ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    30 September 2011, Volume 43 Issue 09 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    Specific Contribution of Intuition to Implicit Learning Superiority
    GUO Xiu-Yan,JIANG Shan,LING Xiao-Li,ZHU Lei,TANG Jing-Hua
    2011, 43 (09):  977-982. 
    Abstract ( 1274 )   PDF (238KB) ( 2818 )  
    An impressive human talent is the ability to acquire complex structures and regularities in the surroundings implicitly. Indeed, it is this cognitive ability that has prompted a host of noted researchers to raise some questions about the nature of the implicit learning. It is repeatedly revealed that implicit (incidental) learning had its superiority over explicit (intentional) learning when participants were carrying out the artificial grammar learning task. Specifically, memorization instruction induced better classification performance than rule-searching instruction. There currently is debate, however, whether this implicit learning superiority is due to the specific contribution of unconscious structural knowledge, i.e., guess or intuition. That is, whether the contribution of unconscious structural knowledge is limited to incidental learning, or it can be applied generally to all situations, including intentional learning under rule-searching instructions?
    To tackle this issue, the present study examined the contribution of conscious and unconscious structural knowledge for incidental and intentional learning by structural knowledge measurement. A 2 learning mode (incidental vs. intentional) between-subject design was adopted. During the learning phase, participants were presented with 144 letter strings which were generate from a finite-state grammar under two learning conditions. Incidental learning group was required to memorize each string, whereas intentional learning group was asked to search the rule underlying the strings. After that, they were asked to classify a new set of strings according to whether the string followed the same pattern or structure as the strings presented before.
    It turned out that: 1) incidental learning group exhibited significantly better performance than intentional learning group, indicated implicit learning superiority, 2) the accuracy of intuition responses for incidental learning group was significantly higher than intentional learning group, which implied a specific contribution of intuition to implicit learning superiority.
    To conclude, this finding gave a plausible answer to aforementioned question. The contribution of unconscious structural knowledge is limited to incidental learning, which leads to implicit learning superiority.
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    The Mental Representation on Three-Dimensional Object Recognition: Dependent or Independent on the View
    LIAN Ling,YOU Xu-Qun
    2011, 43 (09):  983-992. 
    Abstract ( 730 )   PDF (447KB) ( 1310 )  
    Object recognition refers to a decision about whether an object has been seen before. Recognition involves generalization across shape, size, spatial relation, location, view and illumination. The view has been the focus of the debate in many recent object recognition studies. The object-centered theory assumed that object recognition is a qualitative representation of an object in terms of its three dimensional primitives (for example, geometrical ion) and their spatial relationships, independent on the view. By contrast, the view-centered theory posited that object recognition is dependent on the view. It is view-specific, or represented in an egocentric frame of reference. It might contain information about illumination, colour, material and depends systematically on experience with specific views of an object.
    We decided to investigate the roles of structural information and view information in object recognition, with specific emphasis on the potential separability of the shape and the rotational ways of the view in object perception, as predicted by the view-centered theory.
    In the current study, made 3D objects as experimental materials according to the idea of Biederman’s small geons; used the priming paradigm; adopted identify task; participants were required to judge whether two objects are the same or not. The effect of the 3D object recognition on the PC (part-changed) or RC (relation-changed) distractors is studied in Experiment 1. A 6 (view: -30°, 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, 180°) × 4 (compound mode: DoDv, DoSv, SoDv, SoSv) × 2 (task: indirect, direct) mixed design is utilized in Experiment 2. The rotations were clockwise by 90°and 180°in picture-plane level, and the rotations were counter clockwise about the vertical axis by -30°, 30°and 60° in depth. In the indirect task, those participants were told to respond ‘same’ if two pictures appeared at any view. In the direct task, those participants were told to respond ‘the same’ if two pictures appeared only at the identical view.
