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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 38 Issue 05 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    Language-Dependent Effect in Mandarin and Catonese
    . 2006, 38 (05): 633-644.  
    Abstract   PDF (1272KB) ( 1631 )
    Language-dependent effect is a new type of context-dependent memory, combines features with other types of dependent memory and has unique properties to language. Through this effect, people may get deep understanding of the relations between language and memory. In this research,two experiments were conducted to explore language-dependent effects in Mandarin and Cantonese.
    Method :A total of 18 undergraduate students(8 males) in two universities of Guangzhou were randomly selected to take part in Experiment 1. Among them, three (2 males and 1 female) spoke Mandarin as a child, but switched to Cantonese when they were at an average age of 10.67. They speak fluent Cantonese at the time of the study. Fifteen students were native Cantonese speakers who came from the Pearl Delta region but can also speak Mandarin fluently. Experiment 1 adopted autobiographical memory paradigm. The experiment consisted of two independent variables,one was the ways of presentation(visual or auditory),the other was language environments of recall(Mandarin or Cantonese). The dependent variable was the types and numbers of autobiographical memories. The types of autobiographical memories were divided into 3 types:⑴ agreeable memories:Mandarin memories appeared in Mandarin environments,whereas Cantonese memories appeared in Cantonese environments;⑵ disagreeable memories:Mandarin memories appeared in Cantonese environments,whereas Cantonese memories appeared in Mandarin environments;⑶ mixed memories:both Mandarin memories and Cantonese memories appeared in two environments. Twenty-three (23) undergraduate students(10 males and 13 females)from three universities in Guangzhou participated in experiment 2. These students spoke both Mandarin and Cantonese fluently. The materials used were 90 Chinese words:30 words were general Cantonese expressions,30 words were Cantonese dialect expressions,and 30 words were interfere items. Recognition paradigm were used. The words were presented by auditory. The recognition reaction time,the rate of alarms,the discrimination power to targets and interferes,the correct rates of remember,know or guess judgments were measured.
    The results of experiment 1 showed that there were significant language-dependent effects in autobiographical memories under the contexts of Mandarin and Cantonese. The subjects produced more memories which held the same languages with the retrieval contexts:more Mandarin memories appeared in Mandarin environments and more Cantonese memories appeared in Cantonese environments. No significant differences were found between the numbers of mixed memories appeared in two language environments. The results of experiment 1 also showed that there were more Cantonese memories than Mandarin memories even in Mandarin recall environments. The results of experiment 2 showed that the phonetic and the ways of expressions were important factors influencing the language-dependent effects. There were the shortest reaction time,lowest rate of false alarms and the most susceptible discrimination to words which expressed by Cantonese expressions.
    ⑴ The recalls of Mandarin-Cantonese diglossia subjects suggest that the effect is dependent on language environments. More agreeable memories emerged when the languages of the recall environments and the environments that the events took place were matched.
    ⑵ The phonetic and the ways of expressions were important factors that affected diglossia subjects’ language-dependent effects of recall. Shorter reaction time,lower alarm rate, and strong discrimination were found when Mandarin-Cantonese diglossia subjects recognized Cantonese diglossia expressions
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    Immediacy of Integration in Reading Chinese
    . 2006, 38 (05): 645-653.  
    Abstract   PDF (892KB) ( 1497 )
    In the literature, there are two well-known positions concerning how new, incoming information is integrated with prior context during reading for comprehension. These include the immediacy hypothesis (Just & Carpenter, 1980), which proposes that all comprehension processes are immediately executed when a new piece of information in a text is encountered, and the delayed comprehension hypothesis (e.g., Bouma & de Voogd, 1974), which states that integrating the new information with context is delayed until reaching syntactic boundaries.
    There is some evidence for the idea that both low- and high-level processes can occur immediately in reading (e.g. Cook & Myers, 2004; O’Brien, Shank, Myers, & Rayner, 1988; Poynor & Morris,2003). However, most previous research on the topic has been done in European languages. Since non-European languages such as Chinese and European languages differ in many important aspects, it is not clear whether the same processes are utilized to comprehend information expressed in the different languages. For example, unlike words in European languages, words in Chinese are not transparent units and do not have inflectional markings to indicate various forms of syntactic information (Chen, 1992). Indeed, given the special properties of Chinese words, some researchers (e.g., Aaronson & Ferres, 1986) have suggested that higher mental processes in reading Chinese would not be expected to function in an immediate manner.
    Two experiments were designed to explore which of the two mentioned hypotheses can better account for the time course of integration in reading Chinese text.
    Experiment 1
    A self-paced, line-by-line, reading paradigm was used, in which participants read through a text by pressing a key each time they wanted a new line of text to appear. The participants were asked to read 12 short passages, each containing a target sentence that fitted well within the local context, but was either inconsistent with or irrelevant to background information from the early part of the text.
    A significant slowdown in reading time was observed on the target line in the inconsistent condition relative to the irrelevant, control condition. Also, the same pattern of results was found no matter whether the target line included a syntactic boundary or not, suggesting that integration starts before reaching the end of sentence boundaries.
    Experiment 2
    An eye-monitoring procedure was used in which Chinese readers’ eye movements were recorded during reading to determine whether the inconsistent information presented at the target sentence could be detected immediately. Two rating studies were conducted to locate critical information in the target sentence that was responsible for the conflict between the sentence and the background in the inconsistent condition. The stimuli and design were similar to those used in Experiment 1.
