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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 44 Issue 3 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    Spatial Representation of Negative Numbers Induces Spatial Shifts of Attention
    ZHANG Yu,YOU Xu-Qun
    . 2012, 44 (3): 285-294.  
    Abstract   PDF (349KB) ( 1549 )
    The SNARC Effect (Dehaene, Bossini, & Giraux, 1993; Dehaene, Dupoux, & Mehler,1990) and Spatial Shifts of Attention (Fischer, Castel, Dodd, & Pratt, 2003; Casarotti, Michielin, Zorzi, & Umiltà, 2007) indicate that there are tight connections between number processing and representation and space. These discoveries, however, are only regarded with positive numbers presently, there are few effective experimental studies or evidence on the mechanism of the processing and representation of negative numbers with 0, or on the connections between negative numbers and space.
    For a lack of effective experimental methodology (Fischer, & Rottmann, 2005; Nuerk, Iversen, & Willmes, 2005; Fischer, 2003), it is less than possible to set up research to investigate the secrets behind the processing and representation of negative numbers with 0. As a result, there’s no persuasive answer to the questions about whether there are connections between negative numbers and space; or whether the low level processing of negative numbers with 0 can induce Spatial Shifts of Attention. The present study, including 3 effective experiments by using stimuli detection task with number cues, was to investigate the connections between negative numbers with 0 and space, and the mechanism of the processing and representation of negative numbers and 0, through observing if the low level processing of negative numbers can induce spatial shifts of attention, and whether it depends upon their magnitude or absolute value.
    Experiment 1 was a within-subject design of 2 (target side: left and right) × 2 (magnitude of cueing number: small and large) × 6 (variable delays: 50 ms, 100 ms, 200 ms, 300 ms, 400ms and 500 ms). Results from Experiment 1, in which only negative numbers were included, showed that left (right) targets were detected significantly faster than right (left) ones when numbers with small (large) absolute value were preceded, revealing spatial shifts of attention depending upon absolute value of negative numbers. Experiment 2 was a 2 (target side: left, right) × 5 (number magnitude: quite small, small, medium, large, quite large) × 6 (variable delays: 50 ms, 100 ms, 200 ms, 300 ms, 400 ms, or 500 ms) within-subject design, in which both positive and negative numbers, and zero were mixed as cues, showed that left (right) targets were detected significantly faster than right (left) ones when numbers with small (large) magnitude were preceded, revealing spatial shifts of attention depending upon their magnitude, therefore, there is a mental number line extending to the left side of zero, and representing numbers depending upon number magnitude. Experiment 3 was a 2 (target side: left, right) × 3 (number magnitude: small, large, 0) × 6 (variable delays: 50ms, 100ms, 200ms, 300ms, 400ms, or 500ms) within-subject design, in which only negative numbers with 0 were designed as effective cues, although still cued by the whole mix of all negative, 0 and positive numbers as numbers preceding the targets, subjects were only requested to respond to targets preceded by effective cues (negative numbers and 0), while not respond to targets preceded by non-effective cues (positive numbers). Consistently, spatial shifts of attention depending upon number magnitude were successfully induced by processing effective cueing numbers (-8, -9, -1, -2,0). By ensuring that the minus signs were processed with the numbers holistically, it can be put that there can be a low-level processing of negative number magnitude to some extent of automation.
    As a whole, the present study suggested that low level processing of negative numbers as cues can induce spatial shifts of attention, whether it depends upon their magnitude or absolute value, however, seems to depend upon the task requirement and the inter-influence from other involved numbers in the task; there are connections between negative numbers, 0 and space; there can be a low-level processing of negative number magnitude to some extent of automation; the forming and representing of mental number line is dynamic and flexible to fit the task requirements, mental number line, therefore, can extend to the left side of zero, while representing number magnitude.
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    The Observing to Conflict Occurrence Can Induce the Conflict Adaptation
    TANG Dan-Dan,LIU Pei-Duo,CHEN An-Tao
    . 2012, 44 (3): 295-303.  
