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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 44 Issue 5 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    The Bi-processing Theory of Text Comprehension and Experimental Evidences
    MO Lei,WANG Rui-Ming,LENG Ying
    . 2012, 44 (5): 569-584.  
    Abstract   PDF (369KB) ( 2137 )
    Text comprehension is one of the most complex and unique cognitive activities of human beings and is also an important way for us to get information. Therefore, information processing in text comprehension has long been a hot topic in the field of psychology.
    To attempt to maintain a both locally and globally coherent text representation, readers need to integrate the information currently being read in text comprehension not only with the contents in their working memory, but also with the relevant information from earlier portions of the text in their long-term memory (background information). Current research focuses on the extent to which readers immediately activate background information and how readers integrate this with incoming information. In other words, the aim of current research is to investigate whether the information processing is initiative, positive and strategic or passive, negative and automatic. Regarding this question, there are three main theoretical perspectives with certain experimental evidences, including the constructivism theory, the minimalist hypothesis and the memory-based text processing view.
    On the basis of summing up the results of research on text comprehension, the bi-processing theory of text comprehension has been proposed to integrate the current controversy. This theory holds that information processing in text comprehension includes coherence-based processing and focus-based processing. Readers should use different methods of information processing according to the characteristics of the materials in text comprehension. The theory also elaborates on text representation and inference in text-reading and forms a complete theoretical frame. A series of experiments has been carried out based on this frame and abundant evidences have been obtained, which greatly enriched the bi-processing theory of text comprehension. In addition, some opinions on the bi-processing theory of text comprehension should be further verified and some questions should receive more attention in future studies.
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    The Non-speech Sounds Affect the Perception of Speech Sounds in Chinese Listeners
    LIU Wen-Li,YUE Guo-An
    . 2012, 44 (5): 585-594.  
    Abstract   PDF (400KB) ( 1259 )
    A long-standing debate in the field of speech perception concerns whether specialized processing mechanisms are necessary to perceive speech sounds. The motor theory argues that speech perception is a special process and non-speech sounds don’t affect the perception of speech sounds. The auditory theory suggests that speech perception can be understood in terms of general auditory process, which is shared with the perception of non-speech sounds. The findings from English subjects indicate that the processing of non-speech sounds affects the perception of speech sounds. Few studies have been administered in Chinese. The present study administered two experiments to examine whether the processing of non-speech sounds could affect the perception of speech segments in Chinese listeners.
    In experiment 1, speech sounds were a continuum of synthesized consonant category ranging from /ba/ to /da/. Non-speech sounds were two sine wave tones, with frequency equal to the onset frequency of F2 of /ba/ and /da/, respectively. Following the two tones, the /ba/-/da/ series were presented with a 50ms ISI. Undergraduate participants were asked to identify the speech sounds. The results found that non-speech tones influenced identification of speech targets: when the frequency of tone was equal to F2 onset frequency of /ba/, participants were more likely to identify consonant series as /da/; when the frequency of tone was equal to F2 onset frequency of /da/, participants had more /ba/ responses, especially for ambiguous intermediate stimuli. The responses of participants showed a kind of spectral contrast effect.
    In experiment 2, speech sounds were two synthesized vowels—/i/ and /a/. Non-speech sounds were two tones and two tone complexes. The frequency of two tones was equal to the F2 frequency of /i/ and /a/ respectively, and the complexes were composed of two tones at the frequencies of the first two formants of the vowel /i/ and /a/ respectively. The ISI between non-speech primes and speech targets was 25ms. Participants were asked to label vowel with /a/ or /i/ quickly. The results found that in the tone-prime condition the identification of vowel /a/ was significantly faster with the frequency-matched prime than with the frequency-clashed prime; in the complex-prime condition, the identification of vowels /a/ and /i/ both showed priming effect.
    The results of experiments 1 and 2 confirmed that the processing of non-speech primes affected the perception of speech sounds (including consonants and vowels) in Chinese listeners. It provided cross-language evidence for the auditory theory of speech perception, and indicated that speech perception experiences a process of pre-lexical spectral analysis and the process is shared with the perception of non-speech sounds.
