Internet language is a creative product of the rapid development of computer-mediated communication. Previous studies showed that compared to standard language, Internet language induced a delayed and extended N400 effect. However, the classic N400 cannot interpret the cognitive processes of Internet language in daily life, because it is an artificial ERP component derived from the semantic incongruity. Alternatively, the processing of Internet language can be considered as a creative thinking process. Its neural processing may be similar to that of verbal creativities like metaphor and Chinese two-part allegorical saying. The purpose of the present work was to reveal the reasons for the extension of classic N400 effect in Internet language and to identify the key ERPs reflecting the successful understanding of Internet language. The semantic processing of Internet language and standard Chinese was compared by the ERPs in the classic semantic incongruity paradigm. According to the type of the final word of the sentence (Internet word or standard Chinese word) and the relationship between the final word and the first half of the sentence (related or unrelated), the experimental materials were classified into four types, including Internet language congruity and incongruity as well as standard Chinese congruity and incongruity. 20 participants were asked to judge 152 sentences and determine whether the sentences were sensible. The ERPs were analyzed and compared between conditions at the time window of 0~1000 ms after the onset of the final word of the sentence. Behavioral results showed that the reaction time of Internet language was significantly longer than that of standard Chinese, and the reaction time in incongruity condition was significantly longer than that in congruity condition. ERP results showed that: (1) in both Internet language and standard Chinese, a more negative ERP around 400ms was induced in the incongruity condition in contrast to the congruity condition; (2) this classic N400 difference wave was characterized by a delayed peak latency and an extended duration in Internet language compared to that in standard Chinese; (3) the classic N400 difference waves in both Internet language and standard Chinese were located at the thalamus in early period and the anterior cingulate cortex in late period; (4) under the condition of congruity, Internet language elicited a more negative N400 and a more positive late positive component than standard Chinese, respectively located at the anterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus. In summary, the present results suggest that the differences in classic N400 effect between Internet language and standard Chinese may derive from the different fluency. The novel N400 and late positive component should be the key ERPs in Internet language processing, which respectively reflect the recognition of the novel meanings of Internet words as well as the novel semantic integration and the forming of novel semantic associations.
The attention processing of emotional stimuli includes two stages: recognition and disengagement. Rapid recognition of emotional stimuli can ensure the high-efficiency processing of emotional information. However, if attention bias is too strong to be effectively removed, it may cause maladaptation to the environment and mood disorders. Therefore, the characteristics of attention to emotional stimuli in both the recognition and the disengagement stage must be investigated. The current study included two experiments. In experiment 1, we adopted a two-choice oddball task and used neutral faces as standard stimuli; crying and smiling faces were used as deviant stimuli. An EyeLinkⅡ desktop eye tracker with a 250 Hz sample rate was used to record the participants’ eye movements. In experiment 2, we used a cue-target paradigm to imitate the process of disengagement from emotional stimuli. We classified crying, smiling and neutral faces as the cue stimuli and asked the participants to respond according to the position of the target stimulus. We hypothesized that crying faces would be recognized with a shorter reaction time and higher accuracy than smiling faces in the recognition stage. Although the mouth was important for the detection of smiling faces, the eyes were more relevant for crying faces. In the disengagement stage, the types of facial expressions could affect the inhibition of return. Under valid cue conditions, processing of the target stimulus was faster after crying facial expressions were presented than after other facial expressions were presented. The results of experiment 1 suggested that compared to smiling faces, crying faces were recognized faster and with higher accuracy. In addition, the eye movement data indicated that whether shown a crying face or a smiling face, the participants’ fixation time, fixation time ratio and fixation count ratio were significantly greater in the eyes and nose area than in the mouth area. Furthermore, there was an interaction effect between facial expression types and AOIs (areas of interest). The fixation time and fixation time ratio were higher in the eyes area than in the mouth area when recognizing crying faces, whereas the fixation indexes were higher in the mouth area than in the eyes area when recognizing smiling faces. Experiment 2 showed that there was an IOR, and in accordance with the hypothesis, there was an interaction effect between cue validity and facial expression type. Under valid cue conditions, the average fixation time and saccade latency for the target stimuli after a crying facial expression was presented were significantly shorter than those after other facial expressions were presented. In conclusion, there are different attention biases to the crying facial expression in recognition and disengagement. In the recognition stage, individuals can recognize crying facial expressions accurately and react quickly. In addition, the eye-movement patterns of crying faces and smiling faces have both similarities and subtle differences. In the disengagement stage, crying facial expressions can facilitate the orienting and visual processing of target stimuli under valid cue conditions.
