ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    28 February 2011, Volume 43 Issue 02 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    The Word AoA Effects in Chaoshan-Putonghua Bilinguals’ Experimental Performance
    CHEN Jun,LIN Shao-Hui,ZHANG Ji-Jia
    2011, 43 (02):  111-122. 
    Abstract ( 1168 )   PDF (386KB) ( 2113 )  
    Age of acquisition (AoA) has recently drawn considerable attention as a determinant of lexical processing. Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the mechanism of AoA effects. One of these hypotheses is the Phonological Completeness Hypothesis, which assumes that AoA effects arise at the level of phonological representation. Although it could explain some AoA effects in word naming, it failed to do so in a phonological segment experiment. It could also not explain the AoA effects in some experiments where phonological output was not necessary. Neither could it explain why there were AoA effects in picture naming tasks where semantic factors were invited but there were no AoA effects in Chinese Characters naming tasks where the phonetic factor was involved. Another important hypothesis is the Semantic Hypothesis, which assumes that at least parts of the AoA effect originates from the semantic system. According to this hypothesis, the order of acquisition has a lasting effect on the time needed to activate the meanings of words. It was supported in some semantic tasks but not in some other studies. Evidence against this hypothesis seemed also available from AoA studies on bilinguals. In the present study, three experiments were conducted to examine the locus of the age of acquisition effects in the processing of Chinese words of Putonghua-Chaoshan bilinguals, with the focus on testing the Semantic Hypothesis of AoA effects.
    In Experiment 1, the bilinguals were required to name words and pictures. The stimuli were 36 single characters and 36 line drawings obtained from the Snodgrass and Vanderwart (1980). The 36 characters were 18 early- and 18 late-acquired characters. Each character was the Chinese name of one of the 36 line drawings. The aim was to compare the AoA effects between participants’ performance in picture and character naming tasks both in Chaoshan dialect and in Putonghua. To reduce the influence of the phonological output on the AoA effects in the picture naming task of Experiment 1 semantic category judgment task was used in Experiment 2, in which the bilinguals had to judge whether one of 32 early- and 32 late-acquired characters belongs to a certain the semantic category of “action” in both languages. In Experiment 3, the task of initial syllable monitoring was used in which an initial syllable and a Chinese character appeared in the screen at the same time and participants had to judge whether the stimuli matched in a specific language. The materials were 32 (16 early- and 16 late-acquired) characters in each category.
    Error rates and reaction times for correct responses were analyzed with ANOVA by subject and by item. In Experiment1, there was an interaction between AoA and task in both languages: especially in Chaoshan dialect there was a substantial AoA effect in picture naming task (131ms), but there was no AoA effect in character naming task in both languages. In Experiment 2, the semantic category judgment task showed significant AoA effects in both languages (26ms and 21ms). In Experiment 3, there were no AoA effects in either Chaoshan dialect or in Putonghua. The results of the present study suggested that AoA effects could be partially produced within the semantic processing system, rather than only within the speech output system.
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    An fMRI Study of Chinese Causative Sentences: the Syntactic Independence of Chinese
    FENG Shi-Wen,SHEN Xing-An,Yang Yi-Ming
    2011, 43 (02):  123-131. 
    Abstract ( 1229 )   PDF (335KB) ( 1248 )  
    The brain processing models of syntactic and semantics are important issues in the cognitive neurosciences. In 1957, Noam Chomsky put forward the framework of Syntax Independence. Even today, the hypothesis of Syntax Independence is one of the central topics of linguistics. However, this important language hypothesis has not been well studied by neuroscience researchers. Boland (1997), Grodzinsky et al. (2008) and other researchers showed evidence of syntactic independence, and even proposed specific brain regions involved in independent syntactic processing. However, these studies have been challenged by some other researchers (e.g.,Willems & Hagoort 2009). In fact, there are many morphological and syntactic markers in English and other Indo-European languages, and the syntactic variations in these languages can be embodied by morphological changes. In contrast, a language like Chinese does not have clear correspondent morphological changes like the Indo-European languages do. Consequently, if in the current experiment we can get at the neural processing of a morphologically impoverished languages like Chinese, we can find more conclusive evidence for the hypothesis of Syntax Independence in the brain.
