A large-scale research on the affective diathesis of college students in China is a significant though challenging endeavor. Based upon the theory of affective diathesis and thoughts of developmental affection with classified thoughts, current study developed an original investigative tool with solid reliability and validity—“Questionnaire on College Students’ Affective Diathesis”. This instrument dealt with the complexities in affect measurement and is of great theoretical and practical significance. The questionnaire was used to investigate college students’ affect development on thirty-three different kinds of affects, including patriotism, responsibility, integrity, credibility, dedication, fairness, public benefit; curiosity, exploration, self-confidence, achievements, learning happiness, major interest; intimacy, cooperation, forgiveness, emotionally appealing, gratefulness, care; self-improvement, self-reliance, self-esteem, cherish, happiness, optimism; aesthetic for nature, aesthetic for humanity, aesthetic for science, aesthetic for deportment; emotional understanding ability, emotional expression ability, emotional control of oneself, emotional control of others. They belong to six categories (moral affection, rational affection, interpersonal affection, life affection, aesthetic affection and emotional intelligence) evolving from the identity layer of affection and the operational layer of affection. The questionnaire was administered to 11982 college students, including vocational college students and university students. The geological regions encompassed well-developed, developing and less-developed regions in China involving 100 colleges and universities of 14 major cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Changchun, Zhengzhou, Xi'an, Wuhan, Xining, Lanzhou, Guiyang, Nanning, Haikou, and Kunming). The results showed: (1) The questionnaire meets the criteria of an effective measurement tool and serves as an original investigative tool for affective diathesis of college students. (2) The college students’ affective diathesis has a multilevel structure. On the whole, the affective diathesis of college students in China is positive. The developmental level of moral affection and life affection is relatively higher, and the developmental level of interpersonal affection, aesthetic affection, rational affection and emotional intelligence were relatively lower. Affections of integrity, public benefit, dedication, exploration, learning happiness, self-confidence, forgiveness, intimacy, emotionally appealing, aesthetic for humanity, aesthetic for science and ability of emotional expression were still in urgent need of improvement. (3) A structural difference mainly existed between males and females. Females scored higher in intimacy, emotionally appealing and self-esteem, but males performed better on integrity, curiosity, exploration, self-confidence, aesthetic for science and emotional expression. (4) Those who received awards, reported achieving higher academic performance, or experienced no negative life events showed higher level of affective diathesis, especially reflected in self-confidence, achievements, learning happiness, self-improvement, happiness etc. (5) The factors affecting the affective diathesis development of the college students mainly derived from four aspects: individuals, families, schools and society. Strong interpersonal relationship, more public awareness, sound moral values, high self-expectations, democratic family education style et al. all had positive effects on college students’ affective diathesis. This investigation equips educators with abundant first-hand information on how to improve the affective diathesis of college students as well as for academics on the theoretical implications for affective diathesis research.
Trust is essential to personal well-being and economic success. Trust is a kind of rational behavior, and it is also a kind of social behavior, which may be influenced by the development of individual cognitive ability (perspective taking) and the environment (negative feedback and intergenerational transmission). Research on children’s trust can help us understand the development of trust, and help us establish better informed education programs. To measure trust, prior work has used the Trust Game, a game that requires children to decide how many tokens to invest to other players. However, research on the development of preschoolers’ trust using economic trust game is rare. The current work explores young children’s trust in economic trust game and its influencing factors. To explore these factors, we tested 189 4~6-year-old preschoolers on multiple tasks employed to investigate preschooler’s development of trust. In study 1, the revised version of Evans’ (2013) Trust Game (Surprise Bag Task) was used to explore the preschoolers’ trust. Each game began with introducing the potential trustee. The strange child (trustee) was referred to as “a boy (or girl) the same age as you who attend a different kindergarten.” Then children were given a “surprise bag” (the opaque plastic bag contained toys). After giving the bag to the children, children were told that they could keep the bag or give it to the trustee. Children were told that if they give it to the trustee, the trustee would receive four bags and children were asked if they believed trustee and were willing to give “surprise bag” to trustee (willingness to give as a trust behavior).If they trusted, children were asked how many surprise bags would return from trustee. In study 2, we explored how negative feedback (trustee refused to return supervise bag to the child) affected whether children still chose to trust strangers in later “surprise bag” games. We also explored the role of perspective taking ability (Unexpected location task) in children’s trust decisions. Finally, we investigated the relationship between children’s trust (“Surprise bag” Task) and