The Distractor Previewing Effect (DPE) is one of the inter-trial effects in visual search based on features or categories. In the DPE tasks, oddball-present and oddball-absent trials are intermixed to present. The target is defined by one feature (e.g., a green diamond among red ones) or category (e.g., a face picture among house pictures), and the response is defined by another feature, such as the shape of the color oddball or which side of the face pictures has a red dot next to it. The DPE is indicated by faster responses on the current oddball-present trial when the distractors are congruent with the stimuli on the preceding oddball-absent trial than when the target does so. Both behavioral and neuroscience studies have revealed that the DPE reflects an attentional bias caused by past unsuccessful experience. In this study, participants were shown three emotional stimuli on each display, with or without one picture having a different valence from the other two. They searched for this emotional oddball and identified its non-affective feature if an oddball was present. If the RTs on the current oddball-present trial are faster when the valence of the target is congruent with that of the stimuli on the preceding oddball-absent trial than when the target does so, this inter-trial effect is the emotional DPE. Pictures of veridical faces of emotional expressions were shown in Experiment 1, whereas pictures of threat-relevant and threat-irrelevant animals were shown in Experiment 2. The emotional DPE was elicited in both experiments. In Experiment 1, the emotional DPE was significant in visual search for an angry face among neutral faces, but this effect was eliminated when these faces were inverted, suggesting that the DPE was due to the emotional category of the faces. In addition, the DPE was not significant in visual search for a neutral face (among angry or happy ones) or for a happy face among neutral distractors, suggesting the asymmetry of the emotional DPE. By contrast, the results of Experiment 2 revealed reliable DPEs in visual search for a fearful animal among peaceful animals. Taken together, the results of this study suggest that the valence of emotional stimuli can be remembered by the attention system to guide attention. Specifically, experience with negative stimuli can be remembered to guide attention to elicit a reliable DPE. Future research is called to test the influence of the observer’s emotional state on the DPE.
Many theories of attention have proposed that visuo-spatial working memory plays an important role in visual search. Previous studies have examined the involvement of visuo-spatial working memory in visual search using dual-task paradigm in which participants performed a visual search task concurrently with either a spatial working memory task or an object working memory task. It has been found that the presence of spatial working memory load adds a delay to the concurrent visual search reaction times and impairs the efficiency of a concurrent visual search task. In addition, the object working memory load prolongs the concurrent visual search reaction times and impairs the efficiency of a concurrent visual search task only when the target identity varies constantly from trial to trial. The present article extended traditional visual search to real-world scene search and investigated how the spatial and object working memory affected the real-world scene search performance (search reaction time, accuracy and search efficiency) by employing dual task paradigm. Meanwhile, the mediations of target template specification and visual clutter of search scene picture on these effect were considered. In the present study, 96 participants’ eye movement were monitored using an EyeLink 1000 when they were performing a single task or dual tasks. In the single task, participants searched for a specific target object cued by an abstract cue (a word) or a specific cue (an exact matching picture of the target); in the dual tasks, they performed a real-world scene search task during the delay interval of a visual working memory task (remember four color squares or four spatial locations). The four-factor mixed design was employed, with memory loads (non-load, object load and spatial load) and target type (change and constant) being the between-subjects variables, and visual clutter (high vs. low) and target template (word cue: a word identifying the target vs. picture cue: an exactly matching picture of the target) being the within-subject variables. The main findings were as follows: (1) Compared to the non-load condition, adding a spatial load slowed the search reaction times and decreased search accuracy and adding an object load only decreased accuracy of search. Adding an object load delayed the durations of scanning epoch when the target was cued by picture of it and adding spatial load prolonged the durations of scanning epoch and verification epoch and increased the fixation number during scanning epoch, mediated by specification of target template. (2) Compared to the non-load condition, adding a spatial load decreased scene search efficiency and this effect was mediated by visual clutter of the scene picture. However, the object load did not influence the scene search efficiency. These findings suggest that the effects of spatial working memory and object working memory on the real-world scene search were not same as their effects on the traditional visual search. The spatial working memory load can affect the reaction time, search accuracy and scanning epoch and verification epoch and the object working memory load can affect the search accuracy and scaning epoch and these effects was mediated by specification of target template. The effect of spatial memory load on the scene search efficiency was mediated by visual clutter of the scene picture.
