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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 49 Issue 10 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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     Perceiving better, inhibiting better: Effects of perceptual precision on distractor-inhibition processes during working memory
    LIU Zhiying, KU Yixuan
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (10): 1247-1255.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.01247
    Abstract   PDF (624KB) ( 3551 )
     Working memory (WM) is the memory system to store and process information shortly for the goal-directed behavior. The resource of WM is extremely limited. It is necessary to selectively maintain relevant information and inhibit interference from distracting information. Previous studies have found that individuals with high WM capacity would be able to suppress interference more efficiently. However, it’s still unknown whether the precision of WM representation will be influenced by distractors in a similar way as WM capacity. Perceptual representation as the first stage of information processing, its precision will highly influence the quality of information stored in WM. Here, we adopted an independent perceptual task and a variant version of color recall task to examine (1) the effect of interference on WM capacity as well as precision and (2) whether the precision of perceptual representation would influence the ability to inhibit interference during WM processing. Fifty-three undergraduate students participated in the experiment. In the first perceptual task, participants reported the color of a cued item while the item remained presented until a response was made. Afterwards, color recall tasks were operated including a ‘distractor-present’ and a ‘distractor-absent’ condition. Each condition contained three levels of WM load: low (2 targets), medium (4 targets) and high (6 targets). In ‘distractor-present’ condition, target items were presented along with two more distracting colored stimuli with a different shape. Participants were asked to remember only the color of the target items and report the remembered color of a cued item by clicking on a color wheel. From the distribution of errors between the reported color value and the original color value, we could obtain measures for both capacity and precision via standard mixture model used by Zhang and Luck, 2008. To explore the effects of distractor on WM capacity and precision and whether these influence will vary with WM load, repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed on WM capacity and precision. For WM capacity, main effects of distractors, WM load and their interaction were significant. WM capacity decreased with increasing WM load. And WM capacity in ‘distractor-absent’ condition was significantly higher than performance in ‘distractor-present’ condition. Interaction of distractor and WM load mainly reflected that distractors decreased WM capacity under the medium and high loads. For WM precision, main effect of load was significant and distractor affected precision on low load condition. When all participants were divided into two groups according to their performance in the perceptual task, the distractor effect only existed in the group with lower perceptual precision. Pearson correlation analysis further revealed that perceptual precision could predict the ability to inhibit distractors, in either WM capacity or precision. The quality of the perceptual representation in the lower group negatively correlated with the distractor effect in WM capacity while the perceptual precision in the higher group negatively correlated with the distractor effect for WM precision. The present study has shown that interference influenced the quantity and quality of WM representations differently under certain WM load. And individuals with lower perceptual quality would be more susceptible to interference. These findings imply that the performance and the ability to suppress distraction during WM may be enhanced via training of perceptual precision.
     The effect of perceptual load on processing and memorizing negative facial distractor
    LUO Yu, FENG Lihong, REN Min, GU Qiuyu, ZHAO Shouying, ZHANG Yu
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (10): 1256-1266.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.01256
    Abstract   PDF (978KB) ( 1456 )
     The processing of facial expression has been well studied. However, how facial expression is processed and memorized when it is presented outside the focus of attention is little known. Previous results of negative distractor processing were contradicted. Some studies found that processing of emotional distractor is resistant to perceptual load, whereas other studies found that emotional distractor processing is modulated by perceptual load. Interestingly, two recent studies have shown that the processing of emotional charged distractor are both automatically and depending on perceptual load. However, the temporal information of automatically and load depending processing of emotional charged distractor, is little known. Whether the individual can detect a distractor during early phase automatically, and suppress the distractor under high perceptual load at late phase of processing. To this end, we investigate how perceptual load affects facial expression distractor processing at different phase of encoding by using event-related potential methods. In ERP studies, the N170 and N250 are two early components which sensitive to the attentional resources and facial expression, while the N700 is a late component which related to saving stimulus into long-term memory when stimulus is disappear. According to previous studies and perceptual load theory, we hypothesized that facial expression distractor would process automatically in the early phase, while it modulates by perceptual load in the late phase. We expect that N170 and N250 would modulate by distractor valence