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  • Table of Content
       , Volume 45 Issue 9 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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    Neural Correlates at Encoding of Covert Face Recognition
    MENG Yingfang
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (9): 935-943.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00935
    Abstract   PDF (383KB) ( 2966 )
    In everyday life, we encounter familiar and unfamiliar faces in many different environments. Many studies have demonstrated that face recognition is in fact a complex cognitive achievement. Although prosopagnosic individuals are severely impaired with explicit recognition of familiar faces, there have had substantial physiological and behavioral evidences for “covert face recognition”. Many evidences from event-related potential (ERP) investigations of brain activity with healthy participants have confirmed that covert face recognition and overt recognition have different neural bases at retrieval. But at encoding, the neural distinction between covert and overt face-related encoding processes is unknown. A powerful method of examining the neural basis of encoding is to measure neural activity during the study phase of an experiment and then to sort out these measurements according to subsequent memory test performance. ERP experiments employing intentional tests have typically shown positive deflection of waveforms recorded during study of faces that are subsequently recognized, comparing with waveforms recorded during study of faces that are subsequently unrecognized. The deflection is called “difference due to later memory” (DM) effect. However, DM effects for covert recognition in incidental tests have not been consistently observed, owing to methodological ambiguities in prior studies which often compared incidental tests with intentional tests. In fact, brain activity in one test can reflect not only covert but also overt recognition. So it is important to distinguish covert and overt recognition for specific episodes in one test. An experiment was conducted with subsequent memory paradigm and novel faces as stimuli. ERPs were recorded while participants were studying visually presented faces. The ERPs were sorted by whether or not participants would later recognized the studied face in a forced-choice recognition where two faces (one studied and one new) were presented concurrently, and by whether or not they would indicated that the choice was remembered from the study list. If they could not choose a studied face, subjects were encouraged to guess. Study trials from which the studied faces were later selected and remembered (remembered trials) were compared with those from which the studied faces were later selected and not remembered (primed trials), in order to measure the ERP difference (Dm effect) associated with later overt recognition. Primed trials were compared with study trials from which the studied faces were later not selected (forgotten trials), in order to measure Dm effect associated with later covert recognition. The results showed that comparing with forgotten trials, primed faces were associated with more negative waveforms at study over the frontal-central electrodes during 400~500 ms. This negative-going Dm effect was distinct from the positive-going Dm effect associated with later overt recognition by virtue of its polarity and topography, that is, comparing with the primed trials, remembered trials were associated with more positive waveforms at study over the parietal electrodes starting 400ms after face onset. We suggested that the negative-going Dm effect over the frontal-central electrodes could index the elaborated processing of encoding information into the perceptual representation system, and the positive-going Dm effect over the parietal electrodes could index the processing of encoding information into the episodic memory system. So only the stimuli which were encoded into the episodic memory system could be retrieved consciously during a later test. If the stimuli were not encoded into the episodic memory system, rather, they were encoded into the perceptual representation system by the elaborated processing, then minimal activation of corresponding memory traces would be triggered during tests, which could give rise to covert recognition.
    The Different Effects of PM Types, Motivation, and Task Sequence on Prospective Memory
    HU Bin;FENG Chengzhi
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (9): 944-960.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00944
    Abstract   PDF (688KB) ( 2237 )
    Prospective memory (PM) is the memory for actions to be performed in the future. Previous prospective memory studies often use calculation and character recognition tasks, rather than everyday life events, which may limit the implication of the result. Here we use prospective memory tasks that occur in everyday life in the “Virtual Week” paradigm, forming a board game that mimics many features of daily living, and investigate the effects of prospective memory types, motivation and task sequence on prospective memory of undergraduate students. In Experiment 1, we focused on the effects of different types of prospective memory tasks with a 2 (regular and irregular) × 2 (time-based prospective memory and event-based prospective memory) design. The experiment explored the effect of the regularity of prospective memory tasks on behavioral performance in the time-based prospective memory and event-based prospective memory. In Experiment 2, we investigated the influence of motivation (reward vs. penalty) on prospective memory performance with a 2 (regular and irregular) × 2 (time-based prospective memory and event-based prospective memory) × 3 (no motivation, reward, and penalty) design. The purpose of this experiment was to exam whether both reward and penalty could improve the accuracy of prospective memory tasks, and whether this improvement was different between regular and irregular prospective memory task. In Experiment 3, we studied the effects of task sequence on prospective memory performance with a 2 (fixed and random sequence) × 2 (time-based prospective memory and event-based prospective memory) design to exam whether the prospective memory performance would be better in fixed sequence than in random sequence. The results showed that the accuracy of regular prospective memory tasks was higher than that of irregular prospective memory tasks, even of those with motivation. Meanwhile, both reward and penalty facilitated the performance of irregular prospective memory tasks. In addition, the performance of the fixed prospective memory task sequences, which improved significantly over time, was better than that of random sequences, which remained unchanged. Finally, the performance of time-based prospective memory was better than that of event-based prospective memory, regardless of the regularity of prospective memory tasks, reward or penalty, and task sequence. In conclusion, our study uses a novel “virtual week” paradigm that involves prospective memory tasks in everyday life, and provides evidence that regular prospective memory tasks, high motivation and fix sequences can all enhance the performance of prospective memory tasks, with implication of improving prospective memory performance in real life.