    Abstract   PDF (410KB) ( 1583 )
    The conflict-driven adaptation in performance has been well documented in the color-word naming Stroop task (Stroop, 1935). The Stroop interference on the current trial is significantly reduced when following an incongruent trial in comparison to a congruent one (Gratton, Coles, & Donchin, 1992). This pattern of sequential adaptation effect, which improves performance following conflict, is named as conflict adaptation effect. In previous studies, both repetition priming effect and the proportion of congruent items have been investigated. There were not investigations having obtained significant conflict adaptation effect when the ratio of incongruent to congruent trials was 50/50 without repetition priming. However, those investigations which have obtained significant conflict adaptation usually utilized a high conflict design where incongruent trials are infrequent (incongruent items: congruent items = 20:80 or incongruent items: congruent items = 25:75) compared with congruent trials. Thus, it is still unclear what determines the presence of the conflict adaptation effect. The present study included three experiments using the color-word Stroop tasks to investigate how the response execution and the conflict observation affected the conflict adaptation effect.
    In the three experiments, “D”, “F”, “J”, and “K” keys were pressed when the color of the Chinese characters were RED, GREEN, YELLOW, and BLUE, respectively. In Experiment 1, twenty-seven healthy undergraduates were tested with a color-word Stroop task. All trials began with a fixation presented for 500 ms, followed by a blank interval of 300~500 ms (500~800 ms for Experiments 2 and 3) randomly. Next, a colored character was presented until a key was pressed or for 1,500 ms whichever came first. Then, a blank interval of 800~1,200 ms was presented with the interval randomly. Each participant completed one practice block and four experimental blocks. In Experiment 2, twenty-nine healthy undergraduates were tested with choice reaction time (RT) task and color-word Stroop task. The apparatus and procedure were the same as Experiment 1 except that the four white lowercase letters “d”, “f”, “j”, “k” were used as choice RT task. In Experiment 3, twenty-six healthy undergraduates were tested using the similar task with Experiment 1; however participants did not need to execute response in the previous trials which were cued with “*”. A two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to analyze the RTs and error rates in the three Experiments.
    The results showed that the interaction between previous trial types (congruent vs. incongruent) and current trial types (congruent vs. incongruent), which was thought to index the conflict adaptation effect, was not significant in Experiment 1, which was consistent with the extant studies. Similarly, a significant interaction between response transition (change vs. repetition) and current trial types (congruent vs. incongruent) was present in Experiment 2; however the current congruency effect was affected by the preceding response execution context in a reversed way. By comparison with response change, the Stroop interference on the current trial was significantly reduced when repeating the same response as the previous trial. Interestingly, a significant conflict adaptation effect was obtained using the new design in Experiment 3, suggesting that the absence of previous response benefited the presence of conflict adaptation effect.
    In contrast to some recent evidences, our new design does develop the traditional ways of investigating conflict adaptation effect. The present results suggest that the conflict adaptation effect was distorted by the response execution of the previous trials. To obtain pure conflict adaptation effect, it is necessary to exclude response execution in the previous trials. Thus, the observation of conflict favors the presence of the conflict adaptation effect.
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    The Characters of Social Information Coding Among High School Students Who Struggle with Suicidal Ideation
    GONG Huo-Liang,WANG Xue-Zhi
    . 2012, 44 (3): 304-313.  
    Abstract   PDF (344KB) ( 2369 )
    Suicide is among the leading causes of death among adolescents in China. Suicidal ideation is the early psychological activity of suicide attempts and actual acts of suicide. Clinical studies suggest that 80 percent of suicides show some forms of suicidal ideation. Therefore, analyzing the adolescents’ suicidal ideation and actively intervening their suicide attempts become one of the major measures to prevent them from committing suicide.
