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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 51 Issue 9 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    Reports of Empirical Studies
    Preview processing of between words and within words in Chinese reading: No word highlighting effect
    GUAN Yiyun, SONG Xini, ZHENG Yuwei, ZHANG Yingliang, CUI Lei
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2019, 51 (9): 969-981.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00969
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (923KB) ( 2264 )

    In the present study, readers’ eye movements were recorded to investigate the influence of word highlighting information on the preview processing of between-words and within-words.

    Most studies on preview effects have found that the size of the preview effects is 30~50 ms. Hy?n? et al. (2004) examined parafoveal processing of the end lexeme of a long Finnish compound while the beginning lexeme of the compound was fixated. And the results found 80ms preview effect which was more pronounced than previous literatures. The larger preview benefit may have been due to the fact that the preview word is part of one larger linguistic unit (within-words); however, in previous experiments, the preview word and the current fixated word belong to different words (between-words). Consequently, researchers speculated that within-words might induce larger preview effect than that of between-words. Some researchers used compound words (within-words) and phrases (between-words) to further explore this issue and they found that there were no differences between within-words and between-words in preview effects. The results cannot exclude the possible explanation that larger preview effect for within-words is caused by the higher syntactic expectations of nouns comes from adjectives in phrases inducing larger preview effect and then counterbalances the possible differences between the two kinds of words. The present study adopted the boundary paradigm to probe the preview processing differences between within-words and between-words. In the present study, the first character of a two-character compounds (between-words) and the second character of a two-character compounds (within-words) was manipulated to be presented normally or replaced by a pseudo-character for previews. Moreover, word highlighting sentence and non-word highlighting sentence were introduced to examine whether the word boundary information could exert different influences on the preview processing of between-words and within-words. Marking word boundary by word highlighting has its unique advantages. Most of all, compared with word spaces, word highlighting can not only keep the same sentence length meanwhile providing the word boundary information but also control the same word lateral masking on different conditions.

    Firstly, the results indicated that the preview effect for between-word was smaller than that of within-word. The results were consistent with the results of Hy?n? et al. (2004), which showed that the morphological information of target word could impact on preview processing. Secondly, we found that there were no differences among normal condition, highlighting condition and non-word highlighting condition. Even so, we did not found the significant influences of word boundary demarcation for preview processing, the possible benefit effect of word boundary still could not be ruled out thoroughly. As Bai et al. (2008) pointed out that readers are familiar with the text without any word boundary signals in normal reading; consequently, the null effect between normal and word boundary text may show a priming effect on word boundary condition, which is the one readers are not familiar with. Thirdly, the results showed that word boundary information had similar effects on within-words and between-words.

    Results of the present study indicated that word morphological information could affect its preview processing; however, word boundary information do not necessarily facilitate preview processing for both between-words and within-words. The possible explanation may be that word segmentation and word recognition occur simultaneously. These results are consistent with the model of word segmentation and word recognition.

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    Visual representation of items with semantic information in sensory memory
    HU Jingjing,XU Haokui,CAO Liren
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2019, 51 (9): 982-991.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00982
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (873KB) ( 2000 )

    Visual representation is one of the most important topics in sensory memory. Traditionally, visual representation with respect to sensory memory was regarded as an ‘icon’, the processing of which would cease after a subsequent stimulus (backward masking). Recently, an increasing number of researches have suggested a more flexible representation of visual sensory memory in which the features of the visual stimulus could be expressed in an abstract form. As previous researchers paid considerable attention to only the schematic features of a visual stimulus, the abstract information contained in a stimulus has rarely been explored. In this study, we have focused on the semantic information of the visual representation of the sensory memory. In a part-report task, the Arabic digits were employed as the target, and the Chinese digits as the semantic-similar mask, which were semantically related to Arabic digits; the noise patterns were employed as the non-semantic mask. If under the Chinese mask condition, the participants’ performance of reporting target digits decreased, it would reveal a conflict between the representations of the target and the mask, thereby suggesting that the visual representation of the sensory memory contains semantic information of the stimulus.

