Sounds are physically continuous but linguistic phonemes are discrete and limited. Categorical Perception (CP) offers a useful approach to address this mismatching issue between the physical and perceptional features of speech. It is well established that consonants are perceived categorically, while vowels are perceived continuously. Earlier studies showed that the speech CP was restricted to segmental features. However, as Abramson (1961) firstly pointed out that CP mode could be applicable to the suprasegments. His limited investigation revealed that tone perception in Thai is categorical. Likewise, a similar result has been confirmed by Wang (1976) that the perception of Mandarin tones is also categorical, in the sense that native Chinese speakers have a linguistic boundary when perceiving the tones. The studies was based on a synthesized acoustic continuum, which was superimposed on vowel /i/, consisting of 11 tonal variants from Mandarin Tone 2 (yi2 ‘aunt’) to Tone 1 (yi1 ‘clothing’). There is still no conclusion that what effect vowels have on the boundary of tonal perception. Regarding this, current study is to address this issue....
The word length effect in speech production refers to the phenomenon that monosyllable word reaction time is obviously shorter than polysyllable’s during the picture naming or word decision process. The previous researchers summed up this kind of effect caused by the difference brought from the phonological coding stage. And they considered the phenomenon as the evidence of the view of incremental phonological encoding and planning. But the theory states that the language production includes three main processes such as the concept activation, the lexical selection and the phonological encoding. Is phonological encoding process the only cause of word length effect? What is the real relationship between the word length effect and three main processes in language production? Prime naming task was adopted in both experiment 1 and 2 (former used box prime and oracle prime used for the latter) to investigate whether the lexical selection process influenced the emerging of word length effect. The results showed that the reaction time of word naming between congruent prime and incongruent prime had no significant difference, which meant the lexical process did not impact the word length effect. In experiment 3, picture naming paradigm was used to test the relationship among concept encoding, phonological encoding and the word length effect. Thirty-two Pictures were selected, each of them could be named in 4 different patterns (basic concept level one-character word, basic concept level two-character word1, basic concept level two-characters word2, subordinate concept level two-character word). The reaction time was compared across different concept level and different word length. Result indicated that the main effect of concept level and word length are both significant, response time of subordinate concept level word was significantly longer than basic level word, response time of two-character word was significantly longer than one-character word. Therefore, both concept activation process and phonological encoding process have impact on the word length effect. In conclusion, the experiment results showed that among three different language production stages, both the concept activation and the phonological coding process are the direct causes of word length effect. The findings are consistent with incremental phonological encoding and planning as well as the basic-level category theory.
Unlike alphabetic languages, the semantic information of Chinese characters is linked more closely with the orthographic information than the phonological information. As such, in the study of Chinese reading, the effect of orthographic information and phonological information on semantic access is always a controversial issue. Many studies have found that the orthographic information of Chinese characters give direct access to meaning. However, Chinese phonograms which account for most of the proportion (80%) of Chinese characters have phonetic radicals. The phonetic radicals mostly have the same pronunciation as the phonograms. To some extent, the phonetic radicals can provide the phonological information. So, the phonological information of phonetic radicals may play a part in the processing of phonograms. Two studies were conducted to investigate whether the phonological information of the phonetic radicals plays an important role in the processing of phonograms. There were two experiments in each study. Experiment 1 and 2 explored left-right structure and top-bottom structure phonograms respectively. An Eyelink 2000 eye tracker was used to explore the effect of the phonetic radicals in normal reading conditions. In study 1, a 2(position of phonetic radicals) ×3 (pattern of stroke removal) within-participants design was adopted in both Experiment 1 and 2. In Experiment 1, the phonetic radical was on the left side or right side of the character. In Experiment 2, the phonetic radical was either on the top or bottom side of the character. The pattern of stroke removal (one-third of the strokes) included beginning stroke removal, ending stroke removal and no stroke removal in both experiments. Chinese phonograms were embedded in sentences as the target characters. Only the target characters had strokes removed. The experimental designs in Study 2 were the same as Study 1. The difference was that one-third of the strokes were removed from all the characters in a sentence in Study 2. The results of both studies showed that when the phonetic radical was on the right side or bottom side of the character, the processing time was no difference between the beginning strokes removal condition and the ending strokes removal condition, or the processing time of the characters with ending strokes removed was longer than that of the characters with beginning strokes removed, that is a reversion of the stroke order effect. This indicates that if the ending strokes removed are the phonetic radical, the stroke order effect disappears. The effect of the phonetic radical counteracts the stroke order effect (characters with beginning strokes removed are more disruptive than that with ending strokes removed). The results demonstrate that: (1) The present study supports the stroke order effect. However, for Chinese phonograms, the phonological information of the sub-lexical phonetic radicals can influence the stroke order effect. (2) The phonetic radicals play an important role in identification of Chinese phonograms both in naming tasks and normal reading. (3) The present study supports the dual route model. According to the dual route model, there exists a phonetic activation on processing of Chinese phonograms.