Auditory dominance refers to that auditory information competes for preferential access to consciousness in multisensory integration. Sound-induced flash illusion is an auditory dominance phenomenon in multisensory integration, which is the perception of brief visual stimuli could be qualitatively altered by concurrent brief sounds. It has been well documented that sound-induced flash illusion reflects cross-modal interactions at a perceptual level, and the illusion is too robust to change in many stimulus parameters. It remains unknown how modal-based attention influences the multisensory integration. Prior studies mostly asked participants to focus on the visual modal and ignore the auditory modal, however, in present study, we not only manipulated the modal-based attention (selective attention vs. divided attention) to ask the participants to focus their attention either on the visual modal or the auditory modal, but also manipulated task difficulty (high vs. low) to investigate how the cognitive control influences the sound-induced flash illusion. The present study was a 2 (modal-based attention: selective attention vs. divided attention) × 2 (flash number: 1 vs. 2) × 3 (sound number: 0 vs. 1 vs. 2) factorial design in the two experiments, the factor of modal-based attention was manipulated by block. In experiment 1, asking the participants to judge the number of flashes first, then judge the number of sounds. In experiment 2, we increased the task difficulty, asking the participants to judge the numbers of flashes first, then judge whether the number of flash and sound were consistent. In present study, we mainly focused on the fission illusion (when a single brief visual flash is accompanied by two auditory bleeps and perceived incorrectly as two flashes) and the fusion illusion (where a double flash is accompanied by a single bleep and perceived incorrectly as a single flash). From the results of accuracy (ACC), showing that fission illusion was larger than fusion illusion, and when the participants were initiative to pay attention to the auditory modal, resulting to enlarge the fission illusion, while it did not influence the fusion illusion. From the results of reaction times (RTs), regardless of the participants were focused attention on auditory stimuli passively or paid attention to auditory stimuli initiatively, fission illusion was stable, and was not affected by the attentional resources. However, the fusion illusion was not reflected in the reaction times. Together with the experiment 1and 2, we also suggested that the task difficulty could not influence the sound-induced flash illusion. The results indicated that regardless of the single modal-based attention or the cross modal-based attention, compared with the fusion illusion, the fission illusion was larger, and was more affected by the distribution of attentional resources. In addition, we also indicated that task difficulty could influence the sound-induced flash illusion.
Metaphor is a ubiquitous cognitive style in everyday life. Ordinary conceptual systems are fundamentally metaphorical in nature. Spatial metaphors and weight metaphors play an important role in human cognition. Spatial metaphor is the mapping of spatial concepts to non-spatial concepts. Similarly, weight metaphor is mapping the concept of weight onto the concept of non-weight. By studying a large number of corpora, researchers found that many abstract concepts are constructed and understood through spatial and weight concepts, such as time, quantity, emotion, moral, power, importance etc. Kinship, as an initial social relationship, is formed on the basis of blood relationships and marriage. In each language, there is a corresponding vocabulary to represent kinship terms, which are called kinship words. Kinship words include a wealth of genetic, marital, sociological and cultural information. The purpose of this study is to investigate and explore whether kinship words which belong to the same generation could be represented by concrete concepts, such as up-down, and heavy-light concepts. Generally speaking, “up” implies higher authority, upper social status and more respect, “down” means lower authority, lower social status and more care; “heavy” implies higher authority and more importance; “light” means lower authority and less importance. In this study, three experiments were explored. The participants were college students of the Chinese Korean Nationality and the Han Nationality. Kinship word judgment task and priming task were introduced to examine the metaphorical effects of kinship words. Every experiment included 2 sub-experiments. In experiment 1a, 30 Korean kinship words (18 the elder kinship words and 12 the younger kinship words) were used to survey the role of up-down metaphor in Korean subjects. In experiment 1b, 24 Chinese kinship words (12 the elder kinship words and 12 the younger kinship words) were used to survey the role of up-down metaphor in the Han subjects. Experiment 2 was constructed to explore whether weight can be primed by seniority rules. In experiment 2a, 12 Korean kinship word pairs (an elder kinship word paired with a younger kinship word, like “older brother-younger brother”) and a tilted balance were used to inspect the role of heavy-light metaphor in Korean subjects. Experiment 2b was a corresponding experiment carried out in the Han subjects. Experiment 3 was constructed to explore whether weight can prime seniority rules. The procedures and stimulus were similar to those from experiment 2. Results suggested that: (1) Seniority rules hidden in kinship words and vertical dimension of space existed implicit contact: the elder kinship words corresponded to the space "up" and younger kinship words corresponded to the space "down". The results of the Chinese Korean Nationality and the Han Nationality were similar. (2) Seniority rules hidden in kinship words and weight existed implicit contact: the elder kinship words corresponded to "heavy" and younger kinship words corresponded to "light". The process of kinship words affected the process of weight. The weight metaphor of kinship words only existed in the Chinese Korean Nationality other than the Han Nationality. (3) The process of weight affected the process of kinship words in return. The same as experiment 2, this priming effect was only found in the Chinese Korean Nationality. To sum it up, “up-down” spatial metaphor of kinship words which belong to the same generation of the Han Nationality and the Chinese Korean Nationality were similar. “Heavy-light” weight metaphor of kinship words existed in the Chinese Korean Nationality other than the Han Nationality. The difference between the two nationalities lies in their respective cultural schemas and body experiences. These results suggested that the Chinese Korean Nationality value seniority rules more than the Han Nationality.