    Researches on the detection rate of the adolescents’ suicidal ideation, influential factors, and interventions from the perspectives of psychology, physiology, and sociology deepen our understandings of suicidal ideation among adolescents. However, at present, researches in the field mainly focus on the origin of teenagers’ suicidal ideation and interventions on the manifestations of the suicidal ideation. There are few systemic researches on the mental mechanism of adolescents’ suicidal ideation from the point of the social information coding.
    The current research surveyed 3014 high school students by questionnaires and interviews, selected 306 participants based on their responses, and examined three aspects of social information coding (i.e., reaction time to passive or active vocabulary, perceptual processing, and semantic processing) among these adolescents. For the adolescents who got high marks (HM group) on the Positive and Negative Suicide Ideation Scale (PANSI), the reaction time of the detection stimulation on passive vocabulary is significantly shorter than that on active vocabulary; whereas for adolescents who got low marks (LM group) on the PANSI, the reaction time of the detection stimulation on passive vocabulary is significantly longer than that on active vocabulary.
    On the perceptual processing level, no significant differences were found between the number of passive, active and neutral words the participants could recall among either HM group or the LM group.
    On the semantic processing level, the number of active words that the HM group adolescents can recall is significantly lower than LM group adolescents; however, the number of passive words that the HM group adolescents can recall is significantly higher than LM group adolescents.
    In summary, that current study suggests that the adolescents with higher level of suicidal ideation have attentional bias for passive words, whereas the adoelscents with lower level of suicidal ideation have attentional bias for active words; both of the groups have no bias for specific words on the perceptual processing level. However, the two groups have entirely different biases for specific words on the semantic processing level.
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    Sex Differences in Extinction Return of Conditioned Fear Memory
    SUN Nan,WEI Yi-Ming,LI Qian,ZHENG Xi-Fu
    . 2012, 44 (3): 314-321.  
    Abstract   PDF (364KB) ( 1952 )
    Posttraumatic stress disorder is a kind of anxiety disorder which developed after severe trauma. Conditioned fear model is the most emblematical model of posttraumatic stress disorder. At the present time, the most effective therapy is the exposure therapy which uses extinction training to repress the conditioned fear memory. However, some of the PTSD patients were having relapses after the exposure therapy, these relapses were later named as the extinction return.
    An experiment was designed to research for sex differences in the extinction return of conditioned fear memory. Forty normal students participated in the experiment, including 20 females and 20 males. Before the actual experiment, the participants had to attend the extinction training session; the participants were trained to consciously establish and extinguish the connection between neutral stimulus and repugnant stimulus. The experiment consisted of pre-exposure, acquisition, extinction, and test phases. The pre-exposure phase required the participants to understand the procedure. In the acquisition phase, the participants would acquire the conditioned fear response via the connection of the neutral stimulus and the repugnant stimulus. In the extinction, the neutral stimulus would be presented alone without the repugnant stimulus. Four hours later, test phase was to examine whether the extinction return would be found, and whether males or females performed differently on the acquisition and extinction of conditioned fear memory.
    The results were as following: (1) The participants were observed to have obvious extinction return overall when they were tested after 4 hours later during the extinction phase. (2)The extinction return in females was much more significant than in males. (3)The females tended to acquire the conditioned fear memory more effectively and extinguish more slowly than males. But the difference is not significant.
    The results of this study suggested that the extinction return was a general effect and sex difference does exist. This phenomenon might be found after each extinction effect. Since females seem to suffer from more extinction returns than males do, it is important for the consultants to extend the follow-up period for the female patients after the exposure therapy.
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    The Effect of Lipoposaccharide on Depressive-like Behavior Induced by Forced Swim Stress
    PAN Yu-Qin,LIN Wen-Juan,WANG Dong-Lin,SUN Han
    . 2012, 44 (3): 322-329.  
