistic analyses were performed using two-way [Time points (pre-HDBR, HDBR11, HDBR20, HDBR32, HDBR40 and post-HDBR) × electrode sites algorithm (lnFP2-lnFP1 vs. lnF4-lnF3)] repeated-measures ANOVAs with SPSS 13.0 Software. Statistically significant differences were assessed at 0.05 level and power of the effect was assessed with partial eta-squared (η2) and the correction was done by Greenhouse-Geisser coefficient. Frontal EEG asymmetry was clear to perform a linear increase curve (F (5, 75) = 2.91, p = 0.019, η2 = 0.16) across all six time points. The main effect of electrode sites algorithm was not significant (F (1, 15) = 0.03, p = 0.855, η2 < 0.001), and there was no significant interaction between time points and electrode sites algorithm (F (5, 75) = 0.45, p = 0.813, η2 = 0.03), either. The self-reported anxiety (F (5, 75) = 2.09, p = 0.076; η2 = 0.12) and depression (F (5, 75) = 0.55, p = 0.738; η2 = 0.04) showed no significant changes before, during and after the HDBR. These results indicate that under extreme environment, people who prefer to maintain the stability of their emotional state paid many efforts to regulate their negative emotions. Only in this way can they reported stable anxiety and depression feelings. Above all, their anxiety and depression symptoms did not fluctuate significantly under simulated weightlessness environment.

    References |
    Psychological Predictive Effects of Sudden Posture Perturbation
    XIE Lin;WANG Jian;ZHANG Zhi;YUAN Liwei;WANG Chujie
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (7): 951-959.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00951
    Abstract   PDF (514KB) ( 1256 )

    In response to sudden posture perturbation, two different neural control strategies in central nervous system are used, named anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) and compensatory postural adjustments (CPAs). Previous studies have identified associations between psychological expectations of posture perturbation and the intensity of APAs and CPAs. However, it's unclear whether these associations are consistent with different experiment paradigm and perturbations from different sources. This study aimed to examine the psychological predictive effect of sudden posture perturbation magnitude on the APAs and CPAs by which CNS acts on focal muscles and lumbar posture muscles. Arm-raising test and Ball-hitting test were performed with surface electromyography signal analysis. 20 healthy subjects voluntarily participated in the studies. In the Arm-raising test, they rapidly raise arms with a load of 0 kg/1 kg/2 kg in both hands. In the Ball-hitting test, they caught a ball fell from eye level to the pan holding in their hands. The ball weights of 1 kg/1.5 kg/2 kg were used. EMG activities of biceps brachii (BB) as focal muscle, lumbar erector spinae (LES) and Lumbar multifidus (LMF) as posture muscle were recorded. The pre-activation time and integrated EMG of APAs and CPAs were calculated to determine the effects of perturbation magnitude from different sources on APAs and CPAs of focal and postural muscles. The results showed that the posture perturbation magnitude had a psychological predictive effect on muscles under both internal and external perturbation conditions. Under the internal perturbation condition, the APAs IEMG of BB significantly increased with the magnitude of perturbation, while the APAs IEMG of LES and LMF were different only between 0 kg load level and the other two. The pre-action time and CPAs IEMG of all these muscles have no significant different under all 3 load levels. Under the external condition, the expectation of perturbation magnitude has significant effect on the pre-action time of both BB and LMF, as well as the APAs IEMG of BB, LES and LMF. The APAs IEMG of BB and LMF were significant different between 3 load levels, while the pre-action time of BB and LMF, and the APAs IEMG of LES had no difference between 1.5 kg load and 2 kg load. Perturbation magnitude expectation had no effect on the CPAs IEMG on all 3 muscles. We conclude that psychological predictive effects of posture perturbation are existed on both posture and focal muscle activities. Such effects are exhibited differently depending on internal and external perturbation conditions. CNS will orchestrate to give an optimal control of postural muscle through adjustments of APAs IEMG under internal condition, or though adjustments of both pre-action time and APAs IEMG under external condition. The observed effects on APAs and CPAs suggest that the psychological predictive effect of sudden posture perturbation magnitude comes mainly from the CNS modulation on APAs mechanism.

