An increasing interest in spoken word recognition has focused on studies of tonal language recently since previous cognitive and neuroanatomical models of speech perception were proposed based on studies of non-tone language. To examine the language general of these models, some studies have attempted to investigate the difference between the processing of segmental and suprasegmental information in tonal language. Consequently, Chinese tone becomes topical and receives an increasing attention. However, previous studies have examined the processing of tone in semantic access in spoken words, speech development, as well as word reading. The role of tone and its combined impact with segmental information (initial consonant and vowel) in Chinese syllable perception are not well understood yet. The current study conducted two behavioral experiments to test the influence of tone in Chinese syllable perception. To compare the role of tone and segmental information, Experiment 1 used an oddball paradigm by presenting a stream of standard syllables interrupted by deviant syllables. Deviants were created from standard syllable (“da1”)by changing the initial Consonant (C change, “ga1”), Vowel (V change, “du1”) and Tone (T change, “da4”). The rate of standard and deviant syllables was 8:1 and the interval between each pair of deviant syllables included, at least, five standard syllables. Experiment 2 used the same paradigm to test the combined effect of tone and segmental information. Five types of deviant syllables were created by changing the vowel (V, “du1”), consonant plus vowel (C+V, “gu1”), tone plus consonant (T+C, “ga4”), tone plus vowel (T+V, “du4”), and tone plus consonant plus vowel (T+C+V, “gu4”). Twenty-eight university students took part in Experiment 1 and another 31 students participated in Experiment 2. In both experiments, participants listened to the auditory stimuli in the earphone with their eyes fixing at the cross on the screen. They were instructed to response correctly and quickly by pressing a button when they detected a deviant syllable from the stream of the standard syllables. Stimulus presentation and response latency collection were controlled using E-prime 1.1 software. Experiment 1 observed a significant difference in the reaction time among three types of deviant syllables. Detecting vowel change was faster than detecting initial consonant and tone changes, whereas there was no difference between the latter two conditions. Experiment 2 observed an increasing impact on syllable perception for combined information. For the deviant syllables, detecting the changes in tone plus segmental information (T+C, T+V, and T+C+V) was faster than vowel change alone. Even for tone plus consonant (T+C), two slower changes in Experiment 1, the detecting time was faster than vowel change alone. However, no further difference was observed among combined conditions. These results showed that tone involved in Chinese syllable perception. The influence of tone alone was weaker than vowel and stronger than the consonant, but its combined effect with segmental information was dramatic. The findings indicate an integrating effect between segmental and suprasegmental information in Chinese syllable perception. It suggests a future approach to investigate the integrating processing using cognitive neuroscience techniques.
We propose that one of the significant characteristics of the virtual reality (VR) might be the so-called “uncontinuity.” That is, VR users can go from one region of the virtual space directly to another region simply by switching the virtual scenes, regardless of whether there is a physical connection between these two regions or not. However, it remains unclear how well people are able to adapt to the uncontinuous visual space and stay oriented. Here we report a study designed to investigate whether the participants are able to perform a reorientation task in the uncontinuous virtual space. Considering the effect of immersion and the influence of the geometric information available in the virtual environment, we also examined how the participants’ reorientation performance might be influenced by the type of the VR and/or the shape of the virtual rooms. We used a 2 (Type of VR: Head-Mounted-Display or desktop VR) × 2 (Shape of Room: square or rectangle) between-participants design and conducted two experiments. There were three different experimental stages on each trial, including the exploration, disorientation, and reorientation stages. During the exploration stage, the participants virtually went through 2 to 4 disconnected rooms, while each room was named after a fruit. In each room, there was a box in each corner, and one box (target) was different from the other three boxes. The participants were asked to remember the location of the target before they left for the next room. This procedure was repeated until the participants arrived at the last room in which a fruit cue appeared. The participants were instructed to press a button upon seeing the fruit cue. Then they were suddenly placed in the room which was named after this fruit again, and therefore were disoriented. During the reorientation stage, the participants were asked to regain orientation and then to indicate at which corner the target was located in this room. Their choices of corners and reaction times were recorded and analyzed. The results revealed that the participants were able to perform the reorientation task in the uncontinuous virtual space, but their performance was not significantly correlated with their self-reported sense of direction. Surprisingly, they also showed better performance with the desktop VE than with the Head-Mounted-Display VE, though the shape of the room did not seem to matter. Taken together, the findings of the present study suggest that humans are able to perform the reorientation task in the uncontinuous virtual space, implying that humans can adapt to the uncontinuous virtual space and stay oriented in it. These findings shed light on a bright future of the implications of the Virtual Reality.
