ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    28 June 2012, Volume 44 Issue 6 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    The Neuromechanism Underlying Language Analogical Reasoning: Evidence from An ERP Study
    ZHAO Ming,XU Zhi-Yuan,LIU Tao,DU Feng-Lei,LI Yong-Xin,CHEN Fei-Yan
    2012, 44 (6):  711-719. 
    Abstract ( 819 )   PDF (437KB) ( 1669 )  
    Analogical reasoning as the mechanism of acquisition of new information by inspection of specific instances, is clearly at the heart of advanced human cognitive capabilities and creativity. Especially, language analogical reasoning, as an important part of everyday discourse, is the most common one. Only a few brain imaging studies have used verbal analogies to explore the neural substrates of analogical thinking. Nevertheless, hemodynamic techniques have excellent spatial resolution but poor temporal resolution; hence, these results could not clearly reflect different substeps of analogical processes. Compared with hemodynamic techniques, event-related potentials (ERPs), as an electromagnetic technique, are sensitive to the time course of cognitive processes. However, there has no ERP study on this matter so far.
    Using the “A:B::C:D” paradigm, this study investigated the neuromechanism underlying language analogical reasoning by ERPs. Six hundred two-character Chinese noun words were chosen from the Contemporary Chinese Dictionary (the fifth edition) to serve as experimental stimuli. One hundred fifty trials consisting of four noun words were used in three analogy tasks with three semantic relations: metaphor, category and isomorphism, each analogy task had 50 trials. Fourteen undergraduate students participated in the study. Subjects were asked to judge whether one word pair was semantically analogous to another word pair. The EEG was recorded from 64 scalp channels using electrodes mounted in an elastic cap. ERPs were calculated for a 3200 ms epoch including a 200 ms pre-stimulus baseline.
    Results showed that the schema induction stage elicited N400 and P300 components, which possibly attributable to semantic processing of word pairs and the formation of a relational category. The analogy mapping stage elicited a N400, which might indicate the semantic retrieval of the antecedent word of target domain. The N400 was then followed by a late negative component (LNC), which might indicate the processing of analogical transfer the schema from the source domain to the target domain and reasoning the suitable answer. The study also compared processing of the analogy mapping under different conditions. The results showed that the amplitude of LNC component was smaller and distributed over anterior scalp sites when the relations of analogy mapping were simpler, while the amplitude of LNC component was larger and widely distributed when the relations of analogy mapping were complex.
    The results suggest that the substages of analogical reasoning, schema induction, analogy mapping, are complex processes. The processing of the analogy mapping stage is close with the LNC component. The amplitude and scalp distribution of the LNC are modulated by the complexity degree of the relations of analogy mapping.
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    The Integration of Arithmetic Knowledge and Semantic Knowledge in Addition Facts
    CHEN Xu-Qian,HE Ben-Xuan,ZHANG Ji-Jia
    2012, 44 (6):  720-734 . 
    Abstract ( 537 )   PDF (456KB) ( 1116 )  
    Recently, more and more researchers are interested in the relation between arithmetical cognition system and other cognitive function systems, especially the relation between arithmetical cognition system and the semantic concept system. A study done by Bassok, Pedigo, & Oskarsson (2008) showed that proper semantic context facilitated the processing of arithmetical cognition, whereas improper semantic context blocked the processing of arithmetical cognition. This result implied that people had the strong inclination to integrate the arithmetical knowledge with semantic knowledge. They believed that the integration was processed through the analogical mapping mechanism. This study aimed to further investigate the following questions based on Bassok et al. (2008): 1) mathematical cognition is affected by cultural cognitive activities (Tang, Zhang, Chen, Feng, Ji, Shen, Reiman, & Liu, 2006). However, whether the integration processing mode of arithmetical knowledge and semantic knowledge was cultural universal? 2) Whether the cognitive mechanism which integrated arithmetical knowledge and semantic knowledge was analogical mapping mechanism, or whether it was the necessary condition of analogical mapping mechanism? 3) Whether the factors which influenced semantic processing could influence the arithmetical cognition processing? Four experiments were engaged in the present study by using the revised version of semantic priming number matching task (Experiment 1 and 2) and the original semantic priming number matching task used by Bassok et al. (Experiment 3 and 4), in which the addition operation and categorical semantic relation were taken as objects, and the sum effect was taken as index.
