Categorical perception is one of the most basic cognitive processes of human beings. When humans process incoming information, categorization help them further clarify and simplify the sophisticated inputs. The categorical perception effect refers to the phenomenon that individuals will respond faster or more accurately when discriminating two stimuli that cross a category boundary than when discriminating two stimuli from the same category, despite between- and within-category stimuli being equated in distance (Bornstein & Korda, 1984). However, inconsistent evidence has been obtained from previous studies on how language would influence categorical perception. The language label theory suggested that the language label is a cue that helps individuals to categorize information unconsciously and automatically; whereas perceptual feature theory suggested that categorical perception is based on a pure perceptual process, which arises from life experiences that eventually changes the mappings of perceptual neurons. The current study systematically investigates how language labels would interact with self-reference factor to play a mutual role on new object categorical perception. The hypothesis of this study is that language labels are not the only important factors that would influence categorical perception, other social or personality factors may also play a role, but it is not sure whether language labels would play a more important role. In this study, three experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, a 2 (language label learning times: more vs. less) ´ 2 (object category: between vs. within) ´ 2 (visual field: left vs. right) mixed experiment was designed, and it is found that only the participants who have learned the labels for more times showed a significant right visual field advantage effect. In Experiment 2, a 2 (object self-reference connection: tight vs. loose) × 2 (object category: between vs. within) × 2 (visual field: left vs. right) mixed experiment was designed. This time, all the participants learned the language labels for only twice. As a result, it is found that only the participants who had built a tight self-reference connection with the new object revealed a significant categorical perception effect, however, on both left- and right-visual fields. Furthermore, higher level of self-reference made the participants show a better discriminating ability for between-category objects, but not for within-category objects. In Experiment 3, a 2 (object self-reference connection: tight vs. loose) × 2 (object category: between vs. within) × 2 (visual field: left vs. right) mixed experiment was designed. This time all the participants learned the language labels for seven times. As a result, it is found that under higher level representation of language labels, both language label and the self-reference play a role on categorical perception. In summary, this study revealed an important and complicated role of language labels on categorical perception, and a nonetheless very important influence of self-reference as well.
Recent studies using the disappearing text paradigm have shown that reading in alphabetic writing systems is not impaired substantially if words remain visible for only a short period when they are fixated (e.g., English: Rayner et al., 2006; Finnish: Blythe et al., 2011).There are, however, important developmental differences in performance on this task, and findings indicate that developing child readers often must fixate more often on words, especially long words, whereas skilled adult readers do not (Blythe et al., 2011). The present study used the disappearing text paradigm in two experiments to investigate if there is a similar developmental difference in performance on the disappearing text paradigm when reading Chinese. These experiments recorded the eye movements of native Chinese developing child readers and skilled adult readers. Participants read sentences formed from regular sequences of two-character words and each sentence was between 7 and 8 words long. These sentences were either presented normally or in a disappearing text paradigm in which, as each word was fixated, the word remained visible only for a short period before disappearing. There were four disappearing text conditions: in Experiment 1, each word remained visible for 20ms, 40ms, 60ms, or 80ms following fixation onset; and in Experiment 2, each word remained visible for 20ms, 60ms, 100ms, or 140ms following fixation onset. Both experiments showed that there was no overall cost to reading times for either age group except in the 20ms display condition, which was longer compared to when sentences were shown normally. This was consistent with the findings from studies in alphabetic languages. However, both the child and adults readers produced different patterns of eye movement behaviour in the disappearing text conditions compared to when sentences were shown normally. First, there was a trade-off between refixation probability and fixation duration, such that both age groups of readers made fewer but longer fixations on words. In addition, both groups of readers were more likely to make regressions back to words in the disappearing text condition compared to when sentences were shown normally, indicating that both age groups were more likely to refixate words, to facilitate word identification, when words were shown only briefly. However, there was also a clear developmental difference in the use of this strategy and the developing child readers made more regressions back to words in the disappearing text paradigm, as compared to when text was shown normally, than did the skilled adult readers. This showed that, as in previous studies using alphabetic languages, developing child readers had more difficulty identifying words when these were visible for only short periods following fixation and often made a regression in order to reinspect words. The indication, therefore, is that developing child readers identify words more slowly than skilled adult readers. Finally, both age groups made initial fixations on words which were closer to the center of the two-character words in disappearing text conditions than when sentences were shown normally, suggesting that the disappearing text manipulation cued readers to the regularity in the construction of the sentences. To conclude, skilled readers of Chinese can identify words extremely quickly during reading. This is consistent with the findings from alphabetic writing systems. For less skilled developing Chinese readers, however, more time is needed to encode words and so these readers often have to reinspect words that are available only very briefly when reading disappearing text. In other words, the findings show that developing child readers' encoding of words is slower than that of skilled adult readers.