    The results confirmed our hypothesis. In Experiment 1, the speed of object recognition in repeat prime was faster than those in the part prime and the spatial relation prime, there was a significant difference between the RTs of the part and spatial relation prime. In Experiment 2, ANOVA revealed the main effect of the RTs of the rotational view, compound mode and task type, as well as a significant view-by-mode, mode-by-task interaction. Especially, the RTs in the SoSv mode are shortest. That is, the view prime effect was found in two tasks. The size of priming effect is affected by the rotational ways of the object.
    Based on these results, we concluded that (1) the speed of 3D object recognition was influenced by the shape of part and the categorical spatial relation, which suggested that the object-centered theory was rationality. (2) The view information was independent on the shape information, and the depth rotation was better than the picture-plane rotation, which suggested that the depth rotation phenomenon can be better explained by the view-centered theory. The findings not only provided experimental evidence for object recognition, but also shed light on the object theory.
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    The Compensatory Mechanism of Focus of Attention Switch in Working Memory: The Experimental Evidence from Deaf Students and Articulatory Suppression
    XUAN Bin,LIU Zhen-Hui,ZHANG Ai-Qing,SUN Xiao-Kai
    2011, 43 (09):  993-1001. 
    Abstract ( 788 )   PDF (392KB) ( 1224 )  
    Focus of Attention (FOA) switch is one of fundamental executive functions in working memory. Previous results suggested that the visual-spatial sketch pad was recruited in attention switch of verbal working memory. In the present study, we examined the behavioral patterns of attention switch with the visual-spatial sketch pad when the phonological loop was suppressed by deaf students and articulatory suppression.
    By using “tri-count” task, we compared the performance of FOA switch between deaf students and hearing students (Experiment 1). The result showed the RT of FOA switch was longer than that of no switch both in the two groups. Compared with hearing students, the accuracy of switch task was lower; and the RT difference between switch and no-switch was shorter in deaf students. In addition, switch direction did not affect RT, but a significant interaction between switch direction and distance was found in deaf students. The RT of close switch is faster than that of far switch in downward switch, but the RT of close switch is slower than that of far switch in upward switch. We further compared the performance of attention switch between articulatory suppression group and no suppression group (Experiment 2). A similar but subtle different pattern was found between articulatory suppression group and deaf students.
    The current result suggested the central executive of working memory shows high flexibility. The FOA switch with the visual-spatial sketchpad can exhibit different pattern when the phonological loop has been suppressed. Comparing with the condition of the temporal suppression, functional compensation is observed in permanent suppression.
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    The Position Effects of the Phonological and Orthographic in Chinese Word Production
    YIN Cong,WANG Juan,ZHANG Ji-Jia
    2011, 43 (09):  1002-1012. 
    Abstract ( 952 )   PDF (355KB) ( 1789 )  
    Researchers have conducted lots of studies on the masked onset priming (MOP) effect in different languages such as French, Dutch and English. However, there are rare studies on this phenomenon in the field of Chinese at present. Two theories have been proposed to explain this phenomenon including a response competition hypothesis within a dual route framework and the speech-planning account. One of the main discrepancies of the two theories is the locus of the MOP effect: whether it arises during grapheme-to-phoneme conversion or at the level of phonological encoding of the speech response. Once pure phonological and orthographic effect can be separated from MOP effect, the locus where the effect arises would be clear: if only phonology was involved in MOP effect, MOP effect may arise at the level of phonological encoding; by contrast, MOP effect may arise during grapheme-to-phoneme conversion, if there was a orthographic effect, as well.
    In experiment 1, types of the primes (phonemic, syllabled, or unrelated primes) and position of the (Shengmu or Yunmu) were used to test the pure phonological effect. The picture naming was facilitated by Shengmu much more than Yunmu, which indicated a pure phonological effect in MOP effect. What’s more, the different priming effects between different positions indicated that (1) phoneme instead of syllable is the least unit in phonological encoding; (2) a serial process was involved during phonological encoding; (3) the syllable is provisionally formed just before the speech production.
    In experiment 2, the pure orthographic effect was tested by using left-component prime and right-component prime. It showed that right-component has more facilitation effect than left-component prime which is just contradict to the prediction of MOP effect, which indicated there was no orthographic factor in this effect.