    Abstract   PDF (576KB) ( 832 )
    Stressful events engender multiple neurochemical and depressive-like behavior alteration as well as immune activation. Administration of lipoposaccharide (LPS), which is known to activate immune functions and to induce the release of several cytokines both in the periphery and brain, also could engender depressive-like behavior alteration as same as stress. Many researchers paid attention to the effect of stress on immune activation. But few researches were related to the effect of activated–immune on the depressive-like behavior induced by stress. To further understand the role of immunity-activation induced cytokines in behavioral depression, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of single administration of LPS prior to stress on depressive-like behavior induced by forced swim stress in rats. Forty-two rats were randomly divided into four groups: LS group (swim + LPS, n=12), LC group (LPS + control, n=10), AS group (saline +swim, n=10), AC group (saline + control, n=10). On the first experiment day, according to groups, rates were injected intraperitoneally with LPS 50ug/kg and saline respectively. After 2h, LS and AS group rats were conducted forced swim stress for 14 days. On the 2end day, the 14th day, the 21st day and the 28th day, rats were tested with saccharin preference test, open field, elevated-plus maze. The results showed that saccharin preference percent, locomotion in open field, closed arms entries in elevated-plus maze in LS group were significant lower than that in AS group on the 2end day. On the 14th day, LS and AS group rats had fewer saccharin preference percent and locomotion than AC group rats. On the 21st day, LS group rats had significant decrease compared with AC group in saccharin preference percent and locomotion behavior. These results demonstrate that a series of easily onset and longer duration of depressive-like behavior was observed in LS group rats. It suggested that LPS-induced pro-inflammation cytokines may have synergistic and additive effects on depressive-like behavior induced by stress, there may be a cross-sensitization between them to cause depression.
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    The Expression of Prostate Apoptosis Response-4 in Striatum of A Rat Model of Depression Induced by Chronic Stress
    ZHU Xiong-Zhao,PENG Su-Fang,ZHANG Sheng,ZHANG Yi,CAI Lin
    . 2012, 44 (3): 330-337.  
    Abstract   PDF (410KB) ( 683 )
    Chronic stress may induce depression, but the mechanism is unclear. Previous studies suggested that dopamine system, especially dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) may be involved in, and prostate apoptosis response-4 (par-4) may be the link point between DRD2 and depression. The aims of this research are to detect the expression of par-4 in striatum of a rat model of depression induced by chronic stress, and to explore whether DNA methylaion is involved in the regulatory mechanism of par-4 expression.
    Newborn rats were randomly divided into two groups, when they grew up to ten weeks, the experimental group rats (n = 17) accepted chronic mild stress for 3 weeks, while the control group rats (n = 17) received no experimental handle. Their depressive level was assessed with forced swimming test and sucrose consumption test; the mRNA expression of par-4 and DRD2 in rats’ striatum was detected by Real-Time PCR; the protein expression of par-4 was detected by western blot; and the DNA methylation level of par-4 was investigated by bisulfated DNA sequencing.
    The result showed that the float time of experimental rats was longer than the control rats (t = 4.01, p < 0.05), and the sucrose preference rate of experimental rats was reduced compare with the control rats (t = -2.93, p < 0.05). The par-4 and DRD2 mRNA expression of experimental rats were lower than the control rats (t values were -3.56 and -2.507 respectively, p < 0.05), and the fold changes of par-4 and DRD2 mRNA expression in experimental rats compared to control rats were 0.33 and 0.33 respectively. The par-4 protein expression of experimental rats was decreased compared with the control rats (t = -4.92, p < 0.05). However, there was no significant difference between two groups in methylation level of par-4 promoter region (t = -0.26, p > 0.05).
    These results suggest that chronic mild stress could induce the depressive behaviors of rats and suppress the expression of par-4, but DNA methylation seems to be not involved in the regulatory mechanism.
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    The Effects of Haloperidol on Neuronal Firing in Rats Anterior Cingulate Cortex During Cost-Benefit Decision-Making Tasks
    YUAN Shui-Xia,XU Hui,LI Xia,GU Kai,ZUO Yang-Fan,LU Qin-Qin,DAI Shu-Fen,YU Ping
    . 2012, 44 (3): 338-353.  