    The findings were mainly consistent with the study of Bassok et al. (2008). It suggested that the integrating process of the two kinds of knowledge is cultural universal. In addition, the categorical concept as well as the symmetry of the addition operation and categorical relation could influence the processing of addition operation. Moreover, it should be noted that Sum effect affected mainly by restraint of the neutral numbers in Experiment 1 and 2, whereas by activity of the sum numbers in Experiment 4. Therefore, the essence of Sum Effects was also discussed according to the recent results. Activity of the sum numbers can be considered as failure of restraint. Thus, the essence of Sum Effects was failure of restraint: although people tried to restrain two kinds of numbers, they can only restrain one of those (fail). These failures of restraint were mainly influenced by the pattern of the task. And the Sum effects can be representated by either of these failures. In short, results suggested a strong influence of semantic relation on arithmetical cognitive processing. The factors which could influence categorical processing could also influence addition operation processing.
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    The Timing of Sentence Meaning Establishment During Sentence Comprehension
    ZHONG Wei-Fang,MO Lei,JIN Hua,XU Gui-Ping
    2012, 44 (6):  735-744. 
    Abstract ( 622 )   PDF (447KB) ( 1239 )  
    Many studies suggested the establishment of sentence meaning in sentence comprehension was based on lexical integration, which reflected on N400 starting around 250ms after the onset of an incoming word. However, research related to the semantic P600 effect proposed that there might be other route (s) for meaning establishment besides lexical integration, which might start earlier than the onset of the processing reflected on N400. Here four experiments were conducted to investigate whether there are other route (s) earlier than the processing indexed by N400 and when they begin.
    In Experiment 1, a paradigm related to Perceptual Symbol Theory (PST) was used for study. Participants were asked to read Chinese sentences like 天空中有一只老鹰 (In the sky there is an eagle) word by word, and then to judge whether the pictured objects that followed without interval had been mentioned in the preceding sentences ignoring their shape and state. The reaction times for judgment were recorded. The last word of each sentence which was a two-character word was the critical word. All critical words were presented in three different time durations: 550ms, 250ms and 200ms. According to previous studies and PST, when the critical word was presented at 550ms, participants could have established the sentence meaning and a mismatch effect would appear. The mismatch effect is an effect that the reaction time is shorter when the sentence matches the following picture. The result found that mismatch effect also appeared in both 250ms and 200ms durations, and their reaction times were similar to those of 550ms duration. The result suggested that participants could establish sentence meaning even when the critical word was presented at 200ms, which indicated that sentence meaning establishment started before the onset of N400.
    Experiments 2 and 3 aimed at revealing a more precise time point at which readers began to relate the last word of a sentence to the preceding linguistic input and establish sentence meaning. The experimental methods were the same to that of Experiment 1 except for shortening the duration of the critical word. The results suggested that participants began to establish sentence meaning after the critical word was presented at 150ms.
    Experiment 4 was conducted to counter some possible explanations for the experimental effects of Experiment 1~3. Doubters might think that the mismatch effects in Experiments 1~3 came from prime effect but not sentence meaning establishment. That is, the first word might prime the processing of the critical word or/and the following picture in the match condition. Experiment 4a was conducted to deal with this challenge. Participants were presented with Chinese word pairs like 天空-老鹰 (sky-eagle), and then asked to complete a judgment task as in Experiments 1~3. All word pairs were constructed based on Experiments 1~3 by combining the first word and critical word of each sentence. The results showed that the mismatch effect did not appear in Experiment 2, which supported the findings of Experiments 1~3. One might also doubt whether readers could establish sentence meaning in the short critical word present time conditions, like 150ms and 200ms, and think that the reason for the appearance of the mismatch effects was that the sentential context facilitated the access or selection of the critical word’s perceptual symbol which was consistent with it. In Experiment 4b, participants were asked to complete experimental tasks similar to Experiments 1~3. Unlike Experiments 1~3, sentences were reconstructed, the critical words were moved away from the sentence end, and the last words were present at 150ms or 200ms. The results showed that in both the duration conditions, mismatch effect was present, which also supported Experiments 1~3.