    In Experiment 1, the target stimuli were arrays of 3×4 Arabic digits generated by selecting at random from a set containing digits zero to nine. A mask stimuli could either be (a) a single binary visual noise with an element size equal to the stroke width of the target digits, or (b) a 3×4 array of random standard Chinese-digits in capital form whose spatial arrangement is identical to that of the target and its size is big enough to overlap the corresponding target digits. Both the targets and masks were presented within 23.5 ms (2 frames in 85 Hz) and the inter-stimulus interval (ISI) between the offset of the target and the onset of the mask was 105.9 ms (9 frames in 85 Hz). There were three conditions for reporting: part-report with 0 ms cue-delay, part-report with 447 ms cue-delay, and whole-report with no cue-delay. A correct response was recorded only when the participants reported the correct digits at the locations they occurred in the target array. The results showed a significant difference between the noise and standard Chinese-digit mask under all of the three reporting conditions; there was a significant part-report advantage for the noise mask, but not for the Chinese characters. This indicated that semantic information can influence information processing in the sensory memory. Considering that noise and Chinese characters are different at a schematic level, we inverted the Chinese digits in Experiment 2 to destroy their semantic information but reserve their schematic feature.

    Therefore, Experiment 2 was identical to Experiment 1, except the Chinese digits were inverted. The results showed that the difference between the noise and inverted Chinese-digit masks still existed, while both showed significant part-report advantages. We conducted an analysis across-experiment afterwards. There was a significant difference between the standard and inverted Chinese-digit masks, while there was no significant difference between the noise masks across the two experiments. Results above revealed that masks with different semantic information but the same schematic information can influence the target processing differently. Considering that the standard and inverted Chinese digits are different in semantic strength, we employed commonly used Chinese characters in Experiment 3 to ensure that the two masks under comparison have different meanings but a similar semantic strength.

    In Experiment 3, we employed Chinese digits and commonly used Chinese characters as masks. These two masks had similar word frequencies and number of strokes. However, the Chinese-digit mask still showed a significant stronger masking effect, which revealed the effect of semantic similarity. This implied that the visual representation in sensory memory could contain semantic information.

    In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that the feature represented in sensory memory is not only schematic but also semantic. The functions of such a feature-based representation and its interaction with the icon have also been discussed.

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    The influence of shame on deceptive behavior: The role of self-control
    FAN Wei,REN Mengmeng,XIAO Junze,JIAN Zengdan,DU Xiaoming,FU Xiaolan
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2019, 51 (9): 992-1006.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00992
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (1000KB) ( 6243 )

    Shame, as a typical moral emotion, has an influence on individual behavior that is both complex and controversial. Previous studies have found that shame produces both an unpleasant experience and a moral emotion that encourages individuals to produce positive behaviors. In recent years, Hooge’s research has proceeded from the perspective of motivation. He believes that, no matter how shame makes individuals perform, their motivation is to restore and protect the damaged self. Therefore, based on Hooge's theory, this research will examine this typical immoral behavior as an example to discuss the impact of shame upon it and its ways.

    In this study, students from a university were randomly selected as participants, and the number of each experiment’s participants was arranged according to the experimental requirements. Questionnaires and behavioral experiments were used throughout the experiment, and the experimental procedures were completed in accordance with the regulations of each experiment. The requirements for each experiment were different and the procedures for conducting the experiment were different. The statistical methods of the study were also based on the requirements of each experiment.

    Experiment 1 examines whether shame has an effect on deceptive behavior. Its results show that the number and tendency of deception in the shamed group were significantly lower than in the control group. To more fully explore the impact of shame on deceptive behavior in different contexts, Experiment 2 improved upon the deficiencies of Experiment 1 and divided shame situations into two types: moral anomie and lack of ability. It was found that the number of deceptions in the moral anomie shamed group was significantly lower than that in the control group, and the number of deceptions in the lack of ability shamed group was significantly higher than that in the control group. To examine the specific methods and mechanisms of shame in affecting deception, we propose that shamed individuals increase their self-control resources and, thus, reduce the theory of fraud. Experiment 3a examined the impact of shame on self-control resources and found that the self-control resources of the shamed group were significantly higher than those of the control group. Experiment 3b explored the specific mechanisms of shame affecting deceptive behavior. It was found that self-control resources played a complete mediating role in the process of shame in affecting deception.

