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CN 11-1911/B


    30 August 2009, Volume 41 Issue 08 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    The Production Mechanism of Chinese Idioms
    ZHANG Ji-Jia,SHI Yan-Cai
    2009, 41 (08):  659-675. 
    Abstract ( 951 )   PDF (675KB) ( 1263 )  
    Idioms are one kind of the fixed expressions. The literal meanings of these phrases do not suggest their figu-rative meanings. Research on idioms has served scholars to form two completely opposite viewpoints about the comprehensional mechanism of idioms: noncompositional view and compositional view. On the noncompositional view, idioms have been lexicalized, and considered as long “words”. Therefore, comprehending idioms, in this point of view, is a process of retrieval. By contrast, the compositional view suggests that the metaphoric meanings of idioms can be constructed in comprehension. The literal meaning of compositions within a word has a great in-fluence on the process of comprehension of idioms. Given the limitation of the two views, a number of researchers have proposed a mixed model. That is, access representation is considered as a process in terms of both single words and morphemes within an idiom, which probably become the representational and accessional units when each unit interacts on one another during the comprehension.
    This study made further research on lexcical access during the production of idiomatic phrases by three experiments. Experiment 1 explored the activations of the representations of idioms, single words, and mor-phemes. Main effects of types of priming (i.e., related priming v.s. unrelated priming) were found in all experi-mental conditions; in contrast, main effects of the types of phrases (i.e., idioms v.s. regular phrases) were found only when the representations of idioms and single words were activated. Such results mainly supported the mixed model that representations of idioms and single words can be both activated during comprehension.
    Experiment 2 investigated the influences from the activation of single words and the morphemes during producing Chinese idioms. Participants were instructed to fulfill the idioms with either single words or mor-phemes. The morphemes were more likely activated during such a process. Results indicated the “morpheme to idiom” activation in Chinese idioms production, but the “single word to idiom” activation was not found in the process.
    Experiment 3 probed into the activation of compositional literal meanings in the production of Chinese idiomatic phrases and discussed the “idiom to morpheme” activation in Chinese idioms production. According to the results of Experiment 2 and 3, the following conclusions can be made: both “morpheme to idiom” and “id-iom to morpheme” activations exist in Chinese idioms production; in addition, the “idiom to morpheme” activa-tion is more easy than “morpheme to idiom” in such a process.
    In short: (1) the representations of idioms are hybrid, idioms can be either unitary in that they require their own lexical entry, or compositional in that they make use of simple lemmas in the mental lexicon; (2) the repre-sentation of morphemes is the linking bridge between the representation of idioms and the representation of words; (3) decomposability of idioms has an influence on the productive process of idioms. On the basis of ex-perimental discoveries about Chinese idioms, a new model of the Chinese idiom production was proposed.
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    Metacomprehension Monitoring and Regulation in Reading Comprehension
    CHEN Qi-Shan
    2009, 41 (08):  676-683. 
    Abstract ( 915 )   PDF (277KB) ( 1037 )  
    Metacomprehension monitoring and regulation are central to self-regulated comprehension. Metacompre-hension monitoring, which refers to the process of monitoring learning from text, is important for goal setting, planning and the regulation of reading strategies in reading comprehension. Lots of researches have been con-ducted to investigate whether metacognitive judgments are, indeed, accurate. In paired-associate learning, mon-itoring accuracy can be improved in a variety of ways. However, monitoring accuracy is far less impressive when the task involves reading written texts; the mean Gamma correlation is quite low. One of the purposes in this study is to investigate how to improve the accuracy of monitoring and whether or not that metacomprehen-sion accuracy is higher for delayed-keyword group than for immediate-keyword group and no-keyword group. One of the key issues in the study of metacognition is how people use metacognitive judgments to adjust, strategize, and maximize learning, so it is important to find out that which factors can enhance the accuracy of metacomprehension monitoring and whether accurate monitoring can provide a basis for making decisions about what to restudy or how long to study. The most important issue in this study is to investigate whether superior accuracy could lead to more effective regulation of study (i.e., participants choose to reread less learned texts over better learned texts to a greater degree), and whether this could produce greater test performance.
