ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    25 January 2013, Volume 45 Issue 1 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    Emotional Faces Processing Takes Precedence of Inhibition of Return: ERPs Study
    WANG Jingxin;JIA Liping;BAI Xuejun;LUO Yuejia
    2013, 45 (1):  1-10.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00001
    Abstract ( 942 )   PDF (459KB) ( 2745 )  
    Posner and Cohen (1984) discovered the inhibition of return (IOR) phenomenon, which refers to the individual’s response to targets that appear in previously cued location, is slower than it is to the uncued location when the stimulus-onset asynchrony (SOA) is longer than 300ms. Psychologists agree that IOR is an adaptive and evolved mechanism that enhances the efficiency of attention during a visual search and allows people more easily to process targets that appear in novel positions. The current research uses event-related potentials (ERPs) and adopts a cue-target paradigm to investigate the IOR process during an emotion recognition task and the underlying mechanisms. We conducted a 2 (cue: valid cues, invalid cues) × 3 (target emotional: positive, negative, neutral) within-subject design, and selected the emotional face pictures (40 positive faces; 40 negative faces; 40 neutral faces) as the target stimuli of IOR. Sixteen participants of university students were instructed to complete the task of judging the target as emotional face or neutral one. Electroencephalogram (EEG) signals were recorded using a 64-electrode elastic cap and the Neuroscan ERP workstation. Based on the overall average map and the research literature, we divided the ERP components by the time windows in which they occurred: P1, 80~110 ms; N1, 110~140 ms; and N170, 140~180 ms. We used six electrodes (Po5, Po6, O1, O2, Poz and Oz) to detect the P1 and N1 components in the occipital region and two electrodes (P7 and P8) to detect the N170 component in the temporal occipital region. Repeated measure ANOVAs were conducted on the behavioural data and the measurements derived from ERP waveforms. The results demonstrate that the amplitude of P1 of the valid cues was smaller, while N1 amplitude was larger, compared with those of the invalid cues. N170 amplitudes for positive and negative faces were significantly larger than those for neutral ones. These results indicate that the response to the emotional stimulus are specialized and separated from IOR progress, and this separation consequently leads to the precedence of emotion processing when participants response to the valance of the targets, suggesting that IOR and emotional bias are two adaptation mechanisms which occur in two different neural pathways. Our findings also provide electrophysiological evidences for the research on the correlation of attention and emotion.
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    SNARC Effect of Non-Symbolic Number Information on Different Processing Levels: Eyetracking Evidence
    SI Jiwei;ZHOU Chao;ZHANG Chuanhua;ZHONG Leilei
    2013, 45 (1):  11-22.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00011
    Abstract ( 753 )   PDF (430KB) ( 1466 )  
    Recently, the development of human numerical ability has attracted more and more attention, and a great deal of advance of number processing-specific phenomena has been reported, one of which is the Spatial-Numerical Association of Response Codes effect (SNARC effect). Instinctively, number processing is a numerical symbolic operation without additional information. But, in fact, a close relationship between number and space has been found, which demonstrates a dependency of number processing on the spatial character of objects. Some researchers explained that numbers are represented along a horizontally “mental number line”, on which small numbers are on the left of the line, and large numbers are on the right. However, since the SNARC effect was also found on the vertical direction, someone proposed that the spatial representation of numbers is a number map rather than a number line. Furthermore, the SNARC effect was likewise discovered when doing the shallow processing of number (Fischer, 2001; Shen et al., 2006). Besides, previous studies (e.g., Wood & Willmes, 2005) have found the SNARC effect in many other numerical symbols, such as auditory number words, visual Arabic numeral, and visual number words. However, the SNARC effect of non-symbolic number which is one of the numerical formats has not been studied so far. Although researchers have paid attention to the relationship between the eye movement and cognition in recent 20 years, we still need more eye movement researches in number processing. The present study explored the influence of processing levels on the SNARC effect of dot matrixes by the technique of eye movement. The present study includes two within-subjects design experiments, to study the SNARC effect on the horizontal and vertical directions, respectively. Experiment 1 investigated the SNARC effect of non-symbolic number, in which participants were asked to response to the detective stimuli (on the left or right) following the irrelevant stimuli (dot matrix) with two different processing levels (deep processing condition and shallow processing condition). The eye movement response time was recorded respectively for deep processing (the comparison task) and shallow processing (the dice scanning task) to examine whether the SNARC effect appeared or not. The results showed that SNARC effects appeared in both conditions of horizontal dimension, further analysis indicated that the strength of SNARC effects from both processing levels was similar. In Experiment 2, the detective stimuli were represented in vertical dimension, and the tasks were the same to those in experiment 1. We recorded eye movement time for both upward and downward responses. The result showed us that there was no SNARC effect in both conditions. In conclusion, the present study suggests that the SNARC effect of dot matrix was weaker than that of Arabic number, and the processing level almost had no impact on the SNARC of dot number dueling to the interaction of the characteristic of the dice and the direction, while the role of dimension was crucial.
