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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 50 Issue 3 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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     Access to awareness is improved by affective learning
    ZHANG Xiuling, PANG Zhaoyang, JIANG Yunpeng, ZHANG Ming, JIANG Yi
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2018, 50 (3): 253-259.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00253
    Abstract   PDF (600KB) ( 10073 )
     Increasing evidence has indicated that emotional information, and particularly threatening visual input, elicits faster behavioral responses than non-threatening stimuli. This superior processing of threatening information is also found under conditions where consciousness is absent. However, recent studies found that faster unconscious detection of emotion-associated stimuli than neutral stimuli may be due to their unmatched physical characteristics, rather than by their emotional content. Thus, it is necessary to test whether emotional stimuli still have the processing advantage over neutral ones in unconscious conditions when low-level visual properties are matched. In order to investigate whether unconsciously prioritized processing still occurs with emotion-associated stimuli which are physically identical, we used the conditioning paradigm to manipulate the affective significance of Gabor patches. Participants performed two challenging visual detection tasks under the breaking Continuous Flash Suppression (b-CFS) paradigm. In experiment 1, differently oriented Gabor patches (45° and 135°) were used as material. During an initial learning phase, one oriented Gabor patch (e.g., 45°) was paired with an alarm sound (CS+), whereas the other was never paired with the alarm sound (CS–). The emotional rating indicated that negative emotion could be elicited by the alarm sound in the participants. The orientation of CS+ Gabor patches was counterbalanced across participants. In the subsequent testing phase, participants were required to discriminate the location of the Gabor patch relative to the central fixation as quickly and accurately as possible. In this phase, Gabor patches were suppressed by dynamic noise using b-CFS. The procedure in experiment 2 was the same with that in experiment 1, except that the color of the Gabor patches was also varied, between red and green. In experiment 1, there was no difference in the accuracy rates between CS+ stimuli and CS– stimuli (99% vs. 99%). Suppression time results showed that CS+ stimuli emerged from suppression faster than CS– ones. In experiment 2, there was no difference in the accuracy rates for different learning condition. For the analysis of suppression time, the “learning effect” was computed to represent difference between experimental conditions and control condition. Integrated learning showed a significant learning effect, while there was no remarkable learning effect in orientation learning or in color learning condition. These findings revealed an unconscious processing advantage for aversive conditioned stimuli. Furthermore, the learning effect was specific to the conditioned stimuli and could not generalize to other similar objects. Taken together, this study provided further evidence for the optimized processing of affectively significant visual stimuli in unconscious conditions.
     The effect of prototype difficulty and semantic similarity on the prototype activation
    YANG Wenjing, JIN Yule, QIU Jiang, ZHANG Qinglin
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2018, 50 (3): 260-269.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00260
    Abstract   PDF (473KB) ( 3026 )
     Amount of historical anecdotes suggest that the heuristic prototype is an effective method to get insight. The prototype heuristic theory suppose that insight obtain when people activate a prototypical example in nature and apply it to the problem at hand. In the real life, people often encounter a problem and then a heuristic prototype help them solve this problem. Some previous studies used the quartering problem and demonstrated that the automatic activation of prototype was the key process of prototype heuristic. However, this relationship was needed to test with real-life scientific innovation problems. Moreover, the mechanism of prototype activation also needed to explore further. Thus, present study used two experiments to test the cognitive mechanism of the prototype activation with real-life scientific innovation materials. In experiment 1, forty-eight participants were recruited to complete the prototype heuristic task. There were two stages in this task. In the first stage, participants needed to learn ten scientific problems that were randomly presented. They should press some buttons to indicate whether they have some knowledge of these problems. In the second phase, ten prototypes were presented and participants should first write which scientific problem learnt in the first stages could be solved by the current prototype. Then, participants needed to write how to solve the previous scientific problem with current prototype. The dependent variables were the prototype activation and the accuracy of the problem solving. In experiment 2, forty-seven participants completed the prototype heuristic task. The procedure was the same with experiment 1 and the prototype activation was the dependent variable. In experiment 1, a regression analysis was conducted. In this analysis, the problem activation was the independent variable and the accuracy of the problem solving was the dependent variable. The result of the regression analysis was R2 = 0.893, p < 0.001. This result suggested that the problem activation was the key process of problem solving. The results of experiment 2 showed that retrieval of the key words of the scientific problem significantly influenced the association of the problem and the prototype, t(44)= 27.677, p < 0.001. Moreover, match of the key words of the prototype and scientific problem significantly influenced the activation of the problem, t (44) = 8.744, p < 0.001. In addition, semantic similarity between the key words of the scientific problem and the prototype was significantly correlated with the problem activation, r = 0.202, p < 0.05. The results also showed that the difficulty of the prototype significantly influenced the problem activation, F(2,132)= 96.73, p < 0.001, h2p = 0.594. In summary, the results suggest that problem activation was the key process in the real-life problem solving enhanced by heuristic prototype. The semantic similarity between the feature function of the prototype and the required function of the problem is the mechanism of the problem activation.
