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ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B
主办:中国心理学会
   中国科学院心理研究所
出版:科学出版社

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    25 July 2021, Volume 53 Issue 7 Previous Issue    Next Issue

    Reports of Empirical Studies
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    Reports of Empirical Studies
    Effects of trial history on cross-modal non-spatial inhibition of return
    ZHANG Ming, SANG Hanbin, LU Ke, WANG Aijun
    2021, 53 (7):  681-693.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00681
    Abstract ( 1703 )   HTML ( 183 )  
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    Previous laboratory studies have shown that an individual’s response in the current trial can be influenced by a previous trial, and this has been described as an effect of trial history. Existing studies have shown that there is a trial history effect with visual spatial inhibition of return (IOR), and some studies have shown that changes in stimulus modalities also affect reaction times (RTs). The present study used the “prime-neutral cue-target” paradigm to examine the trial history effect in cross-modal, non-spatial IOR and attempted to decrease the trial history effect.
    In two experiments, we mainly manipulated the cue-target modalities in the current trial (auditory-visual vs. visual-auditory modalities), cue validity in the current trial (cued vs. uncued) and cue validity in the previous trial (cued vs. uncued). Thirty participants were recruited in Experiment 1. The visual prime cue was a red or blue disk with a radius of 2° visual angle, and the auditory prime cue was a verbal sound in Chinese at 75 dB (\hong\ or \lan\). The visual neutral cue was a green disk with a radius of 2° visual angle, and the auditory neutral cue was a verbal sound in Chinese at 75 dB (\lv\); The visual target was a red or blue disk with a radius of 2° visual angle, and the auditory target was a verbal sound in Chinese at 75 dB (\hong\ and \lan\). During the experiment, each trial began with a 400 ms fixation cross in the centre of the monitor, and a 300 ms visual or auditory prime cue was followed by a 200 ms fixation cross. After the 300 ms visual or auditory neutral cue, another fixation cross was presented for 300 ms, and then a 300 ms auditory or visual target was presented. The participants were asked to discriminate the identity of the target (i.e., either a colour disk or vocalization of \hong\or \lan\) within 1500 ms. Following a 1500 ms intertrial interval (ITI) with a blank screen, the next trial was initiated. Twenty-nine participants were recruited in Experiment 2, the ITI was 4500 ms, and the other parameters were identical to those in Experiment 1.
    Regarding the RTs results, Experiment 1 showed that the RTs for cued targets in the current trial were larger than RTs for uncued targets, which was a colour-based non-spatial IOR. The IOR effect size in the current trial showed an interaction between the cue validity in the previous trial and the cue-target modality in the current trial. The IOR effect size on the current trial after a valid cue trial was larger than the IOR effect size with an invalid cue in the previous trial when the current trial was a visual cue and auditory target; however, there was no difference in the IOR effect size when the cue was auditory, and the target was visual in the current trial. Furthermore, the analysis of the target modality across trials revealed that the valid cue, but not the invalid cue, in the previous trial, could induce a larger IOR effect size in the current trial with visual cues. A longer ITI (4500 ms) was used in Experiment 2 compared to Experiment 1, and the results showed that there was a difference in the IOR effect size in the current trial between the visual cues and auditory cues in the current trial. The IOR effect size in the current trial was not influenced by the validity of the previous trial or whether the current trial had auditory cues or visual cues.
    These results suggested an interaction between trials on cross-modal non-spatial IOR, but the effect was related to the cue-target modality. There was not only the cue validity effect across trials but also the target modality switch effect between trials. Increasing the time interval between trials can reduce the effect of the previous trial on the IOR effect size in the current trial.