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    Mechanism of Distractor Processing in Dynamic Inattentional Blindness: Is there Distractor Inhibition?
    YAN Xiao-Qian,LIU Bing,ZHANG Xue-Min,WEI Liu-Qing,ZHAO Xia
    . 2012, 44 (5): 595-604.  
    Abstract   PDF (445KB) ( 1009 )
    Multiple object tracking (MOT) is a paradigm to study visual dynamic information processing. Studies with probe-dot detection task found that there was effective inhibition of the non-targets during the tracking process (Pylyshyn, 2006; Pylyshyn, Haladjian, King, & Reilly, 2008; Flombaum, Scholl, & Pylyshyn, 2008). Some other studies (Most et al., 2001; Most et al., 2005) also found that visual object was often neglected in dynamic information processing, which was called inattentional blindness (IB). Thus, it was proposed that similar processing mechanism underlying the inhibition of the non-targets was involved in the MOT and IB tasks. Some previous researches (Most et al., 2005; Koivisto & Revonsuo, 2008) on dynamic IB did not find the inhibition of the distractors (non-targets and unexpected object). However, in their IB studies, they supposed that only the non-targets that were similar to the targets received inhibition, those that were distinguishable from the targets did not receive inhibition. Thus, maybe their research could not demonstrate whether there was distractor inhibition in dynamic IB task.
    Three experiments were designed in present study to examine selective distractor inhibition in dynamic IB task by controlling the color of the items. In experiment 1, the targets and non-targets were both white circles. If the results demonstrated that detection rate of unexpected black object was higher than that of unexpected white object, then the effect of inhibition was proved, but maybe the salient color feature caused higher detection performance of unexpected black object. In experiment 2, some of the non-targets were set to white circles, and others were black circles. And if participants’ performance on the detection of unexpected black object was better than that of unexpected white object, it suggested that participants had selectively inhibited the processing of the distractors. In experiment 3(a), all the non-targets were set to black circles to get rid of the salience of the color feature. If the results showed that the detection rate of unexpected white object was higher, it would validated the conclusion got from experiment 2, that was, distractor inhibition played an important role while finishing the targets tracking and counting task. And we added another experiment 3(b), in which the color of the items was totally opposite to that of the items in experiment 3(a), to further confirm the research hypotheses. The independent variable in the three experiments was the color of unexpected object (white or black), and there were two dependent variables: participants’ detection rate of the unexpected object on the critical trial and the error rate with which participants counted the number of bounces while the targets moving.
    Results of three experiments showed that participants’ detection rate of unexpected object was higher when the color of the unexpected object was different from the non-targets. The results suggested that we can use the idea of selective distractor inhibition to explain the dynamic IB phenomenon. Participants inhibited the processing of the distractors. As when there were different non-targets, distractors of different color received different level of inhibition; that was, distractors easy to differentiate from the targets in color received much less inhibition.
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    The Transfer of Acquired Spatial Associations Relies on Verbal Working Memory
    WANG Li,CHEN An-Tao
    . 2012, 44 (5): 605-613.  
    Abstract   PDF (321KB) ( 1198 )
    The Simon effect refers to the fact that responses are faster when the stimulus location corresponds to the location of the assigned response than when it does not, which is a robust phenomenon. However, practicing with an incompatible mapping from location to responses can eliminate or even reverse a subsequent Simon effect. But, it is still unclear about how the acquired incompatible association was represented in the working memory (WM). In the present study, we conducted two experiments to investigate this question through using practice-transfer design combined with dual-task paradigm. Subjects first received sufficient practice with an incompatible mapping from location to response, i.e., pressing right key to left stimulus or left key to right stimuli, then were randomly transferred to the single task (only Simon task) or one of two dual-tasks (concurrent spatial WM load + Simon tasks; concurrent verbal WM load + Simon tasks) 5 minutes later.
