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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 47 Issue 7 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    Visual Statistical Learning Based on the Visual Feature and Semantic Information of Famous Faces
    TANG Yi; ZHANG Zhijun; ZENG Meimei; HUANG Ke; LIU Wei; ZHAO Yajun
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2015, 47 (7): 837-850.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00837
    Abstract   PDF (1837KB) ( 1853 )

    The environment contains considerable information distributed across time and space, and the operation of visual statistical learning (VSL) allows our visual system to be remarkably sensitive to them. VSL can be defined as the ability of human observers to extract information about the joint and conditional probabilities of stimuli co-occurring. Previous studies have already found two distinctive types of VSL: one that based on visual feature, and the other that based on semantic information. However, people learn to obtain novel statistical regularities based on human faces in the real world, yet mere use of novel shapes or objects was found in those experiments. To our knowledge, none of the existing research has addressed VSL based on human faces. In the present study, combined use of VSL paradigm and backward test technique was thereby employed to investigate the extent to which participants’ computation of statistical regularities was based on the visual features and semantic information of famous faces. We conducted four experiments, and each included a familiarization stage and a familiarity test stage. During the familiarization stage, the participants watched a 20-min sequence of 1,248 face pictures (include 96 cover task pictures), presented one at a time for 300ms and with a 700ms (or 400ms) inter-stimulus interval (ISI). Each face was assigned a unique position within one of four triplets (e.g., A-B-C-G-H-I-D-E-F-J-K-L…). The (cover) task was to detect back-to-back repeats of the same picture (96 trials) and to indicate them as quickly as possible by hitting the space bar. Following this stage, the participants received a surprise two-interval forced-choice (2IFC) familiarity test. On each test trial, they viewed two 3-image test sequences, a familiar triplet (e.g., A-B-C) and a foil triplet (e.g., A-E-I), which were segmented from each other by an additional 1,000-ms pause. The participants were asked to indicate whether the first or second test sequence seemed more familiar based on the familiarization stage. We examined whether VSL can operate on statistical regularities of famous faces with face pictures in the test stage of Experiment 1 and with name stimuli representing each face in the test stage of Experiment 2. In experiment 3, the test stage contained both the forward triplets (e.g., A-B-C) and backward triplets (e.g., C-B-A) to examine whether temporal order information is critical to the operation of VSL based on famous faces. In Experiment 4, the ISI of face pictures in familiarization stage was reduced (from 700ms to 400ms) to investigate the time attributes of VSL based on visual features and semantic information of famous faces. In experiment 5, we manipulated face display orientation (upright vs. inverted) to investigate the specificity of face in VSL. The results of Experiment 1 and 2 showed that in the familiarity task (the measure of VSL), performance was markedly above chance levels with visual feature and name stimuli of famous faces. In Experiment 3, participants showed significant VSL only in the forward triplets test condition with both the visual feature and name stimuli of famous faces. It was noteworthy that a significant learning effect was found in experiment 4A, where the stimuli were famous face pictures. Contrary to results of experiment 4A, VSL was not observed in the name test condition (experiment 4B). In experiment 5, the performance for upright faces was significantly better than inverted faces in VSL. In summary, the present results provide clear evidence that the VSL based on visual features and semantic information of famous face is face specific. Based on the time procedure, it suggests processes of visual features and semantic information of famous face in VSL are separate, and the statistical computation of the temporal order is successively behind the face processing.