Speaking involves stages of conceptual preparation, lemma selection, word-form encoding and articulation. Furthermore, process of word-form encoding can be divided into morphological encoding process, phonological encoding process and phonetic encoding. What is the function unit at the stage of word-form encoding remains a controversial issue in speech production theories. The present study investigated syllable and segments effects at the stages of phonological encoding, phonetic encoding, and articulation in Mandarin spoken word production. Using Picture-Word Interference (PWI) Paradigm, we compared the effects generated in immediately naming (experiment 1), delayed naming (experiment 2), and delayed naming combined with articulation suppression (experiment 3) tasks. Eighteen black and white line drawings were applied as stimuli, and their names were monosyllabic words. Each target picture was paired with four distractor words: A CVC-related (C: Consonant, V: Vowel) distractor word was chosen that shared a syllable which always differed in tone with the picture name (i.e.,羊 /yang2/ as target name -央/yang1/ as distractor word). A CV-related distractor word was chosen that shared the onset consonant and the core vowel with the picture name (i.e., 羊/yang2/-药/yao4/). A VC-related distractor was chosen that shared the rhymes with the picture name (i.e., 羊/yang2/-让/rang4/). An unrelated distractor was selected that stood in no obvious semantic, phonological or orthographic relation with the picture name. We found syllable and segments facilitation effects in immediate naming, whereas syllable and segments inhibition effects in a delayed naming and a combination task of delayed naming and articulation suppression. An immediate naming involves stages of phonological encoding, phonetic encoding, and articulation, a delayed naming involves articulation only, while a combination task of delayed naming and articulation suppression involves phonetic encoding and articulation processes. By comparing these effects among three tasks, we suggest that syllable and segments facilitation effects localized at the stage of phonological encoding, whereas syllable and segments inhibition effects localized at the stage of phonetic encoding and (or) articulation. These findings indicated that syllable plays a more important role in phonological encoding whereas segments play their roles in phonetic encoding and articulation for motor programming. Our findings provide support for Proximate Unit Principle and the assumption of independence of premotor- (phonological encoding) and motor stages (phonetic encoding and articulation).
As the development and acceleration of world population aging process, people pay more attention to the aging of cognitive function. As one of the basic cognitive function, speech processing has been widely discussed and evidence showed that the ability of speech comprehension preserved well throughout life while the ability of speech production decline. Why do these happen? In some research, aging people showed disadvantages on fulfilling tasks that involved competitions. It seems that changing of inhibiting capacity can be the plausible and essential reason. However, we don’t believe it should be the only reason. Three experiments investigated the inhibition deficit hypothesis in the aging of speech production across different tasks. In Experiment 1, Stroop effect was tested between the elderly and the young. Results showed that the elderly have greater difficulty in producing the right words than young when semantic information of the given words was not consistent with its printed color (i.e., word “RED” was written in red). Elderly seems to have greater disadvantages than young in inhibiting automatic activation of semantics. In Experiment 2, manipulating the context to the given targets, potential competitors were activated at different levels: high or low. Results turned out that the ability to inhibit the potential word of the elderly was equivalent to the young at the low activation level (experiment 2a), while the elderly appeared to have inferior inhibition ability at the high activation level (experiment 2b). We believed that the inhibitory deficit does not always happen to elderly.Activation levels of potential competitors plays important role in speech. For more evidence, we used sentence production task in Experiment 3, and investigated the above assumption in sentence level. The results showed that there were greater difficulties in inhibiting the confliction between pictures’ roles for the elderly, and the performance of sentence production was significantly worse with the elderly than the young when strongly conflictions were involved. In conclusion, the three experiments in the present research showed that: (1) The overall response of the elderly was worse than the young in theses speech production tasks; (2) Inhibitory deficit plays important role in speech of the elderly, but activation level of the potential competitors, which will get inhibition involved, should not be ignored when aging of speech was discussed.
