ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    30 May 2009, Volume 41 Issue 05 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    Parafoveal-on-foveal Effects in Chinese Reading: The Influence of Semantic Transparencies of word n on word n-1 Processing
    BAI Xue-Jun,HU Xiao-Yu,YAN Guo-Li
    2009, 41 (05):  377-386. 
    Abstract ( 1209 )   PDF (1775KB) ( 1186 )  
    Parafoveal-on-foveal effects occur when lexical properties of word n influence processing on word n-1 during reading. According to the E-Z Reader model (Reichle et. al, 2003, 2006), lexical characteristics of word n should not influence the processing of word n-1 (Rayner et. al, 1998). In contrast, the parallel model SWIFT (Engbert et. al, 2002, 2005) stipulates that multiple words within the perceptual span can be processed in parallel. If true, then parafoveal processing difficulty should slow down foveal processing (Inhoff et. al, 2000; Vitu et. al, 2004). However, Kennedy (2002, 2004) reported an inverted parafoveal-on-foveal effect where greater parafoveal processing difficulty resulted in the reader spending less time on the foveal word. He argued that a difficult configuration of parafoveal words acts as a salient target causing the reader to execute an early saccade. They refer to this process as “magnetic attraction”.
    The main goal of the present study was to investigate parafoveal-on-foveal effects in normal Chinese reading. We examined whether the semantic transparency of word n influenced readers’ processing time on word n-1. Semantic transparency is the semantic relationship between a compound word and its constituent morphemes. By definition, a semantically transparent compound is one which is semantically related to the meaning of its constituent morphemes. A compound word is semantically opaque when its meaning cannot be understood by simply combining the constituent morphemes’ individual meanings.
    We compared first pass reading times on word n-1 in a condition where word n was semantically transparent with those in a condition where word n was semantically opaque. Additionally, the effect of the processing load of word n-1 was examined by making a word frequency manipulation on word n-1. According to the assumptions of the SWIFT model, individual morpheme processing is part of lexical access, and therefore, processing of word n when semantically transparent would be easier and consequently, the processing of word n-1 would take less time in this condition than when word n was semantically opaque. Contrary to the SWIFT model, “magnetic attraction” would predict an inverted effect, because an opaque word in the parafovea would attract attention away from foveal word processing. If parallel processing exists, as claimed by SWIFT and magnetic attraction theory, an effect of semantic transparency should occur. Also, if foveal processing load modulates parafoveal processing, semantic transparency effects may be greater in the high than the low frequency word n-1 condition. In contrast, according to the E-Z Reader model, the semantic characteristics of word n would not affect processing of word n-1, except in cases where word n was due to be skipped.
    Twenty seven university students who were native Chinese speakers participated in this research (average age 21.55 years, SD=1.19). Sentence pairs contained a target word that was manipulated for semantic transparency (word n). The words in each sentence pair prior to word n were identical between these two conditions. A set of 26 semantically transparent and 26 opaque compound words was selected for the target words in the sentences. The two sets were equated for number of strokes, frequency of each character and frequency of the whole word. For both sets, the frequency of the pretarget word (word n-1) was manipulated: one set had a high frequency word n-1 (M=319.49 per million, SD=148.52) and the other set had a low frequency word n-1 (M=0.66 per million, SD=0.23). All pre-target words were two-character words long and were matched for number of strokes in each character. Eye movements were recorded using an Eyelink Ⅱ eye tracker (sample rate =250 Hz). The size of each character was 1.30cm×1.30cm (33 pixel×33 pixel). At a viewing distance of 75cm, one character space subtended approximately 1°of visual angle.
    We analyzed reading times on word n-1 as a function of the semantic transparency of word n. The following eye fixation measures were examined: single fixation duration, first fixation duration, gaze duration, final fixation, refixation probability and the probability of skipping. The word frequency effect of word n-1 was robust in terms of gaze duration and refixation probability. The results showed that in both high- and low- frequency word n-1 conditions, the semantic transparency of word n did not affect processing time on word n-1, prior to direct fixation on word n.
    In summary, we found no evidence of parafoveal-on-foveal effects in this study. The results support the assumptions of the serial processing model, E-Z Reader model.
