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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 48 Issue 9 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    Exploring the mechanisms of context effects in Chinese stop-vowel-stop sequences
    LIU Wenli; ZHOU Xiang; ZHANG Mingliang
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2016, 48 (9): 1057-1069.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01057
    Abstract   PDF (559KB) ( 1110 )

    The perception of speech sounds is affected by neighboring speech or nonspeech context. Several theories have been put forward to explain the context effects. The gesture theory suggests that context effects reflect perceptual compensation of coarticulation, and speech perception implicitly takes into account articulatory dynamics of speech production. The auditory theory suggests that context effects reflect a kind of spectral contrast effects, and are just the result of general auditory processes. With Chinese stop-vowel-stop sequences as materials, the aim of the present study was to test the explanatory power of several theories for context effects, and explored the internal mechanisms of context effects in Chinese stop-vowel-stop sequences. In experiment 1, synthetic /pa/, /pi/, and /pu/ served as context sounds, and /ta/-/ka/ contrast continuum served as target sounds. Thirty Chinese undergraduate listeners were asked to identify target sounds. According to acoustic cues and places of articulation of three syllables, auditory theory and gesture theory made different predictions about context effects. The results showed that there were significantly more /ta/ responses in /pi/ context, and more /ka/ responses in /pa/ and /pu/ context. The results were partly consistent with the prediction of spectral contrast effects, but the gesture theory failed to predict the effect pattern. Experiment 2 adopted tone analogues of F2 trajectories (the crucial acoustic-cue variations among three context syllables) of /pa/, /pi/, and /pu/ as context sounds. Twenty-six Chinese undergraduate listeners participated in the experiment. The results found that F2 analogs of /pi/ led to more /ta/ responses, and F2 analogs of /pa/ and /pu/ produced more /ka/ responses. The overall result similarity between experiment 1 and 2 showed that the differences of context effects among three syllables mainly resulted from the critical acoustic cue differences between three syllables. The results also found that acoustic cues (F2 analogs of /pa/ and /pu/) far from the critical frequency areas of the /ta/-/ka/ series could influence /ta/-/ka/ continuum identification. Although overall similarity, there were still some differences between experiment 1 and 2. Experiment 3 used sine-wave speech (SWS) of /pa/, /pi/, and /pu/ as context sounds. Sine-wave speech modeled all formant trajectories of speech sounds. The aim of experiment 3 was to test whether the differences between experiment 1 and 2 were due to the effects of other acoustic cues (F1, F3 and F4). Twenty-one Chinese listeners served as participants. The results showed that /pa/-SWS context produced the most “ga” responses, the second was /pu/-SWS context, /pi/-SWS context produced the least “ga” responses. The results were similar to those of experiment 2. So the result differences between experiment 1 and 2 were not due to the effects of other acoustic cues, and more likely due to the phonetic category perception of three syllables. These results indicated that context effect differences between stop-vowel syllables mainly originated from differences of critical acoustic cues, and provided support for the auditory-based explanation of context effects. Gesture theory failed to anticipate the effect pattern of three syllables. The present results also expanded the range of auditory interaction types. In addition to spectral contrast effects, acoustic cues in context sounds far from critical frequency channels can also promote specific phonetic category identification.

    The time course of semantic radical’s semantic and syntax activation under radical priming paradigm
    ZHANG Jijia; ZHANG Yuzhi
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2016, 48 (9): 1070-1081.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01070
    Abstract   PDF (441KB) ( 755 )

