ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    30 May 2008, Volume 40 Issue 05 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    The Ten Wen Problem: A Preliminary Study of an Ancient Chinese Reasoning Illusion
    LI Xiao-Ping,ZHANG Qing-Lin
    2008, 40 (05):  507-515. 
    Abstract ( 1641 )   PDF (1444KB) ( 1954 )  
    No studies on the relational reasoning illusion or the Chinese reasoning illusion problem have been conducted before. Therefore, in an attempt to conduct research on this topic the present research studied whether the ancient Chinese relational reasoning problem ― named ten Wen (a basic unit of currency in ancient China) problem ― is a reasoning illusion problem and if so, whether the problem can be explained by a domain specific theory in accounting. The ten Wen Problem is as follows. In ancient China, three Chinese Certified Students were on their way to Peking for their final imperial examination. One day they had to rent a room in a hotel as it had gotten very late. The cost of a room at the hotel was 300 Wen, and the three students rented only one as they were very poor. After they paid the money, the owner, who was aware of their condition, asked his assistant to return 50 Wen back to the three students. But the assistant was puzzled because he didn’t know how to divide 50 Wen into three equal parts. So he kept 20 Wen for himself and returned 30 Wen back to the three students. But something obviously went wrong! Each student was returned 10 Wen, so each of them actually paid 90 Wen. Thus, they paid 270 Wen in all. Now, if the 270 Wen is added to the 20 Wen, which was pocketed by the assistant, we get only 290 Wen! So where did the 10 Wen go?
    We conducted four studies wherein subjects solved this problem, and chi-square was used for most of the data analysis. In the first study, 166 undergraduate students including 78 students who had solved the problem before were asked to solve the problem and provide the reasons for their solutions on a booklet. In the second study, the problem was presented by means of a verbal protocol procedure to 14 postgraduate students, to study whether the problem could be represented in the single-entry bookkeeping way. In the third study, 100 undergraduates student were randomly selected to solve the ten Wen problem under one of three conditions: no cue condition, single-entry bookkeeping cue condition, and double-entry bookkeeping cue condition. In the fourth study, 100 undergraduate students were randomly selected to solve one of two problems―either the original problem or a modified problem that did not have the loop structure in terms of its representation.
    The results indicated the following: (1) only 30% of the subjects succeeded in solving the problem; (2) the two typical mistakes while solving the problem were ― wrongly deeming that the three Chinese Certified Students had actually paid only 280 Wen, and knowing the relationship of money among the students but not knowing the matter of relational reasoning in the problem; (3) the verbal protocol procedure showed the manner in which the subjects’ thoughts matched the single-entry bookkeeping representation; (4) under the terms of the double-entry bookkeeping cue condition, the students showed a significant improvement in being able to solve the problem; and (5) there were significant differences between the number of students who could solve the original problem and those who could solve the modified problem.
    The results supported the hypotheses that the ten Wen problem is a reasoning illusion problem and the difficulty in solving this problem is partly due to the single-entry bookkeeping representation that people adopted and the problem having a loop structure with regard to relational reasoning
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    A Connectionist Model of Chinese Characters Reading
    YANG Jian-Feng,SHU Hua
    2008, 40 (05):  516-522. 
    Abstract ( 1977 )   PDF (1215KB) ( 1425 )  
    A connectionist model regards reading as statistical learning acquired from an input corpus. The regularity and consistency effects in mapping from orthography to phonology are regarded as the statistical properties of word reading. These effects originate from the impact of families at different levels of orthography-phonology mapping in English. On the other hand, in Chinese, only the consistency effect originates from the impact of phonetic families, while the regularity effect emanates from the impact of the phonetics. In this paper, we trained two connectionist models to understand the nature of the universal (consistency) and specific (regularity) effects of reading Chinese characters in a general framework.
    In Simulation 1, a connectionist model adopted from English was trained to understand the mapping of 4,468 Chinese characters from orthography to phonology. The naming accuracy and sum squared error (SSE) were measured to test the model’s performance. Simulation 2 was trained to test the nature of the regularity effect by modifying the orthographic representation of phonetics, which appeared as an independent character.
    The model in Simulation 1 successfully captured the regularity and consistency effects and their interaction with frequency. The results revealed a pattern similar to that found in previous empirical research. Following the occlusion of orthographic similarity in Simulation 2, the disappearance of the regularity effect revealed that the nature of Chinese regularity is the result of similar orthography-phonology mapping between phonograms and their phonetics.