    Memory Mechanism of Feature Binding in Visual Working Memory
    XUE ChengBo; YE ChaoXiong; ZHANG Yin; LIU Qiang
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2015, 47 (7): 851-858.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00851
    Abstract   PDF (417KB) ( 2048 )

    A weak object-based theory considers visual working memory to be made up of many subsystems. Rather than competing for memory resources, this theory suggests that information about different feature dimensions is stored in independent subsystems that each has a limited capacity of memory resource.In addition to describing the storage capacity limitations of different feature dimensions, supporters of weak object-based theory also argue that the binding between features can itself be a dimension of information to be stored. There remains controversy concerning whether the storage of binding information is processed automatically and whether it needs attentional resources. Treisman et al. (2002) suggested that binding in visual memory might require attention to be focused on maintaining the links between features during the delay. Similarly feature-integration theory proposes that, when multiple objects are present, focused attention is required to correctly bind features for initial perception. In contrast, Allen et al. (2006) by adding a digit-span task, explored whether feature binding required additional resources. They found that memory for bound conditions did not require more attention than memory for single feature conditions, and suggested that binding in itself did not require attentional resources. To examine whether or not binding needs attentional resources we measured participants’ ERPs in two conditions. In the single feature condition participants were required to judge whether the color of objects had changed from the initial display. On change trials, the objects occupied the same position but one item had changed to a new color that had not appeared in the initial display.In the feature binding condition, on no-change trials, participants had to judge both whether the color and the location in the test display had changed from the initial display. For change trials, the colors of any two objects exchanged position so that the relationship between colorand location changed for two objects. We compared the amplitude differences between the two conditions in the Contralateral Delay Activity (CDA) component of ERP data, to examine whether feature binding required attention. Accuracy for each condition was greater than 75% and there wereno significant behavioral differences between the single feature condition and the binding condition.Importantly, the ERP resultsalso showedno significantdifferences inamplitude across the two conditions. There was a significant main effect of set size. There were equal amplitudes for 3 items and 4 items, but amplitudes were significantly larger for both 3 and 4 item than for 2 items. At the same time, there was no significant interaction between condition and number of items. All of the results support the hypothesis that no additional memory resources are required to store the binding between two features (color and position of an item) compared to those required to store a single feature (color). These results confirm that the binding relationship needs no attention resources. We take the result to be evidence of a relatively automatic visual feature binding mechanism in working memory.

    Location-based Inhibition of Return along Depth Plane in Three-dimensional Space
    WANG Aijun; LI Biqin; ZHANG Ming
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2015, 47 (7): 859-868.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00859
    Abstract   PDF (747KB) ( 977 )

    We live in a three-dimensional (3D) space and operate objects that lie at different depth plane in the space. It seems natural to assume that our visual system is able to direct attention to object located at different depths. Although it has been well documented that the human brain reconstructs a 3D world from two-dimensional (2D) retinal images by extracting 3D structures and depth positions of objects, it remains poorly understood how visuospatial attention is shifted in depth, especially in the later inhibitory phase (inhibition of return, IOR). In the present study, by constructing a virtual 3D environment and presenting the target either closer to or farther from the participants in an adapted version of the Posner spatial-cuing paradigm, we aimed to investigate the location-based IOR along depth plane in 3D space. The cue-target correspondence in depth of target (closer depth plane vs. farther depth plane) was crossed with the cue-target correspondence in cue validity (cued vs. uncued), forming a 2 by 2 factorial design in the two experiments. Attention was oriented and reoriented along the diagonal trajectory in experiment 1, dditionally, in order to further control for the confounding effect of attentional orienting/reorienting across hemispace, attention was oriented and reoriented along the straight trajectory in experiment 2. If the two experiments revealed different patterns of results, the hemispace, rather than the pure depth, might have caused the results. In contrast, if the patterns of results were similar in the two experiments, the result most likely be attributed to the depth. At the beginning of each trial, one of four locations in either the closer or farther depth plane was cued for 300 ms (The cue was uninformative for the coming target), and was followed by a 200 ms inter-stimulus interval. Subsequently, the spatial location of the central fixation cross was cued for 300 ms to attract attention away from the previous cued location either in the closer or farther depth plane. After another period of 150 or 250 ms, the target was presented for 250 ms at one of four locations of either the cued or the uncued location with equal probabilities. Results showed that RTs to targets at the cued location were significantly longer than RTs to targets at the uncued location in both closer, t (24) = 7.89, p < 0.001, and farther, t (24) = 5.68, p < 0.001, depth planes in experiment 1, i.e., typical IOR effect. IOR effects in closer depth plane (30 ms) were larger than in farther depth plane (15 ms). Similarly, in experiment 2, RTs to targets at the cued location were significantly longer than RTs to targets at the uncued location in both closer, t (25) = 8.27, p < 0.001, and farther, t (25) = 4.36, p < 0.001, depth planes. IOR effects in closer depth plane (27 ms) were larger than in farther depth plane (15 ms). Results of the two experiments showed similar pattern, suggesting that the location based IOR effect found in experiment 1 should be attributed to attentional orienting across depth rather than hemispace. In conclusion, attention could be oriented/reoriented effectively along depth plane in 3D space to induce location based inhibition of return, which was not “depth blindness”.

