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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 40 Issue 02 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    The Emotion Promoting Effect in the Logogriph Activation of Chinese Characters
    Chen Li,Zhang Qinglin,Yan Xia,Zhang Ying,Liao Xianghui,Chen Yi
    . 2008, 40 (02): 127-135.  
    Abstract   PDF (1748KB) ( 1952 )
    There are four influential hypotheses pertaining to the cognitive mechanism of insight, which is the focus of current research on insight problem solving: (1) representation changing hypothesis, (2) constraints hypothesis, (3) structural hypothesis, (4) selective processing hypothesis. Based on these hypotheses, Zhang Qinglin proposed that in reality, insight should be caused by “prototypal events activation”; this suggests that the key to solving insight problems is to activate the “prototypal event” correctly and gain “key heuristic information” under experimental conditions. Based on Zhang’s hypothesis, the present study was designed to explore the emotion promoting effect in the logogriph activation of Chinese characters. We adopted the microgenetic method and constructed a new experimental paradigm called “prototypal event activating” to investigate the cognitive mechanism of insight problem solving. In addition, we introduced the variable of emotion in order to identify the relationship between cognition and emotion; this was done because many preceding relevant studies have revealed inconsistent results. We hypothesize that (1) positive induced emotion might promote prototypal logogriph activation, and (2) negative induced emotion might prohibit prototypal logogriph activation.
    In order to test these hypotheses, we conducted two experiments as part of this study. These experiments adopted a three-stage experimental paradigm. First, the participants were asked to study the prototypal logogriph; second, the positive or negative emotion of the participants was induced; and third, the participants were required to complete the target logogriph test. The instruments used in the experiments were the Rywin standard reasoning test (the Chinese cities edition) and riddles associated with Chinese characters. SPSS13.0 was used for the statistical analyses.
    The results showed that under the experimental condition, which included a test with a high-difficulty target logogriph, no significant influence of positive or negative induced emotion on prototypal logogriph activation was found. However, in the test with a medium-difficultly target logogriph, the positive induced emotion was found to significantly promote the prototypal logogriph activation, whereas the negative induced emotion did not significantly affect the prototypal logogriph activation, as compared to the performances of the participants in the controlled group. The sex variable did not have a significant main effect under both the experimental conditions.
    Therefore, we can conclude the following: (1) It was statistically proven that the induced positive emotion significantly promoted the “prototype activation” in the logogriph test, which indirectly supports the prototypal event activation hypothesis. (2) This study suggested that the activation of the key heuristic information embodied in the prototypal logogriph is crucial to the cognitive mechanism of insight, and the activation is a continuum sequence having different phases. (3) In logogriph problem solving that is relatively easy, the induced positive emotion significantly promoted the key heuristic information activation. (4) The study proposed a possible experimental paradigm to investigate insight problem solving and emotion
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    Language Switching and Switching Cost in Tibetan-Mandarin-English ’ Visual Word Recognition
    Zhang Jijia,Cui Zhanling
    . 2008, 40 (02): 136-147.  
    Abstract   PDF (2198KB) ( 1356 )
    Many studies have found language switching and switching costs in lexical decision tasks when bilingual participants switched languages for the recognition words. There were two main reasons for this, and the crux of the two reasons lay in whether the task-irrelevant language was deactivated when bilinguals were performing in only one of their languages. Until now, many studies have been conducted on the switching of languages in the case of alphabetic characters; however, few studies have been conducted using ideograms (such as Mandarin characters). Meanwhile, Tibetian is one of the few languages whose characters have the same origin as Mandarin characters and have regular print-to-sound correspondences like alphabetic characters. What about the cognitive processing of such languages? In this research, we chose English-Chinese-Tibetian multilinguals to perform the recognition word task. There were three experiments, and in each experiment, we chose two of the three languages. The aim of this research was to determine the essentials of language switching and switching costs in the case of ideogram-alphabetic and alphabetic-alphabetic language pairs.