    The universal-language (consistency) and Chinese-specific (regularity) effects were simulated and understood in combination, through statistical learning acquired from orthography-phonology mapping in a general framework. It can be concluded that the mechanism of reading is universal across languages and a language-specific mechanism arises from the different statistical properties of the input corpus
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    Semantic Access of Proficient Chinese-English Bilinguals to a Third Language
    LI Li,MO Lei,WANG Rui-Ming
    2008, 40 (05):  523-530. 
    Abstract ( 2113 )   PDF (1444KB) ( 1548 )  
    For several years, bilingual memory representation has received considerable attention from many researchers. However, they have mostly focused on a representation model for the first and second languages of bilinguals. The semantic access of a third language in proficient bilinguals remains to be examined. In order to clarify this issue, two experiments based on the cross-language repetition priming paradigm were designed to explore the semantic access of a third language in proficient Chinese-English bilinguals.
    The present study aims to address the abovementioned issue using the task of cross-language repetition priming. The participants in Experiment 1 were proficient Chinese-English bilinguals who were postgraduates in English, with Japanese as their third language. On the other hand, the participants in Experiment 2 were proficient Chinese-English bilinguals with French as their third language. The two experiments were both conducted on computers and edited using the E-Prime software. Each experiment had two phases: a study phase and test phase. In the study phase, the participants were instructed to complete the animacy decision tasks with the third language (Japanese or French), and in the test phase, with Chinese. The response times were automatically recorded by the computers and the SPSS 10.0 software was used to analyze the data.
    In both Experiments 1 and 2, participants’ response times to the words they had studied were significantly lower than those to the words they had not studied. Reliable cross-language repetition priming effects were obtained in both the experiments. With regard to the accuracy rates, the results of the two experiments were consistent with those of the response times.
    Overall, the results of the two experiments indicated that late proficient bilinguals have to access the conceptual representation of the third language through the first language. All the results of the present experimental reports indicate that proficiency is an important factor influencing the semantic access of bilinguals, and that the semantic access of a second language in the memory representation of late bilinguals is basically experiential
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    The Influence of the Holistic Perception of a Stimulus on Category Construction
    WEN Hong-Bo,GUO Yong-Xing,MO Lei
    2008, 40 (05):  531-542. 
    Abstract ( 1221 )   PDF (2103KB) ( 1193 )  
    A natural basis of categorization is family resemblance-grouping items with overall similarity to the prototype. However, many researches have shown that category construction was persistently based on a single dimension in an array. Regehr and Brooks (1995) observed that the tasks that encouraged the comparison of pairs of stimuli led to a classification based on the similarity of whole items. That is, the match-to-standards procedure resulted in family resemblance sorts. Nevertheless, Milton and Wills (2004) found that such a sequential procedure did not consequentially result in the preference for family resemblance sorts; moreover, the strategies for sorting construction were determined by the spatial separation of stimuli dimensions. By analyzing the results of Milton and Wills’ study, we discovered that the subjects performed more family resemblance sorts for the geometric stimuli than for the familiar natural ones, which implied that the whole perceptive characteristic of stimuli was a potential factor in category sorts. It appeared that holistic consciousness was even more important than the spatial characteristic in category construction. In this study, we investigated the effects of the holistic perception of stimuli on category construction when they were presented sequentially. The assumption was that holistic consciousness was the essential factor in category sorts. That is, people would prefer to construct categories based on single dimensions regardless of spatial integration or spatial separation when they were familiar to the stimulator and easily perceived as a whole. On the other hand, although the stimuli were integrated spatially, people would prefer the family resemblance strategy when they found that the stimulator was unfamiliar and difficult to comprehend.
    Three experiments were conducted, and 150 undergraduates from the Beijing Normal University Zhuhai Campus participated in them. All the experiments presented stimuli with the match-to-standards procedure. Experiment 1 used geometric figures as materials that were meaningless to subjects. We manipulated the spatial characteristic and explored its role in the sorting strategy. Experiment 2 was the same as experiment 1, except that the stimuli were natural figures that were meaningful to subjects. Experiment 3 directly investigated the influence of holistic consciousness in the category. Both geometric (low evaluation of holistic consciousness) and natural figures (high evaluation of holistic consciousness) were presented to subjects; further, clear dimensional information was provided. All the data were analyzed using SPSS 11.5.