Unconditioned stimulus (US) devaluation has been put forward as an effective measure to decrease fear response. Previous studies mostly focused on investigating the impact of US devaluation in the test phase after fear acquisition. As widely recognized, exposure therapy based on the theory of extinction training is a frequently used method for the treatment of mental disorders. Hence, we made an attempt to implement this program in the extinction training to examine if it could improve the therapeutic effect. In addition, to further understand the mechanisms of US devaluation, evaluative conditioning was explored. An experiment was designed to test the impact of reduction in US intensity on conditioned fear extinction. All participants were subjected to a fear conditioning experiment consisted of acquisition, US devaluation and extinction phases while subjective US-expectancy and skin conductance response (SCR)were rated online. In the experiment, the intensity of US was decreased after acquisition for one group (devaluation) and held constant for another group (control). Two simple geometrical figures served as CS+ and CS?, and a 1-sec female vocal stimulus (i.e., scream) as US. Each CS+ was paired with a US during the acquisition phase, and in the subsequent devaluation phrase, subjects were only exposed to the intensity-changed US for three times. To measure evaluative conditioning, participants were required to rate CS-valence at the end of each conditioning phase. The results show that US-expectancy to CS+ was not significantly different between two groups, which seemed to reflect a similar mode of fear extinction. However, the SCR to CS+ of devaluation groupwas significantly lower than that of control group, suggesting an efficient promoted process of fear extinction by US revaluation. The effect of US devaluation was also found in evaluative conditioning. Compared to control group, devaluation group showed more positive valence ratings for CS+. The results suggest that US devaluation did promote the extinction according to the SCR. Through the US devaluation, the explicit awareness of CS-US bond did not change; but the SCR, representing a procedural fear memory formed by implicit learning, had been influenced, which declared a separation between different fear response indexes. From the evaluating conditioning results, we inferred that US might have served as a transporter, to transform the negative valence to CS. After devaluation, individuals might restate the cognition of CS fear valence, leading to the promotion of extinction. The results suggest that the modulation of US intensity may provide a new perspective for exposure therapy. Based on relevant literature review, the knowledge of the internal mechanisms of US devaluation that influence the conditioned fear extinction has acquired great advance. In the future, the treatment on mental disorders should be more focused on the behavioral therapy based on extinction training.
Responders often refuse unfair offers at the cost of their own interests in the ultimatum game (UG). Many theoretical and empirical studies are trying to explain this behavior in terms of intention and payoffs. Although social utility model divides payoffs into comparative ones and absolute ones that respectively represent fair tendency and self-interest tendency, few empirical researches have proved this view. Thus, the effects of intention, comparative payoffs and absolute payoffs on individual’s decision in UG were examined. Moreover, how these three factors affected the decision of responders with different ages was also investigated. It was hypothesized that: fairness in responders with different ages had different manifestation, and with the growth of the age, the factors which affected responders’ decision in UG were gradually complicated. To study whether the effects of intention, comparative payoffs and absolute payoffs can be separated in the course of decision, 39 undergraduates and postgraduates were recruited in the first experiment. It was examined whether the rejection times of the same offer in three different conditions existed significant difference. Based on this successful separation design, the second experiment recruited thirty participants in each age group, including younger children group (4-5 years old), older children group (9-11 years old) and teenagers group (16-18 years old). A design of 3 (age group) * 3(distribution situation) * 5 (offer type) was conducted. The three distribution situations were the anonym distribution situation, the random number generator distribution situation, and the computer distribution situation. The offer types included 1/9, 2/8, 3/7, 4/6 and 5/5. It was found that: (1) younger children tended to accept all the offers. (2) compared with other age groups, older children’ s rejection rates in three distribution situations were significantly more, so was that for most offer types. (3) teenagers’ rejection times on 2/8 and 3/7 offers had significant difference in different distribution situations. The rejection times on 2/8 offer in the anonym distribution situation were significantly more than that in the random number generator distribution situation. The rejection times on 2/8 and 3/7 offers in the computer distribution situation were significantly over zero. (4) adults' rejection times on 1/9, 2/8 and 3/7 offers had significantly difference in different distribution situations. The rejection times on 1/9 and 2/8 offers in the random number generator distribution situation were significantly more than that in the computer distribution situation. The rejection times on 3/7 offer in the anonym distribution situation were significantly more than that in the random number generator distribution situation. The rejection times on 1/9, 2/8 and 3/7 offers in the computer distribution situation were significantly over zero. It was indicated that younger children made decision based on self-interest, and they could hardly resist the attraction of absolute payoffs, while older children began to consider about comparative payoffs, and they could resist the attraction of absolute payoffs and pay attention to proposer's intention. Teenagers were in the period of paying attention to proposer's intention and they made decision according to intention and absolute payoffs, whereas fairness in adults was affected by intention, comparative payoffs and absolute payoffs. This study not only enriched the social preferences models about intention and payoffs but also testified the effects of these three factors on individual’s decision in UG. In addition, it provided a reasonable explanation for the fairness in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood.