    A 2×3 repeated-measures design was used. The independent variables were the languages used (two of the three languages in each experiment) and the nature of the task (no switching and anticipated/unanticipated switching). All the materials were assessed by the homogeneity subjects, and a t-test revealed no remarkable difference. The criteria for the participants were as follows: they needed to have lived inland for more than 8 years, needed to have been exposed to Chinese since a young age, and needed to have learned English for more than 5 years. The participants assessed their proficiency in the three languages, using a 7-point scale (1: extremely low proficiency; 7: extremely high proficiency). The self-assessment scores for Tibetian/Chinese /English were 4.29, 3.97, and 2.64, respectively. A t-test revealed that there were no differences in the participants’ proficiency for the Chinese-Tibetian pair; however, there were notable differences with regard to the other two language pairs.
    The reaction times for correct responses and error rates were analyzed by subject and item variance. The results revealed that in experiment 1, neither the main effects of language and nature of the task nor the interaction between them was significant for the Tibetian-Mandarin pair. However, in experiment 2, the main effect as well as the interaction was significant for the Tibetian-English pair, with similar results being obtained in experiment 3 for the Mandarin- English pair. The results indicate that for the Tibetian-Mandarin language pair, switching and switching costs were not significant; however, for the other two language pairs, there were remarkable differences with regard to switching and switching costs.
    In the cognition of words by the Tibetian-Mandarin-English multilinguals, there were switching costs in the switching among the three languages. The degree of switching costs was affected by the languages involved in the switching. The proficiency in the mastered language affected language switching and switching costs. Whether or not the task-irrelevant language was activated depended on the extent of language proficiency
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    Role of Familiarity of Semantic Radicals in the Recognition of Highly Familiar Chinese Characters
    Chen Xinkui,Zhang Jijia
    . 2008, 40 (02): 148-159.  
    Abstract   PDF (2020KB) ( 1331 )
    A particular function of Chinese characters is that their shapes signify their meaning directly; semantic radicals are the main carriers of this function. Many researches have examined the role of components in the recognition of Chinese characters; however, the primary findings pertaining to the cognition of Chinese characters are still controversial. While some researchers have assumed that the characters as whole are the primary units of visual recognition and mental representation, others have assumed that the components of the characters are the prime units. Then, there are some that have assumed that the accessing units of the characters, depending on the frequencies of whole words, position of the components, and the processing tasks, are the prime units. Based on previous researches, this study investigated the role of familiarity of semantic radicals in the recognition of highly familiar Chinese characters. In addition, the effects of various attributes (i.e., orthographic and semantic) and the time period for the relevance activation of semantic radicals in highly familiar characters were explored.
    Sixty university students participated in this experiment. In a character decision task, pictophonetic compound targets (composed of a semantic radical and a phonetic component) followed primes that (1) shared the target’s radicals and were semantically related (R+S+), (2) shared the target’s radicals and were not semantically related (R+S–), (3) had no related radicals but were semantically related (R–S+), and (4) had no related radicals and were not semantically related (R–S–). Further, the target radicals varied depending on the frequency of the semantic radicals which valued from 1–7 assessment of college students. The targets followed the primes immediately after the three types of stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) (43 ms, 72ms, and 243 ms). In addition, the reaction times and error rates of the recognition of targets were measured.
    The results indicated that when SOA = 43 ms, the target latencies following R+S– primes were facilitated relative to R–S– controls under the highly familiar semantic radical condition; however, this was not the case under the less familiar condition. When SOA = 72 ms, the target latencies following R+S– primes were slowed relative to R–S– controls under both highly familiar and less familiar semantic radical conditions. Further, when SOA = 243 ms, neither facilitation nor inhibition effects were observed under both conditions. Facilitation effects of R+S+ and R–S+ primes were observed under all three SOA. Target latencies following highly familiar semantic radicals were slower than those following less familiar ones.
    Moreover, the results indicated a dynamic interaction between the processing of semantic radicals and the processing of whole characters. The semantic of Chinese characters as a whole primed very early. The priming of the orthographic attributes of the highly familiar semantic radicals began earlier than those of the less familiar radicals. When the SOA was extended, priming occurred on both the semantic attributes of the highly familiar and less semantic radicals. On this SOA, while the priming of whole characters still existed, the semantic priming of the radicals disappeared. This was an indication of the completion of the integration process. All these results indicate that one type of component—the semantic radical—is processed in the course of Chinese character recognition, during which word frequency and radical familiarity are in a dynamic competition with one another.