    The results showed that the sequential procedure did not always produce a preference for family resemblance sorts, which was identical to the result obtained by Milton and Wills (2004). Second, the stimuli of spatial integration, similar to those of spatial separation, also evoked family resemblance sorts in the match-to-standards procedure, which was different from the results of Milton and Wills. Finally, we found that participants were sensitive to subtle variations in the perceptive properties of stimuli, that is, they extracted more family resemblance sorts for the stimuli of separable perception than for those of integrated perception.
    We can conclude that the influence of the stimulus’ perceptive properties on people’s ability to notice different areas in an analytic strategy is so strong that they change the category construction strategies
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    Sentence-Picture Integration in Chinese: Evidence from the Measurement of Eye Movement
    CHEN Qing-Rong, DENG Zhu,TAN Ding-Liang
    2008, 40 (05):  543-551. 
    Abstract ( 1092 )   PDF (1509KB) ( 1343 )  
    Carpenter and Just (1975) proposed the Constituent Comparison Model (CCM) to translate how a sentence and picture were processed and integrated. They found that semantic incongruency yielded a mismatch effect, and participants experienced greater difficulty in processing and verifying a negation than they did in the case of an affirmation. When the sentence and picture were displayed one after the other, Underwood et al. (2004) did not observe the mismatch effect. However, Knoeferle et al. (2005) found the effect in a sentence comprehension study with serial picture-sentence presentation. The validity of the CCM for other languages has not been confirmed. The following questions remain unanswered: Does syntax interfered with the verification task and mismatch effect? Does the mismatch effect disappear when sentences are presented before the pictures in Chinese?
    Forty undergraduates were paid to participate in the experiment. All were native speakers of Mandarin Chinese and had normal or corrected-to-normal vision. There were three different types of simple sentences, and each type consisted of four sentences. Each sentence was paired with one of the following two pictures: an asterisk above the plus sign and the plus sign above an asterisk. The pairings of sentences and pictures yielded 24 different displays. Eye movements were recorded using a SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) iView Hi-Speed system. Each trial started with the appearance of a cross on the left side of the screen, and terminated when the participant pressed a response key. Subsequently, a sentence appeared in the center of the screen, followed by a picture. The task of the participants was to decide whether or not the sentence and picture corresponded with each other, and to indicate their decision by pressing one of the two response keys.
    The results revealed the main effects of sentence type and semantic relation. The difference between affirmation and double negation was not significant in the sentence-picture task. Participants found it more difficult to process and verify a negation than a double negation. The mismatch effect was evident on the total fixation time, fixation times, and pupil diameters. Furthermore, the interaction of sentence type and semantic relation was significant. The negative sentence-picture was believed to be difficult because participants required more fixation time and total fixation time to complete the tasks of verification and integration in the mismatch condition.
    Further, the mismatch effect was also found in the case of Chinese. Semantic mismatches tended to increase the participants’ cognitive load, and the syntax influenced the mismatch effect. It is possible that the participants had adopted a special strategy for representing double negative sentences in which double negative verbs canceled each other. Therefore, we should be cautious with regard to the applicability of the CCM as a more general model of sentence-picture tasks in other languages
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    Visual Working Memory Modulates Attentional Orienting at Preattention Stage
    ZHANG Bao,JIN Zhi-Cheng,CHEN Cai-Qi
    2008, 40 (05):  552-561. 
    Abstract ( 1490 )   PDF (1761KB) ( 1895 )  
    Working memory (WM) and attention are regarded as two of the most important cognitive faculties. WM includes many core cognitive processes such as information processing, temporary dynamic storing, and executive controlling. Attention acts as a “gatekeeper” to the information processing system for accessing external information. The interaction between WM and attention forms the central mechanism of the information processing system. Several previous studies have found that when visual working memory (VWM) shares some features with visual search items, the content of VWM guides attention orienting in a flexible manner at the attention stage. However, the processing of visual attention includes two stages: preattention stage that has a limitless capacity and witnesses parallel processing and attention stage that has a limited capacity and witnesses serial processing (see Wolfe, 1998). For many decades, several researchers have considered that attention orienting at the preattention stage is automatic and involuntary and that it is not controlled by consciousness. It is unclear whether the content of WM can completely guide attention orienting at the preattention stage. Further, the manner in which WM guides attention orienting and the difference of guidance at this stage from that at the attention stage constitute extremely important questions. However, few studies have explored these issues. The current research combines WM tasks and feature-based visual search tasks and explores how the contents of VWM affect attention orienting at the preattention stage.