    In Experiment 1, the dual-tasks were traditional configuration: the stimuli of the verbal WM load task were true Chinese characters, and the stimuli of the spatial WM load task were pseudo-characters. In the two dual-tasks, Subjects were asked to memorize the four locations or the seven characters, and they expected to have a recognition test after having completed the Simon tasks. If the probe was in the same location as one of the pseudo-characters or identical to one of the seven characters presented in the memory display, subjects were to press the “1” key with the left middle finger. Otherwise, they were to press the “0” key with the right middle finger, and the proportions of the two responses were 50% and 50%, respectively. The results showed a reversal Simon effect in the single task, which is consistent with previous findings. Importantly, the results showed that the verbal WM load eliminated the reversal Simon effect, but the spatial WM load had no influence on the reversal Simon effect.
    However, the employment of Chinese characters in the verbal WM load task could be problematical, since it has been demonstrated that Chinese characters may engage spatial processing in addition to verbal processing; on the other hand, pseudo-characters may have some linguistic properties. Therefore, it is premature to conclude that the acquired associations are represented as verbal codes in WM. In order to address the limitations of Experiment 1, in Experiment 2, the stimuli of WM load task were the Chinese characters presented through auditory modality in the verbal WM load task and the pseudo-characters were replaced with black filled squares. The characteristics of these stimuli may ensure that the verbal WM load and spatial WM load occupied the phonological loop and the visuospatial sketchpad of the working memory, respectively. The results showed significant reversal Simon effects in the spatial dual-task, but no normal or reversal Simon effect was observed in the verbal dual-task, which perfectly accords with Experiment 1. Hence, we can confirm that the acquired associations are represented as verbal codes in WM. Straightforwardly, the present study strongly suggested that the transfer of acquired associations relies on the verbal working memory.
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    Evaluative Conditioning: the Role of Display Duration, Valence Intensity and Contingency Awareness
    ZHAO Xian,LI Ye,LIU Li,ZENG Hong-Ling,ZHENG Jian
    . 2012, 44 (5): 614-624.  
    Abstract   PDF (400KB) ( 1071 )
    Evaluative conditioning (EC) refers to the change of an attitude toward an affectively neutral object (conditioned stimulus, or CS), following that the object’s pairing with another positively or negatively valenced stimulus (unconditioned stimulus, or US). EC is theoretically regarded as an associative learning process in associative-propositional evaluation (APE) model, but many controversies have arisen in empirical studies of EC. Some researchers found EC could not occurred without awareness of CS-US contingencies (supports propositional account), but others didn’t. It is also still unclear whether EC relies on much attention or not. Based on propositional account, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of display duration of US, retest the effect of valence intensity, CS-US contingency awareness, and their integrated mechanism on EC, measured by explicit evaluative rating, combined with four-picture recognition test and item-based analyses.
    The hypotheses were tested in a sample of 122 college students (38 males). In a 2(display duration) × 2 (valence intensity) × 2 (CS type) mixed design, with CS type as a within-group factor (CS+ means that CS was paired with positive pictures and CS- means that CS was paired with negative pictures), the participants were randomly assigned to four groups: US short display (120ms)-strong valence, US long display (1000ms)-strong valence, US short display-mild valence, and US long display-mild valence. The CSs were real pictorial trademarks but unfamiliar to the participants. USs were chosen partially from the International Affective Picture System and partially from the Internet. All pictures used in the experiment were selected based on pilot rating of valence. The experiment consisted of four sequential phases: the conditioning phase, evaluative rating phase, four-picture recognition phase and questionnaire phase. The results were analyzed by MANOVA on a global method of statistical analysis (participant-based), and on the participants’ responses to individual items (item-based) which was particularly for contingency awareness. Multiple regression analysis and chi-square test were also conducted.