Four studies investigated the mapping mechanism and its characteristics of the vertical spatial metaphor of moral concepts. Adopting the Stroop Paradigm, study 1 found that there was no significant difference in the participants’ reaction time to the letter presented at the top or bottom of the screen after they finished the judgments of moral words. No effect of word types was found for spatial location. Study 2 was a consciously forced-choice task. The participants were first asked to read out the (im)moral words appearing at the center of the screen, then to select the Greek nonsense words presented at the top or bottom of the screen. Study 2 showed: the participants tended to select the Greek nonsense words presented at the top of the screen after reading out the moral words; when they read the words with immoral senses, they preferred to select the nonsense words presented at the bottom of the screen. Study 3 also used the Stroop Paradigm, which showed that after the space judgment of “上” (shàng, up), the participants’ reaction time to judgment of the subsequent moral words was significantly shorter than the immoral ones. The reaction time to the immoral words was significantly shorter than the moral words when the required task of judgment changed into “下” (xià, down). Study 4 tested the impact of spatial location on the judgment of human morality. The result showed that the participants were more inclined to think the pictures showing at the top of the screen moral and the ones at the bottom immoral. The results of the four studies suggest that the mapping mode of vertical space metaphor of moral concepts is flexible and bidirectional: it may map from the source domain to the target domain, or in a reverse order. However, the mapping power of the two directions is not balanced. The metaphor connection between moral concepts and vertical space positions may be caused by the combination of morality and valence.
Referential communication which is characterized by interpersonal interaction takes oral language as the medium. Oriented towards common goal, referential communication emphasizes mutual cooperation and pays much attention to the collective reward and individual responsibility. Referential communication learning is the typical way of cooperative learning in education and teaching. The cognitive coordination mechanism between referential communicators is a hot research topic in cognitive psychology. The use of language is not only the key feature of referential communication, but also the media of cognitive and behavioral coordination between referential communicators. The coordination process is a strategic adjustment process. However, the language signals may be blurred, therefore communicators have to rely more on additional information resources to resolve the ambiguities and achieve a common understanding. This is a non-strategic adjustment process. Non-strategic and strategic adjustment processes coexist in the referential communication learning, which is reflected in the cognitive characteristics of the shared factors. The study analyzed the cognitive coordination characteristics of the two sides of the referential communication learning from the perspective of the control of shared factor. 144 college students participated in the current study. Adopting referential communication learning paradigm, the study created three shared conditions and designed virtual learning materials. By the referential communication learning task and selective attention task, the study explored the influence of shared factors on the learning of the two sides of referential communication. The result showed: First, beginning from the b6 (learning stage 6), learning performance in the shared language + object + expression condition was extremely significantly higher than that in shared language + object condition. Beginning from b8, the shared language condition was significantly higher than the shared language + object condition. There was no significant difference between b3 and b4, and between b9 and b10 in the shared language + object + expression condition. Second, under the condition of low score group, the learning performance of the shared language + object + expression condition was extremely significantly higher than that of the other two kinds of sharing, There was no significant difference between high score group and low score group in the shared language + object + expression condition. Third, the number of dimensions under the shared language condition and the shared language + object + expression condition were extremely significantly more than those under the shared language + object condition; the number of dimensions of the high group was significantly more than the low group. The result suggested: ①Under the condition of shared language + object + expression, the communication learner's learning efficiency was the highest. It was especially the case in the low group. The coordination level of two sides was the highest under this condition. ②The level of selective attention was significantly higher under the shared language and shared language + object + expression condition than that under the shared language + object condition. The selective attention level of high group learners was more higher.
The monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) gene, as an important candidate gene of depressive symptoms, has been demonstrated to interact with environmental factors, especially stressful life events and family environments, in predicting adolescent depressive symptoms. Peer victimization serves as a significant source of stress particularly during early adolescence and can lead to a series of psychosocial adjustment problems that even persist long after the experience of being harassed. However, it still remains unknown about whether or not the MAOA gene interacts with peer victimization on adolescent depressive symptoms. There is evidence about the significant interaction between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene and the MAOA gene on depressive symptoms. However, whether or not the COMT gene plays a moderating role on the interactive effects between MAOA gene and environmental factors is still unclear. Therefore, the present study aimed to examine (i) the interaction between the MAOA T94G polymorphism and peer victimization on adolescent depressive symptoms and (ii) the moderating role of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism in the aforementioned associations. The original participants (1440 adolescents, male = 757, 52.6%) was drawn from an ongoing longitudinal study, which recruiting children from 40 classes of 14 primary schools in Jinan, China. Because of the uncertain X-inactivation and resulting MAOA activity among females, this study limited our analyses on the male subsample. Using a 2-year longitudinal design, we first assessed adolescent depressive symptoms and peer victimization by self-rated Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI) and Peer Victimization Scale (PVS), respectively, at Time 1 (Mage = 11.32 years, SD = 0.49). At time 2 (Mage = 12.32 years, SD = 0.48), saliva samples of adolescents were collected and genotyped for the MAOA T941 and COMT Val158Met polymorphisms using the MassARRAY Typer software version 3.4 (Sequenom), and adolescent depressive symptoms were tested again using CDI. A series of hierarchical regressions were conducted to analyze the effects of genes and peer victimization on adolescent depressive symptoms. The results showed that, after depressive symptoms at Time 1 was controlled for, the MAOA T941G polymorphism significantly interacted with peer victimization (i.e., physical victimization and relational victimization, respectively) in predicting depressive symptoms at Time 2. Among MAOA G allele carriers, peer victimization positively predicted depressive symptoms; however, among MAOA T allele carriers, peer victimization was not associated with depressive symptoms. More importantly, this interaction between the MAOA gene and peer victimization was moderated by the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, such that the aforementioned interaction only existed among COMT Met allele carriers, but not among Val/Val homozygotes. That is, among all combined genotypes of the MAOA and COMT genes, only G-Met genotype carriers were susceptible to peer victimization. In summary, our results demonstrated that peer victimization also served as an important candidate environmental factor and interacted with the MAOA gene in predicting depressive symptoms during early adolescence. Of particular note, such interactive effect between the MAOA gene and peer victimization was further moderated by the COMT Val158Met polymorphism. These findings highlight the importance of investigating the moderating role of peer victimization in the association between genes and depressive symptoms during early adolescence. More importantly, this study underscores complex polygenic underpinnings of depressive symptoms and lends support for the multi-genes by environment interactions on the etiology of depressive symptoms.