    A Preference for Word Order or Animate Actor? An ERP Study on Processing Ambiguous Verb-final Constructions in Chinese
    WANG Luming
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2015, 47 (7): 869-877.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00869
    Abstract   PDF (969KB) ( 993 )

    The present auditory event-related brain potentials (ERPs) study investigated online argument interpretation in ambiguous verb-final constructions (NP1-NP2-Verb) in Mandarin Chinese, based on two aspects: a preference for OSV order and a preference for animate Actor arguments. The former is derived from the hypothesis that the processing system tends to prefer a simpler structure, and the latter is derived from the hypothesis that an animate Actor is preferred in transitive sentences. We thus adopted a 2 × 2 experimental design (word order × animacy of the arguments) to test our hypotheses and examine the language-specific role animacy plays in processing Chinese. Participants listened to sentences with NP (animate) - NP (inanimate) - Verb or NP (inanimate) - NP (animate) - Verb sequences embedded in minimal contexts. The sentence-final verb disambiguated the stimuli towards either an SOV or an OSV order. After listening to each context-stimulus pairs, participants performed an acceptability task and a subsequent comprehension task. While their accuracy was high for all conditions in sentence comprehension, there was an interaction of OSV order and animacy in sentence acceptability. Similar observations were also obtained from the ERP results (n = 25) at the disambiguating verb, revealing a strong interaction of word order and animacy. Between 450 and 700 ms post onset, we observed an anterior negativity for the condition violating both preferences vs. the condition fulfilling both preferences, i.e. S (inanimate) - O (animate) - Verb vs. O (inanimate) - S (animate) - Verb. The other two conditions, which satisfy only one of the two preferences, did not differ from one another but engendered a smaller anterior negativity in comparison to the most preferred condition, i.e. S (animate) - O (inanimate) – Verb / O (animate) - S (inanimate) - Verb vs. O (inanimate) - S (animate) - Verb. In the time window between 700 and 850 ms, we again observed an anterior negativity for the condition violating both preferences as opposed to that fulfilling both preferences. Interestingly, however, the other two conditions showed a reversed effect in comparison to each other, i.e. an anterior negativity for OSV vs. SOV. The reversed effect suggested that animacy finally overrode the OSV preference. In other words, animacy guided the processing system to fulfill the preference for animate Actors even though that would result in a non-preferred order (SOV). Based on the topography of the effect, we argue that the negativity reflects reanalysis cost at the sentence-level rather than a pure lexical difference of the disambiguating verbs or a plausibility difference of the sentences. In sum, our data suggests that the preference for OSV order is only applied online when it is supported by animacy. When either of the two preferences is not satisfied, the processing system may not be committed to the OSV preference (450~700 ms); instead it even choose a reversed order based on animacy (700~850 ms). In contrast to languages previously examined, the present findings from Chinese are particularly interesting: animacy does not interact with the word order preference in other languages, whereas in Chinese, animacy could override the word order preference. Thus, the present data provides important evidence for the language-specific role animacy plays in processing Chinese.