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    Precision requirement of working memory representations influences attentional guidance
    CHE Xiaowei, XU Huiyun, WANG Kaixuan, ZHANG Qian, LI Shouxin
    2021, 53 (7):  694-713.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00694
    Abstract ( 1771 )   HTML ( 172 )  
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    Working memory representations can guide attention toward memory-matching objects. When the memory items match the targets of a visual search task, the allocation of working memory (WM) resources contributes to the establishment of attentional templates. The memory item that receives less WM resources than others does not guide attention, even when it is stored in WM. On the other hand, two memory items that receive equal amount of WM resources guide attention simultaneously. However, it is still controversial how WM representations guide attention when the memory items match the distractors of a visual search task. Some studies found that due to cognitive control, attention cannot be guided by WM representations when they match distractors. On the other hand, other studies found that attention can be guided by even two WM representations. Could the allocation of WM resources also influence attentional guidance, when the memory items match the distractors of a visual search task?
    In the present study, to answer the above question the allocation of WM resources was manipulated by varying the precision requirement of WM representations. Four experiments were carried out. Participants were asked to encode colors of items into WM and perform a subsequent memory test or a gap-location search task, which were presented randomly with an equal probability. The precision requirement of WM representations was manipulated by varying the magnitude of change between two memory test items. More precise memory representations were required to detect small changes between two memory test items than large changes. In Experiment 1, we investigated whether memory-based attentional capture was influenced by the precision requirement of WM representations. Participants were asked to memorize a color under a high or low precision requirement. In some trials, the memory color reappeared in the search task as a distractor. In Experiment 2, we investigated whether the memory-based attentional capture observed was related to the different active states of WM representations. Participants were asked to memorize two colors under a high or low precision requirement. An informative cue was presented simultaneously with the target colors to indicate which color would be tested more frequently. Each color reappeared in the search task with an equal probability. In Experiment 3, we investigated whether the precision requirement of WM representations influenced the number of WM representations that can simultaneously guide attention. Participants were asked to memorize one (memory-1) or two (memory-2) colors under high or low precision requirement conditions. Zero (match-0), one (match-1) or two (match-2) memory colors reappeared as distractors in the search task. In Experiment 4, we further explored the underlying mechanism by which precision requirement of WM representations influenced attentional guidance. The event-related potential (ERP) technique and the same experimental design as in Experiment 1 were used.
    The behavioral results showed that when retaining one item in WM, the capture effect under high precision requirement was larger than that under low precision requirement. When retaining two memory items under low precision requirement, the capture effect for distractors that matched with high-priority items was larger than that for distractors that matched with low-priority items, whereas when retaining two items under high precision requirement the capture effect for distractors that matched with high- and low-priority items showed no difference. Under high precision requirement, the capture effect for the memory-2/match-2 condition was larger than that for the memory-2/match-1 and memory-1/match-1 conditions, while under low precision requirement the capture effect for the memory-2/match-2 and memory-1/match-1 conditions showed no difference, with their capture effects being larger than that for the memory-2/match-1 condition. The ERP results showed that during the maintenance phase of WM, items under high precision requirement elicited larger negative slow waves (NSW) and a larger late positive component (LPC) than items under low precision requirement. During the search task, larger N2 for distractors and smaller N2-posterior contralateral component (N2pc) for targets were elicited under high precision requirement, when the distractors matched with the memory items than when the distractors mismatched with the memory items, whereas equal N2 and N2pc were elicited under low precision requirement, when the distractors matched or mismatched with the memory items.
    It can be concluded that in the contingent attentional capture paradigm, WM representations under high precise requirement can capture more attention than that under low precise requirement. Its underlying mechanism is that maintaining WM representations under high precision requirement costs more resources than that under low precision requirement, and therefore the resource for searching targets declines and the attention captured by memory-matching distractors increases.