Body image consists of a system of perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs pertaining to one’s own. The appearance of one’s own body “from the outside”, is thought to be an important component of body image, therefore many studies focus on the visual perceptual component of body image. The controversies concerning body image are not only between nature and nurture, but also about its stability. On the one hand, body image seems to play an important role whenever we need to recognize ourselves, it is easy for us to take it as a stable representation of our body. On the other hand, the studies of amputees who experience phantom limbs suggested a sense that one’s body image is itself a “phantom”, so it is also reasonable to think body image as something that is at least plastic. The rubber hand illusion (RHI) paradigm seems to be one of the appropriate ways to investigate this controversy about body image, since it could induce the experience of an artificial body part as becoming a real body part among normal people. This illusion was first reported by Botvinick and Cohen who placed a rubber hand in front of participants whose corresponding real hand was hidden from sight. When the real hand and the visible rubber hand were stroked in a synchronous fashion, participants reported to experience the rubber hand as being a part of their body. Studies concerning the factors affect the induction or reduction of RHI suggested that the RHI depends not only on synchronous stimulations, but also on the match between the rubber hand and pre-existing body images. However, till now, no studies have combined top-down and bottom-up to seek the answer for the plasticity of body image. In the present study, we adopted distance reference as a new factor to investigate the plasticity of body image. Our study included two experiments both of which were performed in a virtual environment. In the first experiment, we simulated the traditional rubber hand illusion to determine the influences of synchronicity and location on bodily sense of ownership in our setups. It was a 2-factorial between-participants design. The two factors were synchronicity (synchronous vs. asynchronous) and distance (near vs. far). In the second experiment, we introduced distance reference frame to investigate how participants felt differently about the virtual hand in the same location, while there were different distance reference frames. There were two between-participants factors: synchronicity (synchronous vs. asynchronous) and distance reference frame (near-middle vs. far-middle). The near-middle reference frame was: participants experienced the middle position condition right after the near position condition; while the far-middle reference frame was: participants experienced the middle position condition right after the far position condition. The following results and conclusions were found by our study: (1) under normal situations, synchronicity and distance played an important role on our perception of ownership. People perceived more ownership whenever there were synchronous visuo-tactile stimulations than asynchronous ones, and also, more ownership when the virtual hand was right in front of them than in an anatomical impossible position. (2) Distance reference frame influenced peoples’ perception on their own body, the size of the ownership illusion varied as a function of relative, rather than absolute location of the virtual hand. Our result suggests a considerable degree plasticity of body image underlying our body ownership.