their parents’ trust. Parents’ trust were measured by trust game questionnaire, they were given 100 tokens. Parents were told that they could keep the tokens or give all of the tokens to the trustee. If parents were willing to give tokens to trustee, the trustee would get 400 tokens. This would demonstrate a willingness to give tokens to trustee as a trust behavior. In study 1, the results showed that more than half of the children gave surprise bags to trustee in anonymous interactions, and there was no significant difference between the three age groups. But there was a significant difference in the number of bags that were expected to return from trustee among the three age groups. Four-year-old children expected significantly more bags would return from trustee than the older children. Young children demonstrated more trust than older children. In study 2 we also found that trust decreased in all age groups after the betrayal (children were told that the trustee refused to return any of the surprise bags to them),. Although some of children still gave their “surprise bag” to the trustee again, most of children did not trust trustee at the second time. The difference between the number of bags expected to return from trustee in the two times was significant, all of the children expected less bags would be returned after betrayal. Specifically, the elder children mistrusted trustee after negative feedback was given, while 4-year-old children still expected more bags to be returned to them by the trustee than 6-year-old children. At age 6 children’s willingness to trust was positively related with children's perspective taking ability. Also, at age 6 children’s trust was related with their parents’ trust, and parents’ trust significantly predicted children’s trust. In sum, children have an early tendency to trust, and younger children have stronger trust tendency than elder children. After negative feedback (a stranger does not return “surprise bag” to the child), children's trust declines, and older children trust less than the younger children. Children’s perspective taking ability is positively correlated with elder children’s trust. In addition, parents’ values influences children’s trust at the age of 6.
The majority of studies on the gene by environment interaction have focused on family factors and stressful life events as environments, while research including peer contexts as environmental factors is rare. However, whether and how peer environments interact with gene on adolescent depression are less well understood, especially during early adolescence, a crucial period for examining the role of peer experiences in psychosocial adjustment. Peer victimization experience may result in negative self-evaluations, and in turn lead to anxiety and depression. However, the genetic makeup involved in the dopaminergic pathway could determine the degree to which a person is influenced by the peer environment. In this study, one of the most widely studied functional polymorphism (TaqIA) in the dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) gene was used to test whether DRD2 gene moderates the effect of peer victimization on depression. Despite the extensive evidence supporting DRD2 by environment interaction on depression, the actual patterns of gender differences observed are inconsistent across studies. It also remains unknown whether gender moderates the way that TaqIA polymorphism interacts with peer environments. One thousand and sixty three adolescents of grade 6 (mean age 12.32 ± 0.49 years old at the first time point) from 40 classes of 14 primary schools in Jinan were assessed twice with an interval of two years. During each assessment, the participants completed self-reported questionnaires on experience of peer victimization and on depressive symptoms. All measures showed good reliability. DNA was extracted from saliva. Genotyping at TaqIA polymorphism in the DRD2 gene was performed for each participant in real time with MassARRAY RT software version 184.108.40.206 and analyzed using the MassARRAY Typer software version 3.4 (Sequenom). To examine whether TaqIA polymorphism moderates the effects of peer victimizations on adolescent depressive symptoms and whether this potential moderating effect differs between boys and girls, hierarchical regression analyses were conducted on males and females separately. Scores on physical and relational victimization and depressive symptoms were square-root transformed to eliminate skew before analysis. We also tested above questions by recoding peer victimizations into categorical variables (individuals had never experienced any victimization vs. individuals had experienced victimization) and conducted ANOVA analyses within each gender. The findings indicated that the two forms of victimization (physical and relational victimization) had no main effect on later depressive symptoms after controlling for social economic status and previous depressive symptoms. No main effect of DRD2 on depressive symptoms was found. The TaqIA polymorphism interacted with both forms of peer victimization in predicting male adolescent depression at age 14. Specifically, male adolescents with A2A2 genotype exhibited higher levels of depression when encountered with peer physical and relational victimization, compared to their counterparts with at least one A1 allele. However, such an interactive effect was not observed among females. In addition, the results of analyses of ANOVA replicated the associations among TaqIA polymorphism, peer victimizations and early adolescent depressive symptoms. These findings highlight the importance of investigating the moderating effect of peer context in the association between gene and depressive symptoms, especially during early adolescence. Besides, the associations among TaqIA genotype, peer physical and relational victimization and depressive symptoms in community populations differ substantially by gender.