    Results showed that evidence was obtained for EC effect on the global level, with more positive ratings of CS+ than of the CS-. For display duration, EC emerged only on long display level, M (CS+) = 4. 68, M (CS-) = 3. 86, F (1, 111) = 25. 19, p < 0. 001, 0. 21. For valence intensity, EC was found only on strong valence level, M (CS+) = 4. 57, M (CS-) = 3. 93, F (1, 111) = 14. 57, p < 0. 001, 0. 16. Only the participants who were categorized as “contingency aware” showed significant EC effect. In addition, no effect of demand awareness and inference strategy was obtained. However, contingency awareness neither significantly mediated the relationship between display duration and EC effects, nor that between valence intensity and EC effects.
    This pattern of results partly supported the hypotheses, and emphasized the role of attention and awareness on EC effect. EC relies on US display duration, US valence intensity and CS-US contingency awareness, which in line with propositional account. Results also raise doubts about the views in implicit misattribution mechanism and APE model. EC is unlikely to be an associative evaluation process which requires little cognitive capacity and contingency awareness. Nonetheless, the insignificant mediation effect also indicates that propositional account needs to be further modified.
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    Dissociating the Neural Correlates of Item Retrieval and Relational Retrieval in Between-domain Inter-item Associative Memory: An Event-Related Potentials Study
    LIANG Jiu-Qing,GUO Chun-Yan
    . 2012, 44 (5): 625-633.  
    Abstract   PDF (456KB) ( 855 )
    Binding is an important process in human episodic memory. On retrieval, dual process theory posits familiarity and recollection as two separated processes that contribute to recognition memory. It has been hypothesized that item retrieval bases on familiarity and recollection, whereas relational retrieval employs recollection. ERPs studies on recognition memory have identified two old/new effects that respectively correspond to familiarity and recollection. The mid-frontal old/new effect, occurring at approximately 300~500ms over frontal electrode sites, is attributed to familiarity. The parietal old/new effect, approximately 500~800ms maximal over parietal electrode sites, reflects recollection. According to Van Pettern et al. (2002), there was also an executive process which was reflected by an old/new effect over prefrontal scalp around 700ms after stimulus onset.
    In the present study, we explore the differences between relational retrieval and item retrieval by using the ERPs techniques and following the associative recognition paradigm. 16 college students (7 males, 9 females) took part in our experiment. They studied a series of face-verb pairs presented in sequence. In the test, some face-verb pairs were presented that were encoded together at study (intact), some were presented in which both items were studied but not together (rearranged), and the rest consisted of two new, unstudied items (new). Participants were instructed to determine whether a pair was “intact”, “rearranged”, or “new”. The ERPs for the three categories of correctly-judged responses in the test phrase were averaged separately. Thus we made our hypothesis that the differences between the ERPs of the “intact” and the “rearranged” pairs simply reflected relational retrieval. Also, in the early stage of item retrieval, item familiarity and relational recollection contributed to successful retrieval of the “intact”, whereas old/new effect only reflected the item familiarity of the “rearranged”.
    It was found that old/new effects indicating the “intact” and the “rearranged” were at anterior cortex around 200ms after the stimulus, more obvious at all cortex from 300ms to 500ms, but prominent at prefrontal and frontal cortex from 700ms to 1400ms. However, relational old/new effect distributed over frontocentral-central- parietal areas in each time windows.
    It could be inferred that item old/new effect and relational old/new effect occurred at the same time, the relational retrieval employing recollection occurred much later than item retrieval, and the late anterior item old/new effect could be related to executive processes of prefrontal cortex.
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    Six-year-old Children’s Ability on Category Learning: Category Representation, Attention and Learning Strategy
    LIU Zhi-Ya,SONG Xiao-Hong,Carol A. SEGER
    . 2012, 44 (5): 634-646.  
    Abstract   PDF (371KB) ( 1629 )
    This paper explores 6-year-old children’s category representation and learning strategies. Category learning is a fundamental ability through which human beings acquire and organize new knowledge about the world (Ashby, 2005), and is critical for normal cognitive development.