     The effect of perceptual load on the multiple social categories processing of faces
    WANG Guan, ZHOU Pei, ZHANG Kaili, WANG Pei
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2018, 50 (3): 270-282.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00270
    Abstract   PDF (458KB) ( 2351 )
     Perceptual load theory claims that the information processing stream of task-irrelevant stimuli would fade away along with the increase of load levels. This view has been confirmed when words, objects, celebrities and animal faces were regarded as task-irrelevant stimuli. But there is still a debate as to whether perceptual load levels could affect the processing of race and gender which belong to primary social categories of human faces. For this purpose, a new name judgement task was developed based on the flanker paradigm. Each trial consisted of the following sequence of events, a fixation cross that was present for 500 ms was followed by a vertically arranged names matrix in the center of screen, and the interfering face randomly appeared on the left or the right side of the screen simultaneously. The participants were asked to judge the race or gender of the only real name presented in each matrix. This stimulus did not disappear until the participants pressed a task key. The inter-trial interval (ITI) was 1000 ms long. Current study consisted of two experiments. Experiment 1 explored the interference effect of face on the race judgement of the real name at different load levels. Twenty-six undergraduate students were recruited in experiment 1. The results indicated that the higher the perceptual load level was, the longer of RT was. Moreover, RT of congruence condition, in which the race of real name is identical with that of adjacent face, was always shorter than that of incongruence condition. The results indicated that the race judgment of real names was always affected by the image of face. Experiment 2a-a conceptual replication-investigated the interference effect of the face on the gender judgement of real name at different load levels. We recruited thirty-three undergraduate students as participants and the results showed that the interference effect of face on the gender judgement of real name disappeared and there was no significant difference on RT between the congruence and the incongruence conditions at the high load levels. Experiment 2b (N = 26)—a conceptual extension—investigated the interference effect of the face on Chinese names with the neutral feature. The results indicated that at the low load levels, the gender judgment of neutral names was affected by image of face. However, at the high load levels, the accuracy rate of judging the gender of neutral name was at a random level. These results suggested that the attention system might have a bottom-up obligatory processing characteristic for racial information, whereas there was a top-down processing characteristic with a certain degree of flexibility on gender information which was modulated by the attention resource. In conclusion, results from the current study reveals that the perceptual load theory has certain limitations to explain face primary social categories processing. It is also indirectly proved that culture and theory of evolution have a profound effect on social categories processing of human.
