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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 42 Issue 05 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    Eye Movements of Individuals with Different Cognitive Styles while Reading Text with Distraction
    LI Shou-Xin,XU Zeng-Jie,CHEN Hui-Yuan
    . 2010, 42 (05): 539-546.  
    Abstract   PDF (256KB) ( 2400 )
    In the process of the cognition, the inhibition is defined as the mechanism of preventing the irrelevant information from entering the working memory or eliminating the irrelevant information from the working memory. In the age-related research, Connelly et al (1991) found that the individual differences in inhibition mainly happened in the former role of inhibitory processes, however, Dywan et al (1995) found that the individual differences in inhibition mainly took place in the latter role of inhibitory processes. Both of the above conclusions were supported by eye-tracking researches. Some researches indicated that individuals with different cognitive styles (field-dependence/ independence) have the difference in the inhibiting capacity. But does the difference in the inhibition of individuals with different cognitive styles take place in the former or in the latter role of inhibitory processes? If the meaning and location of distracting material are changed, then what about the inhibition? By using eye-tracking technology, we intend to answer these questions. We used the Embedded Figure Test to divide participants into field dependence and independence. Participants first read the short articles and then answered questions following each text. At the same time, some indexes of their eye-movements were recorded.
    In experiment 1, the fixed design is 2 (cognitive styles: field dependence, field independence) × 3 (distraction: true words, false words, no distraction). In experiment 2, the fixed design is 2 (cognitive styles: field dependence, field independence) × 3 (distraction location: predictable location, unpredictable location, no distraction). In both experiment 1 and experiment 2, the results indicated that reading efficiency of FI was significantly higher than that of FD, but there was no significant difference between FD and FI in the fixation duration and the number of fixation of distractions. These findings support the conclusion which was found by Dywan et al. While the other results indicated that, compared to distraction of the meaningless material, the meaningful material was harder to inhibit, for such material was much more absorbing to the readers; compared to the distraction of the predictable location, the distraction of unpredictable location was harder to inhibit, as it was harder for the readers to avoid this distraction.
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    Parafoveal-on-foveal Interactions in Normal Chinese Reading
    CUI Lei,WANG Sui-Ping,YAN Guo-Li,BAI Xue-Jun
    . 2010, 42 (05): 547-558.  
    Abstract   PDF (401KB) ( 1656 )
    How much information can be acquired from a single fixation in normal reading? Whether words in a sentence are processed one by one (serially), or two or more words are processed in parallel, is a major dispute between serial attention shift (SAS) and distributed lexical processing models (SWIFT) of eye movement control. Assessing which type of model is more consistent with empirical data has become a hot topic in research examining eye movements during reading. The main purpose of the present study was to determine how processing of characters in the parafovea affects foveal inspection time during Chinese sentence reading.
    The boundary paradigm (Rayner, 1975) was used in two experiments designed to examine whether processing of the fixated character was affected by the frequency of the character to the right of fixation. An invisible boundary was positioned between the two characters (N and N-1). Once the reader’s eyes crossed the boundary, the incorrect preview of N was changed to the correct character, ensuring that the preview character was only available for parafoveal processing. In Experiment 1, 30 university students were asked to read 48 sentences. There were two types of preview characters (high- or low-frequency), both of which were congruent with the context. When the eyes crossed the invisible boundary, both previews were changed to the same target character, which was also congruent with the context. In Experiment 2, 34 university students were asked to read 76 sentences. Again, the frequency of the preview character was manipulated (high or low). Both of the two preview characters were incongruent with the sentence context, but the target character was congruent with the context.
    In Experiment 1, the results showed that first fixation durations and gaze durations on character n were longer with low-frequency previews than with high-frequent previews. In contrast, first fixation durations and gaze durations on character n-2 were longer in the condition where a high-frequency preview of n was being presented compared to a low-frequency preview. In Experiment 2, there were no significant differences for first fixation durations and gaze durations on character n between high or low frequency preview conditions. However, first fixation durations and gaze durations on character n-2 were longer in the condition where a low-frequency preview of n was being presented compared to a high-frequent preview – the opposite pattern observed in Experiment 1.