    Chinese Psychotherapy Clients’ Perspectives on Insight: A Qualitative Examination
    HU Shujing;JIANG Guangrong;LU Yanhua;ZHANG Shasha;CHEN Ruijuan;YU Lixia;DU Rui
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (7): 960-975.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00960
    Abstract   PDF (443KB) ( 1486 )

    Insight is a crucial phenomenon in counseling with its importance been confirmed by counseling theory and empirical studies. However, there is a lack of specific studies on this topic, and most researchers focused on psychodynamic area whereas little attention has been laid on pantheoretical counseling. There is no unified definition of insight available at the moment. Psychodynamic therapy regards insight as the formation of connections, e.g. between past and present, inner conflict and external performance, attachment relationships and transference. Experiential therapy equates insight to awareness and meta-awareness. Cognitive–behavioral therapy views insight as a cognitive restructuring or change of schema; insight occurs when previous irrational beliefs or schemas are recognized and replaced by new, rational beliefs or schemas. Meanwhile, different researchers also gave different operational definitions in cross-theory empirical research. As a result, the lack of a unified definition of insight, in either theoretical or empirical research, has made it impossible to integrate different results and prevented the development of a specialized and reliable measurement of insight. In addition, nearly all definitions were proposed by researchers or clinicians. Whether or not clients have a different perspective is unknown. Moreover, all the definitions currently in use were developed by western researchers focusing on western psychotherapy. Would Chinese psychotherapy present a different perspective? This study sought to delineate insight from Chinese clients’ perspective via a qualitative approach. Fourteen clients counseled in a university counseling center and a client counseled in a social counseling institution participated in the study. They were interviewed with a semi-structured protocol, either face-to-face, by phone, or through internet, about their opinions and experiences of insight during counseling. Their responses were analyzed by a research team using Consensual Qualitative Research (CQR) method. Analysis revealed seven key issues: contents of insight, effects of insight, factors influencing the appearance of insight, basis for evaluating insight quality, feelings when insight appears, source of insight, and factors that hinder insight from having an effect. Based on interviewees’ responses, a definition of “insight” from the client perspective is proposed: “insight is a new understanding of oneself and others (mainly oneself), the contents of which include problematic patterns, their reasons, their effects, solutions for psychological distress or problematic patterns, and awareness of one’s internal mental state.” Results suggested that most contents of insight from client and counselor’s perspectives are in concordance. However, the description level is different and some contents which haven’t been thought as insight before was confirmed by clients. It reminds counselors that they could change their angle of view in order to understand insight from client’s point. The current study also provides the foundation of future study’s development of scale for insight.

    Effects of Cognitive and Affective Tags in Mental Accounting on Consumer Decision Making
    LI Ai-mei;LI Bin;XU Hua;LI Fu-ling;ZHANG Yao-hui;LIANG Zhu-yuan
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (7): 976-986.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00976
    Abstract   PDF (489KB) ( 3426 )