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    The Effect of Preparatory Interval on Verbal Response of People Who Stutter
    NING Ning,YANG Shuang,PENG Dan-Ling,DING Guo-Sheng,DONG Fang-Bai
    2009, 41 (05):  387-396. 
    Abstract ( 1121 )   PDF (1697KB) ( 1109 )  
    As to the problem of stuttering, most researchers were interested in the processes of speech movement and speech planning. However, an important process, which is closely related with speech motor initiating time, is ignored. That is speech motor preparation. Researchers have found that PWS initiated motor cortex early before Broca area; while immidieatly before articulation, the degrees of speech motor preparation were lower for PWS than that for people who do not stutter (PWNS). However, one problem of these studies is they used only one preparatory interval (PI). If optimal PI of PWS is different from that of PWNS, the results above would be challenged. In the present research, the effect of PI on verbal response of PWS was investigated in three experiments.
    In experiment 1, six PIs (50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1600ms) were applied respectively in naming task. Warning signal was a “+”, imperative signal was a colored square, which need to be named with one word as soon as possible. Average inter-trial interval (ITI) was 7s. Besides, a simple naming task without warning signal was used as baseline. Ten PWS and Ten PWNS participated in this experiment. Results showed that optimal naming PI of PWS was around 400ms, which lasted shorter than that of PWNS (400~800ms); when PI increased from 400ms to 800ms, verbal response time of PWS was significantly prolonged.
    Procedure and design of experiment 2 was similar to experiment 1, except that a botton pressing task was applied instead of naming task. Ten PWS and Ten PWNS participated in this experiment, 6 of them had also paticipanted in experiment 1. As a result, no significant difference was observed between PWS and PWNS.
    In experiment 3, average ITIs were shortened to 1s to investigate whether results of experiment 1 could be influenced by time pressure. Other procedures were same as experiment1. Fifteen PWS and fifteen PWNS participated in this experiment; none of them had paticipanted in experiment 1 and 2. Interestingly, prominent difference of naming response time between PWS and PWNS were obtained again when PI was increased to 800ms.
    In conculsion, no matter how time pressure (ITI) changed, the problem for PWS was that, they were difficult in maintaining or improving reaction speed when PI was increased from 400ms to 800ms. And this phenomenen was only significant in naming task rather than hand moving task. The authors suggested 800ms after “+”, the attentional system of prefrontal cortex is still working to maintain a high degree of attention for PWNS; while for PWS, this system is weak. Then, motor preparation system may be advanced, but other signals (such as phonogical plan) were no arrived. Thus, PWS would have to wait and pronounce some stuttering utterances.
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    The Role of Clues in Chinese Idiom Riddle Solving
    Zhu Xin-Cheng,Li Rui-Ju,Zhou Zhi-Jin
    2009, 41 (05):  397-405. 
    Abstract ( 1166 )   PDF (1652KB) ( 1220 )  
    Chinese riddle solving is one of the insight problems in which Chinese idioms frequently turn out to be the answers. The goal of this study was to investigate the role of clues used by problem solvers when given such riddles. Three experiments were conducted and idiom riddles were used as experimental materials. In all experiments, a 2 (semantic clue vs. rule clue)×2 (validity vs. invalidity) experimental design was adopted. In Experiment 1, all clues were presented above visual threshold. Participants were asked to figure out answers themselves according to each riddle and its clue. In Experiment 2, except that the clues were presented below visual threshold, all else was the same as that in Experiment 1. In both of these two experiments, the participants were first required to judge the emotionality of 160 idioms within 5 minutes, which include the answers of the riddles used in the experiments. In Experiment 3, participants were asked to make a choice among six options. There were 206 first-year and second-year college students participated in these experiments. The results were as follow: (1) The valid rule clues, which were presented either above threshold or below threshold, facilitated the process of Chinese idiom riddle solving. (2) The response accuracy was increased when the semantic clues were valid. Moreover, the clues presented above the threshold played a bigger role than those presented below the threshold. (3) An interference was found only when the invalid clues were presented above the threshold. Based on the theories and hypotheses about insight problem solving, we put forward a model to explain the process of Chinese riddles solving, which include three phases.
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    Holistic and Componential Processing for Two-Digit Numbers
    CHEN Lan,ZHAI Xi-Chun,ZHOU Xin-Lin
    2009, 41 (05):  406-413. 
