ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    30 July 2011, Volume 43 Issue 07 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    Mourn with Deep Grief for Professor LIN Zhong-Xian
    2011, 43 (07):  725-725. 
    Abstract ( 835 )   PDF (151KB) ( 1129 )  
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    Effects of Gaze Direction Perception on Gaze Following Behavior
    ZHANG Zhi-Jun,ZHAO Ya-Jun,Zhan Qi-Tao
    2011, 43 (07):  726-738. 
    Abstract ( 1089 )   PDF (511KB) ( 1560 )  
    Observing another person’s averted eye gaze leads to automatic shift of attention to the same object and facilitates subsequent early visual processing. This phenomenon is termed ‘Joint attention’. Joint attention processing proceeds through two main stages: gaze perception and gaze following. Gaze perception refers to analysis of the perceptual features of a gaze cue. By contrast, gaze following refers to the tendency of observers to shift attention to locations looked at by others, which is indicated by gaze cueing effect (GCE). Most of researchers maintained that the latter process relied on the former (serial model). They hold an idea that mechanisms involved in gaze perception precede those involved in attentional cueing from gaze. However, other results suggested that gaze perception and gaze following might involve dissociable mechanisms (parallel model). As Doherty et al. (2009) reported in young children, it was possible for gaze following to occur in the absence of precise gaze perception. Thus, it remains unclear what role the gaze perception plays in gaze following behavior. In the current study, a gaze adaptation technique and a gaze cueing paradigm were combined to investigate the effects of gaze perceptual adaptation on gaze cueing effect. We hope to figure out the relationship between gaze perception and gaze following.
    Three experiments were performed in this study with the gaze adaptation technique and the gaze cueing paradigm. The gaze direction aftereffect was re-examined using perceptual adaptation technique in experiment 1. The gaze cueing effects in different gaze angles (5 degree and 10 degree) were examined in experiment 2. Crucially, the influence of gaze perceptual adaptation on the shift of attention induced by averted gaze was investigated in experiment 3. Forty two subjects participated in the three experiments (12 subjects in experiment 1, 12 subjects in experiment 2, and 18 subjects in experiment 3).
    In experiment 1, we repeated a strong gaze direction aftereffect, finding that perception of gaze in the adapted direction was significantly impaired, which was consistent with previous studies. It provided a clear evidence for distinct neuronal channels tuned to leftward- and rightward-oriented gaze in humans. In experiment 2, the GCE induced by 10° gaze was significantly stronger than 5° condition, which suggested that gaze following was influenced by stimulus salience through a bottom-up mechanism. Crucially, the shift of attention induced by averted gaze was found significantly decreased after gaze direction adaptation in experiment 3, which indicated that the extraction of gaze direction modulated by perceptual adaptation could affect the gaze following behavior.
    In conclusion, the present study provided critical behavioral evidence that there existed a direct link between gaze perception and gaze following under conscious condition. The spatial encoding and attention shift happen only if gaze direction has been extracted correctly. Based on its neural underpinnings of adaptation, “the psychologist’s microelectrode’’, we inferred that a cortical visual pathway flowing from superior temporal sulcus (STS) to intraparietal sulcus (IPS) could relate observed gaze to visual attention. Moreover, gaze following was not purely reflexive. It was also sensitive to top-down modulation triggered by perceptual experience.
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    The Mere Exposure Effect of Neutral Words and Negative Words
    JIN Yi-Xiang,LUO Yue-Jia
    2011, 43 (07):  739-748. 
    Abstract ( 1338 )   PDF (357KB) ( 1810 )  
    The mere exposure effect refers to a phenomenon in which people tend to develop a preference for a stimulus merely after repeated exposure to it. Numerous studies have examined the robustness of this effect, with a variety of stimuli. However, most studies used neutral and novel stimuli; few researches found the typical mere exposure effect in initially familiar stimuli. Furthermore, only a few researches used negative stimuli, and the results of those were quite inconsistent. The present study aimed to clarify this issue using neutral and negative Chinese words as stimuli. Also, we investigated whether the mere exposure effect still existed when the stimuli were initially familiar ones.