    The materials in this study are two types of Chinese Causative Sentences with an equivalent meaning. For example, (1) Shichang Shi Jingji Fanrong (DCS);(2) Shichang Fanrong Le Jingji (RCS). These two sentences have the same meaning “The market made the economy prosperous” in Chinese. The sentence (1) is termed Dominant Causative Sentences (DCS) and the (2) is termed Recessive Causative Sentences (RCS).
    The fMRI acquisistion was done on a GE 3.0T machine with an event-related design. The participants were 19 healthy, right-handed, native Chinese speakers, 10 males and 9 females, with ages ranging from 20 to 26 years. The experimental data was analyzed with the AFNI software package. Images were spatial normalized to the Talairach and Tournoux brain atlas and smoothed with a FWHM=5mm kernel and eliminate the linear drift. The average impulse response function of the different conditions were obtained in an ANOVA analysis.
    The results showed that the left inferior frontal gyrus, the left middle frontal gyrus, and some other gyus in the left and right hemisphere were activated in the processing of Chinese Causative sentences. Further analysis showed that the left frontal lobe plays an important role in Chinese syntactic processing. The left inferior frontal lobe areas BA44 and BA47 are more sensitive to the Chinese syntactic processing when comparing the brain activations of DCS and RCS with a corrected p value 0.05. These results indicate that Chinese syntactic processing without morphological changes can be separated from semantics. The processing of syntactic independence is more closely related with the left inferior frontal gyrus than the left middle frontal gyrus, and the temporal lobe is not found in Chinese syntactic independence processing.
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    Brain Activations of the Processing of the “Reading-only Without Writing” Character
    ZHAI Hong-Chang,REN Jing,XIAO Sheng-Yong,DENG Bo-Ping,XU Xiao-Xia
    2011, 43 (02):  132-142. 
    Abstract ( 1241 )   PDF (383KB) ( 1693 )  
    The present study aims at exploring the different brain regions involved in the processing of “reading and writing” and “read-only” styles. The experimental materials are the “reading and writing” of simplified Chinese characters and the “read-only” of traditional Chinese characters that were matched in the strokes and familiarity. Eight college students were tested to read silently the simplified Chinese characters and the traditional Chinese characters during the magnetic resonance scan. the whole brain activations were acquired with ANOVA. Compared with the “reading and writing” of simplified Chinese characters, the “read-only” of traditional Chinese characters activated the right inferior frontal gyrus and the left cerebellum. The common functional connection brain regions include: the left precuneus-left medial frontal gyrus, left precuneus-left precentral gyrus and right middle occipital gyrus-left lingual gyrus. Quite contrarily, the left precuneus was related to the right precuneus in processing of traditional Chinese characters, while the left precuneus was related to the right precuneus middle frontal gyrus in processing of simplified Chinese characters. The left medial frontal gyrus and precentral gyrus showed high relativity only to traditional Chinese characters. The differences in brain areas between simplified Chinese characters and traditional Chinese characters consist of the left middle temporal gyrus and right inferior parietal lobule. The “read-only” characters are characterized by their integrity and outline, whose pronunciations characterized by integrity, are similar to the irregular simplified Chinese characters. traditional Chinese characters were less familiar to the subjects than simplified Chinese characters. Although, both traditional and simplified Chinese characters have the same functional connection area in processing, they have great difference. The differences in the right cerebral hemisphere exist in different connection area, and the differences also exist between the left medial frontal gyrus and precentral gyrus. The parietal lobe is important for the processing of recognition memory.