    These results suggest that: (1) There was a dynamic interaction between the activation of semantic radicals and the activation of whole characters in the cognition of Chinese pictophonetic compound characters. (2) The familiarity of the semantic radicals affected the semantic access of Chinese pictophonetic compound characters
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    Anchoring Effects in Duration Estimation
    Zhang Zhijie,Peng Chenhua,Huang Xiting
    . 2008, 40 (02): 160-165.  
    Abstract   PDF (930KB) ( 1666 )
    People’s duration estimation is not accurate and is influenced by many factors. Some researches suggest that the anchors concerning different time periods influence subjects’ predictions of future task duration; in other words, there is an anchoring effect in the process of predicting task duration. Longer time anchors lead to larger estimates, and shorter anchors lead to smaller estimates. All the past studies are centered on time predictions, but the present study was designed to investigate how time anchors affect subjects’ estimations of experienced durations, and to explore the impacting mechanism.
    Sixty-three undergraduates participated in the experiments. The participants in the two experiments were presented with time anchors having different values and units (e.g., 1 s, 1000 ms, 5 s, and 5000 ms). Thirty-nine participants volunteered to participate in experiment 1, which involved the use of the verbal estimation method. All the participants were asked to estimate the temporal durations under different anchor conditions (2 s, 4 s). Experiment 2 had 22 volunteer participants and involved the use of the production method. The participants were required to produce the durations corresponding to the time anchors. All the participants were tested individually on computers, and each session lasted for 20~30 minutes. An analysis of variance was then conducted after the data were logarithmically transformed.
    The experimental results revealed that the value of the time anchors significantly affected the participants’ duration estimates. When the participants were shown a longer time anchor, the duration estimations were larger, and when they were shown a shorter time anchor, the estimations were smaller. The same time anchors but with different units (e.g., 1s vs 1000 ms) did not affect participants’ duration estimations. When the anchors’ units were seconds, the estimations were not different from those when the anchors’ units were milliseconds.
    Two major conclusions are derived from this study. First, there is an anchoring effect in the duration estimations: long time anchors lead to larger duration estimates, and short time anchors lead to smaller duration estimates. Second, time anchors’ representation patterns do not influence the duration estimations. The duration estimations under the same time anchors but with different unit conditions do not differ. People’s representations of duration information may be semantic, rather than mere superficial representations as values plus units
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    Recalling, Recognition, and Priming Processing in Middle School Students with Depressive Symptoms
    Feng Zhengzhi,Zhang Dajun,Yang Guoyu
    . 2008, 40 (02): 166-174.  
    Abstract   PDF (1438KB) ( 2788 )
    The research on the cognitive bias in depressive disorders highlights depression as a major human mental disorder. Researches on cognitive bias have revealed that the social cognitive process plays an important role in depression; therefore, this article aims to investigate the effects of the social cognitive process on cognitive bias.
    This study explores the recalling, recognition, and priming processing of middle school students with depressive symptoms by using Tversky’s experiment model and material called “Roommate’s story,” which included three kinds of items (positive, neutral, and negative items). The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) were used to select participants; a total of 49 depressive students and 49 healthy ones (control group) were selected.
    In the recalling task, the depressed students recalled more negative items than those in the control group under the negative condition. In addition, there was situational congruence in the recalling of self-related events in the information processing of the depressed students. In the recognition task, the depressed students recognized more negative items than positive ones; they recognized more old and new negative items and less positive items than did the control group. The recognition of self-related events in the information processing of the depressed students was related to the level of processing. In the priming task, the depressed students primed more negative items than did the control group; the negative priming of the self-related events in the information processing of the depressed students was primarily caused by the negative bias of processing the negative and neutral items.
    The findings suggest that there are negative biases in the recalling, recognition, and priming processing in middle school students with depressive symptoms
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    Limitation of the Geometric Module: Evidence from Children’s Reorientation Behavior in a Trapezoidal Room
    Li Fuhong,Sun Hongjin,Li Hong,Cao Bihua,Wu Deli
    . 2008, 40 (02): 175-183.  