    Experiment 3 adopted picture-word interference paradigm to prove the finding of orthographic position effect in experiment 2. Result showed that right–components of interference words produced stronger prime effect than left-components. The superiority of right-component priming could be attributed to the fluency Chinese readers’ knowledge that left-components of Chinese characters indicate the meaning of while right- components indicate the pronunciation.
    In short, MOP effect is a pure phonological effect. Thus the effect arises at the level of phonological encoding and the final results support the speech - planning account for MOP effect.
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    CHEN Sui-Qing,ZHANG Ji-Jia,XIAO Er-Ping
    2011, 43 (09):  1013-1025. 
    Abstract ( 751 )   PDF (481KB) ( 1047 )  
    Stuttering, speech fluency disorder, is divided into developmental and acquired stuttering. With the accumulation of research evidence and improvement of research means, the researchers found that there were different speech recognition, speech muscle movements and brain activity between persons who stutter (PWS) and persons who do not (PNS). Therefore, more people started to believe there might be some intrinsic stuttering speech defects. Multi-factorial model of stuttering specify variables that are hypothetically linked to speech motor instability or breakdown, including memory load, syntactic complexity or speaker anxiety. Researchers have launched studies on semantic encoding and syntactic encoding for those PWS, in addition to their phonological encoding defect. Two different experiments were conducted in the present study to investigate the semantic encoding performance of PWS in picture-word interference paradigm which is used to examine the semantic encoding and phonological encoding of speech production.
    In Experiment 1, PWS and PNS performance were examined in basic-level and category-level naming task. Each of these target pictures has two conditions including semantically related condition and unrelated condition (e.g. the target picture “dog” was accompanied by the word “cat” in semantically related condition and by the word “pear” in the unrelated condition). All pictures came from Snodgrass and Vanderwart. In basic-level naming, Participants were instructed to ignore the context word and name the target pictures (basic level naming) or to name the category of the pictures (category-level naming task) as fast as possible while maintaining accuracy. In Experiment 2, the time process of semantic interference impacting on PWS was discussed with different SOA conditions (-200 ms, -100 ms, 0 ms). All participants, including PWS and PNS, were tested individually on computers with the same basic-level naming task as that used in Experiment 1.
    Results showed semantic interference effect in the basic-level naming, while a relatively stronger effect occurred for PWS than for PNS, especially in the -100 ms and 0 ms SOA condition. In contrast, similar semantic facilitation effect occurred for both PWS and PNS with the category-level naming task. These results indicated that the semantic encoding of PWS was delayed, and this process was possibly flawed.
    Basing on above results, we claimed that PWS were possibly flawed with semantic encoding, and selecting, morpheme extraction, speech coding, and movement execution. This study supported the Multi-factorial model of stuttering and the Two-step Interactive Activation Theory of spoken word production. At the same time, the study has important implications on diagnosis and treatment of stuttering, embodying high theoretical and practical value.
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    Perceived Social Competence of Resilient Children
    XI Ju-Zhe,ZUO Zhi-Hong,SANG Biao
    2011, 43 (09):  1026-1037. 
    Abstract ( 1533 )   PDF (419KB) ( 2823 )  
    This study aims to 1) explore how resilient children perceive their social competence and self-efficacy in comparison with nonresilient ones, 2) examine the difference in discrepancy between explicitly-perceived and real social competence between the two groups, and 3) unveil the group difference in implicitly-perceived social competence.
    A converging technique was used to assess the severity of stresses/adversities and multiple aspects of psychosocial functions in 523 primary and middle students (from grade 3 to 8); 99 and 176 children were identified as resilient and nonresilient, respectively. The children’s explicitly-perceived social competence was measured by the Perceived Competence Scale for Children (PCSC) and the Self Efficacy Scale (SES), their implicitly-perceived social competence by Implicit Associate Test (IAT). Scores of real social competence were obtained by multi-information and multi-dimension methods. Descriptive statistics, (partial) correlation, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), and (M)ANCOVA were adopted to compare the explicitly- and implicitly-perceived social competence, self-efficacy, explicitly-perceived and real social competence discrepancy in resilient children to their nonresilient counterparts.