    Chinese Sign Language Lexical Recognition: Two Network Systems and Interaction Effect Among Sign Language Words
    CHEN Suiqing; ZHANG Jijia; LI Yanxia; ZHANG Huixia
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2015, 47 (7): 878-889.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00878
    Abstract   PDF (519KB) ( 922 )

    Sign language, as the first and natural acquisition language for deaf, is a language form that transfer information and interact thought by gesture, face expression and posture etc. Similar to oral language and written language, sign language also has a special grammar system representing sophisticated thought, subtle emotion and other abstract information. To date, most theories of word recognition have been proposed largely based on studies of spoken language, even though few studies have examined sign language lexical recognition. The comparison of signed and written language processing is necessary for reflecting general properties of the language recognition system. Based on the “Lexical and Semantic Network System” theory, effects of four variables including familiarity, complexity, iconicity, concreteness were investigated in Chinese Sign Language lexical recognition. Familiarity and complexity belonged to variables of lexical network system, iconicity and concreteness belonged to variables of semantic network system. Therefore, this paper not only focused on specific factors in sign language word recognition, but also the interaction between these factors in the two network system. The effects of familiarity, complexity, iconicity and concreteness of the Chinese Sign Language were studied by sign lexical decision mission with 3 experiments. In experiment 1, the variable of lexical familiarity was crossed with complexity; in experiment 2, the variable of lexical familiarity was crossed with iconicity; in experiment 3, the variable of lexical familiarity was crossed with concreteness. Participants were instructed to press the button for indicating whether the probe appearing on the screen was a legitimate sign or not. The non-signs were not the real Chinese Sign Language, but resembled real signs. All signs and non-signs were recorded by a digital camcorder. Signs were edited into video movie files and each individual sign clip was normalized in duration to 2500ms. The ANOVA on the reaction time showed a main effect of sign familiarity in three experiments: signs with higher familiarity were responded faster than the ones with lower familiarity. The complexity effect was significant, suggesting that signs from a low complexity were responded faster than signs from a high complexity. The main effects of both iconicity and concreteness showed that high iconicity and concreteness were responded faster than low ones. In addition, the interaction effect between lexical familiarity and iconicity was significant. High familiarity signs with a high iconicity were responded faster than those with a low iconicity. Moreover, no differences of concreteness were observed for high familiarity signs, but a facilitate effect of concreteness was significant for low familiarity signs. The results indicated that recognition of Chinese Sign Language related to two network systems: lexical network and semantic network. In summary, in this sign lexical decision mission experiment, the conclusions were as follows: (1) Besides the effects of familiarity, complexity, iconicity and concreteness in sign language lexical cognition, the interaction effect among them was also found; (2) Sign language lexical access related to lexical and semantic network system. In general, we proposed two-direction-mapping model in discussing sign language processing, in which both form- to-meaning and meaning-to-form directions were included.

    Activations of Sensory-motor Brain Regions in Response to Different Types of Drug-associated Cues
    ZENG Hong; SU Dequan; JIANG Xing; CHEN Qi; YE Haosheng
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2015, 47 (7): 890-902.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00890
    Abstract   PDF (4689KB) ( 1047 )