    Mental accounting is the set of cognitive operations used by individuals and households to organize, evaluate, and keep track of financial activities. Mental accounting proposes that people utilize a set of cognitive labels to evaluate their financial activities, each of which is associated with different preferences to consume (Levav & McGraw, 2009; Kahneman & Tversky 1984; Thaler 1985, 1990). Mental accounting researchers have shown that windfall gains are spent more readily and frivolously than ordinary income. Consumers prefer to spend their windfall gains on hedonic consumptions but spend their ordinary incomes on utilitarian consumptions. Levav and McGraw (2009) suggested that emotional accounting, including people’s feelings about money, also influences consumer choices. When people have negative feelings toward windfall, they opt to make utilitarian expenditures. However, the process of how cognitive (windfall or ordinary income) and affective (positive or negative emotion) tags interact in consumer behavior was not explored. This study proposes that both cognitive tag and affective tags in mental accounting affect consumer decision making. The objective of this study is to explore the interactive effect of cognitive and affective tags in mental accounting on consumer decision through four studies. In studies 1a and 1b, the effect of cognitive and affective tags in mental accounting on consumer decision making behavior was measured. Study 1a showed that the positive tag of windfall income is preferred for hedonic consumption, whereas the negative tag of windfall income is preferred for utilitarian consumption. Both positive and negative tags of ordinary income are preferred for utilitarian consumption. Study1b utilized a field study to examine actual consumption behavior. The results showed that when people received 15 Yuan RMB as ordinary income, they prefer to spend it on utilitarian consumption regardless of the positive or negative emotion they feel. However, they receive 15 Yuan RMB as windfall income, they prefer to use it for hedonic consumption in the positive emotion and for utilitarian consumption in the negative emotion. Studies 2a and 2b attempted to explore the reason of negative emotion can make windfall income turn from hedonic to utilitarian consumption. Study2a found that when people expect to feel guilty about spending windfall income on hedonic consumption, they would avoid hedonic consumption. Study2b found that when people felt guilty about windfall income, they tend to avoid hedonic consumption. Compared with the low guilt level group, the high guilt level group prefers to use windfall income for utilitarian consumption. These results suggest that cognitive and affective tags influence consumer behavior. The influence of cognitive tag on consumer decision presents the “cognition match effect”, whereas the influence of affective tag on consumer decision presents the “affect match effect”. Both tags also have an interaction effect on consumer decision. Guilt may be a mechanism that results in the negative tag of windfall being preferred for utilitarian consumption.

    Have A Good Chat with the Brand: The Impact of Personified Brand Communication on Consumer Brand Attitude
    WANG Tao;XIE Zhipeng;CUI Nan
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (7): 987-999.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.00987
    Abstract   PDF (522KB) ( 3717 )

    The SNS (social networks) based personified brand communication not only differentiates the given brand from its competitors, but also alters the way the consumers perceive the brand. This study thus examines the outcomes of personified brand communication based on the theories of psychological reactance, which predicts that consumers are more willing to make shopping decision on their own, and thus avoid any possibilities of exterior interference. This paper proposes that the effects of personified brand communication are mediated by consumers’ perceived sense of freedom, which eventually leads to enhanced consumer attitude. Last but not least, this study examines the impact of regulatory focus on personification effectiveness. For the pre-test, the researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 21 participants randomly selected from Wuhan University. The purpose of the pre-test was to establish theoretical stability of personified communication. In Study 1, the researchers conducted 3 separated experiments to test the impact of personified communication on participants’ perception of a brand. The purpose of having multiple test groups was to eliminate the possible influence of brand name on consumer attitude. 91 participants participated in this study. The researchers used different versions of brand advertisement to manipulate the perception of personified/ non-personified brand communication style. 132 participants participated in Study 2. The study adopted a 2 (personified communication vs. non-personified communication) × 2 (promotion focus vs. prevention focus) between-subject design. The purpose was to determine the moderating effect of regulatory focuses. The researchers adopted Wan, Hong and Sternthal’s (2009) method to prime consumers’ different focuses (entertainment company vs. insurance company). Study 3 followed similar procedures as previous tests. The purpose of Study 3 was two-fold: firstly, it replicated the results of previous studies using different means to control the regulatory focuses (Hagtvedt, 2011); secondly, it tested the mediating effect of sense of freedom. The results of this study were three-fold: to start with, irrelevant information is a key dimension in personified brand communication; secondly, personified brand communication can give rise to consumers’ perceived sense of freedom, which then can enhance their attitude towards the brand; in addition, such effect is moderated by consumer regulatory focuses that is comparing to consumers who had prevention focus, personification has a more positive effect for consumers who have promotion focus. The results of this study enrich the theoretical value of personification in marketing in three ways: firstly, it focused on the key dimension of brand personification instead of treating personification as a single dimensional concept. In doing that, this study not only identified the mechanism underneath the personification effectiveness on consumer brand attitude based on psychological reactance theory, but also the circumstances where personification is most suitable (promotion focus). In addition, this study implies the importance of sense freedom in sustaining long-term consumer-brand relationship. Finally, this study provides feasible guideline for companies to personify their brands.

