Anxiety is associated with high levels of arousal. Both theoretical and empirical work have determined that when an individual experiences anxiety, he/she shows attentional bias toward negative stimuli. High arousal and negative attentional bias, as the two key characteristics of anxiety, are associated with a series of subjective feelings and experiences of individuals with state anxiety, among which time perception is significant. However, how this process operates remains an open question. In this article, we investigate how state anxious individuals perceive time, especially the roles of attention bias and cognitive appraisal in this process. Sixty college students participated in the study and were randomly assigned to a high state anxiety group (n = 30, completed a procedure of anxious state induction) and a low state anxiety group (n = 30, completed a procedure of calm state induction). Then, a 2 (high state anxiety group vs. low state anxiety group) × 2 (negative stimuli vs. neutral stimuli) × 3 (2000 ms vs. 4000 ms vs. 8000 ms) mixed-design experiment was conducted with the attentional bias as the mediator, the cognitive appraisal as the moderator and the time perception as the dependent variable. State anxiety was manipulated by an induction process, time perception was measured by the time reproduction task, attentional bias was measured by the dot-probe task and cognitive appraisal was assessed by the visual analogue mood scales. The results showed that (1) State anxiety had an effect on time perception, namely, individuals with high state anxiety overestimated the 2-second interval of the negative stimuli. (2) Attentional bias played a partial mediating role in the relationship between state anxiety and time perception of 2000 ms. (3) Cognitive appraisal moderated the mediation effect of attentional bias on the influence of state anxiety on time perception of 2000 ms. Specifically, when the score of cognitive appraisal was high, attentional bias played a mediating role in the influence of state anxiety on time perception, while when the score of cognitive appraisal was low, attentional bias did not play a mediating role in the influence of state anxiety on time perception.Therefore, the effect of state anxiety on college students’ time perception was a moderated mediating effect. The moderated mediating model significantly revealed the effect mechanism of state anxiety on college students’ time perception, which can contribute to a better understanding of how individuals in an anxious state perceive time. Furthermore, it suggests that the adjustment of cognitive appraisal or attentional bias is an important way to alleviate the time distortion of anxious individuals.
Both audiovisual integration and inhibition of return (IOR) can facilitate the processing of sensory information, such as enhancing the perceptual processing. Previous studies found that IOR decreased the audiovisual integration at previously attended locations. Several hypotheses have been put forward to explain the effect of IOR on audiovisual integration: perceptual sensitivity, spatial uncertainty, and differences in unimodal signal strength. In present study, we used cue-target paradigm and manipulated the SOA conditions (400~600 ms vs. 1000~1200 ms) to investigate how audiovisual integration would be modulated by IOR induced by visual exogenous spatial cues.The current study was a 2 (SOA conditions: 400~600 ms, 1000~1200 ms) × 3 (target modalities: visual, auditory, audiovisual) × 2 (cue validities: cued, uncued) factorial design. Twenty-seven undergraduate students were recruited as paid volunteers from a university. The visual (V) target was a red and white block (1°×1°). The auditory (A) target (duration of 100 ms) was a 1000 Hz sinusoidal tone presented by speakers. The audiovisual (AV) target was composed by the simultaneous presentation of both the visual and the auditory stimuli. At the beginning of each trial, the fixation stimulus was presented for 800~1000 ms in the center of the display. Following the fixation stimulus, a visual white square served as a exogenous cue was presented for 50 ms at the left or right location randomly. Then, the fixation stimulus was randomly presented for 150~250/450~550 ms, which was followed by a central cue with a delay of 50 ms. Before the target (100 ms) occurrence, the fixation stimulus randomly appeared again for 150~250/450~550 ms. Thus, the SOA between the peripheral cue and the target was completed in 400~600/1000~1200 ms. The target (A, V, or AV) randomly appeared (6/7) for 100 ms in the left or right locations, or no stimulus appeared (1/7). During the experiment, participants were instructed to respond to the target stimulus at any possible locations by pressing a response button as quickly and accurately as possible.The results showed that the responses to AV targets were faster than V or A targets, indicating the appearance of the bimodal advancement effect. A smaller magnitude of audiovisual IOR as compared to visual IOR was found whether it’s in short or long SOA conditions. In addition, visual IOR effect was significantly reduced under the long SOA condition compared with the short SOA condition while the audiovisual integration effect increased by SOA. The results of the relative multisensory response enhancement (rMRE), race model (probability difference) and positive area under the curve (pAUC) showed that audiovisual integration decreased at cued compared to uncued locations under the short SOA condition but not the long SOA condition. Based on the aforementioned findings, it is assumed that visual IOR decreased the audiovisual integration in the short SOA, and audiovisual integration would be modulated by different SOA conditions. The current result supported the hypothesis of differences in unimodal signal strength.