Aggressive individuals show abnormality in recognizing angry expressions. Limited research has specifically examined the nature of the dysfunction in expression categorization in normal individuals with high-level aggression. The current study aimed to examine which hypothesis, the response bias or the perceptual sensitivity, could account for the abnormality in identifying angry faces in normal individuals with high-level aggression. By using the Chinese version of Buss- Perry Aggression Questionnaire (AQ-CV), 29 high-level aggressive individuals and 25 low-level aggressive individuals were chosen as participants from 846 undergraduates. Using FaceGen Modeller software, the prototype photographs of anger and fear were morphed to create a linear continuum of 11 facial images with 10% increment between each intermediate image. By employing a categorical perception paradigm, participants were told to complete a discrimination task and then an identification task. In the identification task, the shift points, indicating the emotional intensity where the participants' identification was 50%, and the response slopes, indicating how rapidly the changes have happened at the shift points in the anger to fear continuum, were measured. In the discrimination task, participants had to decide whether the second face of the pair was exactly the same as the first one and only accuracy was analyzed. We compared the differences of shift point and response slope on identifying morphed expressions and the accuracy on discriminating anger to fear images between individuals with high- and low-level aggression. In the identification task, the shift point and slope of the anger to fear continuum were analyzed with Independent-Sample T Test, which revealed a significant difference between the two groups on response slope, but not shift point. The slope of individuals with high-level aggression was significantly higher than that of the individuals with low-level aggression. By repeated measure ANOVA, it showed that comparing with low level aggressive individuals, the response time of high-level aggressive individuals was significantly faster when they identified the expression closest to anger prototype. In the discrimination task, we discovered that the peak points of discriminating accuracy in the two groups were differed, though insignificantly, with high-level aggressive individuals displaying a bias for perceptual categories of anger relative to low-level aggressive individuals. Further analysis on sub-dimension of AQ-CV indicated that individuals with high-level physical aggression, verbal aggression or hostility showed significantly more sensitivity to angry expression when compared with corresponding low-level aggressive individuals. In conclusion, the findings of the present study suggest that, compared with individuals with low-level aggression, individuals with high-level aggression (1) are more perceptually sensitive to the change of facial anger and fear, which supports the sensitivity perspective; (2) tend to exhibit a bias to perceive ambiguous expressions as angry, but this tendency was not statistically significant, which did not support the hostility attribution bias perspective.
Gender differences emerge when entering into adolescence. Girls’ depressive symptoms follow an inverted U-shaped trajectory while boys’ either slightly increase or remain stable from adolescence to adulthood. Moreover, previous studies have shown heterogeneity of developmental trajectories in depressive symptoms in Western youths. However, whether this pattern can be generalized to Chinese youth needs to be studied further based on the finding that the prevalence and risk factors associated with depressive symptoms are culture-dependent. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to examine the trajectories of adolescent depressive symptoms for boys and girls, respectively; to examine the subgroups of trajectories of adolescent depressive symptoms and to explore the risk factors. Data for the present study were collected from a longitudinal study named Chinese Adolescent Mental Health Research Program. Permission to conduct the research was obtained from school administrators and the survey took place in classrooms at wave 1. In order to enlarge the sample of the longitudinal study, data were collected from both school-based study and home-based study at wave 2 and wave 3. Adolescents reported their depressive symptoms, puberty status, interpersonal relationships, and the academic pressure. Parents reported their educational levels and household income to indicate their social economic status. Cohort sequential design was used to examine the trajectories of boys’ and girls’ depressive symptoms, respectively; latent class analysis was used to examine the subgroups; risk factors were regressed in the logistic regression. The present study focused on adolescents who were born from 1992 to 1998, and the average ages at wave 1 for boys and girls were 12.99 ± 1.84 and 12.96 ± 1.87 years old, respectively. About 48% of the participants were boys, and 68% were the only-child. Just as expected, Chinese adolescents followed different patterns of depressive symptoms from U.S. youths. Specifically, girls followed an inverted U-shaped trajectory with larger age range than U.S. girls, while boys’ depressive symptoms increased linearly with time. Latent class analysis identified two subgroups in boys, with 15% boys in consistently high group and 85% boys in the increasing group. Boys who were in the consistently high group suffered greater interpersonal pressure than those who were in the increasing group. Girls were identified with four different patterns: low-increasing depressive symptoms (64%), moderate depressive symptoms (21%), sharp-increasing depressive symptoms (10%) and high-decreasing depressive symptoms (5%). Interpersonal relationship and academic pressure associated with the heterogeneity. In particular, interpersonal relationships contributed more to the initial level of depressive symptoms, while academic pressure contributed to the slope of depressive symptoms. The study made important contributions to the knowledge on the development of adolescents’ depressive symptoms in China. It was the first study to examine the trajectories of adolescents’ depressive symptoms from early to late adolescence, and the specific characteristics of adolescents’ depressive symptoms in China gave us an opportunity to examine the mechanism and the factors. The strengths of this study should be considered along with its limitations, and researches are encouraged to examine the generalization of the study.