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    The Interaction Between Temporal and Spatial Information in the Updating of Situation Model
    HE Xianyou;LI Huijuan;CHEN Guangyao;WANG Xiaowei
    2013, 45 (1):  23-34.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00023
    Abstract ( 563 )   PDF (320KB) ( 1068 )  
    Situation models refer to discourse representations that capture aspects of a micro-world created by the reader. They include five dimensions: temporality, spatiality, causality, intentionality, and protagonist. Researchers have tended to focus on the construction of situation models from a single dimension perspective. In earlier studies, researchers explored the effects of temporal or spatial information, but more recently some have redirected their attention to the interaction of temporal or spatial information with the other three dimensions of situational models. However, no experimental studies have examined the relationship between temporal and spatial information. The primary purpose of this study was to explore the interaction between temporal and spatial information. Time is linear and continuous, but space is three-dimensional and discontinuous. There were three possible relations between time and space, which were independent, inhibitory and facilitating. So, the secondary purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between temporal and spatial information in situation model processing. Ninety-seven college students participated in this study: 36 in Experiment 1, 37 in Experiment 2, and 24 in Experiment 3. In Experiment 1 we explored the relationship between temporal and spatial information when time and space dimension shifted simultaneously. In Experiment 2 we examined the interaction between time and space when the temporal dimension and spatial dimension shifted serially. In Experiment 3, which included bilingual student proficient in English and Chinese, we used English texts to test the possible interference caused by the habits of language expression to further explore the interaction of temporal and spatial information when the time and space dimension shifted serially. Results of Experiment 1 indicated that reading time was shorter when temporal and spatial information shifted simultaneously than when either the temporal or spatial dimension shifted. This finding suggested a facilitating effect between temporal and spatial information. Results of Experiment 2 showed that when temporal and spatial information shifted and the temporal dimension shifted first, reading time was shorter than when only one dimension shifted. This finding suggested that the shift in the temporal dimension had a facilitating effect on the shift in spatial information. Results of Experiment 3 were similar to those of Experiment 1, but also showed that the time dimension had a more significant facilitating effect on the processing of the spatial information shift. In sum, we found that when temporal and spatial information shifted simultaneously there was a facilitating effect between the two dimensional shifts, but that the facilitating effect of the temporal dimension on the spatial dimension was stronger than that of the spatial dimension on the temporal dimension. We also found that when temporal and spatial information shifted serially, only temporal information had a significant facilitating effect on the space dimension. However, this effect was found only with bilingual students using Chinese materials. When bilingual students read English materials, there was a mutual facilitating effect between the two dimensional shifts, but the temporal dimension had a more facilitating effect on the spatial dimension. Together, the results showed that the updating of temporal and spatial information in situation models is bound together. The results are discussed in terms of binding-expectancy hypothesis.
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    An Eye Movement Study of Associate Competition in Chinese Idiom Riddles Solving
    HUANG Furong;ZHOU Zhijin;ZHAO Qingbai
    2013, 45 (1):  35-46.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00035
    Abstract ( 598 )   PDF (407KB) ( 1333 )  
    Most Chinese idiom riddles require insightful thoughts to solve. Novel and simple associations can be formed during the process of idiom resolutions. Insightful thought occurs only when novel associations overwhelm simple ones. However, it is unclear how this happens in the mind. According to the Representational Change Theory, the competition happens in a sudden way. But according to the Process Monitoring Theory, it is completed gradually. By using eye-tracking technology, we intended to investigate the time course of insightful problem resolution, using Chinese idiom riddles as experimental materials. In this study, an option selection task was adopted. Chinese idiom riddles were presented, together with four types of options serving as the spare answers to the riddle (novel, ordinary, plausible and absolutely wrong). Participants were asked to make a choice among options. At the same time, the fixation times of the participants spent on different options were recorded. In Experiment 1, the participants were randomly divided into an appropriate group and a novel group. In different groups, the participants were asked to make a choice between an appropriate answer and a novel and appropriate one. In Experiment 2, a 2 (general solution rule: effective vs. ineffective) × 2 (special solution rule: effective vs. ineffective) experimental designs was adopted. Besides, a general solving rule and a specific solving rule were presented at the same time. Results showed that there was a positive correlation between the fixation times of the participants spent on novel or ordinary answers and the percentage of the corresponding selections. The participants were found to have formed novel associations while fixating on novel answers, and simple associations while fixating on ordinary answers. The result further revealed that: (1) Novel associations and simple associations were formed simultaneously and competed to each other for a while before the idiom riddles were solved. (2) The demand of choosing a novel and appropriate answer induced people to make more efforts on novel association formation, and to select more novel answers. However, the task demand did not accelerate the time course of novel association formation, or change the competitive situation. (3) The effective solution rules, which promoted the novel answer selections, not only accelerated the time course of novel association formation, but also inhibited simple association formation, and eliminated the competition between them.