    Results indicated that resilient children had higher total scores than nonresilient children both on PCSC (F(4,266)=4.58, p=0.001) and SES (F(2,270)=11.07, p<0.001), with significant group differences in PCSC’s subscale of cognitive competence (F(1,269)=16.09, p<0.001), social competence (F(1,269)=4.06, p=0.045), and general self-worth (F(1,269)=7.45, p=0.007), as well as in SES’s subscale of general self-efficacy (F(1,271)= 21.93, p<0.001), except physical competence subscale of PCSC (F(1,269)=0.53, p=0.468) and social self- efficacy subscale of SES (F(1,271)=1.76, p=0.185). Children’s explicitly-perceived social competence and psychosocial functions proved to be significantly intercorrelated (r=0.56, N=499, p<0.001). In addition, this study showed that nonresilient children tended to have perceived social competence close to (t(174)=0.68~1.33, p>0.05), but interestingly, statistically uncorrelated with (r=0.02~0.08, n=175, p>0.05) their real social competence, while resilient children tended to perceive their social competence lower than (t(97)= –4.54~–3.11, p<0.01) but positively correlated to (r=0.24~0.36, n=98, p<0.05) their real social competence. Substantial differences were also found in the discrepancy of explicitly-perceived and real social competence (F(1,271)= 10.72~18.28, p≤0.001) and in that of incompatible and compatible IAT task response time (F(1,146)=4.41, p<0.037) between the two groups.
    In conclusion, resilient children had higher perception of their social competence and self-efficacy in general than their nonresilient peers. The discrepancy between explicitly-perceived and real social competence differed between the two groups. Resilient children tended to perceive themselves as more competent than the nonresilient according to IAT. The characteristics of self-perception of social competence in resilient children and their implications for development of resilience were discussed.
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    The Influence of Novelty Seeking Behavioral Trait on Ethanol Induced Stimulatory Effects in Mice
    JIAO Jing-Jing,LI Xin-Wang,CUI Rui-Si,ZHU Xiao-Lin
    2011, 43 (09):  1038-1044. 
    Abstract ( 661 )   PDF (391KB) ( 988 )  
    Novelty seeking or sensation seeking is often associated with susceptibility to substance abuse. In preclinical studies, high and low novelty seeking animals show different sensitivities to locomotor stimulating, rewarding and reinforcing effects of drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, amphetamine and morphine. It is well known that chronic alcohol consumption can result in alcoholism; however, little is known about the relationship between novelty seeking behavioral trait and propensity to alcoholism. The present study examined the relationship between novelty seeking and the response to acute or repeated ethanol treatment using locomotor activity as the behavioral endpoint. Adult male KM mice were categorized as HR (high responders in novel environment) and LR (low responders in novel environment), or HOP (high object preference) and LOP (low object preference) based on their activities in a novel environment and novel object preference. After baseline activity measurements, subjects were tested daily after i.p. injections of either ethanol (2g/kg/d) or saline for 10 days. Two days later, ethanol (2g/kg) was re-tested in all animals. LR mice were more sensitive than HR mice to acute and chronic ethanol induced hyperactivity. When challenged with ethanol 2 days after repeated ethanol treatment, the locomotor stimulating effect of ethanol was more robust in LR mice than in HR mice. No such difference was observed in HOP mice and LOP mice. In conclusion, locomotor activity in a novel environment may predict the locomotor stimulating effects of ethanol in KM mice.
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    Hippocampal NMDA Receptor is involved in Chronic Stress Induced Depressive-Like Behaviors via SP-NK1 Receptor Pathway
    DONG Su-Ping,XU Chang,YUAN Ting-Ting,AN Shu-Cheng
    2011, 43 (09):  1045-1054. 