Previous studies have confirmed that readers can obtain sub-lexical information (e.g., orthographic or phonological) from the parafovea during reading. However, no consensus has been reached as to whether semantic information can also be extracted from the parafoveal word. A possible explanation for this controversy may be the limitations of the boundary paradigm in eye-tracking reading experiments, which have been the main methodology used in previous studies. For instance, the duration of parafoveal word viewing cannot be held constant across conditions in the boundary paradigm. Thus, in this study, an ERPs paradigm using rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) with ?ankers was used to study extraction of semantic information from the parafoveal word in the reading of Chinese sentences. A total of 84 sets of Chinese sentences were constructed for this study. Unlike previous studies, in each set of sentences, the two-character verbs were manipulated, yielding a congruent or incongruent context with the target single-character noun that appeared 4 or 5 characters after the verbs. Thus the critical trials (containing the target noun as the right flanker) were the same across congruent and incongruent conditions. Each sentence was presented character by character at fixation, flanked 2o bilaterally by the preceding character (n-1) on the left and the next character (n+1) on the right. Each viewing consisted of three characters presented on the screen for 100 ms with an inter-stimuli interval (ISI) of 400 ms. Twenty-four participants' ERPs were recorded individually with 40 tin electrodes (10-20 System) in a sound-attenuating, electrically shielded booth. The EEG and EOG signals were sampled at 500 Hz and filtered digitally offline with a 0.02 to 30 Hz band pass. Epochs of interest were selected time-locked to the onset of the critical trials with a 200 ms pre-onset baseline window and a 1000 ms window after onset. Mean ERPs amplitudes from 300~450 ms and 800~950 ms were computed for each participant and tested for significance using ANOVA. A more negative N400 component was found between 300 and 450ms when the sentence context was incongruent than when it was congruent with the right flanker. Furthermore, no significant differences between the two conditions were found between 800 and 950ms, which was the time window of the N400 effect when the target noun was fixated foveally. Since the critical trials were the same across conditions and different lexical properties in the parafovea were avoided, the only manipulation was the semantic congruence of the target noun with the prior context. Thus the significant difference in the N400 component between 300 and 450ms suggests that semantic extraction from the parafoveal word exists during the first 100 ms of current word fixation in Chinese sentence reading. These results suggest that the semantic information of a preview word may be processed in parallel with the fixated word, which supports the view of GAG models (such as SWIFT). Together with the results of previous studies, the present study also demonstrates that the flanker-RSVP ERPs paradigm may be a suitable method for the study of parafoveal processing during sentence reading.
