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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 43 Issue 08 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    The Landing Positions of Dyslexic, Age-matched and Ability-matched Children during Reading Spaced Text
    BAI Xue-Jun,MENG Hong-Xia,WANG Jing-Xin,TIAN Jing,ZANG Chuan-Li,YAN Guo-Li
    . 2011, 43 (08): 851-862.  
    Abstract   PDF (512KB) ( 2034 )
    Research investigating eye movement control during reading of alphabetic languages has demonstrated that the decision of where the eyes move is generally considered to be made on a word-unit basis. Consequently, one of the central concerns is the properties of words that influence readers’ landing positions during reading. For alphabetic writing system, a widely accepted view is that the spaces between words have an important influence on where the eyes land. However, some languages (e.g., Chinese and Japanese), are written without spaces between successive characters or words. Whether the decision about where to move the eyes during Chinese reading is also made on a word-unit basis is still an open question. Zang (2010) monitored native Chinese adults and children’s eye movements as they read text that did or did not demark word boundary information. Zang found that the adults’ and children’s pattern of landing positions were very similar to each other when they read word spaced and normal unspaced sentences. The author suggested that Chinese reading was on a word-unit basis, similar to that of alphabetic writing systems. However, the refixation patterns of the two age groups differed from each other. Children tended to be less effective and systematic than adults when targeting refixations. Zang argued that the different levels of skill for reading between adults and children might be the reason. However, this study could not eliminate the influences of age difference from reading skill difference.
    We tested 11 dyslexic fifth graders together with their age-matched group (15 normal fifth graders) and reading ability-matched group (13 normal third graders) under both the word spaced and normal unspaced experimental conditions to explore how reading skill and age influenced their landing positions during reading. Their eye movements were recorded by a SR Research EyeLink II eyetracker (sampling rate = 500 Hz) that monitored the position of the right eye every two milliseconds.
    We found that there was no reliable interaction between the presentation conditions and the participant groups on all eye movement measures. In terms of the patterns of landing positions, there was no significant difference between all three groups under the two presentation conditions. Specifically, their fixations landed at the centre of the words when there was only one single fixation on them; however, the initial landing position shifted to the beginning of the words when there were multiple fixations on those words. In the latter case, they made more refixations on those words and generally landed on the end of the words. To sum up, the present study indicated that all participants had similar landing positions when reading word spaced and normal unspaced sentences. We argued that Chinese children use the “strategy-tactics” approach during reading.
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    Time Metaphor and Perceptual Representation System: Can the Information of Length be Activated When Processing the Time Classifiers?
    CHEN Xu-Qian,ZHANG Ji-Jia
    . 2011, 43 (08): 863-877.  
    Abstract   PDF (467KB) ( 1602 )
    Three experiments were conducted to investigate relationships between time metaphor and perceptual representation system. In each experiment, time classifiers, which were displayed in pairs on the left and right of the screen respectively, were used as targets. All target pairs were represented either the same or different length of time period (e.g. “year” and “year”, or “year” and “second”). Therefore, there were same-period targets and different-period targets. In each different-period target pair, the one represented longer time period was called longer-time classifiers, whereas the other one was shorter-time classier. In Experiment 1 and Experiment 2, sizes of the targets were horizontally (Experiment 1) or vertical (Experiment 2) prolonged in two different levels (200% and 400%). In Experiment 3, targets were displayed with gray background, including double length and triple length conditions. It is called metaphor-consistent condition, if longer-time classifiers in this condition were physically longer, taller, or with longer background than the other one; by contrast, it is called metaphor-inconsistent condition, if longer-time classifiers were physically shorter, or with shorter background. Participants were instructed to judge which time classifier represented longer time period. In experiment 1 (N=30), semantic processing was inhibited in metaphor-inconsistent condition rather than metaphor-consistent condition with same-period target pairs, and an expected facilitation occurred in metaphor-consistent condition when time classifiers were physically different. In addition, facilitation for the condition with both metaphor consistency and length consistency is much larger than the rest of the conditions. It might be caused by one of the following plausible reasons: (1) perceptual representation system did affect the process of time metaphor; (2) participant used a pattern strategy that the same-period targets were much more easily judged than different-period targets; (3) or there was response superiority for such a condition that it was responded with “SPACE” whereas the other conditions were responded with either “F” or “J”. In Experiment 2 (N=30), one target was or was not physically taller than the other one in each pair. Results showed no inhibition from metaphor-inconsistent time classifiers. It indicated that time metaphor was affected by usage of language, with which long and short, but not tall and short, are used to describe the time period in Chinese. Such results can be also use to deny the second and the third plausible reasons rose in Experiment 1. In Experiment 3 (N=30), difficulties of the task were decreased by controlling the length factor with changing the background but not changing the physical length of words. Facilitation of the different-period targets was again found in metaphor-consistent condition. Inhibition and facilitation from the perceptual representation might not be activated at the same time.