     Effectiveness of mindfulness meditation in intervention for anxiety: A meta-analysis
    REN Zhihong, Zhang Yawen, JIANG Guangrong
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2018, 50 (3): 283-305.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00283
    Abstract   PDF (1297KB) ( 4598 )
     Mindfulness meditation (MM) has enjoyed a growing popularity in healthcare in recent years when bio-psycho-social approaches are becoming more and more emphasized in modern medicine. There has been mounting empirical evidence showing MM’s significant effectiveness in alleviating anxiety for both nonclinical and clinical populations. However, the effect size of the available empirical investigation results has remained inconsistent and possible moderators have yet to be explored comprehensively. In order to determine the immediate and long-term efficacy of MM in overcoming anxiety, we conducted a meta-analysis based on a systematic and comprehensive review of the published studies on mindfulness-based interventions for anxiety. We also examined whether some characteristics of research participants (e.g. age, geographic areas) and interventions (e.g. format, duration, at-home practice), and specifics of the study (i.e. types of control, quality of the study) and data analysis (e.g. attrition rate) moderate the magnitude of the effectiveness of MM interventions (11variables). The review was performed following the rigorous PRISMA Protocol. Published studies using randomized controlled trial were selected from major databases worldwide to include investigations conducted in both Western and Eastern countries. Databases used include VIP Journal Integration Platform, Wan fang, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Scopus, Web of Science, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and PubMed. Keywords used are mindfulness, meditation, MBSR, MBCT, anxi*, mood, intervention, therapy, program. Using the random effect model, we pooled the effect size (Hedge’s g), and conducted a publication bias evaluation, a moderating effect analysis and an interaction analysis in CMA 3.3. Results of our analyses revealed fifty-five RCTs from both Eastern and Western countries (k = 68 samples, N = 4595 participants). Mindfulness meditation for treating anxiety is shown to be efficacious with a medium to large immediate effect (g = 0.60), but the effect is not reliably shown at follow-up assessments. The post-heterogeneity test result suggests that using the random effect model is reasonable. Univariate meta-regression analysis yielded that study quality, geographic areas, participants’ age, intervention format (Group vs. Individual), amount of at-home practice, and attrition rate shown in data analysis remarkably influenced the effect size of MM’s immediate effect, while types of control, health condition, mindfulness practice experience, intervention duration, or statistical analysis methods used (ITT vs. PP) did not appear to moderate MM’s immediate effectiveness for reducing anxiety. Additionally, geographic areas affect the effect size the most. Multiple meta-regression models suggested that type of control and geographic areas, as well as statistical analysis methods significantly moderate the effect size of intervention effectiveness. Overall, the study results demonstrated high immediate effect of mindfulness-based practices for alleviating anxiety, but the effect did not seem to last. In addition, geographic area turns out to be the strongest moderator, and practitioners in the East seem to benefit more than those who are in the West. Study quality, participants’ age, mindfulness practice experience, intervention format, at-home practice quantity and attrition rate also affect the effect size to a certain extent. Future research is warranted to improve methodological quality of outcome studies, to provide more clear and replicable evidence of MM efficacy, and to explore more underlying moderators for the intervention effect size, such as participant satisfaction and so forth.
     Electrophysiological evidences of different emotional regulation strategies between the avoidant and the secure attachment individuals in the context of lovers, intimacy
    YANG Qingqing, HU Na, CHEN Xu, NIU Juan, ZHAI Jing
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2018, 50 (3): 306-316.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00306
    Abstract   PDF (656KB) ( 4542 )
     People differ in adult attachment style perceive and regulate their social relationships and emotions in the different ways. Previous researches have investigated the efficiency and preference of emotion regulation strategies among different attachment styles and found that the secure attachment individuals tend to reappraise the context and reinterpret events in a mildly way while the avoidant individuals prefer to deactivate the distressed experience and suppress emotional expression. However, empirical evidences were still lacked when exploring the temporal dynamics of the neural processes. The current study tends to fill this research gap by using event-related potentials (ERP) to investigate how avoidant and secure attachment individuals differ in their two emotion regulation strategies: cognitive reappraisal and expression suppression, in lovers intimate scenarios. Forty-three participants (twenty-two avoidant and twenty-one secure attachment individuals), ages of 18–25 years, participated in the study. The experiment consisted of two sessions. In the first session, participants were instructed to freely view (VIEW) and to respond naturally to the content without trying to alter the upcoming emotions. In the second session, participants were instructed to regulate their emotions either in a reappraisal way or in a suppression way. Results showed that: (1)secure attachment individuals reported significantly higher level of pleasure than the avoidant individuals in response to the intimate pictures; (2) secure individuals reported significantly higher level of valence and arousal scores than the avoidant individuals in the emotion regulation condition. ERP analysis further indicated that the mean amplitude of the LPP in response to the intimate pictures in the secure individuals when adopting the cognitive reappraisal strategy was significantly lower thanwhen they in the free-viewing condition in five time windows. However, when using expression suppression strategy, secure individuals showed a significantly reduced LPP amplitude in 300–500, 500–700 ms time windows, compared with the free watching conditions, and showed increased LPP amplitude in 900–1100 ms and 1100–1300 ms time windows. For avoidant individuals, which they used expression suppression strategy, the pictures evoked a significant lower LPP amplitude compared to free-viewing condition in the five time windows. However, there was no significant differences when they used reappraisal strategy compared to spontaneous watching. In sum, there were significant differences both in the subjective emotional measures and electrophysiological responses in response to the lover’s intimacy pictures between the avoidant and secure attachment individuals which they used either the cognitive reappraisal or the expression suppression to regulate their positive emotions. At an early phase of positive emotion regulation, secure individuals applied cognitive reappraisal strategy to regulate emotions efficiently or sustainably, while the avoidant individuals used expression suppression strategy. This study enriched the theoretical relationship between the different emotion regulation strategies and attachment styles, and broadens the research width of emotion regulation and attachment, which can further provided theoretical basis for future researches focusing on the emotion regulation.