Previous research using Posner’s cuing paradigm has demonstrated that responding to targets at previously cued locations is slowed in comparison with responding to targets at uncued locations. This result has led to a space-based explanation of inhibition of return (IOR). Although non-spatial IOR has also been reported for years, it has not attracted much attention, and the role of non-spatial attributes in IOR remains a controversial issue. It has been shown that non-spatial IOR is confined only to the location of the cue and disappears when the cue and the target are presented at different locations. These findings imply a primary role of location in IOR. To control the role of location, the present study used a dynamic display in which a single- or dual- route tunnel was added to the dynamic cuing paradigm. The aim was to examine the role of non-spatial attributes in IOR when spatial location was either specific or ambiguous. Four experiments were conducted. The first two experiments investigated the role of color in IOR using the dynamic cuing paradigm combined with the single- and dual- route tunnels respectively. The last two experiments focused on the role of identity using methods similar to those of the first two experiments. In experiments 1 and 3, two objects entered the single-route tunnel at the same time, from the upper and lower (or, left and right) portals, after cuing one of them, and then exited from corresponding portals. Since each object left the tunnel from a known exit, spatial locations of the two objects were specific and reliable all the time. In experiment 2 and 4, the single-route tunnel was replaced by the dual-route tunnel. Two objects entered the tunnel in the same way as in experiments 1 and 3, but left the tunnel from two exits at random. The locations of objects became uncertain after moving: Thus spatial attribute was ambiguous in both experiment 2 and 4. Whether color or identity alone could support IOR was then investigated. In all experiments, the two objects were covered with neutral objects when they were moving out of the tunnel. In the target display, one of two neutral objects was removed, and the object behind this neutral object reoccurred. Participants were instructed to detect the reoccurrence as soon as possible. Four SOAs (stimulus onset asynchronies) between the cue and the target were used in each experiment. IOR was measured by the delay in responding to the target when the cue and target shared the same color or identity. In experiment 1, color repetition produced a facilitation effect at the shortest SOA and inhibitory effects at the two longest SOAs, implying that IOR occurred when objects went through the single-route tunnel. In other words, the role of color attribute in IOR was illustrated when spatial location was specific and reliable in a dynamic display. In experiment 2, a color-based repetition inhibitory effect was found at the longest SOA. This result suggested that color attribute could play an independent role in IOR when a dual-route tunnel was used and the spatial location was ambiguous. In both experiment 3 and 4, target detection was slowed at the longest SOA when the cue and target shared the same identity. Therefore the role of identity attribute in IOR was confirmed in the single- and dual- route tunnels In conclusion, the present study showed that in a dynamic display non-spatial attributes of objects, such as color and identity, could not only play an important role when spatial location is specific and reliable, but also an independent role when spatial location is ambiguous.
Attraction effect refers to the phenomenon that the addition of an asymmetrically dominated alternative to a choice set can increase the share of one of the original alternatives. As a form of context effect, it has received considerable empirical scrutiny in the marketing, consumer behavior, employee recruitment and other decision-making literature in recent years. Based on experiments, this paper verifies that the attraction effect still exists in area comparison judgments, and that it is multiply determined by both intuitive processing and analytic processing. Experiment 1 used the aptitude test technique to trigger the information processing pattern (intuitive processing and analytic processing) and explored the effect of information processing on the attraction effect. 252 undergraduate students have participated in experiment 1 and were randomly assigned to the experimental manipulation. Through adjusting the sort order of the figures, experiment 2 explored the effect of the stimulus presentation pattern on the attraction effect. 196 undergraduate students have participated in experiment 2 and were manipulated to three different conditions (core set, context set 1 and context set 2). The results of Experiment 1 reveal that the attraction effect can occur in an area comparison judgment task. The results also demonstrate that the information processing mode affects the attraction effect significantly, and analytic processing leads to a higher attraction effect than intuitive processing does. However, no attraction effect is found under intuitive processing in experiment 1. The results of Experiment 2 show that the attraction effect still exists when participants judge under intuitive processing, but its performance is affected by figures’ sort order. Compared to placing the target alternative between the decoys alternative and the competition alternative, putting the decoys alternative in the middle as the judgment background will enhance the attraction effect. The findings of this study offer an explanation for the attraction effect that can be interpreted in terms of general notions of information processing. Specifically, these findings implicate two factors in the attraction effect: information processing and information presentation. We propose a dual information processing theory to classify the mechanisms of the attraction effect and suggest that the attraction effect is rooted in both intuitive processing and analytic processing. The study also verifies that stimulus presentation pattern can affect participants’ information processing, which then will influence the attraction effect.