    The results showed that information about character frequency can be accessed in parafoveal preview. Furthermore, this preview information can affect processing of the currently fixated character to some extent (the results showed a strong preview effect but less stable parafoveal-on-foveal effects). The data from these experiments fit better with the theoretical assumptions of parallel processing models of eye movement control in reading.
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    Construction of Prediction Models of Cognitive Load in Human-Machine Interaction Process
    LI Jin-Bo,XU Bai-Hua,TIAN Xue-Hong
    . 2010, 42 (05): 559-568.  
    Abstract   PDF (636KB) ( 2019 )
    Complex operations required in modern human-machine systems often increase cognitive load on human operators. Under excessive cognitive load, human operators may exhibit delayed information processing or even make some mistakes, probably inducing various operating accidents. Therefore, an assessment and prediction of the general situation of the cognitive load will be needed to help design the system with proper cognitive load on the operators. Also, this will be of great significance to improve operators’ working environment, job satisfaction and operational security. The present study attempted to establish effective prediction models to evaluate cognitive load changes in human-machine interaction processes.
    A dual-task experiment with simulated web-searching as the primary task and mental arithmetic as the secondary task was conducted. Twenty six volunteers, aged 20 to 27 years, participated in this study. Each participant performed sixteen phases of the task. The order of task phases was randomized across participants. Finally, three types of indices were obtained, including task-performance measures (response time and accuracy of the primary task), subjective evaluations (mental efforts and perceived task difficulty) and eye movement measures (gaze durations and the number of gazes). The effects of task duration on cognitive load were examined using these different indices. The BP and Elman neural network models were developed to predict the changing tendency of cognitive load in the different phases of the task.
    The results showed that (1) Task duration had a significant effect on the response time and accuracy of the primary task, gaze durations, and the number of gazes respectively. However, it had no significant effect on either mental efforts or perceived task difficulty. (2) The BP and Elman neural network models could predict the changes in the relevant assessment indices of cognitive load in the different phases of the task. Furthermore, a synthetic analysis could be made in combination with the synthetic assessment model of cognitive load in the different phases of the task.
    The current findings suggest that neural network models can be used to predict the cognitive load changes on human operators in complex human-machine systems efficiently. The BP and Elman neural network models developed here may be the good approaches to the dynamic self-adaptive allocation of tasks in modern complex systems, while the models developed in the current study may not be generally appropriate for different human-machine interactions. In a sense, the importance of the present findings is that they provide an effective approach as to how to predict the cognitive load changes in human-machine interaction processes.
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    Mental Distance in Children’s Numerical Estimation
    MO Lei,ZHOU Guang-Dong,WEN Hong-Bo
    . 2010, 42 (05): 569-580.  
    Abstract   PDF (468KB) ( 1790 )
    Numerical estimation is a pervasive process, both in school and in everyday life. Because of the ease of use and good ecological validity, the number line estimation task becomes of the most popular paradigms in the researches on number estimation. In this task, participants are required to estimate the placement of numbers on number lines. Some of the lines start at 0 and end at 100, whereas others have start point of 0 and endpoint of 1000. In both conditions, the lines were unmarked between the start point and endpoint. The second-year primary school students of America and the first-year students of China manifested the same behavioral patterns in the number line estimation tasks: they both depended on linear representations on 0-100 context while depended on log representations on 0-1000 context. In the current study, we aimed at investigating why the junior year primary school students use different types of number representation for different context. We hypothesized that the reason behind is that they trend to map low end number with fixed distance during number estimation, which is defined as mental distance.