but not perceptual load, while N700 would modulate by the interaction between perceptual load and distractor valence. Participants were asked to perform a letter search task which adopted from (Jenkins et al., 2005), followed by a surprise recognition task for facial expression distractor. In the letter search task, a letter string superposed on a facial distractor, participants were required to detect specific character and make response. Perceptual load (low, high) and distractor valence (neutral, fearful) were manipulated. In the surprise recognition task, participants were asked to judge whether the face was presented in the letter search task, half of the faces were presented in the letter search task, half of the faces were not presented before. In the letter search task, behavioral results showed that fearful distractor, relative to neutral distractor, interfere with visual search performance in the high perceptual load condition, while this interference effect was not significant in low perceptual load condition. ERP results showed that fearful distractor, relative to neutral distractor, elicit larger N170 and N250. The N170 and N250 were not modulated by perceptual load. In contrast, the N700 which related to post-stimuli processing and learning was modulated by the interaction between perceptual load and distractor valence. Fearful distractor elicited larger N700 than neutral distractor under low perceptual load, whereas there was no significant difference between fearful and neutral distractor under high perceptual load. The memory performance was mimic the N700 results, participant recognized fearful distractor better than neutral distractor under low load, whereas there was no significant difference under high load. These results suggest that the processing of facial expression distractor affected by perceptual load at different stage during encoding phase. In the early stage, the facial distractor is process automatically, whereas in the late stage, the post-stimuli processing is modulated by perceptual load and valence. Low perceptual load leads to less filtering of task irrelevant negative information, which induced a memory bias for negative distractor.
     Is color words identification really not needed in attentional resources? Evidence from the Stroop paradigm
    WU Yanwen, YOU Xuqun
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (10): 1267-1276.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.001267
    Abstract   PDF (445KB) ( 2790 )
     According to the classical theories of automaticity, automatic processing is considered entirely stimulus- triggered and independent of top-down control of attention. Automatic processes elicited by unconscious stimuli are not needed in capacity-limited attentional resources. Furthermore, the classical theories highlight the inflexibility of the cognitive system. Namely, conscious information processes would be massively influenced by various unconscious processes. Such inflexibility would require for much conscious control as intended actions could only be ensured by inhibiting numerous interfering response tendencies. In contrast to these classical conceptions, Kiefer and Martens (2010) recently developed an attentional sensitization model of unconscious cognition, which allows for more flexibility and adaptability of automatic processing or unconscious cognitive processing, and the cognitive system has to be configured by attention and task sets in order for automatic processes to occur. Research on unconscious perception has long been known, but the controversies about researching methods and theoretical interpretations in empirical findings have not been resolved. However, in the past few years, it has become increasingly apparent that factors such as attention allocation, intentions, and task sets do influence on the processes that underlie unconscious perception. Kiefer and Martens (2010) argue that higher level task representations configuring the cognitive system in a way of task-congruent processing streams. In view of the above theoretically different opinions, this research aims to extend the findings of attentional sensitization theory that unconscious semantic stimulus processing is dependent not only on the activation of a semantic processing, but also on the extent to which participants assign attention to specific semantic stimulus dimensions and features. In the present research, the Stroop task paradigm was used because the Stroop paradigm was the most robust findings in attentional research that the time to name a color was lengthened markedly in the presence of an irrelevant word, and the Stroop effect was considered the hallmark of automatic processing. The Stroop paradigm would be appropriate to verify the unconscious processing. In three experiments, we used color words, homonyms of color words and color semantic associative words as priming words, and employed several stringent measures to prevent participants from attending to the irrelevant words, including the priming words’ semantics and physical colors separated from time and space; Each words were outside the focus of spatial attention and their visibility were decreased so as to discuss whether the automatic processing was constrained by attentional resources, and whether the participants obtained different amount of attentional resources could make a difference in automated processing. The results showed that: (1) Automatic processes are heavily dependent on the attentional resources, and the automated processes were terminated when the color words could not obtain the attentional resources. (2) The amount of available attentional resources regulated the efficiency and effectiveness of automatic processing, the more attentional resources obtained, the larger significant semantic priming effects to the target stimulus. The results supported the hypothesis of attentional sensitization model that automatic processes were susceptible to top-down control by the higher level cognitive system.