Childhood maltreatment is closely correlated with depression but only a few studies have examined the specific effects of various types of childhood abuse on depression. Moreover, the comparability of previous research is seriously limited because a high level of heterogeneity can be observed across the published studies. This meta-analysis was to estimate the association between depression and different types of childhood maltreatment (psychological abuse and neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect). A systematic review was conducted to study the relationship between subtype of childhood maltreatment and depression. A total of 92 independent effect sizes (31 studies, 24283 participants) were found within the criteria of the meta-analysis. After coding the data, independent effect sizes were analyzed by CMA 3.0 program. Odd ratios and 95 % CI of effect sizes were calculated by using random-effects model. Four items including heterogeneity test, publication bias test, main effects analysis and moderation effect were analyzed. There was a significant heterogeneity in 92 independent effect sizes in heterogeneity, and the random-effects model was an appropriate model for subsequent meta-analyses. The impact of publication bias was modest and the major finding still remained valid. The research revealed a robust association between childhood maltreatment and depression (OR = 2.84, 95% CI: 2.45 – 3.29). In addition, the meta-analyses for each type of maltreatment revealed that psychological abuse (OR = 3.58, 95%CI 2.87 – 4.48) and emotional neglect (OR = 3.24, 95%CI 2.43 – 4.32) were most strongly associated with the outcome of depression. The analysis revealed that the participant’s age and sex could affect the relationship between childhood maltreatment and depression. This meta-analysis addressed the different effects of sub-types for childhood maltreatment on depression. The findings implied that childhood maltreatment was a genuine risk factor for depression, especially highlighting the potential impact of the more “silent” types of childhood maltreatment on the development of depression. Moreover, our findings raise our awareness for the potential needs of adolescents or women who were formerly exposed to childhood abuse. This is important to prevent their depression and is thus a general public health issue. Clinicians also have to be aware of the importance of early childhood experiences to better meet the needs of their patients.
Violence exposure has drawn lots of researchers’ attention recently, for violent incidents in social life has increased significantly. It is believed that violence exposure in daily lives may result in aggressive behaviors and repeated exposure to violence may even alter individual’s cognitive, affective, and behavioral processes. Exposure to violence may change personal emotions, behavior and cognition by causing physical arousal, strengthening negative emotion and finally making him aggressive. While these results are widely accepted, most of the former researchers mainly put their focus on the effects of fictitious violence such as violent video games and violent TV programs, few are put on daily lives. Beliefs about aggression refer to individuals’ perception of whether aggression is acceptable or not when settling disputes and expressing hatred. It also has a close correlation with aggressive behaviors. Previous studies showed there was a negative correlation between interpersonal trust and aggressive behavior. Therefore, interpersonal trust may work as a moderator in the mediation effect of beliefs about aggression. The current study examined the relationship between violence exposure in real-life and aggressive behaviors. In addition, we investigated whether this relationship was mediated by beliefs about aggression and whether interpersonal trust moderated the relationship between violence exposure and aggressive behaviors mediated by beliefs about aggression. 850 college students, among whom 476 were males and 374 were females, participated our experiment for monetary compensation. Violence Exposure Questionnaire, Normative Beliefs about Aggression Scale, Interpersonal Trust Scale, and the Aggression Questionnaire were used. We also analyzed roles of beliefs about aggression and interpersonal trust playing between violence exposure and aggressive behavior. After reviewing the previous literature, we assumed that beliefs about aggression were considered as mediator and interpersonal trust as moderator. The results were as follows: (1) There was a strong positive correlation between violence exposure in daily surroundings with beliefs about aggression and aggressive behaviors. There was a strong positive correlation between beliefs about aggression and aggressive behaviors. There was a strong negative correlation between interpersonal trust and aggressive behaviors. (2) Beliefs about aggression played a partial mediation role in the relationship between violence exposure in real-life and aggressive behaviors. (3) Interpersonal trust moderated the mediation effect of beliefs about aggression. For individuals with high interpersonal trust, the mediating effect of beliefs about aggression was not significant, and violence exposure in daily surroundings only had a direct effect on aggressive behaviors. For individuals with low interpersonal trust, beliefs about aggression partially played a mediation role in the relationship between violence exposure in real-life and aggressive behaviors. (4) There was a moderated mediation model including violence exposure in real-life, beliefs about aggression, interpersonal trust and aggressive behaviors. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that all fit indexes conformed to statistical requirements. The current study investigated the effects of violence exposure in real-life on one’s aggressive behavior through its mechanism, the mediating effects of aggressive behaviors, roles of beliefs about aggression and interpersonal trust in the purpose of prompting more relevant studies on violence exposure in real-life and aggressive behaviors.