     Brain dynamics of decision-making in the generalized trust game: Evidence from ERPs and EEG time-frequency analysis
    FU Chao, ZHANG Zhen, HE Jinzhou, HUANG Silin, QIU Jianyin, WANG Yiwen
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2018, 50 (3): 317-326.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00317
    Abstract   PDF (1170KB) ( 4308 )
     Human societies are unique in terms of large-scale social cooperation and trust between unrelated people (generalized trust). As an important social signaling mechanism, generalized trust reduces transaction costs, facilitates cooperative behavior, and promotes human society’s prosperity. The question of why and when people trust each other has important implications for human social interaction and economic decision-making. Previous fMRI research utilizing the Trust Game has revealed brain regions involved in the decision to trust, including medial prefrontal cortex, caudate nucleus, amygdala, insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. However, the extant research has failed to clearly reveal neurophysiological mechanisms of the investor’s decision-making in the Trust Game. To investigate the time course and neural oscillation courses of trust decision-making, we recorded the electroencephalographic (EEG) data of 21 healthy human participants while they played the role of trustor in the one-shot Trust Game; in this game, participants made decisions to trust or distrust the counterpart. In addition to behavioral data analysis and event-related potential (ERP) analysis, we also conducted spectral analysis to examine the neural oscillations underlying the trust game responses. Behavioral results indicated that participants made trusting decisions more than chance. Electrophysiological results suggested that distrusting choices induced a more negative N2 and a less positive P3 than did trusting choices. Spectral analysis results showed that the beta-band (18~28 Hz, 250~350 ms) power for distrusting choices was significantly larger than trusting choices; this may suggest greater inhibitory control exerted to distrust. Moreover, trusting choice after a negative outcome elicited a significant higher beta-band (15~20 Hz, 150~300 ms) power than did trusting choice after a positive outcome, while the beta-band power for distrusting choice after a negative outcome was similar compared to distrusting choice after a positive outcome. Our study provided some new insights into the psychophysiological processes underlying human’s decisions to trust strangers. Specifically, when making a decision to trust or distrust the counterpart, the distrusting choice induced a larger N2 than did the trusting choice, which may reflect greater cognitive control to inhibit trusting behavior. On the other hand, a more positive going P3 for the trusting choice than the distrusting choice may suggest that increased attention and motivation are associated with the trusting behavior. Moreover, the increased beta power across frontal areas for distrusting choices might reflect frontal inhibitory processes. These findings highlight the ingrained norm of cooperation and trust in modern societies, and provide preliminary spatio-temporal and spectral results understanding human’s decision-making in the one-shot Trust Game.