With the rapid development of the virtual world, Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs) allow geographically separated individuals to interact via networking technology, which has become an important mode of interaction. Human interaction in the virtual world is different from face-to-face (FtF) interactions. For people to participate in virtual interactions, they have to rely on the help of virtual self-presentation. Avatars are one main kind of self-presentation in virtual environments with people participating in virtual social interaction via virtual avatars. Avatars can affect people’s perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors consciously or unconsciously on avatar-based online social interaction, which is known as the Proteus effect. The study included three experiments. The participants in the research were “high-shy” undergraduates and “low-shy” undergraduates. The College Students Shyness Scale was used to classify participants into “high” and “low” groups. The study created a new paradigm of “virtual scenario simulation” to further understand the Proteus effect and investigate the impact of avatars on social behavior in different social interaction contexts. The first experiment investigated the impact of avatars on the level of social participation in participating- social-interaction contexts. The experiment involved a 2 Attractiveness of the avatar (high/low) × 2 Level of shyness (high/low) two-factor between-subject design. Participants were randomly assigned to have an avatar with an attractive or unattractive appearance of his or her own gender. The second experiment extended the work beyond participating-interaction context to maintaining-interaction context. We also employed a two-factor between-subject design, 2 Attractiveness of avatar (high/low) × 2 Level of shyness (high/low) for this experiment. The third experiment involved one more two-factor between-subject design, 2 Value of avatar (negative /positive) × 2 Level of shyness (high/low), for this experiment. The experiment examined whether the difference between high-shy and low-shy individuals was elicit in cognitive aspect. The findings of the present study ultimately showed that: (1) Some factors affected the occurrence of the Proteus effect in virtual environment, including contextual factors (different social interaction contexts) as well as individual factors (the level of shyness). (2) The Proteus effects were moderated by the contextual factor. Avatars manifested different effects in different contexts, it showed the main effect in the participating- interaction context and showed an interaction effect in the maintaining-interaction context. (3) In the maintaining- interaction context, the Proteus effects were moderated by the level of shyness. The social performances of high-shy individuals were significantly affected by the avatar cues while that of low-shy individuals were not. (4) The difference between high-shy and low-shy individuals was elicited by the cognitive level.