    Two experiments were correspondingly designed to examine whether mental distance exists in children’s number estimation. In experiment 1, we examined whether the children used fixed distance to represent low end numbers when the actual length of the number lines were the same while the scale of the numbers varied. Twenty-six first-year primary school students were randomly selected. They were asked to estimate the placement of numbers on 15cm number lines with two contexts: 0-100 or 0-1000. By contrast in experiment 2, we examined whether the children used fixed distance to represent low end numbers when the scale of the numbers were the same while the actual length of the number lines varied. Thirty new first-year students were selected. They were asked to estimate the placement of numbers 0-1000 on number lines with two line lengths: 10cm or 20cm. The low end numbers were oversampled to maximize discriminability of logarithmic and linear functions, and to examine whether mental distance exists.
    Paired t-tests of low end numbers showed that there was no significant difference for nine of the ten comparisons on different contexts in experiment 1 and all ten comparisons on different number line lengths in experiment 2. These results suggested that first-year students mapped the low end numbers with fixed distance. Although the context varied from 0-100 to 0-1000, and the lengths of the number lines varied from 10cm to 20cm in the two experiments, the mental distances that low end numbers were mapped to remained constant. Mental distance thus exists in children’s number estimation, and it determines the selection of number representations for different number contexts and number line lengths.
    The two experiments came to the same conclusion: mental distance in children’s number estimation is the possible reason why children depend on different representations on different number contexts. Mental distance is a special characteristic emerging when the development of numerical concept in children has reached the interval level.
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    Noncompliant Behavior in Toddlerhood Predicted Social Adaptation at 4 to 11 Years of Age
    CAO Rui-Xin,XIA Mei-Ping,CHEN Hui-Chang,CHEN Xin-Yin,ZHANG Lin-Lin,CAI Xiao-Lu,GAO Yan-Ping,YANG Liu
    . 2010, 42 (05): 581-586.  
    Abstract   PDF (294KB) ( 2505 )
    Compliance is a major goal of early socialization in childhood, and represents the ability to exert self-control and internalization. In toddlerhood when children demonstrate an awareness of social demands and abilities to direct their own behaviour, children often display noncompliant behaviors such as resistance and defiance to adults’ requests. Individual differences in noncompliant behaviors are believed to predictive of later adjustment and problems in various areas. Unfortunately, there is little research on the long-term consequences of toddlerhood noncompliant behaviors in either China or other countries.
    In the present study, we attempted to investigate noncompliance behavior of 2-year-old children and its long-term associations with social adaptation at 4, 7 and 11 years of age. One hundred and thirty-eight children and their mothers and teachers took part in the study. At 2 years old, the child and his/her mother were invited to the laboratory, and the child’s noncompliant behaviors were observed in a clean up situation. A series of follow up studies were conducted in this sample when the children were 4, 7, 11, and 14 years old. The follow up studies focused mainly on children’s social and emotional functioning. Mothers and teachers were asked to complete measures assessing children’s social and behavioral competence and problems at each wave.
    Regression analyses revealed the following results: (1) Passive noncompliance at 2 years positively predicted mother-reported externalizing problems and teacher reported learning problems, and negatively predicted teacher reported helping behavior at 7 years. Moreover, passive noncompliance positively predicted mother-reported learning problems at 11 years; (2) Refusal/negotiation at 2 years positively predicted mother- reported hyperactivity at 4 years old and teacher-reported learning problems at 11 years; and finally (3) Defiance at 2 years positively predicted teacher reported internalizing problem at 11 years.
    These results suggest that noncompliance in toddlerhood is a significant phenomenon that contributes to the prediction of social adaptation in childhood and adolescence.
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    How Deeply Involved Should Celebrities Be in Advertising?
    ZHANG Hong-Xia,LIU Xue-Nan
    . 2010, 42 (05): 587-598.  