    There are three major theories or models of how categories are represented: Rule-based, Prototype-based, and Exemplar-based models. Rule-based models assume that category learning is a process of discovering an explicit rule to maximize accuracy (Ashby, 2005; Seger, 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).
    Previous studies suggest that 6-year-old children have developed some ability to use category knowledge to solve problems (Wilburn & Feeney, 2008; Sloutsky & Lo, 1999; Sloutsky & Fisher, 2001). Furthermore, several critical aspects of category learning are acquired at this age. Fang, Fang, & Xi (1991) pointed out that 6-year-old is a critical period for children to learn to understand the relation between the whole and the part of a subject. Yin (1996) further suggested that 6 years is an important age to learn superordinate categories (for example, the category “furniture”).
    Two category structures were used in this study. Experiment 1 used the “5/4 category structure” from Medin and Schaffer (1978) and experiment 2 used the “3/3 category structure” from Yamauchi, Love, & Markman (2002). The category structures were adapted in order to be able to identify which kinds of representation the children were forming: rule, exemplar or prototype. 62 6-year-old children took part in the experiments. During each trial, an individual exemplar was presented, the participant was asked to infer and indicate which category (A or B) the exemplar belonged to, and feedback as to whether the subject was right or wrong was provided. After a number of such trials of inference and feedback, participants reached the learning criterion and were considered to have formed new category knowledge. A mathematical technique of “Model Fitting” was introduced to analyze the data from two experiments. Different models were used to examine whether childrens’ responses were best fit by exemplar or prototype models, to identify which features the children paid attention to, and to identify which classification strategy children used.
    Experiment 1 showed that 6-year-old children were able to learn the 5/4 categorization task and reach criterion. Model fitting analyses of category representation found that these children tended to form exemplar representations rather than prototype representations. On measures of distribution of attention, 6-year-old children could identify and pay more attention to the more typical dimensions. Finally, when learning strategy was examined, 6-year-old children used either a single-dimension or rule-plus-exception strategy to classify the items. Experiment 2 using the 3/3 task found similar results to experiment 1, but further found that 6-year-old children could not integrate their processing of the most important distinctive dimensions across the two categories. This result was consistent with the findings of Inhelder & Piaget (1958), and Anaki & Bentin (2009) that 6-year-old children could not process information across different categories.
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    The Effect of Social Support and Social Identity on the Relationship Between Perceived Discrimination and Socio-cultural Adjustment Among Chinese Migrant Children
    FAN Xing-Hua,FANG Xiao-Yi,LIU Yang,LIN Xiu-Yun,YUAN Xiao-Jiao
    . 2012, 44 (5): 647-663.  
    Abstract   PDF (510KB) ( 2719 )
    Presently in China, there are about 19.82 million children under 18 years who migrated with their parents from rural areas to the cities. Literature suggested that a majority of migrant children once suffered discrimination from some of urban residents and their schoolmates.
    It is widely accepted that exposure to discrimination is a risky factor for psychological and behavioral problems and there are several theoretical perspectives to explain how stigma influences individual adaptation. For instance, Phenomenological variant of ecological systems theory is presented as a theoretical framework to integrate issues of context (eg. discrimination), coping, and identity in human development. Social support deterioration model indicates that certain types of events, especially traumatic or stigmatizing events, lead to a decrease in effective social support, which further leads to an increase in psychological distress. Social identity theory suggests that recognition of dominant group discrimination against one’s social group increases in-group identification in an effort to maintain a positive self-image.
    This study was aimed to explore the effect of social support and social identity on the relationship between perceived discrimination and socio-cultural adjustment among Chinese Migrant Children. We would examine four hypotheses: (1) Perceived discrimination was negatively correlated with socio-cultural adaptation; (2) Social support would partially mediate the association between perceived discrimination and socio-cultural adaptation; (3) Social identity would moderate the relation between perceived discrimination and socio-cultural adaptation; (4)The mediating effect of social support could be moderated by social identity.
