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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 49 Issue 5 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    An eye movement study on the perceptual span in reading Tibetan language
    BAI Xuejun; GAO Xiaolei; GAO Lei; WANG Yongsheng
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (5): 569-576.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00569
    Abstract   PDF (369KB) ( 2014 )

    Perceptual span in reading refers to the range of useful information that can be obtained from each fixation of the reader during the reading process. Perception span is not only a basic question in reading research, but also is a problem with an important practical value. The divergence of the perceptual span in reading can effectively reflect the efficiency and the processing strategy for reading across individual readers. Perceptual span is an important component of language processing, which varies to characteristics of the languages themselves. The exploration of the perceptual span of phonetic characters and Chinese reading has been completed by a lot of researches until recently. However, the attribute of perceptual span in reading of the Tibetan language which is alphabetic writing and at the same time has the characteristics of ideograms remains largely unclear. The moving window paradigm proposed by McConkie and Rayner (1975) is one of commonly used methods in reading perceptual span studies. In order to probe the size of perceptual span in reading Tibetan language, the present study recruited 35 Tibetan university students as participants, and instructed them to complete the reading task which was presented using the classic moving window paradigm including 7 kinds of window (5, 9, 13, 17, 21, 25, and the entire line), in this process the EyeLink1000Plus eye tracker was applied to trace the eye movement during reading. Corresponding to the previous studies, this study took the average fixation time, fixation times, total fixation time, reading speed, and the jump magnitude to the right as the analysis index. The variance analysis of repeated measures was used to measure the window variables. The results of variance analysis showed that, with the increase of overall trend window, the average fixation time, total fixation times, and total fixation time decreased, but the reading speed and the right eye jump amplitude increased. In order to determine whether the set of the maximum window conditions are valid, two kinds of comparisons were carried out. First, the maximum window condition and the condition of the whole line were compared. It showed that the maximum window condition did not affect reading, thus the maximum window condition was set to be appropriate. Second, in order to determine the right side scope of perceptual span in reading, the conditions of L2R2, L4R4, L6R6, L8R8, L10R10 and the condition of L12R12 were compared. The result showed that when the time windows were increased to L8R8, the reading would not be disturbed. For conclusion, the data of the present study suggested that the Tibetan language perceptual span of Tibetan college students was 4~8 character spaces to the right of the fixation. Compared with other languages, the Tibetan language obtains different stylistic features, and the range of perceptual span of reading is also of difference. Together, the present study provides evidence for that the reading perceptual span the Tibetan language exist specificity during language processing.

    The impact of contextual expectation on rapid natural scene recognition
    SUN Yusheng; ZHANG Zhijun; WU Binxing
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (5): 577-589.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00577
    Abstract   PDF (1743KB) ( 1365 )

