ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    30 January 2009, Volume 41 Issue 01 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    The Effect of Global Precedence on Mental Rotation of Compound Stimuli

    QIU Xiang,FU Xiao-Lan,SUI Dan-Ni,LI Jian,TANG Yi-Yuan

    2009, 41 (01):  1-9. 
    Abstract ( 2266 )   PDF (1621KB) ( 2510 )  
    Perceptual global precedence referred to a priority in perceptual processing for the global features of a form or object. This phenomenon was firstly reported by Navon (1977) with compound stimuli (larger letters were constructed from smaller letters, e.g., a large H made up of small Ss). Navon required observers to identify either the large (i.e., global) or the small (i.e., local) letters and found that global letters were identified more rapidly than local letters and also that irrelevant global letters were more difficult to ignore than irrelevant local letters. Perceptual global precedence had been widely replicated within certain boundary conditions (Dalrymple et al., 2007; Roalf et al, 2006; Schatz & Erlandson, 2003; Han Shihui & Chen Lin, 1996; Kimchi, 1992). However, it was still unclear that whether global precedence could exist in other higher cognitive processes, such as mental rotation.
    Mental rotation was one typical transformation of mental images, which was reported to be functional equivalence with visual perception. Whether there was an effect of global precedence on mental rotation was explored in the present research.
    Compound stimuli combined with rotation task were used in two experiments. Participants were required to judge whether the large letter or small letter of the compound stimulus was in its regular format or left-right mirror. In Experiment 1, 2 (task: identification of normal image /mirror-reversed image for large or small letters )×2 (stimuli : congruence or incongruence of large-small letters) was designed to eliminate perceptual global precedence through prolonging the duration of target stimuli. Experiment 2 investigated the global precedence on mental rotation with a 4 (rotation degree: 0°, 60°, 120°, 180°) ×2 (rotation pattern: rotation of large letters or small letters) ×2 (stimuli: congruence or incongruence of rotation angles of large-small letters) within-subject factorial design.
    Repeated measures analyses of variance were conducted separately for the two experiments. In experiment 1, perceptual global precedence could be eliminated by prolonging targets’ duration. There was no significant difference between the RTs of identification of normal image for large and small letters, and the congruity of large-small letters had no effect on identification of normal image for large and small letters. However, in experiment 2, when mental rotation was added to the task, large letters were responded more quickly than small letters, though the congruity of rotation angles of large-small letters didn’t influence the rotation of large and small letters; in addition, the difference between the rotation speeds of the large letters and small letters reached a marginal significant level.
    Based on these results, the conclusion was that global precedence did exist in mental rotation even when perceptual global precedence was excluded in mental rotation task. Time required in global rotation was much shorter than that in local rotation. In addition, neither large letters rotation nor small letters rotation was influenced by the congruity of rotation angles of large-small letters. That was to say, the global precedence in mental rotation was of a little difference from the perceptual global precedence. The present findings not only extended the field of mental image, but also shed light on the research of global precedence in higher cognitive processes, and the method of eliminating perceptual global precedence was also of great significance for future research.
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    Observer’s Hand Orientation Influences Mental Rotation of A Hand Stimulus
    TAO Wei-Dong,HUANG Xi-Ting,ZHANG Hui,FENG Si-Hai,LIU Qiang,TAO Xiao-Li,XIE Chao-Xiang,LI Hong,SUN Hong-Jin
    2009, 41 (01):  10-25. 
    Abstract ( 1168 )   PDF (3086KB) ( 1713 )  
    Mental rotation refers to the cognitive process in which a person imagines how an object or array would appear if rotated away from the PRENSETED OR USUAL orientation (Thayer & Johnson, 2006). Humans utilize this visuospatial ability to solve a range of spatial reasoning problems in daily life, such as recognition, navigation, and action planning, etc. (Creem, 2007).It was proposed that when participants are required to make a left-right judgment of a display of hands or bodies rotated from upright orientation, they could invoke ego-centric mental transformation, rather than object-centric mental rotation (Parsons, 2003; Zacks, 2005)
    Tao et al (2007, 2008) described the in-rotation effect in mental rotation of the hand. In their experiments, participants completed a left or right hand judgment task when either a left or right hand picture was presented. The results showed that in-rotation (rotated medially) hand was recognized more quickly and accurately than out-rotation hand. This suggests that the processing of mental rotation is limited by the biomechanical constraints of the corresponding physical rotation. However, it remains possible that this in-rotation effect is not necessarily the definitive proof for observers’ mental rotation of their own hands, because this in-rotation effect can either be the result of a mental imagery of the movements of one’s own hand or simply the participants’ knowledge of biomechanical constrain.