    Based on cluster sampling, 1164 migrant children from 5 public schools and 1 migrant children school in Beijing were recruited to participate in this study. Data of demographic information (including gender, grade, school types, social economic status), perceived discrimination, social support, social identity (including native vs. resident identification), and socio-cultural adjustment were collected through a self-administrated questionnaire. The data were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA or MANOVA), Pearson correlations and hierarchical linear regression.
    Results were as follows: (1) The perception of being discriminated was not obvious among migrant children and their socio-cultural adaptation was good in general; (2) Socio-cultural adjustment could be significantly predicted by perceived discrimination with the β coefficient being -.39; (3)Social support had partial medicating effect on the negative relation of perceived discrimination and socio-cultural adaptation; (4)Resident identification intensified the relationship between perceived discrimination and socio-cultural adaptation, which was attenuated by native identification otherwise; (5)The mediation of social support was moderated by social identity, i.e., social support was a moderated mediator.
    The results of this study suggested that the theoretical perspectives of phenomenological variant of ecological systems theory, social support deterioration model and social identity theory could be supported in our sample of migrant children. Furthermore, the results implicated some advisable measures for future intervention in discrimination against migrant children, i.e., it is quite important to reduce their stigma perception, to increase their social support and to maintain medium level of native identification and resident identity in coping with discrimination in order to improve migrant children’s socio-cultural adjustment.
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    Changes in College Students’ Mental Health: A Cross-Temporal Meta-Analysis
    XIN Zi-Qiang,ZHANG Mei,HE Lin
    . 2012, 44 (5): 664-679.  
    Abstract   PDF (564KB) ( 3588 )
    What changes have taken place in Chinese college students’ mental health since the resumption of college entrance examination in 1977? Many researchers tried to answer this question by using the Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90). However, these researchers drew different conclusions: someone found that college students have significantly decreased in mental health since the 1980s and they were a high risk group, while others found that college students’ mental health was good in general and has become better since then. Generally speaking, the traditional meta-analysis is an available method to solve these controversies; it can obtain a general conclusion by re-analyzing studies published before. However, it is a pity that these meta-analysis studies still arrived at conflicting conclusions about college students’ mental health, mainly due to their neglect of publication year effect and using different norms. Given this neglect, Twenge (2000, 2001, 2004, 2011, etc.) introduced a special meta-analysis named cross-temporal meta-analysis, which has been applied to examine the change in mean scores on psychological measures over time.
    Using the cross-temporal meta-analysis, the present study examined the changes of Chinese college students’ scores on the SCL-90 in the past 25 years (1986~2010). Two hundred and thirty-seven samples of college students (N = 318972) were included in the data. The analysis not only included the description of the nine factorial mean scores of the SCL-90 changing over time as a whole, but also included the changes of different groups separately.
    The results showed that: (1) Correlations between SCL-90 mean scores and year of data collection were negative, and the year could explain 4%~36% of the total variation of the nine factorial mean scores. The SCL-90 factorial mean scores have decreased 1%~13% from 1986 to 2010, with factorial mean scores of interpersonal sensitivity, depression and hostility decreasing more significantly. These results suggested that Chinese college students’ psychological problems have decreased and their mental health has been improving gradually over the past 25 years. (2) The correlation between year and college students’ mental health was different from group to group. First, year of data collection accounted for more variations for post-freshmen than freshmen, suggesting that the increase of college students’ mental health was mainly due to post-freshmen. Second, year of data collection accounted for more variations for key than non-key universities, suggesting that the improvement of college students’ mental health was mainly due to those from key universities. Third, although most of male students’ factorial mean scores of the SCL-90 were lower than that of female students, the changes over time of male students were higher than that of female students, that is, male students improved more rapidly than female students in mental health. Fourth, though college students from urban areas have slightly lower scores than college students from rural areas on the dimensions of the SCL-90, the changes over time of college students from urban areas were partly higher than college students from rural areas, suggesting that the mental health of college students from urban areas improved more rapidly than college students from rural areas.