    Before the experiments, 35 Chinese undergraduate and graduate students were recruited to help us obtain neutral word-pairs and negative word-pairs separately as stimuli for Experiment 1 and 2. In each pair subjects didn’t like either of the two words better than the other. In Experiment 1 and 2, two other groups of 30 Chinese undergraduate and graduate participants were separately exposed to neutral (Experiment 1) and negative stimuli (Experiment 2) subliminally. Each word was presented for 14ms, followed by a 30-ms mask. For each pair of words, one word was presented only once, and the other 6 times. After this study phase there was a test phase, in which participants should finish a forced-choice preference/recognition judgment. They were asked to examine each word-pair and to choose the word they liked better (preference judgment) or the word they had seen in exposure phase (recognition judgment) within 2000ms.
    The results indicated that the recognition scores of neutral words were not significantly different from chance level, and neither were the negative words during the recognition judgment, which indicated that the exposure to stimuli was really subliminal. Repeated neutral exposure led to more liking during the preference judgment, with the preference scores significantly higher than chance level, while repeated negative exposure did not.
    Therefore, it can be concluded that when the stimuli were initially familiar ones and were presented in a subliminal way, the typical mere exposure effect can only be observed in neutral stimuli rather than negative ones. We used levels-of-processing model to explain the mechanism of this phenomenon in the discussion session.
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    Auditory Word Frequency Effect within Homophone Families and the Activation of Homophone Representations
    LI Xiao-Jian,WANG Wen-Na,LI Xiao-Qian
    2011, 43 (07):  749-762. 
    Abstract ( 929 )   PDF (380KB) ( 1071 )  
    To those lexicons with larger homophone families, e.g. Chinese monosyllabic words, it has remained unclear what influence homophonic lexical ambiguity has on the lexical access of auditory modality and the activation of word representations. This study of speech comprehension included two experiments of auditory modality.
    Experiment 1 adapted a dictation paradigm requiring participants to listen to isolated Chinese homophonic monosyllables and write down one word corresponding to each syllable. The participants performed their tasks well and without hesitation. Although each individual could make the lexical access, the population showed lexical ambiguity: the larger a homophone family was, the larger variety of homophones was chosen from that family by the participants. However, listeners tended to chose words of high frequencies within homophone families rather than choosing arbitrarily or by chance.
    Experiment 2 adapted a cross-modal paradigm of syllable-character homophonic judgment task in which a monosyllabic sound was presented to the ears followed by a visually displayed Chinese character. The participants were required to judge whether the visually displayed characters had the same pronunciation as the preceding auditory syllables. The response time for judging homophonic pairs was compared to response time for judging non-homophonic pairs. The difference, called homophonic facilitation, revealed that when a heard syllable activated its phonological representation, high frequency homophones of that syllable were more often activated automatically, while low frequency homophones were mostly suppressed.
    The results of the two experiments demonstrate that there exists an auditory word frequency effect within each large homophone family. The activations of homophone representations are different between high, middle, and low frequency words within the families, resulting in non-exhaustive access. The most frequent homophones within families were more likely to be accessed. These findings are difficult to be explained by using the current models of lexical access and activations of homophone representations. We present a new model which is able to explain the new findings from auditory modality.
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    The Effect of Protagonist’s Emotion and Time Information Representation on the Situation Model Process
    LU Zhong-Yi,MA Hong-Xia
    2011, 43 (07):  763-770. 
    Abstract ( 1048 )   PDF (266KB) ( 1428 )  
    Text comprehension is a process that people construct mental representation of the information the text described. The mechanism of text comprehension has always been a hot issue for cognitive psychologists. Recently, in the study of text comprehension, the mechanism of situation model processing has been focused on. Situation model, the deep-seated mental representation during reader’s reading comprehension, includes five dimensions: temporality, spatiality, causality, intentionality, and protagonist. Most psychological experts have agreed that the construction and processing of situational model result from the interaction of the five dimensions.