    Semantic radical is an important component of phonogram, which indicates the meaning of the whole character. Semantic radical is also an important entry point for phonogram sublexical processing. Over years, researchers have semantic radical’s two important functions——the semantic and syntactic features in depth discussions. It was found that, in semantics, semantic radical can impact the extraction of Chinese characters’ category meaning, defined feature meaning and action verb meaning; in syntax, the survey found that 90 percent of semantic radicals have obvious syntactic tendency, semantic radical in Chinese noun and verb classification plays an important role. The present study improves semantic radical cognitive work in two aspects. First, previous research just focus on semantic radical’s one function (semantic or syntax), but the present study attempts to comprehensive explore the time course of the two function. Second, previous research used character priming paradigm, which couldn’t separate character’s or radical’s effect clearly, so the present study replace the character priming for semantic radical priming. In short, the present research uses radical priming paradigm to explore the time course of semantic radical’s semantic and syntax activation. The present study uses 2 (priming type) × 3 (character type) × 3 (SOA) mixed experiment design, priming type and SOA are between–subject variable, character type is within–subject variable. Priming type includes two kinds: radical priming and sign (***) priming; character type shows the semantic and syntax relation between character and its semantic radical, which includes three kinds, S+G+, S+G−, S−G+. S+G+ character type means the character and its semantic radical have similar meaning and the same syntax type, for example, in semantic, radical “讠” indicate something related to word or talking; in syntax, it means verb tendency, because more than 50% character including radical “讠” are verbs. So, under “讠” priming, “说” is S+G+ type,“语” is S+G– type, “让” is S−G+ type. SOA include 3types, 57 ms、157 ms and 314 ms. The experiment logic is: if the radical priming is valid, then there will be significant difference between radical priming and sign priming. Under this premise, we use S+G+ as control condition, and compare S−G+ and S+G− with control condition under different SOA, if reaction time is significant different between S−G+ and S+G+ or between S+G− and S+G+, it could be inferred that semantic radical’s semantic or syntax information was activated. Experiment result shows that: for the whole semantic radical, its semantic information is activating from soa57 to soa314, but its syntax information is not activated through the whole priming time. But further analysis shows there exists different result between character radical (the radical could be a character by its own, such as “ ”) and non character radical (the radical couldn’t be a character by its own, such as “讠”). For the non character radical, its semantic information just activated in soa157, and its syntax information didn’t activate through the whole priming time. For the character radical, its semantic information activated through the whole priming time, and syntax information also activated in soa 314. The result indicates that: character radical and non character radical have different mental representation and the semantic and syntax activation time course, which was determined by semantic radical’s function.

    Test the activation model of transforming characters to words in Chinese reading: Evidence from delay word-boundary effects
    LIU Zhifang; ZHANG Zhijun; YANG Guifang
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2016, 48 (9): 1082-1092.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01082
    Abstract   PDF (406KB) ( 1063 )

    Recently, word segmentation in Chinese reading has become an important research issue, especially concerning how readers segment sequences of characters into words. The feed forward hypothesis assumes that the visual information obtained from Chinese characters is initially fed into a character recognition system, and word segmentation follows after character recognition, leading to word recognition. The holistic hypothesis assumes word segmentation influences character recognition through feedback. According to the interactive hypothesis, word segmentation is an interactive process involving characters and words. In the present study, we investigated the timing of segmentation on word n+1 and word n to test these above mentioned hypotheses. The sentences used in the experiment consisted of 7 to 10 two-character words. These stimuli were balanced in four conditions following a Latin-square design. Experiment 1 contained two sub-experiments (Experiments 1A & 1B). We manipulated delay times in conditions facilitating the segmentation of word n+1 in Experiment 1A. There were four conditions in total: a control and three facilitating-segmentation conditions, in which the color of word n+1 changed from red to black, after word n was fixated for 40/120/160 ms. In the baseline, control condition normal sentences were presented in red. The results showed that none of these facilitating-segmentation conditions of word n+1 promoted sentence reading time, but they did positively influence eye movement data with reliable main delay time effects that did not fit the predictions of the holistic hypothesis. It was not possible to exclude the influence of exogenous attention from the results of Experiment 1A. Therefore, Experiment 1B, which adopted similar conditions as were used in Experiment 1A, was conducted. In this sub-experiment, however, the two adjacent characters not belonging to a word were grouped together, and their color was changed simultaneously. Thus, these manipulations interrupted the word n+1 segmentation. This sub-experiment was also able to test for the three hypotheses mentioned in the first paragraph. The results showed that all the interrupted manipulations negatively influenced eye movement data, and the influences on sentence reading time followed an inverted U shape in the function of delay times in the interrupted word n+1 segmentation conditions. The patterns of eye movements and sentence reading time in Experiment 1B differed from those in Experiment 1A, thus excluding the influence of exogenous attention from the results obtained in Experiment 1A. The results of Experiment 1B did not fit the prediction of the feed forward hypothesis. There were also two sub-experiments (A & B) in Experiment 2, in which the delay times of the conditions facilitating/interpreting the segmentation of word n were manipulated. Four conditions were used in Experiment 2A: a control condition provided as the baseline and 3 facilitating the segmentation of word n after a fixation time of 40/120/160 ms, changing the color from red to black. We found that these facilitating-segmentation of word n conditions do not promote sentence reading time, but that they negatively influence eye movement data without reliable main delay time effects. However, interpreting the segmentation of word n (Experiment 2B) negatively influenced the sentence reading time and eye movement data with reliable main delay time effects. The results of Experiment 2 did not fit the predictions of either the feed forward or the holistic hypothesis. In a word, the results from both experiments (Experiment 1 & 2) indicate an interactive process between character and word.