    59 college students participated in this experiment. The participants were divided into 3 groups, delayed keyword group, immediate keyword group, and no keyword group. The materials were six expository texts (from 987 to 1180 Chinese characters). Each text was followed by 12 questions (6 detail questions and 6 infer-ence questions). Participants all read the six texts on a computer LCD monitor. Then they rated comprehension on a 1~7 scale and took a comprehension test on each text after generate keywords. All the participants were asked to select some texts for restudy, and again tested on each text. Half of these questions were the same as those given on test 1, and the others questions were new.
    The result showed that metacomprehension accuracy, which was operationalized as the Gamma correlation between a person’s judgment ratings and his or her criterion test performance, was higher when students wrote keywords after a delay than immediate wrote keywords and did not write keywords. The participants in the de-layed keyword group were more likely to select less learned texts over better-learned texts to reread than in the immediate keyword group, and no keyword group. The importance of monitoring accuracy to control and their impacts on test were also analyzed by comparing test performance among three groups cross two texts and test2 performance for texts that were selected versus that were not selected for rereading. A substantial increase in performance across two test trials for the delayed-keyword group was found. By contrast, performance was de-creased for the others groups.
    These results are important because they showed not only accurate monitoring was achievable, but also accurate monitoring may improve test performance via effective regulation (i.e., chose the right texts for re-study). Given our results, it seems reasonable to conclude that metacomprehension monitoring affects meta-comprehension control, in turn, affects the text comprehension.
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    Temporal Representations of Flashbacks in Narrative Comprehension
    HE Xian-You,LIU Di-Xiu
    2009, 41 (08):  684-693. 
    Abstract ( 894 )   PDF (343KB) ( 992 )  
    Time plays a central role in how people experience the world. In recent years, the question of how temporal information is processed during text comprehension has gained increasing interest in psycholinguistic research. Berry et al (2006) conducted their experiments with narratives containing flashbacks to test chronological hy-pothesis and background hypothesis. The results supported the chronological hypothesis exclusively. However, a flashback usually has a close thematic relationship to its preceding sentences. It seems plausible that a flashback is used at the exact point where the readers are meant to use it as background information. Would it be possible that the null effect in background hypothesis was due to the weak supplementary relationship between the flashback and the event described before?
    In this study, moving window display technique was used to examine the rationality of chronological and background hypotheses. Participants were asked to read narratives describing 4 successive events in non-chronological order with E1 being mentioned in a flashback (E2-E3-E1-E4). The experimental materials had two versions: the first one was the original passages from Berry Claus et al (2006), and the second one highlighted the background relation between E1 and E3. The information about the time duration of E2 was ma-nipulated, and the mental accessibility of E1 was tested in different methods at the end of each passage. The results consistently showed that the reading times for anaphoric sentences or the probe response latencies were significantly longer in the long-duration condition than in the short-duration condition when the background relationship was highlighted, which supported the background hypothesis. It suggests that the background rela-tion between E1 and E3 is important for temporal representation of flashback event in narrative comprehension. If the supplementary function of flashbacks has enough been highlighted, participants would represent it in the form of E2-E3-E1-E4, otherwise, in E1-E2-E3-E4.
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    The Asymmetric Relationship Between Encoding and Retrieval in Implicit and Explicit Memory
    MENG Ying-Fang,GUO Chun-Yan
    2009, 41 (08):  694-705. 
    Abstract ( 1187 )   PDF (521KB) ( 1874 )  
    Encoding and retrieval are two important phases of memory. Encoding produces memory engraved and re-trieval reactivates previously encoded information. The approach to the relationship between encoding and re-trieval is meaningful for the better understanding of the nature of memory. As for explicit memory, the relation of encoding and retrieval has been investigated by many researchers who have found out that the performance of a secondary task during encoding reduced the later memory performance, but the division of the attention in the same way during retrieval had virtually no effect on memory performance, which indicated an asymmetry be-tween encoding and retrieval processes. With respect to implicit memory, an asymmetry was also found in one of our previous studies (Meng & Guo, 2006), but the asymmetry is somewhat different from that in explicit mem-ory, that is, the performance of a concurrent task during encoding had no effect on later task performance, but interference during retrieval disrupted priming, and reduced task performance. In order to clarify the issues we conducted an ERP experiment.