    Abstract ( 816 )   PDF (482KB) ( 1150 )  
    Stressors markedly influence central neurochemical and hormonal processes and thus play a pivotal role in the occurrence of depressive illnesses. As the center for stress response and the potential target for stressful provocation, hippocampus is becoming a focus in depression research. Although a large number of behavioral paradigms have been proposed as animal models of depression, only a few are considered as potentially useful research tools with sufficient validity. The most accepted one is chronic unpredictable mild stress rodent model, in which rats were subjected chronically and unpredictably to a variety of stressors including immersion in cold water, tail pinch, day and night reversed and so on. There are several theoretic mechanisms for depression, such as monoamine neurotransmitter imbalance theory, neural plasticity theory, but none of them can fully elucidate the formation of depression. Due to weakness of the antidepressant-like effect of monoamines, glutamate (Glu) and its receptors, especially N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor, and neuropeptides such as neuropeptide Y (NPY), substance P (SP), are drawing closer attention in recent years. Here, we are attempted to explore the interaction between Glu/NMDA receptor and SP/neurokinin 1 (NK1) receptor in chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS)-induced depression.
    CUMS-induced depression model was established in 250~300g weighted 90-day old Sprague-Dawley rats. Intrahippocampal microinjection of NK1 receptor antagonist CP-96345, NMDA receptor agonist NMDA or NMDA receptor antagonist MK-801 was performed under stereotaxic guide cannula. The body weight of rats was weighed on the 1st, 7th, 14th, and 21st days during the experiment. The behavioral conducts were observed by means of sucrose consumption test, open field test and tail suspension test. The substance P (SP) and glutamate (Glu) content in hippocampus were separately determined by High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). One-way ANOVA, LSD and repeated measures in SPSS were used in datum analysis.
    Our data suggest that CUMS significantly induced the depressive-like behaviors in animals and the content of SP and Glu in hippocampus had increased significantly. Microinjection of NMDA into hippocampus resulted in similar animal depressive-like behaviors and an increased SP content compared to the CON/SAL group. Intrahippocampal injections of CP-96345 or MK-801 had effectively improved the depression-like behaviors induced by CUMS, and the elevation of SP level in hippocampus was attenuated in MK-801 injection, whereas Glu level remained unchanged in CP-96345 injection.
    Our results imply that hippocampal NMDA receptor may contribute to chronic stress induced depressive-like behaviors via SP-NK1 receptor pathway, of which, chronic stresses can induce excessive release of Glu which consequently increases the synthesis and release of SP through over-activation of NMDA receptor, ultimately, over-released SP aberrantly activates its NK1 receptor.
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    Effects of Acute Aerobic Exercise of Different Intensity on Executive Function
    CHEN Ai-Guo,YIN Heng-Chan,YAN Jun,YANG Yu
    2011, 43 (09):  1055-1062. 
    Abstract ( 1303 )   PDF (325KB) ( 2108 )  
    Executive functions are important for successful adaptation and performance in real-life situations. Physical exercise has been broadly recommended as a major non-pharmacological measure to improve executive functions throughout one’s life. But some fundamental questions still remain, such as at what degree of intensity physical exercise can be effective. As far as this paper is concerned, few studies have been done on the effects of acute aerobic exercise of different intensities on executive function. The present study attempts to investigate the effects of acute aerobic exercise of different intensities on college students’ executive function.
    The present study adopts a mixed design involving 30 college students (15 male, 15 female) as the subjects, who are supposed to fulfill three tasks, namely, the Flanker task, the 2-back task and the More-odd shifting task in each stage of the experiment. Meanwhile the exercise-induced changes in executive functions, i.e. inhibition, updating and shifting, will be recorded respectively at the four different stages in terms of intensity degrees: a baseline, a light cycling exercise, a moderate cycling exercise and a high cycling exercise. The time interval between any two stages of the experiment is no less than 7 days and the order of the four stages in the experiment are counterbalanced among the participants in order to minimize the potential practice effects.