    In the current study, seated participants place their own hands on their laps, the orientation of their hands were manipulated with either palm or back of the hands facing up (Experiment 1) or with their palm facing up but one of hands rotated 90 degrees (Experiment 2). Using the same left or right hand judgment task as in Tao et al (2008), we recorded participants’ performance (reaction time and response errors) together with eye movement data during the task. First, we determined whether the mental transformation was based on participant’s own hands or hands in the visual display. If the imagery was participants’ own hands, then participant’s own hand position would influence mental rotation of the hand stimulus. Second, we determined whether rotation direction would affect eye-movement measures, such as average fixation duration and total number of fixation et al. Third, we determined whether the gaze distributed equally on the hand picture in the encoding and validating stages of the mental rotation.
    The results of the two experimental showed that (1) When the palm or back view of the stimulus hand was consistent with that of the participants’ hand (whether palm or back was facing the eye, either for both hands or for only the corresponding hand), participants’ judgment was faster and more accurate than the case where the facing direction of the participants’ hands and stimulus hands were not consistent;
    when participants’ hand orientation was consistent with the that of the displayed hand picture, participants’ judgment was faster and more accurate than the case where the orientation of the participants’ hands and stimulus hands were not consistent; 2) for the same magnitude of rotation, in-rotation (rotated medially) hands was recognized more quickly and accurately than out-rotation hands especially in palm pictures. (3) This in-rotation effect was also found in total gaze duration, average fixation duration and proportion of gazes in thumb area over the entire hand picture; (4) in encoding and validating stages of the mental rotation process, the gaze was distributed in an asymmetrical fashion in both palm or back hand pictures, with the gaze concentrating on the thumb area; (5) all the right hand picture was recognized more quickly and accurately than left hand stimulus.
    These results suggest that participants’ own hand influenced mental rotation of the hand, and the results strongly suggest that the in-rotation effect was indeed the result of the motor imagery of the participants’ actual hand (rather than the hands in the display) and thus demonstrating the biomechanical constrain. The finding that thumb area was the dominant gaze area provides insight for the nature and sequence of stages of mental rotation process
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    Mechanism of Retrieval Inhibition in Directed Forgetting: Retrieval Success Produces Inhibition
    MU De-Fang,SONG Yao-Wu,CHEN Ying-H
    2009, 41 (01):  26-34. 
    Abstract ( 1471 )   PDF (1699KB) ( 1807 )  
    Directed forgetting is a new experimental paradigm for use in the study of memory. Retrieval inhibition theory offers a widely accepted account of the list-method directed forgetting effect, but little is known about the exact mechanism that produces it. One possibility is that inhibition results from retrieval practice. Indeed, many studies show that retrieval inhibition underlies the directed forgetting effect can be interpreted as consistent with the retrieval-induced forgetting interpretation. Drawing on the retrieval-induced forgetting, we hypothesized that (a) the directed forgetting effect would be greater with additional retrieval practice tests on a target word list than without and (b) the directed forgetting effect would increase with increasing amounts of interpolated retrieval practice.