    Our visual system has the ability to categorize images of natural visual scenes at a remarkable speed. Some researches suggested that this ability was based on a fast feedforward sweep of visuomotor processing, as top-down signals that reflect strategic processing or attentional effects are too slow to exert any influences. But recent studies have provided new evidences that some local recurrent feedback connections in early visual areas, which are different from the slower attention-mediated processes, might also impact rapid scene recognition. In addition to attention-mediated processes, expectations are also known to greatly affect our experience of the world in a top-down way. In ambiguous situations, such as under a rapid serial visual presentation condition, knowledge of the world guides our interpretation of the sensory information and helps us recognize the scene quickly and accurately. In the present study, we investigated whether could contextual expectation affect rapid scene recognition and the mechanisms behind those processes at different stages of early visual areas. Experiment 1 used binocular rivalry paradigm. On each trial, we first presented a sequence of identical images to the two eyes in order to generate an expectation (animal/non-animal) about the next scene in the series. We followed this predictive sequence with a rivalry display in which the predicted category of scene was presented (36 ms) to one eye and a non-predicted category was presented to the other eye. There were three conditions: number of predictive sequence images (between 0 and 12), the predicted category (animal/non- animal), and the eye to which the “matching” rivalrous category was presented (left/right eye). Experiment 2 used dual task paradigm, in which participants were asked to accomplish a central word discrimination task and a peripheral natural scene categorization task at the same time. In the central task, two words selected from the categories of animal, plants or office equipment were displayed in the center, and participants were forced to determine whether they were from the same category. In peripheral task, natural scene images containing or not containing animals were flashed for 36ms at one of four corners randomly, and participants were instructed to respond to images that containing one or more animals. Experiment 3 consisted of 3a and 3b whose procedures were the same as Experiment 2 except that they used lower spatial frequencies (3a, LSF) and higher spatial frequencies (3b, HSF) components of the original scenes accordingly. The results showed that observers were more likely to perceive the predicted category of scene at the onset of rivalry, suggesting that expectation can bias subjective perception of incoming sensory information from rapidly presented scene. Results of Experiment 2 show that perception performance in single task of scene recognition was always better than dual task condition (t(19) = 4.65, p < 0.001, Cohen’s d = 1.02). The results show that d' of expected condition was bigger than unexpected condition (t(19) = 5.07, p < 0.001, Cohen’s d = 0.91), as did β (t(19) = 3.02, p < 0.05, Cohen’s d = 0.51). These results suggested that expectations generated by visual words can influence both bias and discriminability of observers while detecting animals in rapidly represented natural scene images. LSF scene recognition in Experiment 3a was found significantly better than Experiment 3b's HSF condition (t(19) = 3.26, p < 0.05, Cohen’s d = 1.07), which was consistent with results from previous researches that a coarse-to-fine process could account for efficient scene recognition (Musel et al., 2014). Although significant differences of d' between expected and unexpected condition were both found in dual task in Experiment 3a (t(19) = 4.82, p < 0.01, Cohen’s d = 0.75) and 3b (t(19) = 6.28, p < 0.001, Cohen’s d = 1.32), only under HSF condition there was significant difference of β (Exp. 3b, t(19) = 3.54, p < 0.05, Cohen’s d = 0.79; Exp. 3a: t(19) = 2.08, p > 0.05), suggesting that though LSF components of scene can be more efficiently processed at early stages of visual areas, HSF components are essential to accomplish rapid natural scene recognition. Results of current research provide solid support for theories that our visual system combines both stimuli-driven feedforward signals and feedback information of prior expectations to accomplish rapid natural scene recognition. The influences of contextual expectations on rapid natural scene recognition is quite different between spatial frequency components processed with separate visual pathway, also both components are essential to accomplish the recognition of a rapidly presented natural scene.

    Does irrelevant long-term memory representation guide the deployment of visual attention?
    HU Cenlou; ZHANG Bao; HUANG Sai
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (5): 590-601.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00590
    Abstract   PDF (829KB) ( 1992 )

    The capacity of information processing system for human being is severely limited, but humans are proficient in searching for target information in the familiar visual scenes, in part because the task-relevant long-term memory (LTM) representations can efficiently guide attentional deployment to optimize the selection to the target and the escapement from the distractors. Hence, LTM-guided attention is key to our high level of visual performance, serving to direct our limited attentional resources efficiently. However, the issue whether irrelevant LTM representations can guide the deployment of visual attention as well as the irrelevant working memory (WM) representation is elusive yet. Therefore, we attempted to explore this issue here via three experiments. In experiment 1, participants were asked to maintain an object in LTM before the experiment initialized until to the end. During the experiment, participants were required to perform a visual search task while holding another object in WM online. In the visual search task, one of the distractor might share common features with either the representation of LTM or the representation of WM occasionally. Both the results of the response time and the first fixation proportion showed that the visual attention would bias to the distractor when sharing common features with the WM representation, displaying an classical WM-driven attentional guidance effect; however, non-guidance effect was found when the distractor shared common features with LTM representation. More importantly, the magnitude of guidance from WM representation was not affected by the simultaneously- emerged LTM representation which was regarded as a directly competitor for the attentional resources in the visual search display. In experiment 2, we manipulated the repetition times of the remembering object as the task used by Carlisle, Arita, Pardo & Woodman (2011), and aimed to test the attentional guidance from the memory representation while it was transferred from WM to LTM. The results observed an obvious attentional guidance effect from the memory representation when it was regarded as being maintained in WM (i.e., when the remembering object repeated less than three times) and this guidance effect disappeared when the memory representation was turned into LTM representation (i.e., when the remembering object repeated more than three times). In experiment 3, we required participants only keeping the LTM representation in memory system as to eliminate the possible interference from WM representation, and remain did not found any attentional guidance effect from the irrelevant LTM representation. In conclusion, the results of the present study observed a robust attentional guidance from the WM representation even when it not severing as search target template and sharing features with distractor in visual search task, in contrast, none such effect was found from the LTM representation under the same situation. These results indicated that the irrelevant LTM representation could not guide visual attention as well as irrelevant WM representation, and illustrated that the guiding process of visual attention from the representations of WM and LTM were two of distinct cognitive processes.