    The experiment was conducted with 16 undergraduate students as subjects and Chinese characters as stim-uli. The experiment adopted a study-to-test paradigm, in which participants performed a “shallow” (color) study task or a “deep” (pleasant) study task, followed by either a lexical decision (implicit) test (section 1) or a recog-nition (explicit) test (section 2). In interference task participants were asked to account the total number of “+” in a regulated orientation which appeared with a word, and was performed concurrently with either the encoding or the retrieval phase of the memory task for encoding interference condition or retrieval interference condition.
    The results showed that: (1) the effects of interference to encoding in implicit memory test were different from that to retrieval. Interference during encoding had virtually no effect on N400 or P600 old/new ERP components, but interference during retrieval significantly reduced N400 old/new and P600 old/new components, which ab-olished behavior priming. (2) The effects of interference to encoding on ERP components in explicit memory test were different from that to retrieval. Interference during encoding had significant influence on later P600 old/new effect, but interference during retrieval did not produce such effect.
    The results confirmed the finding of Meng & Guo (2006), that is, interference during encoding had effect on explicit memory, but left implicit memory intact. Interference during retrieval affected implicit memory, but had little effect on explicit memory. So the relationship between encoding and retrieval was different between implicit and explicit memory, thus providing further evidence on the dissociation between implicit and explicit memory.
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    Longitudinal Perspectives: The Sequences of Theory-of-Mind Development in Chinese Preschoolers

    FANG Fu-Xi,Henry M. Wellman,LIU Yu-Juan,LIU Guo-Xiong,KANG Rong

    2009, 41 (08):  706-714. 
    Abstract ( 1387 )   PDF (354KB) ( 1883 )  
    Theory-of-mind (ToM) refers to people’s consistent interpretation of each other’s actions in terms of un-derlying mental states (beliefs, desires and emotions). Children come to do this in the preschool years (Harris, 2006; Wellman, 2002). In earlier research a ToM Scale was established to examine sequences of ToM under-standing in children raised in U.S (Wellman & Liu, 2004) and China (Wellman, et al., 2006). The scale encom-passes tasks assessing preschooler’s understanding of (1) diverse desires (DD), (2) diverse beliefs (DB), (3) knowledge-access (KA), (4) false belief (FB), and (5) hidden emotion (HE). The five tasks were comparable in procedure, language and format as well as comparable across the English and Chinese versions. These two groups cross-sectionally evidenced two consistent, similar but crucially differing sequences of understanding: The item-order (from easy to hardest) for US children is that listed above, but for Chinese children the sequence was DD> KA > DB > FB > HE. That is, the order of DB and KA was reversed across these groups. Such find-ings are valuable for establishing developmental sequences in children raised in different cultures, and seem-ingly provide a cross-sectional shortcut to tracking longitudinal sequences. However, it remains an open ques-tion whether the sequences established cross-sectionally via the scale accurately depicted the longitudinal pro-gressions that individual children undergo. We addressed that question by examining whether cross-sectional progressions and longitudinal progressions converged in Chinese preschoolers.
    31 Chinese preschoolers from Beijing who had received the scale as 3-year-olds were retested again as 4-year-olds and 25 of them were retested a third time as 5-year-olds. Each child received the 5-item scale at each testing. As is standard for this scale tasks all used toy figurine and picture props to show objects and situations. All tasks included a focal test question and a control question. Children were required to pass both questions in order to count as passing a task.
    The data showed that the same 5-step sequence established in cross-sectional scaling analyses also charac-terized the longitudinal progression in Chinese children. These progressions were confirmed with Guttman and Rasch scale analyses. More specifically the scores of great majority of children increased longitudinally and decreases were rare. Thus a repeated measure ANOVA yielded a significant main effect for testing times (ages). Closer examination of children’s individual longitudinal progressions confirmed that children’s scores not only increased, they generally increased in sequence along the scale.