    In summary, these findings suggest that shame can deter deception under certain conditions. The condition is that shame is caused by moral disorder rather than lack of ability; the mechanism of shame in affecting behavior may be: Individuals who feel shame will restore and protect the damaged moral self by mobilizing more self-control resources to influence behavior.

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    Neural mechanisms of fairness formation in the perspective of social interactions
    ZHANG Ruqian,LIU Jieqiong,LI Xianchun
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2019, 51 (9): 1007-1017.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01007
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (4113KB) ( 1524 )

    Interpersonal fairness plays an important role in human life. Punishment is one of the most fundamental factors in the formation of interpersonal fairness. Although many neuroscience studies have used interactive economic games to explore the neural mechanisms that underlie fair norms’ enforcement and compliance, single brain studies cannot make researchers achieve a complete understanding of the intrinsic mechanisms related to dynamic interactions. Hyperscanning techniques can allow researchers to measure the brain activity of two or more persons simultaneously while they complete cognitive tasks under natural conditions. Therefore, we used fNIRS-based hyperscanning to evaluate changes in behavior and interpersonal neural synchronization (INS) during the formation of interpersonal fairness.

    The experimental paradigm referred to the adapted ultimatum game (UG). There were two conditions in our study, punishment and voluntary condition. In the punishment condition, the proposer (A) introduced a distribution scheme. When the recipient (B) accepted it, both of them received money according to the distribution scheme. If B thought that this distribution was unfair, he or she could punish A by spending all or part of their money to reduce A’s gains. One RMB invested in punishment led to a reduction in A’s gains by 5 RMB. However, in the voluntary condition, B was obligated to accept the offer no matter how much A allocated to him or her. The task included 50 trials altogether, 25 trials for each condition. The trials of two different conditions were presented in a pseudo-random way. A total of 44 university students participated in this study, including 13 male and 9 female pairs. Before the experiment, pairs of participants drew lots to decide their roles.

    Behavioral results showed that compared with the voluntary condition, the average transfer amount was significantly higher in the punishment condition and much closer to the equal split. Moreover, in the face of unfair distribution, more money was transferred to recipients when they punished more the proposers. Consequently, there was no significant difference between proposers’ and recipients’ final gains in the punishment condition. However, in the voluntary condition, proposers gained more. Results from fNIRS revealed that in the punishment condition, the INS of three brain areas was higher than that of the voluntary condition, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (channel 15), inferior parietal lobule (channel 12, 13), and temporo-parietal junction (channel 9). Additionally, the transfer difference (punishment minus control) was positively associated with an increase of INS in the inferior parietal lobule.

    These results suggest that punishment can promote the formation of interpersonal fairness, accompanied by enhanced interpersonal neural synchronizations in the brain areas related to strategic decision-making and theory of mind.

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    Characteristics and significance of binocular point of regard in children with autism having normal vision
    GAO Shihuan,CHEN Shunsen,SU Yanjie,LIN Caiyun
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2019, 51 (9): 1018-1027.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01018
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (774KB) ( 920 )

    Perception disorders, especially those of vision, in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a significant diagnostic value. Earlier studies have shown that both adults and children with ASD have vision disorders, like double vision, strabismus, amblyopia, etc., which may cause difficulties in processing visual information. Smooth pursuit eye movement (SPEM) can be used to research perception and processing of motion information that track the target’s movement. Failure of visual processing of motion stimuli in individuals with ASD was reported in several earlier studies. There is little existing knowledge about the mechanism underlying the failure to effectively perform visual tracking in individuals with ASD. Given the visual problems of these individuals, we supposed that dysfunction of binocular fusion affects the ability to track targets precisely. Distance between the external fixation points corresponding to the object image on the retina, that is, the distance of the binocular point of regard (DBPR) is abnormal in ASD. Some studies reported that irrespective of static or dynamic stimuli, the DBPR in children with ASD is significantly greater than that of typically developing (TD) children. Therefore, we investigated the visual mechanism and identification value of the DBPR in children with ASD, using a smooth-tracking task.