    One hundred and twenty undergraduate students participated in Experiment 1 and eighty in Experiment 2. In both experiments, participants studied items from two word lists - List 1 and List 2. Participants in the directed forgetting and remember groups were given different instructions. The directed forgetting groups were told that list 1 was just for practice and should be forgotten and that list 2 was the one to be remembered; in contrast, participants in the remembering groups were told to remember both list 1 and list 2. After studying both lists, participants were given one, three or no retrieval practice tests on list 2. In Experiment 1, before each retrieval practice test, participants were instructed to recall as many characters as they could from list 2; Experiment 2 was the same as Experiment 1 except that participants completed a stem completion test to facilitate their overall recall of list 2 items (as opposed to a pure recall test). Finally, participants were required to recall as many items as they could from list 1 and list 2. A three-factor mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed with group (directed forgetting and remembering) and number of retrieval practice tests (0, 1, and 3) as between-subjects factors and list (List 1 and List 2) as a within-subjects factor.
    The results showed that in Experiment 1, the magnitude of the directed forgetting effect disappeared with increasing amounts of retrieval practice; in Experiment 2 which used the stem-completion test to increase retrieval success, the magnitude of the directed forgetting effect was increased and the participants in the forgetting instruction group inhibited list 1 items.
    The results confirmed that retrieval success can increase the directed forgetting effect, indicating that retrieval success can account for retrieval inhibition in directed forgetting
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    Synthetic Assessment of Cognitive Load in Human-Machine Interaction Process
    Li Jin-Bo,Xu Bai-Hua
    2009, 41 (01):  35-43. 
    Abstract ( 1558 )   PDF (1487KB) ( 1623 )  
    Cognitive load (CL) often becomes too great in modern human-machine systems, which affects the performance and reliability of system operators. Therefore an effective and reliable approach to measure CL is crucial. Currently there are three major measures of CL: these are subjective evaluation, performance measures and physiological assessment. None of these, however, can comprehensively reflect the state of CL under different task conditions. Thus, this study attempted to establish an appropriate multi-dimensional assessment technique to evaluate CL synthetically in the human-machine interaction process.
    A dual-task experiment with simulated web-searching as the primary task and mental arithmetic as the secondary task was conducted. The primary task had three levels of complexity, high, medium, and low. Thirty-two subjects were selected to perform the dual -task with each complexity level of the primary task. The order of performance of the three complexity levels was randomized across subjects. Four types of indices were obtained, including primary-task measures, secondary-task measures, subjective evaluations and eye movement measures. The synthetic assessment models were constructed via factors analysis, BP artificial neural network and self-organizing feature map, respectively. The results showed that: (1) The six indices, which are mental effort, perceived task difficulty, duration of fixation, number of fixations, response time and the percentage of correct responses in the primary task, were sensitive to the change in cognitive load. (2) In dual-task situations, the multidimensional synthetic assessment of cognitive load generated more valid results than those based on the single assessment index. (3) According to the indices of relative, absolute and average errors, the two ANN models (BP neural network and self-organizing feature map) showed a more accurate measurement of cognitive load than the traditional technique of factors analysis
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    Prototype and Exemplar on Classification and Inference Learning
    Liu Zhi-Ya,Mo Lei
    2009, 41 (01):  44-52. 
    Abstract ( 1433 )   PDF (1478KB) ( 1762 )  
    In this paper, we compare classification learning with another mean of learning categories: inference learning. In inference task, participants predict the value of a missing feature of an item given its category label and other feature values. In the classification task, participants predict the category label of an item given its feature values. Yamauchi and Markman (1998, 2000, 2002) showed that these two types of learning do not result in the learning of equivalent knowledge. Categories defined by a family resemblance structure were more easily learned by inference learning than by classification learning, whereas categories defined by a nonlinearly separable structure were more easily learned by classification learning than by inference learning. Chin-Parker and Ross (2002, 2004) found that Classification learners were highly sensitive to diagnostic features but not sensitive to nondiagnostic, but prototypical, features. Inference learners were less sensitive to the diagnostic features than were classification learners and were also sensitive to the nondiagnostic, prototypical, features. The “5-4”category structure from Medin and Schaffer (1978) has played an important role in the recent dominance of exemplar/instance-based category representation over prototype/central-tendency based representation. Yamauchi and Markman (1998) argued that the type of category representation subjects use, prototypes or exemplars, depends on how they learn the categories, but they did not strongly support this claim with formal models of the representations. This study contrasts the learning results of training subjects on the 5-4 category structure using either standard classification or feature inference. The research further systematically explores the two learning tasks that might lead to differential learning efficiency, strategy and outcome.