    In conclusion, the results suggested that during sentence comprehension, readers could relate an incoming two-character Chinese sentence-end word to the preceding linguistic input about 150ms after its presentation and establish the sentence meaning, and sentence meaning establishment started before the onset of the processing reflected on N400.
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    Interactions of Blurredness, Frequency, and Semantic Priming on N400 in Chinese Characters: Evidence for the IA Model of N400
    SUN Hai-Jing,WANG Quan-Hong
    2012, 44 (6):  745-753. 
    Abstract ( 553 )   PDF (445KB) ( 1313 )  
    Several theories, such as the post-lexical processing theory and prelexical processing theory, have been proposed to explain the mechanisms of N400. However, there were certain deficits in these theories and in the current paradigm of priming study. Therefore, a new approach and new theories to investigate N400 effects are required. Verification model and interactive activation models were employed in this study to address these problems. The objective was to ascertain which of these theories provides a much better explanation for the mechanisms of N400. The interaction study approach was adopted.
    This study adopted a delayed character-matching task to investigate how semantic priming, frequency, and blurredness interact on the N400 components of the Event-Related Potentials (ERPs), which were recorded while participants performed the task. Three Chinese characters were presented in succession in each trial, representing the prime, the target, and the probe stimuli. The prime and the probe were intact characters, whereas the target was blurred one. The materials and procedures in the two experiments were the same, except for the blurredness level of the targets: The targets were slightly blurred in Experiment 1 and were more blurred in Experiment 2. The priming and frequency were manipulated in each experiment with four treatment conditions, namely, primed high frequency, primed low frequency, unprimed high frequency, and unprimed low frequency conditions. Blureedness was manipulated across experiments. The subjects’ task was to press one keyboard if the target and the probe were the same character, and to press another otherwise.
    The results of Experiment 1 showed larger N400 amplitudes in unprimed condition than in primed condition for low-frequency target characters, but not for high-frequency target characters. By contrast, Experiment 2 showed N400 priming effects, but no N400 frequency effects. Combining the date from the two experiments, both a three-way interaction among the blurredness, frequency, and priming, and an interaction between blurredness and frequency in unprimed condition were found. An interaction between blurredness and priming under high frequency was observed, whereas interaction between blurredness and priming under low-frequency condition did not occur. These interactions are interpreted to indicate that frequency, blurredness, and priming are involved in the same stage of lexical processing.
    In conclusion, the results of the present study are partly expected from the lexical verification explanation constructed based on the verification model, completely expected from the interactive activation model, but completely unexpected from the postlexical theory.
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    The Expectation Effect of the Sample Size in Category Learning
    LIU Zhi-Ya,HUANG Yan-Li,Carol A. SEGER
    2012, 44 (6):  754-765. 
    Abstract ( 732 )   PDF (389KB) ( 1192 )  
    This paper explores the effects of category size expectations on category learning. The expectation effect is the finding that category learning is improved when subjects are told how many items or exemplars are in each category in advance.
    There are three major theories or models of how categories are represented: Rule-based, Prototype-based, and Exemplar-based. Rule-based models assume that category learning is a process of discovering an explicit, verbalizable rule that maximizes categorization accuracy (Ashby, 2005; Seger & Cincotta, 2006). Prototype-based models assume that stimuli are categorized on the basis of their similarity to category prototypes stored in memory (Rosch & Mervis, 1975; Smith, Chapman, & Redford, 2010; Coutinho, Redford, & Smith, 2010). A category prototype is generally defined as the average, or most typical, member of a category. Exemplar-based models assume that the categorization of a new exemplar is based on the similarity of the new exemplar to the representations of all previously encountered exemplars stored in memory (Medin & Schaffer, 1978; Kruschke, 1992; Nosofsky, 1992).
    According to Rule-based and Prototype-based models, people abstract the rule or prototype as their final representation without regard to the total number of exemplars in each relevant category; therefore, knowing how many exemplars are in each category should not affect learning. However, according to Exemplar-based models categories are represented as all the, specific exemplars that have been previously experienced. This implies that knowledge of category size may improve exemplar based categorization learning.