    The effects of attentional control setting and types of cues on attentional capture
    LIU Li; BAI Xuejun
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2016, 48 (9): 1093-1104.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01093
    Abstract   PDF (468KB) ( 1444 )

    The degree to which involuntary allocation of attention is influenced by top-down set has been a topic of debate during the last 20 years. According to contingent attentional capture theory, the initial allocation of attention is conditioned on top-down attentional control settings (ACSs), such that stimuli that do not match those settings will not elicit an involuntary attention shift. According to attentional disengagement account, in contrast, attention is always initially allocated to salient stimuli, and the effects of ACSs simply reflect the speed at which attention is disengaged from an irrelevant stimulus. We proposed that attentional capture effect of unmatched cue depends on the strength of ACS. When ACS is weaker, unmatched cue tends to capture attention, but when ACS is strong enough, it tends to be suppressed. The mechanism of the attentional capture was also explored. In addition, two types of exogenous cues (color singleton cue and onset cue) with the same task (or ACS) were compared; whether onset cue and color singleton cue might be modulated differently by ACS was also investigated. The present study was designed to explore the mechanisms involved in attentional capture phenomenon in the spatial-precuing paradigm. In Experiment 1, each participant looked for the color singleton target or onset target throughout the entire block. We supposed such a task involved a weaker ACS. In Experiment 2, each participant looked for a red or white feature target, which forced the participants to maintain a strong ACS level. In Experiment 3, go/no-go paradigm was used to make participant set up a stronger ACS. Red and white feature targets presented changed unpredictably on a trial-by-trial basis; participants were required to respond to red feature targets and suppress their response to white feature target. In all experiments, a spatially non-predictive color singleton cue or onset cue would appear before the display of the targets; the probabilities of the presence of these two types of cues were equal. The cue at the predicted target location was at a chance level; there were two types of cue–target location: valid (the target appeared at the cued location); invalid (the target appeared at an uncued location). In Experiment 1 and 2, cue-to-target stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA) was set at 150 ms. In order to better reveal the underlying mechanism of attentional capture, SOAs were set at 150 ms and 600 ms in Experiment 3 to explore how the effect of capture changed with time. Our results showed that in Experiment 1, in the color singleton searching task, both matched color singleton cues and unmatched onset cues could capture attention and that the magnitude of capture effects of matched color singleton cues was larger than that of onset cues. In the onset searching task, only matched onset cues could capture attention; color singleton cues could not capture attention. In Experiment 2, it was shown that both matched color singleton cues and onset cues could capture attention. However, when unmatched color singleton cues were suppressed, unmatched onset cues could not capture attention. In Experiment 3, go and matched color singleton cues could capture attention, but the magnitude of capture effects under longer SOAs was smaller than that under shorter SOAs. When no-go and unmatched onset cues were suppressed, the magnitude of suppression effect was not significant under shorter SOAs, but was significant under longer SOAs. The present findings demonstrated that (1) ACS operated through disengagement of attention from featured locations that did not match ACS and suppressing the location afterwards, which supported attentional disengagement account, (2) The overall pattern of results showed that the mechanisms for attention capture for the onset cue and color singleton cues were the same. However, But in comparison with color singleton cues, unmatched onset cues can capture attention more easily, and were more difficult to be suppressed in the same search task.

    What do eye movements reveal about the role of cognitive control in attention guidance from working memory representation
    ZHANG Bao; HU Cenlou; Huang Sai
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2016, 48 (9): 1105-1118.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01105
    Abstract   PDF (471KB) ( 1718 )

    The biased competition model of attention proposes that stimuli in visual scene compete for attentional selection with the ‘winner’ gaining control of both perceptual and response systems. The activation of relevant object features in working memory (WM) biases neural activity in specific brain regions that encode those particular features so that the object could win the competition and get the priority of attention. In decades, researchers have found that irrelevant representations in working memory (WM) could guide visual attention bias to the distractors that sharing the features of the WM representations in visual search task. However, the issue whether the cognitive control could modulate the process of attentional guidance was controversial yet. Here, we adopted the eye movement tracking technique to examine (1) whether the cognitive control made the participants intentionally inhibit or reject the bias of attention towards the WM matched distractor and (2) when did cognitive control play the role in the processing of attentional guidance. The participants in the present study were asked to search for a target among three distractors while holding a colored shape online in WM. During the visual search task, the item in WM either reappeared as one of the distractors in half of trials or did not reappear in other half of trials. Most importantly, at the beginning of the experiment, all the participants were indefinitely informed that the WM item could never reappear as target in visual search task and they could adopt the ‘rejecting’ or ‘inhibiting’ strategy to bias attention away towards such distractor so as to facilitate the efficiency of visual search. Both the eye movement deployment and the response time (RT) were recorded while the participants performing the visual search task. The results of experiment 1 showed that, when using the easy visual search task, an obviously attentional guidance effect was observed for both the first fixation proportion and RTs, and such effect was not affected by the visual search speed. However, when using the difficult visual search task, the results of the first fixation proportion showed an significant attentional guidance effect, and the magnitudes were significantly greater for the participants who searched fast (fast group) than for those who searched slowly (slow group). In contrast, the results of RTs failed to obtain any above attentional guidance effect, and the further analysis indicated that this null effect was due to the opposite attentioanl bias pattern represented for two groups of visual search speed, i.e., attentional guidance pattern for fast group and attentional rejection pattern for slow group. The results of experiment 2 found the attentional guidance remain robust at the early stage when the more prominent visual search target was adopted. Most importantly, the attentional guidance was stable even when the WM matched distractor directly competed with the prominent search target. In conclusion, the results showed that the attentional guidance from WM representation was dynamically changed along with the process of visual search and the cognitive control could modulate the attentional guidance effect only when the visual search was so slowly that the time for cognitive control working was sufficient. The modulation of cognitive control could weaken the magnitudes of attentional guidance effect at the early stage of visual search task and reverse the attentional bias pattern from guidance to rejection in the following processes of visual search task.