    In short, it is claimed that the information of length can be activated when processing time classifiers. Time metaphor and perceptual representation might be saved together in long term memory.
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    Effects of Learning Styles on Chinese College Students’ Production of English /i/-/I/
    YANG Xiao-Hu
    . 2011, 43 (08): 878-888.  
    Abstract   PDF (381KB) ( 1172 )
    Existing studies have revealed that a wide variety of learner factors influence the production of L2 speech sounds. These factors include age of L2 learning, length of residence in an L2-speaking country, gender, formal instruction, motivation, language learning aptitude, and amount of native language use. However, little attention has been paid to the cognitive dimensions of individual differences. Meanwhile, most of the studies were conducted in L2 learning contexts. Thus their results should be further examined in FL learning contexts considering the huge differences between these two types of contexts.
    The current study explored the effects of learning styles on Chinese college students’ production of English /i/-/ɪ/ with the impacts of other relevant learner factors taken into consideration, i.e. age of starting English education, length of English education, use of English, value of improving English pronunciation, and concern for English pronunciation. Eighty three Chinese college students with different learning styles as measured using Kolb’s LSI-1985 and a control group of 16 native English speakers read a list of words (beat or bit) in the carrier phrase“I will say ”. The accuracy of their production was assessed through acoustic measurements regarding their vowel duration, f0, F1 and F2.
    The results showed that the performance of Chinese college students was highly variable and their accuracy of production was significantly related to their learning styles. Specifically, assimilators and divergers performed more similarly to native English speakers than convergers and accommodators. It was also revealed that the more often the students spoke English, the more similar their production was to that of native English speakers, while other factors, i.e. age of starting English education, length of English education, value of improving English pronunciation, and concern for English pronunciation, bore no direct relation to their performance.
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    Visual Implicit Learning of Spatial Information in Judgment of Categorical Spatial Relation
    ZHANG Yuan,LIU Deng-Pan,YOU Xu-Qun
    . 2011, 43 (08): 889-897.  
    Abstract   PDF (359KB) ( 1126 )
    The theory of implicit learning thought people could unconsiciously achieve the complex information of stimulates environment when accomplished the task about visual spatial process, and the process of unconsciously achievement just was implicit learning process, it could automatically affect succeeding tasks. Spatial relation processing was an important processing in visual spatial cognition. The studies want to discuss the implicit learning about spatial information in processing visual spatial relation. A hypothesis was raised as follows: there was the processing of implicit learning about background spatial information when people accomplished the judgment of two targets categorical spatial relation whatever in two-dimension scenes or in three-dimension scenes.
    By using the ‘single-double task’ model and using two experiments to explore the implicit learning about backgrounds spatial information in the processing of visual spatial relation in two- or three-dimension scenes. The subject of single-task group should finish the task of judging categorical spatial relation first, then finish a group interferential task, and finally finish the recognition task of spatial background layout in judging tasks. And subjects of double-task group need remember the layout of stimulate backgrounds while finished the task of judgment, and finished the task of recognition. The learning time (LT) was weighted by the reaction time in the judging tasks, and the reaction time (RT) and reaction accuracy (RA) about recognition was registered to weigh the learning effect. There were 60 subjects in two-dimension scenes tasks and 70 in three-dimension.