    Abstract ( 1006 )   PDF (1397KB) ( 1247 )  
    A great deal of research has been conducted to investigate how people process two-digit numbers. Researchers have found that the time to compare two two-digit numbers decreases logarithmically with the absolute difference of two numbers, which suggests a holistic processing for two-digit numbers. However, some evidence seems to support additional componential processing. A number pair can be defined as compatible if the decade-magnitude comparison and the unit-magnitude comparison of the two numbers lead to the same result (e.g., 23 vs. 78, 2<7 and 3<8), and as incompatible if this is not the case (e.g., 29 vs. 84, 2<8 but 9>4). Subjects took longer to respond the unit-decade-incompatible number pairs than to the unit-decade-compatible number pairs. The unit-decade compatibility effect suggests that the magnitude of the unit digits of numbers in addition to the whole magnitude of the numbers is activated. However, previous studies on two-digit number processing have typically used tasks involving intentional processing of numerical magnitude. To intentionally process two-digit numbers, subjects need to pay attention to decade and unit digits serially or simultaneously, which may lead to componential processing. This study addressed whether componential processing is also involved in unintentional processing of the magnitude of numbers.
    Stroop-like paradigm was applied. Sixteen undergraduate students participated in Experiment 1. They were asked to compare the physical size of two two-digit numbers, as well as the numerical magnitude of the two numbers (e.g., 23 vs. 78). Four hundred two-digit pairs consisting of the numbers between 21 and 98 were presented in Arabic notation, excluding numbers that contained 0 as unit (e.g., 30, 40) or the same digits for decade and unit (e.g., 22, 33). We manipulated the ratio of the physical size of two numbers (i.e., 1:1.1 vs. 1:1.2), the congruency of magnitude size and physical size, and the unit-decade-compatibility. To avoid confounding of the distance and problem size effect, we controlled overall distance and problem size between compatible and incompatible pairs. In addition, we also conducted Experiment 2 to avoid interference of intentional and unintentional processing. Twenty undergraduate students were asked to compare only the physical size of two two-digit numbers. Experimental design and procedure were same as Experiment 1, except the ratio of physical size of two numbers had three levels containing 1:1.1, 1:1.25 and 1:1.5.
    The results from the magnitude comparison task in Experiment 1 replicated those found in previous studies involving the same tasks. Tasks involving physical size comparison in both Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 showed the effect of magnitude and physical size congruency. The effect supported holistic processing. The unit-decade-compatibility effect was evident for congruent number pairs, but there was no or a reverse effect for incongruent number pairs.
    In sum, two-digit number processing can be componential as well as holistic in both unintentional and intentional processing of numerical magnitude.
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    Frame of Reference in the Mental Representation of Objects Layout
    XIE Chao-Xiang,LIU Qiang,LI An-Juan,TAO Wei-Dong,SUN Hong-Jin
    2009, 41 (05):  414-423. 
    Abstract ( 1426 )   PDF (2226KB) ( 927 )  
    Observers can assume two types of frame of reference when process spatial information about their environment. These include egocentric reference system which specifies a location with respect to the observer, and environmental frame of reference which specifies a location relative to other locations independent of the observer. A number of studies suggested that both types of reference systems can be used in the representation of the spatial layout (Wang & Spelke, 2002; Burgess, 2006; Waller & Hodgson, 2006). One special kind of environmental frame of reference has been proposed by McNamara and his colleagues. Since Mou and McNamara’s well-known initial study (Mou & McNamara, 2002), the role of intrinsic axis of spatial layout in spatial memory has been extensively examined. The role of main orientation axis of the environment has also been illustrated. However, it is not clear the relative contribution of intrinsic axis in the object layout and main axis in environment when these two sources of information are not congruent. Moreover, in most of previous studies, all of the objects were positioned in very regular layouts, and had salient intrinsic axes in any testing heading. This might limit how generalizable these results can be applied to spatial learning of every day environment.