    Abstract   PDF (1489KB) ( 1218 )
    Humans and animals are able to orient themselves to an environment. Previous studies have demonstrated that young children’s reorientation behaviors are mainly guided by the geometric information of their environment. Children often reorient themselves according to the shape of the testing room and not in accordance with the room’s non-geometric properties. While previous studies typically used rectangular testing rooms that provided unique geometric information, we used a trapezoidal testing room that allowed us to explore the manner in which children use geometric information, including the angle of the corners as well as the dimensions of the walls.
    In a preliminary experiment, a rectangular testing room (1.9 × 1.2 × 1.2 m) was used. In Experiment 1 (where the participants were children) and Experiment 2 ( where the participants were adults), one of the walls of rectangular room was shortened from 1.2 m to 1 m to form a trapezoidal testing room. In Experiment 3, the lengths of the two hemlines of the trapezium were altered to 0.9 m and 1.5 m. Participants included children who were 2–4 years old and adults (N = 20) who were university students. In each experiment, the participants’ reorientation abilities were tested through a procedure adapted from Hermer and Spelke (1994, 1996). First, the participants were allowed to observe the environment. Thereafter, they watched the experimenter hide an object in one of the landmark boxes positioned in the four corners of the room. Following one of the two experimental manipulations, the participants were required to retrieve the object. In oriented search trials, the participants retrieved the object after turning 360 degrees in one spot four times, with their eyes open. This served as a control condition that probed whether the participants remembered where the experimenter had hidden the object. In disoriented search trials, the participants retrieved the object after turning 360 degrees, four to six times in one spot, with their eyes closed; this condition was found to induce a state of disorientation in children of this age (Hermer and Spelke, 1996).
    The results of the preliminary experiment indicated that children search geometrically appropriate locations more often than geometrically inappropriate locations, but did not search proximate locations more often than they do distant locations. In particular, the proportion of the search at the correct corner and at the geometrically equivalent opposite corner (in diagonal direction) did not differ. This result was consistent with the findings of previous studies.
    When children were tested in a trapezoidal room, they still went to the correct corner or the opposite corner. The video recording revealed that when children faced the two hemlines of the trapezium, they frequently and directly went to the correct corner or the opposite corner. However, when they faced the two lateral walls of the trapezium, they infrequently and indirectly went to the correct corner or the opposite corner.
    The present study provides converging evidence suggesting that children do not rely solely on geometric information about the dimensions of the walls of their environment. Further, their reorientation behaviors can be affected by egocentric information. It is most probable that children use information of the principal axe of the trapezoidal testing room in the task of reorientation
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    Development of the Adolescent Self-disclosure with Peers Questionnaire
    Zou Hong,Jiang Suo
    . 2008, 40 (02): 184-192.  
    Abstract   PDF (1463KB) ( 3349 )
    The concept of adolescent self-disclosure with peers is defined as a behavioral process in which adolescents reveal personal information aspects about themselves such as their opinions, feelings, personalities, and experiences as well as share their comments and ideas about other persons and things directly through face-to-face communication and other means. Peer self-disclosure benefits adolescents’ social adaptation as well as their development both physically and psychologically. However, compared with studies on adults, those on adolescents are relatively few. Besides, most recent questionnaires in these studies were not designed specifically for adolescents. Instead, the items were extracted from the questionnaires for adults. Moreover, some questionnaires had serious problems. Since some domestic researchers applied overseas questionnaires directly, the applicability of these questionnaires had been ignored. Therefore, we tried to develop a questionnaire on adolescent self-disclosure with peers that can reflect adolescent characteristics and focus on the given topics of adolescence.
       Seventy-three adolescents were asked to complete an unstructured questionnaire. Based on literature searches and adolescents’ opinions, a structured questionnaire was developed. Thereafter, 262 adolescents completed the initial questionnaire. Further, 655 adolescents from four grades completed the formal questionnaire on adolescent self-disclosure with peers. We also tested the reliabilities and validities of this questionnaire through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses.