Restrained eaters (REs) are highly focused on their weight and can be divided into successful and unsuccessful subgroups. The goal-conflict model proposes that restrained eaters have conflicting goals, enjoyment of food versus dietary restraint. When strength of the enjoyment goal surpasses that of the dietary restraint goal, people are viewed as unsuccessful restrained eaters. Unsuccessful REs are a high risk group for eating disorders and they have inhibitory control deficits compared to other people and are more likely to have eating behavior triggered when exposure to food environments and highly palatable food. Consequently, it is important to control their impulsive eating behaviors toward unhealthy foods. Previous studies have found that these impulsive behaviors can be controlled by the process of inhibition. In this research, unsuccessful REs were identified and engaged in a stop signal task to reduce their approach tendencies toward unhealthy food and change their explicit and implicit attitudes toward unhealthy food. From an initial sample of 310 Chinese undergraduate women, we recruited 66 unsuccessful restrained eaters based on scoring cut-offs from the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire and Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire. Unhealthy food frequency questionnaire, Food ratings (liking and attractiveness rate toward health and unhealthy food) and Single Category Implicit Association Test were used as baseline tests for all the participants. On the basis of random assignment, 33 women in the experimental condition engaged in inhibitory control training towards unhealthy food pictures) while 31 women in the control condition were provided with inhibitory control training towards non-food pictures). Each woman received seven 10-minute training sessions over one week. Finally, the participants completed a post-training assessment comprised of re-administered baseline measures and a food choice task. At baseline, self-reported weekly unhealthy food intake, food rating and implicit attitude towards unhealthy food did not differ between these two groups. Repeated MANOVA analyses, with group (intervention vs. control) and time (pre-training vs. post-training) as independent variables, were conducted to assess changes in self-reported weekly unhealthy food intake. The significant Group × Time interaction, (F(1,62) = 10.81, p < 0.01), indicated experimental group participants chose healthier food than control group in the food choice task. Experimental participants also had a reduction in reported liking and attractiveness of unhealthy foods between baseline and post-test compared with the control group. There were no changes in implicit attitudes towards unhealthy food in these two groups. As both groups showed an implicit preference for unhealthy foods both at baseline and post-intervention. In conclusion, these findings showed that inhibitory control training may be useful in addressing overt responses to unhealthy foods among unsuccessful REs though this intervention did not have a significant impact on implicit preferences for unhealthy food. In the future, researchers should further consider mechanisms underlying inhibitory control training.
Judgments about whether an action is morally right or wrong typically depend on our capacity to infer the actor’s beliefs and the outcomes of the action. Prior neuroimaging studies have found that mental state (e.g., beliefs, intentions) attributions for moral judgment involve a complex neural network including the temporoparietal junction (TPJ). However, neuroimaging studies cannot demonstrate a direct causal relationship between the activity of this brain region and its role in mental state attribution for moral judgment. In the current study, we aimed to provide evidence of a direct link between the neural and behavioral results through the application of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the bilateral TPJ of our participants. In the experiment 1, each participant was required to complete two similar tasks of moral judgment before and after receiving tDCS. We studied whether tDCS over the right TPJ and left TPJ altered participants’ mental state attribution for moral judgment. The results indicated that improving the activity of the right TPJ and restraining the activity of the left TPJ decreased the role of actor’s beliefs in moral judgments and led to an increase in the dependence of the participants’ moral judgments on the action’s consequences. In the experiment 2, the participants were randomly assigned to one of three stimulation treatments (right anodal/left cathodal tDCS, left anodal/right cathodal tDCS, or sham stimulation). We found that enhancing the excitability of the left TPJ as well as inhibiting the right TPJ using tDCS could strengthen the role of beliefs and intentions in moral judgment, extending the function of the left TPJ in moral judgment. The effect of enhancing the role of beliefs in moral judgment highly depended on contextual settings, demonstrating that the degree of the right TPJ and left TPJ's role in the integration of beliefs in moral judgment could be various across different scenario types. These results were robust in the case of scenarios involving business relationships. We also found that moral judgment measured by the condemnation ratings of participants were unaffected in all four moral conditions when applying anodal stimulation over the right TPJ and cathodal stimulation over the left TPJ, which is consistent with previous tDCS findings that enhancing the excitability of the right TPJ does not affect the attribution of mental states in judgment tasks. We also found that the participants exhibited reduced reaction times both in the cases of intentional harms and attempted harms after receiving right cathodal/left anodal tDCS over the TPJ. These findings inform and extend the current neural models of moral judgment and moral development typically in developing people and in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.