    It is found that acute aerobic exercise of different intensities has significant effects on college students’ executive function, specifically, inhibition: F(3,84) = 2.76, p<0.05; updating: F(3,84) = 18.78, p<0.01; shifting : F(3,84) = 18.25, p<0.01. It is also found that the effects of acute aerobic exercise on executive function are not significant from the perspective of gender, specifically, inhibition: F(3,84) = 0.55, p>0.05; updating: F(3,84) = 1.53, p>0.05; shifting: F(3,84) = 0.46, p>0.05.
    These results suggest that the effects of acute aerobic exercise on executive functions are significantly influenced by intensity, but not by gender. The present study not only confirms the previous assumptions about positive effects of acute aerobic exercise on executive function but also carries the research a step further by looking into the effects of acute aerobic exercise of different intensities on executive functions. In this sense, the findings of the present study may serve as a basis for a more comprehensive aerobic exercise program of improving cognitive abilities.
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    The Relationship Between Economic Confidence and Career Decision Making Self-efficacy of College Students: The Moderator Effects of Attribution and Proactive Personality
    KUANG Lei,ZHENG Wen-Wen,LIN Chong-De,YANG Meng1, LIU Li
    2011, 43 (09):  1063-1074. 
    Abstract ( 1658 )   PDF (450KB) ( 3624 )  
    The global financial crisis which broke out in 2008 has landed the world economy in a difficult situation. Undoubtedly, the employment of Chinese college students has also been influenced by the ongoing crisis. In this time of hardship, confidence is regarded as an invaluable asset to face the challenge. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between college students’ economic confidence and their self-efficacy to be employed, which was operationally defined as career decision making self-efficacy (CDMSE) in the study, to examine the moderating roles of locus of control and proactive personality between the two, and thereby, to identify the psychological processes underlying self-efficacy.A survey was administered to a cluster sample of 513 college students to explore the associations between economic confidence, career decision making self-efficacy (CDMSE), locus of control and proactive personality. Hierarchical regression analyses were processed to explore the predicting role of economic confidence on CDMSE as well as to examine the moderating roles of locus of control and proactive personality. The results showed that after controlling for the effects of school, gender and location of family, economic confidence displayed a main effect on CDMSE (β= 0.28, p<0.001). Specifically, the high-confidence participants had much stronger self-efficacy on career decision making than their low-confidence counterparts. Locus of control served to moderate this association, in which external locus of control predicted a more significant positive association (simple slope = 0.35, p<0.01 ) while internal locus of control predicted a less significant association (simple slope = 0.14, p<0.05) between economic confidence and CDMSE. Besides, proactive personality also served to moderate the association between economic confidence and CDMSE in that weak proactive personality predicted a positive association between the two (simple slope = 0.20, p<0.01) while strong proactive personality predicted no significant association (simple slope = 0.03, p=0.49). Additionally, when both moderators were included in the same model, the proactive personality showed a consistent strong moderating effect on the relationship between economic confidence and CDMSE while locus of control had no significant effect. In other words, when predicting the association between economic confidence and CDMSE, proactive personality was more important than attribution style.
    The theoretical and practical implications of the findingsfrom the study were discussed. It was argued that findings enriched the theory of career decision making self-efficacy by confirming the moderating roles of attribution style and proactivepersonality in the relationship between the perception of economic environment and CDMSE. It suggests, based on the findings, that consultants from Career Planning and Employment Guidance Centre in university should train students to learn internal attributions and encourage them to be more optimistic.
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    The Adaptation of Dynamic Test Using the Inventory of Piaget’s Developmental Task (IPDT): An Initial Validation and Application
    ZHANG Li-Jin,CHEN Liang,FANG Fu-Xi
    2011, 43 (09):  1075-1086. 
    Abstract ( 1035 )   PDF (635KB) ( 1522 )  
    To understand children’s cognitive development, there is an increasing need for developing and validating assessment and diagnostic methods in both research and education practices. The conventional static tests focus on a particular state of ability development, rather than children’s potential ability. Building on Vygotsky’s concept of “Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)”, dynamic testing has the potential to detect latent capacity of development, thus providing a way to more comprehensively assess children’s cognitive capacity. Most of dynamic tests were usually adaptations of classical intelligence test tasks, exploring children’s latent capacity by dynamic assessment method. So, the purpose of the current study was to develop and standardize a new dynamic test based on conservation and relation domain assessment adapted from the Inventory of Piaget’s Developmental Tasks (IPDT), and to examine the validity of this new dynamic test with a sample of children with relatively low academic achievement.