    In conclusion, the ToM Scale (in Chinese version) validly provides a useful method for approximating lon-gitudinal progressions via a cross-sectional approach. It also confirms consistent sequential conceptual under-standing in Chinese individual children which is largely were similar to but also crucially different from that of children from Anglo-European cultures. We discuss these sequential differences of ToM development between Chinese and US children in terms of the social interactive experiences and culturally shaped information that critically influence theory-of-mind understanding, coupled with an analysis of the contrasting language and fa-milial systems that characterized children’s early childhood experiences.
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    The Influence of Adult Input on Children’s Early Word Learning: A Case Study of A Mandarin-Speaking Child

    CHEN Jie,SETOH, Pei-pei,MENG Xiang-Zhi,TARDIF Twila

    2009, 41 (08):  715-725. 
    Abstract ( 1391 )   PDF (404KB) ( 1629 )  
    Children’s early vocabulary development is not linear. At the outset, word learning is very slow. However, by approximately 19 months of age, children’s vocabulary rapidly expands, entering the phase of the “word spurt”. The phenomenon of breaking word learning’s bottleneck can be interpreted by several theories, such as constraint theories which emphasize innate cognitive biases, social-pragmatic theories emphasizing the role of social and linguistic environments, and associationistic views involving computations of the co-occurrence be-tween words and their referents in naturalistic speech. However, these theories cannot account by themselves for cross-linguistic differences or similarities across children, despite differences in input– didn’t really understand this parenthesis. Although the updated theory of Emergentist Coalition Model (ECM) combines early use of at-tentional cues with later use of social inputs and linguistic cues, it cannot account for the consistent cross- lin-guistic differences appearing at the very beginning of children’s vocabulary which correspond to linguistic fea-tures and social inputs. Such differences, particularly the composition of verbs and nouns in children’s early vocabularies, challenge the theory of “Noun bias” supported by many researchers. Thus, whether children can use social and linguistic cues in the beginning of word development, noun and verb acquisition in particular, is of interest for this paper.
    Although there are many studies investigating the relationship between adult’s speech input and children’s early language development, they do not reveal the regularity and developmental changes both in caregivers’ input and infants’ word acquisition. Furthermore, none of these studies focused on Chinese, a language with vastly different linguistic properties from English.
    A longitudinal case method with a Chinese female infant was used. Tracking the infant from 6- to 20-months of age, the researcher visited the family monthly for one-hour recordings of naturalistic interaction. The naturalistic data on caregiver-to-child input were transcribed into CHAT format and analyzed with the CLAN program, counting the frequency of nouns and verbs and word position in caregivers’ utterances. Then, the development of child’s comprehension and production vocabulary was assessed by both observed data and the Putonghua version of the MacArthur Communicative Development Inventory(PCDI). Seven spontaneous speech samples (6, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17 and 19 months) were analyzed. In addition, the study also focused on the roles of specific contexts of caregivers’ input, selecting three contexts in the naturalistic data (booking reading, feeding and playing).
    The caregivers were found to produce more verb than noun in tokens and types in most samples, although the difference was significant only for tokens. The position in caregivers’ utterances was favorable for verbs, but not nouns, with many verbs dropping subjects and objects. However, the ratio of verbs and nouns varied with specific context. The frequency of nouns was higher relative to verbs in the booking reading context, but verbs were more frequent in both the feeding and playing contexts. In addition, more verbs than nouns were found in the child’s early vocabulary, regardless of how they were measured and this corresponded to the caregivers’ speech input. Specifically, the child could both comprehend and produce higher ratios of verbs than nouns with the CDI measure, and produced a larger cumulative number of verbs than nouns up to the 15 month.
    Children can use linguistic input in their vocabulary acquisition even at the very beginning of language development. The dominance of verbs in Chinese adults’ speech influences children’s early word composition, with more verbs than nouns in both comprehension and production. This result again supports the view of cross-linguistic differences but not the “noun bias” in children’s early vocabularies. In addition, the frequency of verbs and nouns varies with specific context.
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    The Experiencing of Imposed Rule: A New Attempt to Test Both Normative and Descriptive Decision Theories
    RAO Li-Lin,LIANG Zhu-Yuan,LI Shu
    2009, 41 (08):  726-736. 