    The participants made longer first-pass fixations and less skipping at the critical regions in the inconsistent condition relative to the control. There were also reliable effects on some eye movement measures that reflected relatively late processes in reading (e.g., second-pass reading times and regression rates at the pre-critical and critical positions), indicating that the participants were trying to use contextual information to resolve the detected inconsistence.
    The present findings indicate that higher integration processes can be conducted on-line, rather than delayed, in reading text written in a language with properties that encourage delayed processing, suggesting that immediate processing is likely a universal principle in reading comprehension
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    Factors Affecting the Process of Spatial Situation Model Constructing and Updating
    Lu Zhongyi,Jia Ning
    . 2006, 38 (05): 654-662.  
    Abstract   PDF (863KB) ( 1385 )
    Introduction The mental models of a text are representations of its situations -- what it is about rather than the text itself. Franklin & Tversky (1990) investigated when people constructed the spatial situation and how they discriminated objects on different directions. the direction effect was found. The researcher used the “Egocentric Framework” to explain it. It is now commonly agreed that the working memory plays an important role in the cognitive process. Therefore, we investigated, in the present study, how the working memory span and direction affected the process of spatial situation model constructing and updating.
    Method Participants: The participants were 16 low-span and 16 high-span adults. Materials: 6 texts. There were 5 sentences in each text that described a spatial model. Design: The first independent variable, span -- high or low, was manipulated between the subjects. The second independent variable, time pattern -- unlimited-time or limited-time, was manipulated within the subjects. The third independent variable, direction -- left-right or front-back, was manipulated within the subjects. The number of the correct-or-wrong-judgment sentences was the dependent variable. Procedure: Experimental texts were presented in two time patterns – the limited-time pattern and the unlimited pattern. The former was defined as 4000ms and the latter meant the subjects could study the text as long as they wanted. Once they finished the text study, they should judge whether each sentence about the text was correct or not by keying in “J” for “correct” or “F” for “wrong”.
    Results Repeated-measure ANOVAs were conducted for Experiments 1 and 2. In the analysis of Experiment 1 with the performance of the spatial situation model constructing task used as the dependent variable, there were main effects of span, F(1,30)= 4.800, p< 0.05, direction, F(1,30)=61.294, p < 0.001, and time pattern, F(1,30)=29.925, p < 0.001, and an interaction between direction and time pattern, F(1,30)=23.508, p< 0.001. There was no obvious difference between the two time patterns on the front-back judgments, but the performance of the unlimited-time task was better than that of the limited-time task in the process of left-right judgments. In the analysis of Experiment 2 with the performance of the spatial situation model updating task used as the dependent variable, there were a main effect of time pattern, F(1,30)=18.274, p < 0.001 and an interaction between direction and time pattern, F(1,30)=7.226, p< 0.05),. There was no significant difference between the two time patterns on the front-back judgments, but the performance of the unlimited-time task was better than that of the limited-time task in the process of left-right judgments. No other main effects or interactions were significant.
    Conclusions On the basis of the results, we draw conclusions as follows. First, the visuospatial working memory span affects the process of the spatial model constructing, but does not affect the process of the spatial situation model updating. Second, the time pattern affects the process of both the model constructing and updating. Finally, the direction only affects the process of the spatial situation model constructing. During the processes of the spatial situation model constructing and updating, the judgment of the front-back position is not affected by the time-limited pattern, but nevertheless the judgment of the right-left position is affected by the time-limited pattern. The effect of the front-back position is stable and superior
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    The Activation Process of Spatial Representations during Real-time Comprehension of Verbs

    Wu Limei,Mo Lei,Wang Ruiming

    . 2006, 38 (05): 663-671.  
    Abstract   PDF (948KB) ( 1388 )
    Many theorists have argued that spatial elements could be part of the metaphoric understanding that underlies language. For example, concrete action ‘push’ clearly implies a vertical motion. Richardson (2001) has shown that native participants display a high level of agreement when asked to choose or draw schematic representations or image schemas, of concrete and abstract verbs. This consistency in offline data is preliminary evidence that language invokes spatial forms of representation. Richardson (2003) adopted dual-task paradigm and found the spatial image schemas also were activated during online verb comprehension. As the materials used are sentences but not single verbs, there is an alternative explanation for the results. It could be that the effects were not primarily driven by spatial representations activated by verbs, but by representations of the whole sentence. The research was to disjoin these two explanations and explored the activation process of spatial representations during real-time comprehension of verbs. We predicted that if comprehending a verb, but not a complete sentence, would activate a spatial representation, we would expect to observe the same effects from the material of negative sentence as Richardson did, in that there is no action in the situation model of the negative sentences whose predicate was negated by ‘not’.
    Participants listened to short sentences that included either horizontal or vertical verbs while engaged in a visual discrimination task. Experiment 1 used affirmative sentences as auditory stimuli. Participants listened to negative sentences describe objective reason in Experiment 2. Experiment 3 used negative sentences that specify protagonist’s will as comprehension material. Each trial began with a central fixation-cross presented for 1,000 ms. A sentence was presented binaurally through headphones. There was then a pause of 50, 100, 150 or 200 ms. This randomized “jitter” was introduced, so that participants could not anticipate the onset of the target visual stimulus. The target, a black circle or square, then appeared in either the top, bottom, left or right position, and remained on screen for 200 ms. Participants were instructed to identify the stimulus as quickly as possible by pressing one key to indicate a circle or another to indicate a square. Reaction times and accuracy rates were recorded.
    In all three experiments, reaction times showed an interaction between the horizontal/vertical nature of the verb’s image schema and the horizontal/vertical position of the visual stimuli. The same pattern of the results suggested that verbs comprehension interacted with perceptual-spatial processes no matter the action referred by the verb was arrested by objective reason or by the protagonist’s will.