    Two learning conditions, Known condition (KC) and Unknown condition (UC) were compared in this experiment. In KC participants were instructed as to how many total exemplars (9) they would see across both categories. In UC participants were given no information about category size. The “5-4 category structure” from Medin and Schaffer (1978) was adapted in order to be able to identify which kinds of representation the participants were forming: rule, exemplar or prototype. 106 undergraduate students took part in the experiment. During each trial, an individual exemplar was presented, the participant was then asked to decide and indicate which category (A or B) the exemplar belonged to, and finally feedback as to whether the response was right or wrong was provided. Training continued until participants reached a learning criterion of three consecutive blocks with a combined accuracy of 90%, or until they completed 40 blocks (360 trials). A mathematical technique of “Model Fitting” was introduced to analyze the data from experiment. Different models were used to examine whether participants’ responses were best fit by exemplar or prototype models, to identify which features the participants paid attention to, and to identify which categorization strategy participants used.
    The results showed that the expectation effect for category size was significant. Participants who knew the sample size (KC) at the beginning of learning required fewer blocks on average to reach the criterion than the participants who did not know the sample size (UC) in advance; 22 and 27 blocks respectively, t (68)=2.088, p<0.05. This result is consistent with the predictions from the Exemplar-based models but not the Rule-based or Prototype-based models. To explore whether the prototype or exemplar model provided the better account of the participant’s representation, we adopted a mathematical method of parameter estimation (Minda & Smith, 2002) and fitted two models to each participant’s data: exemplar processing was assessed via a five-parameter version of the General Context Model (GCM), and prototype processing was assessed using the Multiplicative Prototype Model (MPM). We found that the fit of the GCM was quantitatively superior to the MPM model for both learning conditions. We also found that the KC group was more sensitive to the diagnostic dimensions of the category than the UC group. Across the blocks of training, the KC group showed three distinct phases of learning: an early phase in which overall accuracy was consistent with a single-rule strategy, followed by a phase in which accuracy was consistent with a rule-plus-exception strategy, and finally a phase in which accuracy was consistent with an information-integration strategies. This three phase pattern was not present in the UC group.
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    The Last Position Superiority Effect of Repetition Stimulus
    LENG Ying,TAN Xiao-Ying,Zeng Qing,CHENG Xiao-Rong,LU Jia-Mei
    2012, 44 (6):  766-776. 
    Abstract ( 668 )   PDF (343KB) ( 1029 )  
    People are adept at identifying short lists of consecutively presented items in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) paradigm. However, they often fail to detect repetitions of items (C1 and C2) when they are separated by one intervening item. This phenomenon is called repetition blindness (RB; Kanwisher, 1987). In the literature, there were mainly two views explaining why and how RB occurred, namely, “activation/inhibition” view and “construction/attribution” view (Morris, Still, & Caldwell-Harris, 2009). Neither view could explain the results from studies supporting the other view. Thus, the present study proposed an Optimization Allocation of Attention Resources Hypothesis. People can allocate attention resources according to the task to get the best recall performance. In a RSVP paradigm with repeated items, people may sacrifice deep processing of repeated items to detect non-repeated items, so RB may be caused by little attention paid to repeated items. According to the hypothesis, RB on the item repeated at the last position in RSVP would decrease because people allocated more attention to the item at the last position than to the item in the middle; no matter the context of the repeated item changed or not, RB would keep constant because people always allocate more attention to non-repeated items than to the repeated item; in a backward recall task, RB would reduce because people allocate more attention to C2 (presented later than C1) to get better recall.
    The present study conducted three experiments with the RSVP paradigm to verify the Optimization Allocation of Attention Resources Hypothesis for RB. In all three experiments, the researchers used a within-subject design with two variables, manipulating Repetition (repeated and non-repeated) throughout the study and changing the other variable. Experiment 1 manipulated Position (middle and last) to investigate how the presenting position affected RB. Experiment 2 manipulated Context (changed and not-changed) to investigate how the context affected RB. Experiment 3 manipulated Task (forward recall and backward recall) to investigate how the recall task affected RB.
    The accuracy rates for reporting C2 in the RSVP paradigm were compared using a two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance for each experiment. In Experiment 1, the results showed a Last Position Superiority Effect of repetition stimulus that the accuracy rate for reporting C2 at middle position was lower than that at last position in both repeated and non-repeated conditions. In Experiment 2, the interaction of Repetition and Context was not significant. And in Experiment 3, the difference of the accuracy rate for reporting C2 between the repeated condition and the non-repeated condition was not significant in the backward report.