It has been documented that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and posttraumatic growth (PTG) are common and representative posttraumatic reactions. The former can be considered as pathological results after trauma, involving intrusive symptoms, avoidance symptoms, and hyper-arousal symptoms. The latter is reckoned as positive changes following trauma including perceived changes in self, changed sense of relationships with others, and changed philosophy of life. More importantly, PTSD and PTG may co-exist among traumatic survivors. Therefore, some researchers suggested that it is necessary to examine their shared factors, and to compare their determining factors. The aim of this study was to examine and compare the roles of possible factors or processes on the development of PTSD and PTG. A number of studies found that cognitive activities might be important factors for the development of PTSD and PTG, but these studies ignored the effect of emotional activities on PTSD and PTG. Based on the process model of emotion regulation, we found that the emotional activities had a significant effect on PTSD and PTG. However, this theory suggests that there are different emotional regulation modes such as cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression. Previous studies have achieved a consistent conclusion that cognitive reappraisal has a positive role in improving PTG and relieving PTSD, whereas previous studies placed inconsistent views on the role of expressive suppression. Why did studies on the relation between expressive suppression and PTSD/PTG have a mixed conclusion? To make this question clear, we reviewed much relevant literature and proposed that there might be a moderating factor in the relation between expressive suppression and PTSD/PTG. Wherein, social support may play the potential moderating effect. When people perceive high level of social support, their expressive suppression may also result in positive outcomes under stressful surrounding. To examine the relations among emotion regulation, social support, and PTSD/PTG, 315 adolescents were surveyed by using the trauma exposure inventory, the emotion regulation questionnaire, the social support question questionnaire, the posttraumatic growth inventory, and the child PTSD symptom scale. The results found that there were no significant associations between traumatic exposure and cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression, but traumatic exposure had positive and significant effects on both PTSD and PTG. Additionally, after controlling for the traumatic exposures, cognitive reappraisal had a positive effect on PTSD, and a negative effect on PTG; expressive suppression only had a significant and positive effect on PTSD, but not PTG. Moreover, social support had a moderating role in the relations between expressive suppression and PTSD/PTG. Specifically, while under a high level of social support, expressive suppression had a positive and significant effect on PTG, but not PTSD; under a low level of social support, expressive suppression had a positive and significant effect on PTSD, but not PTG.
Narcissism was found to be associated with low empathy, insensitive to the need of others and having a tendency to use others for ones’ own gains. That is, narcissists may lay more emphasis on selfish values than prosocial ones. Thus, they may not help with social activities voluntarily unless they are beneficial to enhance their self-worth or self-image. On the other hand, studies have found that help is more likely to occur when one behaves in front of audiences in nonemergency situations. This is because prosocial behaviors can be used for self-enhancement such as gaining good reputation or promoting a positive self-image. Narcissists are good at using interpersonal relationships for self-regulation. They are excessively dependent on others to gain a sense of identity and are motivated to seek continuous external self-affirmation to build or maintain desired selves. From this point of view, narcissists may very likely do prosocial behaviors for seeking continuous external self-affirmation to build or maintain desired selves. In this research, two studies were conducted to explore the relationship between narcissism and prosocial tendencies and actual prosocial behaviors on two different situations---whether there are people watching or not. Study 1 aimed at exploring Chinese narcissistic individuals’ self-reported public and anonymous prosocial tendencies. Public prosocial tendency refers to a tendency to perform prosocial behaviors in front of others while anonymous prosocial tendency refers to a tendency to help without consciousness of being noticed or acknowledged. Participants completed Narcissistic Personality Inventory and Revised Prosocial Tendencies Measure. It revealed that narcissism was positively associated with self reported public but not anonymous prosocial tendency among male participants. Study 2 aimed at exploring whether the prosocial behaviors of narcissists were truly influenced by the publicity of the situations in the real world. Participants were randomly assigned to two conditions according to whether group members know the others’ donation or not. The results showed that male narcissists donated more money to a charity than non-narcissists in a public situation when their contributions were watched by others. However, their prosocial behaviors were not different in a private situation when individuals’ contributions were kept secret. The findings of our studies imply that narcissism may use prosocial behaviors in the service of self-regulation. It increases the knowledge of narcissists’ self regulatory strategies that, besides many maladaptive behaviors, prosocial behaviors can also be used to enhance narcissists’ self-view.