    Abstract   PDF (1209KB) ( 639 )
    There many studies have demonstrated that anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the level of dopamine (DA) in this brain area play a critical role in effort-based decision-making, a kind of cost-benefit decision-making. It has been found that haloperidol, a DA D2 receptor-antagonist, could disrupt the performance of rats in effort-based decision-making tasks. The present experimental study used on-line multi-channel neuronal recording technique to record both the neuronal firing frequency and local field potentials (LFPs) in ACC when rats were performing effort-based decision-making tasks. We further investigate the effects of haloperidol on performance of rats.
    All rats (10 Wistar rats) were surgically implanted with a 2×8 microelectrode array in ACC before they learned behavioral task. After 1 week of recovery, rats were introduced to T-maze for training periods. There were two choices in this task, rats could choose to get two food pellets at the end of one arm without any barrier (low cost-low reward, LCLR) or by climbing a barrier (high cost-high reward, HCHR) to get four pellets at the end of the other arm.
    After training for a period of time (about 2 weeks), eight of ten rats preferred choosing HCHR. Electrophysiological research found five characteristic types of neuronal firing, and a great majority of ACC neurons showed significantly higher firing when to choose HCHR. Compared to control group (saline, 0.5ml, i.p), injection of haloperidol (0.1mg/kg, i.p) significantly decreased the ratio of choosing HCHR, which made the characteristic firing of ACC neurons disappear and reduced LFPs of ACC. This indicates that haloperidol impaired the function of effort-based decision-making. No movement disorders or decreased appetite were observed through out experiments.
    In conclusion, the present study recorded activities of individual neurons in ACC when rats were performing decision-making tasks. We also studied the impact of haloperidol on the performance of rats. This study confirmed that ACC and actions of D2 receptor are very important in modulating effort-based decision-making.
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    Preliminary Exploration on the Structure of the Concept of Integrity
    WU Ji-Xia,HUANG Xi-Ting
    . 2012, 44 (3): 354-368.  
    Abstract   PDF (696KB) ( 2340 )
    The concept of integrity is greatly valued by people in all societies, and it is drawing more and more attention from psychological researchers in recent years. However, the present research on the trait of integrity is still lack of systemization and integration. No convincing conclusion has been arrived in terms of the core of the concept of integrity for Chinese. In consistent with qualitative research paradigm, the present study indigenously explored the structure of the trait of integrity in Chinese population. Following the principal of purposive sampling, 10 participants (faculty members and graduate students in the west and east areas) were selected and interviewed in the pilot study. After the pilot study, 15 participants were selected and interviewed in the formal study. Among these formal participants, 6 were females and 9 were males, representing groups born in different era (e.g., 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s), with different educational level (i.e., from elemental school to doctoral education) and different work lines (e.g., clerk, merchant, school teacher, etc.). In-depth interviews were conducted by one interviewer between 30 to 90 minutes for each participant and were recorded with participants’ consent. Following the standard procedure of grounded theory, interview data was then transformed to electronic text and analyzed with Nvivo8.0. In the results, four aspects related to the trait of integrity were discussed:
    (1) Qualitative research path of integrity: in the results 292 open codes and 7 selected codes were generated. Based on these codes, one axis code was formed and was named “trait of integrity and its structure”. Two related theories were also constructed: 1) the trait of integrity is consisted of four factors; 2) The relation and structure of the four factors.
    (2) The trait of integrity is consisted of four factors: honest, credibility, trust and responsibility. In a short word, integrity is honest and trustworthy.
    (3) Levels of the factor of responsibility: the inner connections among the four factors, and their interaction with the external environment determine the integrative structure of the four factors.
    (4) Limitation of the present study: satisfactory preliminary indices of reliability and validity of the present study were obtained. However, the exterior validity still waits for further exploration since it is usually limited in qualitative studies. Nevertheless, the theory regarding the factor composition, inner relationship and structure of the trait of integrity obtained from the present study is meaningful in both theory and practice. The future studies may develop a scale to further explore the structure of the trait of integrity for Chinese, with an aim to testify the results obtained from the present study. In this way, the exterior validity of the present study may be developed.