    Thirteen undergraduates, including 6 men, participated in Experiment 1 that investigated whether or not the orientation-feature-based visual search task was parallel. This visual search task was also used in Experiments 2 and 3. Experiment 2 comprised of Experiment 2a, involving 16 subjects (8 men), and Experiment 2a, involving 17 subjects (8 men), and aimed at ascertaining the effect of attention orienting by using VWM when the content of VWM could be the target of the next parallel visual search (target-relevant condition). Experiment 3 that involved 17 subjects, including 8 men, ascertained how VWM affects attention orienting when the content of VWM is not the target of the next visual task (target-irrelevant condition). All the experimental programs were compiled with E-Prime 1.1 and run on an IBM Pentium IV computer with a 17-inch (1024 × 768) LCD monitor.
    The results revealed the following: (1) in Experiment 1, the reaction time (RT) and error rate were almost equal in every condition, which suggested that the visual search task herein was a feature-based visual search task; (2) the results of Experiments 2a and 2b indicated that the participants searched for the target more slowly in the distractor-matched condition than they did in the target-matched and control conditions; and (3) there were no differences between the distractor-matched and control conditions in Experiment 3.
    The results suggested that even at the preattention stage, attention orienting was top-down modulated by VWM. However, at the attention stage, when the items related to the following visual search target were in VWM, this item guided attention to its location, slowed the processing of the target when employed as a distractor in the visual array, and exhibited no effects when employed as the target in the visual array. However, when the content of VWM was irrelevant to the next search target, attention was not given to the distractor that matched the content of VWM and the target was efficiently processed
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    Endogenous Preparation and Exogenous Adjustment in Task Switching Under Foreknowledge
    SUN Tian-Yi,XIAO Xin,GUO Chun-Yan
    2008, 40 (05):  562-570. 
    Abstract ( 2142 )   PDF (1753KB) ( 995 )  
    Task switching is the basic method in human cognitive activities, and the switching process is an important aspect of executive control, which is responsible for controlling the switching course between two tasks competing for the same cognitive resources in working memory. Switching costs refer to longer reaction times for switching items (e.g., AB), as compared to repeating items (e.g., BB) as an indicator of executive control. The course of switching is involved in both endogenous preparation without an external stimulus and exogenous adjustment in response to the external stimulus.
    The event-related potentials (ERPs) of participants were recorded to investigate task switching, by using the “task-switching” paradigm. Tasks included a simple classification of Chinese characters (noun/verb) or that of digits (odd/even). For each task, the stimulus picture consisted of one Chinese character and a two-digit natural number on the same background (red and blue were used for the digit and character tasks respectively). We aimed to detect task switching under foreknowledge conditions. Participants consecutively performed two tasks (tasks 1 and 2) that involved either task repetition (i.e. AA、BB,…) or task switching (i.e. AB、BA,…), including four blocks respectively. All these blocks were presented with the sequence ABBAABBA. The participants were 17 healthy and right-handed undergraduates (10 males and 7 females). Their eyesight was either normal or corrected-to-normal, and their ages ranged from 19 to 23 (mean age = 20.24). An ANOVA with repeated measures was used to analyze the data.
    The ERPs of task 1 in repeating trial and switching trials (e.g., AA to AB) were analyzed, and the ERPs of task 2 in repeat tasks and switching tasks (e.g., AA to BA) were also analyzed. The authors found that the differences between ERPs in task 1 were significant at about 300 ms after the stimulus onset. There was a late slow negative-going wave that was larger for switching trials than for repeating trials during 500~800 ms. A larger P3b deflection was found for repeating tasks than for switching tasks, and the Chinese characters were different from numerals in the cerebral regions. In Cz, at about 320 ms, the switching trials evoked a larger negative wave as compared to the repeating trials in task 1; and in task 2, the switching tasks produced a larger negative-going wave as compared to the repeating tasks. The difference wave was a N320.
    These results suggest the following: (1) under foreknowledge conditions, for simple task switching, the endogenous preparation for task 2 started at 300 ms after the appearance of task 1; (2) the P3b in the switching tasks may reflect the differences in the frequency of the occurrence of these events but not the differences in the cognitive resources of task switching. Moreover, the N320 reflected the cognitive conflict that may be the main source of the switching cost; (3) the material specificity during task switching may be one of the reasons that lead to the difference in the same experimental paradigm
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    A Longitudinal Study of Parent-Child Relationships and Problem Behaviors in Early Childhood: Transactional Models
    ZHANG Xiao,CHEN Hui-Chang,ZHANG Gui-Fang,ZHOU Bo-Fang,WU Wei
    2008, 40 (05):  571-582. 