Activities on social network site can be classified into two main types: active use and passive use. Previous studies revealed that active use of social network site, such as self-presentation and self-disclosure, could enhance social capital, self-esteem and life satisfaction, as well as reduce loneliness. On the contrary, passive use of social network site could exert adverse effects on emotional well-being and life satisfaction, and might lead to depression. However, little is known about the effect of passive use of social network site on self-concept, in particular, effects on self-esteem and self-concept clarity. Passive use of social network site exposes individuals to a lot of positive information of others, which may result in upward social comparison. Upward social comparison in turn negatively impacts individuals’ self-esteem and self-concept clarity. But individuals are not equally influenced by upward social comparison. Optimism, as an important personality trait, may impact the way individuals process information of upward social comparison and thus alleviates the negative effects of upward social comparison. Therefore, the present study aimed to examine the mediating roles of upward social comparison in the effects of passive use of social network site on self-esteem and self-concept clarity. The study would also test whether the mediating effects of upward social comparison would be moderated by optimism. A sample of 1208 undergraduate students (mean age = 19.86; SD = 1.26) were recruited for the study to complete a battery of self-report questionnaires measuring their passive use of social network site, upward social comparison on social network site, self-esteem, self-concept clarity and optimism. All the measures showed good reliability and validity in the present study. Data were analyzed using SPSS 17.0 and SPSS macro PROCESS which was specifically developed for assessing the complex models including both mediators and moderators with the bias-corrected percentile Bootstrap method. The results were as followings: (1) After controlling for gender, grade and mean time of social network site use per day, passive use of social network site had no significant direct effect on self-esteem. But it could negatively predict self-esteem through the mediation of upward social comparison. (2) Passive use of social network site had significant effect on self-concept clarity, and could also negatively predict self-concept clarity through upward social comparison. (3) The mediating effects of upward social comparison in the association between passive use of social network site and self-esteem and between passive use of social network site and self-concept clarity were both moderated by optimism. The indirect effects were stronger for individuals with a low level of optimism. (4) For individuals with a high level of optimism, the direct effect of upward social comparison on self-esteem and the mediating effect of upward social comparison in the association between passive use of social network site and self-esteem were not statistically significant. But the direct effect of upward social comparison on self-concept clarity and the mediating effect of upward social comparison in the association between passive use of social network site and self-concept clarity were both significant. The present study highlights the mediating effect of upward social comparison and the moderating effect of optimism in the effect of passive use of social network site on self-esteem and self-concept clarity. It may contribute to a better understanding of the effects, mechanisms, and the conditions of passive use of social network site on self-esteem and self-concept clarity.