    The influence of different numeral representations and body experience on numeral cognition under the paradigm of response-effect compatibility
    SONG Xiaolei; FU Xuna; ZHANG Junting; YOU Xuqun
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (5): 602-610.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00602
    Abstract   PDF (1287KB) ( 885 )

    The Response-Effect (R-E) compatibility paradigm is derived from the ideomotor theory, which assumes that motor actions are initiated by activating anticipatory images of their intended effects. In a typical R-E compatibility paradigm, a stimulus calls for a response that is repeatedly associated with a given outcome (or effect). After a while, responses to the stimuli become faster when associated with their expected outcomes than with unexpected ones. Finger-numeral representation is one of the methods to represent numbers. Previous studies have shown that this kind of representation can promote and forecast the development of young children’s mathematical ability. Under the Chinese culture, the finger numeral representation has its special connotation. Especially, the representation of larger numbers is a kind of symbolic representation. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to examine the existence of R-E compatibility on numeral representation, compare the differences among these numeral representations, and reveal the influence of the ways of numeral representations and body experiences on human cognitive processes. Three experiments were conducted in this present study. The purpose of experiment 1 was to verify the existence of R-E compatibility effect in numeral conception. The aim of experiment 2 was to clarify the advantage effect of finger-numeral representation, in which cumulative fingers representing numbers with similar nature in experiment 1 was used in this experiment. The way of finger numeral representation of Chinese was adopted in experiment 3, to rule out the representation of number 1 and 2 in the perception level of compatibility, and discuss the influence of individual finger habits on R-E compatibility. In all the three experiments, participants were asked to perform simple additions and provide the answers verbally. The onset of this verbal response triggered the display of correct or incorrect result presented either as a series of rods or as a finger-numeral representation. According to the ideomotor theory, these can be regarded as the sensory outcomes associated with the response of this operation. The result was correct under compatibility condition, while incorrect under incompatibility condition. The results showed that R-E compatibility existed all the time during three kinds of number representations, which supported the ideomotor theory. In addition, it also showed that these fingers number representations were better than rods under the compatible conditions, while no difference under the incompatible conditions. This suggested the advantages of the fingers number representation when fingers were represented as part of the body compared to shown as material objects, which fitted well with the view of embodied numerosity. There was no significant difference between two finger-number representing methods. Even though, the existed of the R-E compatibility in experiment 3 also confirmed the existence of semantic connection between the fingers-number representation and specific numbers. In conclusion, these results indicated that (1) the numeral conception of R-E compatibility exists, which is in consistent with the ideomotor theory; and (2) finger-number representation has the advantage of mapping preference between response and effect, which confirms the view of embodied numerosity.

    The processing of pure decimal numbers: Selective access or parallel access?
    SUN Yueliang; ZHENG Weiyi; HE Xianyou
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (5): 611-621.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00611
    Abstract   PDF (523KB) ( 720 )