    Abstract ( 2015 )   PDF (2000KB) ( 3150 )  
    The relation between parent-child relationships and children’s problem behaviors is complex, with some evidence supporting the influences of parent-child relationships on problem behaviors, and other evidence supporting problem behaviors as an influence on parent-child relationships. While decades of research examined single-directional influences, transactional model, which emphasizes reciprocal influences between children and their surrounding environment, has gradually dominated developmental psychopathology in recent years. However, most transactional analyses of the relations between parent-child relationships and children’s problem behaviors have predominately focused on middle childhood and adolescence, and little attention has been devoted to early childhood. The aim of the present research was to examine the transactional models of parent-child relationships and children’s problem behaviors in their early childhood.
    Based on a two-year and three-wave longitudinal study on a sample of 81 preschoolers and their parents, the present research examined the relations of children’s relationships with fathers and mothers to their problem behaviors by using Parent-Child Relationship Scale and Child Behavior Checklist/2~3. Structural equation modeling was applied to investigate the transactional models of parent-child relationships and problem behaviors.
    The results showed a moderate continuity of mother-child relationships, father-child relationships, and child withdrawal, anxiety, aggression, and delinquency behaviors across the three waves, βs=0.31~0.69, ps<0.01. The reciprocal relations between mother-child relationships and children’s withdrawal and aggression behaviors, and between father-child relationships and children’s aggression and delinquency behaviors were all supported. Structural equation modeling indicated the model fit indexes showed a good fit. Specifically, on the one hand, mother-child closeness negatively predicted children’s later withdrawal and aggression, and father-child conflict positively predicted children’s later aggression and delinquency; on the other hand, children’s closeness with their mothers were negatively predicted by their prior aggression and delinquency behaviors, their conflict with mothers positively predicted by their prior withdrawal behaviors, their conflict with mothers as well as with fathers positively predicted by their prior anxiety, aggression and delinquency behaviors, and their closeness with fathers also positively predicted by their prior delinquency behaviors.
    These findings highlight the importance of examining the transactional processes underlying the development of children’s problem behaviors, and expand the existing research on developmental psychopathology by underlying the transactional models of children’s problem behaviors and their relationships with parents in early childhood
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    Personal Future Planning in Middle and Late Adolescence and its Relation to Adolescents’ Communication with Parents and Friends
    ZHANG Ling-Ling,ZHANG Wen-Xin
    2008, 40 (05):  583-592. 
    Abstract ( 2422 )   PDF (1789KB) ( 3106 )  
    Orientation towards future events or outcomes is an important feature of individuals’ thoughts and behaviors. Future orientation, defined as how adolescents anticipate and construct their personal future, is a multidimensional and multistage phenomenon that can be described in terms of motivation, planning, and evaluation. Previous research indicates that adolescents’ orientation towards the future is particularly important for many aspects of their development. Planning for the future is an important aspect of future orientation and has been extensively studied by researchers according to two sub-processes: exploration and commitment. Studies have indicated that how adolescents anticipate and plan for their future is greatly influenced by the particular context in which they are placed, but most of the research in this area has been conducted with adolescents in western cultures. Information about how contemporary Chinese adolescents plan for their future is very limited. In addition, previous studies mainly examined the development of future orientation in early and middle adolescence. Few studies have focused on how young people in late adolescence plan for their future or on the changes that take place during the transition from middle to late adolescence. To the extent that family and peer groups are proximal contexts that are salient for and supportive of adolescents’ cognitive and social development, how parents and friends may affect adolescents’ future planning is also an important question of interest.
    This study examined personal future planning of middle and late adolescents in contemporary China and its relation to adolescents’ communications with parents and friends. We administered a modified version of the Future Orientation Questionnaire and measures of communications with parents and friends to 1741 adolescents attending senior high schools and universities in Shandong Province, the People’s Republic of China.
    The results were as follows: 1) Adolescents’ personal future planning varied across different life domains. Compared with future occupation and marriage, adolescents reported significantly more exploration and commitment concerning their future education. 2) Different developmental patterns were observed for adolescents’ exploration for and commitment to future education, occupation and marriage/family from middle to late adolescence. Overall, students in late adolescence reported more exploration in all the three domains than students in middle adolescence. Students in middle adolescence reported greater commitment to future education than students in late adolescence, while students in late adolescence reported greater commitment to marriage/family than students in middle adolescence. 3) Males reported less commitment to future education and more exploration and commitment concerning marriage/family than females. 4) Urban adolescents reported more exploration and commitment concerning future education than rural adolescents, while rural adolescents reported greater commitment to future marriage/family. 5) Adolescents’ communication with parents and friends played an important role in middle and late adolescents’ future planning, but the significance of communication with parents and friends for adolescent future planning varied across life domains. Communication with parents had a greater impact on adolescents’ planning for future education and occupation, while communication with friends had a greater impact on adolescents’ future planning concerning marriage/family.