In previous research, little social cognitional work has focused on the mental representation of the stereotype about compound social categories, which are defined as the intersection of two or more constituent categories and can be construed as subcategories. There are two models of social subcategory representation which can explain how to form the stereotype presentation of compound categories. Brewer’s abstraction model and Smith’ exemplar model can both be right, but maybe in different circumstances, because the stereotype presentation of compound categories may be influenced by familiarity, compatibility and some other factors such as perceiver’ own category attributes. Thus, in present study, we explored the interaction among compound categories’ familiarity, compatibility and participant’ category attributes (in-group or out-group). We hypothesized that people would make exemplar-based trait judgments of social compound categories, consistent with Smith’s model, when those compounds were relatively unfamiliar. The stereotype representation of compatible and familiar compound category might depend on abstract knowledge. Maybe there were differences in the stereotype representation between in-group and out-group memberships. We conducted three experiments in present study and improved priming paradigm to explore the issues above. In Experiment 1, we chose female kindergarten teachers as familiar compound category and male kindergarten teachers as unfamiliar compound category to test the effect of compound familiarity on the stereotype representation of the compound social categories. And in Experiment 2, we chose female secondary school teachers as the target group. In addition, “rational” and “exquisite” were respectively chosen as compatible stereotypical trait word and incompatible stereotypical trait word to explore the effect of compatibility on the representation of compound category’ stereotype when the target was familiar. Based on experiment 2, male secondary school teachers and female secondary school teachers were recruited to explore whether there are differences in the response to compatible stereotypical trait word and incompatible stereotypical trait word between in-group and out-group memberships in Experiment 3. The results of Experiment 1 revealed that when the target was male kindergarten teachers, participants’ response in description group was faster than that in definition group during recall tasks. However, there were no such differences in reaction time when the target was female kindergarten teachers. In other words, participants had exemplars of male elementary school teachers but had abstract presentation of female kindergarten teachers. The results of experiment 2 showed that participants activated the exemplars of male secondary school teachers when they rated incompatible stereotypical trait word “exquisite” in description group but when the stereotypical trait word was “rational”, there was no exemplar activation. So the stereotype representation of male secondary school teachers relied on the stereotype compatibility of the subcategories (male & secondary school teacher). The results of experiment 3 demonstrated that the effect of familiarity and compatibility on the stereotype presentation of compound categories is not moderated by in-group and out-group memberships. In conclusion, the stereotype representation of compatible and familiar compound categories depend on abstract knowledge, whereas when compound social categories are unfamiliar, perceivers can activate individual category members (i.e., exemplars). In addition, the stereotype representation of incompatible and familiar compound categories also depends on exemplars.
Third-party punishment (TPP) plays an important role in both improving cooperation and maintaining social norms. However, Cognitive Evaluation Theory suggests that TPP may also negatively affect cooperation, because TPP reduces the internal motivation of cooperative behaviors. Therefore, the influence of TPP on cooperation may have two different manifestations depending on the specific kind of activated social norms — descriptive norms (what most people actually do) or injunctive norms (what people should do). This study used two experiments to examine the influence of TPP on cooperation. Experiment 1 analyzed the effects of the two different social norms on cooperation without TPP. The subjects (120 university students) participated in a two-round Dictator Game, which used a 2 (high/low descriptive norms) by 2 (high/low injunctive norms) between-subjects design. Experiment 2 (with 300 university students) examined the influence of different TPP frequencies on cooperation. The subjects participated in a four-round Dictator Game with a third-party member who could punish both the dictator and the receiver in Round 2 and 3. In Round 3, the subjects were informed the frequency of TPP (a between-subjects factor), which were controlled by the experimenter on 10 levels ranging from 0% to 90%. The result showed that descriptive norms had a more significant influence in comparison to injunctive norms, and there was a significant interaction between the two types of norms. Descriptive norms played a more important role on cooperation when there was no punisher, whereas injunctive norms' effect on cooperation was stronger when there was a punisher. The results also implied that a low frequency of TPP could successfully increase the level of cooperation, even when the punishment sanction was removed. We also found that higher frequency of TPP reduced the internal motivation on cooperation. An explanation of these effects was that TPP could not only remind subjects of the injunctive norms but also the existence of norm violation. When the perception of norm violation increased with higher frequency of TPP, the perception of descriptive norms decreases and so do cooperative behaviors.