    The Role of Social Connectedness and Imaginary Audience on Brand Love in Brand Experience Sharing: the Moderating Role of Divergence of Others’ Responses
    YANG Defeng;LI Qing;ZHAO Ping
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (7): 1000-1013.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.01000
    Abstract   PDF (518KB) ( 1206 )

    Brand love is the emotional attachment, passion and commitment a consumer has for a particular brand. This concept stresses the lover relationship between consumer and brand. People always say, “Happiness shared doubled and sadness shared halved”. Sharing brings important experience to other people; meanwhile, the sharing process also strengthens the sharers’ prior experience as well. Previous researches show that others’ congruent responses can enhance a person’s enjoyment of shared experiences; conversely, incongruent responses can reduce such enjoyment. However, few studies have examined the impact of divergence of others’ responses in the brand experience sharing and the effect of consumers’ social relationship perception on the change of their brand attitudes. Therefore, the present study examines how sharing brand experience influences sharers’ prior brand love and explores the interactive effects of others’ responses and social relationship perception (i.e., social connectedness and imaginary audience) on brand love in the context of experience sharing. Two experimental studies are conducted to examine the above effects. Experiment 1 explores the effect of brand experience sharing on sharers’ prior brand love. Experiment 2 examines the interactive effect between divergence of others’ responses and consumers’ social relationship perception on sharers’ prior brand love. The results show that: (1) brand experience sharing is conducive to building sharers’ brand love. Compared with non-sharing, sharing positive experience has a positive effect on sharers’ brand love; (2) The speakers, who are at either the lower level of social connectedness or at the higher level of imaginary audience, experience greater changes in their original brand love when others’ responses are divergent than such responses are neutral; (3) The speakers, who are either at the higher level of social connectedness or at the lower level of imaginary audience, experience similar changes of their love toward original brand, whether others’ responses are divergent or neutral. The research results provide us new insights into the research about brand experience sharing and brand love from the perspective of sharing by showing the moderating effects of divergence of others’ responses on the relationship between consumers’ social relationship perception (i.e., social connectedness and imaginary audience) and the changes of their original brand love. Besides the theoretical contributions, this study further provides some important implications for managers in inducing consumers to share positive brand experience.

    Why Ethical Consumers Don’t Do What They Say: The Study on Factors Influencing Consumers’ Ethical Buying Intention-Behavior Gap
    DENG Xinming
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (7): 1014-1031.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.01014
    Abstract   PDF (483KB) ( 4395 )

    It has long been understood that intentions are poor predictors of behavior and that gaining insight into this gap is of critical importance to understanding, interpreting, predicting, and influencing consumer behavior. The gap, however, remains poorly understood, especially within the ethical consumerism context. In this article, our aim is to push the understanding of ethical consumption forward by drawing on the investigation of Chinese consumers’ ethical purchasing intention-behavior gap from the combining perspectives of consumers’ individual characteristics and environmental factors. This situation has profound implications for the marketers of ethical products, as product launches based on intentions to purchase are more than likely to result in costly failures. In-depth interviews with consumers are conducted, as they enable researchers to gain “a more accurate and clear picture of a respondent’s behavior”. The interview guidelines for the in-depth interviews were carefully prepared and, after pretesting, slightly adapted. Finally, a total of 235 individual interviews were conducted. Interviewing continued until redundancy was reached, implying theoretical saturation. The interviews took place in Wuhan city in summer 2010. The interviews lasted between 30 and 60 min. With the participants’ permission, each interview was audio-taped and transcribed, resulting in 867 pages of text. Furthermore, content analyses were taken to code the text. The PRL reliability value was between 0.68 and 0.93, which represented the average inter-coder agreement had reached a reasonable level. The findings are as follows: (1) In Chinese context, when making ethical purchasing decisions, consumers’ ethical purchasing intention-behavior gap will indeed take place, and nearly 58% of them are not going to walk their talk; (2) The ethical buying intention-behavior gap is influenced by consumers’ personal traits and the environmental factors simultaneously; (3) Consumer individual trait variables mainly include moral maturity, economical orientation, buying inertia, cynicism, and consumer ethical cognitive efforts. And moral maturity has a direct impact on ethical intention, all other variables will moderate significantly the relationship between ethical buying intention and behavior; (4) Environmental factors mainly consist of physical environment, social environment, purchasing task, and current status. And all situational factors have a moderating role on the relationship between ethical buying intention and behavior. It is generally accepted that an individual’s intentions will directly determine their actual behavior. Yet, the article concluded that investigations that relied on intention as a proxy for actual behavior must be interpreted with caution. Secondly, intention-behavior models of consumer choice artificially isolate decision making, ignoring the external effect of the environment/situation on purchase behavior. In fact, the paper concludes that, during the transition between purchase intention and actual buying behavior, the individual interacts with a physical and social environment and this interaction with environmental factors influences their decision making. Finally, the paper provides us with some profound conclusions and insightful implications upon how to motivate a consumer’s support of a firm’s ethical behavior and to transfer this kind of support into truly positive purchasing behavior.