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    Re-examining the Classifying Advantage and Basic Level Effect
    WU Lei,MO Lei
    2011, 43 (02):  143-151. 
    Abstract ( 890 )   PDF (326KB) ( 1085 )  
    People are generally faster and more accurate to name or categorize objects at the basic level (e.g., dog), which is known as basic level effect. Previous researchers interpreted basic level effect as the comprehensive effects of steep rise of within- category similarity and slow rise of between-category similarity. But such an explanation can’t explain why People are sometimes faster and more accurate to name or categorize objects at the subordinate (e.g., pigeon).
    An operational method of computing the comprehensive effects was put forward in this study, which was called Scores of Category Specificity and defined as the difference between inferior between-category similarity and superior between-category similarity. We suggested that the category whose score was relatively high in its category series would show classifying advantages.
    Weather the scores could predict people’s classifying performance at basic-level categories was tested in Experiment 1. The results showed that subjects performed faster and more accurately at basic level in classifying tasks when the scores of basic-level categories were relatively high and that on the contrary was not true. In Experiment 2, we computing the scores of subordinate categories which had been proved that people were faster and more accurate to name or categorize objects at and referred to as special cases in previous studies. The results showed that people performed faster and more accurately at these subordinate categories just because the scores of these categories were relatively high, rather than interpreted as special cases. We found at the same time that specificity of subordinate categories had an impact on the scores. In Experiment 3, we further explored whether people had different performance when the same basic level category was combined with subordinate categories of different specificity. The results showed that people were faster and more accurate at basic level categories if they were combined with subordinate categories with low specificity and that people were faster and more accurate at subordinate categories if basic level categories were combined with subordinate categories with high specificity.
    Scores of Category Specificity were an effective indicator to predict at which level of categories people performed better in classifying tasks. The reason why scores of levels of categories varied was that people formed different degree of representational specificity according to various levels of taxonomical series in daily experience, which was known as Experience Theory.
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    Outcome Prediction and Evaluation in Young Adolescents: A Study of Event-Related Potentials
    CHEN Jing,SUO Tao,YUAN Wen-Ping,FENG Ting-Yong
    2011, 43 (02):  152-163. 
    Abstract ( 1156 )   PDF (562KB) ( 1868 )  
    People can generate anticipations from the environmental events and comparing them with the actual results constantly, by evaluating outcomes of feedback information to facilitate the performance of the behavior. Outcome evaluation, the process of evaluation that people act on their own or through external feedback results, is an important cognitive function of human. In event-related potential (ERP) research on the outcome evaluation or feedback processing, feedback-related negativity (FRN) and P300 were important components particularly induced by evaluating performance outcomes in adult subjects. Adopting a paradigm of lottery gambling task and manipulating the reward-related certainty, the present study investigated the cognitive and neural electrophysiological processes of outcome anticipation and evaluation in young adolescents, and compared the results with adults’, which as the control group.
    Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured when 15 healthy right-handed junior high school students did a lottery-gambling task. The participants were told that the red ball would immediately stop on the box it was passing by once they press the button. The red ball stopping on the green part indicates their gain, whereas, the gray part indicates their loss in the trail. We mainly analyzed ERPs elicited by the gain and loss feedback outcomes following two certainty conditions.
    The results showed that: Feedback Related Negativity which reflects the automatic rapid outcome evaluation showed not significant differences between adolescents and adults, whether in the high or low certainty condition. whereas, P300 which reflects the controlled elaborately outcome evaluation of the functional significance of feedback stimulus was sensitive both to groups and certainty conditions, which showed a significant interaction. Simple effects analysis showed that, in the high-certainty condition, the difference between amplitude of P300 elicited by gain and loss were significant in adolescents; however, there were not significant differences in adults for the P300 amplitude between gain and loss.
    These results revealed that the young adolescents had showed different trends in the development of abilities to automatic rapid and controlled elaborate of outcome evaluations and functional significance of feedback simulation. The ability of adolescents to evaluate feedback stimulation rapidly was close to the level of adults, but their ability to controlled elaborate outcome evaluation of the functional significance of feedback stimulation was developmentally underactive.