The perceptual load theory resolved the debate between early and late selection theories, such that the perceptual load of a given task determines attentional selection, with the selection occurring earlier when the load is high and later when the load is low. Flanker congruency effect caused by processing of a task-irrelevant distractor has been used as the indicator for choosing between early or late selections, such that the flanker effect was significant under low load condition but was none under high load condition. However, according to the conflict monitoring theory, the state of conflict control in the current trial is influenced by the conflict condition of the previous trial. It is then of theoretic importance to investigate whether the sequential effect of conflict resolution is affected by the perceptual load of the task at hand. In the present study, participants were asked to search for a target orientation (a vertical or a horizontal bar) and to make discriminative response among homogeneously (low load condition) or heterogeneously (high load condition) oriented non-target bars in the central display, which was flanked by a congruent or an incongruent bar presented at the left or the right periphery. All trials were pseudo-randomized to evaluate the sequential impact of the perceptual load and the congruence of the previous trial (trial n-1) on the attentional selection and conflict resolution in trial n. Results showed that the flanker interference effect, in terms of the reaction times (RTs) in the congruent condition subtracted from the incongruent condition, was significant for the current trial low perceptual load condition, but was none for the current trial high load condition. Moreover, the perceptual load and the flanker congruence in trial n-1 affected the RTs and the flanker interference effect in trial n. When trial n-1 was of high perceptual load, trial n showed typical perceptual load effect, i.e. larger flanker effect for low load condition but none flanker effect for high load condition. However, when trial n-1 was of low load and incongruent condition, flanker effect in low load condition of trial n was significantly reduced, with no difference with the flanker effect in high load condition. When trial n-1 was of low load and congruent condition, the flanker effect in high load condition of trial n remained non-significant, but the effect in low load condition of trial n was significantly enhanced. These results indicated that the early or late attentional selection in the current trial is not completely determined by the current perceptual load, but is also affected by the state of attentional selection and conflict resolution of the previous trial. Reduced cognitive control in the previous trial causes more interference effects from task-irrelevant information, especially when there are spare attentional resources left from processing the current task.
The fact that attention can be shifted to locations gazed by the others is called gaze following and measured by the gaze-cueing effect (GCE). Whether or not GCE could function unconsciously remains an open question. In the present study, we investigate the effect of gaze cue type (dynamic vs. static) on GCE at either the subliminal level or the supraliminal level. Continuous flash suppression and spatial cuing paradigm were used in the present study. A directed gaze display was followed by an averted gaze display in the dynamic condition. By contrast, only the averted gaze display appeared in the static condition. Thus, the dynamic gaze cue involved eyes’ movement, while the static gaze cue did not. Participants had to conduct four tasks during the experiment. In the first task, participants were instructed to indicate the direction of the gaze cue (either dynamic or static). In each trial, the gaze cue was randomly presented to one single eye, while the masking stimulus (dynamic Mondrian pattern) was presented to the other eye. Thus, the dominant and non-dominant eye of each participant could be learned. In the following two tasks, the gaze cue was presented to the non-dominant eye, while the masking was presented to the dominant eye. In the second task, a visual target was presented on either the cued (valid trial) or the un-cued (invalid trial) location following the gaze cue display. Participants were asked to indicate the target position as accurately and quickly as possible. In the third task, participants had to (1) detect whether the gaze cue had been presented and (2) indicate the direction of the certain cue (either dynamic or static) when it appeared. The last task was the same as the second task except that the masking stimulus was removed. The main results showed that (1) eyes’ movement influenced GCE at the subliminal level. RTs were shorter in the valid trials than in the invalid trials with dynamic cues, suggesting a classical GCE. However, GCE disappeared with static cues. (2) Furthermore, GCE was enhanced when the cue was dynamic at the supraliminal level. Thus, GCE could only be found with the dynamic cue at the subliminal level, though it could be observed with both the dynamic and static cues at the supraliminal level. This suggested that eye movement plays a key role in the subliminal gaze following and attention shift could not be triggered by the static gaze cue without awareness. The present findings provided behavioral evidence for the interactive model of social perception and the theory of mind.