    The Spatial Numerical Association of Response Codes (SNARC) Effect and Spatial Shifts of Attention effect have demonstrated the connection between number processing and representation of space. However, previous studies on digital cognitive mechanisms have focused mainly on positive integers, whereas abstract numbers such as decimal numbers between 0 and 1 have drawn less attention. Varma & Karl (2013) first studied such pure decimal numbers, finding that there was a SNARC effect, as well as observing a semantic interference effect. Sashank proposed the parallel access hypothesis to explain the semantic interference effect. However, we argue that some defects existed in the methods used in the previous research, and the conclusion of processing and representation of pure decimal numbers still need further investigation. Whether the processing and representation of pure decimal numbers is also associated with space, and whether pure decimal numbers and natural numbers proximal to the displayed decimal point will be activated at the same time. Existing research has not yet provided an answer. Using the target detection task paradigm with number cues we conducted three experiments to test the processing of pure decimal numbers and its connection with space representation. The purpose of Experiment 1 was to explore whether pure decimal numbers as cues could result in the SNARC effect. The results showed that larger pure decimal numbers could cause the SNARC effect. Experiment 2 was to explore whether the pure decimal number characterization could activate the corresponding number at the same time. The results showed that the processing of pure decimal numbers with the same size and different natural number places (such as 0.2 and 0.20, 0.4 and 0.40) both could lead to the shift of spatial attention. Experiment 3 compared the processing intensity of pure decimal numbers and natural numbers after the decimal point. The results showed that the processing to the inconformity of judging the quantity size of pure decimal numbers and natural numbers after the decimal point failed to cause the effect of SNARC. The results showed participants used a parallel access pattern and caused the attention effect of SNARC when processing the decimal number in the target detection task paradigm. The pure decimal number and its natural number affected Spatial Shifts of Attention for the pure decimal number.

    Empathy for pain influenced by cognitive load: Evidence from an ERP study
    CHENG Jiaping; LUO Yuejia; CUI Fang
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (5): 622-630.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00622
    Abstract   PDF (1324KB) ( 2310 )

    Observing other in pain triggers the empathic responses, which involve two stages of processing temporally: an early, automatic processing that result in emotional contagion and affective sharing, and a later, cognitively controlled process related to emotional regulation. Previous studies suggest that this neural response can be modulated by numerous factors. However, no study has explored how working memory (WM) load can influence empathy for pain. Actually, almost every individual has to deal with other’s emotions with concurrent cognitive task in everyday life. To explore how other’s pain is processed under different cognitive load seems to be meaningful both theoretically and practically. In the present study, we investigated how different levels of working memory load can influence the processing of task-irrelevant stimuli showing other’s pain. Twenty two healthy undergraduates (eleven males) participated in the 2×2 within-subject designed experiment (mean age 20 ± 2.4). We manipulated cognitive load by requiring participants to memorize two (low WM load) or six (high WM load) digits at the beginning of each trial. Then picture depicting a person’s hands/forearms/feet in painful or non-painful situations was presented as a distractor. The participants were informed that these pictures were task-irrelevant and they should focus on memorizing the digits and they were required to judge if a given set of digits was the same as the one they saw at the beginning of the trial after the presentation of the picture. EEG during the observation of pictures under different WM loads was recorded by a 64-channel amplifier using a standard 10-20 system (Brain Products). The ERP results revealed that the WM load can influence the early automatic component P2 and N2. Comparing to low WM load, in the high WM-load condition, the painful pictures elicited significantly larger amplitudes in P2 and more negative amplitudes in N2 than the non-painful pictures. Meanwhile, under the low WM-load conditions, there was no significant difference between the painful and non-painful pictures. The present study found that the cognitive load mainly influence the early automatic stage of processing in empathy for pain. This result indicate that other’s pain attracts greater attention and can be better processed when the cognitive control resources were depleted (i.e., under high, relative to low, concurrent WM load). Under high WM load, enhanced emotional sharing and affective arousal level was reflected in the effect observed on P2 and N2. These findings were explained from the perspective of load theory.