     Coaching leadership effect on employees' creativity: Multilevel moderated mediator analysis
    ZHU Yu, LYU Yang, WANG Yanfei, WANG Lixuan
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2018, 50 (3): 327-336.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00327
    Abstract   PDF (425KB) ( 2119 )
     Due to the changing environment and intense competition, reform has become an important strategy for organizations to retain their competitive edge, and employees’ creative behavior has been the key successful factor in promoting business change. Though numerous studies have shown the importance of leadership style in predicting employees’ creative behavior, few of them have reviewed coaching leadership. In this study, we propose a cross-level mediated moderation model based on “culture self-representation theory” in the specific Chinese cultural context. Most importantly, we examine the mechanism of coaching leadership on employees’ creative behavior through the mediation of creative self-efficacy, and the moderating role of personal traditionality. Data were collected from various companies located in the South China region through a questionnaire. In order to avoid common method bias, data were collected in three stages, three months apart. On Stage 1, 71 leaders responded to questions assessing their level of coaching leadership. About three months later, in Stage 2, 301 subordinates completed the survey which assessed their personal traditionality and creative self-efficacy. In Stage 3, those subordinates’ creative behavior was evaluated by their immediate supervisors. In this last stage, 247 subordinate-supervisor dyads were matched, The Mplus 7.4 and SPSS 23.0 statistical analysis packages were used to analyze the data. To test the hypothesis proposed, in addition to multilevel analysis, the Monte Carlo simulation method was employed. In order to enhance the interpretability of model, we constructed a cross-level model with coaching leadership at Level 1, and we modeled subordinates’ personal traditionality, and creative self-efficacy and creative behavior was modeled at Level 2. Multilevel structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data. The results showed that: (1) Coaching leadership was positively related to employees’ creative behavior (γ = 0.23, p < 0.05); (2) Employees’ creative self-efficacy fully mediated the relationship between coaching leadership and creative behavior (γ = 0.10, p < 0.05). Theconfidence interval of the Monte Carlo simulation also supported this result (LLCI = 0.02, ULCI = 0.25); (3) Personal traditionality positively moderated the relationship between coaching leadership and creative self-efficacy (γ = 0.45, p <0.01), with the Monte Carlo method being used to test the mediated moderation effect showing that the confidence interval of the effect of personal traditionality did not include 0. This indicated that the mediated moderation effect was statistically significant, showing that the indirect effect of coaching leadership on employees’ creative behavior via creative self-efficacy was stronger for employees with high level of personal traditionality. These conclusions will contribute to the literature and to management practices. First, this research reveals and supports the mediating effect of creative self-efficacy upon the relationship between coaching leadership and employees’ creative behavior based on culture self-representation theory. This provides an additional avenue for research on how leadership style influences an individual’s behavior. In addition, the moderating effect of traditionality helps us to better understand the influence of coaching leadership in the Chinese cultural context. Beyond the theoretical contributions, the results provide implications on how organizations may stimulate their employees’ creative behavior. Our findings suggest that organizations should pay attention to their leadership training program, which is closely related to their employees’ creative behavior. In addition, their employees’ self-efficacy is strongly linked to their initiative. Thus, superiors should pay greater attention to promoting their subordinates’ creative self-efficacy.
     The effect of incidental similarity (“dress same”) on consumers’ product disposition intentions and its underlying mechanism
    GONG Xiushuang, JIANG Jing
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2018, 50 (3): 337-348.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00337
    Abstract   PDF (437KB) ( 6285 )
     As a critical stage of consumer behavior, product disposition is closely related to the development of secondhand markets, ecology and public welfare. It is thus vital to examine the antecedents of product disposition behavior. Based on identity signaling perspective, we proposed a positive effect of “dress same” (i.e., incidental similarity of identity-signalling vs. non-identity-signaling products) on consumers’ product disposition intentions, with embarrassment as the underlying mechanism. Meanwhile, this paper also examined the moderating role of comparison of physical attractiveness in the aforementioned effect. Four studies were conducted to test our hypotheses. Study 1 was designed to test the main effect of “dress same”. Participants were randomly assigned to two conditions (i.e., incidental similarity of jacket vs. cellphone case). They were first instructed to read and imagine a scenario where they incidentally found a classmate wearing the same jacket (vs. using the same cellphone case) as theirs when they entered the classroom. Afterwards, they indicated their intentions to dispose of that jacket (vs. cellphone case). Study 2 was conducted on MTurk to test the mediating role of embarrassment and to preclude other alternative explanations. Similarly, participants read and imagined that they incidentally found a coworker wearing the same jacket (vs. riding the same bike) as theirs in a social interaction. Moods and product disposition intentions were measured subsequently. In study 3, we employed three product stimuli of the same product category (outfit: jacket vs. jeans vs. sports shoes) to rule out the confounding effect induced by product attributes and to enhance the robustness of our results. Study 4 further examined the moderating role of comparison of physical attractiveness using a 2 (incidental similarity of T-shirt vs. umbrella) * 2 (direction of comparison: upward vs. downward) between-subjects design. Comparison of physical attractiveness was manipulated by instructing participants to imagine that their physical attractiveness is superior or inferior to the person depicted in the scenario. In line with our predictions, “dress same” had a significant positive effect on consumers’ product disposition intentions, driven by feeling embarrassed. This effect was robust by using both student and non-student samples and independent of product visibility, price, and endowment effect. Moreover, our results also revealed a significant moderating role of comparison of physical attractiveness in the aforementioned effect. In the upward comparison condition, the main effect of “dress same” on product disposition intentions as well as the mediating effect of embarrassment was enhanced, but they were attenuated in the downward comparison condition. Our findings contribute to the literature in several different areas. First, by examining how “dress same” influences consumers’ product disposition intentions, this research enriches the literature of product disposition behavior in particular and consumer decisions in general. Second, our findings shed light on the literature of incidental similarity by exploring its negative consequences. Third, the current research contributes to the embarrassment literature by examining embarrassment in an important consumption context (i.e. “dress same”). Finally, we also extend the application of social comparison theory in consumer behavior research.