    To validate the new dynamic test, fifty-four eight or nine years old children were randomly selected from the third grade in two public elementary schools. The dynamic testing involved four stages: pretest, intervention, modifiable, and posttest; each with a different set of testing questions. In accordance with their test performance, the participants also received six different levels of clues, developed based on theories of cognitive development as well as prior dynamic tests in other domains. The results showed that with the incremental steps of intervention in response children’s performance, their performance gradually improved, providing some initial evidence for the validity of this new test.
    The validated dynamic test was first administered to two groups of eight and nine years old children: the experimental group (n = 35) children with relatively lower academic achievement, and the control group (n = 33) with relatively moderate levels of academic achievement. The results of the 2 × 2 ANOVAs with the pretest scores revealed significant main effect of group (F(1, 64) = 80.28, p < 0.01), suggesting that the low achieving group had lower pretest scores than the moderate achieving group. The results of the ANCOVAs with the posttest scores, which controlled for the pretest scores, found no main effect of group (F(1, 64) = 1.89, p > 0.05). However, it required more intervention steps for the low achieving group gain similar performance to the moderating achieving group. The results of the ANOVAs with the transfer scores identified a significant interaction between group and children’s (F(1, 64) = 4.84, p < 0.05). The follow-up simple effect tests showed that the near transfer scores for eight but not nine years old children from the low achieving group were higher than the scores for the moderating achieving group. There was no main effect of group for the far transfer scores (F(1, 64) = 0.03, p > 0.05), suggesting that the low achieving children did not necessarily perform worse in new task domains than the moderating achieving children. Furthermore, Regression analysis found that children’s ability acquisition variable from dynamic testing had a significant predictive effect on their academic achievement.
    Taken together, two conclusions can be drawn based on our findings. First, the current study provided initial evidence for the validity of revised IPDT-conservation and relation domain tests, suggesting that (1) the dynamic test has the potential to more comprehensively assess latent cognitive capacity in children with relatively low academic achievement, and (2) the dynamic test may be similarly applied in other domains of IPDT. Second, despite their relatively inferior performance in current capacity tests, children with lower academic achievement, may not differ from children with relatively higher academic achievement in latent capacity, suggesting the potential to improve these children’s performance using appropriate intervention and training.
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    The Role of Different Cognitive Components in the Prediction of the Figural Reasoning Test’s Item Difficulty
    LI Zhong-Quan,WANG Li,ZHANG Hou-Can,ZHOU Ren-Lai
    2011, 43 (09):  1087-1094. 
    Abstract ( 1316 )   PDF (332KB) ( 2033 )  
    Figural reasoning tests (as represented by Raven’s tests) are widely applied as effective measures of fluid intelligence in recruitment and personnel selection. However, several studies have revealed that those tests are not appropriate anymore due to high item exposure rates. Computerized automatic item generation (AIG) has gradually been recognized as a promising technique in handling item exposure. Understanding sources of item variation constitutes the initial stage of Computerized AIG, that is, searching for the underlying processing components and the stimuli that significantly influence those components. Some studies have explored sources of item variation, but so far there are no consistent results. This study investigated the relation between item difficulties and stimuli factors (e.g., familiarity of figures, abstraction of attributes, perceptual organization, and memory load) and determines the relative importance of those factors in predicting item difficulities.
    Eight sets of figural reasoning tests (each set containing 14 items imitating items from Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrics, APM) were constructed manipulating the familiarity of figures, the degree of abstraction of attributes, the perceptual organization as well as the types and number of rules. Using anchor-test design, these tests were administrated via the internet to 6323 participants with 10 items drawing from APAM as anchor items; thus, each participant completed 14 items from either one set and 10 anchor items within half an hour. In order to prevent participants from using response elimination strategy, we presented one item stem first, then alternatives in turn, and asked participants to determine which alternative was the best.