    Experiment 1 was finished in two-dimension scenes. The result of experiment 1 indicated that the two group of single- and double-task had a significant difference in LT and none in RA. It perhaps showed that in two-dimension scenes, the learning about background spatial information in single-task was existent and implicit; it was different from the learning in double-task. In addition, the result of experiment 1 also showed that the learning about background spatial information was affect by spatial relation. There were similar results in experiment 2 which finished in three-dimension scenes: the single- and double-task groups had a significant difference in LT and none in RT, and although the different of RA between the tow groups was significant on the whole, the RA of the scenes that ever appeared in judging tasks was no significant difference. It also could indicate there was the implicit learning in single-task.
    From analyzing and discussing the results of two experiments, there were two conclusions: fist, the study further proved that there was implicit learning about spatial information in the processing of visual spatial cognition; second, the implicit learning of spatial information was affect by the characteristics of stimulate environment., such as info quantity, depth of info processing, and spatial relation.
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    Cognitive Appraisal Influences Negative Emotion Experience and Physiological Activity
    YUAN Lin,PENG Ming,LIU Dan-Wei,ZHOU Ren-Lai
    . 2011, 43 (08): 898-906.  
    Abstract   PDF (358KB) ( 2436 )
    To control negative emotion entails avoiding the harmful influences of bad mood, which may influence attention, memory, subjective and physical well-being, etc. Developing effective methods of negative emotion regulation are critical in improving mental health. The study of cognitive appraisal has been the recent focus of this pursuit. Cognitive appraisal is defined as a type of cognitive regulation that may eliminate negative feelings. While much evidence of cognitive appraisal has been reported, the studies often used inappropriate instructions and hence caused a confounding effect due to uncontrollable cognitive activity. For example, some researchers explicitly asked participants to try to reduce their emotional intensity by using reappraisal. As a result, participants would use unnecessary cognitive activities to decrease emotion, leading to the artificial inflation of appraisal effect. In this study, an improved method was used to solve this problem and probe only the function of appraisal on negative emotion.
    Three pieces of films, the length of which were all about six minutes, were chosen to elicit emotion. According to the emotional valence ratings, one of them was neutral while the other two were negative. Thirty-seven participants for the main experiment were instructed to watch the films with two physiological indexes being recorded: GSR (Galvanic Skin Reflex) and ECG (Electrocardiography). Before and after each film, the participants were asked to rest for four minutes. A rating for their current mood was also made before and after the clips. Different from previous studies, two distinct appraisals were given to two participant groups before the second negative film started, both asked the participants to watch the films naturally. Nineteen of the participants were told the actors’ own stories and emphasized they just “performed”. The rest, as a control group, were told the content in the film. At the end of the experiment, all participants were asked if they thought the film was fabled when watching the last clip to assess whether the appraisal background influenced their cognition of the film.
    The results indicated that only GSR and self emotion rating reflected emotional activity differences between the two groups. Analysis of covariance with the GSR level of the first rest as covariant indicated that the GSR level in the actors-appraisal group was lower than that in the control group when watching the second negative film. However, during the first two films, there were no differences between these two groups. On the other hand, analysis of covariance with the self report before the first rest as covariant indicated that the negative experience of actors–appraisal group was lower than that of the control group when watching the second negative film. During the first two films, there were no such differences. The change of GSR and negative experience, as anticipated, indicated that appraisal decreased physiological reaction to negative emotion.
    To sum up, people with the knowledge that the emotional stimulus was fabled showed more peaceful physiological activity along with lower negative emotion rating. These results indicate the effect of appraisal on emotion.
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    Attentional Bias in Individuals with Different Level of Self-Esteem
    LI Hai-Jiang,YANG Juan,JIA Lei,ZHANG Qing-Lin
    . 2011, 43 (08): 907-916.  