    These findings were discussed with reference to what has been reported on adolescents in western cultures and the cultural context of contemporary Chinese adolescents
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    Development of the Self-supporting Personality Scale for Adolescent Students
    XIA Ling-Xiang,HUANG Xi-Ting
    2008, 40 (05):  593-603. 
    Abstract ( 2437 )   PDF (1648KB) ( 3186 )  
    Self-supporting (自立) is a traditional concept in Chinese culture and is regarded as an essence of the Chinese national spirit. The self-supporting personality is a typical personality construal and refers to the excellent personality traits of self-supporting people. The concept of self-supporting personality differs from Western concepts such as independence and autonomy because the self-supporting personality is a dialectic personality factor. In other words, self-supporting personality is the unification of personal independence and interpersonal connection, which are opposites.
    According to the results of a series of studies, the structure of self-supporting personality was constructed as a first-order model with 10 factors. Further, the 10 factors should be classified into two theoretical categories: personal self-supporting and interpersonal self-supporting.
    On the basis of the theoretical hypothesis, the self-supporting personality scale for adolescent students (SSPS-AS) was developed using five tentative surveys. The scale included the personal self-supporting subscale and interpersonal self-supporting subscale. The scale was administered to 1723 valid subjects. These subjects were divided into two samples, and an exploratory factor analysis was performed on one sample, while a confirmatory factor analysis was performed on the other sample. Based on the results of the analyses, 48 items were confirmed for the scale.
    The results of the exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analysis showed that (1) the personal self-supporting subscale and interpersonal self-supporting subscale were first-order models with 5 factors; (2) there was no significant difference among the structure models of the self-supporting personality of college, senior high school, and junior high school students. (3) The 10 factors of the self-supporting personality were relatively independent of each other.
    The 10 factors of the self-supporting personality were personal independence, personal initiative, personal responsibility, personal flexibility, opening, interpersonal independence, interpersonal initiative, interpersonal responsibility, interpersonal flexibility, and interpersonal acceptance
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    Factors and Mechanism of the Job Search Behavior of the Unemployed
    HANG Shu-Hua,ZHENG Jiu-Hua,SHI Kan
    2008, 40 (05):  604-610. 
    Abstract ( 1946 )   PDF (1200KB) ( 1721 )  
    For unemployed individuals, a job search is not only critical for shortening the career gap and gaining a new job but also for training in job searching. The current study plans to survey a group of unemployed job seekers in Shenyang, which is a part of the old industrial bases in Northeast China, in order to test a new job search model. Further, it also aims to explore the predictive factors and mechanism of the job search behavior of job seekers. In most researches on organizational behavior in China, greater attention has been paid to a mechanism of job search behavior that can directly predict reemployment. In the course of China’s socioeconomic reconstruction, researches pertaining to the mechanism of job search behavior of job seekers have immense theoretical and practical significance. However, in China, few empirical researches have been conducted to explore the mechanism of job search behavior from the perspective of psychology, and most of the researches were only conducted from the standpoints of sociology and economics. In view of the present situation in China, the characteristics of labor relationships and management systems, this research, based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB), intends to explore the predictive factors and mechanism of the job search behavior of job seekers from a psychological perspective in Shenyang. In concrete terms, predictive factors (self-efficacy, employment commitment, social support, employment opportunities, and economic stress) have positive predictive effects on job search behavior. Job search intensity acts as a mediator between the predictive factors and job search behavior.
    This study aims to explore the predictive factors and mechanism of the job search behavior of job seekers. The questionnaires we administered included those on self-efficacy, employment commitment, social support, employment opportunities, economic stress, job search intensity, and job search behavior. Three hundred unemployed participants were recruited randomly from Dadong District, Shenyang. All of them were laid-off workers, who had been unemployed for over four weeks. Trained workers of community centers contacted them beforehand in order to ascertain if they were willing to complete the survey. They also verified if they met two other additional criteria: no intention of retiring within the next year or expectation of being recalled to their former jobs.