    The majority of the neuroimaging literature on drug cue reactivity has focused on subcortical and prefrontal correlates of reward, learning or executive function. However, the reactivity of sensory-motor brain regions in response to drug-associated cues (observing drug using action or drug using tool cues ) has been found to be correlated with continued drug use, craving or relapse. This action-related brain region for drug cue reactivity, which includes parietal and lateral frontal cortices, is essential for drug using behavior and relapse but it has largely been neglected as a topic of research, and little is known about the sensory and motor mechanisms of addiction. The aim of the current study was to investigate the brain reactivity of heroin dependent individuals under different cues. We hypothesized that all drug-related cues would activate the brain area associated with reward function. In addition, we hypothesized that the stimuli related to drug use action and drug use tools would activate the sensory and motor brain areas, with the two brain systems interacting simultaneously in the heroin addicted brain with regards to cue-reactivity tasks. We used a within group design to run the experiment and a block design to show the stimuli for functional magnetic resonance imagining (fMRI). Heroin abstinent and heroin dependent participants (N = 29; 17 men, 12 women; average age 42 years; right handed) were recruited through written and oral advertisements at the volunteer rehabilitation centers in Sanshui, Guangdong. 3.0-T fMRI, self-report, psychological and physiological tests for anxiety, body temperature, Galvanic skin, blood pressure, and heart rate were used to measure the cue-induced brain reactivity and body reaction while participants observed different picture cues. The cues were divided into pure drug and relevant control pictures, drug use tools and relevant control pictures, drug using action and relevant control action pictures. Compared to control cues, all drug related cues, including pure drugs, drug use tools and actions, activated ACC and HYP, which are related to the reward mechanism, and the fusiform area and lingual gyrus. When three different types of drug-related cues were compared with each other, the regions involved in the simulation of action and tool use area were found to have been activated. All the participants showed greater activity in left occipital lobe, post-central gyrus, temporal lobe, middle temporal gyrus, inferior temporal gyrus, superior parietal lobule/(SPL) and inferior parietal lobule (IPL) when viewing actions and drug use tool pictures versus pure drug pictures. Drug use action stimuli activated more sensory-motion areas than pure drug and drug use tool stimuli. These results demonstrate that drug-related cues activated two neuro systems in the brain, namely reward and sensory motor systems, at the same time. The stimuli of drug use tools and drug use action activated more sensory-motor areas. The reactivity of the sensory-motor area may indicate that heroin dependent individuals spontaneously represent the action of drug use when viewing drug-related action or tool cues. The consequence may be that it is more difficult for heroin-dependent individuals to be abstinent from drug use and more likely to relapse. The study proved the reactivity of the sensory-motor area under drug-related cues and clarified the response of different brain areas to different types of drug-related cues. The findings have significance in terms of addiction pathology and suggest that drug use actions and tool cues need be considered in the treatment of drug addiction and in relapse prevention. Also, the results indicate that drug dependent individuals need to avoid these kinds of cues in day to day life in order to prevent automatic drug use behavior.

    Theoretical Construction and Empirical Research on A Preschooler-friendly Implicit Association Test
    QIAN Miao; ZHOU Lixia; LU Tiantian; WENG Mengxing; FU Genyue
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2015, 47 (7): 903-913.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00903
    Abstract   PDF (987KB) ( 1948 )

    The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is widely used in the research examining adults’ biases. The IAT measures differential association of two target concepts with an attribute, typically as a means to examine the extent to which social categories have positive or negative associations. One limitation of this method is that it has high executive function demands and is consequently not appropriate for use with young children. In the present research we address this limitation by developing a version of the task that can be used during the preschool years, which we refer to as the Preschooler-friendly IAT (PSF-IAT). In Study 1, we validated the effectiveness of the PSF-IAT in a non-social domain, by using it to detect presumed near-universal evaluative association involving the contrasts of flowers versus insects. In Study 2, we validated the effectiveness of the PSF-IAT in a social domain, by using it to document yound Chinese children’s racial bias against Africans, and show that the assessment of this bias was correlated with another implicit assessment.