Overqualification, as a global labor force phenomenon, has received increasing attention from researchers over the past few decades. Although overqualification can be measured objectively by using the match between one’s education or experience level and the requirements of the job position, more researchers pay attention to employees’ perception of this mismatch, named as perceived overqualification (POQ). Previous research on POQ primarily focused on its negative consequences on employees’ job attitudes and their in-role behaviors (e.g., job performance), but only few studies have examined the relationship between POQ and extra-role behavior (e.g., organizational citizenship behavior). It seems that employees who feel overqualified may have extra energy and thus will have more opportunities to help co-workers and organization, however, empirical evidence in this domain is lacking. Building on the person-job fit theory, the appraisal theory of emotion, the emotion- centered model, and the emotion regulation theory, this research tested the predicted effects of POQ on organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) via the role of anger at job and the moderating effects of two emotion regulation strategies (reappraisal and suppression) on these relationships. Data were collected from 534 full-time employees from diverse occupations in China. Employees completed a paper-and-pencil survey at their convenience and returned the completed surveys to the researcher. The questionnaire included measures for POQ, OCB, anger for job arrangement, and emotion regulation. Results from confirmatory factor analysis supported the construct validity of scales, and the Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for the above measures were satisfactory, ranging from 0.65 to 0.95. Consistent with our theoretical framework, results from hierarchical regression analysis revealed that POQ had both direct and indirect effects on employee’ OCB. Furthermore, anger toward job arrangement mediated the relationship between POQ and OCB, in which higher POQ led to stronger anger toward job arrangement, which in turn led to few OCB. The results also supported the moderating role of different emotional regulation strategies on the relations between POQ and anger at job as well as the relations between POQ and OCB. Reappraisal, an antecedent-focused strategy that involves reframing events in order to alter their emotional impact, buffered the relations between POQ and anger/OCB, whereas suppression, a response-focused strategy that involves inhibiting emotion-expressive behavior, strengthened the relations between POQ and anger/OCB. In conclusion, from a theoretical perspective, the current research provides empirical evidence in explaining why POQ leads to less OCB through an affective path. The finding further highlights the important moderating role of individual difference in emotion regulation strategies during the process. Additionally, given the current findings, the research has some important practical implications. For example, the research revealed that the fact that POQ resulted in lower levels of OCB was possibly because of the anger emotion at job. This suggests that managers should give attention to employees’ emotions in workplace. Considering the buffering effects of reappraisal strategy on the relation between POQ and negative emotions, the results provide useful cues for managers to design training on emotion regulation for employees to help them dealing with their emotions so as to achieve their full potential.
Given the severe intense competitive environment as well as unpredictable technological changes, an increasing number of organizations realize that trust climate is a key element to help the organization to get competitive advantage and trust climate is also an important prerequisite for employees promote their performance. Many studies have showed that employees’ in-role performance has been considered as a critical factor of organizational continuous innovation and breakthrough. The way to improve employee’s in-role performance is, therefore, one of the important problems in theory and practice circles. Although existing research suggests trust climate can help employee promote performance, the effect of trust climate on employees’ in-role performance did not provide comprehensive explanations. Empirical studies show mixed results and this relationship has remained ambiguous and contested. It is still unclear whether there is a positive relationship between trust climate and employees’ in-role performance. In view of the existing research gaps, in this research, we examined a model based on the self concept theory and role identity theory. To better understand the mechanisms of trust climate, we proposed and tested a mediated moderation model in which trust climate influenced employee in-role performance, with perceived insider status as a mediator and psychological safety as a moderator. To test the model, data were collected from 330 members within 31 productive enterprises in Xiamen, Shanghai and Yinchuan with the assistance of the human resource managers. The results showed that: (1) trust climate was positively related to in-role performance; and (2) trust climate was positively related to perceived insider status; (3) perceived insider status partially mediated the relationship between trust climate and in-role performance; (4) psychological safety moderated the relationship between trust climate and perceived insider status; that is, the higher the psychological safety, the stronger the mediated relationship was. Furthermore, our research indicated that the mediated moderation model could better explain the mechanism of trust climate on employee in-role performance, which not only enriches and extends the scope of related management, but also provides a beneficial enlightenment to the employee’s in-role performance management practices. These conclusions contribute to the literature in several ways. First, this research offers a new approach to the influence of trust climate by examining employee in-role performance. Second, our results involving the moderating effect of perceived insider status on the relationship between trust climate and perceived insider status contribute to the integration of self concept theory and role identity theory. To sum up, this study deepens our understanding of trust climate by examining the mediating effect of perceived insider status and moderating effect of psychological safety under a unified theoretical framework. However, the limitations of our study suggest that the necessity of future research. The paper only examines the technological corporations in China, which represent the highest level of industrial development in China. So, cautions should be exercised in generalizing our findings to other industries in the country.