    Therefore, the results in the three experiments all supported the Optimization Allocation of Attention Resources Hypothesis. Further, the present study indicated that: 1. The last position superiority had effect on repetition stimulus because of the optimization allocation of attention resources; 2. RB occurred at the report phase, not at the perception phase; 3. The optimization allocation of attention resources hypothesis was better than the construction and attribution theory for explaining the RB.
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    Context Effect or Automatic Process? The Implicit Attitude of Undergraduates to Old People
    REN Na,ZUO Bin,HOU Fei-Xiang,WANG Guo-Ju
    2012, 44 (6):  777-788. 
    Abstract ( 1177 )   PDF (396KB) ( 2757 )  
    Although many studies found that in general negative attitudes toward old people were widespread, in recent research there were evidences showing the negative implicit attitudes toward old people had context effect. Old people were regarded as warm but low-competent, convinced in a stereotype content model. However some researchers discovered that people are more like considering old people having connections with more professional career. So in this study we tried to find out the implicit attitude toward old people from young undergraduate students in the contexts of career, virtue, family and so on.
    There were three experiments in this study. Sixty college students participated in the first experiment, and they had to decide as fast as possible whether the target after a youthful prime or a elderly prime formed a Chinese word or not. Experiment II and III applied a newly developed research method: the Affect Misattribution Procedure (AMP) and the fundamental principle of the method was projection. Its hypnosis was people would feel pleasant after they saw a positive picture, so that they were more likely to judge the ambiguous symbol to be more pleasing than average. Both experiments added context factor into the typical method of the AMP, and they were similar to the AMP used by Scherer & Lambert (2009). The second experiment used words as primes, which was different with the typical AMP in which pictures were used as primes. 126 and 57 undergraduate students participated in the experiment II and III respectively.
    The aim of the first experiment was to discover whether people thought the old were more professional than the youth. The experiment assumed that old people had been more closely connected to the concept of “professional” “experienced” and so on. So the average reaction time for professional words after elderly primes would be shorter than after youthful primes. But the result didn’t show a remarkable difference in terms of the two reaction times. This result implied that participants didn’t consider old people being more competent than young ones in considering of profession. The age factor was significant in the second experiment and it indicated that the participants expressed more negative emotion to old people. The main effect and interaction effect of the context factor were both insignificant. It demonstrated the emotion elicited by elderly primes in the virtue context, common context and the profession context was very similar. The third experiment examined the implicit attitude of young participants to old people in three contexts of sport, number and family. The result indicated subjects showed more negative implicit attitudes toward elderly primes in all three contexts. And the result from horizontal comparison showed that even those targets after neutral number primes was seen as having a better implicit judgment than that after elderly primes. The last two experiments were between-subjects design in which it excluded the possibility of contrast effects when a very strong positive prime (the youthful prime) and a negative prime or a neutral prime (the elderly prime) were appeared together.
    Finally, the participants in the experiment II and III expressed negative feeling toward elderly primes in all of the contexts. This result supported the idea of automatic processing stereotype. Participants did not regard old people as more competent than young people. And the result did not give a support to the conclusion that old people had more positive implicit attitude in terms of virtue. This is not identical with the SCM being based on the explicit methods.
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    Self-Concept Threat and Comparison with Important Others Weaken Self-Face Advantage Altogether
    GUAN Li-Li,ZHANG Qing-Lin,QI Ming-Ming,HOU Yan,YANG Juan
    2012, 44 (6):  789-796. 
    Abstract ( 1116 )   PDF (349KB) ( 2175 )  
    Self-face recognition is an experimental paradigm of self-referential processing wherein people can recognize their own face by distinguishing it from another’s face. Previous research indicates people respond faster to their own than anothers’ face, but mechanisms underlying the phenomenon are not clear. Implicit Positive Association Theory (IPA theory) hypothesizes that self-face recognition and the concomitant self-awareness activate positive attributes in self-concept, which facilitate behavioral responses to self-face recognition. As a result, self-concept threat (SCT) can be used to weaken self-face recognition advantages. Previous research used tasks designed to discriminate face orientation of self and familiars who are so important for us that we couldn’t control us to compare with them when we view them. The present study was aim to further investigate that self-concept threat and the comparison with important others eliminate the self-face advantage altogether.