Consciousness has always been much concerned in cognition science and, with the discovery of implicit learning in artificial grammar learning (AGL) researches, influences of unconscious processes on human cognition have been unprecedentedly highlighted. Dozens of empirical investigations have distinguished two different types of learning, i.e. explicit learning and implicit learning which involve conscious and unconscious processing respectively. Hence their critical attributes and interactive patterns have undergone tentative explorations and several theoretical frameworks have been proposed to demonstrate the underlying mental mechanisms, most of which take the side of dualistic logic. Empirical data tend to indicate that, rather than stand in dichotomy, so often they co-exist only with a quantitative difference. The academic dilemma is now broken through by the graded consciousness hypothesis, as a result of which new perspective arises from the graded consciousness dimension to deeply investigate implicit learning. In the present research the dynamic mental evolution pattern has been explored in artificial grammar learning, concerning both consciousness and knowledge representation. The current research adopts hypothesis of distributive representation and representation rehearsal which indicates that the ever-optimizing distributive representation dominates the learning process. Thus graded consciousness comes into form due to the increasing contribution of conscious processing. A dual-task design was introduced in current study with reference to the PDP paradigm formerly adopted in implicit memory researches. The innovative paradigm adopted a ‘slow’ learning task and a ‘quick’ task and the contribution patterns of consciousness and unconsciousness are different in the two tasks, as a result of which the contributions of conscious and unconscious processes could be extracted dynamically along the learning course. This innovative paradigm also makes possible a direct investigation of graded consciousness during the learning phase. The results of current study show that, in the implicit phase of artificial grammar learning, the contribution of conscious processing exhibited a slow-first-fast-later growing pattern while a slow-first-stable-later pattern was found with unconscious processing. In the beginning unconscious contribution prevailed but was eventually exceeded by conscious process in the subsequent blocks. However, in the first half of learning phase, consciousness contribution suffered an undulating performance while unconsciousness more stable. While entering the second half of learning phase, unconsciousness contribution exhibited a stagnating pattern and the uneven mode faded with consciousness process. These findings, compatible with those empirical researches assuming dichotomy logic, not only define distinguishable features for implicit learning and explicit learning, but also demonstrate the graded consciousness in artificial grammar learning and make possible a learning continuum progressing throughout the learning phase of artificial grammar. In the current study which assumed graded consciousness perspective the structures of knowledge representations have also been discussed indirectly. Conclusions are that the developing of unconscious representations precedes that of conscious representations, considering the undulation in the first half phase for consciousness and the stagnation in the second half phase for unconsciousness, which indicates a possible synergic effect between conscious and unconscious processing.
Because pronunciation information conveyed by Chinese characters is very limited, Pinyin represents a modern phonic transcription system of Chinese characters and assists Chinese children and foreigners in learning pronunciation of characters. Pinyin promotes the connections between the character graphic and phonological information. Over the past few years, a growing body of research has compared the alphabetic Pinyin and logographic characters to investigate whether the word forms affect brain processing during reading. However, few studies have directly examined whether while reading Pinyin, the corresponding orthography of the character becomes activated. The current study focused on the activation of character graphic representation during Pinyin processing. Four experiments were carried out. Experiment 1 and 2 explored the activation of character orthography in an automatic Pinyin reading task whereas Experiment 3 and 4 examined character activation during a Pinyin semantic judgment task. Experiment 1 and 2 employed a Stroop-like priming task. The Pinyin prime word was presented for 300ms, which was subsequently replaced by the target character. The target character would stay on the screen for 2000ms or until a color decision response was made. Sixty-four characters were chosen as targets. Half had similar graphic to prime characters, which were presented in Pinyin and the other half did not. In Experiment 3 and 4, the Pinyin prime word was exposed until participants made a semantic judgment response, followed immediately by a target character. In contrast to previous three experiments, Experiment 4 employed a naming task in which participants named the target character. The primes and targets were identical to those in Experiment 1. The effect of target type was observed only in the Pinyin semantic judgment task. The character graphic priming effect was inhibitory when the target characters had a similar graphic to the prime characters, which were presented in Pinyin, suggesting that graphic information was activated during Pinyin semantic processing and interfered with the judgment of similar target characters. It underscored the potential importance of the character graphic information in Pinyin semantic processing. In contrast, the inhibitory effect disappeared in the automatic Pinyin reading task, indicating that character orthography might not be activated during Pinyin automatic processing. These findings suggested that the involvement of character graphic information in Pinyin processing likely depends on the task demands. The activation of the character graphic information during Pinyin semantic processing supported the interaction of lexical constituents.