    Although the protagonist’s emotions play a very important role in the construction and processing of situational model, there are only a few experimental studies on it so far. Therefore the primary purpose of this study is to explore the mechanism of the protagonist’s emotion in the processing of situation model. Former research on the temporality dimension has mainly focused on the representation of temporal shift or temporal distance from a single dimension. Actually, construction and update of the situation model are influenced by multiple dimensions. So the second purpose of this study is to combine the factors of protagonist’s emotions with temporal shift, so as to explore the effect of protagonist’s emotions and time information representation on the situation model process.
    A hundred and twenty college students have participated in this study, forty in experiment group 1, and eighty in experiment group 2. Through moving window and recording the reading time of the critical sentence, experiment 1 was designed to explore the functions of protagonist’s emotions, experiment 2 to explore the functions of protagonist’s emotions and temporal shift on situation model processing. Using E-Prime software on Legend Computer, experiment 1 is single-factor within-subjects design, experiment 2 is 4 × 2 within-subjects design. The subjects are required to self-regulate their reading. When they finish reading one sentence and press the space key, the next sentence emerges and the former sentence disappears. After finishing one text, the emergence of a red "?????" prompted the subjects to answer a comprehensive question about the text. The reading time of the critical sentence is analyzed with repeated measure MANOVA.
    The results of experiment 1 indicate that the representation of the protagonist’s emotions in text comprehension is on-line, and positive emotion and negative emotion affect the situation model differently. The processing of positive emotion is easier than negative emotion. The results of experiment 2 indicate that when temporal shift becomes larger, it’s more difficulty for readers to update the information in the “worry-worry” condition of protagonist’s emotions, Non-conversion effect of negative emotions emerges.
    This study, in keeping trace of the readers’ representation of the protagonist’s emotions in text comprehension, has found that conversion effect of protagonist’s emotions is limited, positive emotions is conductive to the construction of situation models, and temporal shift factor does affect the processing of protagonist’s emotions to some degree. Under big temporal shift conditions, there probably appears a stack effect in the “worry-worry” condition of protagonist’s emotions, while under small temporal shift conditions, the reader spends more cognitive resources constructing from relief to worry of protagonist’s emotions.
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    The Activation of Non-attended Language in Language Comprehension of Chinese-English Bilinguals
    WANG Rui-Ming,DENG Han-Shen,LI Jun-Jie,LI Li,FAN Meng
    2011, 43 (07):  771-783. 
    Abstract ( 919 )   PDF (345KB) ( 1327 )  
    Bilingual individuals manage to understand one of their languages without apparent interference from the other. How, then, do bilinguals avoid the language interference and maintain their focus on the target language? Existent studies have provided inconsistent data about the activation of two languages with explicit task paradigms. Although most prominent theories of bilingualism assume that mental representation of languages include a lexical level and a conceptual level, the notion of activation is ill-defined and it is unclear to what extent the words from the non-attended language are processed for bilinguals. Therefore, this study was designed to further investigate the activation of non-attended language in language comprehension with innovative paradigms and different tasks-the lexical decision task and the conceptual decision task.
    Two hundred students majoring in English at South China Normal University participated in the study and were randomly divided into different experiments. All participants in the present experiments were Chinese natives, and for whom English was their second language. Each experiment consisted of a study block and a test block. In the study block, Chinese and English words presented one at a time randomly, and bilingual participants were instructed to make a lexical decision (Experiment 1 and 2) or a concept decision (Experiment 3 and 4) only to one language (target language) while ignoring the other language (non-attended language). Study status (studied vs. unstudied) was manipulated in the test block. The same-language repetition priming was used in Experiment 1 and 3, which non-attended language words presented in the study block were repeated in the test block. The cross-language repetition priming condition was used in Experiment 2 and 4, which non-attened language words were presented in the study block and their translation equivalents were presented in the test block. The response times and accurate rates were recorded.
    In experiment 1 and 3, the response times of the words studied were significantly faster than those of the words unstudied in the test block whether the non-attended language was English (experiment1a and 3a) or Chinese (experiment 1b and 3b). But in experiment 2, we did not find any cross-language repetition priming effect with lexical decision tasks, and in experiment 4, we found cross-language repetition priming effect with conceptual decision tasks. The results revealed that even proficient Chinese-English bilinguals were asked to orient their attention to only one language in the language comprehension, the non-attened language was still automatically activated. But in low-level lexical decision tasks, the non-attended target language was just activated on lexical level but not on concept level. In high-level conceptual decision tasks, the non-attended language was not only active on lexical level but also on concept level.
