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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 43 Issue 05 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    The Influence of the Testing Paradigm on Location Source Retrieval: An Event-Related Potentials Study
    NIE Ai-Qing,GUO Chun-Yan,SHEN Mo-Wei
    . 2011, 43 (05): 473-482.  
    Abstract   PDF (512KB) ( 1539 )
    Previous behavioral research has shown evidence for the dissociation between the remembering of an event and the contextual details in which this event occurred. The first task is called item memory and the second is referred to as source memory. The dissociation between these two tasks is further reinforced by event-related potentials (ERP) studies. The binding of distinct sources with items also differs under certain circumstances, which has been confirmed by using ERP or other measures. Moreover, the testing style, aging, material and many other factors can regulate the spatial and temporal distributive characteristic of the old/new effect for both item memory and source memory. To verify whether the minimum impact of testing paradigms on the neural correlation of color source retrieval reported by Cycowicz and his collaborators also held true in other sources, two ERP experiments were conducted to investigate the impact of two types of testing paradigms (exclusion and three-key paradigms) on the temporal and the spatial distributions of the old/new effect for the location source retrieval task, in which both of these experiments used pictures as stimuli.
    Thirty-three subjects participated in the two experiments, sixteen of them for the first experiment, and the rest for the second one. In the first experiment, stimuli were presented either on the left of the screen or on the right side during the study phase and then two tests were performed separately with pictures presented on the center of the screen. One test task was to discriminate the old items from the new ones, and the other task was to judge the items presented on certain location during the study phase as targets and to judge other ones as non-targets. In the second experiment, the source test was to judge each item with three different keys based on its context during the study phase. Two-way repeated-measures ANOVAs were performed with response (2 levels) and electrode (4 levels) served as within-subject variables to test the old/new effect associated with each retrieval task and the Greenhouse-Geisser epsilon (ε) correction was used where appropriate.
    For the first experiment, the spatial distribution of the positive-going old/new effect elicited by the location source retrieval task was wider than that of the item recognition task. Whereas, the second experiment recorded reliable negative-going old/new effect correlated with the location source retrieval task relative to that of the item recognition task.
    Unlike the findings reported by Cycowicz and his collaborators, the results from the current experiments showed that the spatial and temporal distributions of the old/new effects for the location source retrieval tasks with different testing paradigms were also distinct, which indicated the fact that the neural correlation of this task was regulated by the testing style; and the possible reason for this difference was that the binding of location source with item differed from that of the color source. The current results, together with those from Cycowicz and his collaborators’, suggest that the conclusion based on color source studies holds true only in limited ranges of episodic sources.
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    The Impact of Perceptual Load on Emotional Face Processing in Attentional Blink Paradigm
    YE Rong,YU Feng-Qiong,JIANG Yu-Bao,WANG Kai
    . 2011, 43 (05): 483-493.  
    Abstract   PDF (404KB) ( 2309 )
    The processing of emotion-laden stimuli is often proposed to take place in a prioritized and obligatory fashion. The evidences from both electrophysiological and neuroimaging studies in which the spatial focus of attention is explicitly manipulated have showed controversial results on the subject of whether attention is required for emotional stimuli processing. Although this issue can be partially reconciled by adapting the concept of attentional load, the manipulation of attentional resources may not be subtle enough to effectively restrain the privileged processing of emotional stimuli. The present study is aim to further investigate the mechanism of emotion processing by combining the Load Theory and attentional blink (AB) paradigm. We hypothesize that in attentional blink paradigm the prioritized processing of emotional T2 stimuli may be suppressed by the double limitation of increased T1 perceptual load and short latency of T1-T2 interval.
    In present study, each trial consisted of a first target (T1, a scrambled face colored in green) and a second target (T2, either a fearful or a neutral face) embedded in a rapid series visual presentation (RSVP) of 18 scrambled faces. The Eriksen flanker task was used to distinguish the level of T1 perceptual load in which the participants were asked to determine the orientation of central arrow between other 4 congruent (low-load condition) or incongruent (high-load condition) arrows. All 20 items were presented for 67ms on the black background of computer screen and immediately followed by sequential items. The possible intervals between T1 and T2 were Lag-2 (SOA 134ms), Lag-3 (SOA 201ms), Lag-5 (SOA 335ms) and Lag-8 (SOA 536ms). 30 undergraduate and graduate students were instructed to make the identification response to the central arrow of the only green item (left or right) and the detection response to the other target face with intact features (present or absent). T1 load conditions were separately presented in two blocks and the order of these two blocks was counterbalanced across the participants. The T1 identification accuracy and the T2 detection accuracy in all conditions were recorded respectively.