It is widely accepted that spatial updating is online, and supported by sensation and perception. However, recent studies suggest that people may update the retrieved offline spatial memory in some conditions. For example, after learning a spatial layout, Kelly, Avraamides, and Loomis (2007) had participants walk to a neighboring (novel) room and imagine that they were standing in the center of the learned environment. Next, the participants rotated in place to face a direction different from the learned perspective. After that, they performed direction judgments from imagined perspectives that were aligned or misaligned with their actual facing direction. Sensorimotor alignment effects (i.e., the advantage for spatial judgments from imagined perspectives aligned with the body) may have been caused by instructions that encouraged participants to imagine themselves immersed in the learning environment or by visual similarities between the testing and learning environments. This phenomenon is explained as linking the retrieved offline spatial memory to the online spatial updating system (Avraamides & Kelly, 2008). However, because the imagined environment was parallel with the real environment, and because there was no manipulation check to verify whether the participants lost their online representation, it was also possible that the participants still held their online representation and updated it through imagined translation. The two hypotheses were examined in this study. In Experiment 1, forty participants (20 men) learned a regular 8-object layout and then walked straight forward to the testing position in the novel environment. Half remained in their orientation (0° condition) while the others turned to face the direction opposite to learning perspective (180° condition). In Experiment 2, after learning the layout, twenty participants (10 men) were disoriented before standing at the testing position in the novel environment, facing 180° opposite to the learning direction. Next, in both experiments, all participants were instructed to imagine themselves standing at the learning position and facing the learning direction (e.g., “Please imagine you are in the learning environment, standing at the learning position and facing the ball”). Then, participants turned 90° to the left or right before they performed spatial judgments from a perspective aligned with the learning direction (memory aligned), aligned with their facing direction (sensorimotor aligned), and a novel direction misaligned with the two directions mentioned above (misaligned). In each imagined perspective, participants pointed to all of the 8 objects of the layout (e.g., “Imagine you are facing the ball, please point to the candle”). Each participant performed 48 trials (8 target objects×3 imagined perspectives×2 blocks). The dependent measures were the latency and the absolute angular error of the pointing response. In Experiment 1, the pointing latency and absolute pointing error were subjected to mixed-model analyses of variance (ANOVAs), with imagined heading (memory aligned, sensorimotor aligned, misaligned) as the within-subject variable, imagined-real environment discrepancy (0°, 180°) as the between-subjects variable. In the 0° condition, participants pointed more accurately and faster from the memory aligned perspective than from the misaligned perspective (a memory alignment effect), and faster from the sensorimotor aligned perspective than from the misaligned perspective (a sensorimotor alignment effect). However, in the 180° condition, neither a memory alignment effect nor a sensorimotor alignment effect appeared. In Experiment 2, the pointing latency and absolute pointing error were subjected to one-way ANOVA, with the imagined perspective (memory aligned, sensorimotor aligned, misaligned) as the within-subject variable. Different from the participants in the 180° condition of Experiment 1, participants in Experiments 2 showed both a memory alignment effect and a sensorimotor alignment effect on pointing latency and absolute pointing error. In conclusion, results in the present study indicate that people can update an imagined environment by two means. They can update the imagined environment either by translation of the online representation or by retrieving the offline spatial memory and linking it to the online updating system.
The term autism spectrum disorder (ASD) encompasses a group of neurobiological disorders, which are diagnoses when there are deficits in social functioning, communication and language, and children demonstrate restricted/ repetitive behaviors and/or interests. High functioning autism (HFA) refers to individuals with ASD whose developmental age is close to their chronological age or whose IQ is greater than or equal to 70. One core characteristic of children with ASD is deficits in social functioning. These include impairments in imitation, joint attention, shared attention, and mind reading. However, not all social behavior is delayed. Cooperative play is an important type of social behavior typically delayed in children with ASD. Different types of cooperative behavior rely on different types of mental abilities. For example, cooperation in a prisoner’s dilemma game mainly relies on calculation and strategic thinking, while cooperation implementing a task mainly relies on joint attention and shared intention. No research has yet explored the performance of children with ASD on different kinds of cooperative tasks. The aim of this study is to investigate HFA children’s performance on two different tasks. Researchers hypothesized that HFA children would perform differently on the two kinds of cooperative tasks. The classic prisoner’s dilemma and cooperative implemental tasks were used to investigate cooperation in children with HFA and typically developing (TD) children who were between the ages of 6 to 12 years. Thirty-eight HFA children took part in the experiments, 31 of which completed the prisoner’s dilemma game. Thirty-one TD children, whose age and gender was matched to the participants with ASD, completed the two types of cooperative tasks. Children partnered with an adult assistant for 10 trials during the prisoner’s dilemma game. There were two apparatuses used in the implemental task, including a tube-with-handle task with parallel roles and a double-tube-task with complementary roles. In each implemental task there was an interruption period in which the adult partner stopped interacting with the child. Children’s cooperative performance during the interrupted period was measured. There was no significant difference in cooperation during the prisoner’s dilemma game between participants with HFA and TD children. However, children with HFA showed significantly less cooperative behavior than did TD participants during the interrupted period of the implemental task. Moreover, children with HFA engaged in different types of cooperative and communicative behavior during the interruption period of the two implemental tasks. Results imply that children with HFA performed differently on the two different kinds of cooperative tasks and relied on different types of cognitive abilities.