    Effect of Working Memory Load on Filtering Novel Distracters in Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
    JIN Ying;LIU Xiangping;LI Kaiqiang;LAN Yanting
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (9): 961-969.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00961
    Abstract   PDF (329KB) ( 1812 )
    One of the behavioral manifestations of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is their abnormal apparent distractibility. But a number of attempts to prove that children with ADHD are abnormally distractible have been unsuccessful. Selective or focused attention tasks often do not differentiate children with ADHD from normal controls. One of the reasons may be that most distraction or selective attention tasks are not ecologically valid measures of distraction in daily life situations, because in daily life, the distraction that has to be inhibited is outside the task and not conflicting with task demands. Therefore, some researchers began to explore the mechanism of involuntary attention and distractibility in ADHD, as indicated by cross-modal oddball task. There are a few studies in this field, but the results are opposite. There is a disputation about the effect of novel distracters on children with ADHD. The former suggests that novel distracters can enhance their performance temporarily, while the latter claims that it can enhance distractibility. By analyzing the two viewpoints, the authors have found that the primary reason leading to the disputation of the two viewpoints might be caused by the different working memory (WM) load of the tasks in their experiments. Therefore, the authors speculated that the level of WM load of tasks may have effect on filtering novel distracters in children with ADHD. Besides, the authors speculated that the time interval between distracters and tasks may also have influence on filtering distracters. Previous studies on the ability of filtering novel distracters in children with ADHD have little ecological validity due to the lacking of novelty in choosing distracters; and the debate on the relation between working memory load and filtering distracters always exists. Conducting the task of audio-visual cross-modal oddball, the study aimed at discussing the effect of different working memory load on filtering novel distracters in children with ADHD by operating the level of visual task working memory load and the time intervals between distracting stimuli and target stimuli. 32 ADHD and 35 mental normal children were recruited from a clinic and a normal elementary school respectively. The cross-modal oddball task was administered, comparing filtering distracters ability between ADHD and mentally normal children in different WM load. In this paradigm, the children performed a visual task while listening to standard tones and occasionally a novel environmental sound, such as an engine or a bell. Novel and unexpected stimuli are hard to ignore and cause distraction. There were two tasks. One was low level of WM load, which asked children to judge if two numbers on screen was the same. The other was high level of WM load, which asked children to add two numbers on screen and then judge if the answer given was correct. The results showed that:(1) The ability of filtering distracters in ADHD children depended on the level of WM load. Due to the difference of working memory load, the effect mode was separate. When the level of WM load was low, novel distracters had arousing effect on both groups of ADHD children and normal children. When the level of WM load was high, distracting stimuli had effect on the task process of children in both groups. However, the effect was larger in ADHD children, which suggested their ability of filtering distracters were lower. (2) When distractors and target task were showed at the same time, ADHD children were distracted; but the results were not showed that longer extension of time intervals between target task and distracting task could reduce the interference of novel distracters. It suggested that the extension of time might help ADHD children to reduce distraction, but the arousal state should be considered. Longer extension of time could reduce the state of arousal of ADHD children.