    Abstract   PDF (368KB) ( 3993 )
    There is a wealth of evidence demonstrating attentional bias for negative (angry) stimuli in low self-esteem (LSE) participants, but the components of the bias (vigilance versus difficulty in disengagement) remains unclear. Researchers have demonstrated that individuals with high self-esteem (HSE) were able to successfully engage in negative mood regulation by recruiting positive thoughts and memories to assuage the dysphoria caused by the negative mood manipulation. By contrast, individuals with low self-esteem were either unmotivated or unable to engage in mood regulation and thus were negatively affected by the sad mood manipulation (MacDonald & Martineau, 2002). Wood and her colleagues (1990) have shown that negative moods can increase self-focus. For persons with low self-esteem, focusing on the self may prime feelings of general negativity about the self, thereby leading to global negative self-evaluations. Such feelings of inadequacy may be hard to escape. Smith and Petty (1995) have demonstrated that individuals with low self-esteem are less motivated or able than individuals with high self-esteem to engage in cognitive strategies to counteract negative mood states. All these evidences suggested that attentional bias for negative stimuli among individuals with low self-esteem may be derived from difficulty in disengaging attention from negative stimuli. Using a spatial cueing task, we clearly examined the components of attentional bias (vigilance, difficulty in disengagement or both) among low self-esteem participants. In addition, previous studies just examined the modulation of explicit self-esteem on attention, it is still unclear the effects of implicit self-esteem on attention.
    In present study, there were 67 subjects (32 LSE) in explicit self-esteem group and 74 subjects (36 LSE) in implicit self-esteem group. Rosenberg self-esteem scale and implicit associate test (IAT) were used to test participants’ explicit and implicit self-esteem level respectively. In spatial cueing task, cues were “neutral”, “happy”, or “angry” facial expression presented for 500ms. Targets appeared either in the same location as the face (valid trials) or in a different location to the face (invalid trials). Participants were asked to press “1” or “2” button to indicate the position of target in a 2000ms interval. A three-way repeated measures Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) on the average latencies of spatial cueing task in explicit and implicit self-esteem group was conducted, respectively, with self-esteem (high, low) as a between-subjects factor, and emotion facial type (happy, angry, neutral) and cue validity (invalid, valid) as a within-subjects factors.
    The results revealed that low explicit self-esteem individuals showed significantly longer response latencies when the face cue was “angry’’ relative to “neutral” and ‘‘happy’’ on invalid trials. High implicit self-esteem individuals took longer time to response to a target when the face cue was ‘‘angry’’ or ‘‘happy’’ relative to “neutral” on invalid trials.
    These findings suggested that attentional bias in low explicit self-esteem participants may reflect a difficulty in disengaging from negative stimuli; while attentional bias in high implicit self-esteem individuals may reflect a selectively attentional maintenance on the emotional stimuli, hence they were more easily affected by emotional stimuli and behaved as though they were hard to disengage from emotional stimuli.
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    Discharges of Neuronal Assembly of Hippocampus CA1 Area in the Memory Formation
    YU Ping,YUAN Shui-Xia,LI Xia,YU Ping,XU Hui,YIN Wen-Juan,GU Kai,ZUO Yang-Fan,LU Qin-Qin,DAI Shu-Fen,GUO Chun-Yan
    . 2011, 43 (08): 917-928.  
    Abstract   PDF (824KB) ( 1326 )
    Hippocampus plays a vital role in the formation of spatial working memory. The brain encodes spatial information by generating spatial cognitive map in hippocampus. The mechanism with which hippocampus encodes, integrates, and extracts information remains unclear. According to Hebb’s cell assembly hypothesis, spatial information is distributed in neural network. In this study, the dynamic processing of neuronal information in hippocampus CA1 neurons was observed in behaving adult rats and the neuronal mechanisms of spatial working memory were analyzed.