Visual working memory (VWM) consolidation refers to the process of transforming a fleeting sensory representation into a relatively durable VWM representation which could be maintained briefly. It plays an important role in the process of visual information. In recent years, researchers have begun to shift the research focus from the time course of consolidation process to the consolidation capacity. They have found that consolidation capacity not only depends on the number of items which could be consolidated at the same time, but could be also affected by the allocation of attention resources caused by spatial scale. However, the simultaneous-sequential paradigm used in previous studies might be interfered with by some extraneous variables, such as the location of stimulus presentation, resulting in the inconsistent results of VWM consolidation studies.In Experiment 1, two masked colored patches (targets) were briefly presented (either simultaneous or sequential) within a virtual large circle (10° to 15° but 50% at 8°) or a virtual small circle (5.2° to 7.9° but 50% at 8°), and each condition was presented in different blocks of trials. Following the targets, a blank screen preceded the onset of a colored probe. Participants were asked to memorize the targets frames and indicate by a button press whether the probe was the same as any one of the targets. The results show that no difference was found between sequential and simultaneous presentation conditions, while the performance for small circle presentation was better than that for large circle presentation. These results correspond with previous studies and suggest that the variation of attention scope has no impact on the consolidation capacity. In Experiment 2, a colored target was presented, follow by two masked colored patches. Participants needed to judge if the target matched any of the masked colored patches. The variation of presentation scope was identical to that of Experiment 1. The results show no significant difference between the large and small attention scope condition. These results show no evidence for the effect of attention scope on the perceptual process and suggest that attention resource allocation caused by attention scope could affect the probability of VWM consolidation, but it does not influence the consolidation capacity.
Kindness is a desirable trait to possess, and it is therefore commendable to investigate its link with self-regulation and, in particular, emotion regulation. Implicit processes in general are much more consistent and reliable, as they are triggered automatically and run to completion without conscious effort or monitoring. Therefore, the effect of implicit emotion regulation on psychological health is more important than that of explicit cognitive behavior and ability. Based on an action control perspective, which suggests that the regulatory process for emotions usually includes three sub-tasks, in this study, a set of implicit tasks were designed to investigate the influence of the kindness trait on implicit emotion regulation among undergraduate students with different levels of kindness.The Chinese Personality Scale was used to assess level of kindness. This study surveyed 399 college students, ultimately selecting 60 participants (30 with high scores and 30 with low scores). The results showed that the high-kindness group had significantly higher scores (M = 90.57, SD = 6.17) than did the low-kindness group (M = 52.28, SD = 3.83), t (58) = 28.70, p < 0.001). A subset of participants was selected based on their kindness scores. They then completed three experimental tasks. First, an emotional Stroop task was conducted to compare the interference effect in color identification caused by emotional valence between the two groups. In this task, the experiment materials were positive and negative emotional words related to interpersonal relationships. The second task used an implicit association test of emotion regulation (ER-IAT) to assess differences in implicit attitude toward emotion regulation between the two groups. The third task was a visual face detection task, which used different expressions to determine the efficiency of implicit emotion recovery in the two groups after a negative emotion induction. The results showed that (1) in the first task, the high-kindness group had a significantly longer reaction time to words describing positive interpersonal relationships than to negative words (p = 0.02). In contrast, the low-kindness participants did not show any difference in reaction times to the two types of words (p = 0.4). (2) In the second task, the high-kindness group had a significantly higher D value (0.34 ± 0.64) than did the low-kindness group (-0.30 ± 0.68), t(54) = 3.64, p = 0.001. (3) In the third task, although the explicit emotion changes did not differ significantly between the two groups at any time point (all p > 0.05), the reaction times for the high-kindness participants were significantly shorter than those for the low-kindness participants in the visual face search tasks using happy-angry combination matrixes (p = 0.01). This study presented the link between the personality trait of kindness and implicit emotional responses according to action control theory. These results suggested that (1) the emotional valence of words only interferes with the reaction times of high-kindness participants’ color judgment, and a more significant Stroop interference effect was only found for positive valence words. (2) High-kindness individuals were more inclined to demonstrate a positive implicit attitude in emotion regulation and preferred a deliberate, appropriate control of emotions. In contrast, the low-kindness individuals were more inclined toward a negative implicit attitude towards emotion regulation and preferred a direct expression of emotions. (3) The high-kindness individuals shifted their attention away from angry faces more quickly and had greater implicit emotion regulation ability. This study provided experimental evidence that there was an advantage for kindness traits with regard to implicit emotion regulation.