    To ensure a high level of participation from the subjects, the interviewers emphasized the importance of the study during the invitation call; moreover, the surveys were completed before the subjects. In addition, the participants received a gift after completing the survey.
    To test the hypotheses, the multiple regression mediation approach suggested by Wen Zhonglin (2004) was employed. The multiple regression mediation analysis involves a series of regression equations. In the first step, the hypothesized independent variables were used to predict the hypothesized outcome variables. The hypothesized mediator was then regressed on the hypothesized independent variables. Finally, in the last equation, the dependent variables were regressed on the hypothesized independent variables along with the mediator variables.
    The results indicate the following: (1) external variables do not have predictive effects on job search behavior; however, economic stress and perceived employment opportunities have positive effects on job search intensity but no predictive effects on job search behavior; (2) job-search self-efficacy and employment commitment have positive predictive effects on job-search behavior; in concrete terms, the higher the self-efficacy and employment commitment, the higher the frequency of job search behavior; (3) job-search intensity has a positive influence on job search behavior; (4) job-search intensity acts as a partial mediator between self-efficacy, employment commitment, and job search behavior; moreover, it has no mediating effects between the environmental variables (social support, employment opportunities, and economic stress) and job search behavior.
    Based on the research results, we conclude that future reemployment counseling methods should not only focus on improving job seekers’ skills but also consider their job search intensities. We should improve their self-confidence and find suitable opportunities based on their job search intensity; moreover, we should make the reemployment counseling model for unemployed people increasingly humanistic. The provision of social support can accelerate the speed of reemployment success; therefore, we should expand the scope of social support for reemployment
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    Item Analysis of the Chinese Soldier Personality Questionnaire Using Item Response Theory
    YANG Ye-Bing,MIAO Dan-Min,TIAN Jian-Quan,XIAO Li-Jun,SUN Han,HONG Xia
    2008, 40 (05):  611-617. 
    Abstract ( 2261 )   PDF (1186KB) ( 1495 )  
    With the development of psychological and educational measurement, item response theory (IRT) is being increasingly used in psychological and educational testing areas. There have been many large-scale tests based on IRT, such as TOEFL and GRE. Further, there have also been many studies on the applications of IRT in personality questionnaires. However, many problems still remain, including model selection and determining the appropriate numbers of parameters. It is vital to conduct empirical studies in order to discuss the probability of applying IRT to this area. The Chinese Soldier Personality Questionnaire (CSPQ) was used in this study in order to discuss the possibility of applying IRT to personality questionnaires with large samples.
    In the study, 100,523 young individuals were tested using the computerized CSPQ. Subjects whose standard score in every subtest was less than 70 were considered to be normal, while the others were disqualified. Further, structural interviews were conducted by psychological experts in order to confirm the symptoms of those disqualified. If they indeed exhibited some symptoms, they were placed in the disqualified group. Additionally, 221 schizophrenia patients were tested using the same questionnaire, and they were placed in the schizophrenia group. From among the normal subjects, 2676 were randomly selected and placed in the normal group. The SPSS 11.5 software was used to test the unidimensionality of every subtest. Moreover, the BILOG-MG software was used to analyze the data with the two-parameter logistic model (2PL) based on IRT.
    Items with discriminating parameters beyond the range of (0.3, 4) were deleted as they provided little information that was relevant to testing. Moreover, before and after deleting these items, there was no noticeable change in the maximum test information and the correlations between IRT scores and standard scores. In the case of the standard scores, the distributions of the schizophrenia group were similar to those of the normal group, while in the case of the IRT scores, the distributions of the schizophrenia group moved towards those of the disqualified group.
    As shown in this study, IRT can improve the efficiency of testing with nearly the same precision. Further, IRT is more suitable for identifying the differences between varied groups, which is another advantage of IRT analysis. Therefore, as a new testing theory, IRT can and should be used in the analysis of personality questionnaires. However, personality questionnaires are not the same as cognitive tests, and different models of IRT (for example, nonparametric models) have not been compared in this study. Therefore, the best model for personality questionnaires should be discussed further
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    Item Selection Strategies for Computerized Adaptive Testing with the Generalized Partial Credit Model
    LIU Zhen,DING Shu-Liang,LIN Hai-Jing
    2008, 40 (05):  618-625. 
    Abstract ( 1422 )   PDF (1259KB) ( 1274 )  

    The objective of computerized adaptive testing (CAT) is to construct an optimal test for each examinee. Item Selection Strategy (ISS) is an important part of CAT research, whose quality is directly related to the reliability, efficiency, and security of the test.