    Abstract   PDF (474KB) ( 2938 )
    The advertising literature indicates that celebrity endorsement can facilitate brand awareness and reinforce purchase intention. If the image of a specific celebrity fits well with that brand, the effect of endorsement can be strengthened through meaning transfer or emotional attachment. However, little is known about how deeply the celebrities should be involved in the advertising. While celebrity endorsement has been shown to be able to influence the perception and behavior of customers, to what extent should celebrities be involved in the advertising, and how would this affect the relationship between the brand and customers? Would the celebrity involvement be contingent on product categories and contexts? The authors tried to answer these questions by conducting a 2 (involvement: high and low) × 2 (product category: hedonic and utility) × 2 (need for cognition: high and low) experiment. In the pretest, 57 subjects were recruited from a prestigious university in China. Later on, 140 students from the two universities were divided into four subgroups to participate in the experiment, and 120 responses were used for analysis. The ANOVA results indicated that involvement could significantly affect both customer attitudes toward a brand and their perception of its brand culture. Higher celebrity involvement in the advertising could positively improve customers’ attitude and their evaluation of the brand’s underlying cultural values, and this effect existed for both hedonic and utility products. In addition, need for cognition played a moderating role in the relation between involvement and customer attitude.
    This study enriches the literature on celebrity endorsement by introducing the concept “celebrity involvement” in advertising research. The findings show that, for both hedonic and utility products, high levels of celebrity involvement in the advertising lead to positive impacts on customer attitude and perception of brand culture. Therefore, if a firm hopes to make full use of celebrity endorsement, it will be insufficient to use only his/her image or name in the advertising. Instead, the firm should carry out well-organized marketing campaigns to cultivate the deeper meanings and values of this celebrity so as to build up closer relation between customers and the brand.
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    A Comparison of Violent Attitude Between Passionate Criminals and Recidivists
    GUAN Mu-Zhen,LIU Xu-Feng,MIAO Dan-Min,LV Jing,HONG Xia,YANG Hai
    . 2010, 42 (05): 599-606.  
    Abstract   PDF (354KB) ( 3529 )
    With the persistent growth of the crime rate, crime prevention has been recently raised again as a hot field. Evaluation of violent risk is an affective way to prevent crime and violent attitude is one of the most important factors involved in this kind of research. Violent attitude, as an object of attitude, has a structure composed of explicit and implicit facet. Traditionally, the explicit attitude was the focus that people used to evaluate, but we could not reveal the essential of violent attitude and the results will affect the validity of violence prevention as well. The purpose of this study is to investigate the characteristics of explicit and implicit violent attitude of passionate criminals and recidivists based on the methods of explicit measurement and implicit measurement respectively, and to discuss violent attitude from a different point of view.
    One hundred and twenty-three male criminals (53 passionate criminals and 70 recidivists) were involved in this study. The explicit violent attitude was assessed using the FMMU Abnormal Personality Risk Factors Inventory (FMMU-APRI), whereas the implicit violent attitude was measured using Implicit Attitude Test (IAT). The data was analyzed in SPSS 13.0 and the t-test and the correlation coefficient were considered.
    First, the results showed that there was a significant difference between the score of FMMU-APRI in passionate criminals and that of recidivists, but no IAT effect was found within each group which was probably covered by a “reversed” effect. Then, we divided the passionate criminals group into two sub-groups according to the appearance of “reversed” effect, reversed group (reversed group of passionate criminals, RG-PC) and non-reversed group (NRG-PC). In the same way, we got RG-R (reversed group of recidivists) and NRG-R(non-reversed group of recidivists). The IAT effect was all observed within these four sub-groups. Next, the score of FMMU-APRI of four sub-groups were compared with the norm. The results showed that NRG-PC and NRG-R got the significant higher score than the norm, and no difference was found in the other two groups when compared with the norm. So, we found the disassociation phenomena between explicit violent attitude and implicit violent attitude of passionate criminals as well as recidivists.
    Passionate criminals and recidivists have the same behaviors which have already offended the law, but their violent attitudes are not the same. And, even the same type of criminals also has the different violent attitudes. So, we suggest that we should catalogue the criminals not only based on their explicit offensive behavior, but also on their implicit violent attitude, and also consider the individuality to rebuild the criminals as well.
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    The Activation of Stereotypes: Behavioral and ERPs Evidence
    Wang Pei,Yang Ya-Ping,Zhao Lun
    . 2010, 42 (05): 607-617.  