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    Average percept in ensemble perception is based on morphed average object: Evidence from average facial attractiveness
    TIAN Xinran, HOU Wenxia, OU Yuxiao, YI Bing, CEHN Wenfeng, SHANG Junchen
    2021, 53 (7):  714-728.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00714
    Abstract ( 802 )   HTML ( 84 )  
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    Previous research demonstrated that ensemble perception of groups can be formed rapidly by extraction of the average of high-level complex features. However, it is unclear whether the average percept is the outcome of extraction from the characteristic value of the average stimulus (for example, average face) created from group members, or from calculation of the average value of group members’ characteristic values. The above two values were confused with each other in prior research, since most average value of group members are similar as the characteristic value of the average stimulus. However, the attractiveness rating of the average face created from a group of faces is usually systematically higher than the mean value of attractiveness ratings of this group of faces. Therefore, it is easier to explore how the ensemble coding of crowd face attractiveness (i.e. group attractiveness) is formed by comparing the attractiveness of the average face with the mean value of attractiveness rating of a group of faces. This could provide a useful approach to explore how the average percept is formed. The present study used the average discrimination paradigm (Experiment 1 & 2) and the scoring paradigm (Experiment 3 & 4) to clarify the mechanism of the formation of average percept by comparing the group attractiveness with the attractiveness of average face. To tackle this issue, whether the average face was presented in the group of faces or not was manipulated (conditions: Avg vs. NoAvg). Group size were also manipulated to explore whether group size modulated the formation of average percept.
    In the average discrimination paradigm, a group of faces served as group stimuli to be compare with the probe face for attractiveness. Participants were asked to judge which is more attractive between the group stimuli and the probe face. In the scoring paradigm, participants were asked to rate the attractiveness of group stimuli, the average face created from the group, and each face of the group in isolated manner. Each group consisted of twelve (in Experiments 1 and 3) or four faces (in Experiments 2 and 4). There were two kinds of groups: one is that all group members are original faces, without the average face. The other is that an average face morphed from other original faces was included in the group.
    In Experiment 1, the proportions for judging probe average face more attractive than group attractiveness in the Avg condition was similar with the NoAvg condition. In Experiment 2, when the set size was four, the proportions for judging probe average face more attractive than group attractiveness were significantly higher in the NoAvg condition. Moreover, in Experiment 3, the ratings for group attractiveness were not significantly different between Avg and NoAvg conditions. This may indicate that the group attractiveness is based on the average face which was created from group members rather than the mean value calculated from group members’ attractiveness. In addition, the diffusion model analysis showed that the coding time was longer for NoAvg condition, which indicated that the formation of average face needed cognitive resource. In Experiment 4, when the set size was four, the attractiveness rating of the average face was significantly higher than group ratings for the two kinds of groups. The different results in different group size may be interpreted as the outcome of weakened average percept caused by the salient individual face representations in small group. This was evident from several analyses: 1) group attractiveness and the attractiveness of morphed average face decreased with smaller set size (Experiment 4); 2) When the probe face was morphed average face, the proportion for judging probe face as more attractive than group attractiveness was greater, comparing with the condition when the probe was a new face whose attractiveness was similar with the morphed average face (Experiment 2); 3) The performance for the hypothesized condition with average percept included in the set is in between the conditions with/without real average face included (Experiment 2-4). In addition, comparing with Experiment 1, the information accumulation speed in Experiment 2 is slower, the processing time of group attractiveness is longer, reflecting the disturbance of the individual face representation. In summary, the findings supported the hypothesis that group attractiveness is based on the morphed average face. Thus, the ensemble percept relies on the extraction from the average stimulus created from the group.

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    Exploring the cognitive mechanism of irrelevant speech effect in Chinese reading: Evidence from eye movements
    WU Sanmei, TIAN Liangsu, CHEN Jiaqiao, CHEN Guangyao, WANG Jingxin
    2021, 53 (7):  729-745.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00729
    Abstract ( 1161 )   HTML ( 115 )  
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    A wealth of research shows that irrelevant background speech can interfere with reading behavior. This effect is often described as the irrelevant speech effect (ISE). Two key theories have been proposed to account for this effect; namely, the Phonological-Interference Hypothesis and the Semantic-Interference Hypothesis. Few studies have investigated the irrelevant speech effect in Chinese reading. Moreover, the underlying mechanisms for the effect also remain unclear. Accordingly, with the present research we examined the irrelevant speech effect in Chinese using eye movement measures.