    The characteristic of 1~6 s duration cognition segmentation
    YIN Huazhan; LI Dan; CHEN Yingyu; Huang Xiting
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2016, 48 (9): 1119-1129.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01119
    Abstract   PDF (573KB) ( 1226 )

    There are two hypotheses concerning the temporal cognition segmentation: One is segmentation hypothesis and the other is non-segmentation hypothesis. The former one holds that the processing mechanism and representation of different length of time are different. The latter one holds that the processing mechanism and representation of different length of time are identical. However, previous studies have indicated that the two kinds of hypotheses are supported by evidence, respectively. In this research, we explored that the temporal cognition segmentation of 1~6 s through two relatively novel ways. In Experiment 1, A total of 44 participants were engaged in a 2 (memory group: High WMC vs. Low WMC) ´ 2 (Modality: Visual vs. Auditory) ´ 6 (sample duration: 1 s, 2 s, 3 s, 4 s, 5 s vs. 6 s) mixed design experiment, to study the temporal cognition segmentation of 1~6 s, by completing time reproduction task. Three-way ANOVAs were performed using standard duration and modality as within subject factors, memory group as a between-subject factor and mean reproduced interval, ratio (of reproduced interval and sample duration) and coefficient of variation as dependent variables. In Experiment 2, 48 participants were engaged in a mixed design experiment. The procedure was identical to that of experiment 1, except that time reproduction task were instead of time production task. The results showed that 1) in experiment 1, significant main effects of sample duration, modality, and memory group, were found, for the mean reproduced interval, the ratio score, and the coefficient of variation. Specifically, high WMC compared with low WMC, long duration with short duration and auditory with visual, the mean reproduced interval was longer, the ratio score higher and the coefficient of variation smaller. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between duration and modality, and between duration and memory group for the mean reproduced interval, the ratio score, and the coefficient of variation. For 1 s and 2 s, for the mean reproduced interval, the ratio score, and the coefficient of variation, there was no difference between the high WMC group and the low WMC group, or visual group and auditory group. For 3 s, 4 s, 5 s and 6 s, the mean reproduced interval of the high WMC group was significantly longer, the ratio score was significant higher, and the coefficient of variation was significant smaller than those of the low WMC group. For 3 s, 4 s, 5 s and 6 s, the mean reproduced interval of the auditory group was significantly longer, the ratio score was significant higher, and the coefficient of variation was significant smaller than those of the visual group. 2) in experiment 2, significant main effects of sample duration, modality, and memory group, were found, for the mean produced interval, the ratio score, and the coefficient of variation. Specifically, high WMC compared with low WMC, long duration with short duration and auditory with visual, the mean produced interval was shorter, the ratio score lower and the coefficient of variation smaller. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between duration and modality, and between duration and memory group for the mean produced interval, the ratio score, and the coefficient of variation. For 1 s and 2 s, for the mean produced interval, the ratio score, and the coefficient of variation, there was no difference between the high WMC group and the low WMC group, or visual group and auditory group. For 3 s, 4 s, 5 s and 6 s, the mean produced interval of the high WMC group was significantly shorter, the ratio score was significant lower, and the coefficient of variation was significant smaller than those of the low WMC group. For 3 s, 4 s, 5 s and 6 s, the mean produced interval of the auditory group was significantly shorter, the ratio score was significant lower, and the coefficient of variation was significant smaller than those of the visual group. The results demonstrated that the temporal cognition of 1 to 6 seconds is segmented, and the critical point may be 2~3 s, which support segmentation hypothesis. The segmentation of temporal cognition can also be explained by the time working memory hypothesis, which is the form of temporal cognition segmentation model explaining the cognitive mechanism of short-duration processing.