    The analysis of behavioral data revealed that for low-load conditions, fearful faces were detected more often than neutral faces, therefore replicating previous reports of the privileged emotion processing in AB. However, this advantage was hampered significantly in the high-load condition and the detection of neutral faces was not affected by the increased T1 load, suggesting that the privileged access of fearful faces to awareness is more sensitive to the current available processing resources. Most importantly, the attenuated emotional impact in AB was merely observed in the condition of high T1-load and short T1-T2 lag, indicated that the prioritization of emotion-laden stimuli processing are restricted by both the depletion of attentional resources induced by T1 perceptual load and the ineffective modulation of positive attentional set mechanism toward emotional stimuli.
    In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that faces with emotional expressions are not a category of objects which immune to the effects of attention. Instead, the processing of emotional stimuli such as facial expression depends on the available attentional resources and is modulated by attentional control.
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    Self-face Advantage Benefits from a Visual Self-reference Frame
    WANG Ling-Yun,ZHANG Ming,SUI Jie
    . 2011, 43 (05): 494-499.  
    Abstract   PDF (279KB) ( 1998 )
    One responds faster to own faces than the faces of others. Although this self-advantage effect in face processing has been well documented, the mechanism underlying the phenomena is far from clear. A plausible account of the effect is that self-face as the salient stimulus automatically attracts one’s attention relative to others’ faces. An alternative interpretation based on the theory of social cognition stresses the implicit positive association between the self and positive trait adjectives, suggesting that such implicit associations may contribute to the self-advantage. Here we propose that the self-reference frame (making judgments from first-person perspective) facilitates the self-face processing compared to the processing of others’ faces.
    We reported two experiments to assess the role of the self-reference frame in the self-advantage effect by manipulating the judgment-reference frame (self- vs. other-reference) and the attentional level (explicit vs. implicit task). There were sixteen pairs of gender matched participants in Experiment 1, they selectively judged the orientation of self or familiar faces while ignoring the familiar or self faces (explicit face-recognition task) from the self (making judgment from the participants’ own perspective) or other-reference frame (making judgment from the perspective of viewed images). In Experiment 2, fourteen pairs of participants had to judge the orientations of all types of faces including self, familiar, and unfamiliar others (implicit face-perception task) from the self or other-reference frame. Reaction time and accuracy were measured when participants conducted the tasks, and analyzed using repeated-measures analyses of variance (ANOVAs) with Face (self vs. familiar) and Perspective (self- vs. other-reference) as within-subjects variables.
    We observed a clear benefit in the self relative to other conditions -- participants responded faster to own-face than the faces of others. But this effect exclusively occurred in the self-reference frame condition, regardless of the type of tasks. In contrast, the advantage effect was eliminated in the other-reference frame condition in either the explicit or implicit tasks.
    The results indicate that the self-advantage in face processing results from self-reference frame. Although the judgment-reference frame was not explicitly emphasized in prior studies on self-face processing, self-face may automatically induce the self-reference frame and lead to a facilitation in self-face processing.
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    Impaction of Interstimulus Interval on Prospective Memory Interference Effect
    YUAN Hong,YUAN Xiang-Yong,YIN Tian-Zi,CHEN You-Zhen,HUANG Xi-Ting
    . 2011, 43 (05): 500-508.  
    Abstract   PDF (341KB) ( 1517 )
    Prospective memory (PM) is defined as remembering to perform an intended activity. There are two types of prospective memory: time-based (TBPM) and event-based (EBPM). Interference occurs when one is processing ongoing task and prospective memory task at the same time, since processing both tasks consumes cognitive resources. The impact caused by keeping prospective intention on the accuracy and response time of processing ongoing tasks is often called prospective interference effect. This effect can be used as a way to study processing mechanisms between TBPM and EBPM. Since there is no external cue, TBPM is supposed to require more self-initiated processing. Recent studies have not found any different interference effect in TBPM and EBPM and they have concluded that the same cognitive processing mechanism exists in TBPM and EBPM. However, we believe that processing a time-based intention will cause more prospective interference to the ongoing task than processing an event-based intention. We hypothesized that manipulation of the length of the interstimulus interval (ISI) in the prospective memory tasks will provide insight on cognitive processing mechanisms in TBPM and EBPM.