    Chunking processing of spatial working memory in autism preschool children
    LI Songze; HU Jinsheng; LI Chengshi; WANG Qi; HE Jianqing; WANG Yan; YANG Cuiping
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (5): 631-642.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00631
    Abstract   PDF (2573KB) ( 1871 )

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) individuals are confirmed to have deficits in spatial working memory, but the specific impaired element is still undefined. Chunking is an effective form of strategic encoding that involves the recoding of a set of data into a compressed, efficient form and can extend working memory capacity. Spatial chunking is a key segment of the spatial working memory processing. Structured stimuli significantly encourage chunking, lessening working memory demand and significantly improving working memory performance. In this study, we used the Sternberg spatial working memory task and the Corsi’s spatial span task, manipulated the structure of stimulus’ spatial arrangement. In this method, we investigated the chunking processing of autism preschool children, and evaluated the relationship between spatial chunking and spatial working memory capacity in ASD. All participants were recruited in a integrated kindergarten, including 15 ASD children and 18 typical developing children. Age range from 4.5 to 7 years old. Participants were matched in age, verbal intelligence and nonverbal intelligence. In experiment1, participants were required to remember several stimulus’ positions which are presented simultaneously, and only judge one position of them. The accuracy of participants were recorded. In experiment2, stimulus participants were presented one by one, participants were required to remember several stimulus’ positions, and repeat the stimulus positions in the same order. Experiments were manipulated into 2 conditions. In the high-structured condition, all sequences followed a structured rule such that locations were organized as familiar shape components, involving symmetry and parallel sides, and were thus more easily organized into higher-level patterns. In the low-structured condition, locations were organized as irregular figures. The results in experiment1 proved that ASD children existing chunking deficits. First of all, healthy children performed significant better than ASD Children in high-structured condition [F(1,31) = 18.21, p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.370]. But there was no difference in low-structured condition between the 2 groups [F(1,31) = 0.87, p = 0.358, ηp2 = 0.027]. Besides, healthy children performed significant better in high-structured condition comparing with the low-structured condition (p < 0.001). In contrast, ASD Children didn’t show any difference in the 2 conditions (p = 0.245). This proved that the high-structured arrangement encouraged high-level chunking in typical developing children. But ASD children were insensitive in the structured arrangement of stimulus and can’t apply chunking strategy effectively. According to the results in experiment2, the spatial capacity of ASD children was significantly lower than healthy children no matter in high- or low-conditions [F(1,31) = 41.68, p < 0.001, ηp2 = 0.573; F(1,31) = 12.65, p = 0.001, ηp2 = 0.290]. High-structured arrangement significantly improved the spatial working memory capacity in typical developing children (p < 0.001), but also influenced ASD children to some extent (p = 0.041). Chunking deficits influenced spatial capacity in ASD children, abnormal memory storage is also an important factor. In summary, ASD children showed impairment in chunking in spatial working memory, cognitive style of weak central coherence plays a crucial role in spatial chunking. Besides, attention control and executive function have indirect effect in spatial working memory processing in other domains. These findings not only provide inspiration for developing cognitive intervention model, but also provide a breakthrough to the neurophysiological mechanism studies in ASD.

    The emotional specificity of executive function defects of earthquake PTSD teenagers
    YANG Haibo; ZHAO Xin; WANG Yang; ZHANG Lei; WANG Ruimeng; ZHANG Yi; WANG Li
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (5): 643-652.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00643
    Abstract   PDF (403KB) ( 1849 )