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    Chronic Stress Impairs Learning and Memory and Down-Regulates Expression of FGF2 in Hippocampus and Prefrontal Cortex of Rats
    TANG Ming-Ming,HOU Gong-Lin
    2011, 43 (07):  784-791. 
    Abstract ( 861 )   PDF (487KB) ( 1114 )  
    It is well documented that chronic stress can produce cognitive impairment, and that the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex play an important role in the process of learning and memory. The present study investigated the effects of chronic stress through examination of the modulation tone of FGF2 protein in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. The fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF2), a mitogen that is involved in brain development and regeneration, has been shown to facilitate neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity, as well as be involved in the mechanism of neurodegenerative disorders.
    In the experiment, sixteen male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned into control group and stress group and the chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) model was performed to construct chronic stress model of rats. The stress group received 35 days CUMS which were consisted of food deprivation, water deprivation, clip tail, feet shock, forced swimming in cold water, wet bedding, and disturbed light-dark cycle. Following the last stressor, stressed and non-stressed rats began training in the Morris Water Maze (MWM) and Y Maze to test the change of the ability of learning and memory about space clue fixed position and conditioned escape response. The changes of protein level of FGF2 in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex were observed by Western blot analysis and Immunohistochemistry analysis.
    Compared with the rats of control group, the rats of stress group have obvious impairments in learning and memory. In the MWM, the rats exposed to stress had longer latencies to reach the hidden platform during training phase (p<0.01), and passed fewer times through the platform location (p<0.01). In the Y maze test, stressed rats needed more learning performances (p<0.05) and had less precision rate (p<0.05). The protein level of FGF2 was downregulated in hippocampus of rats (p<0.001), especially the dentate gyrus, CA1 neurons and CA3 pyramidal neurons. The same changes also happened in prefrontal cortex (p<0.001).
    These findings demonstrate that chronic stress impairs learning and memory and downregulates FGF2 signal in the brain. These results indicate that FGF2 may be involved in the mechanism of cognitive lesions caused by chronic stress, and suggest that modulating the FGF2 signal may have therapeutic value in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
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    Changes in Hippocampus Morphology, Cognitive Function and Coping Style Induced by Chronic Military Stress
    WANG Li-Jie,SUN Qiu-De,YAN Jin,LIU Ai-Li,DONG Jian-Shu,LIU Jia-Jia,WANG Jian-Ping
    2011, 43 (07):  792-797. 
    Abstract ( 947 )   PDF (549KB) ( 1361 )  
    Many organic functions will be changed undergoing chronic strong stress, especially in the continuous activation of the HPA axis, which results in successive high level of glucocorticoid in blood. Afterward it will make hippocampal neurons become atrophic and cognitive function impairment, which has been confirmed in laboratory. This investigation studied the morphological changes of hippocampus, cognitive functions and coping styles undergoing the chronic military stress.
    The present investigation was intended principally to study the characteristic changes in hippocampus morphology (MRI), cognition (simple and complex cognitive function), psychological trait (State-trait Anxiety Inventory, STAI) and coping style (Characteristic Coping Style Questionnaire, CCSQ) in chronic strong military stress. 572 soldiers were divided into the group of investigation (A) in accordance with Anxiety factor score in SCL-90 and the control group (B). In group A, very soldier who’s the anxiety factor score was over 3. In control group, the soldiers were selected via matching method according to that in group A.
    The results showed that the level of plasma cortisol in group A and B were higher significantly higher than normal and that in group A was were higher significantly higher than group B. After standardization, there was no significant structural difference between right and left hippocampus in same subject. But, the hippocampal structural atrophy in group A and there was significant structural difference between group A and group B. In cognitive function, there were no significant change in the simple cognitive assignments between group A and B but significant difference in negative coping style between group A and B. In STAI, the estimative scores of state anxiety and trait anxiety in group A were significantly higher than group B and normal. The estimative scores of state anxiety in group B were significantly higher than normal. The estimative score of positive coping style in group A was significantly lower and that of negative coping style was significantly higher than group B and normal. The estimative score of positive coping style in group B was significantly higher than normal.