    Abstract ( 999 )   PDF (455KB) ( 1394 )  
    In the field of decision theory, the tension between normative and descriptive theories has been a constant object of debate. The criterions used to evaluate normative and descriptive theories, however, differ from each other. This study sought a consistent criterion to evaluate both normative and descriptive decision theories and thus to explore the “true” rule of decision making. We hypothesized that (1) individuals would experience more positive emotions and show more acceptance when making decision according to their own rule (“true” rule) than according to a pseudo-rule; (2) the greater number of the same decision derived from decision makers’ own rule (“true” rule) and the imposed rule, the more positive emotions and acceptance would be reported.
    To test these hypotheses, the expected value theory (normative theory) and the equate-to-differentiate the-ory (descriptive theory) were selected as two candidates of imposed rule. One hundred and twenty college stu-dents were asked to make risky choices according to their own rule (self-rule condition) and according to the two imposed rules (imposed rule condition), expected value rule and equate-to-differentiate rule, respectively. In the self-rule condition, participants rated their emotions after making choices according to their own rule. In the imposed rule condition, participants rated their emotions and acceptances of the two imposed rules after making choice according to the imposed rules. The order of the two imposed rules was counterbalanced across participants. We used the McNemar test to compare the decisions made under the self-rule condition and the imposed rule condition, and repeated measured ANOVAs to test the differences on emotion and acceptance ratings between the self-rule and the imposed rule conditions.
    The results revealed that (1) participants reported more positive emotion when making choices according to their own rules than to imposed rules; (2) the greater number of the same decisions derived from the imposed and “true” rules, the more acceptance and positive emotion reported by the participants; (3) equate-to-differentiate rule is more likely to be consistent with decision makers’ true rule than expected value rule. These findings supported our hypotheses.
    As a new attempt to test normative and descriptive theories, the experiencing of imposed rule would possi-bly help us to better understand what the decision makers’ true rule is. Considering that expectation rule is deemed as the soul of the dominant normative theories of decision-making under risk, our findings suggested that normative theories might fail to capture the nature of individuals’ risky choice. In contrast, descriptive theories (e.g., the equate-to-differentiate theory) seem to provide a better explanation to understand the actual mechanism of decision making under risk.

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    Endowment Effect on Product Replacement Decisions
    HUANG Jin-Song,SUN Jian-Wei
    2009, 41 (08):  737-744. 
    Abstract ( 1009 )   PDF (262KB) ( 1347 )  
    Endowment effect theory postulates that there is a gap between the prices which a buyer is willing to pay for and a seller would ask for. Consequently, the compensation that people ask for during product replacement usually exceeds the price one would like to offer. In this study, we attempted to investigate the behaviors of sel-lers and buyers during the process of product replacement.
    In two trade-in experiments, we tested the hypothesis that a buyer of a new product would overvalue the product that he owns and undervalue the new product, while a seller of a new product would undervalue the in-cumbent product and overvalue the new product. Similarly, buyers of a new product would overvalues the in-cumbent product and undervalues the new product, hence the double-endowment effects during the process of product replacement.
    Two hundred and forty one college students participated in the Experiment 1. The participants were ran-domly assigned to each of the following 6 scenarios (3 by 2): role (3): buyer seller and control; product (2): in-cumbent and new product. They were asked to fill in appropriate prices for an old product and a new product after a description of the trade-ins. In Experiment 2, one hundred and twenty college students were recruited and randomly assigned to one of the following 4 scenarios (2 by 2): role (2): buyer and seller; product (2): incumbent and new product. They were asked to rate the product using with the same methods as experiment one.
    The study showed that endowment effect not only existed in buyers but in sellers, indicating double en-dowment effects exert significant influence on new product replacement decisions. The results also revealed a gap between the subjective value of incumbent and new products from buyers and sellers, which could partially explain consumers’ resistance to innovation. Current findings imply that successful launch of a new product is largely decided by consumers’ mental cost of losing the incumbent product. Therefore sellers should try to re-duce or eliminate this mental cost in order to improve the replacement rate. We should note that sellers tend to overvalue the benefits of their new products, which could impede the product replacement process as well.