    Based on our hypothesis, there are 66 and 73 subjects participated in two experiments, where the ISI was defined to 2050~2250ms and 250ms respectively while each experiment includes control group, TBPM task group and EBPM task group. Participants in the control group only performed an ongoing task. In the TBPM group, participants were asked to press a specific key in a two-minute interval while they were performing the same ongoing task, and they could monitor time by pressing spacebar whenever necessary. In the EBPM task, participants were asked to press a specific key when an event cue was presented while they were performing the same ongoing task. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted on the average latencies and accuracy of ongoing task from the three conditions of each experiment. For TBPM, ANOVA was conducted on the number of times that participants checked the clock under different ISI.
    In the first experiment when ISI was 2050~2250ms, we didn’t find different interference in terms of response time between time-based and event-based conditions, but we did find interference effect in accuracy in TBPM condition. Participants checked clock during interstimulus intervals. The frequency of clock checking within the 2-minute showed an ascending staircase curve. However, in the second experiment with 250ms ISI, we found that time-based intention had more interference in reaction time on the ongoing task than event-based intention. In addition, interference in terms of accuracy only occurred in TBPM condition, but not in EBPM condition. Participants checked clock once stimulus presented. The frequency of clock checking in the second experiment is different from the first one in that it increased gradually across the 4 time windows.
    These results suggest that, when ISI is short enough, in both EBPM and TBPM conditions, participants had to monitor either event cue or time cue at the time of the stimulus presenting. At this situation, the TBPM task affected ongoing task more than EBPM task. Therefore, the TBPM task relies more on cognitive resource. Under different length of ISI, participants used different strategies to check clock. This implies TBPM has more complex cognitive processing mechanism. By using adaptive strategies based on the characteristics of TBPM tasks, one can optimize his/her cognitive resources. This study suggests different cognitive mechanisms play roles in TBPM and EBPM.
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    The Role of Inhibit Control in the Process of Rare Target Detection
    LI Fu-Hong,CAO Bi-Hua,XIAO Feng,LI Hong
    . 2011, 43 (05): 509-518.  
    Abstract   PDF (553KB) ( 1033 )
    More recently, some researches showed that missing error rates were far higher at 1% target prevalence than at 50% prevalence (Wolfe et al., 2005; 2007; Fleck & Mitroff, 2007). Fleck and Mitroff (2007) suggested giving observers an opportunity to correct their last response can decrease the missing rates. However, the missing rates were still high before incorporating the correction responses. In other words, the mistake had been made before correcting it (Fleck and Midriff, 2007). Can the missing error be avoided in a more positive manner? The purpose of the present study was to find a better way to reduce missing errors in the visual search task.
    We used a similar target detection task, in which the task of observers was to search tools (targets). In Experiment 1, 3, and 5, observers were required to press one of two keys as a response to the target or nontarget, while they were required to count or make markers in the Experiment 2 or 4 as a response to the targets. In Experiment 6, two tasks were implemented. One was a search task that was the same to Experiment 3, and the other was an inhibition control task.
    The results of Experiment 1 and Experiment 3 indicated that the missing error was significantly increased when the prevalence of targets was low, which clearly replicated the differential prevalence effects on search performance identified in previous studies (Ethell & Manning, 2001; Egglin & Feinstein, 1996; Wolf et al., 2005). As observers in Experiment 1 reported, they noticed the targets in the display but they failed to shift response to the target pictures before pressing a key. Their claims were strongly supported by the results of Experiment 5, in which the observer’s eye movements were tracked.
    Since that the response-execution is the main factor that caused the high missing error in low prevalence condition, the missing error was expected to decrease in the following three occasions. First, the missing error will be low when prepotent response is not induced in the target detection task. The results of Experiment 2 proved this expectation. Second, the missing error will be low when observers responded to the targets appropriately. This view is similar to the claims of Fleck and his colleagues (2007). The results of Experiment 4 in the present study suggested a more positive way to avoid the high missing errors. When observers applied an appropriated responding manner such as making markers, then the mistakes were avoided effectively. Third, the missing error will be low when observers possess a higher ability of execution control. This expectation was demonstrated in Experiment 6.