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    Attentional Biases Toward Food-Related Information Among Restrained Eaters Based on the Goal Conflict Model of Eating
    WENG Chun-Yan,CHEN Hong,ZHU Lan
    . 2012, 44 (5): 680-689.  
    Abstract   PDF (333KB) ( 1759 )
    A considerable number of studies have identified selective attentional biases toward food-related information in restrained eaters. However, to date, the nature of information-processing biases that differentiate successful from unsuccessful restrained eaters has yet to be clarified. Based on Stroebe’s (2008) goal conflict model of eating, the current study was designed to investigate components of attentional bias among successful restrained eaters, unsuccessful restrained eaters, and non-restrained eaters under two conditions: a hedonic goal condition and a restrained goal condition. We hypothesized that within the hedonic goal condition, rapid avoidance would be observed in successful restrained eaters and disengagement difficulties would be displayed among unsuccessful restrained eaters. Conversely, within the restrained goal condition, rapid avoidance of palatable food cues would be present within both categories of restrained eating.
    From an initial sample of 907 Chinese undergraduate women, we recruited 60 successful restrained eaters, 60 unsuccessful restrained eaters and 60 non-restrained eaters based on scoring cut-offs from the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (van Strien et al., 1986; 2007) to participate in dot probe research. In Experiment 1, a hedonic goal was activated prior to the dot probe task that featured palatable and neutral cues. Results of 3 (Group) × 3 (Prime Location) × 2 (Food Palatability) analyses of variance indicated disengagement difficulties related to palatable food cues among unsuccessful restrained eaters, rapid avoidance of these cues among successful restrained eaters, and no biases in responses to palatability cues among non-restrained eaters. In Experiment 2, a restrained goal was activated subliminally following hedonic goal activation before the dot probe task. Among unsuccessful restrained eaters, disengagement difficulties and rapid avoidance of palatable food cues. In successful restrained eaters, only rapid avoidance was shown.
    In conclusion, results indicated that successful restrained eaters showed a tendency to avoid palatable food cues while unsuccessful restrained eaters showed a tendency to approach to palatable food cues. On this basis, researchers should consider the distinction between successful and unsuccessful restrained eating when assessing attentional biases corresponding to restrained eating.
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    The Effect of Suppressing Negative Emotion on Economic Decision-making
    WANG Qin,BAI Xue-Jun,GUO Long-Jian,SHEN De-Li
    . 2012, 44 (5): 690-697.  
    Abstract   PDF (333KB) ( 4390 )
    Emotion suppression is a form of emotion regulation defined as the conscious inhibition of emotionally expressive behavior while emotionally aroused. Previous research has shown that inhibiting emotionally expressive behavior leads to depletion of self-regulatory capacities and increased sympathetic activation of the cardiovascular system. Evidence from decision-making research has indicated that the cognitive-affective component was modulated by the attributes of options when making choice. This process was monitored by the individual and required an effort of self-regulation. Drawing from a limited-resource model of self-regulation, we predicted that emotion suppression would impact the subsequent decision making task due to the depletion of the self-regulatory capacity.
    The study was designed to investigate the effects of emotion suppression and its influence on the behavioral responses of respondents in the ultimatum game, using methods of psycho-physiological experiments. Participants were 20 female and 20 male college students. Ten negative pictures were presented to all the participants. Half of them were instructed to suppress their emotions and the other half simply watch the pictures, and then all the participants were instructed to play as the responders in the ultimatum game presented on the video monitor. Physiological measures were collected continuously throughout the whole procedure. Emotional states before and after watching the pictures were assessed by using a self-report inventory, which contained 5 emotional states: amusement, anger, disgust, fear and sadness. The experimental design was a 2×2×4 mixed factorial, in which group condition (no-suppression, suppression) varied between subjects, and game rival (human, computer) as well as money proposals (¥5:¥5、¥7:¥3、¥8:¥2、¥9:¥1) varied within subjects.