    The exploratory factor analysis revealed that the topics of adolescent self-disclosure with peers contained seven dimensions. They were parent-child relationship, physical development, tastes and interests, friendship, academic performance, experiences in school, and attitudes and opinions. The final questionnaire included 36 items. The result of the confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the validity of the formal questionnaire was acceptable, with the factor loading of each item above 0.58, and the Cronbach’s α coefficients of the seven factors were 0.920, 0.887, 0.832, 0.879, 0.839, 0.827, 0.794, respectively.
    The seven main dimensions of the topics of adolescent self-disclosure with peers were parent-child relationship, physical development, tastes and interests, friendship, academic performance, experiences in school, and attitudes and opinions. Validity and reliability analyses showed that the psychometric properties of the questionnaire on adolescent self-disclosure with peers are acceptable
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    Examining the Antecedents and Consequences of Advertising Value from the Perspective of Chinese Adolescents

    Zhang Hongxia,Li Jiajia,Guo Xianda

    . 2008, 40 (02): 193-200.  
    Abstract   PDF (1171KB) ( 1771 )
    Advertising value is defined as a subjective evaluation of the relative worth or utility of advertising to consumers. This study investigated how Chinese adolescents assess advertising value, and the subsequent effect of this assessment on their purchase intentions. Based on empirical observations and the existing literature, we used advertising informativeness, entertainment, social motivation, and advertising persuasion tactics as the four antecedents of advertising value, with purchase intention as the consequence of advertising value. We chose to study adolescents as they accounted for 28.1% (equivalent to about 350 million people) of the Chinese population in 2004. Further, given the country’s one-child policy, their influence on their parents’ purchase decisions on family-related products is fairly substantial.
    We collected data from 412 adolescents who were studying in seven high schools in Beijing. Due to some incomplete responses, the final usable sample amounted to 366 students. The measures for the constructs were adapted from the existing literature, and were translated into Chinese and then back-translated into English to ensure accuracy and equivalence. All the items indicated acceptable levels of reliability and validity. We used structural equation modeling (AMOS 4.0) to test our framework, and the results indicated an acceptable level of fit.
    The results supported our hypotheses. Specifically, our findings were as follows:
    (1) Advertising informativeness, entertainment, and social motivation were all positively related to advertising value. In other words, advertising that is informative and entertaining is likely to lead to positive advertising value. Similarly, advertising that enhances social motivation is positively related to advertising value.
    (2) Advertising persuasion tactics were negatively related to advertising value. In other words, when Chinese adolescents believe that the advertisers have used advertising to manipulate their behavior, it will negatively affect their perceived advertising value.
    (3) Advertising value had a positive effect on purchase intention. Chinese adolescents who are positively influenced by advertising value are likely to have stronger purchase intentions.
    Our study has several theoretical implications. First, to the best of our knowledge, our study represents the first empirical examination of advertising value in China, as previous studies were conducted in Western countries. Second, while previous works on advertising value investigated advertising informativeness and entertainment as antecedents of advertising value, in our study, we also incorporated social motivation and advertising persuasion tactics as two other important antecedents.
    The practical implications of our results are as follows. Advertisers targeting Chinese adolescents should engage in advertising that is informative, entertaining, and socially motivated. Further, advertisers should avoid being overly persuasive, as this is likely to turn off Chinese adolescents, leading to lower advertising value and purchase intentions
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    Antecedents of Employee Career Development: An Examination of Politics and Guanxi
    Liu Jun,Song Jiwen,Wu Longzeng
    . 2008, 40 (02): 201-209.  
    Abstract   PDF (1585KB) ( 1808 )
    As a novel concept pertaining to organizational studies, organizational politics has attracted the attention of an increasing number of researchers in multiple disciplines. Although efforts have been made for validating the perceived organizational politics scale (POPS) and exploring its antecedents, the detailed influencing process of organizational politics and its cultural implications have not been exposed to in-depth examination. To fill the gap, this study aims to address following two research questions: (1) can Chinese employees gain career development opportunities if they have a high level of political skill, and how? (2) within the context of Chinese organizations, what are the mediating and moderating mechanisms linking employees’ political skills and their career development opportunities? This study explored the role of guanxi with the direct supervisor and the impact of perceived organizational politics, echoing the call for contextualizing studies in Chinese society (Tsui, 2006) and for cross-level theorization and empirical testing (Klein & Kozlowski, 2000).