    Chin-Parker & Ross (2002,2004) pointed out Yamauchi & Markman’s two precursory studies that 1998’s ignored irrelative transfer effects and 2002’s was less learning exemplars. We improved Yamauchi & Markman 2002’s experiment by designing a “student coming into social group” , using 5-4 category structure, learning-transfer task paradigm and feature category detecting method, and explored leaning results in different way at classification and inference learning. One hundred and forty-four volunteers who participated for partial credit at an introductory psychology course at South China University of Technology took part in the experiments (ninety-six for other two complementary experiments).
    For participants given classification learning the study found that they classified/inferenced transfer stimuli A2 more accurately than they did the transfer stimuli A1. In contrast, participants given inference classified/inferenced transfer stimuli A1 more accurately than they did the transfer stimuli A2. The study also showed that inference learning was better than classification learning to catch the category prototype. At classify transfer phase, inference learners were more accurately than classification learner classified the two category prototypical stimulus. At inference transfer phase, inference learners were more likely to infer the absent feature as the prototypical feature than classification learner did. At single feature classifying, inference learners showed more accurately than classification learner did. There are more participants to reach the 89% learning criterion in the classification learning than in the inference learning. However, for the participants reached 89% learning criterion, study also found that those in the classification learning condition (M = 13.17) were not required significantly more blocks than those in the inference learning condition (M = 14.45).
    The results are consistent with the hypothesis that inference learning induces prototype representation and classification learning induces exemplar representation. Classification learning was better than inference learning at prototype integrating. Classification learner was more quickly to use the single dimension strategy than inference learner did, but at high level strategy, inference learner kept same pace with classification learner and showed potential learning effective
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    Effects of Antidepressant on the Expression of Neuropeptide Y in Brain of a Rat Model of Depression Induced by Chronic Stress
    SHEN Yue-Di,XU Bai-Hua,LIU Na,WEI Li-Li,CHEN Wei
    2009, 41 (01):  53-61. 
    Abstract ( 1023 )   PDF (1783KB) ( 1090 )  
    Neuropeptide Y (NPY), a conservative neuroendocrine peptides widely expressed in Peripheral and Central nervous system, is associated with depression, anxiety, and digestive disease. To study NPY expression in rat model of depression and to explore the mechanisms of the antidepressants, we developed a rat model of depression by the chronic stress exposure and isolation housing. We randomly divided 36 depressed rats into three groups (n=12) and treated them with fluoxetine-, amitriptyline- and normal saline, respectively. Behavioral changes in these rats were analyzed in an Open-Field paradigm, and compared to a control group of 12 normal rats. The expression patterns of NPY in the hypothalamus were analyzed using Reverse Transcription - Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), Western Blot, and the Immunohistochemical assays. We made the following observations:(1) Compared with the normal rats, total traveling distance and activity frequency were reduced (p <0 .01) in the depressed rats; their weight gains were smaller (p <0 .05); and their NPY mRNA levels in the hypothalamus were also lower (p < 0.01); (2) after treatment with either fluoxetine or amytriptyline, NPY mRNA and protein levels increased in brain of depressed rats. This difference is significance when compared to the normal saline group (p< 0.01).; (3) Compared with the normal control group, cell membrane and cytoplasm were stained to brown or yellow in the normal saline-treated group, indicating a positive immunohistochemical reaction. In contrast, the cell membrane and cytoplasm were stained to a color similar to the background color in the fluoxetine- and amytriptyline-treated groups, indicating a weak or negative immunohistochemical reaction. These results suggest that the brain NPY expression is reduced in the brain of depressed rats, and that a possible mechanism of the antidepressants is via enhancing rat brain NPY expression.
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    Young Children’s Understanding of Emotion Situations
    in Anger and Sadness
    HE Jie,XU Qin-Mei
    2009, 41 (01):  62-68. 