    Theoretical Analysis of the Meaning of Embodiment
    YE Haosheng
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2014, 46 (7): 1032-1042.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.001032
    Abstract   PDF (414KB) ( 2853 )

    The topic of embodiment has received a great deal of attention and aroused much enthusiasm within cognitive science in general and psychology in particular. The connotation of embodiment refers essentially to the dependency of cognition on agent’s own body. The classical cognitive science committed to the view of disembodied mind. That is, cognition involves algorithmic processes upon symbolic representations. These theories posit no role for body in cognitive processes. They claimed that Mental processes such as perception, memory and thinking et al are independent of bodily structure and functioning. The view of “weak embodiment”argues against disembodiment, and claims that the body should be understood as playing a role in implementing the function of computation and representation that underpins our cognitive capacities. In contrast, the view of “strong embodiment”entirely eschews the computational theory of cognition. It assigns embodiment a degree of significance in the shaping of the character of cognition. From the point of view of strong embodiment, cognitive processes are profoundly reflect the body’s interactions with the world. In contemporary embodied cognitive science, there is a radically different stance that also has roots in diverse branches of cognitive science. It resulted in a great deal of diversity in how to understand the meaning of embodiment. We distinguished the following four views: (i) embodiment is understood as a kind of somatic learning. From this point of view, embodiment and somatic learning are used interchangeably. Both are associated with a kind of bodily experiences from body’s interaction with outside world. (ii) embodiment involves lived experiences coming from a body with a special neurophysiological structure, which means embodiment is a kind of experience from which cognition is made. Different body intends to make different experience, and different experience make, in turn, different cognition. (iii) embodiment is a way of knowing. We need a brain and a body to make sense of the world around us, and to understand the meaning of “chair”or “cat”, then significant differences in forms of embodiment will translate into distinct conceptual metaphors and image schemas which structure our systems of everyday thought. (iv) embodiment means that cognitive processes can not located in a brain alone. The boundary between a cognitive agent and his or her environment should be broken down. Cognition is hybrid processes, it straddle both internal and external operations. In author’s opinion, cognition’s embodiment means that: (i) cognizing agent’s body is a constituent of cognitive processes, and bodily structure and functioning are imprinted on mental processes, which influence our mental processes such as thinking, categorization, attitude, learning and emotion et al. (ii) perception is not the internal reconstruction of the external world. Perception of the environment is the result of the agent’s bodily actions. This kind of actions shape the perception of the agent. (iii) body is the source of meaning. It is the body that makes us into a meaningful world. Therefore, abstract meaning is based on bodily sensor-motor systems. (iv) different bodies intend to dictate different thought. If people use their physical perceptions and bodily experiences to construct cognitive processes, then the differences from our interactions with the environment should in fact make people along different way of thinking. Viewed all together, embodiment is about the consequences on cognition of existing as a human body. We are not “having a body”, we are “existing as a body”. The answers to the meaning of embodiment will have considerable theoretical and practical significance for the community of psychology.

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