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    Feedback Consistent Effect: Evidence from Chinese Homophones with High-frequency
    CHEN Xuqian;ZHANG Jijia;LI Yunheng
    2013, 45 (1):  47-59.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00047
    Abstract ( 695 )   PDF (476KB) ( 2027 )  
    In the last few decades, three different models, including phonological mediation model, direct access model, and dual-rout cascaded model, were trying to explain how visual words are processed. As we all know, one of the most important differences among them is whether rime plays an important role in orthography. Till 1994, Van Orden and Goldinger suggested a more complicated relationship between spelling and phonology in processing English words, and a resonance model was proposed. More and more researchers have used this resonance model to explain not only visual words processing, but also auditory words processing. However, it has not been really convinced in all recent studies, and evidence from ideographs, such as Chinese, was still missing. Chinese is a very special language whose pronunciations and orthographies are not one-to-one correspondence. Most of the pronunciations have more than two writing forms (homophones), while two similar forms are pronounced totally differently sometimes. Relationships between pronunciations and orthography in Chinese characters might be even more complicated than those in English. Whether would the resonance model be also fit for Chinese? To answer this question, two lexical decision experiments were employed to investigate how rime affects the activation of orthography in Chinese. In Experiment 1, a cross model lexical decision task was used, and results showed longer response latency with words having more than two orthography candidates (homophones). However, no significant differences were found between homophones with dominant spelling and those with subdominant spelling. It was not consistent with the results reported by Ziegler, Ferrand and Montant (2004). In Ziegler et al.’s research (2004), facilitation in processing words with dominant spelling in English was found. The probably reason for the missing of spelling probability effect in the recent research is that dominant and subdominant spelling components of homophone words were activated by auditory stimuli in different levels. That is, orthographies of words with dominant components (DC words) were activated by auditory stimuli and conflicts occurred among the candidates; whereas orthographies of words with subdominant components (SDC words) were not activated in the recent priming condition. Therefore, if each visual target were primed by a component, either appropriate or inappropriate one, result might be different: (1) advantages of DC words remain still when they were primed by dominant components; (2) disadvantages of SDC words occur when they were primed by subdominant components. Thus, in Experiment 2, the cross model lexical decision task with a 43ms priming component displayed before visual target words were engaged, and results were consistent with the hypotheses. In summary, resonance model and the spelling probability effect are also appropriate to explain the relationship between rime and orthography in processing Chinese characters.