    Abstract ( 2114 )   PDF (1186KB) ( 2842 )  
    Anger and sadness as two basic negative emotions play important roles in children’s social development. Anger was associated with sadness in many situations. But anger was considered as a self-focused emotion while sadness was considered as an other-focused one (Kitayama, 2000). Earlier studies on children’s understanding of emotion situations suggested that young children began to infer basic emotions from situations (Denham, 1990). This study tended to examine inference of children’s emotion in angry and sad situations in three kinds of adults (children’s mothers, children’s teachers and undergraduate students), in order to explore whether these emotion situations, which were originally proposed by Western researchers, apply to Chinese background. Based on the standard of reports of three adults, we further aimed to reveal young children’s development of understanding of emotion situations in anger and sadness.
    Children who were 46- to 81-month-old (N=120) from two kindergartens and their mothers (N=113) were recruited from Chinese middle-class population. Children’s teachers (N=42) and undergraduate students (N=221) were also participated in this study. By filling out the diffuse questionnaire, adults (mothers, teachers and undergraduate students) judged children’s probabilities of anger and sadness elicited in 22 hypothetical situations selected from Western studies (8 angry situations, 9 sad situations, 5 angry-sad equivocal situations) (Denham, 1990a, 1990b; Glasberg, 1981; Gnepp, 1987; Hubbard, 2001; Hughes, 2002; Jenkins, 2000; Levine, 1995; Ribordy, 1988; Rothbart, 1994; Wang, 2003; Whitesell, 1996; Zeman, 1996). Using clinical interview with a computer program, children were asked to choose the facial expression (anger, sadness) depicting the protagonist’s feeling states in the same situations. The Chi-Square analyses and T-Test analyses were performed.
    Results indicated that: (1) Among 22 situations, three kinds of adults reported children would feel angry in 6 situations such as “Award taken away by peer”, “Toy snatched away by peer”, “Being hit by peer”, and would feel sad in 6 situations such as “Losing favorite toy”, “Best friend moved away”, “Not get the wanted toy”. Moreover, adults’ understanding was consistent with the definition of previous researchers. (2) According to the standard of reports of three adults, children were scored 1 point when their reports were consistent with the standard, scored 0 point when not. Children’s understanding of sad situations was better than their understanding of angry situations. (3) The 5-year-old and 6-year-old children’s understanding of sad situations was better than 4-year-old children.
    In conclusions, the situations in anger and sadness defined by Western researchers were consistent with the reference of children’s emotion in children’s mothers, children’s teachers and undergraduate students. Children’s understanding of sad situations was gradually developed in early childhood. Further research about the development of the understanding of angry situations in older children will be proposed
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    Changes in Chinese Middle School Students’ Mental Health (1992~2005): A Cross-Temporal Meta-Analysis
    XIN Zi-qiang,ZHANG Mei
    2009, 41 (01):  69-78. 
    Abstract ( 1780 )   PDF (1576KB) ( 2835 )  
    In the field of psychology, traditional meta-analysis methods have mainly been used to quantitatively examine the typical effect size of homogenous studies about the same issues. However, there is a great variance in effect sizes in studies across different publication years, which has been regarded as random errors and consequently neglected in general. In the present study, we introduced a new approach known as cross-temporal meta-analysis (Twenge, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, etc.). This method was applied to examine the changes of Chinese middle school students’ mental health from 1992 to 2005 in this study. We also investigated correlations between 10 social indices, which have been categorized into three aspects (social connectedness, educational conditions and economic states), and SCL–90 scores.
    Using cross-temporal meta-analysis, the present study examined changes over time of Chinese middle school students’ scores on the Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL–90) in the past 14 years. One hundred and seven previous studies published or unpublished of mental health of middle school students (N = 111925) were included in the data.
    The results showed that: (1) Moderate correlations were found between seven of nine SCL–90 dimensions and year of data collection (0.22~0.35), suggesting that the mental health of Chinese middle school students has been slowly decreasing over time. (2) Correlations between the standard deviation of SCL–90 scores and year of data collection were positive (0.19~0.38), suggesting that Chinese middle school students’ mental health level was more diverse than before. (3) Correlations between ten social indices and SCL–90 scores were positive, suggesting that changes on the three kinds of social factors may be responsible for the decrease in middle school students’ mental health.