    In the present research, we manipulated the congruency of the intrinsic reference frames of the object layout and environmental reference frames. The hypothesis was that both environmental frames and intrinsic axes were effective cues in spatial memory, however the use of these frame of references could be interact with the use of egocentric frame of reference. In addition, in our experiment, some of the objects were positioned in an orderly fashion and created the structure of the main intrinsic axes, which were salient in some headings and not salient in other headings, while some other objects are positioned outside those intrinsic axes. The spatial reference systems used in memory to represent the locations of the objects were examined by manipulating the orders of learning directions.
    The research was carried out in a rectangular room (5.5m×7m). Eight common objects were placed on a 3m×3m rectangular floor mat. The mat was positioned in the middle of the room so that the outer boundaries of the mat were parallel with the adjacent walls of the rectangular room. Six objects were positioned in a regular layout (two rows and three columns) and which formed the main intrinsic axes of the layout; the other two objects were positioned irregularly in the layout. Two experiments examined the roles of egocentric experience, environmental frames and intrinsic axis to represent the locations of objects in the environment. In Experiment 1, the intrinsic axes of the layout were aligned with the environmental frames, and in Experiment 2, the intrinsic axes were misaligned with the environmental frames. Forty eight undergraduates (aged between 18 and 23) participated in the experiments. Participants learned the locations of eight objects and then made judgments of relative direction based on the memory of the layout (e.g., imagine you are standing at the shoe, facing the clock; point to the bottle). Reaction time and pointing error were recorded and analyzed in mixed-model analyses of variance (ANOVAs) in terms for learning order (0° then 135° vs 135° then 0°), and imagined heading (0° to 315° in 45° increments), position regularity (regularly positioned objects vs irregularly positioned objects). Learning order was between participant variable; position regularity and imagined heading were within participant variables.
    The specific findings are presented as follows: first, non-egocentric information had a powerful influence on participants’ representations of the layout. When the main intrinsic axes were congruent with the environmental frames (in Experiment 1), spatial layout were best remembered when participants learned the layout from the same axis (0°). When participants were tested from viewpoints (135°) which were misaligned with the main intrinsic axes of the layout and environmental frames, the spatial layout was represented poorly even when the viewpoint was the first study view, indicating frame of reference from the environment/object array was powerful enough to overshadow the egocentric information. Second, either of intrinsic layout axis and environmental frame are effective cues for spatial representation when paired with egocentric information. When the intrinsic and environmental axis were aligned (Experiment 1) , judgments of relative direction were quicker and more accurate for imagined headings parallel to the main intrinsic axis and environmental frames regardless which view was learned first. However, when the main intrinsic axis were incongruent with environmental frames (Experiment 2), if the first learning view was aligned with the main intrinsic axis, participants performed better in imagined headings of 45°, 135°, 225°, 315° which were aligned with the most salient intrinsic axis, and if the first learning view was aligned with environmental frames, they performed better in imagined headings of 0°, 90°, 180°, 270° which were aligned with environmental frames. This illustrates the use of egocentric information in determining whether the frame of reference from the layout axis or environmental axis would be useful. Third, the intrinsic axes not only facilitated the encoding of objects’ positions during learning phase, but also had an important role in the judgments of object directions during testing if the objects learned were positioned on the intrinsic axis. In both experiment 1 and experiment 2, the judgments of relative directions of objects were more accurate for those target objects positioned on the intrinsic axis than those “irregularly” positioned objects. The judgments for those “regularly” positioned objects were slower, suggesting participants might perform higher-order calculation of the direction of those objects on the axis, rather than simply retrieved directional information from memory.
    In conclusion, results in the present study indicated that spatial memories can be sensitive to intrinsic layout axes, environmental frame and also egocentric experiences. If the main intrinsic axes of the layout were congruent with the environmental frames, they would have a powerful influence on spatial representation. However, if the main intrinsic axes of the layout were incongruent with the environmental frames, participants select a reference system according to the learning order (egocentric information in the first learning episode). These results show that both environmental frame and intrinsic axes could be effective reference systems in spatial memory. Egocentric information could encourage the use of either one.
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    The Declined Inhibitory Control Influences the Aging of Perceptual Grouping
    XIE Ning,WANG Cheng,WU Yan-Hong
    2009, 41 (05):  424-432. 