    A 16-channel (2×8) multi-electrode array was surgically imbedded into hippocampus CA1 area under general anesthetization. After the animals recovered from the surgery, they were trained in T-maze for delay-alternation task. 13 training trials (inter-trials interval 20 sec) were performed each day for about 7-14 days. The multi-electrode array was cable-connected to a multi-channel acquisition system for simultaneous recording and displaying of neuronal units discharges and local field potentials. While the neuronal signals and animal spatial positions were recorded, the event marker was inputted in synchrony.
    Relationships between the events and neuronal unit discharges or local field potentials were analyzed during spatial memory formation. It was found that hippocampus CA1 neurons exhibited discharges correlating to door-opening and turning. Based on the correlating events, CA1 neurons can be classified into door-opening neurons, turning neurons, and double-place field neurons. When the animals were in the stem of the T-maze, hippocampus neurons showed context-dependent differential discharging. Some neurons showed discharges that predicted goal-directed behavior. The place fields of place neurons were gradually formed during learning and memory, but they were not stable until the formation of memory. The correlations between neurons also became stronger during memory formation. The same or different theta oscillation (4-12Hz) was observed between neuronal discharges or between neuronal discharge and local field potential. Besides, the theta oscillation exhibited event-correlation: it appeared before door-opening or turning.
    The results suggest that neurons in CA1 area of hippocampus are involved in the primary processing of spatial information to guide the prospective search behavior. In the formation of spatial memory, hippocampus neuronal assembly process information not only through spatial encoding, but also through temporal encoding.
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    Effects of Job Insecurity and Creative Self-efficacy on Employees’ Creativity
    ZHOU Hao,LONG Li-Rong
    . 2011, 43 (08): 929-940.  
    Abstract   PDF (433KB) ( 2921 )
    Given the severe environment with intense competition and unpredictable technology changes, increasing number of organizations realize that employees should be encouraged and cultivated to be creative. Meanwhile, as changes, such as downsizing and outsourcing, have been launched constantly by organizations, employees may feel insecure about their jobs. In previous studies, no clear conclusions have been drawn on the relationship between job insecurity and creativity. In the current study, based on the VSR theory, it is hypothesized that there is a reversed U shape relation between job insecurity and creativity. According to the self-efficacy theory, it is proposed that the interaction between job insecurity and creative self-efficacy would be significant. For those with high creative self-efficacy, the influence of job insecurity on creativity would be weak. Additionally, based on the intrinsic motivation theory, it is proposed that influence of job insecurity and creative self-efficacy would be mediated by intrinsic motivation.
    Data were collected from 286 dyads of employees and their immediate supervisors from twelve enterprises. The questionnaire for employee included job insecurity, creative self-efficacy, and intrinsic motivation. Employee creativity and job complexity were rated by immediate supervisors. Theoretical hypotheses were tested by hierarchal regression.
    As the result showed, controlling the effect of control variables (gender, age, tenure, education and job complexity), job insecurity had reversed U shape impact on creativity, and creative self-efficacy had positive effect on creativity; meanwhile, the interaction effect between job insecurity and creative self-efficacy has also been shown to be significant. Specifically, the effect of job insecurity was stronger for employees with low creative self-efficacy. Following the procedure suggested by Baron and Kenny, intrinsic motivation was found mediated the relationships of job insecurity and creative self-efficacy to creativity.
    The present study demonstrated that, employees would achieve highest creativity on the condition of moderate job insecurity level. Using recent studies on negative contextual factors, such as time pressure, it could be referred that, moderate negative stimulation, rather than complete positive context, would help inspiring employees’ creativity. Creative self-efficacy had positive impact on creativity, even more important, the effect of job insecurity was moderated by creative self-efficacy. Thus, it is indicated that manager can promote employees’ creativity by training subordinates’ creative self-efficacy. The last contribution is that the mediating effect of intrinsic motivation has been proved. For practical implications, it should be worth trying for managers to stimulate subordinates’ intrinsic motivation.