Previous researches (Liviatan, Trope, & Liberman, 2008; Niu, Jiang, Qiu, Shen, & Zhang, 2010; Shen, Jiang, Zhong, Niu, & Zhang, 2010; Wakslak, Liberman, Nussbaum, & Trope, 2008; Zhang, Shen, Zhong, Niu, & Qiu, 2011) have revealed a string of consistent findings that the construal level of both oneself’s and others’ behaviors increases along with the extension of the psychological distance, thus supporting the notion that the Construal-level Theory (Trope & Liberman, 2003; Liberman, Trope, & Stephan, 2007; Liberman & Trope, 2008; Trope & Liberman, 2010; Shapira, Liberman, Trope, & Rim, 2012) can as well explain the association between behavioral representation levels and psychological distance during the social interactions. However, is this effect the product of the consciously controlled process, or is it also the result of an unconscious automatic process? In the current study, we investigated the nature of association between the behavioral representation levels and psychological distance, in an effort to advance the understanding of the psychological distance effect on behavioral representation levels. Based on the Construal-level Theory, we hypothesize that if the psychological distance effect on behavioral representation levels is the result of the unconscious automatic process, that is, if the high-level and the low-level construals of behavioral information are unconsciously associated with distal versus proximate psychologically distances respectively, then the activating distal psychologically distances can probably enhance the process of representing the evaluations for the trait-behavioral information in high-level construals and accordingly suppress the process in the low-level construals representing the evaluations for the act-behavioral information, and vice versa. Conversely, if there is no significant difference on respective recognition speeds of evaluations on trait and action behavioral information, then the psychological distance effect on behavioral representation levels is not the product of the unconscious automatic process, instead, it may be the result of a consciously controlled process; neither there is any automatic association between the two factors. To examine this hypothesis, the present study adopted a picture-word Stroop paradigm to investigate the mechanism of the automatic association between various dimensions of psychological distance (e.g. spatial distance, temporal distance, social distance, and hypotheticality) in human cognitive systems (Bar-Anan, Liberman, Trope, & Algom, 2007). Two separate experiments were conducted to explore the association between the behavioral representation levels and psychological distances. In Experiment 1, there were 10 abstract trait words (Extraversion: conversable, lively; Agreeableness: kindhearted, modest; responsibility: faithful, conscientious; Neuroticism: moody, calm; Openness: curious, keen) from "Big Five" Personality and 10 corresponding specific action words (Extraversion: josh, hearty-laugh; Agreeableness: to help, to ask for advice; Responsibility: to repay loan, to study intensively; Neuroticism: dispute, to introspect; Openness: to probe, to penetrate) embedded within the arrow pointing to a specific location (either near or distant) in a landscape photograph with clear depth cues. Participants were asked to judge the part of speech of each word (adjective or verb) in the arrow and meanwhile ignore the arrow’s spatial location. In Experiment 2, four sets of trait-action word pairs including lively/josh (Experiment 2a), modest/to ask for advice (Experiment 2b), kindhearted/to help (Experiment 2c) and faithful/to repay loan (Experiment 2d), were adopted to be the sample stimuli and were embedded within the arrow pointing to a specific location (either near or distant) in a landscape photograph with clear depth cues. Participants were asked to judge the each word embedded in the arrow and ignore the arrow’s spatial location. All words in the experiments were Chinese two-character words. The results showed that: (1) No matter responding to the part of speech (Experiment 1) or the naming (Experiment 2) of the target words, participants’ reaction times were not affected, hence the process of different construal-level words was not influenced by differed spatial distances. (2) Participants responded to both the part of speech (Experiment 1) and the semantic meaning (Experiment 2) significantly faster when the target words (no matter they were trait words or act words) were presented in distal locations than when they were presented in proximate locations. Based on these results, we suggest that there is no automatic association between the behavioral representation levels and psychological distances, and the psychological distance effect on behavioral representation levels may be the product of a consciously controlled process. Moreover, the possible mechanism that participants’ performance on the behavioral evaluative words is largely dependent on a distal spatial distance has been discussed.