    Abstract ( 1104 )   PDF (1819KB) ( 1169 )  
    Perceptual grouping is a function of the human perceptual system to organize discrete entities in the visual field into chunks or perceptual objects for higher order processing (Han et al, 2002). Previous research has found that young adults respond faster to perceptual groups defined by collinearity than by similarity and that the reaction times are shorter when valid cues are employed to engage visual attention in the target orientation. The present study examined the two types of perceptual grouping in different age groups, with the purpose of clarifying cognitive mechanisms underlying age-related decline in perceptual grouping. The processing-speed theory or the sensory theory of aging predicts that the perceptual grouping capacity of the elderly declines more sharply in difficult grouping (grouping by similarity) and in difficult conditions (without cues) than in easy grouping (grouping by colliearity) and in easy conditions (with cues). However, the Hasher-Zacks (1988)’s theory, which attributes the age-related decline to reduced efficiency of inhibitory control, predicts that the cues will benefit the elderly to a less extent than younger adults and that the detection of the two types of grouping will decline by the same rate in the elderly.
    To test these predictions, this study employed two types of grouping stimuli under uncued (Exp.1) and cued (Exp.2) conditions. Sixteen old adults and sixteen undergraduate students participated in both experiments. Each experiment consisted of two sections with a single type of grouping in each section. Stimuli were displayed on a gray background (25.1 cd/m2) with 1024×768 graphic resolution. Each stimulus array consisted of a configuration of Gabor patches (see Fig. 1). The central Gabor patch was orientated either 45° or 135° in visual angel and was flanked by two pairs of patches in an ‘X’ configuration. One pair of flankers were either collinear with or similar to the central Gabor patch in the target displays, which were mixed with catch displays in which no perceptual grouping can be detected between Gabor patches. Participants were asked to press spacebar with the index finger when they detected a target Gabor grouping. The response hand and the order of grouping type were counter-balanced over the participants.
    A repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that the older adults responded more slowly than the younger group and that both groups of participants responded faster to grouping by collinearity than by similarity. A significant interaction was detected between the cue benefit and age group, with the cues helping younger group to a greater extent. No interaction was found between grouping type and age group. Moreover, an advantage of perceptual grouping was observed in the orientation of 135°, relative to the orientation of 45°, regardless of the availability of cues, suggesting a probable influence of left-to-right reading habits on perception.
    These results demonstrate that while the processing speeds decline by the same rate in the two types of perceptual grouping, the cue to the target orientation benefits age groups differently, with younger adults getting a greater benefit than older adults. These findings are consistent with Hasher & Zack’s theory, suggesting that the reduced inhibitory efficiency contributes to the decline in perceptual grouping.
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    Physical and Relational Victimization, and Children’s Emotional Adjustment in Middle Childhood
    ZHANG Wen-Xin,CHEN Liang,JI Lin-Qin,ZHANG Ling-Ling,CHEN Guang-Hui,Wang Shu-Qiong
    2009, 41 (05):  433-443. 
    Abstract ( 1468 )   PDF (1856KB) ( 2092 )  
    Peer victimization refers to children’s experience of being a target of physical, verbal or relational aggressive behavior from peers. Research indicates that peer victimization is a phenomenon of high prevalence during childhood and adolescence, and can lead to both concurrent and prospective maladjustment on the part of victim. Although in recent years there has been an increasing interest in the research on children’s peer victimization, most of these studies have focused on physical form of victimization and were conducted with children in Western cultures. Research into victimization among children in Chinese schools has been rare. The present study investigated the characteristics of physical and relational peer victimization and their associations with children’s emotional adjustment among Chinese children during middle childhood.
    The participants of this study were 2603 children in their middle childhood from 51 classrooms in 14 schools (mean age = 9.05±0.53 years) in Jinan, capital city of Shandong Province in mid-eastern China, with approximately equal number of boys (51.98%) and girls (48.2%). The Chinese version of the Multi-dimensional Peer Victimization Scale (MPVS, Mynard & Joseph, 2000) was used to tap children’s’ experience of peer victimization. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) was conducted and indicated that the Chinese version of MPVS had good structural validity of. Measures of children’s emotional adjustment included Children’s Loneliness Scale (Asher, Hymel & Renshaw, 1984), Social Anxiety Scale for Children (La Greca, 1988) and Children’s Depression Inventory (Kovacs, 1992). The participants responded to all the measures in a manner through self-report.