    We designed a study to test the visual mechanism and identification value of the DBPR in children with ASD during dynamic stimulation processing. We recruited 25 children with ASD, aged 3 to 6 years, and 25 TD children of corresponding age, who were made to watch 6 smooth-tracking task videos of sinusoidal motion of a small black sphere, which were recorded along with the original coordinates of binocular vision through an eye tracker. We compared differences in TD children and those with ASD, by calculating the position error and DBPR in 6 conditions.

    The results showed that: (1) the DBPR in children with ASD is abnormal, and is independent of strabismus, (2) compared with TD children, whose average DBPR value is less than 30 pixels, the DBPR in children with ASD is higher. Average DBPR value in children with ASD is greater than 35 pixels and has cross-task stability, (3) the DBPR in children with ASD has good identification ability in all six conditions, especially under the conditions of highest amplitude and speed, and (4) the DBPR is significantly positively correlated with gross score of the autism behavior checklist (ABC) and dimension of sensation, showing that it can be used as an identification index to measure abnormal perception in children with ASD.

    In conclusion, compared with TD children, the DBPR in those with ASD reflects the defect of binocular vision and has cross-task stability. It has good identification value under the conditions of fastest speed and highest amplitude.

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    Level 2 visual perspective-taking at age 3 and the corresponding effect of cooperation
    JIN Xinyi,ZHOU Bingxin,MENG Fei
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2019, 51 (9): 1028-1039.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01028
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (853KB) ( 988 )

    Level 2 visual perspective-taking, which is a type of reasoning through which perceptions are formed on the basis of others’ perspectives, underlies various social cognitions. Therefore, the development of this type of reasoning attracts considerable attention. The traditional turtle task ( Masangkay et al., 1974) indicated that level 2 visual perspective-taking does not emerge until age 4~5. Moll and Meltzoff (2011) introduced a color-filter task and suggested that 3-year-old Western children demonstrate such an understanding. Therefore, our first aim was to investigate 3-year-old Chinese children’s level 2 visual perspective-taking. A crucial aspect concerns how this type of reasoning develops. From a constructivist view, cooperation is supposed to play a crucial role. Numerous studies have provided supporting evidence that cooperation is uniquely related to improvements in perspectival understanding. However, a direct measurement of visual perspective-taking is lacking. Therefore, our second aim was to determine the effect of cooperation on the development of children’s level 2 visual perspective-taking.

    The present study performed two experiments. In each experiment, 48 3-year-old Chinese children were randomly assigned to a cooperative or competitive group. Each participant successively received a level 2 visual perspective-taking pre-test, 3-minute cooperative or competitive social interaction according to their group assignment, and level 2 visual perspective-taking post-test. Social interaction involved a fishing game with an experimenter, in which children can collaboratively (cooperation) catch as much fish as they can or catch more fish than others (competition). Two types of tasks (i.e., experiment 1: turtle task; experiment 2: color-filter task) were used to measure the children’s level 2 visual perspective-taking. The pre- and post-tests shared the same task type but used different items.

    The children’s performance was examined and compared between groups in each experiment. Results showed that (1) 3-year-old Chinese children showed no significant tendency to take level 2 visual perspectives. Experiment 1 indicated that the traditional turtle task was fraught with difficulty for the children. That is, the participants significantly tended to report their own perspective when asked about others’ perspective in the pre-test. This result agreed with previous findings that children generally fail this task until age 4. Experiment 2 used a color-filter task. The participants randomly took others’ perspective or their own, thereby indicating that they had difficulty taking others’ perspectives. (2) Cooperation improved children’s level 2 visual perspective-taking. Experiment 2 found that their level 2 visual perspective-taking was enhanced after cooperation but not after competition. In the post-test, children who cooperated successfully took one another’s perspective, whereas those who competed performed randomly. The difference between groups was significant. Experiment 1 showed the same tendency, but no significance was observed.