    Emotionally Enhanced Memory Relied on Arousal and Valence: Automatic and Controlled Processes
    KANG Cheng;WANG Zhenhong
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (9): 970-980.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00970
    Abstract   PDF (367KB) ( 1786 )
    The valence and arousal of emotional stimuli are thought to be the main factors affecting emotionally enhanced memory (EEM). A large body of neuroimaging evidence has indicated that there is a distinction between arousal dependent amygdala?hippocampal network implicated in automatic encoding processes and valence dependent prefrontal cortex (PFC)?hippocampal network implicated in controlled encoding processes. In a study, Kensinger and Corkin (2004) found that distinct cognitive and neural processes contributed to the enhancement of emotional memory for arousing versus valenced, nonarousing information. However, positive emotional stimuli were not included in their experiments. Accumulating evidence has shown that negative and positive stimuli can involve different cognitive and neural processes, it is therefore that, more evidence, especially about the memory for positive emotional stimuli, is needed to make stronger claims about this hypothesis. Previous studies have proved that attentional resources have a greater impact on the controlled than the automatic processes. If controlled encoding processes were responsible for the enhancement effect for negative nonarousing items but were less important for that for arousing items, the enhancement for the negative nonarousing items should be disproportionately reduced by the divided-attention as compared to that for the arousing items. In this study, three experiments were conducted using the learning?recognition and divided attention (DA) paradigm to explore the cognitive processes contributing to the EEM effects under the condition of valence (negative and positive) or arousal was anchored. All participants performed encoding tasks for emotional and neutral words in two different attentional conditions, FA (full or nondivided attention) or DA (divided attention). After the entire learning phase was completed, they performed a rehearsal prevention task and then a recognition test. Recognition scores were computed by subtracting the false alarm rate from the hit rate (Hits-False alarms). The results suggest that in FA condition, there exist both arousal-dependent and valence-dependent EEM effects. What is particularly important here is that there is no significant difference in the recognition scores for the negative arousing words between the two attentional conditions, but the recognition scores for the positive arousing words, negative and positive nonarousing words were significantly higher in FA condition than in DA condition. In other words, a distraction task during encoding has less influence on memory for negative arousing stimuli, but has an adverse impact on memory for both negative and positive nonarousing stimuli and positive arousing stimuli. Therefore, the EEM effect relied on valence is associated with controlled processes, whereas the EEM effect relied on arousal is mediated by the valence of the stimuli, which is associated with automatic processes for negative stimuli, but controlled processes for positive stimuli. The present findings implied that the EEM effects dependent on valence and arousal do not perfectly correspond with controlled and automatic processing.
    The Effects of Environmental Endocrine Disrupter Bisphenol A on Learning-memory and Synaptic Structure of Adult Mice
    LIU Xingyi;XU Xiaohong;ZHANG Qin;ZHANG Guangxia;JI Jialin;DONG Fangni;YANG Yanling
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (9): 981-992.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00981
    Abstract   PDF (767KB) ( 943 )
    Bisphenol A (BPA), one of the most common environmental endocrine disrupters, can bind to estrogen receptors (ERs) to interfere with the regulation of endogenous estrogen on the central nervous system. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of long-term exposure to BPA on the learning and memory behavior. The adult mice at age of 10 weeks were exposed to BPA (0.4, 4, and 40 mg/kg/day) or sesame oil for 12 weeks. In open field test, BPA increased the frequencies of rearing and grooming of the males, but reduced the frequency of rearing in the females. Exposure to BPA (0.4 or 40 mg/kg/day) extended the escape pathlength to find the hidden platform in Morris water maze and shortened the step-down latency 24 h after footshock of the males, but no changes were found in the females. Meanwhile, BPA induced a reduced numeric synaptic density and a negative effect on the synaptic structural modification, including the enlarged synaptic cleft and the reduced length of active zone and PSD thickness in the hippocampus of the males. Western blot analyses further indicated that BPA down-regulated the expressions of synaptic proteins (synapsin I and PSD-95) and NMDA receptor subunit NR1 in the hippocampus of the males. These results suggest that long-term exposure to the low levels of BPA in adulthood sex-specifically impaired spatial and passive avoidance memory of mice. These effects may be associated with the higher susceptibility of hippocampal synaptic plasticity processes, such as remodeling of spinal synapses and the expressions of synaptic proteins and NMDA receptor, to BPA in the adult males. After acclimatization for one week, adult male and female ICR mice were orally exposed to BPA dissolved in peanut oil (40, 4,0.4 mg/kg/day) or only peanut oil as a vehicle control from 10 weeks of age throughout 22 weeks. At 22 weeks of age, open field, elevated plus-maze, Morris water maze, and step-down were respectively used to test spontaneous activity and exploratory behavior, anxiety, spatial learning and memory, and passive avoidance memory in mice. After the behavior detection, using Western blot method detecting NMDA and AMPA receptor NR1、GluR1、Synapsin I and PSD 95. At the same time, take animals which were not used in Behavioral experiments for electron microscope observation of microscopic structure change. Test results show that the opening behavior BPA (0.4, 4, 40 mg/kg/day) increase the stand number and frequency of grooming male, BPA (4 mg/kg/day) was significantly decrease the number of stand for females. Water maze and passive avoidance behavior model test showed that BPA main damage male rats of passive avoidance and spatial learning memory. Ultrathin slice through the preparation of hippocampus CA1 area, electron microscope observation found that BPA (0.4, 40 mg/kg/day) exposed to lower the synaptic number density in the male rat hippocampal CA1 zone, shorten the males presynaptic active zone length, reducing male mice postsynaptic density (PSD) thickness, increase male mice width of synaptic cleft. Further using Western blot method to detect the synapse the iconic Synapsin I protein before and after and PSD95 and excitatory amino acids GluR1 NMDA receptor NR1 and and AMPA receptor subunit proteins expression, and found that BPA exposure to male mice of Synapsin I cut, PSD95, NR1 protein expression level. And BPA memory for female behavior, synaptic proteins and receptors, synaptic form are not obvious. Adulthood long-term exposure to low doses of BPA can gender selective damage of male rats learning and memory behavior and negative change in synaptic plasticity of hippocampal neurons, synaptic proteins and NMDA receptor expression levels may participate in the above process.