    The present findings indicated that chronic strong military stress can induce hippocampal structural atrophy and insult in characteristic changes in some psychological trait, cognitive function and behavior.
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    Operation Mechanism and Effects of Supervisor-Subordinate Guanxi in Chinese Organizations
    WANG Zhong-Jun,LONG Li-Rong,LIU Li-Dan
    2011, 43 (07):  798-809. 
    Abstract ( 1412 )   PDF (451KB) ( 2094 )  
    Different from western society, Chinese employees attached much importance to developing good personal relationship with their leaders. So, the concept of “guanxi” and “guanxi management” were the most important aspects in Chinese management. In perspective of social exchange theory, this study enriched the concept of supervisor-subordinate guanxi, developed a social exchange model of supervisor-subordinate guanxi, and then investigated the mechanism of supervisor-subordinate guanxi operation and its effects on subordinate in Chinese organizations.
    By using questionnaire survey, the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) for data of 211 employees and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) for data of 426 employees were implemented. The results showed that subordinate’s guanxi input had only one dimension, and supervisor’s resources output had two dimensions, including instrumental resources output and affective resources output. The study also showed that the subordinate guanxi input and supervisor resources output questionnaires had good reliability and high validity.
    By using questionnaire, Data was from a total of 426 matched supervisor-subordinate dyads in 54 work groups from different organizations. Hierarchical liner modeling (HLM) analysis was implemented. the results showed that after controlling task performance, subordinate’s guanxi input had a positive effect on supervisor’s instrumental resources output and affective resources output. Subordinate’s guanxi input had a positive effect on leader-member exchange (LMX). The results also indicated that LMX partially mediated the relationship between subordinate’s guanxi input and supervisor’s resources output. Although our hypothesis that guanxi-based human resources management practice in work group had a positive moderating effect on the relationship between subordinate’s guanxi input and supervisor’s resources output was not tested, the results indicated that guanxi-based human resources management practices of work group were significantly relative to supervisor’s affective resources output and LMX.
    The present study contributes to our understanding of the private guanxi operation behavior happened outside of work and its mechanism involved between supervisor and subordinate, as well as LMX in Chinese organizations. The results of this study will be of benefit to the guanxi management practices in organizations. Finally, the limitations in this study were discussed, and the future directions were also presented.
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    The Differential Effects of Job Design on Knowledge Workers and Manual Workers:
    A Field Quasi-experiment in China
    TU Hong-Wei,YAN Ming,ZHOU Xing
    2011, 43 (07):  810-820. 
    Abstract ( 1123 )   PDF (354KB) ( 2015 )  
    Along with the revolution in the structure of work in organizations, job design research seems to have developed to its peak and gradually lost its attraction. While enriched jobs have proliferated since the 1980’s, more and more studies have found that it is difficult to generalize universal effects of job design across all situations for all workers. It calls into doubt whether job enrichment has really resolved the problems created by “Taylorizing” jobs and raises the question of whether Taylorist principles have really become obsolete for current human resource management (HRM). Responding to these concerns, we aim to extend job design research by examining the distinct effects of job enrichment on satisfaction and performance for two different types of workers. Accordingly, the specific goals of this article and the differences between the past literature and the present study rest with the proposition that worker type (knowledge workers vs. manual workers) may be a potential factor moderating the impact of job enrichment on work outcomes, that is, KWs and MWs will respond differently to comparable job enrichment manipulations.
    To test the hypotheses, we conducted a quasi-experimental field study with computer programmers and maintenance workers. The research site was the head office of an IT company in Shenzhen, China, and 280 participants were randomly selected with an equal number from Program Development Department (PDD) and the Logistics Department (LD). The study was conducted in three phases. In Phase 1, PDD programmers (KWs) and LD workers (MWs) were randomly assigned to the experimental condition in which the tasks were substantially enriched in phase 3 or control condition in which tasks remained the same. Phase 2 lasted for four weeks during which time employees were assigned to perform these baseline tasks. Phase 3 consisted of a six-month period during which the participants in the experimental groups worked on their respective enriched jobs and the participants in the control groups continued to work on the baseline jobs.