    The present findings provided supportive evidence for the assertion that certain aspects of lexical meaning, both literal and metaphoric, are captured by spatial representations. Also, this evidence implied that the activation of the spatial representations from verb was not a strategic process. We argued that such spatial effects of verb comprehension provide evidence for the perceptual–motor character of linguistic representations because these spatial representations were activated during verb comprehension, and interact with concurrent cognitive and perceptual processes
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    The Effect of Cross-Language Repetition Priming in Less Proficient Chinese-English Bilinguals
    . 2006, 38 (05): 672-680.  
    Abstract   PDF (894KB) ( 1855 )
    Bilingual memory representation has received considerable attention from many researchers for several years. How the conceptual representation is shared is an important issue these days. Previous studies have found evidence that the proficiency of second language influences the relation between lexical representation and conceptual representation of bilinguals. Thus, the representation models should be different for highly proficient bilinguals and less proficient bilinguals. This hypothesis has been supported by some experiments based on explicit memory tasks. However, less is clear about the cross-language repetition priming which is based on implicit memory tasks. Therefore, we conducted the present study to further test whether there would be cross-language repetition priming effect for less proficient bilinguals.
    In the present study, we used the task of cross-language repetition priming. Participants included 140 students from South China Normal University who were all Chinese natives age18-20 years, with English as their second language. the students were non-English-majors who did not pass CET Band 4. All four experiments were carried out on computers using the E-Prime software. There were study phase and test phase during each experiment in this study. Participants were instructed to complete the animacy decision tasks in experiment 1, the lexical decision tasks in experiment 2 in each phase. In experiment 3, participants were instructed to complete the animacy decision tasks in study phase in English and lexical decision tasks in test phase in Chinese, the animacy decision tasks in study phase in Chinese and lexical decision tasks in test phase in English. The response time and accurate rates were recorded and SPSS 10.0 software was used to analyze the data.
    The response time to the words studied was significantly faster than that to the words unstudied in conceptual implicit memory tasks both in same language condition and cross language condition. The same results were found for the studied words and the unstudied words when conceptual tasks were presented in English in study phase and lexical tasks were presented in Chinese in test phase. But there was no cross language repetition priming effect in lexical implicit memory tasks in cross language condition. For the accurate rates, the results of the experiments were consistent with that on response time.
    Consistent with the current theories of bilingual memory representation, we obtained reliable cross-language repetition priming effects when conceptual implicit memory tasks were used and no priming effects when lexical implicit memory tasks were used. The present results based on implicit memory tasks indicate that for less proficient bilinguals, conceptual representations for translation equivalents are shared and lexical representations are separate. In particular, our results support the Word Association Model
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    A Preliminary Study of Subtypes of Chinese Developmental Dyslexia
    . 2006, 38 (05): 681-693.  
    Abstract   PDF (1276KB) ( 1792 )
    The phonological processing deficit is the major cognitive impairment of developmental dyslexia in alphabetic countries. Some researchers have suggested that there are different subtypes in dyslexia, such as surface or delayed dyslexia and dyslexia with rapid naming deficit. Chinese characters belong to ideogram, with one character usually denoting one morpheme; they do not bear a grapheme-phoneme correspondence. An important question for developmental researchers is what the dominating cognitive deficit is in Chinese developmental dyslexia. Researchers in Hong Kong found that the rapid naming deficit and orthographical skills deficit were the primary cognitive deficits, and that there was lower incidence with phonological deficit. However, researchers in Beijing found that Chinese developmental dyslexics mainly possessed morphological awareness deficit. One possible cause of the inconsistency was that the analysis of subtypes in the studies was based on chronological-age controls, which might make the direction of causality unclear between some cognitive deficits and dyslexia because the cognitive skills and reading abilities usually contained interactive relations. In the present study, we intended to further examine the subtypes of Chinese developmental dyslexia, in order to clarify the cognitive deficit profile in Chinese dyslexia.
    According to the low achievement definition, we selected 29 dyslexics from 654 children aged 9~12.8 years, and comparison groups with appropriate chronological-age (26) and reading-levels (28). Five reading-related cognitive skills were examined, including phonological awareness, rapid automatic naming, morphological awareness, orthographic skills and homophone choice task. Adopting one standard deviation cutoff criterion for every variable based on scores of reading-level controls, we explored the cognitive deficit profile of 29 Chinese developmental dyslexics. Finally Chinese character recognition test was administered in order to investigate whether the children’s error pattern and regularity and frequency effect were distinct in different subtypes while reading characters.
    The main results are as follows.
    1. There were different subtypes in Chinese developmental dyslexia, mainly including phonological dyslexia, dyslexia with rapid naming deficit, and dyslexia with double deficits of phonological awareness and rapid naming skills. A small proportion of dyslexics displayed orthographic-skill deficit. Finally, about one quarter of the dyslexics showed no severe cognitive deficits.
    2. The dyslexics with phonological deficit exhibited more semantic errors while reading Chinese characters and were less able to detect the partial phonological information of the phonetic-radical in semantic-phonetic compounds.
    3. The regularity-frequency effect patterns of children with rapid naming deficit were similar to those of the reading-level controls and revealed a general delay of reading development. They tended to recognize characters by the phonetic-radical.