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    The Development of Orthographic Awareness in Chinese Preschool Children
    QIAN Yi;ZHAO Jing;BI Hongyan
    2013, 45 (1):  60-69.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00060
    Abstract ( 1021 )   PDF (319KB) ( 1773 )  
    The emergent literacy opinion points that children’s literacy develops before formal education. Orthographic awareness makes great contribution to Chinese literacy development, and it including three levels: the knowledge of characteristics of a single radical, legal position of a radical and combination rules of two radicals. The present study aimed to reveal the developmental pattern of preschool children’s emergent literacy by investigating the development of orthographic awareness in Chinese preschool children systematically with two tests. Radicals are the basic units of Chinese character, so a single radical awareness test was conducted to explore the first level of orthographic awareness, in which children were asked to discriminate three types of non-characters: number replacement, a radical of this character was replaced by a number; radical absence, a radical of the character was missing; radical rotation, one radical of this character was inversed or reversed. The radical position and function awareness test using pseudo-characters and non-characters decision was designed to reveal the development of the latter levels of orthographic awareness. There were two types of non-characters with different structures, one consisting of two semantic radicals, and the other consisting of a semantic radical and a phonetic radical with illegal positions. We recruited 112 preschool children, who fell into three age groups: 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds, and 5-year-olds, respectively consisting of 31, 48 and 33 children. All participants completed both tests. The results of the single radical awareness test showed similar developmental patterns in the radical-absent and radical-rotated non-characters, the scores increased significantly with age; as to the scores of radical-replaced non-characters, significant difference only appeared between 3-year-old children and 5-year-old children. In the radical position and function awareness test, there were no significant differences across age groups in the scores of pseudo-characters, while the scores of non-characters significantly increased with age. Particularly, scores of non-characters with two semantic radicals were significantly higher than non-characters with a semantic radical and a phonetic radical for all three groups. The scores in the two tests were significantly correlated, and the scores in the single radical awareness test were consistently higher than that in radical position and function awareness test for each group children. Results of the single radical awareness test revealed that children’s single radical awareness constantly developed in the preschool period. The discrimination in radical-replaced non-characters developed earlier, however, rejection to radical-rotated characters developed later, revealing the development speed varied across aspects of radical knowledge. The knowledge about radical’s special function as a script was acquired earlier, while recognition about special form of radical progressed later. Radical position and function awareness also developed in preschool children. Three-year-old children could realize that pseudo-characters obeyed orthographic rules, but knowledge about irregularity of non-characters didn’t emerge until 4 years old. Even though there was strong correlation between the single radical awareness and the radical position and function awareness, developmental pattern including developmental speed and order was different. The knowledge of a single radical developed earlier and more quickly than that of radical position and function.
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    Social Reticence in Chinese Children: Relations with Temperament and Social Adjustment
    ZHANG Guangzhen;LIANG Zongbao;CHEN Huichang;CHEN Xinyin
    2013, 45 (1):  70-81.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00070
    Abstract ( 1221 )   PDF (473KB) ( 3204 )  
    Children’s reticent behavior is associated with maladjustment in western countries, but with less problems in China, which indicated that its functional significance may be different in Chinese culture. Regardless of the general context, however, the adaptive meaning of social reticence may vary with age. The present study examined the relations between children’s reticent behavior and social adjustment from developmental perspective in China. The study also investigated the relations between children’s temperament (behavioral approach and inhibition and self-regulation) and reticent behavior. One hundred and thirty-two children were followed from age 2 to age 11 years. Initially, toddlers and their mothers were invited to visit university lab within 3 months of each toddler’s 2nd birthday. An adapted version of behavioral inhibition paradigm and two delay tasks were administered to measure children’s temperament. Behavioral approach and inhibition were coded on the basis of children’s behavior and emotion in three strange situations, and self regulation was coded on the basis of children’s delay behavior. These children were invited to the university laboratory in same-sex quartets to participate in follow-up studies at 7 and 11 years. The observational paradigm consisted of two free play sessions (each for 15 min) and a series of other sessions. Children’s reticent behavior was assessed on the basis of free-play sessions. Peer liking was assessed based on one-to-one interview after the observation. Teachers were also asked to rate children’s social adjustment in school. Results indicated that reticent behavior was concurrently not associated with social adjustment at age 7. However, it was negatively associated with peer liking and teacher-rated social competence and positively associated with internalizing problems and victimization at age 11. Children’s behavioral approach at age 2 significantly and negatively predicted children’s reticent behavior at age 7 and age 11. Self regulation moderated the relation between behavioral approach at age 2 and reticent behavior at age 11. Behavioral approach at age 2 was negatively associated with reticent behavior at age 11 for those low in self regulation, but for those high in self regulation. The findings show that the relations between social reticence and social adjustment may vary with age. Social reticence may have more detrimental effects on adjustment for preadolescents than for children. The findings also show that the relations between temperament and reticent behavior depend on the adaptive meaning of reticent behavior. In addition, self-regulation may moderate the relations between reticent behavior and adjustment.