     Word superiority effect for low proficiency Korean-Chinese learners
    CHEN Lin, ZHONG Luojin, LENG Ying
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (10): 1277-1286.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.01277
    Abstract   PDF (331KB) ( 964 )
     Studies of both low proficiency Thai-Chinese learners and Indonesian-Chinese learners have found that character in a real word was more easily recognized than that in a non-word regardless of character frequency. In this study, two experiments were designed to investigate how character frequency and the structure of Chinese compound word affected the word superiority effect for low proficiency Korean-Chinese learners. 21 Korean-Chinese learners (12 male) and 36 Korean-Chinese learners (17 male) were enrolled in Experiment 1 and 2, respectively. The participants were defined as low proficiency CFL leaners, because they had passed the fourth level (the intermediate level with a vocabulary of 1200 words) of the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) but not the sixth (the highest level with a knowledge of 5000 words). The HSK is a standardized test of Chinese language proficiency for non-native speakers that distinguishes six levels of proficiency. Experiment 1 employed the classic Reicher-Wheeler forced choice decision paradigm. A two-character word (a real word or a non-word) was presented followed by two probe characters, participants were asked to select the probe character that had been in the word. The duration time of the word was determined by a self-adaptive procedure. The duration time range was from 40ms to 60 ms. By comparing character recognition accuracy in real words and non-words, we assessed the word superiority effect. By comparing the size of the word superiority effect for high and low frequency characters, we assessed the dependence of the word superiority effect on character frequency. In Experiment 2, character recognition accuracy of coordinative and subordinative words were compared to investigate the dependence of the word superiority on word structure. The paradigm of Experiment 2 was similar to Experiment 1 except that the duration of the word was restricted to 60 ms based on the average time of Experiment 1 and the task was changed to make a decision that the probe character was the initial or final character of the preceding word. There were significant differences of character recognition accuracy between the real word and non-word conditions. Character recognition accuracy in the real word condition was significantly higher than the non-word condition. The results verified there was a word superiority effect in Chinese word recognition for low proficiency Korean-Chinese learners. Consistent with studies of Thai and Indonesian Chinese learners, the word superiority effect was not affected by character frequency. Experiment 2 found that there were significant differences on character recognition accuracy among coordinative word condition, subordinative word condition and non-word condition. Post-hoc analysis showed that there was a strong word superiority effect in the subordinative word condition while no word superiority effect was found in the coordinative word condition. The word superiority effect in Chinese word recognition indicated that character in a word was easily to be recognized for low proficiency Korean-Chinese learners. In addition, the word superiority effect did not depend on character frequency. Low proficiency Korean-Chinese learners showed a strong word superiority effect for both low frequency and high frequency characters. Word structure affected word superiority effect. Word superiority effect was only found in subordinative word recognition.
     The effects of NR3C1 polymorphisms and paternal/maternal parenting styles on Chinese adolescent anxiety disorders
    ZHOU Ya, FAN Fang, PENG Ting, LI Yuanyuan, LONG Ke, ZHOU Jieying, LIANG Yingxin
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (10): 1287-1301.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.01287
    Abstract   PDF (471KB) ( 1271 )
     Glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1), one of the key genes involved in the HPA axis regulation, has been evidenced to have a role in various stress-related physical and mental illnesses. Previous studies concerning NR3C1 polymorphisms and anxiety disorders, however, have mostly been conducted among adult samples and looked into negative environmental variables such as adverse or traumatic life events while examining the gene-environment interactions. There is a dearth of knowledge on how NR3C1 polymorphisms could contribute to adolescent anxiety disorders. The purpose of this study was to examine the genetic variants in NR3C1 and their interaction with paternal and maternal parenting styles in relationship to adolescent anxiety disorders using a Chinese sample. This study adopted a case-control design. Of 3501 adolescents underwent a stepwise clinical screening, 117 who were diagnosed with anxiety disorders (74 females; average age 16.69 ± 1.13 years) and 121 healthy controls (56 female; average age 16.54 ± 1.05 years) were included in this study. Participants’ oral mucosal samples were collected for DNA extraction and three single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the NR3C1 gene (i.e., rs41423247, rs6191, rs6196) were genotyped using MassARRAY system. The Chinese version of Parental Bonding Instrument was used to measure four types of paternal/maternal parenting styles (i.e., warmth, autonomy, overprotection, indifference). Multivariate logistic regressions were performed to examine the main effects of genotypes and parental/maternal parenting styles and their interactions in predicting the presence of anxiety disorders. Results revealed that rs6191 GG genotype, rs6196 AA genotype and rs41423247 GG genotype were associated with