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    Does High LMX Quality Benefit Subordinate’s Career Success? A Moderated Mediation Study
    LI Yan-Ping,TU Yi-Dong
    . 2011, 43 (08): 941-952 .  
    Abstract   PDF (457KB) ( 2371 )
    Prior researches have presented the positive relation between leader-member exchange (LMX) and the subordinate’s career success. However, we have little knowledge about the mechanisms of the relation. Based on the social exchange theory, this study examines a moderated mediation model which integrates the mediating effect of psychological empowerment and the moderating effect of political skill between LMX and the subordinate’s career success.
    To reduce common method bias, two wave surveys were conducted to collect data. LMX, psychological empowerment and political skill were evaluated at the first wave, and the score of subordinate’s career success was conducted 1-4 weeks later after the first wave. Finally, 206 participants completed two wave data collection. The results of statistical tests suggested that the structured measurement had good reliability and validity.
    The results of the moderated mediation model have showed that the psychological empowerment and political skill have integrated effects on the relation between LMX and the subordinate’s career success: (1) The 4 kinds of political skill strengthened the direct effect and total effect of LMX on the subordinate’s career success. (2) The psychological empowerment mediated the relation between LMX and the subordinate’s career success. (3)The interpersonal influence strengthened the relation between LMX and the subordinate’s psychological empowerment while the apparent sincerity strengthened the relation between the subordinate’s psychological empowerment and career success.
    The results indicate that: (1) high LMX quality was not always benefit for subordinate’s career success and its effect on career success was moderated by the subordinate’s political skill; and (2) even through there was the mediation role of psychology empowerment, whether it played the full mediation or partial mediation role depended on the level of 4 kinds of political skill. The findings are valuable for people to understand what the influence of the LMX on the subordinate’s career success was and how the influence happened in the different context. In application, it suggested the high exchange quality with leaders and good personal political skill could facilitate employees to achieve their career success.
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    Forum Objectivity and Online WOM Recipients’ Attitudes
    DU Wei-Qiang,YU Chun-Ling,ZHAO Ping
    . 2011, 43 (08): 953-963.  
    Abstract   PDF (427KB) ( 1272 )
    The anonymity of the Internet, the difficulty of identifying shills, and the large number of Internet users make it worthwhile to explore the influence of the forum objectivity on WOM recipients’ attitudes, the boundary conditions of the influence, and the underlying mechanism. Based on the research on objectivity of individuals as information sources (Williams et al., 2004), objectivity of forums is defined as consumers’ overall opinion of the objectivity of all threads in the forum.
    Four studies were conducted. With 140 Internet surfers participanting in study 1, we employed a 2 (objectivity of forums: objective versus not) × 2 (brand strength: strong versus weak) between-subjects design. In the “objective” condition, participants were told Haizhu wanted to buy an MP4, and he or she saw a thread on the exact MP4 in a large forum which he or she usually surf. Participants were also told that Haizhu usually saw some followers pointed out the initiator was a shill on the forum in the “not objective” condition. We describe the strong brand as one of the famous brands with high reputaion and the relatively weak brand as a not famous brand. All the participants saw the same thread recommending the MP4. The following three studies are similar to study 1. With 78 Internet surfers participating in study 2, we employed a 2 (objectivity of forums) × 2 (prior brand satisfaction: very satisfied versus not) between-subjects design. We told the two groups of participants Haizhu had been very satisfied or a little dissatisfied with the old model of the brand respectively. With 94 undergraduate students participating in study 3, we employed a 2 (objectivity of forums) × 2 (familiarity between the followers and initiator: familiar versus not) between-subjects design. In the “familiar” condition, 3 followers pointed out they are familiar with the initiator in their replies. In the “not familiar” condition, no follower did so. With 80 Internet surfers participating in study 4, we employed a 2(objectivity of forums)×2(consensus among followers and initiator: unanimous versus not) between-subjects design. In the “unanimous” condition, all followers agreed with the initiator. In the “not unanimous” condition, 3 followers did not agree with the initiator. We measured WOM recipients’ attitudes (Cronbach’s αs>0.82) and persuasion knowledge (Cronbach’s α=0.92). Prior work has used the scales (Kirmani & Zhu, 2007).