    Previous studies have provided evidence regarding changes in executive function in adults and maltreated children with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, few studies have examined cognitive function in adolescents with PTSD related specifically to natural disasters. The goal of this current study is to assess the “cold” executive function and “hot” executive function in adolescents with PTSD after experiencing a magnitude 8.0 earthquake in Sichuan, China, 2008. Two experiments were designed to test our hypotheses. In study1, we investigated the “cold” executive function using the classic Stroop task. In study 2, the “hot” executive function was measured with the emotional Stroop task. The current research examined 947 junior high school students using PCL-5 questionnaires designed by trained psychiatrists. Results showed that 44 adolescents (aged 13-17 years) were diagnosed with PTSD after the Sichuan earthquake. The two tasks were administered to three groups of adolescents: (a) 28 PTSD adolescents (14 male, 14 female); (b) 28 non-PTSD adolescents exposed to the same earthquake (14 male, 14 female); (c) 28 healthy adolescents without earthquake experience (15 male, 13 female). In the classic Stroop task, the analysis of variance (ANOVA) of mean reaction time (RT) only revealed a significant effect in congruent color words, indicating that the RTs of incongruent trials were significantly longer than those of congruent trials in all three groups. The Stroop effect on the PTSD group, non-PTSD group and the controlled teenagers showed no significant differences. The results proved that adolescents with PTSD performed similarly to non-PTSD and controlled teenagers in “cold” executive function in the classic Stroop task. In the emotional Stroop task, the ANOVA of mean RT revealed a significant interaction effect between group and word type. The simple effect test showed that the RTs of earthquake-related words of PTSD teenagers were significantly longer than those of positive words and neutral words, while the RTs of earthquake-related words of non-PTSD teenagers were significantly shorter than those of positive words and neutral words. There was no significant effect in the controlled group. In addition, the ANOVA of the emotional Stroop effect revealed a significant interaction effect between group and word type. The simple effect test showed that a more robust earthquake interference effect was obtained than positive words in the PTSD group, while the earthquake interference effect was inferior to the positive words for the non-PTSD group. Once again, there was no significant effect in the controlled group. As a result, the PTSD group performed more poorly in the emotional Stroop task compared with the non-PTSD group and controlled group, exhibiting defects in “hot” executive function. In summary, the current study suggests that adolescents with PTSD relating to a natural disaster have defects only in the emotional control domain of executive function compared with non-PTSD adolescents exposed to the same disaster, and adolescents with no exposure to earthquake experience at all. However, PTSD adolescents do perform well in generic executive function compared to both the non-PTSD and control group.

    Chinese military mental health at high altitude, 1993-2013: A cross-temporal meta-analysis of SCL-90
    ZHAO Mengxue; FENG Zhengzhi; WANG Yichao; LAI Wei; HU Feng; LIU Keyu; XIA Fan; JIANG Juan; WANG Jia; XIA Lei
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (5): 653-662.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00653
    Abstract   PDF (507KB) ( 1079 )

    The plateau is an important defense area for the Chinese military. Severe plateau environment and tense military tasks are sources of stress, which can cause physical and mental problems for military personnel. From the 1980s, psychological experts began to pay close attention to the plateau military mental health. However, many research studies on military mental health status at high altitude could not come to a consistent conclusion. Furthermore, no one knows how the Chinese military’s mental health at high altitude changes overtime. In order to resolve the controversies and to explore the regularity and changing characteristics overtime in Chinese military mental health at high altitude, a cross-temporal meta-analysis technique was employed. Thirty-eight articles from 1993 to 2013 focusing on military mental health at high altitude were selected and analyzed during this study, with the Symptom Checklist 90 (SCL-90) taken as the measuring tool. Only those that reported the sample size, mean, and standard deviation were selected. The thirty-eight articles encompass a total of 11,454 plateau military personnel. Each sample/article was coded according to the periodical type, plateau area, and nationality and was assigned either as an independent or control variables. The cross-temporal meta-analysis was used to analyze the changes of the nine factors of SCL-90 in times. Our results showed that the 7 factors of SCL-90 had a significantly negative correlation with age and was not related to journal types, plateau areas, or nationality. Also the mean value of the 7 factors decreased by 0.24~0.52, and the effective size d decreased from 0.45 to 0.84, the military psychological problems at high altitudes gradually reduced, and the mental health level increased year by year. The proportion of military spending to GDP during the year had a negative correlation with the 4 factors of SCL-90, while residents' consumption level index was significantly correlated with the 7 factors. Residents' consumption level from 5 years back was significantly correlated with the 7 factors and we found that consumption could predict the military mental health level within the plateau areas. Interpersonal sensitivity had a significant negative correlation with the divorce rate after 5 years. Military mental health at high altitudes during the last 20 years has experienced three stages, that of rising, fluctuating, and the stable period. Our results also showed that military mental health status at high altitude fluctuates, but the overall level has gradually improved; the factors of obsessive-compulsive, somatization, and depression have higher scores; and also, the construction of national defense economy and resident consumption level has a great impact on the military mental health level at high altitude.