    A 2 ×2 × 2 repeated-measures ANOVA was performed to examine changes in satisfaction and performance, with Work Type and Condition as the between-participants variables, and Experimental Session (pretest vs. posttest) as the within-participants variable. The hypotheses were generally supported by the significant between-participants Work Type × Condition interaction on both satisfaction and performance scores. The significant within-participants simple effect of Experimental Session indicated a difference in response to job enrichment between PDD programmers and LD workers, supporting the general argument that the effects of job enrichment on KWs and MWs are different.
    The present study may advance HRM theory and practice by enriching our knowledge of the application of both enrichment design theory and Taylorism. Theoretically, although a review of the evidence on the causal relationship between job design and the outcomes of satisfaction and performance show that the relationships are not particularly strong, few researchers have been interested in exploring the reasons. We argued that both theories of job enrichment and Taylorism could potentially be beneficial for current day HRM practice if we were able to understand the circumstances under which they could be more effectively applied, i.e., for KW’s vs. MW’s. In practice, HR managers should therefore note that the enrichment design can not be routinely applied to all employees. MWs may prefer a Taylorist workplace, in which the employer can easily define performance standards and ensure the utility of employees’ productivity, and on the other hand, employees can focus on the completion of narrowly defined tasks with less stress. Yet, an enrichment strategy should be considered for KWs’ tasks as this approach should satisfy their needs in doing knowledge work and increase the motivating potential of their work.
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    Evaluating Test Reliability:From Coefficient Alpha to Internal Consistency Reliability
    WEN Zhong-Lin,YE Bao-Juan
    2011, 43 (07):  821-829. 
    Abstract ( 1360 )   PDF (407KB) ( 3445 )  
    In the research of psychology and other social sciences, test reliability is often used to reflect measurement stability and consistency. Coefficient α is the most popular indicator of test reliability. Recent years, however, coefficient α was challenged now and again. Is coefficient α still recommended for evaluating test reliability? If not, what should replace it?
    With the classical concept of reliability, which is defined as the ratio of true variance to observed variance on a test under consideration, we introduced the relationship between test reliability and coefficient α, and the limitations of coefficient α. The concepts closely related to coefficient α were considered. We clearly defined homogeneity reliability and internal consistency reliability. Homogeneity reflects the presence of a general factor, whereas internal consistency relates the presence of common factors (including a general factor and local factors). For unidimensional tests, homogeneity and internal consistency are the same concept. Investigating the relationship between test reliability, coefficient α, homogeneity reliability, and internal consistency reliability, we showed that homogeneity reliability is not larger than internal consistency reliability, and that the latter is not larger than test reliability; coefficient α usually underestimates internal consistency reliability, and the latter is closer to test reliability.
    For ordinary use, the errors of items in a test are reasonably uncorrelated. Under the assumption that the total score of the test is meaningful, we proposed a guideline for evaluating test reliability. If coefficient α is high enough to be accepted, then the test reliability is also acceptable whether the test is unidimensional or not. In this case, using coefficient α to evaluate test reliability is the first choice. If the coefficient α is not large enough, we should calculate internal consistency reliability which is also known as composite reliability in literatures. If the internal consistency reliability is high enough to be accepted, then the test reliability is also acceptable. An operational procedure was summarized for reliability analysis based on the above guideline.
    We illustrated how to calculate homogeneity reliability and internal consistency reliability by using factor analysis. A LISREL program was developed to calculate them for a multidimensional test. A simplified version of the program was also made for a unidimensional test. The programs are almost the same as those for ordinary confirmatory factor analysis and can be managed easily by empirical researchers.
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    Using Testlet DIF Procedures to Detect Testlet DIF in Chinese Passage-based Reading Testing
    ZHENG Chan-Jin,GUO Cong-Ying,BIAN Yu-Fang
    2011, 43 (07):  830-835. 