Both interpersonal trust and attachment are important aspects of human interpersonal relationship. Interpersonal trust is not only one of the most essential quality of intimate relationship, but also a necessary condition for development of commitment and a sense of security. And it includes a variety of people's positive expectations for their partner’s availability, response and caring, all of which are core components of attachment. Attachment is the most important emotional intimacy band through the whole life of an individual, the security base effect of safety attachment affects all aspects of interpersonal and social adaptation of the individuals. The securely attached persons hold positive attitudes toward the availability, sensitivity and reactivity of their partner's responses when they in need, so they will experience higher levels of trust. Previous studies only focused on the relationship between dispositional attachment and interpersonal trust, while recently years, researchers have transformed their focus from dispositional attachment to situational attachment and its positive effect on interpersonal trust. Therefore, present research aimed to examine the impact of attachment security priming on interpersonal trust, and to further extend the Broaden and Build Cycle of attachment security, so as to explore the effective ways to improve individual interpersonal trust. This research adopted two studies to examine the impact of attachment security on interpersonal trust. A 3 (priming groups: attachment security, positive mood, control group) × 3 (target type: trust-related word, trust-unrelated word, non-word) mixed experimental design was conducted in Study 1. After completing the Experiences in Close Relationships scales (ECR) and Interpersonal Trust Scales (ITS), 100 college students were randomly assigned into three priming groups, respectively for attachment security, positive mood and control group. Then all of them finished lexical decision tasks, the target word respectively was trust-related word, trust-unrelated word, and non-word. Study 2 adopted the trust game paradigm to explore the interpersonal trust behavior. 65 college students completed the ECR and ITS one week ago. And then they were randomly assigned into two priming groups, respectively for attachment security and control group. Finally, all the participants finished the trust game task. The results of Study 1 showed that the attachment security priming group’s reaction time of trust-related word was significantly lower than positive mood priming group and control group, and there was non-significant difference between positive mood priming group and control group. The results also found the moderating effect of attachment anxiety. Study 2 indicated that, the participants of attachment security priming group showed more trust behavior than control group, and attachment anxiety moderated the attachment security and trust. These results revealed that attachment security priming could effectively improve the interpersonal trust, and the effect was independent of positive mood priming. The dispositional attachment also served as the moderating role between attachment security priming and interpersonal trust. All of these results confirmed the positive effects of Broaden and Build Cycle of attachment security.
The self-reference effect is the enhanced speed and quality of processing and memorization observed with respect to information that is related to the individual’s self-concept. According to the preceding research, self-reference effect have the different with degree, and different degree of intimacy with the core self. Then, the brain on the depth of its reference treatment is different, also. Highly self-relevant stimulus will get faster response compared with minimally self stimulate in the brain. This is called the degree of self-reference processing effect. On the basis of summarizing the preceding research, this study uses the event related potential technology, through ERPs experiments investigation the degree of extroversion individuals of self-reference processing effect and neural mechanisms. Experiment adopted three kinds of classic oddball models, using an implicit way to investigate the extroversion individual self-reference processing degree effect. Used three-character non-name lexical phrases served as the standard stimulus, and a three-character non-lexical phrase served as target stimuli. Six categories of stimuli were used in a three-stimulus oddball paradigm. Three sets of self-relevant stimuli, the non-self- relevant stimulus, and two filler stimuli, served as distracters. The name of the participant was used as the highly self-relevant stimulus, the name of participant’s father as the moderately self-relevant stimulus, the name of China’s leaders the minimally self-relevant stimulus, and the name of the president of the United States, served as the non-self-relevant stimulus. All names are three Chinese characters long. Familiarity was equivalent across all sets of stimulus names. All name stimuli were made into images on a PC using Microsoft Office Picture Manager. Image size, word length, and complexity were matched across the name conditions. Experiment found that on the P2 amplitude, highly self-related stimuli induced greater P2 amplitude than other stimulation. On the latent period of P2, the electrode in the front, central, and parietal position, highly self-related to stimulate induced the short latent period than other stimulation. In N2 amplitude, highly self-related name induced larger N2 amplitude than other stimulus; comparing extroversive subjects, control group subjects of highly self-relevant names induced larger amplitude of N2 than other stimulation. On the latent period of N2, highly self-relevant stimuli in the whole brain induced the short latent period of N2, it is better than other stimulation, and the parietal position of the electrode is the shortest possible; Highly