    Anti-opposition logic paradigm: An improvement on the opposition logic in implicit artificial grammar learning
    ZHANG Jianxin; TANG Dan; LI Yingli; LIU Dianzhi
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2016, 48 (9): 1130-1142.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01130
    Abstract   PDF (420KB) ( 641 )

    Dienes, Altmann, Kwan, & Goode (1995) for the first time used opposition logic of PDP in artificial grammar paradigm. They strictly match facial similarity among two sets of grammar and illegal strings, but found no automatic response. We speculated that facial similarity might lead to a great discrimination on two sets of grammar in learning phase, make their implicit knowledge in the measurement phase able to comply with explicit task requirements, and disguise the automatic response. Higham, Vokey, & Pritchard (2000) also used opposition logic of PDP in artificial grammar paradigm, and successfully discovered controlled and automatic response for the first time. However they only matched facial similarity between two sets of grammar but not among them and illegal strings, which lead to detect false automatic response caused by facial similarity rather than real automatic response caused by implicit knowledge, therefore their experiment was questioned by many researchers. So when the opposition logic paradigm in artificial grammar was born, it had so many defects that it couldn’t be further developed and couldn’t be widely used in artificial grammar paradigm. But if we make success of the opposition logic paradigm, it could be used to quantitatively detect controlled and automatic responses in artificial grammar learning, which might push reaserch of objective consciousness improving much. Therefore the present study attempts to solve the defects of it. The present study used single factor (experimental conditions: in-concert condition and opposition condition) design between subjects, and divided the participants into two groups: in-concert condition group and opposition condition group. The experimental materials were the same as Dienes, et al (1995)’s. But we bound negative label and grammar B together into implicit learning, and created an anti-opposition logic paradigm. In learning phase participants were asked to implicitly learn grammar A, but learn grammar B as illegal. In measurement phase participants under in-concert condition were asked to judge new strings following grammar A as legal, judge new strings similar to grammar B as illegal, and judge real chaotic illegal strings U as illegal; participants under opposition condition were asked to judge new strings following grammar A and B as legal, and judge only real chaotic illegal strings U as illegal. So under opposition condition, if participants were still unable to comply with explicit task requirements, and automatically judged new strings following grammar B as illegal (higher than baseline), then it showed that there was automatic response! So the difference between rejection rate (judgment for illegal) of grammar B under in-concert condition and under opposition condition was controlled response. Because rate of judging new strings as illegal under in-concert condition was two-thirds, and rate of judging new strings as legal under opposition condition was also two-thirds, in the two groups there was high probability bias effect which would lead any new string to be more judged as high probability judgment. The present study successfully calculated it as Pr = 0.13, and ruled it out. Then we made independent samples t test and found Bhit-Pr under in-concert condition (0.68 ± 0.18) was significantly greater than Bmiss+Pr under opposition condition (0.48 ± 0.13), t (40) = 4.46, p < 0.01, d = 1.274. Therefore we got the controlled response was 0.20. This proved that when we completely ruled out the impact of high probability judgment bias effect in statistics, the result showed that participants could indeed comply with explicit task requirements to explicitly control part of their knowledge under opposition condition. For testing automatic response, we made ANOVA for repeated measurement on A - miss - op, B - miss - op and U - hit – op under opposition condition and found there was a significant model main effect, F (2, 23) = 3.03, p < 0.01, η2 = 0.209, and a significant group main effect, F (2, 23) = 35.39, p < 0.01, η2 = 0.755. We further made a simple effect analysis for three groups, and found that Bmiss (0.35) was significantly greater than Amiss (0.18) under opposition condition, F (1, 23) = 3.91, p < 0.01, η2 = 0.145. The difference was 0.17 which was the evidence of automatic response: Although participants’ controlled response tried to agree with new strings following grammar B, but compared with the grammar A, participants would unconsciously and automatically refused more new strings following grammar B. We also did Pearson correlation between recognition discrimination DiscAB and automatic response AutoR and found no significant correlation, r = 0.32, p > 0.05, which proved that discrimination was not related with automatic response. The results showed that a negative label could be implicitly acquired by bonding with a set of implicit grammar, suggesting a new way by which explicit knowledge could be converted into automatic knowledge. Moreover, negative implicit knowledge was found to be more resistant to conscious control than a positive one (i.e., an implicit label could be easily converted from positive to negative, but difficult visa versa). Compared with the traditional opposition logic paradigm, the anti-opposition logic paradigm created in the present study was more effective in measuring pure automatic response by excluding the confounding influences of facial similarity of test items and participants’ ability to differentiate test items in different categories. And by removing the high probability bias effect in statistics, the present study detectived pure controlled response.