    The results showed that: (1) the Repeated Measure ANOVA for the self-report variables did not reveal any effects with respect to group condition, indicating that the suppression instructions did not impact the emotion self-reports. (2) participants under the suppression condition showed more increases in skin conductance, however, the heart rate did not show the significant differences across the suppression manipulation. (3) there were no sex differences in the effects of suppression. (4) the interaction between group condition and money proposals on subjects’ acceptance rate in UG was found, which indicated that the behavior of the game players as they responded to an unfair proposal was influenced by suppression manipulation.
    In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that suppression had no effect on self-reported experiences of negative emotions. Inhibiting negative emotion-expressive behavior led to increased sympathetic activation characterized by increased skin conductance activity. Emotion suppression had a significant influence on the UG decisions: participants in the emotion suppression condition, when faced with unfair offers, were more likely to refuse the offer.
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    The Effect of Brand Name Suggestiveness on Consumer Decision Making:The Moderating Roles of Consumer Need for Cognition and Expertise

    SUN Jin, ZHANG Hong-Xia

    . 2012, 44 (5): 698-710.  
    Abstract   PDF (517KB) ( 3456 )

    Brand name is considered as a major asset for a firm. A good brand name can enhance brand awareness and serve as an important means to build brand equity. One emerging research area in branding is about the suggestiveness of brand names. Prior research shows that a suggestive brand name conveying descriptive or persuasive information about the product category can better induce consumers’ favorable brand evaluations than nonsuggestive brand names. However, little research has examined the impact of consumers’ individual characteristics on the effectiveness of suggestive brand names. Our research investigates this very issue. Specifically, we aim to examine how consumers’ individual characteristics (i.e., expertise and need for cognition) interact with brand name suggestiveness in inducing consumers’ ad attitude, brand attitude, and purchase intention. We hypothesized that a suggestive brand name would only lead to more favorable ad attitudes, brand attitudes and purchase intention than nonsuggestive brand names among consumers of low expertise and those with low need for cognition. We also examined the three-way interaction among expertise, need for cognition, and brand name suggestiveness. We hypothesized that the interaction between need for cognition and brand name suggestiveness depends on the levels of consumer expertise.
    Three experimental studies were conducted to examine the above predictions. The first study 1 employed 2 (brand name suggestiveness: suggestive vs. nonsuggestive) × 2 (expertise: high vs. low) between-subjects design with 128 university students. The results of ANOVA analysis indicated that, compared with nonsuggestive brand name, low expertise consumers showed more favorable ad attitudes, brand attitudes, and purchase intention towards the suggestive brand name. Study 2 employed 2 (brand name suggestiveness: suggestive vs. nonsuggestive) × 2 (need for cognition: high vs. low) between-subjects design with 144 university students to investigate the role of consumer need for cognition in affecting the use of suggestive brand name. The results showed that consumers had more favorable ad attitudes, brand attitudes, and purchase intention for a suggestive brand name (vs. nonsuggestive brand name) only among consumers with low need for cognition, not among those with high need for cognition. Study 3 examined the three-way interaction among brand name suggestiveness, consumer expertise, and need for cognition with 299 university students. The results showed that, for consumers of low expertise, a suggestiveness brand name (vs. nonsuggestive brand name) generated more favorable ad attitude, brand attitude, and higher purchase intention regardless of the level of need for cognition. However, for consumers of high expertise, the interaction effect between brand name suggestiveness and need for cognition was not significant. That is, the main effect of brand name suggestiveness was nonsignificant either in the low or high need for cognition group. As expected, for consumers of moderate expertise, the interaction effect between brand name suggestiveness and need for cognition was significant; and the suggestive brand name superiority effect depends on the level of need for cognition.
    The results across the three studies provide new insights into the research on brand name suggestiveness by showing the moderating effects of individual cognitive characteristics (i.e., expertise and need for cognition) in the construction of consumer preferences. Besides the theoretical contributions, the present research also offers important implications for managers on advertising strategies and the optimal use of meaningful brand names in building brand equity.

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