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    Attentional Bias of Individuals with Generalized Anxiety
    YANG Zhi-Hui,WANG Jian-Ping
    2011, 43 (02):  164-174. 
    Abstract ( 1758 )   PDF (330KB) ( 3505 )  
    Continuous attention to negative stimuli is a necessary condition for individuals to maintain their worries. Previous research has also shown that intolerance of uncertainty is one important factor that contributes to symptoms of generalized anxiety. A research question then emerges: do individuals with generalized anxiety pay particular attention to negative stimuli under uncertain situations? Little research has been conducted to answer this question. Consequently, the present research aims at demonstrating the attentional bias of individuals with generalized anxiety.
    Using the dot-probe task paradigm, two experiments were conducted to examine the attentional bias of individuals with generalized anxiety under ordinary versus uncertain situations. Using the Chinese version of Penn State Worry Questionnaire, we tested 1135 college students among which 60 students with generalized anxiety and 60 control students were selected. The 120 students participated in a test under ordinary situations in Experiment 1 and in another test under uncertain situations in Experiment 2.
    Results showed significant differences between students with generalized anxiety and control students in their attentional bias under uncertain, rather than ordinary situations. Under uncertain situations, students with generalized anxiety paid more attention to negative stimuli than their counterparts without generalized anxiety did. Additionally, they also felt more stressful and anxious under uncertain situations than their counterparts did.
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    Impacts of Construal Level on Brand Association and Brand Extension Evaluation
    CHAI Jun-Wu,ZHAO Guang-Zhi,HE Wei
    2011, 43 (02):  175-187. 
    Abstract ( 1654 )   PDF (411KB) ( 2281 )  
    Construal level theory posits that individuals construct different representations of stimuli in their environments, which vary in terms of the degree of abstraction. Individuals who use more abstract mental models construe stimuli with relatively simple, decontextualized, superordinate, and coherent representations that extract the gist from available information. In contrast, individuals who use concrete mental models construe stimuli with relatively complex, contextualized, subordinate, and incidental representations. Construal levels can be determined by situational or individual factors. Research have shown that psychological distance is a primary determinant of construal level, and construal level can also vary at the individual level with individuals having a chronic tendency toward different levels of construal. Construal levels influence individual’s judgement and decision making by a preference for information, experience, or events that match the individual’s abstract or concrete mindset. Recently, researchers have linked construal levels to important aspects of consumer behaviour, this research adds to this line of inquiry by examining the role of construal level in consumer response to brand association and brand extension evaluation.
    Study one examines the differences in consumer brand association (i.e., brand thoughts activated in consumers’ mind in encountering with the brand) as consumers shift their construal levels. The relative number of exemplars and prototypes evident in the free association task is analyzed, and the results show that consumers with high-level construal retrieve more prototypes of a brand than consumers with low-level construal, and consumers with low-level construal retrieve more exemplars of a brand than consumers with high-level construal. Study two examines the differences in consumer extension evaluation as consumers shift their temporal perspectives (near vs. distant future) by conducting a 2 (temporal perspective: near vs. distant future orientation) x 2 (fit type: prototype fit vs. exemplar fit) between subject factorial experiment. Repeated-measures ANCOVA is employed to assess the effects on extension evaluations, with temporal distance as between-subject factor and brand attitude as covariates. The results show that participants assigned to the distant future condition (with an extension launch expected in six months) evaluate a prototype fit extension more favourably than an exemplar fit extension, and the participants assigned to the near future condition (with an extension launch expected in one day) evaluate a exemplar fit extension more favourably than a prototype fit extension.
    The findings mean that construal level is an important determinant of brand association and a new moderator of the relationships between different perceived fit and brand extension evaluations. Construal level theory can provide integrated, elegant and simple explanation in consumer brand evaluation and response to branding strategy.