    The combination of self-position and self-orientation in children’s map task
    HU Qingfen; LU Jing
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2016, 48 (9): 1143-1150.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01143
    Abstract   PDF (412KB) ( 1234 )

    Previous studies from neurophysiology have found that animals' position representation and direction representation in navigation have different neural mechanisms. Recent study from developmental psychology demonstrated that these two types of representations had divergent development trajectories. When using map to seek for self-position and self-orientation, children begin to perform better than chance in the location task but do not show the ability to solve the direction problems until 5 years old. However, no research has yet focused on the combination of these two types of representation, which is a common situation in map use. In the present study, the paradigm used in Lu and Hu's study was modified to explore the capacity to combine self-position and self-orientation in children's map use. Five- to 6-year-old children solved four map-to-space problems and four space-to-map problems. For the map-to-space problems, children were given a map with a doll on it and asked to go to the corresponding location and face the corresponding direction. For the space-to-map problems, children were asked to indicate their own location and orientation by placing a doll on the map. It was found that 5- to 6-year-old children successfully combined the representations of self-position and self-orientation. Their performance was largely better than chance. However, compared to orientation choice, children performed better in position choice. Additionally, the relation between accuracy of orientation choice and that of position choice was varied according to the situation. When the target orientation was to face the adjacent wall, the orientation choice seemed to depend on the position choice. When the target orientation was to face a far wall, the relation was weak. Based on these results, we suggested that children have distinct strategies to combine position and orientation in varied situations. When the target orientation was to face the adjacent wall, they decided the position first and then faced the adjacent wall. When the target orientation was to face a far wall, however, this simple strategy was invalid. Then, they represented the position and the orientation separately. That is to say, children used a strategy that is more concise and less resource-consumed in a specific situation to combine the representation of self-position and self-orientation.

    I will perform effectively if you are with me: Leader-follower congruence in followership prototype, job engagement and job performance
    PENG Jian; WANG Xiao
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2016, 48 (9): 1151-1162.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01151
    Abstract   PDF (537KB) ( 3109 )

    In organizational settings, scholars have suggested that individuals naturally tend to classify people into two types: leader and follower. While a substantial body of research has established implicit leadership theories (ILTs) in the past three decades, the corresponding notion of implicit followership theories (IFTs) has relatively received little research attention (Sy, 2010). IFTs are defined as individuals’ personal assumptions about the traits that characterize followers, which include followership prototype and anti-prototype. To date, most research focuses on the consequence of followership prototype and suggests that followership prototype could enhance job performance through leader’s performance expectations, leader-member exchange and liking for followers. From these aforementioned studies, however, some research gaps have not been addressed. Firstly, the previous research on followership prototype becomes less convincing for they failed to integrate the follower’s followership prototype into the model for examination. Secondly, prior studies have predominantly focused on the effect of followership prototype on task performance and organizational citizenship behavior, while ingoring contextual performance. Thirdly, very few studies discuss the mediating role of job engagement in the relationship between followership prototype and performance. To fill such research gaps, the present study aims to examine the effects of leader-follower congruence in followership prototype on task and contextual performance, as well as the mediating role of job engagement. Data were collected from 243 leader-follower dyads in 64 teams of nine companies in China. Since our data contained a hierarchical structure in which individual scores were nested within teams, we used hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to conduct cross level polynomial regression combining with response surface analysis. Based on the results, our research presents four conclusions: (1) In terms of the effects on different performance type, leader-follower congruence in followership prototype is positively related to contextual performance but not task performance. (2) In the case of leader-follower congruence, task and contextual performance is higher when followers and leaders are aligned at a high level of followership prototype than when they are at a low level. (3) In the case of incongruence, task and contextual performance is higher when a follower’s followership prototype is higher than a leader’s as compared to when a leader’s followership prototype is higher than a follower’s. (4) Job engagement mediates the effect of leader-follower congruence in followership prototype on task and contextual performance. Our findings offer several important theoretical and practical implications. With regard to theoretical implications, the present research extends the extant IFTs literature from a single-sided perspective to a leader-follower congruence perspective, supporting the person-supervision fit theory and contributing to the research on IFTs, job performance and work engagement. As far as practical implications, we suggest that managers should consider testing leader-follower IFTs before building or reconstructing a team and arrange the leaders and followers who share similar self-reported IFTs in a team. Finally, limitations and directions for future research are discussed.