    4. The dyslexics with double or multiple cognitive deficits manifested the most severe reading impairment.
    The results indicate that the cognitive deficit profiles of Chinese developmental dyslexia were consistent with the-double-deficit hypothesis of English developmental dyslexia, illustrating a cross-character consistency. Furthermore, the interaction among the reading-related cognitive skills likely determined the severity of dyslexia. The findings have implications for the diagnosis and intervention of Chinese developmental dyslexia. However the origin of phonological and rapid naming deficit needs to be investigated
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    Relations between Phonological Loop and Reading Comprehension: An Eye Movements Study
    Deng Jinhong,Wang Liyan
    . 2006, 38 (05): 694-701.  
    Abstract   PDF (740KB) ( 1614 )
    As a component of working memory model, Pphonological loop, which processes phonological information, is likely related to reading comprehension closely because working memory plays an important role in reading comprehension. Taking advantage of eye movement technique, we investigated the differences between normal reading and articulatory suppression reading. The aim of this study was to compare the roles of phonic and graphic information of Chinese characters in reading comprehension.
    A 2 (reading condition: normal and articulatory suppression) × 5 (types of target: see table 1) within-subject design was used in the experiment.
    Table 1
    Type of stimuli

    1 2 3 4 5
    phonic same similar similar different different
    orthographic same similar different similar different
    Twenty-eight discourses with about 120 Chinese characters of each were selected. Each discourse had 2 target characters, which were assigned into 5 different types according to whether they were similar or not phonically and orthographically to the correct characters in the contexts (see table 1). Twenty-five college students with normal vision and right dominant hands participated in this experiment. Participants were asked to read a short story which was presented by a computer. Their eye movements were recorded by EyeLink eye tracking system while they were reading. There were three stages in each trial, including reading story, answering questions related to the story by pressing a key, and recognition test of some main words of the story by key pressing. Under the articulatory suppression, participants uttered “[i:]” which is “one” in Chinese 2-3 times per second.
    The first fixation duration, gaze duration and total fixation duration of articulatory suppression reading were shorter than those of normal reading. A significant homophonic effect was found in two types of reading. Both phonic and Graphic information played an important role in the gaze duration or total fixation duration. The results indicated that: (1) phonological loop slowed down reading; (2) homophone effects were found under two different reading conditions, that is, first fixation and total fixation of homophone were shorter than those of non-homophone; (3) phonology played a role in early stage of Chinese reading and homophone errors could be corrected more easily than non-homophone ones
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    Double Dissociation between Feeling-Of-Knowing (FOK) and Feeling-Of-not-Knowing (FOnK)


    . 2006, 38 (05): 702-708.  
    Abstract   PDF (658KB) ( 1272 )
    People can still have a feel of “I know that”, even though they cannot retrieve the target information. This phenomenon is known as FOK (feeling-of-knowing). Although almost all theories on FOK assume it to be a continuum of subjective feeling from weak to strong, recent neuroimaging studies implied ‘feeling-of-knowing’ (FOK) and ‘feeling-of-not-knowing’ (FOnK) might be sub-served by different cognitive and neural processes (Luo et al., 2002; Luo et al., 2003;Luo et al., 2004). This dual processes hypothesis challenges the traditional view on FOK and provided a new perspective for investigation.
    In our previous study, we have examined the effects of level-of-processing (LOP) on FOK and FOnK respectively. The results showed that deep LOP promoted the predictive accuracy of FOK, but not that of FOnK. Moreover, deep LOP deteriorated the predictive accuracy of FOnK. In this study, we attempted to get double dissociation evidence for this dual processes hypothesis of FOK. We compared the predictive accuracy of FOK and FOnK when the cue items were low- or high-frequency words (Experiment 1) or when the materials were “word”-“word” pairs or “word”-“non-word” pairs (Experiment 2).

    Sixty paid volunteers participated in the study (30 in each experiment). In the Recall-Judgment-Recognition (RJR) procedure, participants first learned a list of cue-target pairs. They were then provided with the cue items one by one and were asked to retrieve the corresponding target items. If failed, they were asked to make a feeling-of-knowing judgment or a feeling-of-not-knowing (the cued-recall & FOK judgment stage). Finally, participants were given a criterion recognition test to examine if their metamemory prediction was accurate or not (the recognition stage). Based on the performance in the cued-recall & FOK judgment stage and the recognition stage, the items were sorting into five types: SC, PP, NP, PN, and NN:

    cue-recall and FOK judgment
    Successful cue-recall Failing cue-recall
    positive judgment negative judgment
    recognize Hint SC PP NP
    error report PN NN

    The predictive accuracy of FOK (PA-FOK) and that of FOnK (PA-FOnK) were estimated as follows:
    PA-FOK = PP / PP+PN
    PA-FOnK = NN / NN+NP
    The result of Experiment 1 showed, in low-frequency cue words condition, the accuracy of FOK tended to be higher than that of FOnK, whereas in the high-frequency cue words condition, the reverse tendency was observed. However, these differences did not achieve significant level. The result of Experiment 2 showed, in the “word”-“word” condition, the accuracy of FOK was significantly higher than that of FOnK, whereas in the “word”-“non-word” condition, the accuracy of FOK was significantly lower than that of FOnK. This observation showed the double dissociation of FOK and FOnK.
    This study suggests that the FOK and FOnK can be doubly dissociated. Some variables can promote the predictive accuracy of FOK but deteriorate that of FOnK, whereas other variables can have the reverse effects: they promote FOnK but deteriorate FOK. Based on these evidences, together with previous neuroimaging studies, we suggested that FOK and FOnK are supported by distinct cognitive brain processes
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    The Covert Orienting Deficit on Children with Two Subtypes of Attention-deficits Hyperactivity Disorder
    Xu Yan,Zhou Xiaolin,Wang Yufeng
    . 2006, 38 (05): 709-717.  