Unethical behavior in the workplace has been widely reported last decades. In view of its serious consequences, there has been a surge of business ethics research focusing on workplace unethical behavior. Especially, an emerging stream of research has begun to systematically theorize and investigate unethical pro-organizational behavior. In the study, we propose a moderated-mediation model to uncover the underlying mechanism and the boundary conditions of the relationship between high performance expectation and unethical pro-organizational behavior. Drawing upon social cognitive theory, we hypothesize that high performance expectation is indirectly related to unethical pro-organizational behavior through moral disengagement. We further propose that perceived industrial competition strengthens the hypothesized relationship and that moral identity weakens the hypothesized relationship. To test those hypotheses, we collected a two-wave field data, one month apart each other, from a group of Chinese retailing employees. In the first wave, 300 employees from 35 retail stores responded to questions assessing their level of high performance expectation, moral identity, moral disengagement, and industrial competition. We also measured a set of control variables at this time. Two hundreds and twenty-five employees completed the second-wave survey which assess their willingness to engage in unethical pro-organizational behavior. To control for nesting effects, we applied multilevel structural equation modeling to analyze the data. Results showed that high performance expectation was positively related to unethical pro-organizational behavior. By applying Monte Carlo simulation, we found that the indirect relationship between high performance expectation and unethical pro-organizational behavior via moral disengagement was significant. We also found a positive interaction between high performance expectation and perceived industrial competition on moral disengagement and a negative interaction between high performance expectation and moral identity on moral disengagement. Finally, we found that: the indirect effect of high performance expectation on unethical pro-organizational behavior via moral disengagement was stronger when employees perceived a high level of industrial competition; the indirect effect of high performance expectation on unethical pro-organizational behavior via moral disengagement was stronger when employees had a low level of moral identity. Our findings are among the first to demonstrate the dark side of leader’s high performance expectation toward subordinates, and explore the psychological mechanism and two key and contrasting boundary conditions. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Pro-social rule breaking (PSRB), as one form of constructive deviance, is receiving increasing attention from researchers, yet surprisingly our knowledge of the antecedents of PSRB is fairly limited. Although the effects of personal traits on PSRB are well discussed in the literature, we know little about how contextual factors in the work environment, such as leadership style, shape PSRB. The current study aims to address this research gap by examining the relationship between ethical leadership and PSRB. Specifically, drawing from the social information processing theory, we propose a dual process model that ethical leadership enhances employees’ PSRB via psychological safety and job autonomy. We further investigate the moderating effect of employees’ risk taking propensity in the model. The participants were recruited from four organizations in three cities of China (i.e., Beijing, Shanghai, and Dalian). The data was collected at two time points to avoid the common method bias. At Time 1, ethical leadership, psychological safety, job autonomy, and risk taking propensity were measured. At Time 2, that is, one month later, participants’ PSRB behavior was assessed. The final sample size was 241. We used SPSS 22.0 and Mplus 6.12 to analyse the data. First, we assessed the discriminant validity of the key variables through a series of confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) and examined the common method variance. Afterwards, we used the Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) and bias-corrected bootstrap to test our hypotheses. The results showed a significantly positive relationship between ethical leadership and PSRB, and the relationship was mediated by psychological safety and job autonomy. Furthermore, individual risk taking propensity moderated the relationship between job autonomy and PSRB, such that the positive relationship was stronger for those employees with higher, rather than lower, levels of risk taking propensity. Our study contributes to the PSRB literature in several ways. Frist, we investigate the effects of ethical leadership on employees’ PSRB, which broadens our understanding of how contextual factors influences PSRB. Second, we reveal the theoretical black-box of why ethical leadership facilitates PSRB by identifying psychological safety and job autonomy as two underlying mechanisms. Finally, we extend the ethical leadership and PSRB research by demonstrating risk taking propensity as a crucial contingency that moderates the effects of ethical leadership and job autonomy on PSRB.