    Socioeconomic status and sociometric status: Age differences on the effects of social comparison on subjective well-Being
    HUANG Tingting; LIU Liqian; WANG Dahua; ZHANG Wenhai
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2016, 48 (9): 1163-1174.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01163
    Abstract   PDF (536KB) ( 2896 )

    Social status refers to the position of an individual in the society, generally indicated by socioeconomic status (SES) or sociometric status (SMS). Despite growing research interest in examining relationships between SMS and SWB, only a few studies so far have directly compared the two types of social status with regard to their influences on SWB. Available work in the US has generally reported that SMS not SES has a positive impact on SWB among American samples. Given the economic and cultural differences between China and US, we proposed in the present study that both SES and SMS could be closely associated with an individual’s SWB among Chinese people. Furthermore, we proposed that SES might have stronger effects on young adults’ SWB, whereas SMS have stronger effects on older adults. This age-related hypothesis was grounded in the paradox of SWB with aging and the Social Selectivity Theory (SST). The paradox of SWB assumes that despite of deterioration with aging, older people report higher SWB compared with younger people. To interpret this paradox, SST maintains that individuals’ social motivation will gradually shift from knowledge acquirement to emotion regulation with age. Overall, the main purpose of this paper was to examine the impacts of the two types of social status on individuals’ SWB in a Chinese sample, while also testing age differences in this relationship. Participants were 120 young (aged 27.26 ± 4.80 years) and 120 older adults (aged 65.12 ± 6.49 years) from Beijing, China. Participants were firstly tested for baseline SWB and some covariates including neuroticism and extraversion. After a 3~7 day interval, participants were then allocated into one of the four conditions of social comparison, namely upward SES, downward SES, upward SMS, and downward SMS based on the MacArthur Ladder priming technique. Participants were asked to a) think of their important social networks and single out someone who has the highest or lowest SES (or SMS) among them; b) imagine this person at the very top/bottom rung of the ladder; c) place their own SES (or SMS) on one of the ladder rungs in comparison with the target person. After completing this grading on the ladder, their SWB were measured once again. An independent sampled t-test showed that there is no difference between young and older adults on the overall scores of baseline SWB (t (237) = 1.55, p = 0.12) while older adults reported higher life satisfaction than young adults (t (237) = 3.43, p < 0.01, Cohen’s d = 0.44), which is consistent with the assumption of the paradox of SWB. A three-way ANOVA (comparison direction × status type × age) showed that comparison direction had a significant main effect (F (1,229) = 133.01, p < 0.001, η2p = 0.37), whereas there was no interaction effect between comparison direction and status type, F (1, 229) = 0.20, p = 0.66. In other words, both SES and SMS have significant impacts on SWB. Most importantly, there existed a significant interaction between comparison direction, status type and age, F (1, 229) = 6.92, p < 0.01, η2p = 0.03. Post-hoc analysis indicated that SES had a stronger effect on younger people’s SWB under the downward comparison, whereas SMS had a stronger effect on older people’s SWB under the upward comparison. However, participants’ ladder grades under different comparison directions did not show differences (F (1,231) = 0.05, p = 0.82), which failed to validate the priming effect of the McArthur Ladder techniques. We attribute the failing validation to the insensitivity of the Ladder’s grading mode. In the supplementary experiment, we used a 10 cm-long-rectangle without any grading marks instead of the original graded ladder in order to eliminate the anchoring effects. The results showed a significant difference between upward and downward comparison, which proves that the modified grading mode is effective to identify the priming effects of McArthur Ladder, t (57) = -2.06, p < 0.05, Cohen’s d = 0.54. In conclusion, consistent with our hypotheses, we found that SWB can be affected by SES and SMS simultaneously, which suggests a cultural specificity in terms of the effects of social status on SWB. It is noteworthy that the present study confirmed the aging paradox of SWB, and shed a new light on the age-related differences in the impacts of social status on SWB. The findings demonstrate that SES has stronger effects on young adults, whereas SMS has stronger effects on older adults, which provides a reasonable interpretation for the paradox of SWB with aging from the perspective of social comparison. In addition, we have modified the grading mode of MacArthur Ladder so as to make it applicable among Chinese samples.

    The self-control process model of altruistic behavior: The positive effect of moral emotions under the ego depletion
    FEI Dingzhou; QIAN Donghai; HUANG Xuchen
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2016, 48 (9): 1175-1183.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01175
    Abstract   PDF (382KB) ( 3140 )