    Abstract   PDF (835KB) ( 1657 )
    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a cognitive–behavior developmental disorder. Inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity are three major characters of ADHD. The main purpose of the present study was to investigate the covert orienting deficits in children with ADHD and the potential differences between predominantly inattentive subtype and combined subtype. This cognitive-behavioral study shed light on the impairment of both endogenous covert orienting and exogenous covert orienting mechanisms underlying children with two main kinds of ADHD subtypes. Specifically, we examined 1) the potential deficits of children with ADHD in tasks tapping into endogenous and exogenous orienting; 2) the potential differences between ADHD children of the predominantly inattentive subtype and children of the combined subtype. ADHD children diagnosed by clinicians using the DSM-IV criteria and matched normal children took part in two experiments. Experiment 1 involved an endogenous covert orienting task while Experiment 2 involved an exogenous covert orienting task.
    The results showed that, compared with normal children, ADHD children had deficits in covert orienting. Moreover, results suggested that ADHD children had deficits in motor attention (related to covert preparation of limb movements) [6]. The data also showed that, ADHD children of the combined subtype and the predominantly inattentive subtype had different mode of deficits in the orienting network. Children of the combined subtype had shorter reaction time than children of the predominantly inattentive subtype in endogenous orienting. But the error rate was not significantly different between these two subtypes. There was no significant difference in reaction time in exogenous orienting. Children of combined subtype, however, had a higher error rate than children of predominantly inattentive subtype. This result suggested that combined subtype had more attention deficits in response preparation level
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    The Influence of Task Importance on
    Transfer-appropriate Processing Effect in Prospective Memory
    Zhang Zhi,Wang Jian,Ge Liezhong
    . 2006, 38 (05): 718-723.  
    Abstract   PDF (541KB) ( 1646 )
    There were conflicting results among past research on Transfer- appropriate Processing (for short TAP) effect in prospective memory. Although no specific findings has indicated that certain factors influenced the TAP effect, other studies found that task importance may have distinct effects on the performance of prospective memory in different experimental conditions. This research explored the influence of task importance on TAP effect in prospective memory.
    In this study, 48 undergraduate/graduate students were randomly selected from Zhejiang University as subjects. A dual-task experimental paradigm was used. Using ANOVA and t-test as analytical tools, we examined the influence of task importance on TAP effect in prospective memory.
    When ongoing tasks were more important, the difference between prospective memory performances under two different experimental conditions were significant, and there was marked TAP effect; when the prospective memory tasks were more important, the difference between two kinds of prospective memory performances decreased, and TAP effect did not appear.
    Task importance was one of the factors that influenced TAP effect in prospective memory. It had significant influence on TAP effect
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    Scalar Property in Short Duration Estimation
    Liu Ruiguang,Huang Xiting
    . 2006, 38 (05): 724-733.  
    Abstract   PDF (952KB) ( 1181 )

    This article thoroughly reviews the past literature and studies on time perception of a small range of durations. The scalar timing theory of Gibbon (1991) and collaborators, which emphasizes the importance of a central timekeeping mechanism, describes the origin and the function of scalar timing in human performance. Many experimental results support the idea that humans can have a favorite duration, that is, an interval length that gives a lower Weber fraction and maximum sensitivity. A transitional point, perhaps around 2s or less than 2s, decides subjects’ timing bias and reflects a fundamental time limitation of humans in processing information. The present study aims at investigating the scalar property and the source of variance in short duration (6s-24s) estimation.
    Based on the previous studies, we used the single-task program and incorporated the prospective paradigm in this study. From the perspective of psychophysics and by using a duration reproduction method, three experiments were conducted to investigate the scalar property, the source of variance, the transitional point, and the nature of the Weber function in temporal process of humans. The intervals ranging from 6s to24s were selected and used as physical durations in the experiments, and a geometric stimulus was presented in visual mode on the computer screen. Fifty-five participants volunteered in the experiments, and all the participants were tested individually in sessions that lasted 50-60 minutes. The analysis of variance was then conducted on the data collected from these experiments.
    The experimental results showed that the motion status (kinetic or static) and the rotating angles significantly affected the participants’ temporal judgments. Compared with the static conditions, the effects of kinetic stimulus were more significant. With the increase of rotating angles, the accuracy of duration estimation was increased. Physical durations of stimulus also showed a significant duration-lengthened effect. The speed of stimulus was another important cue used by the participants in estimating durations. The experimental results indicated that lower Weber fractions and the maximum time sensitivity for intervals were in 9s to 12s, and a transitional point occurred at 11.1s where the Weber fraction began to increase with longer durations. In contrary to overestimation of the shorter durations, the participants underestimated the longer durations.
    Three major conclusions are derived from this study. First, the motion status, speeds, changes (rotating angles) of stimulus, and physical durations are the main source of variance of temporal judgment. Second, people consistently overestimate the shorter durations and underestimate the longer durations. The transitional point in duration estimation is 11.1s in the range 6s to 24s. Presenting sequences of intervals to humans not only affects the Weber function but also distorts perceived durations. Third, a piecewise continuous function is the best explanation for the Weber function. Inflectional points of the Weber function (12s and 21s) derived from this study are, to some extent, consistent with the transitional point of 11.1s in duration estimation

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    The Contributions of Inhibition and Processing Speed to Normal Age-Related Differences in Fluid Intelligence
    Che Tian yong,Li Deming
    . 2006, 38 (05): 734-742.  