    Three experiments were conducted to explore the effects of different kinds of background speech. Experiment 1 used simple sentences, Experiment 2 used complex sentence, and Experiment 3 used paragraphs. The participants in each experiment were skilled readers who were undergraduate recruited from the university, who read the sentence while their eye movements were recorded using an EyeLink 1000 eye-tracker (SR Research inc.). The three experiments used the same background speech conditions. In an unintelligible background speech condition, participants heard irrelevant speech in Spanish (which none of the participants could understand), while in an intelligible background speech condition, they heard irrelevant speech in Chinese. Finally, in third condition, the participants read in silence, with no background speech present.
    The results showed no significant difference in key eye movement measures (total reading time, average fixation duration, number of fixations, number of regressions, total fixation time, and regression path reading time) for the silent compared to the unintelligible background speech condition across all three experiments. In Experiment 1, which used simple sentences as stimuli, there was also no significant difference between the silent and intelligible background speech condition. However, in Experiment 2, which used more complex sentences, normal reading was disrupted in the intelligible background speech condition compared to silence, revealing an ISE for these more difficult sentences. Compared with the silent condition, the intelligible background speech produced longer reading times and average fixation duration, more numbers of fixations and regressions, longer regression path reading time and longer total fixation times. Finally, Experiment 3 also produced evidence for an ISE, with longer total reading times, more fixations, and longer regression path reading times and total reading times in the intelligible background speech condition compared with silence.
    To sum up, the results of the current three experiments suggest that: (1) unintelligible speech does not disrupt normal reading significantly, contrary to the Phonological-Interference Hypothesis; (2) intelligible background speech can disrupt the reading of complex (but not simpler) sentences and also paragraph reading, supporting the Semantic-Interference Hypothesis. Such findings suggest that irrelevant speech might disrupt later stages of lexical processing and semantic integration in reading, and that this effect is modulated by the difficulty of the reading task.

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    Effects of contextual facilitation and inhibitory reaction in lexical ambiguity resolution for the Han and Uyghur nationalities
    YANG Qun, ZHANG Jijia, FAN Conghui
    2021, 53 (7):  746-757.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00746
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    Uyghur is a specific alphabetic language that differs from Chinese. Thus, mastering the Chinese ambiguity words, such as homonyms, homonyms, and heteronyms, is challenging for Uyghur students. To understand the correct meaning of ambiguity words, one has to suppress irrelevant meanings according to the context. Chinese is a high-context language, where as Uyghur is a low-context language. Thus, the present study investigates the effect of contextual facilitation for the Uyghur and Han nationalities and compares the differences in the inhibitory effect during lexical ambiguity resolution.
    This study conducted a semantic decision task to investigate lexical ambiguity resolution in 36 Uyghur and 32 Han college students. Twenty-five homonymous ambiguity words with dominant and subordinate meanings were selected as final materials. Eight sentences and two target words were formed in two conditions. In the contextual facilitation condition, four sentences were made and ended with the same ambiguity word. Half of the sentences were biased to the subordinate or ordinate meaning, but the others were unbiased to neither meaning. The target words were semantically related to the ordinary or subordinate meaning of the ambiguity word. In this condition, all target words were semantically consistent with the ambiguity word in each sentence. In the inhibitory condition, two sentences were ended with the ambiguity word; one was biased to the ordinary meaning, and the other was biased to the subordinate meaning. The other two sentences without ambiguity were only different from the former two sentences on the last ambiguity word. The target words were the same with the context facilitation condition but were not semantically consistent with the last words. The participants were asked to decide whether the target words were semantically consistent with the ambiguity words. Thus, the right answers in the facilitation condition were all “yes” and the right answers in the inhibitory condition were all “no”. The SOA of ambiguity and target words is 200 ms in Experiment 1 and 1000 ms in Experiment 2.
    Results indicated a contextual facilitation effect in Han and Uyghur students in two SOAs, and the size of the effect for the Han students was significantly bigger than that of the Uyghur students in 200 ms. The inhibitory reaction effect was found in two SOAs for the Han students but only found in 1000 ms for Uyghur students.
    In lexical ambiguity resolution, the ability to extract the accurate meaning and suppress the irrelevant meaning according to the context is important. According to the context, the Uyghur students could activate accurate and irrelevant meanings in the sentence but could not immediately reject the irrelative meaning. The Uyghur students took a long time to inhibit the improper meaning of the ambiguity words.