    This study offers an explanation for innovation resistance phenomenon in consumer psychology and helps us with better understanding of the endowment effect. Current findings also provide significant insights for new product development in marketing business.
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    Expectations, Experiences, and Memories: When Consumers Fail To Learn From Experiences

    XU Jing,JIANG Duo
    2009, 41 (08):  745-752. 
    Abstract ( 601 )   PDF (375KB) ( 1788 )  
    Many consumption decisions are based on hedonic expectations (“Would it be enjoyable?”) and/or hedonic memories of previous consumption episodes (“Was it enjoyable?”). Psychological research suggests, however, that expectations as well as memories may deviate from consumers’ actual experiences. This research focuses on discrepancies in consumers’ consumption-related expectations, memories and actual experiences, and the role of these variables in consumer decision making and implications for consumer learning. In particular, we argue that consumers’ expected and remembered experience converge but may deviate from their actual consumption ex-perience because they draw on different sources of information. Modified from Robinson and Clore’s (2002) accessibility framework, our conceptual framework extends to consumption experience in general and investi-gates the conditions under which consumers are likely to learn or not learn from their actual experience.
    One hundred and twenty six undergraduate students participated in this study and were randomly assigned to one of the three experimental conditions. Participants in the predict condition were asked to predict the taste of a well-known (category leader) brand of snack (i.e., ready-to-eat sausage) vs. a less well-known brand (without actually tasting the food) and indicate their preference and choice of the two brands. Participants in the experience condition first tasted the two brands of sausages and then indicated their preference and choice ac-cordingly. Participants in the experience with delay condition were asked to first taste the two brands of sausages and then worked on some unrelated tasks, and finally were asked to recall their taste experience and indicate their preference and choice of the two brands of sausages. Our results show that memories of taste experience parallels with expectations (i.e., well-known brand sausage tastes better than the less known brand), as reported by the participants in the experience with delay and the predict condition. Similarly, participants in the two con-ditions also indicated similar preference pattern (well-known brand is preferred over the less known brand). However, reports of actual taste of the two brands did not differ in the experience condition and participants are as likely to prefer and choose the less well-known brand as the well-known brand. Our findings suggest that memories are likely to confirm expectations and may have little to do with the actual experience. Furthermore, because decisions are often made on the basis of expectation or memory, consumers may rarely learn from their actual experience, unless judgment and decision are made on the spot of consumption and consumers are en-couraged to revise their prior beliefs or expectations.
    These findings have important implications for consumer decision making and consumer well being. Be-cause hedonic predictions converge with memories but both have little to do with the actual experience, con-sumers may fail to optimize their actual consumption experience. Moreover, these processes impede learning from experience and may result in the erroneous impression that one’s expectations were right on target.
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    Choice, Self-Expression and the Spreading Alternatives Effect
    CAO Wen,CHEN Hong,GAO Xiao,Todd Jackson
    2009, 41 (08):  753-762. 
    Abstract ( 1157 )   PDF (509KB) ( 1477 )  
    Self-expression is defined as expressions of one’s thoughts and feelings, which can be accomplished through words, choice, or actions. Utilizing both free-choice paradigm (active) and forced choice condition (passive), self-expression could result in the spreading alternatives effect for European Americans. That is to say, after making a choice between two objects, people tend to increase the degree of liking for the chosen object, and decrease the degree for the rejected object. Whereas the effect of self-expression is shared in the Occident, it is not privileged with such a cultural emphasis in East Asia.
    Using two choice paradigms (free-choice and forced choice) and two expressive paradigms (direct and indirect expression), four studies demonstrated the spreading alternatives effect in Chinese participants. Utilizing a free-choice paradigm, study 1a examined preference judgments; study 1b compared the preference judgments between expressive choice and non-expressive choice. Similarly, study 2a and 2b examined and compared preference choices in the forced choice condition.
    Results showed that, choice style (active or passive) and expression style (indirect or direct) influenced preference judgments. Direct expression increased the degree of liking for the obtained object, while indirect expression did not. One possible explanation could be that direct expression strengthened the motive of expression when people made ac-tive choices and then increased the degree of liking for the obtained object, through which people repaired the aversive feeling of cognitive dissonance when given a forced choice after losing the object they chose before. However, indirect expression counterpoised the factors which impacted preference for the obtained object. Thus, people maintained their degree of liking for the obtained object and didn’t experience the affirmation of ownership.