self-relevant name of two types of personality subjects induced shorter latent period of N2 than other stimulation, but control group subjects is the shortest. On average amplitude of P3, highly self-relevant stimuli in whole brain induced the P3 amplitude is bigger than other stimulation. The effect of midline brain regions is largest. Comparing extroversive subjects, control group subjects of highly self-relevant names induced larger amplitude of P3 than other stimulation. Research results show that self-reference processing with the degree of effect is actually existence, highly self-relevant stimuli will get deeper and exquisite processing than moderately and minimally self-relevant stimuli. Comparison control group individuals, introversion subject was weaker in the degree of self-reference processing effect. And in early stage, highly self-relevant stimuli of control group individuals will be faster being noticed than minimally self-related stimuli by the brain. In the late stage of cognitive, highly self-relevant stimuli will get deeper and elaborating processing.
Making a decision as a group of individuals is at the core of any society. Group decision making (GDM) is thus a topic across many research fields. In particular, two questions are crucial to evaluate group decisions: (1) Whether the group performance is better or worse than that of the individuals, and (2) how the individuals’ decisions lead to the group decision. Previous studies have found controversial answers for the first question, indicating that group performance actually depends on the situation. Therefore, to better understand GDM, researchers have looked for the key factors that influence the formation of a group decision. Recently, confidence has been shown to play a pivotal role in this process. Bahrami et al. (2010) proposed a “weighted confidence sharing” (WCS) model to describe the information integration process in GDM. Koriat (2012) investigated the situation when “the more confident member dominates” (MCD) the decision of groups with two members. While explaining the performance of GDM, these studies ignored the dynamic information communication process. How the dynamical interaction between members of the group affects GDM is thus unclear. To explore this question, we designed and carried out a dyadic motion direction discrimination task with a varying communication process. In our three experiments, participants first decide individually in what direction random dots is moving and also report their confidence in a scale from 1 to 6 after making the decision. To study the dynamical process of reaching a consensual decision, we designed the experiments as follows. If the decisions of the two participants in a group are consensual, feedback information on the screen will tell them whether their answers are right or wrong; otherwise, they need to repeat the decision after seeing the identical stimulus again and incorporating information about the behavior of the other participant. In Experiment 1 and 2, each participant is informed about the other’s choice, while in Experiment 3 the other’s confidence is additionally reported. This process is repeated round-by-round until they reach a consensus. The task’s difficulty can be adjusted by varying the coherence level of the dot pattern (the fraction of dots moving towards the same direction) and by varying the number of choice alternatives (two directions for Experiment 1, and four directions for Experiment 2 and 3). By fitting the experimental data using a cumulative Gaussian function, we compared the psychometric sensitivities between individuals, dyad and the WCS and MCD models. Furthermore, we built a model based on Markov process to consider the dynamic change of choice probability due to interaction. We found that in all three experiments, the accuracy of the first-round choice, which was done individually without influence of the other, strongly positively correlates with confidence (Pearson's correlation coefficients approaching 0.99). However, in the following rounds, where the individual decision could be influenced by the other’s choices, the correlation of the accuracy with confidence decreases. This decrease is particularly evident in Experiment 3, where participants can gauge the confidence of each other. We further compared in Experiment 2 and 3 the relationship between the probability of changing one’s choice in the next round and the difference of the individual confidences in the current round. Our results show that the probability of changing the choice positively correlates with confidence difference, and the trend is more prominent for Experiment 3, where the participants can see each other’s confidence. This finding implies that confidence does affect each other’s choice during GDM. Further, the psychometric sensitivities hold the relationship for all three experiments, implicating that neither the WCS nor the MCD model can describe the experimental data integrally. Moreover, SMCD is slightly smaller than SB in Experiment 1 and 2, which is reversed in Experiment 3, indicating confidence’s effect on GDM again. In conclusion, our results show that (1) the decision accuracy is positively correlated with individuals’ confidence; (2) the communication of confidence of the other can influence the tendency to change one’s decision, leading to higher probability to follow the other’s choice given that she/he is more confident; (3) the dyad performance is better than both individuals’ performance and both models’ predictions, indicating that the more confident member does not dominate the group decision and Bayesian integration of shared confidence cannot account for the whole group performance; (4) a Markov model considering the change of choice probability due to dynamic interactions described the experimental data well. However, to better understand the dynamics of GDM, we need to refine the experimental design to extend the interaction rounds in the future.