White is often associated with goodness, whereas black is often associated with evil. The association of color with moral concept is ubiquitous in popular culture. And such connections are very common in every language. According to Concept Metaphor Theory, metaphor is not only just the language we use to communicate: it reflects a cognitive character that sensorimotor experiences and concrete concepts serve as the foundation for the development of more abstract concepts. The studies investigate the color metaphor representation of moral concepts and its influence on moral cognition. All studies carried out in E-prime. In study 1a, a moral or immoral Chinese word was presented on the middle of a computer screen. A black Greek word and a white Greek word were presented on the screen. Participants were instructed to guess which Greek word was the corresponding translation of the Chinese word. Study 1b was a category-judging task. Participants were instructed to categorize black words and white words according to whether they were moral or immoral in meaning as quickly and accurately as possible. In study 2 participants were asked to rate 8 moral dilemma events and 8 immoral events on the dimension of morality on a 10-point scale, from 1 (very moral) to 10 (very immoral). All events were presented on white or black background. In study 3, participants carried out the experiment in a bright or a dark room. After finishing a unrelated task, each participant was told that he (or her) would share 15yuan with another copartner. They were instructed to calculate the amount of money they could receive and evaluate the possibility of being treated unfairly by the copartner from 1 (not) to 7 (very). The results of study1a showed that participants translated the moral words above guessing average by white Greek words, and immoral words were translated above guessing average by black Greek words. Study 1b showed that response times were shorter when moral words appeared in white, and when immoral words appeared in black. Study 2 showed that participants in the black background group judged these moral dilemma events to be more morally wrong compared to participants in the white background group. Study3 showed that participants in the dark condition evaluate the possibility of being treated unfairly to be more likely than participants in the bright condition. All together, the results suggest that there is psychological reality of “Moral is white, immoral black”. Such a color representation of moral concepts exists at the cognitive level. Processing moral concepts and moral information can be influenced by perceiving the blackness or whiteness subtly. Moral cognition can also be interfered by the perception of brightness.
Handwritten signature is commonly used for identity purpose in our daily life. Much research has suggested that personality, self-esteem and social status have significant effects on the size of signature. Nevertheless, whether signature position and prior awareness of signature modulate individual’s behavior is still an open question. Here, two experiments were conducted to investigate the influence of signature on ethical behavior. Experiment 1 was conducted to examine the effects of signature position and prior awareness of signature on honesty. 123 subjects participated in the experiment. It consisted of three phases: pre-task phase, task phase and post-task phase. In the pre-task phase, all participants were asked to learn 30 moral words. Then, they performed a color judgment task. In the task phase, subjects were instructed to play a dice game, in which they threw a six-sided dice by pressing a key. Each subject had five chances and the total scores (preset to 12 for all subjects) were calculated by adding the five scores. Before the dice game, half of subjects were informed that they had to sign their names to ensure honesty after the dice game, while another half were not informed. After this game, participants were told that the higher points they threw the higher reward they would get. Participants were asked to report their total scores and sign their names on an answer sheet. Half of them signed on the top (top-signature group), while another half signed their on the bottom (bottom-signature group). Subjects were considered as cheating if their self-reported scores were higher than 12. The percent of cheating was calculated for each condition. In the post-task phase, subjects performed a recognition task on moral words. Results showed that signature position had significant effects on honesty for subjects without prior notification of signature, but not for subjects with prior notification of signature. Specifically, the top-signature group behaved more honestly (i.e., reporting higher scores) than the bottom-signature group in the dice game if they did not know the requirement of signature, while there were no differences between the two groups if they knew the requirement of signature. Furthermore, subjects who lied in the dice game remembered less positive words than those who behaved honestly. Experiment 2 was conducted to examine whether the ways of commitment (i.e., handwritten signature and verbal promise) modulate the effect of commitment on ethical behavior. Similar to Experiment 1, subjects performed the color judgment task and the dice game in Experiment 2. Subjects were randomly assigned into three conditions: handwritten signature condition, verbal promise condition, and no-commitment condition. The three conditions only differed in the way of commitment they made. In addition to the total scores, subjects were asked to report the time spent in the dice game. They were told that they would get more reward if they spent more time in the dice game. Cheating was assessed using the following two indices: percentage of cheating based on self-reported scores and self-reported time spent in the dice game. Results showed that subjects in the handwritten signature condition and those in the verbal promise condition behaved more honestly (i.e., smaller percentage of cheating and shorter self-reported time) than those in the no-commitment condition. There were no significant differences between subjects in the handwritten signature condition and those in the verbal promise condition. Taken together, results from the two experiments suggest that both signature and verbal promise make people behave more honestly by priming the individual’s self-identity.