    In sum, the results of the current study fully replicated the prevalence effect on visual search performance (Wolfe et al, 2005; 2007), which should alleviate concerns about methodological differences between studies. However, our results indicated that the high missing error can be avoided by applying the more appropriate responding pattern such as making markers and by recruiting the observers who have a higher ability of inhibition control.
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    Influence of Chinese Character Learning Combined with Dongba Pictograph on Children’s Chinese Orthographic Acquisition
    WANG Juan,ZHANG Ji-Jia,XIE Shu-Shu,YUAN Ai-Ling
    . 2011, 43 (05): 519-533.  
    Abstract   PDF (484KB) ( 1414 )
    A lot of achievements have been made in the field of young children’s Chinese character learning. Most research focused on the perspective of cognition and empirical approaches, while little research has highlighted the perspective of application. Research has indicated that recognition of the orthographies of Chinese characters is the key to learn Chinese. But the abstract Chinese’s orthographic knowledge can’t be directly taught because of children’s undeveloped cognitive ability. Chinese learning combined with pictures is one of the most popular methods to be used. However, it is not quite clear how strong the auxiliary function is. Dongba pictograph has similar characteristics of Chinese characters and pictures to some extent. It is suggested that Dongba pictograph may contribute to children’s Chinese character orthographic learning. The present study was designed to explore the simulative functions of Dongba pictograph and picture on Chinese character orthographic learning under the conditions of explicit and implicit memory. At the same time, the respective effects of Chinese characters learning and Dongba pictograph learning were also to be investigated.
    A total of 160 children (80 males and 80 females respectively) were tested in this study, 80 children took part in Experiment 1 and another 80 children took part in Experiment 2. Three-factor mixed design was used: 4 (learning style: Chinese learning only, Dongba pictograph learning only, Chinese learning combined with Dongba pictograph, Chinese learning combined with pictures ) × 2 (test style: instant test, delay test) × 2 (word class: verbs, nouns). The materials included 40 Chinese characters (20 verbs which included 10 ideograph words and 10 phonograms, 20 nouns which included 10 ideograph words and 10 phonograms), 40 Dongba pictographs and 40 pictures, while three stimuli shared the same meaning. In Experiment 1, participants were firstly asked to learn by listening individually, and then they were asked to complete the explicit tests by recognition task. Participants were requested to complete and implicit tests by preference judgment task in Experiment 2. All the tests carried out three days later were regarded as delay tests.
    The results of both experiments indicated that Chinese learning combined with Dongba pictograph caused better results than Chinese learning combined with pictures and Chinese learning only. The performance of nouns was better than that of verbs. Performance of instant tests was better than that of delay tests. The group of Chinese learning combined with pictures had no significant difference with the group of Chinese learning only. Results also showed an asymmetric effect of explicit and implicit memory on Dongba pictograph learning. The performance of Dongba under the condition of explicit memory was significantly better than any other learning styles, whereas its performance under the condition of implicit memory was worse than any other learning styles. These results may result from both Dongba’s ideographic nature and the similarity between Dongba pictograph and Chinese character which supported perceptual distinctiveness hypothesis.
    The conclusions are derived from this study: (1) as a kind of auxiliary learning tool, Dongba pictograph can promote young children’s Chinese character orthographic learning. (2) The effects of Dongba on Chinese character orthographic learning may result from Dongba’s ideographic nature, the similarity between Dongba pictograph and Chinese character, as well as children’s cognitive characteristics.
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    Effects of Adulthood Exposure to Bisphenol-A on Behaviors in Mice
    TIAN Dong,XU Xiao-Hong,HONG Xing,CHEN Lei,XIE Ling-Dan,LI Tao
    . 2011, 43 (05): 534-543.  
    Abstract   PDF (408KB) ( 994 )
    Bisphenol-A (BPA), one of the well-known environmental endocrine disrupters with estrogen activity is a widely used industrial compound. With its expanded uses, BPA can be seen everywhere around us, and even has become an integral part of our daily life. As a result it makes more and more adult exposure to BPA in daily life. In recent years, many studies have focused on its toxicity to the reproductive system and development, but few studies on the adult brain and behaviors. It is reported that estrogen not only affects the development of the brain, but also participates in the adult brain plasticity and cognitive functions, so it is important to study the effects of adult exposure to BPA on brain. The purpose of the present study is to investigate whether adulthood exposure to BPA affects behaviors in mice.