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    Psychological Mechanisms of the Tendency of Super-quick Decay for Delayed
    Heroin Reinforcement in Heroin Abstainers
    ZHANG Feng,SHUI Ren-De,ZHOU Yan-Yan,LIANG Jun-Ying,SHEN Mo-Wei
    2009, 41 (08):  763-772. 
    Abstract ( 1511 )   PDF (361KB) ( 1118 )  
    Previous researches adopting the Delay Discounting Task (DDT) in behavioral economics suggested that the quick decay for delayed reinforcer is a behavioral process common (Bickel et al., 2007) to a variety of ad-diction such as alcohol (Petry, 2001), nicotine (Mitchell, 1999; Bickel, Odum, & Madden, 1999; Reynolds, Karraker, Horn, & Richards, 2003; Baker, Johnson, & Bickel, 2003; Reynolds, Richards, Horn, & Karraker, 2004; Reynolds, 2004), cocaine (Coffey, Gudleski, Saladin, & Brady, 2003), and opioid or heroin (Madden, Pe-try, Badger, & Bickel, 1997; Madden, Bickel, & Jacobs, 1999; Kirby, Petry, & Bickel, 1999; Odum, Madden, Badger, & Bickel, 2000; Giordano et al., 2002; Zhang, Zhou, Li, & Shen, 2008). It was also discovered that, relative to a general reinforcer (for example money), drug dependence individuals show higher delay discount-ing rate in dependence drug reinforcer such as drink(Petry, 2001), cigarette (Bickel et al., 1999; Field, Santar-cangelo, Sumnall, Goudie, & Cole, 2006; Field, Rush, Cole, & Goudie, 2007), cocaine (Coffey et al., 2003), and heroin (Madden et al., 1997; 1999; Kirby et al., 1999; Odum et al., 2000). However, divergence still exists in researchers’ explanations for the nature of super-quick decay for dependence drug in drug dependence individu-als. A relative previous viewpoint (that may be called the hypothesis of avoidance of withdrawal symptoms) claimed that the super-quick decay for dependence drug is a consequence of escaping from or avoidance of withdrawal symptoms in drug dependence individuals (Madden et al., 1997; Bickel et al., 1999). Alternatively, some other researchers claimed that the steep discounting of drug of abuse compared to monetary reinforcers may occur as part of a general process by which primary reinforcers (e.g. drugs or food) are discounted more steeply than conditioned reinforcers (e.g. money), rather than as a unique aspect of addiction (Odum & Rainaud, 2003). This viewpoint may be called the hypothesis of unconditioned reinforcement effect. However, the reasons underlying the differences in discounting rate between primary and secondary reinforcers are not yet clear, so it is necessary to uncover the mechanisms by which conditioned reinforcers lose value more rapidly with delay than primary reinforcers (Odum & Rainaud, 2003). The present study explores the psychological mechanisms of tendency of super-quick decay in heroin abstainers during different abstinence phases to delayed heroin rein-forcer by the DDT, in which the measurement of craving in cue-exposure situations taken as the validity index of DDT evaluation.
    In the present study, 124 male heroin abstainers (17~39 years old, M=29.27, SD=5.00) during different ab-stinence phases (1~29 months, M=12.68, SD=7.58) were selected to administer Chinese computerized version of the DDT which was based on monetary rewards and heroin rewards, respectively. In the DDT based on mone-tary rewards, subjects had to choose between hypothetical monetary rewards available immediately or following a delay. Delayed rewards were ¥10,000 in value; and in the DDT based on heroin rewards, subjects had to choose between hypothetical heroin rewards available immediately or following a delay. Delayed rewards were 250 bags, which was equal to ¥10,000 in value. The immediate-reward amount would be adjusted until choices reflected indifference in the DDT based on monetary rewards or heroin rewards, and these processes were re-peated at each of eight delays (6 hours to 25 years). Moreover, 28 of 124 heroin abstainers were selected to elicit heroin desiring by the cue-exposure paradigm.