    De Wall et al (2009) observed that helping others can be considered as a function of self-regulatory energy. It can be hypothesized that any factor affecting self-control is capable of having an impact on altruistic behavior. In the present paper, moral emotions are examined as one of these types of factors. We can anticipate that if a participants’ moral emotion is motivated even though they are in ego depletion, plus the regulation and moderation of action control, then the likelihood that they will help others is very great. In this study, three experiments were conducted. (1) The first experiment used dual-task paradigm to investigate participants’ performances in the dictator game task with exhausted self-control resources because of previous Stroop effect test. The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) measures participants’ affects and its Cronbach alpha coefficient was 0.872. (2) The second experiment investigated the moderation of action-control orientation between ego depletion and altruistic behavior. In this experiment the materials were the same as in the previous example, but also included a revised Chinese version of control action scale-decision sub scale with eleven items and a total of eleven points (action-orientation 5.5-11, state-orientation 0-5.5). The Cronbach alpha coefficient was 0.7 for this experiment. (3) The third experiment explored the compensation of moral emotions for ego depletion in altruistic behavior using the behavioral memory paradigm. For the first experiment, the result suggests that the depletion of self-control resource caused by the Stroop task to be effective and the average number of tokens which the high depletion group of participants assigned to others was less than in the low depletion group. (2) The results of the second experiment showed that the main effect of variable action control was significant and group main effect was also significant. The interaction of two main effects was significant: F (1,54) = 4.51, p = 0.038 < 0.05, η2 = 0.077. The fact that the interaction effect was significant indicates regulation effect. (3) The third experiment showed that under the condition of high depletion, participants with positive moral emotions can assign more tokens to others, while ones with negative moral emotions assigned fewer tokens than the group of participants with positive moral emotions, but more than the neutral emotional group. There were significant differences in the amounts of tokens in the groups, F (1, 61) = 7.84, p = 0.001 < 0.01. We performed a multiple comparison analysis and found that in the amount of the allocation, there was a significant difference (p = 0.29 < 0.05) for positive moral emotions and moral negative emotion group; there was a very significant difference (p < 0.01) for positive moral emotion and neutral emotion group. The negative moral emotion and neutral emotion groups did not show a significant difference (p = 0.102 > 0.05), but the negative moral emotion group gave others a higher average amount of tokens than the neutral emotion group. This study explored the effect of self control resources on altruistic behavior, and addresses the compensation and positive role of moral emotions under ego depletion. This paper showed that inducing moral emotions can achieve this objective. The study suggests that personality differences in action control orientation can contribute to the research into rules governing the self control process and the study provides a theoretical basis for better prediction of altruistic behavior.

    Two new online calibration methods for computerized adaptive testing
    CHEN Ping
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2016, 48 (9): 1184-1198.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01184
    Abstract   PDF (531KB) ( 1057 )

    With the development of computerized adaptive testing (CAT), many new issues and challenges have been raised. For example, as the test is continuously administered, some new items should be written, calibrated, and added to the item bank periodically to replace the flawed, obsolete, and overexposed items. The new items have to be precisely calibrated because the calibration precision will directly affect the accuracy of ability estimation. The technique of online calibration has been widely used to calibrate new items on-the-fly in CAT, since it offers several advantages over the traditional offline calibration approach. As the simplest and most straightforward online calibration method, Method A (Stocking, 1988) has an obvious theoretical limitation in that it treats the estimated abilities as true values and ignores the measurement errors in ability estimation. To overcome this weakness, we combined a full functional maximum likelihood estimator (FFMLE) and an estimator which made use of the consequences of sufficiency (ECSE) (Stefanski & Carroll, 1985) with Method A respectively to correct for the estimation error of ability, and the new methods are referred to as FFMLE-Method A and ECSE-Method A. A simulation study was conducted to compare the two new methods with three other methods: the original Method A [denoted as Method A (Original)], the original Method A which plugs in the true abilities of examinees [Method A (True)], and the “multiple EM cycles” method (MEM). These five methods were evaluated in terms of item-parameter recovery and calibration efficiency under three levels of sample sizes (1000, 2000 and 3000) and three levels of CAT test lengths (10, 20 and 30), assuming the new items are randomly assigned to examinees. Under the two-parameter logistic model, the true abilities for the three groups of examinees were randomly drawn from the standard normal distribution [N (0,1)]. For all conditions, 1000 operational items were simulated to constitute the CAT item bank in which the item parameter vector were randomly generated from a multivariate normal distribution MVN (u, S) following the procedures of Chen and Xin (2014). Furthermore, the process of simulating and calibrating new items were replicated 100 times, and 20 new items were generated and the simulation method was the same as that of the operational items. Maximum Fisher Information method was employed to select the following items, and EAP method combined with MLE method was used to estimate the examinees’ abilities. Fixed-length rule was utilized to stop the CAT test. The results showed that the two new approaches, FFMLE-Method A and ECSE-Method A, improved the calibration precision over the Method A (Original) in almost all conditions, and the magnitude of improvement reached maximum when the test length was small (e.g., 10). Furthermore, the performance of the two new methods was very close to that of the best-performing MEM for small and medium-sized test length (i.e., 10 and 20), whereas ECSE-Method A had the best performance among all methods when the test length was relatively longer (i.e., 30). Also, larger sample size resulted in more precise item-parameter recovery for all online calibration methods. Though the simulation results are very promising, several future directions for research, such as variable-length CAT and more complex CAT conditions, merit investigation (e.g., including item exposure control, content balancing and allowing item review, etc.).

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