    DIMTEST analyses were conducted on the participants’ responses on each of eight tests. Results showed that items measure a single dimension on each test. Likelihood ratio test indicated that the data fit two-parameter logistic model (2PL) best. Items were calibrated with BILOG-MG 3.0 (marginal maximum likelihood estimation and 2PL model) and displayed good item difficulties and discriminations. In order to make items from different sets comparable, item parameters were equated using the IRTEQ (Stocking and Lord’s Test Characteristic Curve approach) with the scale of set one as the reference. The 2×2×2 between group ANOVA showed two main effects for degree of abstraction of attributes and perceptual organization (p < 0.05), while the main effect for familiarity of figures as well as all interaction effects were not significant. Regression analysis indicated that memory load , abstraction of attributes, perceptual organization and familiarity of figures could significantly predict item difficulty and dominance analysis revealed that memory load (i.e. the combination of types and number of rules) was the most important predictor.
    The present findings support several previous cognitive theories concerning figural reasoning problems in that working memory plays a key role in solving such kind of items. They also indicate that the degree of abstraction of attributes, the perceptual organization and the familiarity of figures also affect the processing components. Furthermore, a combination of those factors in item stems can predict item difficulties well. The findings are important for computerized AIG, because they enable us to generate new items with predicted item difficulties by manipulating those factors. However, as part of figural reasoning tests, distractors also have effects on item difficulties. The relationship between characteristics of distractors and item difficulties should be investigated to improve item generation algorithms for this kind of tests in the future.
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    A Cognitive Diagnosis Method Based on Q-Matrix and Generalized Distance
    SUN Jia-Nan,ZHANG Shu-Mei,XIN Tao,BAO Yu
    2011, 43 (09):  1095-1102. 
    Abstract ( 728 )   PDF (368KB) ( 1020 )  
    In recent years, cognitive diagnosis research has become a popular issue in psychological and educational measurement. Researchers are always challenging the problem how to develop a Cognitive Diagnosis Model (CDM) that has promising performance for respondent classification. Although many researchers gave some theoretical framework or structures to classify the existing CDMs, systematic comparisons of those CDMs from the aspect of classification accuracy has not been given, except for that between RSM and AHM (e.g., Zhu, Deng, Zhou, & Ding, 2008).
    This article introduces a new approach called Generalized Distance Discrimination (GDD), based on the compliment of Q-matrix theory (Tatsuoka, 1991) by Leighton et al. (2004) and Ding et al. (2009, 2010). Specifically, GDD develops a type of generalized distance which measures the similarity between an Observed Response Pattern (ORP) and an Expected Response Pattern (ERP), and this method uses the IRT-based item response probability of an examinee as the weight of Hamming Distance between his ORP and an ERP. Furthermore, Monte Carlo simulation study is used to compare classification accuracy for respondents of GDD with that of RSM and AHM. The two methods are chosen to do the comparison with GDD due to their representative status in CDMs and being widely used and discussed by many researchers.
    In the simulation study, the pattern match ratio and average attribute match ratio are used as criterions to evaluate the classification accuracy of different approaches. Under four attribute hierarchical structures used in AHM of Leighton et al. (2004), four kinds of Q-matrix with 6 attributes were simulated individually. Then, Under each type of Q-matrix, we use four kinds of combination of slip and guess parameters in DINA model (i.e., s=g=2%, 5%, 10%, 15%) to simulate ORPs of examinees with a sample size of 1000. As a matter of fact, because the simulation data here are generated from DINA model, the goodness of fit of the model will be good, i.e., DINA model will have high classification accuracy to the simulated examinees. Then, we use DINA model as a comparison baseline to check the performance among GDD, RSM and AHM under 16 different conditions. The result shows that GDD and DINA model perform almost equally, and they both perform better than RSM and AHM significantly.
    In conclusion, this study proves that the Generalized Distance Discrimination performs better than AHM and RSM from the aspect of classification accuracy, and GDD as a new CDM is recommended to be used into practice in future.
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