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    The Effects of Decision Makers’ Roles and Related Variables on Risk Preferences
    DUAN Jing,LIU Yong-Fang,HE Qi
    . 2012, 44 (3): 369-376.  
    Abstract   PDF (385KB) ( 2593 )
    Many studies have examined the self-other decision making bias, but few have considered the role of self-esteem in the bias. Conversely, many studies have examined how self-esteem affects risk preference, but almost none have considered the impact of the decision maker’s role. In addition, these studies made few allowances for the gain and loss frameworks of decision tasks.
    In this study, the complex relationships among decision makers’ roles, self-esteem, and the frameworks of decision tasks are explored. 111 undergraduate subjects with high or low self-esteem were asked to either make decisions for themselves or make decisions for others on a risk preference questionnaire involving twelve items under gain or loss task frameworks. Implicit self-esteem levels were tested with IAT technology.
    The results of the experiment show that (1) Subjects were more willing to take risks when making decisions for others than when making decisions for themselves in the gain framework but not in the loss framework; (2) Subjects were more willing to take risks when making decisions for others than when making decisions for themselves if they had low implicit self-esteem but not if they had high implicit self-esteem; (3) There was no significant interaction between task framework and level of implicit self-esteem, and no significant interaction among task framework, level of implicit self-esteem, and decision maker’s role.
    These results support the general findings from Hsee & Weber (1997); Liu, Chen, Lu, and Wang (2010); and Xu and Xie (2011), but they are inconsistent with the findings from Wallach and Wing (1968); Stone, Yates, and Caruthers (2002); and Guo et al. (2010). The complicated interactions among task framework, level of implicit self-esteem, and decision maker’s role are discussed based on the relevant findings.
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    Relative Deprivation and Social Adaption: The Role of Mediator and Moderator
    MA Ai
    . 2012, 44 (3): 377-387.  
    Abstract   PDF (438KB) ( 2504 )
    Deriving from R. Merton’s Anomie Theory, innovation and rebellion as two kinds of the social adaption are viewed as the strongest predictors of collective behavior, mass crime and mass disturbance. However, few empirical studies have been done to explore the relation between them and psychological variables. The aim of this study is to investigate the associations between relative deprivation and innovation and rebellion. Furthermore, through examining the mediating role and moderating role of attribution style in the associations between relative deprivation and innovation and rebellion. The present study also examine the moderating role of rebellion in the associations between relative deprivation and innovation.
    To test these hypotheses, the Relative Deprivation Questionnaire, Social Adaption Questionnaire, Attribution Questionnaire were administered to 6175 valid subjects.
    The results indicate: (1) The positive predicting effect of relative deprivation on innovation was significant. (2) The positive predicting effect of relative deprivation on rebellion was significant. (3) Attribution style served to partially mediate the association between relative deprivation and innovation, and also partially mediate the association between relative deprivation and rebellion. (4) As a moderator, attribution style strengthened the positive relation between relative deprivation and rebellion. (5) As a moderator, rebellion weakened the positive relation between relative deprivation and innovation in the lower social stratum.
    In sum, it could be concluded that relative deprivation played a positive predicting effect on social adaption. Attribution style partially mediated the relationship between relative deprivation and social adaption. Rebellion weakened the immediate impact of relative deprivation on innovation in the vulnerable group.
    These findings highlight the important role of relative deprivation and attribution style to the anomie social adaption, which may provide the policy makers with some implication in preventing collective behavior, mass crime and mass disturbance.
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    The Influence of Transformational Leadership on Voice Behavior: Mediating Effect of Psychological Ownership for the Organization and Moderating Effect of Traditionality
    ZHOU Hao,LONG Li-Rong
    . 2012, 44 (3): 388-399.  