    Children reported experiencing more physical than relational forms of victimization. Inconsistent with the pattern of gender differences that has been reported in studies on children in Western cultures, boys in Chinese schools reported more victimization of both relational and physical forms than did girls. Both physical and relational victimization had a negative effect on children’s emotional adjustment, but the negative effect of relational victimization was greater than that of physical victimization. Children’s reporting of physical victimization predicted social anxiety only for girls, while relational victimization contributed to children’s social anxiety for both male and female. Nonetheless, gender didn’t moderate the relationship between either form of victimization and loneliness as well as depression. Overall, the associations between peer victimization and children’s emotional adjustment did not vary as a function of children’s gender.
    The findings of this study suggest that the patterns of gender differences in relational victimization vary with cultures, though that of physical victimization remains consistent. To the extent that relational victimization has a unique negative effect on children’s emotional adjustment, future research should pay more attention to this form of victimization.
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    Development and Initial Validation of the Youth Self-Confidence Inventory
    BI Chong-Zeng,HUANG Xi-Ting
    2009, 41 (05):  444-453. 
    Abstract ( 1872 )   PDF (1583KB) ( 3401 )  
    Self-confidence is a widely used concept rooted in Chinese culture, yet no multidimensional measures of self-confidence have been developed for use within a Chinese cultural context. The primary purpose of this research was to determine the structure of self-confidence from an indigenous perspective, through developing and validating a youth self-confidence inventory.
    An initial sample (n = 130) from senior high school and university completed the open-ended questionnaire “Twenty Self-Confidence Statements Test”. Their responses were subjected to content analyses and five domains of self confidence emerged: academic confidence, interpersonal confidence, moral certainty, coping efficacy, and achievement expectations. In a second sample, 391 students (170 males, 221 females) completed 50 items generated to reflect these five dimensions. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) resulted in a five factor solution comprising 33 items that explained 53.32% of the variance in self-confidence and reflected the hypothesized factor structure. In Study 3, 1084 high school and university students (537males, 533 females) completed the YSCI, Self-Doubt Scale (Oleson et al., 2000), Beck Depression Inventory-Ⅱ (Beck et al, 1996), Subjective Happiness Scale (Lyubomirsky, & Lepper, 1999), Student Behavioral Inhibition Scale (Wang et al., 2004), and Scale of Self-Worth (Huang & Yang, 1998), with a subset of 67 students completing the YSCI two weeks later. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) replicated the initial factor structure of the YSCI and indicated a satisfactory goodness-of-fit (χ2/df=2.81, RMR=0.07, GFI=0.90, AGFI=0.88, TLI=0.83, RMSEA=0.05, RMSEA LO=0.04, RMSEA HI=0.05, PCLOSE=0.970>0.05). Internal consistencies and retest reliabilities for the subscales were all higher than 0.70, supporting the reliability of the YSCI. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that self-confidence could explain 13% of the variance in confidence inhibition (F=27.80, p<0.01), 17% of the variance in self-doubt (F=40.26, p<0.01), 29% of the variance in self-worth (F=66.83, p<0.01), 24% of the variance in depression (F=63.19, p<0.01) and 18% of the variance in subjective happiness (F=40.65, p<0.01), indicating the YSCI had satisfactory criterion validity.
    In sum, this research resulted in the development of the Youth Self-Confidence Inventory (YSCI), a reliable, comprehensive measure of self-confidence that has promising validity and considerable potential utility in research on adolescent and emerging adult samples within Chinese and non-Chinese cultural contexts.
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    The Influence of Responsibility on the Regret Intensity: An ERP Study
    ZHANG Hui-Jun,ZHOU Li-Ming,LUO Yue-Jia
    2009, 41 (05):  454-463. 