    In total, 426 employees in 16 Chinese manufacturing enterprises were sampled. To avoid the common method variance problem, for each of the employees, two colleagues and one direct supervisor were also invited to the survey. The final matched sample included 343 employees, 662 colleagues, and 343 direct supervisors. Among the major measures, the 18-item political skills scale was adopted from Ferris et al.’s (2005) study; employee-supervisor guanxi was measured via 6 items that were used by Law et al. (2000); and the perception of organizational politics was measured by using the indigenous scale developed by Ma et al.’s (2006). We refined this scale to suit our purpose. Cronbach’s alpha values for these measures ranged from 0.70 to 0.95, indicating acceptable measurement reliabilities. In order to measure organizational political climate, POPS obtained from individuals was aggregated to the firm level with satisfactory statistics (Rwg > 0.70, ICC (1) > 0.05, and ICC (2) > 0.50).
    Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) was employed to analyze the merged cross-level data. Results show that political skills have significant positive influence on an employee’s career development, even after controlling his or her in-role behaviors and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs). If we introduce employee-supervisor guanxi into the model to predict career development opportunities, the previous influence of political skills becomes non-significant, while employee-supervisor guanxi has significant impacts on the outcome variable. The results indicate that employee-supervisor guanxi acts as a mediator between employee’s political skills and career development opportunities. Political skills help build the guanxi with the supervisor, which in turn, influences the employees’ career development within the organization. Our findings also reveal that POPS moderates the relationship between political skills and employee-supervisor guanxi. The higher the perception, the more likely political skills will lead to a close employee-supervisor guanxi.
    In sum, the study tests the mediating role of employee-supervisor guanxi and the moderating role of organizational political climate playing in the employee political skills - career development opportunities relation. Results obtained from HLM analyses indicate that (1) in the Chinese organizational context, employee-supervisor guanxi has a unique power to predict employees’ career development opportunities. Such findings are consistent with the power distance values in Chinese society (Fei, 1948). (2) Organizational political climate is crucial in influencing employees’ organizational behaviors and outcomes. To create a transparent and unbiased environment, Chinese managers should make greater efforts to counteract the influences of organizational political climate
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    Weighting of Small Probabilities and Its Market Applications
    Chen Rong,He Feng
    . 2008, 40 (02): 210-218.  
    Abstract   PDF (1566KB) ( 1187 )
    This paper investigates the conditions under which the phenomenon of “overweighting of small probabilities” is less likely to occur and their implications with regard to certain business and marketing issues. Based on recent findings in behavioral economics, the authors demonstrated that when the difference in outcome values reduces, disappears, or is no longer apparent, an alternative with a small probability is less likely to be overweighed. Further, the authors suggested a “status quo” effect in the weighting of a small probability with reference to people’s wealth. By applying the theoretical results to a promotional context, the authors found that using a promotional incentive that offers a small chance of winning a large amount is more effective for high-priced products than for low-priced products.
    To test the hypotheses, three experimental studies using student subjects were performed sequentially. Each experiment had specific objectives and involved the use of a factorial design.
    In line with previous findings, Study 1 indicated that as the associated payoff sizes increase in choice problems, the overweighting of small probabilities tends to diminish. More importantly, when no value comparison is presented, the overweighting of small probabilities is less likely to occur. Moreover, it showed that there is a preference discrepancy between choice and matching and that the weighting of probabilities is more consistent in the matching context than in the choice context. In Study 2, the above findings were employed in issues related to lotteries and insurance pricing. The study demonstrated that consumers are more reluctant to buy a lottery or air insurance at a higher price, even if the expected payoff increases accordingly. Moreover, at the same price, the wealthier group of people is more willing to accept the lottery or insurance. Study 3 was a mixed experimental design involving eight products in four categories. In all four categories, the results showed that sweepstakes are more effective than premiums in selling high-priced products; however, there is no significant difference between these two schemes when selling low-priced products.