    The Influence of Parent-child Relationship and Teacher-child Relational #br# Climate on Rural Migrant Children’s Early Behavior Problems
    LI Yanfang; LIU Lijun; LV Ying; LUO Fang; WANG Yun
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2015, 47 (7): 914-927.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00914
    Abstract   PDF (572KB) ( 2870 )

    In recent years, there has been a remarkable increase in rural migrant children with 0 to 5 years of age, which accounts for one third of all Chinese rural migrant children from 0 to 17 years of age. Previous studies regarding rural migrant primary/ secondary students consistently found that rural migrant children showed more frequent behavior problems, which were closely related to their relationships with parents and teachers. However, no empirical study to date has addressed the influence of adult-child interpersonal relationships on young rural migrant children’s social behavior. To address this issue, the present study focused on a group of rural migrant children in kindergartens and examined the links between the parent-child relationship, the teacher-child relational climate (which was obtained by averaging teacher-reported ratings of teacher-child closeness and teacher-child conflict for all sampled children in each classroom), and the young rural migrant child’s problem behaviors. In addition, the interaction between parent-child relationship and teacher-child relational climate was investigated. The data were obtained from the Preschool Education Quality Evaluation Project that was conducted in one district in Beijing. Among 97 kindergartens in this project, the ones with at least 5 rural migrant children were selected, resulting in 40 kindergartens including 336 classes which were used to construct the classroom-level data. In each class, 40% of children were randomly selected. In total, 2894 urban children [Beijing urban household registration; M (SD)month age = 53.42 (9.70), range = 30~79 months old] and 536 rural migrant children [rural household registration outside of Beijing; M (SD)month age = 53.46 (9.80), range= 31~74 months old] constituted the participants in the present study. Children’s primary caregivers reported mother and father’s educational levels, family monthly income, child’s age and gender, and parent-child relationships. One experienced teacher of each class individually rated teacher-child relationships and children’s behavior problems. We used Hierarchical Linear Model (HLM) to construct two-level models including individual level and classroom level to investigate how the parent-child relationship and teacher-child relational climate independently and interactively influenced early internalizing and externalizing behavior problems of urban preschoolers and rural migrant preschoolers. The results were as follows: (1) Both parent-child conflict and teacher-child conflictual climate were significant risk factors for both urban and rural migrant children’s behavior problems. (2) Teacher-child close and conflictual climate had greater influences on urban children’s (as compared to rural migrant children’s) internalizing problems. (3) For rural migrant children who had frequent conflict with their parents at home (dual-risk children), teacher-child conflictual climate had a less detrimental influence on their externalizing behavior problems. (4) Greater parent-child closeness compensated for internalizing behavior problems of rural migrant children who experienced higher levels of teacher-child conflictual climate. The present study expands the research about Chinese rural migrant children into the early childhood period and enriches the international literature about interpersonal relationships and underprivileged children’s development. Findings underscore the importance for parents and teachers to develop emotionally closer and less conflictual relationships with children. For urban children, teachers are advised to construct positive relationships with them to support their behavior development. Parents of rural migrant children would be wise to cultivate close relationships with their children to protect them from developing behavior problems. In addition, guiding parents to establish close relations with rural migrant children should be emphasized in the family-kindergarten cooperation.

    Retrieval Practice Produces More Learning in Multiple-list Tests with Higher-Order Skills
    ZHOU Aibao; YANG Tiancheng; CHENG Chen; MA Xiaofeng; ZHAO Jing
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2015, 47 (7): 928-938.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00928
    Abstract   PDF (580KB) ( 1360 )