    Experiment 1 was a ‘self-friend’ comparison experiment in which 10 pairs of participants were recruited based on scores on a friend intimacy questionnaire and responded to self and friend’s face following self-concept threat or non-threat priming procedures. Reaction time and accuracy were measured and analyzed using repeated-measures analyses of variance (ANOVAs) with Hand (left vs. right), Priming (self-concept threat vs. non- threat priming) and Face (self vs. friend) as within-subjects variables. Analyses revealed participants did not respond faster to own-face than the friend’s face after self-concept threat but responded faster to their own-face than the friend’s face after the non-threat priming. Hence, the self-concept threat inhibited self-face advantage when participants responded to self and friend’s face. Moreover, the SCT effect only occurred when responses were made with the left hand.
    Experiment 2 was a ‘self-stranger’ comparison experiment. In which 20 participants were recruited and responsed to self versus stranger faces following a self-concept threat or non-threat priming procedure. Reaction time and accuracy were measured and analyzed as per Experiment 1. Participants responded faster to their own-face than the stranger’s face after self-concept threat and non-threat priming, indicating self-concept threat did not weaken the self-face advantage in the design. Once again, this effect was stronger for the left than the right hand.
    In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that self-concept threat and comparison with important others eliminated the self-face advantage altogether. Isolation of the effect to responses from the left hand may have been indicative of right hemispheric dominates in regulation of self-face recognition.
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    The Context-Dependency of Fairness Processing: Evidence from ERP Study
    WU Yan,ZHOU Xiao-Lin
    2012, 44 (6):  797-806. 
    Abstract ( 969 )   PDF (458KB) ( 1818 )  
    In human society, sharing losses is at least as common as sharing gains. Although the psychological and neural processes underlying the latter have been investigated in depth, those related to the former are not clear. Our recent study demonstrates an increased demand for fairness under adversity (e.g. loss sharing). Here we investigated how our brain encodes unfairness in the loss and gain domains using event-related potentials (ERP) technique. We adopted the Ultimatum Game (UG) to probe the processes related to fairness consideration in either gain or loss domain. In UG, two players, the proposer and the responder, bargain on how to divide a certain amount of money endowed by the experimenter. The proposer suggests a division policy, on which the responder evaluates and decides whether to accept. Upon acceptance, the money is divided as suggested; while rejection results in both players going empty-handed. Participants, as responders, were required to decide whether to accept an offer that was either fair (equal or nearly equal division) or unfair in both gain and loss domain. Offers were either made by the human partner or by the computer partner. Behavioral results replicated our previous findings that the rejection rate of unfair offers was higher in the loss than in the gain domain. ERP results revealed that the N1 amplitude was more pronounced for human partners compared with computer partners, however, this effect was only observed in the gain domain. When interacting with computer partners, unfair offers and offers in the loss domain were associated with larger N350 compared with fair offers and offers in the gain domain, and offers in the gain domain elicited larger P2 than offers in the loss domain, whereas fair offers and offers in the gain domain were associated with larger LPP than unfair offers and offers in the loss domain. In addition, these differences in ERP responses were diminished when the interacting partners were humans. These findings suggest that fairness processing is modulated by the property of the partner and gain-loss domain. In human-computer interaction, unfair offers and offers in the loss domain elicit more inhibition and conflict resolving process, while fair offers and offers in the gain domain are more motivationally significant to human. The present findings support the view that fairness processing is context-dependent, in which factors like gain-loss domain and the property of the partner play a role.
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    The Association Between Time Interval and Future Event Valence: A Mental Construal Process Perceptive
    WANG Xia,YU Chun-Ling,LIU Cheng-Bin
    2012, 44 (6):  807-817. 
    Abstract ( 707 )   PDF (405KB) ( 1587 )  
    Consumers are constantly faced with decisions about the events that over time, and time seems to pervade every aspect of consumptive activity. However, the association between event valence and future time perception as well as the mechanism underlying the effects are still not clear. This study investigates the bi-directional relationship between the event valence and time interval perception and a possible mental construal process that may play a role in the associations.
    This research spans two studies. Study 1 was two 2×2 between-subjects experiments in which we manipulated the time interval (long, short) and event type (high-construal, low-construal). One hundred and four undergraduate students from a major university in Beijing participated in experiment 1a and eighty three undergraduate students from a major university in Beijing participated in experiment 1b. The results showed that the high-construal event was perceived more attractive in distant future, while the low-construal event was perceived more attractive in near future. The results also demonstrated that construal level mediated the impact of time interval on event valence perception.