decreased risk of anxiety disorders. Higher level of paternal/maternal overprotection and indifference, as well as lower level of paternal warmth, could predict increased risk of anxiety disorders. Moreover, there was a significant interaction between rs41423247 genotypes and maternal warmth in predicting adolescent anxiety disorders; that is, rs41423247 GG genotype was linked with reduced risk of anxiety disorders only when maternal warmth was high. Haplotype analysis revealed three haplotypes with frequencies of > 5% (rs6191-rs6196-rs41423247): GAG, TAC, and TGC. GAG and TGC were respectively associated with decreased and increased risk of anxiety disorders. Maternal warmth and overprotection were found to moderate these effects. GAG would reduce the risk of anxiety disorders only when maternal warmth was high, while TGC would enhance the risk only when maternal overprotection was high. This study is the first to investigate the role of NR3C1 polymorphisms and parenting styles in anxiety disorders among Chinese adolescents. The findings on gene-environment interactions lend support to the vantage sensitivity hypothesis, which propose variation in people’s responsiveness to exclusively positive environmental influences as a function of individual endogenous characteristics. Future research on the epigenetic mechanisms underlying the relationship between NR3C1, parenting styles and adolescent anxiety disorders is warranted, to further explore the disease etiology.
     The neuropsychological mechanism of therapy in depression and anxiety disorder: A meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies
    REN Zhihong, RUAN Yijun, ZHAO Qingbai, ZHANG Wei, LAI Lizu, JIANG Guangrong
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (10): 1302-1321.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.01302
    Abstract   PDF (1030KB) ( 1828 )
     Some commonality is assumed between depression and anxiety disorder in terms of brain regions that are responsible for the disorder and treatment effect. However empirical evidence is lacking due to the fact that most studies investigating treatment effect on activating change in abnormal brain regions only focused on one of the two disorders. The current study, using meta-analysis, explored the types of neuropsychological commonality between depression and anxiety disorder. Additionally, discrepancies in brain activity change between depression and anxiety disorder due to treatment methods (psychotherapy or pharmacological treatment) and task states (resting state or task state) when brain activity is recorded were also investigated. The activation likelihood estimation (ALE) was used to conduct the meta-analysis of studies with neuroimaging data. There were twenty-five studies met the inclusion criteria, containing 15 depression and 10 anxiety studies, of which among them 10 experiments used psychotherapy and 16 pharmacological therapy. In terms of task state, 12 experiments recorded the brain activity in a resting state and 13 in a task state. The meta-analysis was conducted under standard Talairach space, and we translated those reported results using Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) coordinated into Talairach coordinate. The probability maps used p < 0.001 as threshold and corrected it using Uncorrected P. The minimum cluster size was set at 250 mm3. In order to provide a visual view of activation distributions, we used the Mango software to project the activation coordinates onto a brain template. Results showed that there were similar changes in some brain regions between depression and anxiety disorder after treatment, namely the activation of inferior occipital gyrus, cingulate gyrus, superior parietal lobule and lentiform nucleus increased, and that of lentiform nucleus, inferior frontal gyrus, medial frontal gyrus, precuneus, anterior cingulate and middle frontal gyrus decreased. When using disorder type as classification, the analysis showed that both types of treatment of depression led to increased activity in cingulate gyrus, inferior occipital gyrus, superior parietal lobule and precuneus, and decreased activity in precuneus, inferior frontal gyrus, lentiform nucleus, superior temporal gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, thalamus and postcentral gyrus, while both treatments of anxiety resulted in decreased activity in anterior cingulate/medial frontal gyrus. When using therapeutic method as classification, psychotherapy led to deactivation of lentiform nucleus, while pharmacological therapy gave rise to activation in cingulate gyrus, superior parietal lobule and precuneus and deactivation in precuneus, culmen, lentiform nucleus, supramarginal gyrus, superior temporal gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, insula, superior parietal lobule and anterior cingulate gyrus. Finally, when using task state as classification, the analysis showed that after either type of treatment, the activity of inferior occipital gyrus and fusiform gyrus increased and that of medial frontal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, thalamus and insula activation decreased in the resting state; while the brain activity in the task state was increased in cingulate gyrus, lentiform nucleus, superior parietal lobule and precuneus, and decreased in precuneus, lentiform nucleus, supramarginal gyrus and many other areas. In sum, the current meta-analysis suggested that both psychotherapy and pharmacological treatments led to some similar changes of brain activity among patients with depression or anxiety disorder. Further, disorder type, therapeutic method, and task state played a role in the difference of brain activation after either type of treatment. The current study provided neuropathological support for using either psychotherapy and pharmacological treatment to treat depression and anxiety disorder.