Leader-member relationship is a critical issue in Chinese organizations. Although the leader-member exchange (LMX) theory of leadership in the West has developed over 40 years, the concept and the structure of LMX are still controversial and seldom analyzed from the perspectives of cultural differences. Meanwhile, in China, indigenized studies about supervisor-subordinate guanxi (SSG) (or called leader-member guanxi, LMG) are often limited in non-work related social exchanges and seldom examine supervisor-subordinate work relationships. As a result, this research explored and validated the structure of Chinese indigenized leader-member relationship (LMR) from the perspectives of cultural differences between China and the West. Two empirical studies were presented in this dissertation: The first one was a qualitative study, in which comprehensive items about leader-member relationship were formed by three methods. These methods included interviews of 19 leaders, an open-ended questionnaire investigation of 284 subjects, and analysis of a literature about office politics. A primary structure model of LMR was therefore achieved by categorizing these items through three times, which contained seven dimensions from the perspectives of leaders and members respectively. In the second study, 391 leaders and 133 leader-member dyads completed a primary LMR scale based on the first study. Then a new 56-item scale and a dual-perspective model with two second-order factors and four first-order factors of indigenized LMR were generated by exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. In this model, the dual perspectives meant both leaders and members’ perspectives, the two second-order factors referred to both positive and negative leader-member relationships, and the four first-order factors referred to consideration and support, control and faction, loyalty and contribution, conflict and opposition. These four factors of LMR were found to be able to significantly predict work outcomes (leaders’ task performance, members’ organizational citizenship behaviors, turnover intentions and affective commitment) and mental health indicators (burnout, mental well-being and work satisfaction). Moreover, the LMR scale was proved to have acceptable reliability and validity and predicted the indicators of mental health better than LMX-7. To conclude, with the characteristics of Chinese culture, the dual-perspective four-dimentional model of LMR made a break-through in the Western LMX theory and the Chinese SSG (LMG) models. Its theoretical contributions were as follows: (1) It transferred the research focus from LMX to LMR; (2) It extended the research scale from positive relationships to both positive and negative relationships; (3) Different to the Western studies in which leaders and members shared one LMX structure, it was found that different structures existed from the perspectives of leaders and members respectively; (4) It offered a framework of four factors of LMR with the characteristics of Chinese culture. Therefore, it is fair to say that the structure model of LMR and the LMR scale would provide theoretical evidence and a measure for the future research.
Prior studies focused on the relationships between ethical leadership and outcomes benefit for organization and employees, however, the relationship between ethical leadership and outcomes benefit for leaders was ignored to some extent. Base on the social exchange theory, this study examined the main effects ethical leadership on their benefits at individual and group level as well as the mechanism between them. The self-report questionnaires of 248 employees from 50 work groups were collected, and statistic results showed that the common method bias had little impact on the main effects and mediation models. The Hierarchical Linear Models (HLM) was applied to examine the mediations at individual level and cross level while the STATA was used to examine the mediations at group level. Sobel test and MCMAM were employed to calculate the indirect effect of mediations. The results showed that: (1) Ethical leadership was positively related to the employee cognitive and affective trust in leader. (2) Ethical leadership was positively related to the group and leader performance. (3) LMX Mean mediated the relationship between ethical leadership and subordinate’s cognitive and affective trust in leader. (4) LMX Mean mediated the relationship between ethical leadership and group performance, but such mediation between ethical leadership and leader performance wasn’t supported. The present study indicated that ethical leadership won the subordinate’s cognitive and affective trust at individual level and group and leader performance at group level. Moreover, the ethical leadership gained benefits through building high group-level social exchange quality. In application, ethical leadership benefits organization, employees and leaders, it should be encouraged in managerial practice. Furthermore, the ethical leadership should develop high group leader-member exchange quality to facilitating the employee and group outcomes.