Both online pictorial and verbal reviews play important roles in consumers’ purchasing decisions. Based on construal level theory (CLT), we studied the effects of pictorial reviews and verbal reviews on consumers’ decision. Words are abstract representations of objects, so verbal reviews are characterized as high construal level; while pictures are concrete representations of objects, pictorial reviews are examples of low construal level. Furthermore, according to CLT, products are represented at a higher construal level by consumers whose purchase feasibility is low, while products are represented at a lower construal level by consumers whose purchase feasibility is high. Thus we hypothesized that consumers whose purchase feasibility is low would be more influenced by verbal reviews, whereas consumers whose purchase feasibility is high would be more influenced by pictorial reviews. In addition, this effect would be moderated by the product types (i.e., nostalgic vs. non nostalgic products). A series of experiments were conducted to test these hypotheses. In Experiment 1a and 1b, reviews of tangible product features were used to study the impact of purchase feasibility and pictorial/verbal reviews on product evaluation. Experiment 1a employed a 2 (purchase feasibility: high vs. low) × 2 (reviews: pictorial vs. verbal) between-subjects design. Experiment 1b employed the same design as experiment 1a, but used scenarios which were more close to real life purchasing experience. Results of Experiment 1a and 1b showed that when purchase feasibility was low, participants were more likely to be persuaded by verbal reviews, as compared with pictorial reviews. By contrast, when purchase feasibility was high, participants were more likely to be influenced by pictorial reviews than verbal reviews. These results provided evidence for congruency effect between purchase feasibility and reviews forms. In Experiment 2, we studied reviews of intangible product features of hotels, and changed purchase feasibility conditions. Results of Experiment 2 replicated the congruency effect found in Experiment 1 with the reviews of intangible product features. In Experiment 3, we further studied the moderating role of product types (i.e., nostalgic vs. non nostalgic products) in the relationship between purchase feasibility and reviews forms. We adopted a 2 (reviews: pictorial vs. verbal) × 2 (purchase feasibility: high vs. low) × 2 (product type: nostalgic product vs. non-nostalgic product) between-subjects in Experiment 3. Results showed that the congruency effect between purchase feasibility and pictorial/verbal reviews was moderated by product types: when purchasing nostalgia products, consumers whose purchase feasibility was low were more influenced by verbal reviews than by pictorial reviews, but the difference between the two types of reviews was not significant when purchase feasibility was high; when purchasing non-nostalgia products, consumers whose purchase feasibility was high were more influenced by pictorial reviews than by verbal reviews, but the difference between the two types of reviews was not significant when purchase feasibility was low. The current research contributes to the understanding of how pictorial reviews differ from verbal reviews in affecting consumers’ product evaluation. Moreover, our findings also imply that displaying verbal/pictorial online reviews according to consumers’ purchase feasibility would enhance their purchasing intention, and that the effectiveness of marketing strategies with regard to nostalgia/non-nostalgic products is determined by different factors such as purchasing feasibility.