Propositional Symbol Systems and Perceptual Symbol Systems hold different opinions on conceptual processing. Propositional Symbol Systems believe that conceptual processing does not have direct links with sensory experiences, while Perceptual Symbol Systems propose that conceptual processing is grounded in sensory experiences, especially in the spatial experience. In our experiments, a modified spatial cueing paradigm was used to test the metaphorical concurrency effect of bilingual affective concepts in mono- and cross- channel conditions. In Experiment 1, thirty-two Chinese-English bilinguals finished a spatial cueing task after keeping an affective word in mind in mono-channel condition. Affective words and spatial cues were all presented by display. Participants needed to judge valences of affective words at the end of each trial. Results showed that the metaphorical concurrency effect existed in the vertical dimension, but not in the horizontal dimension. Another forty Chinese-English bilinguals participated in Experiment 2, who finished the same task as Experiment 1 except that affective words were presented by headphone. Results showed that the metaphorical concurrency effect was also found in the cross-channel condition. In summary, the metaphorical concurrency effect exists in processing bilingual affective words. This effect is stronger in the vertical dimension than the horizontal dimension. Further, the metaphorical concurrency effect exists in the cross-channel condition indicating that speech perception for bilingual affective concepts activates cross-channel sensory information. More importantly, the metaphorical concurrency effect is influenced by acquired experiences (i.e., the second language). Hence, these results support the Perceptual Symbol Systems.
As one kind of threat related emotions, disgust has the evolutional meaning to help human being avoid harmful stimulus. Recent studies have demonstrated the unique neural processing mechanism of disgust, which could be described as inhibiting sensory inputs at early stage of stimulus processing. In this study, the event-related potential (ERP) technique was employed with its advantage in time resolution to learn about the neural processing when participants watching disgusting compared with neutral pictures. After watching emotional pictures presented in different lengths of time, participants were instructed to finish a visually search task in order to examine the consumptions of attentional resources under different conditions. EPR results revealed that the effect of disgust first began at 100 ms after picture onset with a suppressed waveform compared to the neutral condition while enhanced neural activity was detected at the follow-up stage of detailed processing. The behavior results showed significant interactions; the task performance was hampered by negative emotion processing when the stimulus length was shorter (0/300 ms). In contrast, there was no behavioral difference between two emotional conditions when the stimulus length was longer (600/900 ms). The current results suggest that disgust has unique neural processing mechanism which fits the tow-stage model of negative emotion processing. The results further indicate that there is transition phase existing in which both automatic processing and controlled processing activate simultaneously.
Previous studies have provided sufficient evidence that emotional intelligence (EI) can predict important work outcomes, including performance. However, we found that the extant research on why and under what conditions EI can predict performance is relatively weak after reviewing the research on EI. Two limitations exit in extant studies in the functional mechanism of EI. One is the ignorance of the context in which the role of EI plays. The other is the lack of an interdisciplinary approach to examine how EI influences the performance. To narrow the gaps, our research employs the social network approach to investigate the relation between individual EI and task performance under the team project background. Specifically, based on the social capital conceptual framework, we examine the mediation effect of relational social capital on the relation between individual EI and task performance, and cross-level moderation effect of structural social capital on the random slope for individual EI predicting task performance. Our theoretical model was tested using data from 46 teams composed of 210 individuals. All subjects who were undergraduates and postgraduates in a China university were required to participate and finish a team project in given time. Survey data were collected at two time points separated by 2 months. At Time 1, subjects responded to measures of personality and EI. Two months later, At Time 2, subjects responded to measures of relational social capital (perceived intra-group trust) and structural social capital (the density of team consulting network), and teammates rated subjects’ task performance in their own team. Confirmatory factor analysis, social network analysis, multiple regression analysis and multilevel modeling analysis were conducted by using Mplus6.11, SPSS19.0 and Pajek software. Analyses of multisource and lagged data firstly indicated positive correlations between individual EI and relational social capital, and between relational social capital and task performance. Secondly, it showed that relational social capital mediated the relation of individual EI with task performance. Finally, our findings demonstrated that the cross-level moderation effect of structural social capital (the density of team consulting network) on the random slope for individual EI predicting task performance is significant, and the relation between individual EI and task performance was stronger when the density of consulting network was greater. All of the above results were obtained on the condition of controlling personality. The finding suggests that relational social capital is an important pathway of how individual EI influences performance. It also indicates that the advantage of structural social capital can strengthen the relationship of EI with performance. Based on the social network perspective and the concept of social capital, the research answered two important questions about the functional mechanism of EI. Our research gives significantly practical and theoretical insights. Specifically, we offer both organizational and individual facts to better their performances. Organizations should provide communication platforms and interaction environment to build structural social capital for employees. Individuals should improving and making full use of EI to develop high-quality online and offline relationships. Theoretically, this study not only provides a guideline on study of EI by applying the social network approach, but also enhances our understanding the functional mechanism of EI.