     Effects of display blurriness on consumers’ attitude toward products
    LI Qiao, LIU Fengjun
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2018, 50 (3): 349-357.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00349
    Abstract   PDF (368KB) ( 2052 )
     Based on the Associated Learning Theory, we investigate whether and how the degree of display blurriness affects product attitude. The display blurriness refers to the extent to which a product display is blurry and the product is observable relatively blurry through the semi-transparent packaging or on a picture with Gaussian blur. Softness in this study is an attribute of products such as towels, fabric, tissue, bread and such that are meant to be soft. Our lab experiments show that compared to a low level of display blurriness, a moderate blurriness is likely to induce a higher level of perceived softness, which consequently enhances consumers’ positive attitude toward products, namely enhancement effect. However, for higher degrees of blurriness, this positive attitude is reversed. This is because a high level of display blurriness also simultaneously arouses consumes’ negative emotion toward the product, which in turn offsets the initial positive effect on product attitude. In addition, we find that the enhancement effect of a moderate level of display blurriness on consumers’ attitude toward a product is moderated by product category. When softness is a positive attribute of the product category, the enhancement effect exists. On the other hand, when softness is a negative attribute for the product category, a moderate level of display blurriness eventually impairs consumers’ attitude. We tested these hypotheses in four lab experiments. The first experiment examined the effect of display blurriness on consumers’ attitude toward products. Participants were randomly assigned to four groups and were shown a product with different degrees of display blurriness (control group, low level of blurriness, moderate level, and high level of blurriness groups). After observing a packaged product, they were asked to fill an attitude scale toward that product. Experiment 2 and 3 were aimed to test the process mechanisms underlying the display blurriness-attitude relationship. In these two experiments, participants were asked to look at the photograph of a product, then rate their attitude, perceived softness and negative emotion toward that product. Experiment 4 examined the moderation role of product category on the positive relationship between level of display blurriness (moderate) and consumers’ attitude toward products. 69 students participated in the 2 (blurred display [between-subjects]: low/moderate level) × 2 (product category [within-subjects]: bread/electric kettle) mixed design experiment. Participants saw two product photographs and then rated an attitude scale. The order of the presenting of the two product photographs was randomized. The results of experiment 1 identified the effect of displayed blurriness on consumers’ attitude, F (3,113) = 14.043, p < 0.001. Specifically, a moderate level of display blurriness enhances consumers’ attitude relative to both high (4.08 vs. 3.08, p < 0.001) and low levels (4.08 vs. 3.71, p = 0.036) of display blurriness. Experiments 2 provided evidence that perceived softness mediated the display blurriness-attitude relationship in moderate vs. low level of display blurriness contrast, but failed to prove the mediating role of negative emotion in moderate vs. high level of display blurriness contrast. Experiments 3 proved that negative emotion is the underlying mechanism through which high level of display blurriness impairs consumers’ attitude relative to moderate level of display blurriness. Experiments 4 demonstrated that perceived softness and product quality evaluation simultaneously mediate the relationship between the display blurriness and consumers’ attitude in low vs. moderate level of display blurriness contrast. In addition, experiments 4 revealed a two-way interaction between product category and display blurriness on consumers’ attitude, F (1, 67) = 27.00, p < 0.001. By providing evidence for the existence of an inverted U-shaped relationship between display blurriness and consumers’ attitude toward products and exploring the mechanisms underlying this relationship, this paper contributes to the literature on image blurriness from both theoretical and practical aspects. On one hand, the existing literature mostly focuses on the monitoring and salience effects of transparent packaging compared with opaque packaging, but this paper compares semitransparent packaging with transparent packaging and investigates how display blurriness (semitransparent) influences consumer’s attitude towards the target products. On the other hand, our findings also provide important new insights for firms’ packaging strategies and product display strategies in an online environment.
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