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    Spillover effects of third-party punishment on cooperation: A norm-based explanation
    CHEN Sijing, XING Yilin, WENG Yijing, LI Chang
    2021, 53 (7):  758-772.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00758
    Abstract ( 1773 )   HTML ( 105 )  
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    A large body of experimental evidence demonstrates that in presence of third-party punishers, cooperators can gain higher payoffs than defectors. As a result, third-party punishment (TPP) that changes the payoff structure of defectors is believed to be a key in promoting cooperation. However, this rationale is contrary to an important finding in behavioral economics: individuals are not necessarily rational decision makers and do not have purely self-regarding preferences. This contradiction raises an interesting question: can this finding also be applied to defectors? We aim to explore this question through three experiments.
    In Experiment 1, 240 undergraduates participated in a Public Goods Game and were divided randomly into three conditions: control condition (CC), low defection cost condition (LC), and high defection cost condition (HC). In each round of the game, participants in CC decided whether to contribute 10 tokens from the initial endowment to the public account. All the tokens contributed to the public account were doubled and evenly allocated to all group members. Participants who retained 10 tokens needed to pay a tax of 1 token. The procedures in LC and HC were identical to that in CC. An exception is that in LC and HC, independent punishers could discipline defectors by paying 5 tokens to reduce the payoff of defectors by 1 token in LC and 10 tokens in HC. In Experiment 2, 179 participants who defected in Stage 1 were selected as sample in Stage 2 and were divided randomly into two conditions: CC (89 participants) and punishment condition (PC, 90 participants). Participants in PC were told they had been punished in Stage 1, whereas those in CC received no feedback. All participants’ levels of norm activation and cooperation in different games were then measured. Experiment 2 was replicated in Experiment 3, where the participants were not game players but spectators, and their levels of norm activation and cooperation were measured before and after the game. The participants in defection condition observed a defection and the consequent punishment, whereas those in norm condition observed a fair offer and no punishment.
    In Experiment 1, the defection cost in LC was lower than that in CC, so participants in LC had a stronger incentive to defect. However, the results revealed a significantly higher cooperation level in LC. A plausible explanation is that the defection cost in form of punishment served as a norm reminder, but cost in form of tax lacked this function, implying that even defectors are not necessarily benefit maximizers. The results of Experiment 2 confirmed this explanation: compared with unpunished defectors, the punished ones manifested a higher level of norm activation. The bootstrap analysis showed that the norm activation completely mediated TPP and cooperation. Experiment 2 also found a spillover effect of TPP: the punished defectors still demonstrated a high cooperation in a new different game where the sanction was absent. Finally, Experiment 3 found another spillover effect of TPP: bystanders who did not experience the punishment in person but witnessed it showed a significantly higher cooperation in subsequent interactions.
    In conclusion, oftentimes, people defect simply because they are unaware of the existence of a certain norm, and activating people’s norms through TPP can significantly reduce their selfish behaviors. In addition to being an economic means to reduce defectors’ payoff, TPP serves as a norm reminder. The two spillover effects found in this study suggest that TPP as a means of norm activation may be more efficient than as an economic means because of its cost-effectiveness. These findings shed new light on the understanding of extensive cooperation among genetically unrelated individuals.

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    Effect of group membership on unfairness perception under coexperience conditions
    LV Sasa, SUN Xin, SHEN Linlin, WU Yuqing, ZHAO Shu, WANG Fei, WANG Zuojun
    2021, 53 (7):  773-787.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00773
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    A large body of research examined the effect of experiencing unfairness on an individual’s unfairness perception. However, the literature primarily focuses on experiencing unfairness at the individual level. A dearth of research investigating the effect of coexperiencing unfairness with others exists. The present study examined the effect of coexperiencing unfairness with another group member on unfairness perception. Three experiments were designed to test two competing hypotheses. The first hypothesis derived from the “reference change” view, which posited that coexperiencing unfairness with other group members would decrease unfairness perception. The second hypothesis derived from group membership research, which posited that coexperiencing unfairness with other group members would increase unfairness perception.