    After acclimatization for one week, adult male and female ICR mice were orally exposed to BPA dissolved in peanut oil (40, 400 μg/kg/day) or only peanut oil as a vehicle control from 5 weeks of age throughout 14 and a half weeks of age. At 13 weeks of age, open field, elevated plus-maze, Morris water maze, and step-down were respectively used to test spontaneous activity and exploratory behavior, anxiety, spatial learning and memory, and passive avoidance memory in mice.
    The results showed that adulthood exposure to BPA for 8 weeks significantly inhibited the growth of body weight of male and female mice (p<0.05). Sexual difference of the frequencies of rearing and buttress standing in open field was abolished by adulthood exposure to BPA. The frequency of open arms entrance, the staying time in the open arms, and unprotected head dips in the central area of elevated plus-maze were significantly decreased in male (p<0.05 or p<0.01) but were increased in female (p<0.05 or p<0.01), resulting in abolishment or reverse of sex difference in exploration and anxiety behavior in adult mice. The results of Morris water maze test showed that adulthood exposure to BPA (40 µg/kg/d) significantly extended the average escape pathlength of the male (p<0.05), while no marked effect was found in the female, and BPA thus eliminated sex difference of spatial memory in adult mice. In step down test, adulthood exposure to BPA markedly shortened the latency to step down 24 h after footshock in male mice (p<0.05) but not in female, and the sex difference in passive avoidance memory was thus induced by exposure to BPA at 40 µg/kg/d (p<0.01).
    These results suggest that adulthood exposure to BPA affected multiple behaviors and disturbed the sexual difference of these behaviors in mice.
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    Cdk5 Kinase Activity, Caspase-3 Expression and Synaptic Structural Plasticity in Infra-limbic Cortex of Rats with Conditioned Fear
    LI Pei-Pei,ZHANG Li-Li,WEI Mei,LI Min
    . 2011, 43 (05): 544-552.  
    Abstract   PDF (1076KB) ( 846 )
    Classical fear conditioning is a behavioral paradigm that is widely used to study the neuronal mechanisms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Previous studies have clearly identified the medial prefrontal cortex as a key brain area for fear memory traces, but the molecules involving are poorly understood. Recently, the neuronal cyclin dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) has been implicated in both functional and structural plasticity through affecting ion channel conductance, dendritic spine formation, protein expressions and transcriptions in the postsynaptic neurons. Importantly, dysregulation of Cdk5 has been linked to cell apoptosis, which involves perturbation in synaptic function. How the kinase activity, expression of caspase-3 and synaptic structure have changed in infra-limbic cortex (IL) of conditioned fear? The present study is aimed to answer this question by two experiments.
    Male adult SD rats were randomly divided into fear group and naive group. Conditioned fear model of rats was established by tone paired foot shock. At the 2nd, 4th and 8th days after fear conditioning, the Cdk5 activity, and expressions of P35 or P25 and caspase-3 in IL area were studied by immunoprecipitation and kinase assay, Western blotting and immunnohistochemical assay. Then the change of synaptic structure at the 8th and 22nd days after conditioned fear was observed with electron microscopy. The results of our experiment 1 showed that Cdk5 activity and expressions of P25 and caspase-3 were all higher in fear group than naive group. In experiment 2, the postsynaptic density (PSD) was thinner in fear group than naive group at the 8th and 22nd days after fear conditioning, but the numerical densities of IL synapse was decreased in fear group at the 22nd day after fear conditioning.
    Our date suggested that at 8th days after conditioned fear established, the expression of P25 and Cdk5 activity in fear group were higher than naive group, which may lead to the change of synaptic structural plasticity of IL area and further lead to fear expression of rats.
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    The Coincidence between the Regulatory Fit Effects Based on Chronic Regulatory Focus and Situational Regulatory Focus
    WANG Ling,LIN Hui-Yun,PANG Xiao-Ming
    . 2011, 43 (05): 553-560.  