    Parent-child attachment and prosocial behavior among junior high school students: Moderated mediation effect
    WANG Yanhui; LI Dongping; SUN Wenqiang; ZHAO Liyan; LAI Xuefen; ZHOU Yueyue
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (5): 663-679.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00663
    Abstract   PDF (758KB) ( 5001 )

    Prosocial behavior refers to behaviors that benefit others, such as sharing, helping and cooperating. The development of prosocial behavior is an important part of adolescent socialization. Substantial literature has documented the important influence of parent-child attachment on prosocial behavior; however, little is known about the mediating and moderating mechanisms underlying this relation. In this study, guided by development system theories and attachment theory, a moderated mediation model was constructed to examine the effects and underlying mechanisms of family (parent-child attachment), individual (psychological capital) and peer (deviant peer affiliation) factors on adolescent prosocial behavior. Specifically, the present study examined whether parent–child attachment is indirectly related to prosocial behavior through psychological capital, and whether this indirect association is moderated by deviant peer affiliation. A total of 737 junior high school students (mean age = 13.92 years, SD = 0.73) participated in this study. They anonymously filled out questionnaires regarding parent-child attachment, psychological capital, deviant peer affiliation, and prosocial behavior. All the measures have good reliability and validity. After controlling for gender and age, the structural equation model showed that: (1) parent-child attachment had a positive effect on prosocial behavior; (2) the positive impact of parent-child attachment on prosocial behavior was mediated by psychological capital; and (3) the mediating effect of psychological capital was moderated by deviant peer affiliation. The indirect effect was stronger for adolescents with low deviant peer affiliation than for those with high deviant peer affiliation. These findings contribute to our understanding of how and when parent-child attachment affects adolescent prosocial behavior as viewed through the lenses of different subsystems of development system theories. On the one hand, psychological capital plays an important role in the association between parent-child attachment and prosocial behavior; therefore, more attention should be paid to psychological capital and parent-child attachment and their roles in improving adolescent prosocial behavior. On the other hand, junior high school students with more deviant peer affiliations may require more attention, because parent–child attachment has a weaker protective effect on them in comparison with students with fewer deviant peer affiliations. The cultivation of adolescent prosocial behavior should focus not only on the effects of family factors, peer factors, and individual factors separately, but also on the combined influence of those factors.

    Is “He” frowning on Me? The impact of facial expression on customer attitude
    XIE Zhipeng; WANG Tao
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (5): 680-691.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00680
    Abstract   PDF (742KB) ( 3054 )

    The appearance of the product provides an intuitive way of expressing emotion and value to its customers. Prior researches on anthropomorphism suggested that customers may see human related features in a product. Many researchers focus their attention on the human side of the products, yet few of them have studied the facial expressions in product design. In this research, the researchers discovered that the customers constantly extract facial expressions from products, and use them as cues in product evaluation. The researchers believe that the perceived luxury has a contradictory effect on customers’ perception of products with different expressions. In Study 1, the researchers conducted an online experiment which involved 132 participants. The participants read about different descriptions of cars. Then, the researchers presented the participants with pictures of the same car showing different facial expressions. After the participants finished assessing the pictures, they were required to indicate their attitude towards each car design. The result of Study 1 proved that customers prefer friendly face when the product is considered low in perceived luxury. In Study 2, the researchers used similar approaches to examine the impact of level of luxury on customer’s attitude towards different facial expressions. But instead of cars, the researchers chose phones as the main body of stimuli design to see whether the result can be applied to a broader context. 160 participants took part in an offline experiment. They were assigned randomly into 2 separate groups and showed descriptions of different levels of luxury. Then, they were required to report their attitude towards phones with different facial expressions. The purpose of Study 3 was to examine the mediation effect of perceived product autonomy. In this study, the researchers used brand logo designs with different facial expressions. The result of this research indicates that product’s aggressive expressions can give rise to customer attitude only for products positioned as premium or luxury; while for ordinary brands, aggressive expressions may do more harm than good. This effect is mediated by customer perceive product autonomy. This research is among the first endeavors to reveal the relationship between facial personification and customer attitude. It provides both managers and researchers guidelines to manage the facial expressions in product design.