    Present findings prompt us to update our knowledge of the early development of visual perspective-taking. First, results indicate that 3-year-old children continue to experience difficulty in level 2 visual perspective-taking. Second, cooperation considerably helps children take level 2 visual perspectives. Although children failed to independently take one another’s perspectives, they managed to do so with the help of a preceding task-irrelevant cooperation. This result clarifies the constructive impact of social interaction, thereby suggesting that the ability to take others’ perspectives could be specifically enhanced by cooperation. Thus, future studies should focus on the long-term effects of cooperation and how it constructs children’s developing representation of visual perspectives.

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    Effect of Dong Chorus on the executive function of Dong high school students
    WANG Ting,ZHI Fengying,LU Yutong,ZHANG Jijia
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2019, 51 (9): 1040-1056.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01040
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (830KB) ( 968 )

    Considerable research suggests that musical experience and ability are related to various cognitive abilities. One aspect of cognition that may be related to musical training is executive function (EF), which involves a set of top-down processes that regulate behavior and cognition according to task demands. To date, many studies are investigating this relationship. However, results are mixed and difficult to compare because of not only the variety of EF components examined but also the variety of tasks used to measure EF and the variety of criteria used to categorize participants as “musicians” or “non-musicians.” Moreover, most studies focus more on Western music than Chinese folk music, which has its own unique expression and distinct musical character.

    Dong Chorus, which is the multipart folk chorus of the Dong people in Guizhou Province, holds an important and unusual position in Chinese polyphonic folk songs. This stature is due to their splendid artistry, long history that can be textually researched, and the great influence of their vivid artistic practice, which gained the favor of numerous musicians. However, only a few scholars have studied the folk songs from the perspective of cognitive psychology or by means of experiments.

    In this study, we divide EFs into three core components: inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility in auditory and visual modalities. Dong musicians (n = 32), Dong non-musicians (n = 32), and the Han (n = 32) high school students were involved in six experiments to test the effect of Dong Chorus on cognition and the existence and generality of the relationship between musical ability and EFs.

    Results showed that Dong musicians and non-musicians outperformed Han students in inhibitory control and memory updating in auditory and visual versions of EF tasks, but no significant difference existed among the three groups in terms of shifting, which proved the generality of cognitive advantages of Dong Chorus. Dong non-musicians outperformed Han students in inhibition and switching, which suggested the interaction between language and music.

    In summary, these results indicated that cognitive advantages associated with Dong Chorus are not limited to auditory processes, but they are limited to specific aspects of EF. This finding supports a process-specific (but modality-general) relationship between musical ability and nonmusical aspects of cognition. Protecting and developing the Dong Chorus are important.

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    Make adaptive testing know examinees better: The item selection strategies based on recommender systems
    WANG Pujue,LIU Hongyun
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2019, 51 (9): 1057-1067.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01057
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (799KB) ( 595 )

    Better CAT item selection strategies may be designed by making better use of information from previous examinees’ responses. The past examinees’ data serve as a valuable reference for selecting items more accurately and evenly for new examinees. However, most of the existing strategies proposed under the theoretical framework of IRT only use information from the current examinee and fail to take full advantage of past examinees’ data. A collaborative filtering recommender approach from the recommender system literature is able to find items that best match one’s preference by utilizing information from others, which shares the similar goal as the item selection strategy of CAT. Therefore, the present study adapted the underlying assumptions of collaborative filtering recommender and proposed new item selection strategies which take advantage of past examinees’ data, and then investigated the potential factors that might affect the performance of new strategies.

    In light of user-based collaborative filtering, we defined similar examinees as a group of examinees who uniformly answered the same items, and proposed two strategies, Direct Examinee-Based Recommender (DEBR) and Indirect Examinee-Based Recommender (IEBR). Two simulation studies were conducted to examine the measurement accuracy and item exposure control of new strategies under different conditions. In study 1, a simulated item bank was considered. The recommender-based strategies used two different types of past examinees’ data generated by FMI and BAS, respectively, to select items under two fixed-length CATs. In study 2, a real item bank was used to test new strategies under a more realistic setting. The effect of combining two batches of past examinees’ data from different recommender-based strategies was also investigated.