    Many researches and applications of CAT are based on a dichotomously scored model. It is highly evident that more information can be obtained from examinees using a polytomously scored model rather than a dichotomous model. Moreover, it is necessary for us to further explore CAT research based on a polytomously scored model.
    Both the Generalized Partial Credit Model (GPCM) and the Graded Response Model (GRM) are within the range of a polytomously scored model. However, they differ from each other. In the GRM, the item grade difficulties ascend monotonously as the grades increase; while the GPCM shows the performing process of the item, which is separated into some line-steps to put forwards. In the GPCM, each item contains several step parameters, and there are no specific rules governing them. The posterior step cannot advance when the earlier step has not been completed, and the posterior’s step parameter may be lower than that of the previous one. Considerable research is already being conducted on CAT using the GRM; however, in our country, there are few reports pertaining to research on CAT using the GPCM.
    This study investigated the four types of ISS in comparison with CAT in various circumstances, using the GPCM through computer simulated programs. They are implemented in four item pools, and each item pool has a capacity of 3000 items. Each item has five step parameters; further, the discrimination parameter and step parameters are distributed as follows: {(b~N(0,1), (lna~N(0,1)), (b~N(0,1)), (a~U(0.2,2.5)), (b~U(-3,3)), (lna~N(0,1)), (b~U(-3,3)), and (a~U(0.2,2.5)). Item parameters are generated based on the Monte Carlo simulation method. Responses to the items are generated according to the GPCM for a sample of 1000 simulatees ( ) whose trait level was also generated using the Monte Carlo simulation method in some types of ISS. During the course of responses, the simulatees’ ability is estimated based on the response obtained. In addition, after the four item pools are sorted by the discrimination parameter to complete the a-stratified design, the abovementioned process is performed repeatedly. Thirty-two simulated CATs are administered with the output evaluated with regard to the following measurements: precision, ISS steady, item used even, average use of item per person, χ2, efficiency, and item overlap.
    The data in tables 1 and 2 include both the index values used for evaluation (which were obtained from the CAT process using four types of ISS when the item pool did not adopt the stratified design and instead adopted the a-stratified design) and values that are calculated after summing the weight of every index value. We can draw the following conclusions from the data in the tables: all the ability estimates are highly accurate and have fewer differences. Moreover, we compare the value by summing every means weight, we learn that the item step parameter distribution greatly influences the choices of ISS.
    On the condition that the examinee’s trait level follows normal distribution, the application results of the ISS and the item step parameter distribution share a very close relationship. (1) If the item’s step parameters follow a normal distribution, the efficiency of the ISS for a random step parameter matching the trait level is much better than that for others. (2) If the item’s step parameters follow a uniform distribution, the efficiency of the item selection strategy for the item’s average step parameter matching the trait level is much better than that for others

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    Historiography of Psychology: Challenges of Postmodernism
    YE Hao-Sheng
    2008, 40 (05):  626-632. 
    Abstract ( 1224 )   PDF (1346KB) ( 1359 )  
    The studying and chronicling of the history of psychology has been deeply influenced by the postmodernist movement. The traditional historiography of psychology (THP), in search of objective historical facts, adopts the correspondence theory of truth and considers the natural science model as its paradigm. It regards the development of psychology as a linear, one-dimensional, and accumulative process in which all nations and cultures dealt with the same subject of psychology during different historical periods. THP claims that some drawbacks notwithstanding, the history of psychology is a story of progress. In addition, THP chronicles the manner in which a “center” or a “mark” was set up as a criterion against which all people, schools of thought, events, and activities in the history of psychology were classified as advanced or laggard and as central or marginal. In striking contrast with THP, the postmodern historiography of psychology (PHP) regards the history of psychology as a social construction, claiming that the history of psychology was socially constructed by psychologists. According to postmodern historians, the narratives of history are not representation of historical facts, but the construction of historians. The processes of the construction are deeply rooted in specific cultures of the time. Historiography of psychology is not concerned with natural objects but discursive ones. Categories such as motivation, intelligence, mind and personality refer to historical and social entities, and not to “natural kinds” Postmodern claims have significant implications for the study of the history of psychology. PHP will enable the historians of psychology to effectively recognize the subjectivity of knowledge embedded in the history of psychology. It will also make psychologists aware of the values and ideologies in the study of the history of psychology and enable them to approach the history of psychology from the viewpoints of different cultures
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