Country-of-origin (COO) is an informational and affective cue that influences consumers’ brand evaluation. Consumers rely on the “made in” label to infer product quality and attach emotional meanings to brands. While extensive studies have examined the magnitudes and mechanisms of COO effects, little has been understood about how this information influences the impact of other marketing variables on consumer behavior. The present research aimed to close this gap by proposing an advertising appeal-COO stereotype congruency effect on brand attitude and identifying the underlying mechanism from a processing fluency perspective. Based on the Stereotype Content Model, we introduced a new typology of advertising appeals—warmth appeal and competence appeal, and hypothesized that the congruency between advertising appeals and COO stereotype would increase processing fluency, which in turn leads to favorable brand attitudes. We conducted two studies to test these hypotheses. Study 1 examined the interaction between advertising appeal and COO stereotype in influencing brand attitude and the mediating role of processing fluency. A total of 100 students participated in the 2 (advertising appeal: warmth vs. competence) × 2 (COO: Brazil vs. UK) between-subjects experiment. Participants read a print advertisment of a fictitious gum brand and then rated processing fluency and brand attitude. Study 2 examined the underlying process by varying consumers’ attribution of the positive affect induced by processing fluency. A total of 106 students participated in the 2 (advertising appeal) × 2 (COO: Spain vs. Germany) × 2 (attribution) between-subjects experiment. Before reporting their brand attitudes, participants were instructed to attribute either their positive feelings or fluent experiences to the background music and eliminate the influence of music on their judgments. The results of study 1 revealed a two-way interaction between advertising appeal and COO, F(1,96) = 12.54, p = .001. After controlling for the main effect of advertising appeal through Z transformation, we found that in Brazil condition warmth appeal led to more positive brand attitudes than competence appeal (0.28 vs. -0.40, p = 0.014), whereas in UK condition competence appeal led to more positive brand attitudes than warmth appeal (0.39 vs. -0.27, p = 0.016). Additionally, bootstrapping analyses suggested that the mediating effect of processing fluency was significantly different from zero (95% CI = .05 ~ .92). The results of study 2 revealed a significant three-way interaction between advertising appeal, COO, and attribution, F(1,98) = 6.32, p = 0.014. Specifically, the interactive effect between advertising appeal and COO was replicated in the fluency-attribution condition (p = .05) but not in the affect-attribution condition (p > .10). Our research adds to the marketing literatures in several ways. First, we propose a new typology model of advertising appeals and demonstrate the effect of congruency between advertising appeal and COO stereotype on brand attitude. Second, by showing that COO can moderate the persuasiveness of warmth versus competence appeal and that processing fluency plays a mediating role in this effect, our research offers a new perspective to understand the underlying mechanisms of COO effects. In addition to the theoretical contributions, our findings also provide important implications for firms’ advertising strategies in global markets.
The Q-matrix is a very important component of cognitive diagnostic assessments, and it maps attributes to items. Cognitive diagnostic assessments infer the attribute mastery pattern of respondents based on item responses. In a cognitive diagnostic assessment, item responses are observable, whereas respondents’ attribute mastery pattern is potentially, but not immediately observable. The Q-matrix plays the role of a bridge in cognitive diagnostic assessments. Therefore, Q-matrix impacts the reliability and validity of cognitive diagnostic assessments greatly. Research on how the errors of Q-matrix affect parameter estimation and classification accuracy showed that the Q-matrix from experts’ definition or experience was easily affected by experts’ personal judgment, leading to a misspecified Q-matrix. Thus, it is important to find more objective Q-matrix inference methods. This paper was inspired by Liu, Xu and Ying’s (2012) algorithm and the item-data fit statistic G2 in the item response theory framework. Further research on the Q-matrix inference, an online Q-matrix estimation method based on the statistic D2 was proposed in the present study. Those items which are the base of the online algorithm are called as base items, and it is assumed that the base items are correctly pre-specified. The online estimation algorithm can jointly estimate item parameters and item attribute vectors in an incrementally manner. In the simulation studies, we considered the DINA model with different Q-matrix (attribute-number is 3, 4 and 5), different sample size (400, 500, 800 and 1000), and different number of correct items (8, 9, 10, 11 and 12) in the initial Q-matrix. The attribute mastery pattern of the sample followed a uniform distribution, and the item parameters followed a uniform distribution with interval [0.05, 0.25]. The results indicated that: when the number of base items was not too small, the online estimation algorithm with the D2 statistic could estimate the attribute vectors of rest items one by one, and further improve the estimation by using the joint estimation. When item parameters were unknown, item number was 20, and item attributes was 3, 4 or 5, based on the initial Q-matrix, the online estimation algorithm could recover the true Q-matrix with a high probability even when the number of base items were as small as 8.