    In both studies, when using past examinees’ data with high accuracy but poor item exposure control (generated by FMI), the recommender-based strategies greatly remedied unbalanced item utilization with an acceptable loss of accuracy. When using past examinees’ data with better tradeoff of measurement precision and test security (generated by BAS), the recommender-based strategies kept the accuracy at the same level and further improved item exposure control. More specifically, DEBR focused on maintaining the accuracy and had lower measurement error than IEBR; IEBR was good at improving the control of item exposure and made better use of the whole item bank than all the other strategies. These features of two recommender-based strategies were stable and consistent under different item banks and different length of CATs. The extent to which DEBR and IEBR demonstrated their features was influenced by the quality of item bank, test length, number of past examinees and strategy used to generate data.

    In general, this research successfully combined the recommender systems with CAT item selection methods to establish a new flexible framework, which is an unprecedented innovation upon the traditional item selection strategies. This research also provided empirical evidence for the value of past examinees’ data and the recommender system approach as a feasible alternative option for selecting items in CAT. Finally, suggestions for future studies were provided regarding investigating the proposed new strategies in various situations and upgrading recommender-based strategies for more CAT conditions, including finding diverse measures of similarities between examinees or items and employing more complex algorithms of recommender system to meet the demands of large-scale tests.

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    Theory and History of Psychology
    An “operational definition” and a “falsifiability criterion” are not sufficient to lay the foundation for scientific psychology
    SHU Yueyu,SHI Yingbo,YUAN Yan
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2019, 51 (9): 1068-1078.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01068
    Abstract   HTML   PDF (697KB) ( 1804 )

    In the mainstream narrative of the discipline, a “controlled experiment” and a “quantitative research” are considered to be the basic characteristics of psychology. For a long time, the methodology of positivism has provided the subject of psychology with a spiritual connotation. Specifically, the “operational definition” based on positivism and the “falsifiability criterion” based on falsificationism, have become the “golden rules” of psychology’s scientificity. For decades, the field of philosophy of science has acquired a renewed understanding of positivism and falsificationism. However, while mainstream psychology ignores these advancements, it still regards these two outdated philosophies as its metaphysical foundation. More importantly, while indulging in outdated methodological assumptions, mainstream psychology is unable to provide a systematic demonstration for the ontological preset of disciplines. This lack of ontology and the over-reliance on outdated methodological presuppositions focus on popular mainstream psychology textbooks, such as How to Think Straight about Psychology by Keith E. Stanovich, who is a Canadian psychologist.

    Based on the representative position of Keith E. Stanovich’s work in mainstream psychology, and in the foundation of refining and summarizing specific features of heavy reliance on the methodology of mainstream experimental psychology, by using the process of logical analysis and philosophical speculation, this paper suggests that mainstream psychology has always defined itself through a methodology shared with other natural sciences, which is the root cause of the psychological disintegration crisis.!!!This study contends that the methodological basis of psychology itself has several problems. First of all, not all scientific concepts can be defined operationally. Thus, an operational definition by itself does not provide a solid philosophical foundation for empirical science. Furthermore, universal existence propositions and statistical law cannot be verified and falsified by experience. Therefore, the falsifiability criterion is not sufficient to guarantee the scientificity of psychology. In the end, common natural science methods are not sufficient to reflect the unique value of psychology. For this reason, the methodology of mature natural science is not enough to lay the foundation for psychology, which is an independent discipline.

    This research proposes that the logical starting point of psychology as an independent discipline lies in its unique values, which provide an ontological commitment not only to the subject, but also to the underlying psychology, making its own special requests for the selection method of the subject. Only discipline motivation, and ontological commitment can provide a philosophical basis for psychology as an independent subject. In psychology, it is possible to solve a split subject crisis only on the premise of breaking away from the method center and rethinking the logical basis of psychology—which is an independent subject—thereby leading the discipline from a “pre-paradigm science” to a “normal science.”

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