    In Experiment 1, the participants were assigned to one of three conditions, that is, the experiencing unfairness alone condition (the “alone condition”), coexperiencing unfairness with another individual condition (the “individual coexperience condition”), and the coexperiencing unfairness with another group member condition (the “group coexperience condition”). In the alone condition, the participant acting as the responder was allocated a small amount of money (e.g., RMB 2 out of RMB 10) by the proposer in a two-person ultimatum game. The participant was instructed to decide whether to accept or reject the allocation for her/himself. One proposer and two responders were involved in the two coexperience conditions, in which the two responders were allocated a small amount of money (e.g., each responder received RMB 2 out of RMB 12) by the proposer in a three-person ultimatum game. In other words, the two responders coexperienced unfairness. In contrast to the individual coexperience condition, in which the participants were told to make a decision for themselves, the participants in the group coexperience condition were informed that the two responders formed a group and thus needed to make a decision (i.e., to accept or reject the allocation) for the group. Furthermore, payoff commonality was employed to enhance group membership. Specifically, the participants in the group coexperience condition were told that “if one of you rejects the allocation, then both of you and the proposer will obtain nothing in the trial.” The results of the experiment showed that coexperiencing unfairness with another group member decreased unfairness perception and the rejection rate for the unfair allocation compared with experiencing unfairness alone.
    In Experiment 2, group membership was manipulated by asking the participants to make a decision for the group in turn. The results duplicated the findings on unfairness perception from Experiment 1. The results also showed that the group coexperience condition decreased the rejection rate for the unfair allocation compared with the alone condition, but the results did not reach statistical significance. In Experiment 3, two group coexperience conditions (i.e., a group of strangers and a group of friends) were examined. The results demonstrated that the participants in both group coexperience conditions reported a lower unfairness perception than those in the alone condition. Similar to Experiment 2, coexperiencing unfairness with either strangers or friends decreased the rejection rate for the unfair allocation, but the results did not reach statistical significance. These results have certain implications for reducing individuals’ unfairness perception in social contexts.

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    The mediating effect of aggression motivation on the relationship between trait anger and reactive aggression: A longitudinal study
    LI Rui, XIA Ling-Xiang
    2021, 53 (7):  788-797.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00788
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    Trait anger is a widely recognized susceptibility personality factor for reactive aggression. However, to the best of our knowledge, the longitudinal effect of trait anger on reactive aggression is unclear. More importantly, even though reactive aggression differs from proactive aggression by their motivations, the motivation mechanism underlying the effect of trait anger on reactive aggression is not known. Thus, the present study attempts to explore the longitudinal effect of trait anger on reactive aggression, and the mediating role of reactive aggression motivation, as well as the relationship between the two different motivations. Reactive aggression refers to the behavior or tendency to respond to perceived provocation with hostile and angry feeling. It is also called impulsive, hostile, or hot-blooded aggression. The motivation of the reactive aggression is comprised of hostile motivation (unique motivation) and moral approval motivation (common motivation). Hostile attribution bias is a typically representative variable of hostile motivation, and moral disengagement is the representative variable of moral approval motivation.
    A three-wave longitudinal study with the time interval of 6 months was conducted to test our hypotheses. A total of 1007 undergraduates (mean age = 19.00 years, SD = 0.99) from 5 provinces in China completed a series of questionnaires concerning trait anger, hostile attribution bias, moral disengagement, reactive aggression, and proactive aggression in their classrooms. SPSS 20.0 was used to conduct churn rate, reliability, and common method bias tests, and to calculate descriptive statistics. Mplus 7.0 was used to conduct item parceling and structural equation modeling. A cross-lagged model was developed for trait anger predicting reactive aggression from hostile attribution bias and moral disengagement. Moreover, longitudinal relationships among trait anger, hostile attribution bias, moral disengagement, and proactive aggression were also tested.