    Study 2 was designed to investigate the inverse relationship of time interval and event valence. Forty-nine MBA students from a major university in Beijing participated in the study, in which we manipulated the event valence by ending with gain or loss. The results confirm previous research findings that event ending with loss looms shorter than event ending with gain occurred in the fixed time interval. Moreover, the mechanism underlying this effect is mainly driven by the construal level. That is, the event ending with gain will be construed at a high-level, which in turn makes time interval seem longer than the event ending with loss.
    These findings may have some important implications. First, the results extend the scope of construal level theory by showing that the association between event valence and temporal distance is a bi-directional relationship. Secondly, the research provides insights into the mental construal process underlying these effects, which elucidates why event ending with loss looms shorter than that with gain and why temporal distance will have an impact on event valence. Thirdly, the impact of temporal distance on event valence perception depends on the type of the event. The research makes a distinction between the two types of events and investigates the effects respectively, which also offers a new perspective on studying the associations between event valence and future time perceptions. Finally, this research contributes to the construal level literature by identifying event valence as a trigger of construal level variation.
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    Subordinates’ Trust in Supervisors: As a Kind of Willingness of Action
    MA Hua-Wei,YAO Qi
    2012, 44 (6):  818-829. 
    Abstract ( 892 )   PDF (433KB) ( 1816 )  
    Trust within organizations has attracted much attention from researchers in the O/B field. Although regarding trust as willingness to act, a definition proposed by Rousseau, Burt and Sitkin (1998) and Mayer, Davis and Schoorman (1995), has been gradually and widely accepted by researchers, most of the existing trust measures were established based on regarding trust as belief or action. What is more, these trust measures were rarely used repeatedly. The lack of a trust measure consistent with the dominant definition of trust and the little knowledge about the relationships between different aspects of trust (i.e., as belief, willingness and action) have hindered the development of trust research. Given the above shortcomings in trust measurement, the present research focused on subordinates’ trust in supervisors within enterprises and aimed at: First, establishing a validated measure of trust as willingness to act; second, comparing it with existing trust measures and clarifying the relationships between different aspects of trust, Based on the theoretical framework of trust behaviors and outcomes from open-ended questionnaire in pilot study, the Employees’ Trust in Direct Supervisor Inventory (TDSI) was established. In order to test the reliability and validity of TDSI, 412 employees from 4 firms in Tianjin participated Study 1. After robust item analysis, 6 items belonging to 2 dimensions (i.e. reliance and disclosure) were left in TDSI and good psychometric features were demonstrated. Based on the above findings, Study 2 compared the relative validity of TDSI with past trust measures. 553 employees from 8 firms in Tianjin and Zhengzhou participated in Study 2 and completed the TDST, Managerial Interpersonal Trust, Organizational Trust Inventory, Organizational Trust Measure and Job Satisfaction Inventory. Path analysis for latent variables was uses to analyze the data. Findings of competitive models comparisons revealed that: ①Trust as willingness to act was influenced by both cognitive and affective factors; ②trustworthiness partially mediated the relationship between the basis of trust (i.e., cognitive trust and affective trust) and trust willingness; trust willingness fully mediated the relationships between trustworthiness and job satisfaction; ③Trust willingness was the most proximal predictor for trust outcomes among trust relevant constructs (i.e., trustworthiness and basis of trust). Present research not only provided an alternative trust measure for organizational trust research, but also clarified the relationships among trust relevant constructs and corresponding measures, which might facilitate the empirical study on organizational trust.
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    Brand Affect and Brand Trust: Who Actually Cause the Brand Loyalty?A Dynamic Perspective Research
    WANG Hai-Jun
    2012, 44 (6):  830-840 . 