    Abstract ( 793 )   PDF (266KB) ( 1030 )  
    Structuring items around reading passages (the passage-based format) is enjoying more and more popularity in reading and language testing. The passage-based format is a typical example of testlets, groups of items that exhibit dependencies due to a common prompt, so statistical techniques used to analyze passage-based items, such as DIF detection, must account for the testlet effect. Current methods to deal with the testlet effect fall into two categories: the testlet model-based approach and the alternative/indirect approach. The former is more methodically sound, but is in its infancy and is not ready for practical purposes.
    This study pursues the second path and accounts for the testlet effect in DIF detection by introducing alternative hypothesis testing for testlet DIF and indices its effect size. The first part is a comparison study between traditional DIF and the alternative testlet DIF, which demonstrates the necessity and advantages of the new approach.
    The second part employs four testlet DIF procedures derived from the alternative approach to conduct hypothesis tests and investigates three indices to measure the DIF effect size. These indices can provide helpful information for DIF decision-making in testlets.
    The results indicate that these alternative testlet DIF procedures are more technically sound than the non-testlet DIF procedures for passage-based testing.
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    Item Replenishing in Cognitive Diagnostic Computerized Adaptive Testing
    CHEN Ping,XIN Tao
    2011, 43 (07):  836-850. 
    Abstract ( 762 )   PDF (461KB) ( 903 )  
    Item replenishing is essential for item bank maintenance and development in cognitive diagnostic computerized adaptive testing (CD-CAT). Compared with item replenishing in regular CAT, item replenishing in CD-CAT is more complicated because it requires constructing the Q matrix (Embretson, 1984; Tatsuoka, 1995) corresponding to the new items (denoted as Qnew_item). However, the Qnew_item is often constructed manually by content experts and psychometricians, which brings about two issues: first, it takes experts a lot of time and efforts to discuss and complete the attribute identification task, especially when the number of new items is large; second, the Qnew_item identified by experts is not guaranteed to be totally correct because experts often disagree in the discussion. Therefore, this study borrowed the main idea of joint maximum likelihood estimation (JMLE) method in unidimensional item response theory (IRT) to propose the joint estimation algorithm (JEA), which depended fully on the examinees’ responses on the operational and new items to jointly estimate the Qnew_item and the item parameters of new items automatically in the context of CD-CAT under the Deterministic Inputs, Noisy “and” Gate (DINA) model.
    A simulation study was conducted to investigate whether the JEA algorithm could accurately and efficiently estimate the Qnew_item and the item parameters of new items under different sample sizes and different levels of item parameter range, and the new items were randomly seeded in the random positions of examinees’ CD-CAT tests. In this study, four samples (sample sizes were 100, 300, 1000 and 3000 respectively) were simulated and each examinee had 50% probability of mastering each attribute. On the other hand, three item banks of 360 items were simulated and their item parameters were randomly drawn from U (0.05, 0.25), U (0.15, 0.35) and U (0.25, 0.45) respectively, and the three item banks shared the same Q matrix. 20 new items were simulated and the Qnew_item was constructed by randomly selecting 20 rows from the Q matrix, and the item parameters of new items were randomly drawn from U (0.05, 0.25) or U (0.15, 0.35) or U (0.25, 0.45) depending on the item parameter range of the corresponding operational items. The Shannon Entropy method was employed to select the next available item from the item bank, the Maximum A Posterior method was used to update the knowledge state estimates of examinees, and the fixed-length stopping rule was adopted and the test length was 20.
    The results indicated that the JEA worked well in terms of the estimation accuracy of the Qnew_item and the item parameters of new items especially when the item parameter sizes were relatively small and the sample sizes were relatively large. And as the sample size increased, the estimation accuracy of attribute vectors were monotone increasing under all conditions, the calibration accuracy of the guessing and slipping parameters were monotone decreasing under most conditions. Also the sample size, item parameter size and initial item parameter all had effects on the performance of JEA.
    Though the results from the simulation study are very encouraging, further studies are proposed for the future investigations such as different cognitive diagnostic models and different attribute hierarchical structures.
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