    Learning is usually thought to occur during episodes of studying, while the retrieval of information on testing simply serves to assess what was learned. Test-enhanced learning, or the use of tests and quizzes to engage retrieval processes, has been widely demonstrated as an effective strategy for facilitating fact learning. Retrieval practice can not only promote single content learning but also be beneficial for multiple-context. However, the impact of testing effects on sequential item learning remains unclear. According to Bloom’s taxonomy of knowledge and skills in education, which Anderson revised, training of higher-order skills has been increasingly valued. To this end, current research has established the generality of test-enhanced learning as well as pointed to conditions under higher-order skills are manifested. We examined whether retrieval practice facilitates higher-order learning in multiple-article test format. Across two experiments, participants engaged in either retrieval practice or restudied with basic concept questions and higher-order questions. In Experiment 1, 60 college students studied three passages in the initial learning conditions and then answered concept and higher-order multiple-choice questions. After five minutes, participants were administered both concept and higher-order tests that were intended to examine the type of skill differences. In Experiment 2, 60 college students studied five passages in the initial learning conditions and then answered higher-order short-answer questions. After five minutes, participants were administered higher-order tests. In both experiments, higher-order skills were considered to comprise the ability to understand, apply, analyze, evaluate, and create categories of a revised Bloom’s taxonomy of knowledge and skills in education. Experiment 1 indicated a significant main effect for learning strategies. Results also revealed that for each taxonomy level, the retrieval practice group’s performance and reaction time were better than those of the restudying group. An in-depth analysis showed that retrieval practice greatly contributed to concept question performance. Experiment 2 replicated the results of Experiment 1 with five articles for reading and more appropriate short-answer questions. Thus, Experiment 2 extends the findings of Experiment 1. Results reflected differences in the final test between the groups, especially for the apply and analyze dimensions. Nonetheless, we found no significant difference in the evaluate and create categories. Results suggested that retrieval practice is an effective method for learning, not by merely embodying the memory of single content but also broadening multiple contexts and promoting the development of higher-order skills. To some degree, it effectively reduced the memory load in learning. The current study explored the relationship between retrieval practice and multiple-list learning. Results of the analyses of internal mechanisms support the episodic context account. The episodic context account explains the finding that retrieval practice is more likely to be beneficial for more difficult retrieval tasks. In addition, combining the context-change hypothesis and proactive interference theory suggests the superiority of testing effects in multiple-list learning. The development of higher-order skills is a desired outcome of education. Practice testing is one of the most well-established strategies for improving student learning.

    Multiple Metaphorical Representations of Power: Evidence from Size and Color
    YANG Huilan; HE Xiayou; ZHAO Xueru; ZHANG Wei
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2015, 47 (7): 939-949.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00939
    Abstract   PDF (376KB) ( 2793 )

    How human beings represent abstractions is an important issue in cognitive psychology. The embodied cognition model proposes that cognition is based on body; individuals’ abstract concepts can be associated with sensorimotor processes. Two origins for embodied cognition theory have been posited: Perceptual Symbol Theory (PPS) and Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT). Perceptual Symbol Systems assumes that sensory-motor experiences are involved in the process of mental representation of concepts. Conceptual Metaphor Theory describes embodied effects wherein sensation influences conceptual processing. In this framework, the essence of metaphor is that people use familiar and specific experiences to construct new abstract concepts, and our research is based on this theory. Many previous studies found that the abstract concept of “power” is embodied within space, weight or size, but few studies have examined multiple metaphors of power. The present study is comprised of four experiments with undergraduates to test whether the mental representation of power is associated with size and color. Experiment 1a used the Stroop task and Experiment 1b used the Implicit Association Test (IAT) paradigm to explore whether power is mentally represented by size in Chinese culture. Different font sizes (large/small) were employed in experiment 1a to present a power-related word (powerful/powerless), and participants were asked to decide whether the stimulus was powerful or powerless. By assessing automatic associations of power with big or small squares, we designed an IAT paradigm in Experiment 1b to explore the implicit effect of the “power-size” bias. Experiment 2a used the Stroop Task and Experiment 2b used the Implicit Association Test (IAT) paradigm to explore whether power is mentally represented with color in Chinese culture. Experiment 2a used different colors (gold/grey) to present the power-related word (powerful/powerless) and participants were asked to decide whether the stimulus was powerful or powerless, whereas in Experiment 2b the IAT paradigm was used to test the implicit effect of “power-color” bias by assessing automatic associations of power with gold or grey squares. Mixed-factorial ANOVAs were used to analyze the data. The results of Experiment 1a showed a significant Stroop effect. When powerful words were presented in large font and powerless words presented in small font, reaction time was significantly reduced. Experiment 1b indicated that the mean reaction time was significantly shorter in the compatible test than in the incompatible test, with participants tending to associate powerful words with the large square and powerless words with the small square. Experiment 2a also showed a significant Stroop effect. When powerful words were presented in gold and powerless words presented in grey color, reaction time was significantly reduced. In Experiment 2b, the results indicated that the mean reaction time was significantly shorter in the compatible test than in the incompatible test, in which participants tended to associate powerful words with the gold square and powerless words with the grey square. In sum, the results suggest that the mental representation of power is associated with size and color cues in Chinese culture. Chinese participants tend to associate powerful words with the large font and gold color, and associate powerless words with the small font and grey color. Objective differences, language, and culture create ecology in which power and size or color is correlated. Based on this, we argue that Chinese developed a strong mental association between size and color cues with power.