The human mirror system (HMS) consists of a core parietofrontal network of regions in the inferior parietal lobule and inferior frontal gyrus/premotor cortex, which can be activated by action observation and execution. Mu rhythm suppression is considered an electrophysiological indicator of the HMS given their similarity in reaction to action observation and execution. Mu rhythm comprises α (8-13 Hz) and β (15-25 Hz) frequency bands, which are typically measured at the power change of midline electrode sites. The β frequency band is related to the movement preparation, whereas the α frequency band is suppressed during the execution of movement.
Consistent with the role of the HMS in social cognition, such as emotion understanding, theory of mind, and empathy, mu rhythm suppression is modulated by the processing of social information, such as facial emotional information. Emotion is an important component of social communication. In addition to the emotional facial expression, music is an effective means of expressing emotions through imitation, and for most of people, the main purpose of listening to music is to process musical emotions. However, information on whether mu rhythm suppression is involved in the processing of musical emotions is limited.
The aims of the present study were to examine whether mu rhythm suppression is modulated by the processing of musical emotions using Electroencephalogram (EEG). Given that the HMS is involved in the automatic processing of musical emotions, the present study focused on this point by using a cross-modal affective priming paradigm with an SOA of 200 ms. Fifteen musically untrained normal individuals participated in the experiment. Target faces with pleasant and unpleasant emotions were primed by affectively congruous or incongruous chords. Forty-eight congruous and 48 incongruous trials were included in the present study. The participants were instructed to decide as fast and accurately as possible whether the emotion of the face was pleasant or unpleasant.
Behavioral results showed that the affectively congruous target faces (M = 575.17 ms, SD = 75.34) were judged faster than affectively incongruous target faces (M = 605.38 ms, SD = 87.74). However, no difference was observed in the percentages of correct responses to the affectively congruous (M = 98%, SD = 2.4%) and incongruous (M = 97%, SD = 2.5%) target faces. Electrophysiological results revealed that the β frequency band (18-24 Hz) oscillations were less strong for incongruous than for congruous target faces at a time window of 500-650 ms after the onset of chords. A significant desynchronization of the α frequency band was observed for both the congruous and incongruous target stimuli at a time window of 300-450 ms after the onset of chords. Moreover, source analysis exhibited the central-frontal area responsible for automatic musical emotion processing, where the HMS is located.
Overall, the present study showed that mu rhythm suppression was involved in the automatic processing of chord emotions, as shown in the α and β frequency bands. The results extend the role of the mu rhythm and provide electrophysiological support for the role of the HMS in the processing of musical emotions.
It is reported that, the primary approach for school children to acquire vocabularies is by deriving word meanings from contexts. The typical deficit of developmental dyslexia is that they have smaller vocabulary size than their chronological age-matched children. One recent study has examined the cognitive processes underlying dyslexic children’s novel word learning during reading by using eye tracking. This is a method that is well established as a means of investigating reading behaviour by measuring when and where the eye fixates on text as written language is processed naturally. It should be noted that all the studies investigating novel word learning measured fixation durations on novel words fixated by dyslexic children with a view to quantifying the time required for those novel words to be successfully identified within the context of a sentence. In the present study we investigated saccadic targeting in relation to novel word learning in dyslexia children.Each novel word was embedded into eight sentences, each of which provided a context for readers to form a new lexical representation. Two groups of dyslexic children and age-matched control children’s eye movements were recorded when they read sentences. Given the ongoing lexical processing difficulty influences the basic decision of “where to target” in Chinese reading, the novel word poses substantial processing difficulty, particular for dyslexic children with inefficient lexical processing, we predict that dyslexic children would be less efficient to target the eyes than control children did in novel word learning. Consistent with our prediction, the mean initial landing positions on novel words were further away from the word center for dyslexic than control children, showing that the basic decision of saccadic targeting on novel words was less efficient for dyslexic than control children. Additionally, we categorized 8 exposures to novel words as being two learning stages: Learning stage 1 including exposures 1 to 4; and learning stage 2 including the exposures from 5 to 8. We aimed to examine whether they were able to modulate their saccadic targeting as the accumulated learning of novel words. The results showed that, control children targeted the initial saccades closer to the word centers with increased exposures, while such effect did not occur for dyslexic children. These findings indicate that control children adjusted the initial saccadic targeting based on lexical familiarity information, while dyslexic children did not. On the basis of the findings above, we argue that, dyslexic children may adopt more careful strategy of saccade-target selection given their lower efficiency in word processing, such that they had lower efficiencies in the basic decision of saccadic targeting, as well as the usage of “lexical familiarity information” to modulate the saccadic targeting to novel words. This might account for their low word acquisition efficiency in reading.