    Abstract ( 1317 )   PDF (340KB) ( 3354 )  
    The topic of brand loyalty has been of great interest to marketing researchers for many years. Previous researchers have recognized both brand trust and brand affect significantly affect brand loyalty judgements. However only a few studies have investigated turstful and affective antecedents of brand loyalty simutaneously. Although previous studies identify the key roles of brand trust and brand affect in influencing brand loyalty, it is important to acknowledge that previous work has largely been static in nature. This represents a significant research gap because it is well established brand loyalty is a dynamic phenomenon and which should be viewed from a dynamic perpective. Based on this background, our study investigates brand loyalty and brand affect simultaneously as dirvers to brand loyalty in a dynamic context. The fundamental proposition of our study is that the roole of trust and affect may change over time. More specifically, we argue that affect plays its strongest role at early stages of brand loyalty development because when the customers are lack of knowledge about the brand. As experience accumulates, however, the impact of brand trust should increase.
    In order to fit this research gap, this research provides a dynamic framework about the influence from brand affect and brand trust to brand loyalty over time. Our sample consisted of 160 marketing students enrolled in a simulative situational restaurant at a large Chinese university. Because the students are very familiar with consumption situation of the restaurant, this sample is particularly relevant and appropriate. We estimated the three regression models by using the maximum likelihood method in SPSS.
    The results of a dynamic experimental study indicate that the impact of brand trust on the brand loyalty evaluation increases and the influence of brand affect decreases over time. Moreover, these effects are attenuated with inconsistent performance experiences. Finally, the study shows that the variance in brand loyalty jointly explained by brand trust and brand affect increases as experience accumulates.
    Several implications follow from our study. Firstly, we illustrate the importance of examining brand loyalty from a dynamic perspective. Secondly, we show that the antecedents leading to brand loyalty vary over time. Thus capturing brand loyalty judgments at only one time may not provide a full picture of the underlying process. Moreover, the result also suggests that marketers should view the brand loyalty from a global perspective, the marketers should take different market strategies according to the changing role of the antecedents of the brand loyalty.
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    Reducing the Country-of-Origin Effects:The Presentation of Products Information Activates the Analytic Process
    WANG Tao,ZHANG Qin,ZHANG Hui,ZHOU Ling,LIU Hong-Shen
    2012, 44 (6):  841-852. 
    Abstract ( 756 )   PDF (485KB) ( 1354 )  
    Previous research on country-of-origin effects has examined the composition of product–country images, and how consumers use country of origin as a cue for determining product quality. While considerable research in marketing has shown that country of origin has a great impact on product evaluations and sometimes it would bias consumer’ product beliefs, less work has focused on how products, especially for those coming from countries with a perceived lower quality, can counteract these effects. Our study addresses this issue and provides managers with a proactive, tangible way of reducing the COO effects. COO can be viewed as a stereotype, which consumers use as a shortcut when evaluating products. Theories about stereotype argue that humans tend to reason following two processing styles: heuristic system that is quick, intuitive and effortless and analytic process which is slow, analytical, and deliberate that occasionally corrects the output of automatic process. Researches suggest that automatic process results in stereotypic thoughts being more accessible in memory. Thus the activation of the analytic process is a possible means to reduce COO effects. Yet to date, how to activate the analytic process to counter the COO effects has been neglected in marketing. We propose that the specific kinds of presentation of products information, which may cause information disfluency, can activate the analytic process in order to reduce the COO effects through reducing the intuitive confidence. Note that not all kinds of presentation of product information can reduce the COO effects; even those which bring a large amount of information disfluency to consumers. As information disfluency increases, the cognitive loads, which hinder the activation of analytic process, also increase.
    To examine the hypotheses, three studies were designed. In study2 and 3, 2 (country of origin: high and low) × 2 (presentation of product information: easy and difficult) between – subject design were adopted. A total of 308 undergraduate students participated in the experiments. CRT test was used to test the activation of analytic process.
    Trough ANOVA analysis, the first study showed the activation of analytic process contributed in reducing COO. In study 2 and 3, the first and the second experiments suggested that certain presentation of products information reduced COO effects through activating the analytic process. In contrast to past studies, the third experiment suggested that not all kinds of presentation of products information had such reducing effect. Moreover, if the presentation was too complicated, it could not reduce the COO effects for the large amount of cognitive load.
    The results showed that COO effects can be reduced by the activation of analytic process. Further, our research showed how the presentation of product information can help reduce the COO effects. In addition, although prior research has suggested that there is positive connection between the information disfluency and the activation of analytic process, our research is the first to show that this positive connection dose not always exist. The activation of analytic process could be weakened when there is too much information disfluency.
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