    The findings systematically demonstrated that the “overweighting of small probabilities” is context dependent. The research provides incremental evidence for the contingent weighting model and consumer preference reversals. From the perspective of a behavioral researcher, given the different levels of outcomes, coupled with the uncertainty of how small probabilities should be interpreted, the results can be explained by differential attention and information processing. From the perspective of a decision theorist, the results reflect a strong boundary condition that contradicts the commonly held belief that probabilities and values are independent of each other. Finally, the findings have important managerial implications in successful pricing and promotional design
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    Survey on Employee Silence and the Impact of Trust on it in China
    Zheng Xiaotwao,Ke Jianglin,Shi Jintao,Zheng Xingshan
    . 2008, 40 (02): 219-227.  
    Abstract   PDF (1518KB) ( 2419 )
    Individuals in organizations face a choice between speaking up and remaining silent about their concerns at work. Silence is the manifestation of hesitation to speak up about an issue that is important to the individual, department, or organization. The decision to be silent about issues or problems is important and should be understood not only because it has the potential to undermine the reporting of unethical and illegal practices and the likelihood of effective organizational learning but also because it affects the lives of the individuals making these decisions. Over time, the feeling of being unable to speak up about issues and concerns may result in a sense of helplessness, reduced job satisfaction, turnover, and other more long-lasting personal consequences. Thus, the purpose of the paper is to try to better understand the construct of employee silence and how organizations can help create conditions that facilitate employees’ speaking up about problems or issues.
    First, we conducted interviews and a survey to obtain items for the Employee Silence Scale (ESS). Second, empirical and statistical methods were employed to assess the structure and psychometric properties of the ESS. By investigating a total of 928 employees, the paper discussed the construct dimension of employee silence. The exploratory factor analysis on the first half of the sample showed that employee silence contains three dimensions. The three dimension constructs were tested using a confirmatory factor analysis on the other half of sample. The internal consistency of the ESS suggested that it was a reliable measure. Finally, with all the samples, we applied stepwise linear regression to validate the relationship between employee silence, employee trust in supervisor (ETS), and employee trust in organization (ETO).
    The three-dimensional structure of employee silence included acquiescent silence, disregardful silence, and defensive silence. Acquiescent silence is based on resignation when the employees perceive that they are incapable of changing the present situation, implying passive obedience. Defensive silence is the interpersonal barrier when employees avoid expressing their opinions. Disregardful silence means keeping idea passively when the employees have low commitment to and involvement in the present job or organization, which implies that they ignore the organization’s benefit. The results also revealed that ETS has a negative impact on all the three dimensions of employee silence, and ETO has a negative impact only on acquiescent silence and disregardful silence, with a non-significant impact on defensive silence.
    The author proposes that employee silence has three dimensions, namely, acquiescent silence, defensive silence (same as Dyne’s research), and disregardful silence (not mentioned in past research). Furthermore, the overseas silence questionnaires were not tested on the sample. The paper concluded that organizations should create a climate of trust to reduce employee silence
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    Examining the Measurement Invariance between Paper-and-Pencil and Internet-Administered Tests in China
    Cai Huajian,Lin Yongjia,Wu Qiuping,Yan Le Huang Xuanfeng
    . 2008, 40 (02): 228-239.  
    Abstract   PDF (2142KB) ( 1999 )
    Concerns about the quality of internet-based tests have been brought by the increasing applications of such tests in psychological research. Over the past years, a large body of studies has been conducted to examine the equivalence of internet-administered tests to their paper-and-pencil counterparts. Although studies based on Classic Test Theory (CTT) showed that internet-administered tests were trustable, studies based on measurement invariance tests produced mixed findings. What is more, most studies so far have been conducted in individualistic cultures. Given these,, the present study aimed to examine the equivalence between internet-based and paper-and-pencil tests in a collectivistic culture, particularly, in China. To this end, we employed Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) to examine the measurement invariance of the selected scale: Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) across modes.