Forgiveness and revenge are two common strategies for coping with offence. Previous research finds that forgiveness is positively associated with positive psychological outcomes, such as positive affect, life satisfaction and happiness, while negatively associated with negative psychological outcomes, such as negative affect, anxiety and depression. On the other hand, the outcomes of revenge are a bit controversial. Some researchers believe revenge has an adaptive function, such as restoring the equilibrium between victim and offender. But more research reveals that revenge has a dark side. Individuals with a penchant for revenge have a higher level of negative affect and depression and a lower level of life satisfaction. They also tend to have more aggressive behavior. Although most psychological therapists and researchers tend to view forgiveness and revenge as two opposite strategies, there is no empirical research comparing the different effects of these two strategies. Thus, in the present study, three experiments were designed to examine the reducing effects of forgiveness and revenge on anger. Experiment 1 examined effect of anger reduction after priming forgiveness or revenge. Participants were assigned randomly to two conditions: forgiveness priming or revenge priming. They read a hypothetical scenario describing paper plagiary in a college classroom (the offender plagiarized the victim’s paper and handed it to the teacher without notification and the victim proved that he/she was innocent finally). Participants in the forgiveness condition read that the victim forgave the plagiarist while those in the revenge condition read that the victim carried out revenge by asking the professor to punish the plagiarist severely. All participants were asked to imagine this story happening to them and rated the level their anger and positive and negative emotion. Participants under the forgiveness condition reported a lower level of anger than those under revenge condition. They also had a lower level of negative affect. But both conditions did not differ on positive affect. Experiment 2 was designed to replicate the findings of experiment 1. Furthermore, intentions of the offensive behavior were also considered in experiment 2. The experiment procedure was similar to experiment 1. Participants read intentional (similar to experiment 1) or unintentional offence scenarios (the offender damaged the victim’s gift unintentionally) followed by forgiveness or revenge. Regardless of the intentions of offensive behavior, participants under forgiveness condition reported a lower level of anger than those under revenge condition again. They also reported a lower level of negative affect. Those who read the intentional offence scenarios also reported a higher level of anger. Furthermore, participants who read the intentional offence scenario did not differ on positive affect whether followed by forgiveness or revenge. But those who read the unintentional scenario followed by forgiveness reported higher level of positive affect than those read the unintentional scenario followed by revenge. Experiment 3 examined the direct anger reduction of forgiveness and revenge. After reading the scenario similar to experiment 1, participants were assigned randomly to forgiveness or revenge conditions. They were asked to forgive or revenge the offender and wrote down how to forgive/revenge, how they felt during forgiving/ revenging and the reasons of forgiving/revenging. They rated the anger before and after forgiving/ revenging. Results revealed that although both strategies could reduce anger effectively, the forgiveness strategy did a much better job on reducing anger than the revenge. The findings of the present study implied that after an offence, forgiveness and revenge both could reduce anger, but forgiveness did a better job.
In a modern multi-ethnic country, people from different ethnic groups living in the same community is a common phenomenon. To promote positive inter-relationships and social harmony among ethnic groups, we must pay attention to the process of ethnic socialization. Perceived ethnic socialization refers to minority children’s understanding of their parents’ messages regarding ethnicity. Previous studies have focused on the effects of unilateral discrimination or prejudice on ethnic socialization. Few researchers have examined the effects of self-categorization on perceived ethnic socialization in a conflict context with two-way bias. Study 1 was a situational experiment designed to simulate a conflict context with two-way bias between Jingpo and Dai students; 251 Jingpo and 297 Dai junior students participated in an exploration of the effect of in-group categorization on perceived ethnic-socialization messages. Study 2 examined the effects of three kinds of self-categorization (in-group, out-group, and intergroup categorization) on perceived ethnic-socialization messages; story-completion tasks were completed by 110 Jingpo, 61 Dai, and 332 Han junior high school students. The results showed that three types of ethnic-socialization messages, including “promotion of harmony,” “cultural socialization,” and “promotion of mistrust,” were reported significantly more often by Dai students than by Jingpo students. There were differences in self-categorization among Dai, Jingpo, and Han students. The frequency of self-categorization types indicated in each ethnic group, ordered from high to low, was as follows: Jingpo: in-group, intergroup, out-group; Dai: intergroup, in-group, out-group; and Han: out-group, intergroup, in-group. There were significant differences between the three ethnic groups in the effects of self-categorization on perceptions of ethnic-socialization messages about “promotion of harmony,” “cultural socialization,” and “reporting conflict to the authorities.” In the context of two-way bias conflict, there was a clear relationship between self-classification and perceived ethnic socialization in Jingpo, Dai, and Han junior high school students: no matter how the students classified themselves—participant (in-group), bystander (out-group), or mediator (intergroup)—the most-frequently reported socialization message was “promotion of harmony.” On the other hand, “preparation for bias” mainly depended on the classification of participants and did not have a close relationship with other types of categorization. Finally, students who categorized themselves as mediators readily perceived the message about “reporting conflict to the authorities.”