    The results of the present study showed that (1) Hyperbolic discounting functions provided a good fit for the subjects discounting data of both delayed reinforcement conditions, and median R2 was from 0.91 to 0.90 for monetary and heroin rewards. (2) Relative to monetary rewards, the delay discounting rates (k) of heroin ab-stainers were much higher for heroin rewards along with the abstinence time course, Z = 7.688, p<0.001. (3) The k based on the DDT in heroin abstainers did not improve along with the abstinence time course, c2money=0.603, df=2, p>0.10, c2heroin=0.806, df=2, p>0.10. (4) The delay discounting rates (k) for heroin rewards were correlated with the heroin craving on the cue-exposure paradigm, r=0.47, df=26, p<0.01, and heroin craving of super-quick decay group was much higher than that of low-quick decay group, t=2.343, df=26, p<0.05. (5) The delay dis-counting rates (k) for heroin rewards were correlated with the k for monetary rewards, r=0.52, df=122, p<0.001, and k of higher impulsive group was much higher than that of low impulsive group, U=209.500, p<0.001.
    From the present study we concluded that (1) Heroin abstainers are characterized in tendency of su-per-quick decay for delayed reinforcement to heroin in the delay discounting task, and the characteristics in heroin abstainers do not improve along with the abstinence time course. (2) The tendency may be an interac-tional outcome of heroin abstainers’ trait impulsivity and heroin cue eliciting, and their accelerated amount rela-tive to monetary rewards in DDT may be manifested as the heroin cue-eliciting effect.
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    A Comparison of GT and IRT: An Analysis of Performance Rating of Men’s 10 Me-ters Platform Diving in Beijing Olympic Games
    YU Zong-Huo,TANG Xiao-Juan,WANG Deng-Feng
    2009, 41 (08):  773-784. 
    Abstract ( 1137 )   PDF (428KB) ( 1172 )  
    Generalizability Theory (GT) and Item Response Theory (IRT) have improved the Classical Test Theory (CTT) in different aspects. They put focus on macro-level and micro-level of measurement, respectively. Both GT and Multi-Facet Rasch Measurement model (MFRM, which is one case of IRT methods) can be applied to decompose the variances from different sources (including error) in the Performance Rating and to estimate the reliability of rating. The results from both of them can give researchers some recommendations about how to improve the Performance Rating. This paper tries to find how they perform differently in the way of improving the rating process in Beijing Olympic Games through making a comparison between GT and MFRM.
    Those athletes’ scores from 10 meters platform diving in Beijing Olympic Games form the data to be anal-ysis. In the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, there were twelve athletes who participated in the final of Men’s 10 meters platform diving. Each athlete dived six times, and was marked independently by seven referees each time. In total, there are 12´6´7=504 data points. Based on this dataset, both GT and MFRM are applied to analyze four facets (including round, person, referee, and difficulty) of these scores. However, as a hidden facet, diffi-culty can’t be separated in GT.
    The results from GT and MFRM suggest consistently that the athlete, the round, and their interaction are important sources of variation in these scores, and that the referees have not significant contribution to variance in athletes’ scores. At the same time, the results from MFRM indicate that the difficulty is also a significant source of variation. Based on these results, we can find some ways to improve scoring from different aspects. For example, we find that the g coefficient is influenced significantly not by the number of referee but by the number of rounds. Therefore, it’s helpful to improve the reliability of rating through increasing the number of rounds. MFRM gives the measure of individual elements within each facet, the standard errors for each ele-ment and the diagnostic fit statistics to detect aberrant responses. Based on the analysis of MFRM, We find the referees disordered the step calibrations of the scale around the category of 6.5. The results from MFRM also give birth to a new ranking which is really different from that given in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
    In sum, we find that GT and MFRM are consistent totally in estimating the sources of variation. However, both methods have their own advantages. GT is more helpful in the way of design of measurement, and MFRM is more helpful in the ways of measure of individual elements within each facet and detecting aberrant responses. Moreover, MFRM can separate the effects of round, referee, and difficulty more successfully and produce a more precise estimation of ranking of athletes than the method used in 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
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