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    The Impact Mechanism of Work Team Leaders’ Psychological Capital on Followers’ Organizational Citizenship Behavior: A Multilevel Model
    REN Hao;WEN Zhonglin;CHEN Qishan;YE Baojuan
    2013, 45 (1):  82-93.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00082
    Abstract ( 1223 )   PDF (565KB) ( 4129 )  
    The increase of global competition, consolidation, and innovation brought up pressures and urged the emergence of work teams as basic building blocks of organizations. As consequence, more and more organizations shifted from work organized around individual-base job to team-based work structures. Recent organizational researches confirmed that work team members’ organizational citizenship behavior had unique meaning to facilitate the effective functioning of work team. The purpose of this article was to explore how work team leaders’ psychological capital influenced on their direct followers’ organizational citizenship behavior. Sixty-six work teams (66 work team leaders and their 303 followers) were sampled from a large State-owned enterprise in eastern China. Data were collected from leaders and their direct followers respectively. Both work team leaders and their followers self-rated their own level of psychological capital. Besides, work team members also finished an organizational citizenship behavior self-report questionnaire. Structural equation model (SEM) and hierarchical linear mode (HLM) were applied to analyze the survey data. After controlling demographic and human capital variables, such as, gender, age, marriage, educational level and organizational tenure, hierarchical linear modeling results revealed that work team leaders’ psychological capital was positively related to their direct followers’ organizational citizenship behavior, work team members’ psychological capital was a cross-level mediator between work team leaders’ psychological capital and their followers’ organizational citizenship behavior. However, this research didn’t support the hypothesis that the relationship between work team members’ psychological capital and organizational citizenship behavior was moderated by work team leaders’ psychological capital such that the relationship was stronger when work team leaders’ psychological capital was perceived to be high versus low. This finding was different from that of western organizational background. Our findings revealed that both work team leaders and members’ psychological capital were positively associated with work team members’ organizational citizenship behavior. The result suggested that psychological capital, especially work team leaders’ psychological capital, was a key element for constructing efficient work teams. Entrepreneurs could do everything possible to improve work team leaders and members’ psychological capital to enhance work team efficiency and organizational performance.
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    Escape Decision-Making Based on Intuition and Deliberation under Simple and Complex Judgment and Decision Conditions
    LI Hong;CHEN Shi;NI Shiguang
    2013, 45 (1):  94-103.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00094
    Abstract ( 833 )   PDF (403KB) ( 1875 )  
    The purpose of the present study was to explore and compare the effects of intuition and deliberation in escape decision-making under emergency conditions. We adopted Dijksterhuis et al.’s (2006) Unconscious Thinking Theory (UTT) to explain the effects of intuition and deliberation under emergency. We also attempted to extend the use of UTT in emergency situations. According to Dijksterhuis et al. (2006), whether unconscious thought or conscious thought would yield better decisions depends on the complexity of the situation. However, we have noticed that for Dijksterhuis et al., the complexity of the situation only meant the complexity of judgment rather than the decision task, and the situation was limited to daily decision-making. In the present study, we further differentiated the complexity of decision conditions into the complexities of judgment references and decision tasks based on UTT, and attempted to examine the effects of intuition and deliberation when the complexities of judgment references and the decision tasks were both different under emergency. Dijksterhuis et al. (2006) demonstrated that conscious thought was better in making the best choice among simple conditions, whereas unconscious thought was better in making the best choice among complex conditions. Although unconscious thought is not the same as intuition, they are both unconscious processing. The difference is that intuition appears immediately, but unconscious thought needs time. Deliberation could be same as conscious thought. So it is comparable between unconscious and conscious thought, and intuition and deliberation. Accordingly, our main hypotheses were established based on UTT. Hypothesis one was that the effect of deliberation was better than that of intuition under simple judgment reference and simple decision task condition. Hypothesis two was that the effect of intuition was better than that of deliberation under complex judgment reference and complex decision task conditions. The study consisted of two main experiments and two preliminary experiments. We recruited 85 and 87 participants for experiments 1 and 2 respectively. A 2 (mode of thought: intuition and deliberation) × 2 (complexity of judgment reference: simple and complex) between-group design was adopted. The dependent variable for experiment 1 was simple escape decision task which was shown directly (simple style), and the dependent variable for experiment 2 was complex escape decision task, which was presented indirectly (complex style). The main findings were: (1) There were no significant differences in escape decision-making between intuition and deliberation under simple judgment reference and simple decision task condition, as well as under complex judgment reference and simple decision task condition. (2) Deliberation was better in making good decisions than intuition under simple judgment reference and complex decision task condition. (3) Intuition was better in making good decisions than deliberation under complex judgment reference and complex decision task condition. In conclusion: UTT was not supported in simple escape decision task condition, but it was supported in complex escape decision task condition. In other words, whether the UTT is able to or not to explain the effects of intuition and deliberation in emergency setting depends on what the decision task is.