The equate-to-differentiate model (EDM) is powerful in explaining the decision effects on the decision task with two possible outcomes. But relatively less is known about its power in explaining the effects on decision with three possible outcomes. Even less is known about the predictive power differences between the “classical matching task” and the “new joint judging task” (designed by Li X.P. etc., 2009) in testing the power of the EDM on the decision task with three possible outcomes. In this paper, therefore, the way EDM describes people’s behavior on the Allais paradox decision tasks involving decision with three possible outcomes was revisited. Specifically, this paper aimed to: (1) compare the “better-worse” and the “best-worst” representing frames in decision involving three possible outcomes (i.e., the Allais paradox decision task); (2) find out whether the predictive power of the EDM on the decision task with three possible outcomes is better explained by the “new joint judging task” than by the “classical matching task” ;(3) find out whether the above conclusion could be replicated when the decision values varied and when the non-imposed decision situation was adopted;(4) revisit the Allais paradox as demonstrated by EDM. Three studies were conducted and a total of 1129 participants were recruited for the research. Three different kinds of decision questionnaires were sent to the participants randomly in Study 1. One of them consisted of the first task of the Allais paradox + “classical matching task” + the “new joint judging task” and both of last two tasks were based on the “better-worse” representation; (2) Another of them consisted of the first task of the Allais paradox + “classical matching task” + the “new joint judging task” and both of last two tasks were based on the “best-worst” representation; (3) The third of them consisted of the second task of the Allais paradox + “classical judging task” + the “new joint judging task”. The magnitude of the decision value on the three questionnaires was ¥1000000. Two different decision values were used in Study 2, which were ¥10000 and ¥100000000 respectively. Otherwise, the design was identical to that in Study 1. Study 3 was similar to Study 2 except that the participants were not imposed to make their decision. They were asked to indicate the differences they saw on the judging task and “new joint judging task” in different ways. They indicated their choice and the differences they saw on a continuous axis similar to that used in Li and Xie (2006). The results revealed that: (1) people used the “better-worse” representation in the decision with three possible outcomes in EDM; (2) the “new joint judging task” was more powerful than the “classical matching task” in testing the EDM on decision with three possible outcomes; (3) the above two conclusions were replicated when the decision values varied and the non-imposed decision situation was adopted; (4) the power of EDM in explaining the Allais paradox could be further strengthened. The findings in this paper show that: (1) the EDM is powerful in describing the effects in decision with three possible outcomes, especially on the Allais paradox tasks; (2) the decision process on tasks with three possible outcomes as described by EDM is not parsimonious.
Consumers’ perceived status change has an important influence on their status consumption. Consumers may manipulate their social status by purchasing or owning a brand that enhances their social status. Since threats to one’s social status often lead to psychological aversion, consumers tend to select and purchase goods that can be affiliated with people of higher social status in order to improve peer evaluations on their social status and thus compensate their psychological inferiority. Meanwhile, because of the human nature that desires positive self-image, perceived status improvement will evoke consumers’ self-enhancement motivation, through purchasing products that are associated with high social status. In the experiment 1, 183 MBA students were first asked to rate themselves as well as their peers on the perceived status index and then they received feedback of a randomly generated ranking. This was conducted to manipulate their perceived social status. Next, their purchase intention towards status related goods and non-status related goods were measured. In the experiment 2,568 undergraduate students were asked to complete an IQ test and then they were informed of their individual rankings based on their test score, which were in fact randomly generated. Their self-enhancement motivation, self-compensation motivation, perceived power and self-esteem were measured, along with their purchase intention towards status goods and non-status goods. In the experiment 3, 96 participants were instructed to recall a status-threatening event (manipulation group) or a non-status threatening event (control group) that occurs in the social context. Participants then completed a “Traditional vs. New Consumption Value” survey and were asked to imagine a shopping experience. Finally, their status consumption likelihood was measured. Our results demonstrated that improved status perception increased consumers’ intention to purchase status goods, but not the non-status goods; while threatened status perception drove their purchase intention towards both status and non-status goods. Self-enhancement motivation (self-compensation motivation) mediated the influence of improved status perception (threatened status perception) on intention to purchase status goods. Certain traditional Chinese cultural values, like modesty, had negative impacts on the extent to which customer would achieve self-compensation through status consumption. On the other hand, Western cultural values, like self-realization, were found to enhance consumer status consumption likelihood as a means to fulfill self- compensation. This study examining perceived status provides a new perspective of understanding the complexity of status consumption of individual consumers, which has been largely overlooked by social stratification theory pertaining to status consumption. Our research has also advanced our knowledge of the mediating mechanism underlying the relationship between status perception and status goods consumption. In addition, this study extends the Western-based compensatory consumption theory by introducing culture values as a moderating variable, and thus enrich the cultural diversity of the theory.