    Abstract   PDF (479KB) ( 1790 )
    Voice behavior, which refers to the expression of challenging but constructive opinions, concerns, or ideas about work-related issues, plays a critical role in organizations since organizations become increasingly rely on innovation and quick responses to survive in the rapidly changing markets and severe competitions. Although recent studies on voice behavior have started to recognize the importance of leaders, few empirical efforts have been made to explore the role and mechanism of leadership in shaping employees’ voice behavior. In the present study, we tried to examine the influence of transformational leadership on voice behavior dimensions of speaking up (voice to supervisor) and speaking out (voice to colleagues). Based on the theory of psychological ownership, we expected that psychological ownership for the organization (POO) would mediate the effect of transformational leadership on voice behavior. With the consideration of Chinese traditional value, we also hypothesized that traditionality would moderate the relation between POO and voice behavior. Specifically, the effect of POO would be stronger for employees with low traditionality.
    Data were collected from 373 dyads of employees and their immediate supervisors. The employees were asked to complete a questionnaire package assessing transformational leadership, POO and traditionality and their immediate supervisors were asked to rate employees’ speaking up and speaking out. Theoretical hypotheses were tested by structural equation model (SEM).
    Results of SEM analysis revealed that transformational leadership had a significant positive influence on both speaking up and speaking out. POO mediated the relation between transformational leadership and voice behavior. As a moderator, traditionality weakened the positive relation between POO and voice behavior.
    The present study, with dyadic design, provided robust evidence for the role of supervisors’ transformational leadership in facilitating subordinates’ speaking up and speaking out. Furthermore, the present study highlighted the mediating effect of POO and the moderating effect of traditionality. In terms of practical implications, given the importance of transformational leadership for employees’ voice behavior, more training efforts should be made to develop managers’ transformational leadership. Meanwhile, organizations should strengthen employees’ POO in order to promote voice behavior. Considering Chinese traditional value, it should be worthy trying for managers to control their authoritarianism and inspire positive team climate for the purpose of encouraging employees’ voice behavior.
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    Dynamic and Comprehensive Item Selection Strategies for Computerized Adaptive Testing Based on Graded Response Model
    LUO Fen,DING Shu-Liang,WANG Xiao-Qing
    . 2012, 44 (3): 400-412.  
    Abstract   PDF (817KB) ( 728 )
    Item selection strategy (ISS) is a core component in Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT). Polytomous items can provide more information about examinee compared with dichotomous items, and adopting polytomously scored items in test is a research direction of CAT. As we know, the most widely used ISS is the maximum Fisher information (MFI) criterion, which raises concerns about cost-efficiency of the pool utilization and poses security risks for CAT programs. Chang & Ying (1999) and Chang, Qian, & Ying (2001) proposed two alternative item selection procedures, the a-stratified method (a-STR) and the a-stratified with b blocking method (b-STR) based on dichotomous model, with the goal to remedy the problems of item overexposure and item underexposure produced by MFI. However, the technology of a-STR and b-STR is static because the items are stratified according to the given information at the beginning of test. Based on graded response model (GRM), a technique of the reduction dimensionality of difficulty (or step) parameters was employed to construct some ISSs recently. The limitation of this dimension reduction technique is that it loses a lot of information. Thus, in order to improve MFI, two new item selection methods are proposed based on GRM: (1) modify the technique of the reduction dimensionality of difficulty (or step) parameters by integrating the interval estimation; (2) dynamic a-STR and dynamic b-STR methods are implemented in the testing process. On one hand, these new ISSs can avoid and remedy the limitations of MFI and make good use of the advantages of the Fisher information function (FIF); FIF compresses all item parameters and ability parameters, so it is a comprehensive tool for all parameters in nature.On the other hand, the new ISSs employ the property that FIF could represent the inverse of the variance of the ability estimation, let ε be the square root of the reciprocal of the Fisher information, d be the absolute deviation between the estimate ability and the function of the parameters of an item, which may be chosen and could be changed during the course of CAT, the inequality of d<ε has the form of interval estimation, and its utility could be imaged as a more flexible shadow item pool.