    Abstract   PDF (419KB) ( 1401 )
    Regulatory fit theory proposes that the fit between regulatory focus and information frame will strengthen the individual’s evaluation on the information, as well as the affect and motivation. However, the regulatory focus involves two different types: situational focus and chronic focus, the former is induced by environmental factors, while the latter reflects stable personality. Thus, an interesting question is, whether the regulatory fits based on different types of regulatory focus have the same effect? And this is the purpose of the present study.
    Experiment 1 adopted 2 (chronic regulatory focus: promotion vs. prevention) ×2 (information frame: positive vs. negative) between-subjects design to explore the influence of regulatory fit between chronic focus and information frame upon the effect of persuasion. Experiment 2 also adopted 2 (situational regulatory focus: promotion vs. prevention) ×2 (information frame: positive vs. negative) between-subjects design to explore the effect of regulatory fit between situational focus and information frame upon the effect of persuasion. Data were collected from 166 college students (113 in Experiment 1 and 53 in Experiment 2).
    In experiment 1, MANOVA revealed significant interactions between regulatory focus and information frame on the information value and mood intensity, while in experiment 2, in addition to information value and mood intensity, MANOVA revealed significant interaction on behavior intention. Taken together, results showed the regulatory fit based on chronic regulatory focus and the regulatory fit based on situational regulatory focus have the same influence on information value and mood intensity (they both improve the value of information and increase the intensity of mood); however, they have different influence on behavior intention (the former has no impact on behavior intention while the latter can improve behavior intention).
    This conclusion is beneficial to understand the difference between chronic regulatory focus and situational regulatory focus, as well as the difference between the two kinds of regulatory fit based on them.
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    Shared Mental Models and Team Performance: A Contingent Model
    BAI Xin-Wen,LIU Wu,LIN Lin
    . 2011, 43 (05): 561-572.  
    Abstract   PDF (480KB) ( 1421 )
    Extant literature has demonstrated that shared mental models (SMMs), defined as the structured understanding or mental representation of team tasks and interaction shared by team members, generally contribute to team effectiveness. Although suggested by some scholars, the conditions under which SMMs are more likely to benefit team performance have rarely been studied. The current study aims to fill up such a research gap. We propose that team interdependence will attenuate the effect of SMMs on team performance so that this relationship will be stronger when team interdependence is low rather than high.
    Totally 712 participants representing 106 teams (average team size is 8.02, SD = 4.44) from a large telecommunication corporation in China gave valid responses to the survey questionnaire. These teams were responsible to operate, monitor, and maintain the core telecommunication network facilities in the company. Individual mental models (MMs) were elicited by asking participants to rate the priority of 13 potential strategies when the team encountered each of two critical incidents that resulted in malfunction of telecommunication network facilities. Two types of SMMs indices, namely consistency index and agreement index, were obtained to assess the sharedness among team members’ MMs. Consistency was indexed by calculating the alpha coefficient among all members’ responses to the 13 strategies within each team, and agreement was indexed using the average Euclidean distance between each member’ responses. Team performance was rated by team manager.
    Results of series of hierarchical regression analyses indicated that: a) the effect of SMMs (consistency index) on team performance was significant (β = 0.24, p < 0.05); b) the interaction between SMMs (consistency index) and team interdependence was significant (β = -0.29, p < 0.01), suggesting that the effect of SMMs on team performance was negatively moderated by team interdependence. Further analysis showed that when team interdependence was low, SMMs were significantly related to team performance (simple slope = 1.46, p < 0.01). While when team interdependence was high, the effect of SMMs on team performance was not significant (simple slope = 0.09, ns); and c) neither the main effect of SMMs (agreement index) (β = 0.003, ns) nor its interaction with team interdependence (β = -0.05, ns) on team performance was significant.
    Consistent with prior research, our findings suggested that SMMs were in general positively related to team performance. Furthermore, we also found that the effect was contingent on team interdependence such that SMMs contributed to team functioning only when team interdependence was low. Results were discussed in terms of the importance of the contingent perspective in investigating the SMMs-team performance relationship, and the importance of indexing methods of SMMs.
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    Cross-over Effects or Direct Effects? The Mechanism Linking Work-family Conflict with Outcomes

    ZHANG Mian,LI Hai,WEI Jun,YANG Bai-Yin

    . 2011, 43 (05): 573-588.  