Based on a qualitative study of 20 interviewees and a quantitative analysis of 12 department-level whole networks, this paper illustrates how horizontal networking and upward networking contribute to the formation of social capital. In particular, upward networking has an inverted U-shaped effect on social capital, while horizontal networking has a positive effect on social capital. These findings improve our understanding on the mechanism how individuals form their social capital and how to build harmony employment relationships within organizations. Social capital is privileged in organizational life, however, studies on the origins of social capital remain limited. This paper takes a human agency perspective and theorizes that ego’s instrumental networking can shape social structure. To be specific, in working places, employees intentionally take instrumental interactions, e.g. networking with colleagues with diverse backgrounds or building intimacy with high-status leaders, to create new social capital. This paper develops two approaches of instrumental networking—horizontal networking and upward networking, and proposes a theoretical framework how these two kinds of instrumental networking affect the creation of social capital within organizations. In study 1, based on 20 interviewees who have witnessed ego’s instrumental networking, the author primarily developed an inductive process model. In study 2, using hierarchical linear modeling, a test of hypotheses was conducted in a data of 12 department-level whole networks. Similar to the finding in qualitative analysis, the regression results suggest horizontal networking helps the creation of social capital; however, upward networking has an inverted U-shaped effect on social capital. Overall, this paper makes contributions in the following ways. First, although structural determinism is well-regarded, human agency perspective has increasingly emerged in network studies. This paper echoes the call of human agency perspective to investigate the origins of social capital. The inductive analysis suggests that ego’s instrumental networking affects the benefit-cost calculus of alters which in turn influences alters’ willingness to contact with egos. Second, this paper identifies ego’s two types of instrumental networking style as a distinct mechanism shaping alters’ social attempt. Specially, the study shows alters will select egos using more horizontal networking, whereas upward networking is initially appreciated but may subsequently be overthrown for its potential ethical problems. Finally, by amassing interview data from various organizational settings in China, this paper makes an empirical contribution by extending the geographic reach of research on emerging economies and social capital. Earlier studies examining social capital have largely been limited to the Western context of open markets, free competition and individualistic orientation. Although a few pioneer studies suggest the constraining effects of culture on structural holes, the mechanism of how social capital origins in emerging economies with different cultural norms and market institutions remains largely unexplored.
Anthropomorphic design is a common method in brand building, marketing communication or product design, such as being used for the brand mascot. Generally speaking, anthropomorphic design in marketing can increase perceived intimacy, purchase intention or product evaluation, among others. However, there was insufficient attention in research on the possible negative effects of anthropomorphism. Focusing on food advertisements, this study tried to identify the mechanism of inappropriate anthropomorphic design in advertisement, which may lead to consumers’ negative emotional response and attitude toward advertisement. We conducted three experiments to investigate this speculation. The data of Study 1 was collected from 80 undergraduates. Participants in Group 1 saw the anthropomorphic advertisement while Group 2 saw a non-anthropomorphic advertisement, following which both groups responded to questionnaire items on the manipulation check of anthropomorphism, attitude toward advertisement and guilt. Study 2 and 3 further investigated the boundary effect of the authenticity of humanity. Study 2 manipulated authenticity by anthropomorphizing different objects in the advertisement. Participants in Study 3 were presented with different sets of science material on plant, which influenced their perception of humanity authenticity. The data of Study 2 and 3 were collected from 135 and 105 undergraduates. Our experiments showed that inappropriate anthropomorphic design in food advertisement generated illusions of “eating people”, and made consumers feel guilty. Guilt is a kind of self-conscious emotion, which involves negative feelings about a specific behavior or action taken by the self. So, anthropomorphic design in food makes “eating” a hurtful behavior, which subsequently makes consumers feel guilty. The results showed that the negative effects of anthropomorphic design on attitude towards advertisement were mediated by the guilty feeling. Furthermore, this effect only happened when perceived humanity authenticity of food anthropomorphic design was high. When consumers did not believe the anthropomorphized object had the ability to think (authenticity of food anthropomorphic design is low), then it would not lower the positive attitude towards the advertisement. As a result, the negative effect would only happen when pigs but not when meat balls were anthropomorphized (Study 2), and when participants read materials indicating that even mushroom could feel the pain (Study 3). This study filled the gap of the negative influence of anthropomorphic design by exploring the mechanism of negative emotion (guilt) and authenticity. Furthermore, past research usually focused on companies or marketing materials, however, this study focused on the view of consumers’ wellbeing. The studies provide important implications for food advertising.