     The effects of moral punishment and relationship punishment on junior middle school students’ cooperation behaviors in public goods dilemma
    CUI Liying, HE Xing, LUO Junlong, HUANG Xiaojiao, CAO Weijia, CHEN Xiaomei
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (10): 1322-1333.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.01322
    Abstract   PDF (499KB) ( 2329 )
     Several factors can account for the cooperative behaviors in social dilemmas, which include individual differences, reward and punishment system, task design and so on. People have a strong aversion to being the “sucker” in social dilemma situations so that those who prefer cooperation may be willing to punish free-riding. Researches demonstrated that although punishment could promote people’s cooperative behaviors temperately, their cooperation levels would drop down to the baseline when the punishment was removed. In previous studies, material punishment was adopted most frequently, however, social punishment has not been sufficiently investigated. Furthermore, there is no unanimous conclusion towards the issue whether the cooperation of the juveniles has any gender differences. So this study mainly examined the effects of moral punishment and interpersonal punishment on the junior middle school student’s cooperative behaviors. Last but not least, social value orientation is a relatively stable individual state and is defined as a tendency of allocation proportion between individual and others. Therefore, we further explored the relationship between social value orientation and student’s cooperative behaviors under different types of punishment. Accordingly, the present study consisted of 2 experiments. The first experiment was organized into a 3 × 2 factorial design. The first factor was the type of punishment, consisting of 3 levels: moral punishment, interpersonal punishment and no punishment. The second factor was the phase of punishment, consisting of 2 levels: punishment in the first phase and no punishment in the second one. Specifically, participants were randomly assigned to the three types of punishment. For punishment groups, participants were given the two phases of punishment. The second experiment was organized into a 3 × 2 × 2 factorial design. The first two factors were the same as experiment 1. The third factor was the type of social value orientation, encompassing 2 levels: prosocial participants and proself participants. The results are as follows, first, the cooperative level was significantly higher in the moral and interpersonal punishment conditions compared to no punishment condition, and the punishment effect remained when the interpersonal punishment removed. Second, punishment effects were significantly greater in the interpersonal and moral conditions than in the no punishment condition for the female participants, but the male participants just had this effect on the case of the interpersonal conditions. Third, a greater cooperative level observed in the moral and interpersonal punishment conditions across both prosocial participants and proself participants, but only the prosocial participants kept a higher cooperative level when the punishment removed. These results suggested that the moral and interpersonal punishment could promote the cooperative behaviors of the junior middle school students. In comparison, the interpersonal punishment had a more lasting effect, which was more prominent in the male group. Additionally, relative to the case of proself participants, there was a long-term effect on punishment for prosocial participants.
     The effect of altruism on social discounting of environmental gain and loss
    HE Guibing, YANG Xinwei, JIANG Duo
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (10): 1334-1343.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.01334
    Abstract   PDF (759KB) ( 1926 )
     After decades of rapid economic growth, societies around the world are facing severe challenges with environmental pollution. In some developing countries, environmental issues are threatening their sustainable development and people’s health. In economic and psychological literatures, environmental problems are usually recognized as social dilemmas because natural resources are public goods, which imply conflicts between individual and collective benefits. Empirical studies found that social distance had an effect on cooperative behavior in social dilemmas. Meanwhile, the phenomenon of social discounting on monetary outcomes was also revealed by many studies. However, the impact of social distance on environmental decisions remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to explore the phenomenon of social discounting of environmental outcomes, fit the behavioral data of social discounting, and investigate the effect of altruism on social discounting under gain and loss frames. The experiment was designed as a 4 (social distance level: a family member, friend, mere acquaintance, and stranger) × 2 (task frame: environmental gain, environmental loss) study in which social distance was manipulated within the subject, but task frames were assigned between subjects. The choice titration procedure was used to measure the social discounting rate of environmental outcomes. Participants were asked to make a series of choices between “I live in high (or poor in environmental loss frame) quality air for X days” and “Another person (in different social distances) lives in high (or poor) quality air for 110 days.” The value of “X” in the choice series varied from 10 days to 100 days with an interval of 10 days. In addition, participants’ altruism was measured by the Self-report Altruism Scale. The results showed that: (1) in both environmental gain and loss frames, exponential models could fit social discounting of environmental outcomes better than hyperbolic model; (2) the interaction between social distance and task frame could influence the social discounting rate. As social distance increased, the discounting rate increased more rapidly for environmental gain than for environmental loss; (3) altruism had moderate effect on the relationship between social distance and social discounting. For participants with high level of altruism, social distance had less impact on social discounting. In conclusion, this study suggests that social distance, altruism, and task frame may play important roles in people's environmental decision-making. These findings enlighten us that decision makers may become more pro-environmental if some measures are taken to enhance their altruistic tendencies and reduce their psychological distance with others.