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    The Impact of Regulatory Fit on Advice-Taking in Decision Making under Different Cues
    DUAN Jinyun;ZHOU Ran;LU Wenjuan;LI Jing;ZHU Yichao
    2013, 45 (1):  104-113.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00104
    Abstract ( 730 )   PDF (395KB) ( 1558 )  
    The source of advice in our daily life always could be both the real individual and circumstance. We receive advice not only from verbal cues, but also from non-verbal cues which are reflected by the way the individual express, such as the expression, the posture and the gesture. Both of them influence advice-taking process. There are two kinds of regulatory focuses, namely promotion focus and prohibition focus. When they are matched with equivalent advising strategy, for example, eager strategy and vigilant strategy respectively, the regulatory fit will be come into being. Regulatory fit could boost people’s feeling of right, which will heighten one’s value from fit. One of the possible results of regulatory fit is people’s willingness of acceptance for other’s advice. Thus, this study aims to explore the impact of regulatory fit on advice taking under verbal cues and non-verbal cues condition. We discussed the advice-taking circumstances under two kinds of circumstances: Verbal cues (study 1) and non-verbal cues (study 2). Our hypotheses are that, in verbal-cues and non-verbal-cues conditions, the main effect of regulatory orientation has no influence on advice making, but regulatory fit has. And it is more possible for a promotive judge to take the eager/desirable advice; whilst it is more possible for a preventive judge to take the vigilance advice. Both of the studies used a mixed-design, specifically, 2 regulatory orientations (promotion/ prevention) × 2 advising strategies (desirable/vigilance). The sample are 81 (experiment 1) and 79 (experiment 2) undergraduates respectively. Our study results proved that people had higher level in advice-taking with regulatory fit under verbal-cues condition (study 1). It also showed little differences in advice-taking with promotion fit, and a higher level advice-taking with prevention – vigilance fit under non-verbal-cue condition (study 2). The results with non-verbal-cue condition are not completely the same as verbal-cue condition, this outcome awaits further exploration. Implications, limitations and further research were discussed as well.
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    Using Adjusted Bootstrap to Improve the Estimation of Variance Components and Their Variability for Generalizability Theory
    LI Guangming;ZHANG Minqiang
    2013, 45 (1):  114-124.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00114
    Abstract ( 605 )   PDF (390KB) ( 1074 )  
    Bootstrap is a returned re-sampling method used to estimate the variance component and their variability. Adjusted bootstrap method was used by Wiley in p×i design for normal data in 2001. However, Wiley did not compare the difference between adjusted method and unadjusted method when estimating the variability. To expand Wiley’s 2001 study, our study applied Monte Carlo method to simulate four distribution data. The aim of simulation is to explore the effects of four different estimation methods when estimating the variability of estimated variance components for generalizability theory. The four distribution data are normal distribution data, dichotomous distribution data, polytomous distribution data and skewed distribution data. It is common that researchers focus on normal distribution data and neglect non-normal distribution data, yet non-normal distribution data could always be seen in tests such as TOEFL and GRE. There are several methods to estimate the variability of variance components, including traditional, bootstrap, jackknife and Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC). Former research by Li and Zhang (2009) shows that bootstrap method is significantly better than traditional, jackknife, and MCMC methods in estimating the variability for four distribution data. Bootstrap method has superior cross-distribution quality when estimating the variability of estimated variance components. Li and Zhang (2009) also suggest that bootstrap method should be adopted with a “divide-and-conquer” strategy to obtain good estimated standard error and estimated confidence interval and the criteria of such strategy should be set to: boot-p for person, boot-pi for item, and boot-i for person and item. However, it is unclear that which of the bootstrap methods (adjusted and unadjusted) is better for boot-p, boot-pi, and boot-i. Therefore, our study intends to probe into this comparison as well. This aim of the study is to explore whether adjusted bootstrap method is superior to unadjusted method in improving the estimation of variance components and their variability relative for generalizability theory. The simulation is implemented in R statistical programming environment. To simulate skewed data, HyperbolicDist package is used. Some criteria are set to compare the four methods. The bias is considered when variance components and their standard errors are estimated. The smaller the absolute bias is, the more reliable the result is. The criterion of confidence intervals is “80% interval coverage”. If the “80% interval coverage” is closer to 0.80, the confidence interval is more reliable. The results indicate that for four distribution data, adjusted bootstrap method is superior to unadjusted bootstrap method whether in point estimation of variance components or in variability estimation of variance components. For its improvement of the estimation of variance components and their variability for generalizability theory, adjusted bootstrap should be adopted as soon as possible.
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    Reviewers of Acta Psychologica Sinica in 2012
    2013, 45 (1):  125-126. 
    Abstract ( 507 )   PDF (163KB) ( 1603 )  
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