    Abstract   PDF (1565KB) ( 1356 )
    An important aspect of executive function involves the ability to inhibit prepotent responses (inhibition). It has been argued that this aspect of executive function might contribute to adult age-related effects on fluid cognition. However, this argument has been challenged by various individual differences studies, especially when processing speed was considered. Specifically, age-related effects on fluid abilities through the mediation of executive construct are much smaller than those through speed construct. Most of the relations between executive construct and both age and other cognitive abilities are shared with other variables, especially speed variables. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relative roles contributions of inhibition and processing speed to age-related differences in fluid intelligence, and to find empirical evidence for the executive decline hypothesis.
    A sample of 142 normal adults between 18 and 85 years of age performed a set of inhibition, processing speed, and fluid intelligence tasks. Different from previous studies, which usually used processing speed as cognitive primitives, this study adopted three types of speed measures (i.e. inspection time, reaction time, and perceptual/motor speed), which were assumed to involve different level of executive control resources. All assessments (including 13 tasks) were taken in two sessions, administered during a 2-week period. Participants were encouraged to have a break whenever they felt tired.
    The results indicated that reliabilities of the referring inhibition, processing speed, and fluid intelligence measures were relatively high. Confirmatory factor analysis showed that three target speed measures were clearly separable. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated that, the proportion of unique age-related variance in executive measures was related to the complexity of speed measures. There was a larger proportion of unique age-related variance in executive measures after controlling for the variance in simpler speed measures. Moreover, structural equation modeling showed that more complex speed measures, rather than inhibition, played a larger role in mediating age-related differences in fluid intelligence. However, this result was reversed when simpler speed measures were considered.
    In summary, these results suggest that inhibition and processing speed are an important mediator between age and fluid intelligence, and provide support for executive decline hypothesis of cognitive aging. In addition, the mediation of age-related effects on cognitive abilities through processing speed as indicated by previous studies is at least partially derived from the executive component of speed measures. These findings provide support for executive decline hypothesis of cognitive aging as well as the processing speed theory
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    Children’s Experiences with Peers and Loneliness: A Two-Year Longitudinal Study
    . 2006, 38 (05): 743-750.  
    Abstract   PDF (1565KB) ( 2762 )
    Evidences from researches on both primates and human supported the hypothesis that problems in early peer relationship could lead to subsequent psychosocial maladjustments, including externalizing and internalizing problems (such as feelings of loneliness and depression). While children’s experiences with peers can be best understood by referring to several levels of social complexity: within individuals, within interactions, within relationships, and within groups. Previous researches had revealed that loneliness was associated with a variety of peer variables at each of the four levels. Most existing researches had focused on the influences of peer variables on loneliness. Less examined was the impact of loneliness on peer variables. The present study was designed to explore the interaction between loneliness and peer variables using a 2-year longitudinal design.
    This study examined 274 children from Grade 3 to Grade 4 in 2002 and 2004. This study used the measures auch as the Perceived Competence Scale for Children, the Revised Class Play, Friendship Nomination and Friendship quality Questionnaire, Sociometric Nominations, and Children’s Loneliness Scale to assess self-perceived social competence, social withdraw and peer victimization scores, mutual friends number and best friendship quality, positive nomination and negative nomination, and loneliness score, respectively.
    Cross-lagged regression analysis was conducted to examine the mutual predicative relations between loneliness and peer variables within each of the four levels. The results indicated that (1) there is a mutually predictive relations between peer variables and loneliness during the two-year interval such that (a) at the group level, after controlling other variables at Time 1, no significant cross-lagged effects were found between “liked most” nomination, “like least” nomination, and loneliness; (b) at the relationship level, after controlling other variables at Time 1, there was a significant cross-lagged effect between friendship quality and loneliness, suggesting that early friendship quality significantly predicted loneliness two years later, and early loneliness also significantly predicted friendship quality two years later; additionally, number of early mutual friends significantly predicted loneliness two years later, whereas early loneliness didn’t predict number of mutual friends two years later; (c) at the interaction level, after controlling other variables at Time 1, no significant cross-lagged effect was found between passive withdraw, peer victimization, and loneliness; (d) at the individual level, after controlling other variables at Time 1, there was a significant cross-lagged effect of self-perceived social competence on loneliness and vice versa, indicating that early self-perceived social competence significantly predicted loneliness two years later, and early loneliness also significantly predicted self-perceived social competence two years later. (2) With respect to the stability of peer variables and loneliness during the 2-yealr interval, the “like most” nomination, “like least” nomination, peer victimization, passive withdraw and number of mutual friends were highly stable, while best friendship quality, self-perceived social competence, and loneliness showed moderate stabilitie.
    Conclusions: Forst, mutual predictive relation between self-reported peer variables and loneliness were more stronger than that between peer-rated peer variables and loneliness. Second, the peer-rated variables (i.e., “like most” nomination, “like least” nomination, peer victimization, passive withdraw and mutual friends number) were more stable than those of self-reported variables (i.e., friendship quality, self-perceived social competence and loneliness). Third, once the characters of peer variables merged, they would show continued stability
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    The Moderating Effects of Self-complexity on the Relationship between Life Events and Depression in a Sample of Adolescents
    Sun Xiaoling,Li Xiaowen,Wu Mingzheng
    . 2006, 38 (05): 751-761.  