    SWLS was administered via internet and the paper-and-pencil modes. Five items were rated on a 7-point likert scale ranging from 1 (“strongly disagree”) to 7 (“strongly agree”). A total of 418 self-selected college students from 26 provinces in China took the internet-based test. And a total of 288 college students at Sun Yat-Sen University were sampled to take the paper-and-pencil test in classroom. For the internet sample, the age ranges from 18 to 24 years old with a mean of 21.31 (SD = 1.38); for the paper-and-pencil sample, the age ranges from 18 to 24 years old with a mean of 20.20 (SD =0.81).
    Multi-group CFA was employed to test measurement invariance between the internet administered and the paper-and-pencil SWLS. Results showed weak measurement invariance held across these two test modes, indicating metric similarity between the tests; partial strong measurement invariance and partial strict measurement invariance also held, suggesting that response bias existed in some items across modes; further analysis revealed that the paper-and-pencil test included more noise arising from administering environment.
    In terms of mean comparisons, significant differences between modes were found in observed scores but not in latent scores. For the variances, no significant differences were found between modes in either latent scores or observed scores. These findings suggested that administering environments produced potential impacts on observed scores.
    As the first examination of the measurement invariance in Chinese samples, the study provided initial evidence that internet-based tests have equivalent metrics with paper-and-pencil tests. Further, the results from the partial strong invariance and partial strict invariance may indicate the sensitivity of Chinese people to environments that may be resulted from collectivistic culture. Taken together, the findings from this study suggest that although internet-based tests are trustable in China, cautions of response biases should be kept in mind when conducting cross-groups (or modes) comparisons. Also, the findings underscore the importance of examining measurement invariance when a test is applied across multi-groups (or modes)
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    Changing Low Frustration Tolerance: A Case Study of an Olympic Medallist

    Si Gangyan,Li Qingzhu,Liu Jingdong

    . 2008, 40 (02): 240-252.  
    Abstract   PDF (2235KB) ( 2210 )
    This article aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the psychological intervention of rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) and mental skills training in resolving an Olympian’s (L) low frustration tolerance (LFT), particularly during major international competitions. In successfully changing his problem, his performance was also expected to improve. Multiple methods were utilized for the evaluation at different points in time. These included (1) self-evaluation and the coach’s evaluation by the Goal Attainment Scale (GAS); (2) verbal feedback of L, L’s coach, and L’s partner; and (3) videotape analysis. The results were consistent and positive in attesting to the effectiveness of psychological intervention in changing L’s LFT behaviors.
    Using REBT in this study, the sport-related irrational beliefs and behaviors of L were identified. This was crucial for changing the low frustration tolerance of L. The processes of disputing and restructuring L’s irrational beliefs were gradual, with fluctuations at times during parts of the action/maintenance stage. Overall, however, the changes had been positive and had been carried out in the right direction. It was interesting to note that in comparison with the other irrational beliefs, his beliefs about technique training were corrected at a slightly slower pace. However, once the former was resolved, the change process was able to move faster.
    Further, the resolution of his main problem facilitated the enhancement of his performance at the 2004 Olympic Games. According to L and his coach, the double’s achievement was partly attributed to the psychological intervention that was introduced about 10 months prior to the tournament. The coach believed that “psychological intervention was directly related to the success at the Olympic Games”; however, L remarked “psychological training has enabled me to gain full control of my emotions and play out to my potentials.”
    In this study, psychological intervention was found to be an ongoing, multisituational process. Apart from regular consultation with L at the local training center, the first author’s presence at the overseas training camps and competitions was a facilitating factor. His presence in these various situations provided an immediate on-the-spot opportunity for educating and changing L’s problematic behaviors with the support of his coach and partner.
    The role of the coach was an interesting case in point. It is to note that although the coach could help L cope with his stress, if not handled well, the coach could become a source of stress for the athlete. Thus, during the implementation of the intervention, the coach’s sensitivity, understanding, and support were essential in contributing to the ultimate success of the intervention. In fact, the coach played an important role in this case in that he actively participated in the discussions, disputed L’s irrational beliefs, and guided L during the competition as well as provided the first author with time, opportunity, and resources to conduct his work
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