    Application of Rough Set Theory in Item Cognitive Attribute Identification
    TANG Xiaojuan; DING Shuliang; YU Zonghuo
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2015, 47 (7): 950-962.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00950
    Abstract   PDF (2895KB) ( 907 )

    Item Cognitive Attribute Identification (ICAI) is the basis of Cognitive Diagnosis (CD), which is designed to measure specific knowledge structures and processing skills in students. According to the published documents, there are two methods used in ICAI.The one is to indentify item attributes by some experts of relative domains. When there are many items, it will be a huge burgen for experts to identify their attributes in the items. Especially, for some items, it’s difficult for experts to get a unified opinion about items’ attributes. As an assistant to this one, the other method is to identify items’ attributes by CD-CAT (Cognitive Diagnostic Computerized Adaptive Testing). Using CD-CAT in ICAI is an obvious breakthrough, for that it is not necessary totally depentant on manual labour. But using CD-CAT in ICAI has some heavy limitation. For example, if the items’parameters such as difficulty, are unknown, big samples of subjects and items are necessary for CD-CAT to identify item attributes. The second limit of CD-CAT is that it is based on item pool, and the development of item pool is very expensive that the cost of one item is about $1000. Cognitive diagnosis is designed to provide information about students’ cognitive strengths and weaknesses and to assist the teaching. So, the best place to use it is in classrooms. But cognitive diagnosis is just used in lager–scale examinations now for two reasons: First, most cognitive diagnosis models are based on probability models which need a large sample in estimating item parameters, and the using of these cognitive diagnosis models are also based on a large sample of subjects even the items’ parameters have been estimated. Secondary, even though the method of CD-CAT can be used in a small–scale examination once the item parameters are known, CAT has been prohibited in many kinds of examinations for other reasons. So, it is very necessary to find a new method to indentify item attributes when item parameters are unknown, examinees are less and feedbacks are timely. In the current studies, we apply a new method – Rough Set Theory (RST) to ICAI. RST can solve the uncertainty in CD caused by the size of knowledge granularity. It doesn’t require any priori knowledge. Through the knowledge reduction, RST induces decision or classification rules, and then classifies the object. At first, we verificate the application of RST in ICAI. Then, in Study One, we explore how the match ratio of subjects' knowledge states and the slippage in subjects' responses to items impact the match ratio of item attributes. The number of item attributes is a variable which impacts the accuracy of CD, so, we also examine how the number of cognitive contributes impact the match ratio of item attributes. The results show that: (1) In the absence of item parameters, the rough set theory of ICAI has fast diagnostic speed and good results even though the sample size is small. So RST can be applied to classroom assessment. (2) The lower examinee’s PMR, the lower PMR of item attribute identification is. And the higher slippage in examinee’s response, the lower item attribute identification’s PMR is. (3) The more the number of item attributes, the lower item attribute identification’s PMR is. (4) Both results are estimated by rough set software, and regardless of sample size and item number, the estimated speed is very fast (about 10 seconds). It shows the advantage of RST in ICAI.

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