    Abstract   PDF (985KB) ( 1776 )
    The self-complexity model proposes that a highly differentiated self-concept is linked to better coping in response to stress and negative events. Subsequent reports, however, revealed that the relationship of self-complexity and well-being was qualified by strong heterogeneity among studies. Various studies have identified problems concerning the consistency and validity of the often-used measure of self-complexity. Addressing these issues, the current work has been conducted with several purposes. First, the study was to provide tests of the moderating effects of different facets of self-complexity. Second, in order to clear up the role of self-complexity, the present study compared the structural measures of self-complexity by Linville to the component measures by Rafaeli-Mor et al. Third, some modifications of the typical cart-sort task, such as the renewal of the trait-pool and the administration of lexical decision tasks and role-centered sorting strategy, were made to precisely elicit the characteristics of adolescents in Chinese cultural context. Fourth, it attempted to explore the relationship between self-complexity and resilience.
    A total of 175 high school students, 95 males and 80 females, participated as part of their psychology course requirement (two of them were eliminated because of incomplete fulfillment). Subjects completed measures of stressful life events, self-complexity, depression and resilience in three sessions across 3 weeks. A multiple regression analysis used depression at Time 3 as outcomes, stressful life events at Time 1 and Time 3, self-complexity as predictors, and depression at Time 1 as control variables. In addition, path analysis was conducted to examine the roles of self-complexity and resilience.
    Results showed that: 1) the component measures of self-complexity has both greater face validity and substantial internal consistency, as compared to the structural measures; 2) at times of past life stress, high numerosity was found to attenuate adverse effects of negative events on depression, irrespective of the overlap of the self-aspects; In addition, the numerosity×stress interaction was consistent with the stress protection; 3) at times of current stress, a single 3-way interaction emerged. Specifically, adolescents with few and overlapping roles experienced elevated depression when facing high current stress, but lower depression when facing low current stress; adolescents with high and overlapping roles were less prone to depression at times of high current stress, whereas the ones with high and distinct roles seemed to cope the minor current stress better. Thus the results of this study have supported only several of its hypotheses regarding self-complexity as a buffer for the depression.
    Results suggested that, adolescents with high and overlapping roles had clear and consistent self-concepts enabling them to function effectively at times of stress; whereas high numerosity and low overlap might reflect fragmentation and a lack of integration among self aspects, which may be one of the cognitive vulnerable factors to negative life events; whereas adolescents with low and overlapping roles expressed a rather simple self-system, whose self-perception may be easily influenced by external events. It may imply that integration and differentiation of self-aspects were the simultaneous functioning of opposite processes in the development of one’s self-concept. In addition, analysis revealed that resilience might be highly influenced by self-complexity
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    The Development of A Test about Learning Adjustment of Undergraduate
    . 2006, 38 (05): 762-769.  
    Abstract   PDF (646KB) ( 3131 )
    Learning adjustment is a regulative process of mind and behavior, by which individual regulates him/herself according to learning requirements to achieve the balance between the individual and learning environment. So far little research has been conducted on learning adjustment of undergraduates in China. Along with the expanding admission of colleges, the problems of undergraduates on learning adjustment are increasingly salient. Therefore, we developed a test of learning adjustment including learning motivation, learning ability, learning attitude and learning environment in undergraduates on the basis of our previous studies. Method
    One hundred and eighty seven undergraduate students from four grades (102 males and 85 females) answered an unstructured questionnaire. And 36 undergraduates were interviewed with structured questions. Then a structured questionnaire was established on the basis of results of these previous investigations. We also tested the reliabilities and validity of this questionnaire through exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses.
    We found that learning adjustment measure contained five factors from exploratory factor analysis. The five factors were learning motivation, mode of teaching, learning ability, learning attitude, and learning environment. The final questionnaire included 29 items,. The result of confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the validity of formal questionnaire was acceptable with the factor loading of each item above 0.44. And the Cronbach αcoefficients of five factors were 0.80、0.71、0.75、0.74、0.73, respectively.
    The five main factors of learning adjustment among undergraduate students were learning motivation, mode of teaching, learning ability, learning attitude, and learning environment. The test could be suitable for measuring learning adjustment of undergraduate students reliably and validly
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    How does Trust in Organizations Benefit Task Performance
    . 2006, 38 (05): 770-777.  
    Abstract   PDF (720KB) ( 1931 )
    Although numerous studies have investigated the effect of trust on job performance in organizations, there has been little research directed at the relationship between individual trust for different referents and task performance. Trust is a special dyadic relationship between trustees and trustors. Many previous researches revealed that the trustworthiness of different referents (direct leader, co-workers, or top management) would influence employee’s psychological conditions which, in turn, leads to different job performance. In this study, we are motivated by the idea to study whether the trustworthiness of different referents have its unique and mutually complementary impact on individual performance. Hence, we simultaneously adopted three trust referents (direct leader, co-workers, and top management) as independent variables, and empirically examined their relationships with task performance. The interactive effect of different referents is also explored, because we believe it would help present a clearer picture to understanding how trust in workplace facilitates superior individual performance.
    Data was obtained from full-time employees of a large manufacturing corporation in Northern China. We combined the data from three representative departments, an engineering center (64), a manufacturing plant (157) and a financial department (58). In order to avoid the common method bias, we collected the employee’s psychological data and their corresponding performance information separately. For the purpose of diminishing the effect of social desirability, we employed Aryee’s sampling procedure (2002) that is regarded as an effective solution to eliminate negative outcome of social desirability in trust researches. The statistical package of LISRAL 8.45 was used to examine the hypotheses.
    In the first stage of data analysis, we examined whether the effect of trust in different referents on individual task performance is mutually exclusive. In order to test our hypotheses, we established six alternative nested models. By comparing the alternative nested models with the hypothesized model, the results indicated that trustworthiness of each referents played a unique role on job performance. In the second stage of data analysis, we evaluated our hypotheses by assessing the conditions for mediation. Specifically, we examined the hypothesis by comparing hypothesized model (partially mediated) with alternative nested model (fully mediated), and the result supported our hypothesis that trust in top management is partially mediated by trust in direct leader.