    Abstract   PDF (459KB) ( 1803 )
    The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of work-family conflict on well-being and work-related outcomes among Chinese managers. Work-family conflict is viewed as a bi-directional construct in which work can interfere with family (referred to as work-to-family conflict, WIF) and family can interfere with work (referred to as family-to-work conflict, FIW). The central idea of this study is that how people perceive work versus family roles affects work-family conflict. We posited the Chinese work priority may limit the generalization of some findings from Western studies to Chinese samples. To test our proposition, we investigated the relationship between work-family conflict and two types of consequences. Specifically, we examined the effects of WIF and FIW on a psychological well-being consequence (life satisfaction) and three work-related consequences (organizational commitment, intent to stay and job satisfaction) among Chinese managers.
    Our literature review identified two mechanisms linking work-family conflict to consequences: “cross-over” effects model and “direct” effects model. The “cross-over” model postulates that one likely experiences high levels of psychological distress associated with a given role if one is frequently struggling to meet the demands of that role because of hindrance stemming from another role. In line with this rationale, WIF predicts family-related affective and behavioral consequences such as family satisfaction, while FIW predicts work-related consequences such as job satisfaction. A complementary argument (“direct model”) posits that one may blame the role domain causing conflict and thus experience high levels of dissatisfaction associated with the given role. Consistent with this rationale, WIF affects work-related affective and behavioral consequences, while FIW influences family-related consequences.
    In this study, we argue that the Chinese work priority is critical to understanding consequences of work-family conflict among Chinese. When family and work conflict, in most cases, the Chinese are likely to put work before family. On the basis of work priority norm, we anticipate that cross-over effects model can serve as the theoretical basis among Chinese samples; however, direct effects model can not be generalized to Chinese samples.
    We tested our hypotheses with two samples (N1=306 and N2=199) from Chinese managers. We collected data with survey research method and analyzed data with factor analyses as well as OLS regression models. Consistent with our anticipation, we found that FIW was negatively associated with work-related outcomes (job satisfaction, organization commitment and intent to stay). Second, psychological distress played a full mediating role between FIW and job satisfaction. Third, WIF was negatively associated with life satisfaction.
    The results of this study suggest that the “cross-over” model is likely to be universal and works well in two Chinese samples; the direct model, however, may not be generalized to the Chinese context. Our findings contribute to understanding of work-family conflict in cross-cultural settings.
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    Embodied Cognition: A Consideration from Theoretical Psychology
    YE Hao-Sheng
    . 2011, 43 (05): 589-598.  
    Abstract   PDF (342KB) ( 2883 )
    Embodied Cognition (EC) is a growing popular research program in cognitive science in general and cognitive psychology in particular. It emphasizes the formative role the organism’s structure of body and sensorimotor systems playing in the development of mind and cognitive processes. The notion of EC stands in contrast to the traditional cognitive psychology which regards the mind as a device to manipulate symbols and our cognitive capacities should be understood in terms of computational procedures operating on symbolic, internal states and processes. EC rejects this notion of the cognition and proposes that bodily states and structure, the physical attributes of the body and brain’s modal systems for perception, action, and introspection shape the mind. In other words, the particular way in which an organism is embodied can definitely have an impact on the organism’s mind and action in the world. According to EC, not only is cognition embodied, but also embedded. That means that our cognitive capacities arises from bodily interactions with the world and is continually meshed with them. The brain is embedded in the body, and the body is embedded in environment. The mind, brain, body and environment are organized into an integrative system. At early stage, EC research program is just a metaphysical thinking that is aimed at against Descartes’ dualism in mind-body relations. Through the philosophy of cognitive science and theoretical psychology, EC has now become a hot topic in experimental psychology. Accumulative evidences have showed the embodiment of cognition, emotion, memory, self-concept, attitude, judgment and other psychological processes and states. The advances in neuroscience provide EC research with convenient instruments. EC has taken advantage of the methods, technology, datum and results of neuroscience. But in so doing, proponents of EC do not intend to reduce the psychological to the physiological and the physical. EC research approach, therefore, can not be of reductionism. In the mean time, the neuroscience approach in EC provide psychology with a brand new perspectives, by which psychologists can make study on cognitive processes at a neural level other than at a behavioral level only. Both of the two levels are necessary for psychological research. It will not have a harm effect on psychological science.
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