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    A Meta-Analysis of the Relationship Between Individual Emotional Intelligence and Workplace Performance
    ZHANG Hui-Hua,WANG Hui
    2011, 43 (02):  188-202. 
    Abstract ( 1960 )   PDF (414KB) ( 3615 )  
    Emotional intelligence has been identified by some researchers as a key factor in predicting performance. The debate over emotional intelligence’s influence to performance continues in spite of almost two decades of research on the construct. While there are numerous studies that provide empirical evidence that emotional intelligence has a positive effect on performance, there are studies that provide empirical evidence that emotional intelligence has no statistical significance on performance. A large number of empirical studies have been published in the field of emotional intelligence since Van Rooy and Viswesvaran’s (2004) meta-analysis examined the relationship between emotional intelligence and performance outcomes, which provide the conditions for further understanding the relationship between emotional intelligence and performance. This study focused on emotional intelligence issues in the workplace. The study purpose was to assess quantitatively the impact of individual emotional intelligence on workplace performance.
    Meta-analysis was used to aggregate results from studies examining the relationship between individual emotional intelligence and workplace performance. The studies evaluated were written in English and Chinese and were conducted from 1990 to 2009. Seventy-five studies, which included a total of 87 independent samples and 12882 participants, met the criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis. This overall sample was also separated into subgroups for moderator analysis. Data was analyzed utilizing the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (CMA) Version 2 program.
    The results showed overall, the correlation between individual emotional intelligence and workplace performance was moderately strong (r=0.28). Additionally, results indicated that the emotional intelligence measure used, performance criteria, data features and cultural differences all moderated the positive relationship between emotional intelligence and workplace individual performance. The Chinese cultural context especially effected the correlation (r=0.37) between individual emotional intelligence and workplace performance.
    Results suggest that individual emotional intelligence, as a valuable construct, can effectively predict workplace performance. The relationship between individual emotional intelligence and workplace performance is affected by a number of different factors. The most obvious factor affecting the relationship between individual emotional intelligence and workplace performance is cultural differences. The findings provide an accurate estimate of the relationship between individual emotional intelligence and workplace performance, and can guide the future emotional intelligence research.
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    New Item Selection Criteria of Computerized Adaptive Testing with Exposure-Control Factor
    CHENG Xiao-Yang,DING Shu-Liang,YAN Shen-Hai,ZHU Long-Yin
    2011, 43 (02):  203-212. 
    Abstract ( 992 )   PDF (388KB) ( 1086 )  
    As far as Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) is concerned, the issue of item selection strategy has received more attention because of its vital role. It is well known that there are two typical selection strategies called Maximum Information Criterion (MIC) and a-Stratification (a-STR). However, both of the two strategies have their advantages together with their downsides. On the one hand, MIC method can obtain high efficiency and accurate estimation of ability; on the other hand, its uneven item selection may lead to the insecurity of examination. Meanwhile, though a-STR can improve the test security by controlling the item exposure rate, it may result in the inefficiency of the test and failure in adjusting the discrimination within the layers. As a result, the development of both effective and safe item selection strategies has always been a goal to pursue in studies on CAT.
    According to the previous studies, the test security can be enhanced and the item pool utilization rate can be increased by balancing the item exposure rate. Therefore, in 0-1 scored CAT, two new item selection strategies are proposed in this paper to improve the MIC and a-STR methods by introducing exposure factor, adjusting automatically the discrimination by stage and increasing the accuracy of item selection. One of the new item selection strategies has three prominent characteristics: First, a function of item information (FII) rather than the item information function is set up to combine the advantages of both MIC and a-STR. Second, the effect of the discrimination on different stages in CAT is taken into account and a function of item discrimination is used in the FII to make up for the defect of a-STR for not being able to control the item discrimination in the internal layer. Third, mechanism of online control exposure is adopted. While some specific items in a certain examination process are more frequently exposured than others, with the help of the mechanism, they will turn out to become less likely to be selected in the future tests. At the same time, some specific items in a certain examination process are less frequently exposured than others, with the help of the mechanism, they will turn out to become more likely to be selected in the future tests. Thanks to the mechanism of online control exposure, the whole exposure rate of all the items in the item pool is evened and the utilization rate of the item pool is increased.