Maternal gatekeeping behavior is defined as a collection of behaviors that facilitate or inhibit the collaborative effort of fathers in the family and child-care work, which is an integral part of the coparenting relationship that is essential to family life. Gatekeeping behavior can be further classified into maternal opening behaviors and closing behaviors. The former facilitates, and the latter inhibits father involvement in parenting activities. Research on maternal gatekeeping behavior has mainly focused on its predictive effects on father involvement in the father-child subsystem. Limited research has also been conducted on predictive effects of maternal gatekeeping behaviors on the function of other family subsystems such as mother-adolescent subsystem.Based on the spillover hypothesis of family system theory, this study explored how maternal opening and closing behavior predicted mother involvement and mother-adolescent attachment that respectively represents top-down and bottom-up mother-adolescent interactions. Moreover, the attachment theory assumes that parenting by the mother is the basis of attachment formation and development. As a result, mother involvement might have a positive predictive role on mother-adolescent attachment. Therefore, an indirect effect model of maternal gatekeeping behavior on mother involvement and mother-adolescent attachment is proposed. Specifically, it is suggested that mother involvement might mediate the relationship between maternal gatekeeping behavior and mother-adolescent attachment. Furthermore, the associations among these three factors might differ during different stages of adolescence, such as early, middle, and late adolescence. Families (N = 598) that included mothers and their adolescent children participated in this study. Mothers reported their gatekeeping behaviors using the Maternal Gatekeeping Scale and involvement using the Inventory of Parental Involvement. Adolescents evaluated their attachment to their mothers using the mother attachment sub-scale of the Inventory of Parent and Peer Attachment. Data were analyzed using correlational analysis and structural equation modeling in SPSS 21.0 and Mplus 7.11. Results generally indicated that maternal opening behavior positively predicted mother involvement and mother-adolescent attachment. In particular, the effect of maternal opening behavior on mother-adolescent attachment was mediated by mother involvement, indicative of the indirect effect of maternal gatekeeping behavior on mother-adolescent attachment. However, maternal closing behavior negatively predicted mother-adolescent attachment but not mother involvement. Moreover, there was no indirect effect between maternal closing behavior and mother-adolescent attachment. Furthermore, an analysis of group comparisons revealed that the indirect effects model of maternal gate opening was significant in all three developmental stages, and the magnitude of the indirect effect was not significantly different between the three stages. Also, there were group differences in relationships among maternal closing behavior, mother involvement and mother-adolescent attachment in the three stages of adolescence. Specifically, in early adolescence, maternal closing behavior had a positive effect on mother involvement and mother-adolescent attachment with mother involvement mediating the relationship between maternal closing behavior and mother-adolescent attachment. On the contrary, in late adolescence, maternal closing behavior had an adverse effect on mother involvement and mother-adolescent attachment with mother involvement mediating the relationship between maternal closing behavior and mother-adolescent attachment. In middle adolescence, there were no significant predictive effects of maternal closing behavior on mother involvement or mother-adolescent attachment. This study on the whole indicated that maternal gatekeeping behavior, which is an essential aspect of coparenting, was closely related to the quality of the relationship between mothers and adolescents. Furthermore, the study suggested that developmental stages of adolescence must be considered when exploring the roles of maternal gatekeeping behavior in different family system domains. This new evidences from this study indicate practical family education programs should promote maternal opening behaviors such as facilitating fathers’ participation in child-rearing and decrease maternal closing behavior such as criticism and control for fathers’ participation.