    The results have several theoretical implications. First, it showed that the positive effect of any trust foci on individual behaviors could not be superseded by other trust foci, which hints researchers to pay more attention to the unique value of the trustworthiness of different referents. In addition, this study also starts a new trend of investigating the interactive effect among different trust dimensions. From a practical perspective, the result of this study provided specific evidence for manager to believe that building a trustworthy organizational culture is a good investment which will enhance the competitiveness of the organization
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    The Comparison Among Item Selection Strategies of CAT with Multiple-choice Items
    Dai Haiqi,Chen Dezhi,Ding Shuliang,Deng Taiping
    . 2006, 38 (05): 778-783.  
    Abstract   PDF (544KB) ( 1352 )
    The initial purpose of comparing item selection strategies was to increase the efficiency of tests. As studies continued, however, it was found that increasing the efficiency of item bank using was also an important goal of comparing item selection strategies. These two goals often conflicted. The key solution was to find a strategy with which both goals could be accomplished.
    The item selection strategies for graded response model in this study included: the average of the difficulty orders matching with the ability (ADMA); the medium of the difficulty orders matching with the ability (MMDA); maximum information (MI); A stratified (average) (ASA); and A stratified (medium) (ASM). The evaluation indexes used for comparison included: the bias of ability estimates for the true (Bias); the standard error of ability estimates (Se); the average items which the examinees have administered (Aiea); the standard deviation of the frequency of items selected (Sdf); and sum of the indices weighted (Siw). Using the Monte Carlo simulation method, we obtained some data and computer iterated the data 20 times each under the conditions that the item difficulty parameters followed the normal distribution and even distribution. The results were as follows:

    Table 1.
    The result of item difficulty parameters following normal distribution
    strategies Bias Se Aiea Sdf Siw
    ADMAMMDAMI ASA ASM 0.2989 (5)0.2668 (2)0.2638 (1)0.2764 (4)0.2711 (3) 0.4218 (4)0.3541 (3)0.4361 (5)0.3313 (2)0.3181 (1) 26.7391 (4)27.5874 (5)22.6463 (1)22.9780 (2)23.0762 (3) 72.8872 (4)58.0541 (2)127.3360 (5)67.7299 (3)58.0313 (1) 3.28003.70763.18513. 75703.9545

    Table 2.
    The result of item difficulty parameters following even distribution
    strategies Bias Se Aiea Sdf Siw
    ADMAMMDAMI ASA ASM 0.2423 (3)0.2372 (2)0.1646 (1)0.2709 (4)0.2745 (5) 0.2857 (3)0.2850 (2)0.2022 (1)0.3220 (4)0.3260 (5) 29.6080(5)28.7977(4)24.1035(3)22.0724(1)22.2843(2) 38.2600(3)43.2547(4)141.7506(5)38.0857 (2)33.5079 (1) 3.00832.94463.15213.11543.2103

    The results indicated that no matter difficulty parameters followed the normal distribution or even distribution. Every type of item selection strategies designed in this research had its strong and weak points. In general evaluation, under the condition that items were stratified appropriately, A stratified (medium) (ASM) had the best effect
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    Theoretical Thinking about The Limitations of Evolutionary Psychology
    Ye Haosheng
    . 2006, 38 (05): 784-790.  
    Abstract   PDF (699KB) ( 1769 )
    Evolutionary psychology (EP) is a relatively new perspective in psychology. Not only does it attract a number of followers, but also it has engendered considerable debates. The purpose of this paper is to discuss its weaknesses and limitations by focusing on its core hypothesis, methodology and epistemology: (1). A core hypothesis of EP claims that the mind contains hundreds or thousands of modules, each with a specialized design that performs one function when interacting with the external world. Evolutionary psychologist maintain that, although human mind contains a degree of modularity, it functions integratively. It is difficult to imagine the complexity and size of the brain that would make this possible. Moreover, the operation of modules is not specified by our genetic program and the mind/brain do not have lots of “genetically specified,” domain –specific, informationally encapsulated modules. The assumption of massive modularity lacks experience validation. (2). The hallmark of scientific theory is its falsifiability and refutability, the cornerstone of modern sciences. Although the majority of scientists have adopted this criterion, most evolutionary psychologists do not accept this approach. In EP, historical narrative and speculation has often been used as main methodology. Such narrative and speculation are not subject to falsifiability. While historical narrative may played important role in evolutionary biology due to its lack of direct data, it is a different issue as far as psychology is concerned. Psychology is, by and large, an experimental science. Its conceptions and hypotheses must be tested by empirical evidence. No narration and speculation are allowed in psychological science. (3). EP claims that contemporary human behaviors are governed directly by genes that reflect adaptation of an ancestral environment. However, recent evidences from biological sciences showed that although genes can control some general patterns of human behaviors and must be involved in the construction of our brains, genes cannot control our individual behavioral choices. They indeed influence our behaviors, but they are not an exclusive factor that can determine the development of our behaviors. Findings available from biology over the past several decades demonstrated that non-genetic factors and conditions such as gravity, temperature, population density and cultural experience could make powerful influences on the way organisms develop. Social and environmental factors, particularly cultural environment, exert the strongest influences on human behavior. Although evolutionary psychologists claim that they are interactionists, rather than genetic determinists, they are in fact hereditarianism, because they place more weight on genetic factors and environmental influences are considered secondary
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