     Cooperative or conflicting: The influence of endorsers’ relationship types in group endorsement on advertising effectiveness
    WANG Xuefang, ZHANG Hongxia, CHEN Zhenjie
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2017, 49 (10): 1344-1356.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.01344
    Abstract   PDF (821KB) ( 2145 )
     Marketing practice has recently seen an increasing number of ads featuring more than one celebrity endorser in one ad. Although many studies have been conducted to investigate the effect of endorsement, little research attention has been given to group endorsement and hardly any studies have focused on the relationships between endorsers (cooperative vs. conflicting) in one ad. Building on the studies about advertising effectiveness and conflict, the current research proposes that the conflicting group endorsement brought stronger advertising effectiveness than the cooperative one. The mediating effect of consumers’ perceived vividness of the ad and the moderating effects of consumers’ affect intensity and the degree of discrepancy between endorsers were also examined. Two pretests and three main experiments were conducted to test the proposed hypotheses. Following the methods in previous studies, three products matching up with the two endorsers used in this study were screened in Pretest 1. The validity of the manipulation of endorsers’ relationship types were verified in Pretest 2. In Experiment 1, a one factor (endorsers’ relationship type: cooperative vs. conflicting) between subjects design with 99 participants was adopted to examine the effect of endorsers’ relationship types on advertising effectiveness and the mediating effect of consumers’ perceived vividness. The descriptions of product, endorsers and their relationship types verified in the pretests were used and advertising effectiveness and perceived vividness were measured by established scales. Following a similar procedure, a 2 (endorsers’ relationship type: cooperative vs. conflicting) × 2(affect intensity: high and low) between subjects design with 91 participants was adopted to examine the moderating effect of consumers’ affect intensity in Experiment 2. The participants’ affect intensity were measured by established scales and divided into two groups by the median. In Experiment 3, a 2 (endorsers’ relationship type: cooperative vs. conflicting) × 2(degree of the discrepancy between endorsers: high and low) between subjects design with 102 participants was adopted to examine the moderating effect of the degree of discrepancy between endorsers. The participants were asked to rate the two endorsers based on three attributes and they were further divided into two groups by the median of the absolute value of the difference. The results revealed that, compared to the cooperative group endorsement, the conflicting group endorsement had positive impact on advertising effectiveness. This effect was mediated by consumers’ perceived vividness of the ad. Furthermore, consumers’ affect intensity moderated this effect. For consumers with higher affect intensity, the conflicting group endorsement promoted advertising effectiveness, but this effect did not happen for the consumers with lower affect intensity. The degree of discrepancy between endorsers also moderated this effect. When the discrepancy of consumers’ evaluations of the endorsers in the group endorsement was small, the conflicting group endorsement had a positive effect on advertising effectiveness, but this effect did not happen when the discrepancy is large. The current research provided empirical evidence to the influence of endorsers’ relationship types in group endorsement on advertising effectiveness and its underlying process. This study expanded the research of advertising effectiveness from the perspective of endorsers’ relationship type. The results reflected the positive role of conflict and verified the effect of vividness, and also highlighted the importance of consumers’ and endorsers’ properties. Moreover, these findings provided meaningful marketing implications for practical ad design and helped a brand to choose proper endorsers in group endorsement.
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