One fundamental problem of organized groups is how to distribute resources fairly. Fairness and equitable distribution can increase working enthusiasm of the organization’s members and make them feel worthy to finish their jobs. Previous research found that people do not feel allocating money equally is as fair as distributing specific goods evenly. Previous studies hold the opinion that this kind of result can be attributed to the fact that money as a medium of exchange is compared with other specific goods rather than other essential properties of money. Based on previous studies, another hypothesis put forward that the relevance of the allocated resource and salary (the property of resource) is another reason for less sense of fairness to distribute resources equally. In order to test the possibility, three experiments were carried out. Experiment 1 tested the possibility that the allocated resource money is more likely to be regarded as a part of salary, compared with specific goods. Experiment 2 was designed to test whether exchange value resulted in less sense of fairness to distribute resources equally when the allocated resource is money rather than specific goods. Experiment 3 examined both factors (the property of resource and medium of exchange) which may influence the fairness of distributing resource equally. The results of experiment 1 indicated that people are more likely to treat extra money as a part of salary than extra specific goods. The results of experiment 2 replicated the results of previous studies, suggesting that the differences in the perceived fairness of allocating different resources lie in the medium of exchange of resources. The results of experiment 3 demonstrated that the property of the resource and the exchange value affect the allocated fairness respectively. These three experiments of the present study provide support for the hypothesis that not only the property but also the relevance of the allocated resource and salary have a major impact on this important psychological phenomenon, sense of fairness. These findings suggest that egalitarian outcomes have a greater likelihood of being accepted as unfair, when the resources being distributed represent wages rather than welfare. This new discovery has important guiding significance for the organization to better allocate resources in the future.
The piecewise growth mixture model (PGMM) has been a very popular analytical approach in recent studies of longitudinal data. PGMM builds on the piecewise growth model (PGM) and the growth mixture model (GMM). It is used to locate the turning point of growth trajectory as well as to identify the latent class of the population. It is particularly useful in detecting the non-continuous growing trend in a heterogeneous population. A simplified version of the model, the latent class growth analysis (LCGA), has also been often used with a restriction on the variance of PGMM. Understandably, factors affecting PGM and GMM will affect the estimates and performance of PGMM. These factors may include the change of the slope, the distance of latent classes, and the sample size. PGMM being developed from the two growth-related models (PGM, GMM) also attempts to analyze the growth pattern in latent growth trajectory as a special and newly emerged issue. Even for models with the same distance, their different slopes can be combined to form different patterns. This issue has not been fully explored in previous literature. Yet in empirical studies, factors such as the distance of the latent classes, the growth pattern, the existing criteria of model fit indices, and the precision of parameter estimates are well worth examining issues. In the present simulation study, a two-class-two-period model was adopted. The three simulation conditions being considered were: the sample size, the distance of latent class, and the pattern of the growth trajectory. The sample size was set to be 100, 200 and 500. The distance of the latent classes was defined as the squared Mahalanobis distance (SMD), with 1.5, 3 and 5 being used to represent the small, medium and large distance of latent classes respectively. Four different types of growth pattern were selected to represent one parallel and three non-parallel patterns. Finally, the LCGA was selected as the reference model to see whether PGMM could be further simplified or not. The results showed that: (1) the distance between the latent classes (SMD) was a crucial factor that influenced the model selection and parameter estimation. Large distance would lead to consistent BIC and entropy when the right models were selected; while small distance (SMD = 1.5) would not. (2) When mixture modeling was taken into consideration, it was suggested that a sample size of at least 200 should be used. BIC index should be the preferred choice to be used for model selection; the entropy, ARI and other indices were also recommended to further reference. (3) The pattern of the growth trajectory would affect model selection; specifically, non-parallel patterns of the trajectory would help model selection (higher entropy and higher total hit ratio) for medium distance (SMD = 3) and medium sample size (N = 200) conditions. However, as compared to LCGA, the pattern of the growth trajectory had little influence on PGMM. (4) Parameter estimation was affected by the sample size and distance of latent classes. Parameter estimates would become more precise as the sample size and the distance increased. (5) ARI was a reasonably good index belonging to the recovery indices family. ARI was highly correlated with the total hit ratio and thus would lead to recommendations of models closer to the true model.