    Abstract   PDF (434KB) ( 2807 )
    Using classification–verification paradigm, the present study investigated the time-course of stereotype-activated effect by recording both behavioral and ERP data elicited by gender stereotype’s trait-words which were taken as the core of stereotype representation.
    Thirty-four young participants (17 female) were recruited in this experiment. The prime stimuli included two gender-category words, “male” and “female”, and the target stimuli were gender-trait-words generally attributed to male or female. Gender-category and gender-trait words constituted congruent and incongruent situations. And the prime-target pairs were divided into four conditions, “male” priming male-trait-words (M-m), “female” priming male-trait-words (F-m), “male” priming female-trait-words (M-f) and “female” priming female-trait-words (F-f). Each trial started with the presentation of a priming word for 300 ms, followed by a fixation cross presented for 500 ms and then the target word appeared for 300 ms and a blank until participants responded; randomly selected inter-trial intervals (ITI) between 600 and 800 ms separated next trial from the response. Participants had to indicate by pressing one of two buttons whether the target matched the priming word or not and they were instructed to response as quickly as possible but avoid mistakes.
    For all participants, the response was faster and more accurate in congruent than incongruent condition, and in-group bias was also found. The early ERP components reflecting perceptual processing were not modulated by experimental conditions. Compared with prime-target congruent condition, gender-trait words that mismatched with the gender-priming word elicited a larger N400 over the fronto-central area. Moreover, consistent with behavioral in-group bias, a larger P600 was elicited under the ingroup-category-word priming condition. These results indicated that the stereotype could be activated by social group-category-word, and the N400 effect reflected the integration of the social properties of words and stereotypical knowledge in memory representation. Both the stereotype-activated effect and in-group bias started at the stage of post-perceptual information processing.
    The present study investigated the time-course and cognitive mechanism of stereotype-activated effect for the first time, demonstrating the modulation of N400 relevant to gender stereotype-activated effect. These data indicated the possibility of the N400 indexing the cognitive mechanism and representation model of processing stereotypical information.
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    The Effect of Mating Motives on Risk Taking Likelihood Assessment in Men
    LI Hong-Li,CHANG Lei
    . 2010, 42 (05): 618-624.  
    Abstract   PDF (322KB) ( 3264 )
    According to sexual selection theory, intra-sex competition mainly among males leads to male characteristics known as weapons. The large body size and thick proboscis of male elephant seals and the robust horns and antlers of various ungulate stags are well-known examples of weapons. Inter-sex selection or mate choice, mostly exercised by the limiting sex or females, leads male characteristics known as ornaments. The vibrant colors of the guppy and the bright plumage of various birds are examples of ornaments. Whereas human males possess similar physical sex-dimorphic characteristics such as larger body frames (weapons), and lower voice pitch (ornaments), human sex-dimorphism is mainly shown as weapon-like (e.g., aggression) and ornament-like behavior (e.g., bragging). Human risk taking is such an ornament-like behavior because, like all ornaments which are functionally useless but are yet costly to sustain, risk taking behavior brings danger to its carriers without apparent functional purposes. Like ornaments, risk taking behavior is preferred by conspecific females who find its male carriers sexually attractive. The purpose of the present study was to test sexual selection theory on humans by investigating the association between risk-taking behavior and mating motives among men but not women. This hypothesis was tested against the rival hypothesis that risk taking may be externally motivated by monetary reward that renders similar effects on both men and women.
    These hypotheses were tested on a sample of 127 graduate students (62 males, mean age = 21.47; SD = 1.59). In a between-group design, participants were exposed, on a computer screen, either to attractive opposite-sex pictures (the mating condition) or pictures of money or medals (the control or monetary reward condition). These two conditions were manipulated as a simple perceptual task where participants were instructed to decide on the location of each picture as it flashes on the screen (500 ms) by pressing one of two keys on the keyboard. This is to distract the participants from being aware of the intended experimental manipulation (mating versus monetary reward). To facilitate this distraction, attractive opposite sex pictures were also mixed with a small number of average-looking opposite sex pictures, and the monetary award pictures were mixed with a small number of non-reward scenes. After the picture exposure, each participant was given 19 different risk taking scenarios and was asked to assess the likelihood the participant would engage in each of the risk-taking behavior. The 19 risk-taking scenarios represent four domains of risk, including financial, health, social, and recreational risk. Composite scores representing the four domains were used as the dependent variables.