    All manipulations were successful (ts > 2.11, ps < 0.04). ANOVA models were used. The main and interaction effects are significant in study 1 (Fs (1, 136)≥3.86, ps≤0.05) and study 2 (Fs (1, 74)≥3.02, ps≤0.09). The main effect of objectivity of forums and interaction effect are significant in study 3 (Fs (1, 90)>4.26, ps<0.05). The interaction effect is significant in study 4 (F (1, 76)=3.50, p<0.07). Recipients’ attitude for the product recommended by the thread is better when forum is objective than when it is not. The effect is mediated by persuasion knowledge. When the brand is relatively weak, when the reader was a little dissatisfied with the brand, when followers are not familiar with the initiator, or when the attitudes of followers and the initiator are not unanimous, the effect is prominent.
    These findings enhance our understanding of the antecedents of online WOM influence and persuasion knowledge. Companies could apply our findings to improve online WOM communication.
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    On-Line Item Attribute Identification in Cognitive Diagnostic Computerized Adaptive Testing
    WANG Wen-Yi,DING Shu-Liang,YOU Xiao-Feng
    . 2011, 43 (08): 964-976.  
    Abstract   PDF (476KB) ( 832 )
    Cognitive Diagnostic Assessment (CDA) combining psychometrics and cognitive science has received increased attention recently, but it is still in its infancy (Leighton and Gierl, 2007). The CDA based on the incidence Q-matrix (Tatsuoka, 1990) is quite different from the traditional Item Response Theory. The entries in each column of the incidence Q-matrix indicate which skills and knowledge are involved in the solution of each item. So the Q-matrix plays an important role in establishing the relation between the latent knowledge states and the ideal response patterns so as to provide information about students’ cognitive strengths and weaknesses. On the other hand, CDA requires the specifications which latent attributes are measured by the test items and how these characteristics are related to one another. Leighton, Gierl and Hunka (2004) indicated the logic of Attribute Hierarchy Method (AHM) as following. Firstly, the hierarchy of attributes must be specified through protocol techniques before test item construction. Secondly, test items are developed by specialists according to the attribute hierarchy and finally, the hierarchy of attributes and item attributes are necessary to be validated. In real situations, whether the items have or have not been identified attributes before its construction, it will cost a lot of money, require more efforts to identify attributes through specialists according the above described procedure and yet can’t completely assume the correctness due to the subjectivity. As a result, invalid inferences about the student performance will be made if the attributes of some items are specified incorrectly. Chang (2010) pointed out that the on-line calibration for regular computerized adaptive testing may be one of the most effective processes. Although the great significance of Q-matrix in CDA has been widely recognized, few, if any, on-line item attribute identification has been found in the literature. So this study discussed how to implement the on-line item attribute identification in cognitive diagnostic computerized adaptive testing (CD-CAT).
    The study introduced three methods of on-line item attribute identification, Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE), Marginal Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MMLE) and a novel method named as Inter & Diff based on intersection and difference. The new method is Cognitive Diagnostic Model-free (CDM-free). In other words, when model-data fit is not so good, the Inter-Diff method could be employed to identify attributes in the raw items on-line. Intersection and difference are set operations in Set Theory.
    The simulation results showed that MMLE worked better than MLE and Inter & Diff, but MMLE was slightly sensitive to the fixed item parameters. Adaptively seeding raw items worked better than randomly seeding raw items when the correct classification rate of the entire pattern was relatively high. Especially when the attribute hierarchies are linear type, convergent type and syllogistic reasoning hierarchy, the result of Inter & Diff also could be comparable to MMLE or MLE as the number of response and the accuracy of knowledge states classification increased. However, Inter & Diff could work without assuming item parameters.
    The significance of this study is essential for item bank maintenance in CD-CAT and can ease the specialists’ burden for giving the feedback information on the item attributes.
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