    The results indicate that there is no serious churn problem for participants, for all variables considered. All measurements show good reliability, and there is no serious common method bias. Moreover, trait anger at Wave 1 significantly predicts hostile attribution bias and moral disengagement at Wave 2, hostile attribution bias and moral disengagement at Wave 2 significantly predict reactive aggression at Wave 3, moral disengagement at Wave 1 significantly predicts hostile attribution bias at Wave 2, and hostile attribution bias at Wave 2 significantly predicts moral disengagement at Wave 3. After controlling for gender, trait anger at Wave 1 significantly predicts reactive aggression at Wave 3 through hostile attribution bias and moral disengagement at Wave 2. Furthermore, the path of hostile attribution bias predicting proactive aggression is non-significant. Moral disengagement at Wave 1 significantly predicts proactive aggression at Wave 2.
    This study supports that idea that trait anger would facilitate reactive aggression, and further suggests that trait anger could longitudinally predict reactive aggression through the mediating role of reactive aggression motivation (including hostile motivation represented by hostile attribution bias and moral approval motivation represented by moral disengagement). The present study constructs a motivational model of personality and reactive aggression, and hence develops the theories and study of personality and aggression. Moreover, the findings of this study suggest that prevention of, and interventions for, reactive aggression could usefully focus on the personality and motivational factors of aggression.

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    Effects associated with long-term training in sports requiring high levels of strategy on brain white matter structure in expert players: A DTI study
    QI Yapeng, WANG Yixuan, ZHU Hua, ZHOU Chenglin, WANG Yingying
    2021, 53 (7):  798-806.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00798
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    Previous brain imaging studies have shown that the specialized experience achieved by expert sports players after years of training contributes to plasticity in both brain function and structure. However, changes in brain plasticity related to participating in various types of sports, specifically sports that involve higher-level strategies and cognitive function, remain unclear. Table tennis is a sport requiring high levels of strategy. Thus, the present study investigated the white matter structure of the brain in expert table tennis players who had undergone long-term training. Given the accumulating evidence that action processing in the brain occurs along two distinct pathways—dorsal and ventral—we hypothesized that, in addition to changes in the white matter of the dorsal sensorimotor system, the white matter in the ventral pathway linking brain regions related to higher-level cognitive function would differ between expert table tennis players and nonplayers.
    An investigational group of 31 expert table tennis players (20.06 ± 1.69 years of age) and a control group of 28 college students (20.68 ± 1.66 years of age) who had no professional training in table tennis were recruited for the study. The table tennis players were members of university teams, and each player had more than 7 years of table tennis training. Diffusion tensor imaging techniques were used to compare white matter microstructure properties of the brain between expert players and nonplayers. Statistical analyses were performed using independent t-tests. Further analysis was conducted for the expert player group to assess whether any correlation existed between fractional anisotropy (FA) values and training time.
    Consistent with our hypothesis, the white matter microstructure properties of both the dorsal and ventral pathways in expert table tennis players significantly differed from those in nonplayers. Specifically, FA values in the bilateral corticospinal tracts, which mainly connect brain regions in the dorsal sensorimotor system, were higher in experts than in nonplayers. Compared with nonplayers, expert players also had higher FA values in the left inferior longitudinal fasciculus and bilateral inferior occipitofrontal fasciculus of the ventral pathway, which are involved in higher-level cognitive processing, such as semantic processing or thinking. By contrast, no white matter region showed a higher FA value in nonplayers than in expert players, and no region was found with axial diffusivity difference between the groups. Additionally, radial diffusivity was lower in the left superior longitudinal fasciculus and bilateral inferior occipitofrontal fasciculus in experts than in nonplayers. Correlation analysis of the expert group showed significant positive correlations between training time and FA values in both the left superior longitudinal fasciculus in the ventral pathway and bilateral corticospinal tracts in the dorsal pathway.
    Taken together, these findings suggest that enhanced structural integrity of the white matter in both the dorsal and ventral pathways is associated with long-term, expert table tennis training. The observed structural plasticity is conducive to promoting cognitive processing of concrete sensorimotor and abstract information, which would enable expert players to excel at sports requiring a high level of strategy.

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