Individual frequently experiences passive mood, a bad internal feeling state, in workplace. However, few researches focused on the negative effect of passive mood on work behavior. As a result, we know little about how to avoid this negative effect in the work, especially in Chinese context. Based on mood-congruent theory and cognitive-affective processing system theory, we proposed a cross-level model to explain the relation between daily passive mood and three daily work behaviors, namly, Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB), Counterproductive Work Behavior (CWB) and task performance behavior, at within-person level, and how Zhong-Yong thinking style, a Chinese indigenous cultural thinking characteristic, at between-person level moderated the negative effect of daily passive mood on work behaviors. In oreder to verify our arguments, we collected the data by two phases. In the first phase, participants completed a questionnaire including demographic and individual-level variables. Two weeks later, we conducted daily surveys for daily passive mood and three daily work behaviors, namly, OCB, CWB and task performance behavior. As we treated passive mood as a within-person change, we used an Experience Sampling Method (ESM) to capture dynamic within-person variance in daily-mood and daily-behaviors. Ninty-nine individuals responded to the same questionnare through our survey web at 2 time points on the morning and afternoon each day for 2 weeks (ten workdays in total). At the end of the survey, 72 participants completed the two phrases survey, generating 720 experience-sampling ratings (72 participants×ten days) with a 73 percent response rate. Since our data contained a hierarchical structure in which daily assessments were nested within participants, we used hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to test our hypotheses. Results of HLM analysis revealed that: 1) there was a great deal of within-person variance in daily OCB, CWB and task performance behavior; 2) Within-persons passive mood had an negative influences on OCB and task performance behavior, while there was no relationship between passive mood and CWB; 3)Zhong-Yong thinking mitigated the negative association between passive mood and OCB. This relation was weaker for employees who had higher levels of Zhong-Yong thinking; 4) Zhong-Yong thinking moderated negative association between passive mood and task performance behavior. The employees who had higher levels of Zhong-Yong thinking had an positive influences on task performance behavior, while the employees who had lower levels of Zhong-Yong thinking had an negative influences on task performance behavior. Our study implied several contributions to the literature. Although abound of studies found supports for the associate between positive mood and work behaviors as mood-congruent theory proposed, our findings about passive mood and work behaviors was not completely consistent with mood-congruent theory. These differences might extend our understanding of mood-behavior relationship beyond mood-congruent theory. Our study also emphasized the utility of individual cultural characteristic in the passive mood management. We found that Zhong-Yong thinking moderated the effect of daily passive mood on work behaviors. It implied that Zhong-Yong thinking could guide employees to pursue the harmony between internal mood and external environment, because it could arouse their self-regulation for the choice of behavior after experiencing passive mood.