    Donation amount and consumer attitudes in cause-related marketing: Test of a mediated-moderation model
    JIANG Ruochen; ZHENG Ling
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (5): 692-698.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00692
    Abstract   PDF (364KB) ( 1968 )

    Different from the other corporate social responsibilities, cause-related marketing (CRM) links product sales to contribution to the cause. Thus, it is important for marketers to design their CRM campaigns carefully, and then improve consumer attitudes. An increasing number of researchers have examined the positive effect of CRM. This study focused on the impact of donation amount on consumer attitudes, as well as the mediating effect of moral elevation and the boundary condition (product-cause fit). We conducted two experiments to examine whether and how donation amount influences consumer attitudes. Eighty-nine undergraduate students from Xiangtan University participated in Study 1, and were randomly assigned to one of two conditions (low donation amount vs. high donation amount). In Study 2, we had a 2 (donation amount: low vs. high) × 2 (fit: low vs. high) between-subjects design. One hundred and seventy-nine undergraduate students from Xiangtan University participated in Study 2, and were randomly assigned to one of four conditions. In the low- (high-) amount condition, participants were told that “0.1% (5%) of the sales of this product will be donated to the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA)”. Participants in the low- (high-) fit condition were told that “CFPA will use the money to help providing school supplies (water purification facilities) to the children in China’s poor areas”. All of the variables were measured by using 5-point Likert scales, including purchase intentions, moral elevation, perceived product-cause fit, and the control variables. All of the Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for the three factors of moral elevation were greater than 0.70. Results revealed that: (1) Donation amount had a significant positive effect on consumer attitudes; (2) moral elevation mediated the relationship between donation amount and consumer attitudes; (3) the positive effect of donation amount on consumer attitudes was greater when product-cause fit was high; (4) the moderating effect of product-cause fit was mediated by enhanced moral elevation. In summary, these findings provide support for our hypotheses, and theoretically enrich and advance the existing literature on the positive effect of CRM through a new underlying mechanism. Based on these findings, marketers should be more aware of the important role of eliciting consumers' moral elevation in the process of designing their CRM campaigns. In addition, product-cause fit is also an important boundary condition for the positive effect of donation amount on consumer attitudes. Thus, marketers should select high-fit causes to improve consumers' attribution of company motive, and then their moral elevation.

    LGM-based analyses with missing data: Comparison between ML method and Diggle-Kenward selection model
    ZHANG Shanshan; CHEN Nan; LIU Hongyun
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (5): 699-710.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.00699
    Abstract   PDF (683KB) ( 722 )

    In longitudinal studies, missing data are common. The missing not at random (MNAR) data may lead to biasd parameter estimates and even distort the results of analyses. In this article we compared two techniques based on different mechanisms [i.e., the maximum likelihood approach based on the Missing at Random (MAR) mechanism and the Diggle-Kenward selection model based on the MNAR mechanism] for handling different types of missing data using the Monte Carlo simulation method. Estimates of parameters and standard errors using each of these methods were contrasted under different model assumptions. Four possible influential factors were considered: the dropout missingness proportions, the sample size, the distribution shape (i.e., skewness and kurtosis), and the missing mechanisms. The results indicated that (1) The Diggle-Kenward selection model were affected less by the missingness mechanism than the ML approach. At the MAR condition, the Diggle-Kenward selection model based on the MNAR mechanism kept stable and would provide similar estimation results with the ML approach based on the MAR assumption. At the MNAR condition, the ML approach was not much different from the Diggle-Kenward selection model in their variance of latent variances (σi2 and σs2) but had greater discrepancy in their means of the latent variables (μi and μs). (2) The distribution shape had more impact on the Diggle-Kenward selection model. For the mean and variance of the intercept and the variance of the slope, the sample size and the degrees of skewness and kurtosis had significant interactions. With large sample sizes, the influence of distribution shape on the estimation precision would decrease. The ML approach was not easily affected by the distribution shape. (3) When fitting a growth curve model, compared to the means of the latent variables (μi and μs), the variances (σi2 and σs2) were influenced much more by the distribution shape (i.e., the degree of skewness and kurtosis). (4) The level of dropout missingness proportion was the major factor affecting the parameter estimation precision. Greater sample size would improve the estimation precision in most cases.

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