Power disparity refers to the differences in the concentration of power among team members. Although the pervasiveness and importance of power disparity have been well recognized, whether power disparity is functional or dysfunctional remains uncertain. Some researchers have suggested that power disparity can improve team performance by facilitating coordination, while others have found that power disparity, which may be perceived as unequal and unfair, can trigger team conflict. In this context, our study aims to reconcile these contrasting perspectives by proposing that procedural justice and team legitimacy are moderators in the relationship between power disparity and team conflict (task conflict and relationship conflict). We propose that when there is a high level of procedural justice, which helps legitimize a team’s power disparity, members are likely to accept their team’s distribution of power and coordinate with each another. However, when there is a low level of procedural justice, which can create the perception that a team’s power disparity is illegitimate, members are likely to view their team’s distribution of power as unequal and unfair. In this case, low-ranking members may show their opposition by competing over power, producing team conflict.Data were collected from two manufacturing companies in Zhejiang Province. To reduce the potential influence of common method bias, we used a two-wave design with a one-month interval. At Time 1, 450 employees in 90 teams responded to questions about power disparity, procedural justice, team legitimacy, and control variables. At Time 2, 376 employees in the 81 teams that had completed the Time 1 survey responded to questions about task conflict and relationship conflict. The final sample contained 322 employees in 70 teams. We measured individuals’ responses regarding their teams’ power disparity with a round-robin approach (i.e., asking individuals to rate the power of each team member) and calculated the coefficient of variation in those responses. For the purpose of analysis, we aggregated the measures of task conflict, relationship conflict, procedural justice, and team legitimacy to the group level. The results showed that both procedural justice and team legitimacy moderated the relationship between power disparity and team conflict (task conflict and relationship conflict). When procedural justice was high, power disparity was negatively related to task conflict and relationship conflict, while these relationships became positive when procedural justice was low. In a similar vein, when team legitimacy was high, power disparity was negatively related to task conflict and relationship conflict, but when team legitimacy was low, it was positively related to both kinds of conflict. Moreover, procedural justice was shown to be positively related to team legitimacy. Finally, following the procedures suggested by Grant and Berry (2011), we conducted a mediated moderation analysis to test the integrative model. The results showed that team legitimacy mediated the moderation effect of procedural justice on the relationship between power disparity and team conflict (task conflict and relationship conflict). Our findings contribute to the literature in two ways. First, the study extends our understanding of the relationship between power disparity and team conflict by testing procedural justice and team legitimacy as moderators. Second, our findings reveal that power disparity can either decrease or increase team conflict when procedural justice (team legitimacy) is high and low, respectively. Our study thereby provides a new approach to the effects of power disparity that integrates the functional and dysfunctional perspectives.
Numerical information, such as time, temperature, prices, and product quality ratings, is widely used in our daily lives. As a representation of abstract concepts, numbers have been found to be associated with a concrete concept representation, which is spatial position. Our study enriches this line of research by exploring the association between numbers and shapes. Our study suggests that individuals may project shape information to precise or round numbers. Specifically, precise numbers (round numbers) are likely to be associated with angular shapes (circular shape). Marketing communication materials that feature angular (circular) brand logo shapes may result in favorable evaluations when the numerical information of the product is precise (round).In the present study, we conducted four experiments to test the hypotheses. Study 1 used an Implicit Association Test to examine the implicit association between numbers and shapes. A total of 39 undergraduate students participated in study 1 (19 men) and were instructed to sort a series of stimuli (numerical and shape stimuli) into two categories as quickly as possible. In compatible blocks, the two categories were “precise or angular” and “round or circular.” In incompatible blocks, the two categories were “round or angular” and “precise or circular.” Study 2 sought to investigate the marketing implications of this association. A total of 125 adults (56 men) were shown an advertisement of a quilt. The advertisement contained no other information except the brand logo and numerical information. After reading the product information, all participants were asked to indicate their product attitudes. Study 3 investigated the mediation role of processing fluency. A total of 200 adult participants (105 men) were provided with information about a laptop bag. After reading the product information, all participants were asked to indicate their product evaluation and processing fluency. Study 4 investigated the boundary effect of concept association (“precise = male” vs. “precise = female”). The procedures consisted of two phases. A total of 244 adults completed a job perception study in phase 1, where the association of the salience concept was manipulated by asking the participants to rate 10 different jobs. In phase 2, the participants were shown an advertisement of a pad and were asked to indicate their perception on the product. In studies 2-4, numerical precision was manipulated through a description of product size, price, weight, or review scores. The results of study 1 show that the participants classified compatible blocks faster than incompatible blocks. This finding supports the hypothesis that numerical precision and shapes are connected. Precise numbers were indeed associated with angular shape, whereas round numbers were associated with circular shape. The results of studies 2-4 confirm the marketing implications of the association between numbers and shapes. Marketing communications with an angular (circular) brand logo shape may result in favorable evaluations when the product numerical information is precise (round). Moreover, study 4 found the moderating effect of concept association. Consistent with the reasoning, when participants were informed with the “female = precise” association, the association between numerical precision and brand logo shape was reversed. This research contributes to the literature of numerical cognition and brand logo shape. It provides managers with guidelines on brand logo design and product numerical information setting.