    In order to fill the gap between the exposure rate of each item and mean exposure rate of all the items in the item pool, this paper attempts to treat the item exposure rate directly as a part of the selection strategies expression. And it also tries to equalize the exposure rate by decreasing the exposure rate of the items with high ones and increasing the uses of the items with low ones. The approach differs from the approaches which only control the items with high exposure rate, e.g. SH. The results of Monte Carlo simulations show that compared with other approaches, the approach proposed in this paper is more effective in terms of exposure control and more ideal in the performance of other indexes.
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    No-self: the Psychological Analysis of Self-view in Buddhism
    PENG Yan-Qin,JIANG Bo,YANG Xian-Min
    2011, 43 (02):  213-220. 
    Abstract ( 1936 )   PDF (374KB) ( 4014 )  
    “No-self”, the core of Buddhist psychology, gives distinctive opinions on the nature of self: 1) the subtle manas is the root of self; 2) eastern Zen-meditation is the method of self-researching; 3) self is the illusion gathered by five skandha; and 4) “no-self” is the unity of unreal self and real self. Buddhist psychology reveals the truth of self by “no-self”, which is a supplement and transcendence to the self research-paradigm in western psychology.
    Different from the western self-psychology which takes self as one’s consciousness and cognition, Buddhist psychology takes a deeper level analysis on self. It argues that self originates from the mamas which is subtle and can’t be realized by human beings. Most importantly, manas is one of the citta that persists alaya-vijnana and regards it as “self”. That’s why we human beings are different from the “Buddha”. Alaya is a concept about the internal structure of the mind beyond the subconscious in modern psychology. Moreover, the “seed”, which is storied in alaya, can regenerate, and it is a path that is never ended—— one’s behavior can be converted into new seeds and be storied in alaya. However, in western self-psychology, libido (subconscious) and collective subconsciousness can only be obtained through genetic, which seems a " bottom - up " process from generation to generation in western psychology.
    Then, we’ll see how “self” originates from manas in Buddhist psychology in the first part of this paper.
    Empirical Research Methods prevents western psychology analyzing “self” on a deeper level while Buddhism can make it benefiting from a kind of mental experience—— Zen-meditation. First of all, Zen-meditation is the unity of subjective and objective in contrast to western dualism. Dualism can be used in Natural objects-researching, but we will find problems when it is used in subjective world. For instance, when we use Dualism to research “self”, we’re just using “self” to research “self”, and this can’t succeed certainly. On the contrary, however, Buddhism, which is the unity of subjective and objective, can make it through “forgetting self”.
    Secondly, Zen-meditation gives up all the languages and concepts. In Buddhism, languages and concepts are the obstacle to find the nature of self. So, Buddhism, especially Zen, aims to go beyond logicality and strives to deny all kinds of conceptualization. Only through this can Buddhism reveal the truth of self.
    Finally, Zen-meditation, which surpasses positivism and thinking, is neither experience nor transcendentalism. Though it can’t be experienced by ordinary people, it does exist, because it can be experienced by some “Buddha”. They get this experience through Zen-meditation just like some scientists do in science-researching. So, we can say it is Zen-meditation that makes Buddhism as a supplement and transcendence to western researching-methods.
    In Buddhist self-psychology, self is perceived as the illusion gathered by five skandha. Buddhist psychologists oppose those ideas that regarding the five skandha or the illusion as “self”. They maintain that “no-self” is the core of Buddhist psychology and, furthermore, the unity of unreal self and real self.
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