Cognitive Diagnostic Multistage Testing (CD-MST) is a new testing mode which combines MST with CDA. It has some advantages, such as improving instruction, allowing administers to check the pre-assembled test forms, allowing the examinee to review and revise answers. The initial stage module assemble methods is an important part for CD-MST. It is presented seven initial stage module assemble methods, they are Random method, Item Selection method, R* Matrix method, CTTID method, CDI method, CTTIDR* method and CDIR* method. 1) Random method means that select first stage items from item bank randomly, this method does not consider item parameters and attributes. It is easy and fast.2) Item selection method is first to randomly assign a knowledge state to examinee, and then select the initial stage items according to item selection indices (such as PWKL, SHE). 3) R* matrix method is to select initial items from R-matrix. 4) CTTID method means that select high discriminatory items for the first stage. In DINA model, high discriminatory items are the items slipping and guessing parameters smaller.5) CDI method is presented by Henson and Douglas (2005), it’s another item discrimination index, it considers item parameter and attribute.6) Item parameter and R matrix are the important elements which can influence the efficiency of testing, so here we consider discrimination and R matrix simultaneously to select first stage items, CTTIDR* method and 7) CDIR* method are from this consideration. A simulation research was used to verify these methods of CD-MST. CDM was DINA model, the number of examinee was 3000, item bank was 1240, the number of attributes was 5, stage number of CD-MST was 3. PCCR and ACCR were the evaluation indices. The quality of item bank was a contributory factor. The results showed that after the initial stage, under each of the quality of item banks, the PCCR of the methods with R* matrix were higher than others. When the tests were finished, CTTIDR* method was also higher than others, it had obvious advantage. CD-MST is an efficient application of MST in CDA. It is necessary to study many issues of CD-MST, the initial stage module assemble method is one of them. Some of the seven methods we presented here are effectively and exactly. These methods can also extend to CD-CAT.
There are two types of aberrant responses, the correct responses resulting from lucky guesses, and the false responses resulting fromcarelessness. Because the two aberrant responses do not reflect the examinee’s actual knowledge, they may cause an erroneous estimation of the latent trait of examinee.Compared with guesses, careless errors might cause more serious estimation biases, especially if these errors occur at the beginning of a test. To account for the effect of careless errors, Barton and Lord (1981) developed a four-parameter logistic (4PL) model by adding an upper asymptote parameter in the three-parameter logistic (3PL) model. Recently, the 4PLmodel received more attentions, and some literatures highlighted its potential and usefulness both from a methodological point of view and for practical purposes. It can be expected that the 4PL model will be promoted as a competing item response model in psychological and educational measurement. This paper focuses on one important aspect of the 4PL model, that is, the estimation of latent trait levels. In general, unbiased parameter estimation is desirable. Reducing bias in the latent trait estimator is very important for the application of IRT model. Warm (1989) proposed a weighted maximum likelihood (WML) method for estimating the latent trait parameter in the 3PL model, which was found to be less bias than the maximum likelihood (ML) and expected a posteriori (EAP) estimates. The WML estimate has also been extended to the generalized partial credit model (GPCM). In light of the superior performance of the WML method in previous studies, this studyapplies a WML latent trait estimator to the 4PL model. The main works of this article are to present the derivations of the WML estimator under the 4PL model, and to construct a simulation study to compare the properties of the WML estimator to that of the ML and EAP estimators. The results of the simulation study suggested that, the bias of the WML estimator was consistently smaller than that of the ML and EAP estimators, particularly, the accuracy of the WML estimator was superior to that of the ML estimator and nearly equivalent to the EAPE. The difference in bias (and accuracy)of the three estimators was substantial when the latent trait is far away from the location of test, but was negligible when the latent trait matches the location of test. Furthermore, both the test length and the item discriminationhad a greater impacton the performanceof the ML and EAP estimatorsthan that of the WML estimator. In the relatively short tests of low discriminating items, the EAP estimator displayed grossly inflated levels of bias, the ML estimator displayed the largest decrease in accuracy, but theWML estimator performed more robustly. In general, the WML estimator maintains better properties than both the ML and EAP estimators, especially under conditions thatthe test information function was relatively small. Such conditions include, but are not limited to:(a) the mismatch between the latent trait and the location of test; (b) the shortness of the tests (e.g., n ≤12); and (c) the low-discrimination ofitems. In our paper, the findings are not extended to the framework of computer adaptive testing (CAT), asthe simulation was conducted under the linear testing. As a result, our research may be of greatvalue to test developers concerned with constructing fixed and non-adaptive tests.