Proactive behavior has been recognized as a positive way of behaving which can lead to the increased effectiveness of individuals and organizations. It has attracted increasing attention in western academy of management. However, empirical investigation addressing the issue in China remains quite limited. As the power difference between leaders and subordinates is very large in the context of Chinese organizations, leader-related factors should be more important and special for subordinates’ proactive behavior. In the present study, we tried to examine the influence of authoritarian leadership on proactive behavior, and investigate the mediating role of trust in supervisor as well as the moderating role of traditional values of authoritarianism and collectivism playing in the linkages between authoritarian leadership and proactive behavior. A structured questionnaire was employed as the research instrument for this study. It consisted of five scales designed to measure the variables of interest, namely proactive behavior, authoritarian leadership, trust in supervisor, authoritarianism, and collectivism. To avoid the Chinese people’s tendency of choosing the mid-point of the scale regardless of their true feelings or attitudes, all of the items on the survey were responded to on 6-point Likert scales which did not include a mid-point. Data were collected from 214 dyads of employees and their immediate supervisors. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for the above measures were from 0.69 to 0.91, showing acceptable measurement reliabilities. Results of confirmatory factor analysis indicated the discriminant validity of the measurement was also satisfactory. Hierarchical regression modeling was used to test the hypotheses proposed. In line with our hypotheses, regression results revealed that: (1) Authoritarian leadership had a significant negative influence on proactive behavior. (2) Trust in supervisor fully mediated the relationship between authoritarian leadership and proactive behavior. (3) Authoritarianism significantly moderated the negative relationships between authoritarian leadership and trust in supervisor as well as proactive behavior such that they were weaker for subordinates high rather than low in authoritarianism, while trust in supervisor mediated the main effect of authoritarian leadership and the interactive effect of authoritarian leadership and authoritarianism on proactive behavior. (4) Collectivism moderated the negative relationship between authoritarian leadership and trust in supervisor such that it was stronger among high collectivist than among low ones. Finally, the theoretical and managerial implications of the findings, limitations, and future research directions were discussed.
Modern organizations are increasingly turning to teams for creative work and innovation. Most research studying team creativity has been concentrating on the effects of team interaction behaviors on team creativity. Although team creativity is known as the result of team-level cognitive processes through which information is searched, shared and integrated among team members, little has been done to reveal the cognitive mechanism underlying team creativity. The research of team cognition provides with a novel perspective to understand how teams produce creative ideas and products. Shared mental models (SMMs) is one of the important forms of the team cognition. The current study aimed to examine the effects of two indices of SMMs, mental model similarity and accuracy, respectively, on team creativity. Similarity and accuracy were expected to contribute uniquely, as well as interact, to predict team creativity. Data were obtained form 80 teams in a large high technology corporation in China whose responsibilities were to take charge of the operation, monitoring, maintenance of the online transaction network platform. Individual mental models were elicited by asking participants to make paired comparisons the relevance of each pair of the 10 fault statements. Mental model similarity was indexed by calculating the mean value of Quadratic Assignment Procedure correlation (QAP) within each pair’s responses to the 10 fault statements within each team. Similarly, mental model accuracy was indexed by calculating the mean value of QAP between each team member and subject matter experts within each team. Team creativity was obtained from team performance review archival data. Results indicated that: a) Similarity was significant negatively related to team creativity (b = -0.76, p < 0.01), while accuracy was positively related to team creativity (b = 0.55, p = 0.054). Furthermore, similarity and accuracy interacted to influence team creativity (b = -0.20, p = 0.060). Further analysis showed that, when accuracy was high, similarity was significantly related to team creativity (b = -0.91, p <.01). While accuracy was low, the effect of similarity on team creativity was not significant (b = -0.50, ns). Specifically, while teams with high mental model accuracy but low similarity were at the best position to demonstrate creativity, those with low accuracy and high similarity were rated as the least creative. In contract to prior team performance research, our findings suggested that mental model similarity was negatively related to team creativity which have received little attention among the relationship between similarity and team effectiveness. Furthermore, we also found that the effect was contingent on accuracy such that similarity had a stronger inhibition effect on team creativity when accuracy was high. Results were discussed in terms of the theoretical implications for both team creativity and SMMs literature.