    A simulation study based on GRM was conducted. Four item pools of different structures were simulated, and 1000 examinees was generated and their abilities were randomly drawn from the standard normal distribution N (0,1). Each pool consists of 1000 polytomous items and the maximum score of each item was randomly selected from set {3, 4, 5, 6}. In this paper, we assume the prior distribution of ability is standard normal and the Bayesian expected a posteriori (EAP) is employed to estimate the ability parameter. The CAT test stopped when the accumulative information satisfies the pre-determined value M (M=16) or reaches the pre-assigned test length 30.
    The results of the simulation study show that the new item selection methods required shorter test lengths and lower average exposure rates than the other methods, while maintaining the accuracy of ability estimation. More specifically, the new ISSs which applied the idea of the interval estimate were better than the correspondent ISS in terms of the Chi-square value. And the same effect appeared when comparing the dynamic a-STR and dynamic b-STR ISS with MFI. Some important results are also found by comparing different structure of item pool. The accuracy of ability estimation and item exposure rate were related to the distribution of the difficult parameters b, that is, the accuracy of ability estimation obtained from the condition in which b was sampled from N (0,1) was better than that when b was sampled from uniform distribution. The conclusion of item exposure rate is on the contrary. Also, the test length was related to the distribution of the discrimination parameter a, the test length required by the condition in which a was sampled from uniform distribution was shorter than that when the logarithm of a was sampled from N (0,1). In a word, in terms of controlling and balancing the item exposure, the new ISSs may gain an advantage over the former correspondent ISS.
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    Challenge and Contribution of Cultural Psychology to Empirical Legal Studies
    LIU Bang-Hui,PENG Kai-Ping
    . 2012, 44 (3): 413-426.  
    Abstract   PDF (438KB) ( 2149 )
    Empirical legal studies can benefit from the research findings of cultural psychology to understand the fundamental principles of law. Research findings in cultural psychology have shown that Eastern Asian cultures and North American cultures differ significantly in value orientations, moral judgments and cognitive styles. East Asian values emphasize collectivism and North American values emphasize individualism. East Asians moral reasons are centered on the principles of duties and responsibilities whereas North American moral reasons are centered on the principles of autonomy and justice. East Asian cognitive styles tend to be more holistic, focusing on context, backgrounds and relations and the North American cognitive styles tend to be more analytic, focusing on objects, categories and dispositions.
    Such cultural differences have profound implications in legal understanding and legal practices, as laws are human machinery and are subject to the influence of human values, moralities and cognition. Mounting evidence in cross-cultural legal studies has shown East and West differences in causation inquiry, responsibility judgments, contract formation and mediation practices. Research indicates that East Asian causal reasoning is less likely to make the fundamental attribution error as North Americans do. East Asians’ responsibility judgments, compared with North Americans’, involve more contextual information (such as moral judgments) than the law actually warrants. East Asians’ contract formation may be more based on relational obligations than the North Americans’, which are rule based. The compensation judgments by East Asians appear to be based on the consequence whereas judgments made by North Americans seem to be based on intention judgments. East Asians also prefer mediation in conflict resolutions while North Americans prefer litigation in conflict resolutions.
    We argue that these differences could influence people’s understanding, construction and use of laws in fundamental ways. As the law attempts to further understand people, and as theorists continue to evaluate how human life and law influence each others, scholars in both psychology and law must challenge themselves to reflect on the law’s substantive and procedural standards being applied in different cultural groups.. We hope our paper can generate enough interests among Chinese psychologists and legal scholars to start the journey towards finding solutions that both considers cultural psychology’s empirical findings and effectuates our legal ideals. The cross-culture empirical legal studies hence not only provide a new paradigm for legal scholarship but also provide theoretical guidance for advancing Chinese legal studies in global stages as well as in resolving international legal disputes between people from China and other countries.
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