    Except for one of the four dependent variables, A 2 (mating vs. reward) × 2 (gender of the participants) ANOVA did not yield a significant interaction effect. However, separate t-tests were statistically significant, showing that men indicated higher likelihood to take risk after being exposed to attractive opposite-sex pictures than to reward pictures, whereas women did not show the difference in risk taking likelihood assessment besides social risk. Taking health risk for example, M = 21.03 vs. 18.67 under the mating vs. reward condition for men. The mean difference was statistically significant, p<.01. For women, M = 17.94 and 17.35, respectively. Other mean comparisons showed similar results which are reported in Table 1 in the main text. The results support sexual selection theory. Like most mammals, human males but not females have acquired ornament-like behaviors which are driven by mating motives. When attractive women are around, men are more likely to engage in functionally useless and potentially harmful behavior, which, however, are “useful” in the sense that they serve as signals of good genes. Thus, men’s risk taking is driven by mating motives. Women are drawn to men’s risk taking behavior for the same sexual selection reason, i.e., women use the signals to select quality mates. In part to address reviewers’ concerns, motives and need states serve as proximate cues that drive our behavior both consciously and unconsciously. In everyday life, mating motives, like many other motives, may remain unconscious most of the time which nonetheless drive and shape our behavior as is shown by the present study.
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    Analysis on Applicability of Interactive Evolutionary Computation to Anxiety Measurement
    HUANG Xin-Yin,Yan ZHANG,CHEN Yan-Wei,Hisashi Kawabayashi,XU Ai-Bing
    . 2010, 42 (05): 625-632.  
    Abstract   PDF (407KB) ( 1749 )
    Previous literatures demonstrate that clinical anxious patients are very sensitive to threatening stimuli, and further, it is easier for them to be engaged in threatening stimuli, including the negative pictures, images and faces. In the present article, we use the faces as the experiment material, which are showed in ways different to the previous researches. This study tries to explore the applicability of this method to anxiety measurement.
    In our research, two groups of subjects are involved. The first group includes members that are requested to choose and assess the CG pictures showed on the computer. And the whole process of assessment is carried out based on a new computer technology IEC, (interactive evolutionary computation). IEC is a method for optimizing target systems based on human evaluation criteria, which is broadly used in other fields including facial image generation, speech processing, etc. However, the application of IEC in psychology has not been widely used.
    And we have five social anxiety subjects with high scores in IAS and also four ones with low scores in the first group of subjects. IAS is broadly used in measuring the level of social anxiety, which is of good validity and credulity. The social anxiety subjects with high scores in IAS are regarded as experimental subjects and the latter ones are regarded as the control subjects. Other 70 subjects (the second group) in the same university are chosen to be the second group to evaluate the CG images that have been chosen by the first group with Scheff’s method of paired comparison. That is how we have obtained the final psychological scale.
    The first step of this experiment has two dimensions: “happy” and “fear”. The subjects of the first group choose and assess the CG images showed on the computer by IEC using five-level rating scale. And then the second group is required to evaluate all the images that have been chosen by the first group. They also used the five-level rating scale to estimate the degree of comparability of all the images. And then we analyze the variance of these estimate data. Statistical tests of the evaluations show: (1) the range of emotional impressions perceived by the five experimental subjects that have high social anxiety between happy-fear is significantly narrower than the control ones (p<0.001). (2) IEC has the potential for the measurement of mental health, especially in the emotional recognition.
    It can be concluded that IEC is a new and advanced technology that can be used in the research of psychology. Times’ changing, traditional scales with paper and pen cannot satisfy the need of so many people’s desire for knowing the level of mental health of themselves. This provides an opportunity to apply this computer technology to psychology.
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