    Abstract ( 1402 )   PDF (1792KB) ( 1802 )  
    Regret is defined as an emotion that occurs when the outcome is worse than it could have been had one made a different choice. Its neural mechanism has become a hot area in social cognitive neuroscience. The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has been shown to play a key role in the experience of regret. Researchers propose that regret feeling and activities of OFC could be influenced by the degree of responsibility in choice process. Prior behavioral research indicated that responsibility influenced the regret feeling about incorrect decisions. But to date the relationship between responsibility magnitude and regret intensity has not been explored. Whether an individual would experience gradually augmented regret as a result of the increment of responsibility is the core question in our study. The regret level is the main independent factor in the current experiment. According to the theory of responsibility diffusion, the levels of responsibility could be manipulated by the number of people responsible for an incorrect choice on a trial-by-trial basis. The more individuals shall make a decision, the weaker sense of responsibility they would feel. We also intend to explore this effect by investigating temporal process, brain activities, as well as self-reported ratings. Thus, the special components of ERPs, including fERN and P300, were measured in a gamble task fulfilled by three participants together. We hypothesized that the amplitudes of fERN would be significantly different between the condition of taking responsibility alone and the other conditions.
    An ERP experiment with 15 undergraduates (8 males, 7 females) was conducted to test the hypothesis. The result of each trial was displayed by an equilateral triangle. There were three levels of responsibility: 1(the participant made the wrong choice by his/her own); 1/2 (the participant and one of the collaborators made the wrong choice); 1/3 (all three participants made the wrong choice). Participants’ event-related potential data during the presence of the triangle, as well as the self-reported ratings were analyzed off-line. The fERN was calculated as the voltage difference between the most negative peak between 250-350ms and the preceding positive peak after the appearance of feedback, while the amplitude of P300 was calculated as the mean amplitude between 350-550ms. The brain electrical source analysis technique (BESA) was also conducted to estimate the dipole sources of fERN and P300.
    Participants’ sense of responsibility was much higher in the wrong choice alone condition than the other conditions and the evaluation of counterfactual thinking became higher as the magnitude of responsibility went larger. The amplitude of fERN was distinctively larger in the wrong choice alone condition than the other conditions, indicating that binary evaluation was also influenced by top-down modulations. On the other hand, the P300 amplitude was inversely related to the number of people responsible for an incorrect choice. This is consistent with the notion that their personal accountability for the consequences of a choice influences the allocation of attentional and cognitive resources to the task. Sourcing analysis showed that fERN might be generated from brain regions near the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and right sub-gyral, while the P300 was related to the precuneus and medial frontal gyrus.
    The result confirms our hypothesis that increment of responsibility leads to stronger regret feelings. It also implies that error-related processing could be modulated by responsibility magnitude, which in turn regulates feelings of post-decision regret.
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    On Hattori Unokichi’s Teaching Materials of Psychology
    YAN Shu-Chang
    2009, 41 (05):  464-470. 
    Abstract ( 1175 )   PDF (1479KB) ( 1035 )  
    Hattori Unokichi’s Teaching Materials of Psychology (in Chinese) has not been fully understood by Chinese psychological field since there is not available literature. Now, the original version of this book reveals that the book derived from Hattori Unokichi’s teaching practice in China since 1902. It was published in Japan in November 1905 and circulated in China. It was a psychological textbook for the students at Jingshi Daxutang (former Peking University).
    Hattori Unokichi defined psychology as the exploration of the mechanism of mind activities, and observation was the main research method in psychology. However, he did not regard experimental method as the main one in psychological studies although he acknowledged its importance. In those years, scholars believed that it was not easy to use experiment to explore psychological phenomena. The psychological system in Teaching Materials of Psychology was based on the tripartite division (cognition, affect, will), and the author focused on the mental process, not on individual difference. Teaching Materials of Psychology embodies evolutionary approach to psychology and emphasizes service for education. This book reveals the main concepts and dominant system of psychology at the beginning of 20th century.
    Hattori Unokichi’s teaching of psychology was the beginning of modern scientific psychology in Chinese higher education. Hattori Unokichi confirmed the psychological value of Chinese traditional culture and took it into consideration in this textbook. Therefore, we can find that Chinese traditional culture was absorbed into this discipline when Western psychology was introduced to China. The development of Chinese modern psychological terms benefited from the Chinese Characters in Japanese psychological field. With the background of cultural change, Hattori Unokichi directly adopted the current psychological terms in Japan to settle the difficulties of establishing Chinese psychological terms. The fact that Japanese psychological terms were created with Chinese Characters has proved the psychological value of Chinese culture,and absorption and transmission of Japanese modern knowledge in Chinese elite intellectuals promoted the input of Japanese psychological terms created with Chinese characters.
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