Death exposure sells newspapers. Each of us is inevitably exposed to death everyday (e.g., read newspapers, listen to radios, etc.). Though data from consumers of western developed countries showed that death exposure could increase preference for the domestic products to foreign products, up to date, no research examined whether death exposure would drive consumers from developing countries to choose domestic products. Research on terror management theory argues that death exposure can trigger two defensive mechanisms: supporting cultural worldviews and seeking for self-esteem, while recent research further finds that consumers from developing countries tend to prefer buying foreign products to enhance their self-esteem and to seek for high social status. Thus we expect that when consumers from developing countries are exposed to death-related information, they may simultaneously adopt two defensive mechanisms: to choose foreign products to enhance their self-esteem, and to choose domestic products to support their cultural worldviews. The authors examined which of these two competitive mechanisms would prevail, finding that the cultural worldview defensive mechanism excelled, death exposure forced consumers from developing countries to choose domestic products. Further, recent research on TMT reported that death exposure triggered a strong patriotism emotion among consumers from western developed countries, which in turn resulted in their higher preference for the domestic products. The authors argue and find that feelings of control, rather than patriotism emotions mediate the effect of death exposure on domestic product choices of consumers from developing countries. More important, past research did not examine when death exposure would not increase domestic product purchase, the authors investigate this issue and find that after priming consumers’ warm interpersonal support, they will no longer choose domestic products. The authors conduct two experiments to examine whether, why and when death exposure will (not) increase domestic product choices of consumers from developing countries via changing ways of manipulating death exposure and altering product categories. Experiment 1 investigates whether and why death exposure (will) affect consumers’ product choices, finding that death exposure lowers participants’ feelings of personal control, thus to compensate for such a loss they choose domestic products with the hope that domestic country ingroups can help them regain agency control. After controlling for the influence of patriotism emotions, magnitude of fear death and ingroup identification, the mediating role of low feelings of personal control are still found to be significant. In Experiment 2, the authors further examine when death exposure will have no impact on consumers’ domestic product choice, finding that after strengthen consumers’ belongingness needs (via manipulating supportive interpersonal relationships), consumers encountering with death fear will not choose domestic products any more. The article theoretically enriches and advances consumer research in the domain of terror management and country-of-origin stereotypes, and managerially provides useful implications on organizational management in general, and on domestic brands’ advertising, social responsibility activities and new product innovation in particular.
Interpersonal cooperation and conflict are two primary types of interpersonal interaction, and take important role in human social development. Previous fMRI study employing the Chicken Game task has demonstrated that the anterior PCC were more active after risky/aggressive choices than safe/reconciliatory choices when the participants play the game against a human counterpart. However, it is still unclear how people evaluated the feedback when they played such a complex social game, where the mutual cooperation or mutual conflict might occur. In order to address this problem, we use the Chicken Game task and event-related potentials (ERPs) technique to explore how interpersonal cooperation and conflict affect the processing of outcome evaluation and the time course of evaluation to complex social interactive outcome feedback. Brain potentials were recorded while 22 healthy adult participants played the Chicken Game against a human counterpart. In Chicken Game task, two players choose reconciliation or aggression each other; each was rewarded with a sum of money that depends upon the interaction of both players’ choices. There are four possible outcomes: player A (subject) and player B reconcile (RR), player A reconciles and player B aggresses (RA), player A aggresses and player B reconciles (AR), or both player A and player B aggress (AA). The behavioral data and ERP amplitudes (FRN and P300) associated with the four feedbacks were analyzed. The behavioral data suggested that participants selected more aggression than reconciliation. The ERP results indicated that the amplitudes of FRN and P300 were not only influenced by feedback valence but also modulated by the interpersonal cooperation and conflict. The FRN and FRN effect (dFRN) were increased when the participants’ anticipant were higher violated. Specifically, the FRN were largest when participants chose the conciliation while the counterpart chose aggression. The differences P300 between gains and losses were increased when participants chose cooperation, relative when they chose aggression. These results indicated that interpersonal cooperation and conflict influenced the early and later stage of outcome evaluation under complex social game. In social gambling, cooperation increased the anticipation to the gambling outcome, and induced the larger FRN effect, and the double material and social significance of cooperation reciprocal outcome might induce the larger P300 amplitudes. The present study first provides preliminary evidences that interpersonal cooperation and conflict can modulate our outcome evaluation process.