    This may be the first study using cross-temporal meta-analysis to highlight whether Chinese middle school students’ mental health decrease in the context of rapid social change in contemporary China. Because of the decrease of Chinese middle school students’ mental health, more attention should be paid on them
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    Illusion of Transparency between Individuals of High and Low Self-Monitoring
    HU Jin-Sheng,YANG Li-Zhu
    2009, 41 (01):  79-85. 
    Abstract ( 1182 )   PDF (1323KB) ( 1979 )  
    The purpose of this study is to examine the differences in illusion of transparency between high and low self-monitoring individuals in reference to the experimental paradigm of “drinks recognition” by Gilovich, Savitsky, and Medvec (1998). It is hypothesized that: 1) the differences in impression management among the high and low self-monitoring individuals has influence on the strength of illusion of transparency, with a stronger illusion of transparency being demonstrated in low self-monitoring individuals than high self-monitoring individuals; 2) in face-to-face interactive situations between the subjects and audience, subjects with a high level of self-monitoring will show a stronger tendency to focus on subtle feedback from the audience, which may reduce their illusion of transparency.
    Two experiments were designed to examine these hypotheses. A total of 42 subjects participated in experiment 1. Subjects that scored over 15 on the Self-Monitoring Scale (Snyder, 1974) were placed in the high self-monitoring group, and those scored under 9 were placed in the low self-monitoring group. The subjects were required to drink 5 cups of liquids (one of them was vinegar and the rest were water) without revealing the clues of the liquid types from their facial expressions. The drinking process was videotaped and shown to the audience who were requested to tell vinegar from water on the basis of the subjects’ facial expressions. The subjects were also asked to estimate the maximum number of correct distinctions between the vinegar and water that would be made by the 10 audience members. In experiment 2, the procedures and number of subjects were the same as experiment 1, except that the subjects performed in front of the audience instead of being videotaped.
    Findings indicated that low self-monitoring subjects showed a higher level of illusion of transparency than that of the high–monitoring subjects. In comparison to the videotaped experiment, the individuals characterized as high self-monitors showed a further decline in illusion of transparency in face-to-face situations.
    Possible explanations that the high self-monitoring group had a low level of illusion of transparency include the following: the high self-monitoring group, in comparison to the low self-monitoring group, might have tried harder to control their facial expressions and therefore may have experienced a lower level of anxiety. This could be caused by the fact that participants were more confident about their ability to control their facial expressions. Another possible explanation could be that participants were willing to take higher levels of risks regarding judgment. A final explanation could be that these participants observed the reaction of the audience in the face-to-face situation
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    Effects of cognition- and affect-base trust in supervisors on task performance and OCB
    WEI Hui-Min,LONG Li-Rong
    2009, 41 (01):  86-94. 
    Abstract ( 2433 )   PDF (1599KB) ( 2367 )  
    Trust in management has long been assumed to relate to performance in organization. However, the relationship is not clear yet. And the mechanism between trust in managers and performance has precipitated an interest among organizational researchers. Cognition-based trust and affect-based trust are two types of trust that may have different effect on work outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine how these two kinds of trust in supervisors influenced employees’ task performance and OCB, and the mediating effects of ability-to-focus and affective commitment.
    Data was from a total of 563 matched supervisor-subordinate dyads. The confirmatory factor analysis showed that employee measurement and supervisor measurement had good reliability and validity. LISREL was used to test the hypotheses.
    The results indicated that ability to focus fully mediated the relation between cognition-based trust in supervisors and employee’s task performance and OCB. In contrast, affective commitment partially mediated the relationship between affect-based trust in supervisors and task performance and OCB. The findings revealed that affect-based trust in supervisors related positively to task performance and individual-directed OCB. In addition, they showed that the effects of affect-based trust in supervisors on employee’s performance and OCB was stronger than that of cognition-based trust.
    The present study contributes to our understanding of the relationship between trust in managers and employee’s performance by explaining in more detail the psychological mechanisms involved. The results of this research have managerial as well as research implications
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