Hamilton and Sherman (1996) argued that forming an impression of an individual and developing a conception of a group were governed by the same fundamental information-processing system, while researchers didn’t find adequate evidences supporting this argument. According to the Inverse Base-Rate Effect (IBRE) (Medin & Edelson, 1988), Sherman et al. (2009) discovered the base-rate of different kinds of cues had an impaction on stereotype formation. In addition, similar phenomenon was found in person perception. Based in these ideas and findings, this research sought to investigate whether the impaction modes of base-rate on the perception of groups and persons would be the same using IBRE design. Two experiments provided evidences for the above hypothesis. In experiment 1, the impression formation targets were groups, and 39 Chinese undergraduates participated, and the experiment design was the same to experiment 1 of Sherman et al. (2009) except Chinese materials. In experiment 2, the targets were individuals and there were 46 participants. Based on IBRE problem construct, the basic design involved a pair of persons, designated an acquaintance and a stranger. The acquaintance and the stranger occurred with a 3:1 base ratio. The acquaintance was characterized by two traits labeled by PC and I (PC was a perfect predictor of the common group, and I was an imperfect predictor), and the stranger was also characterized by two traits labeled by PR and I (PR was a perfect predictor of the rare group). PC was the perfect trait of the acquaintance, which always predicted the acquaintance and never the stranger; and PR was the perfect trait of the stranger, which always predicted the stranger and never the acquaintance; and I was an imperfect predictor of the two individuals in that the acquaintance and the stranger were both associated with this trait. The experiment was comprised of 2 basic designs. Participants were asked to engage in an impression formation task. During training, participants were asked to judge different persons from patterns of traits, and given feedbacks. Following training, participants were tested with combinations of traits not shown during training, which were PC, PR, I, PC+PR, PC+PR+I. The result of experiment 1 was consisting with the one of (Sherman et al., 2009), in which participants showed strong selection preference for a minority group. Results of the experiment 2 showed: firstly, base-rate information were learned and consistently applied to training and testing cases. Secondly, the frequent traits (PC and I) and the acquaintance were learned earlier than the infrequent trait (PR) and the stranger, so that the former ones were encoded by his typical features and the infrequent targets were encoded by his distinctive features, which resulted in the Inverse Base-Rate Effect (IBRE). In conclusion, whatever the impression formation targets were groups or individuals, information base-rate would influence the cognition processes and lead similarly progressing bias. The Inverse Base-Rate Effect might be a general phenomenon in social cognition.
Social exclusion has become a very important research topic in psychology in the past two decades. It is an unpleasant but common experience in life and has great impact on individual’s emotion, cognition, motivation, and behavior. However, both prosocial and antisocial behaviors have been found as a result of social exclusion, and the underlying mechanism was not well understood. Williams has proposed a need-threat model to address this issue. It asserts that one's response to social exclusion would depend on which need (relational need versus efficacy need) is more threatened. We provide empirical support to this model from the gender perspective. According to the gender literature, females care more about connections and interpersonal relationships, while males care more about status and achievements. On the basis of the need-threat model and gender literature, the relational threat of social exclusion should be more salient for females while the efficacy threat more salient for males. Employing self-focus level as an indicator reflecting different threats, we predict that social exclusion would increase self-focus level in males and decrease self-focus level in females. To further explore the underlying need-threat mechanism, we also introduce power priming and self-construal manipulation to mitigate the two threats. Four studies were conducted to explore the interaction effect of social exclusion and gender on self-focus. The first two studies were designed to test the main hypothesis. The experiments followed a two by two between-subject design, with participants from each gender randomly assigned to the exclusion or inclusion group. The next two studies aimed at exploring the underlying mechanism of the interaction. The third study brought in power priming as buffer for efficacy threat. If males were driven by efficacy threat and females by relational threat, then boosting power would reduce the influence of social exclusion for males but not for females. The fourth study introduced self-construal manipulation to detect the relational threat of exclusion in female participants. The experiment results supported our hypotheses. A significant interaction effect between social exclusion and gender was discovered, with male participants reporting increased self-focus level and female participants reporting decreased self-focus level after social exclusion treatment. Introducing power manipulation created a significant three-way interaction. Boosting power made male participants less affected by social exclusion, but had no effect on female participants. For female participants, the self-construal manipulation moderated the effect of social exclusion. Independent self-construal manipulation caused female participants to report higher self-focus level after exclusion. Results of the first two studies revealed the exclusion-gender interaction, and results of the last two studies further supported the need-threat mechanism of the gender differences. This research provides empirical support for the need-threat model, establishes an integral theory about the exclusion-gender interaction, and brings new insights in explaining past contradictory findings. The findings can be used to help people deal with social exclusion more efficiently. Highlighting the efficacy threat for males and relational threat for females in social exclusion context, our research can contribute to various fields such as public decision making, organizational management, marketing, and mental healthcare.