    Escape Decision-Making under Real Fire and Simulated Fire Conditions
    LI Hong;GAO Yang
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (9): 993-1003.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00993
    Abstract   PDF (398KB) ( 1826 )

    The present research aims to explore the effects of condition and memory on escape decision-making. Based on Sayegh et al.’s (2004) intuitive decision-making model and other related research findings, we assume that previous learning and the related memory would influence escape decision-making under crisis condition, and escape decision-making would be different under real fire and simulated fire conditions. We conducted a preliminary training and two main studies to test our hypothesis. We recruited mice rather than human-beings as participants, because it is dangerous to examine human reactions in real fire conditions. Previous research suggested that rodents show similar stressful reactions as humans when encountering crisis (Davis & Whalen, 2000; Lang et al., 2000). Moreover, rodents share almost the same escape behaviors with humans under crisis (Parr & Gothard, 2007). We used a 3 (condition: real fire, simulated fire, common) × 2 (memory: remembered and forgotten) mixed design, and tested a total of 96 mice in the study. Among them, 72 received the preliminary training and 24 served as the control group which did not receive the training. Each of the two main studies included 24 mice, and the remaining 24 mice received the forgetting treatment. The 24 mice in each study were randomly and equally arranged into the three conditions (real fire, simulated fire and common), and the 24 mice of the control group are also arranged into such three conditions. The dependent variables for the two main studies are escape time and exit choices. Escape time is used because time or speed is the key in defining intuition and in distinguishing between intuitive and analytical decision-making (Bargh, 1994; Betsch, 2008; Sadler-Smith, 2008). While exit choice is treated as another indicator because finding an exit is crucial for escape decisions (Altshuler et al., 2005; Helbing et al., 2000). Choosing the familiar exit shows the effect of learning and memory. In study one, escape time was examined when only the familiar exit is available (exit1 or 2). If escape time of the experimental groups after training was not significantly different from the memory baseline or even shorter, it would suggest the automatic retrieval from the memory (e.g., Bargh & Chartrand, 1999; Dijksterhuis & Nordgren, 2006), which is an essential character of associative intuition (Glockner & Witteman, 2010). If escape time of the experimental groups after forgetting was still significantly shorter than that of the control group, it could suggest that forgetting happened only at the conscious level. Retrieval from unconsciousness is no doubt an automatic retrieval process (Dijksterhuis & Nordgren, 2006). In study two, exit choices were examined when the familiar and unfamiliar exits are both available (exit 1 and 2). It is assumed that if the mice choose familiar but smoky exit rather than unfamiliar but non-smoky exit, it would suggest the effect of learning and memory. After forgetting, if the mice still tended to choose the familiar exit, it would suggest the automatic retrieval from the unconscious, and therefore it is intuitive decision-making. The main findings are: (1) Escape time before forgetting under real fire condition is significantly shorter than the memory baseline, and also significantly shorter than that under simulated fire condition. (2) Escape time of mice under the three conditions is all significantly shorter than that of the control group. (3) When both the familiar and unfamiliar exits are opened and the familiar exit is in smoke, real fire group tends to choose the familiar exit, whereas the other two groups prefer to choose the unfamiliar exit. In conclusion, there is significant difference of the decision-making under real fire and simulated fire conditions. Mice under real fire conditions tend to adopt intuitive decision-making, whereas under simulated fire condition they do not prefer intuitive decision-making.

    Exciting the Right Temporo-Parietal Junction with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Influences Moral Intention Processing
    GAN Tian;LI Wanqing;TANG Honghong;LU Xiaping;LI Xiaoli;LIU Chao;LUO Yuejia
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (9): 1004-1014.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01004
    Abstract   PDF (489KB) ( 1307 )
    When we evaluate the moral status of an action, we consider not only its consequences but also the beliefs and intentions of the actor, which relies on the capacity to infer others' mental states. Functional MRI studies showed that the right temporo-parietal junction (RTPJ) is the critical brain region for understanding others' mental states. Previous studies have found that the role of intention processing in moral judgment was reduced by disrupting the RTPJ with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). In the current study, we enhanced the role of intention processing in moral judgment with the transcranial direct current sitmulation (tDCS), a painless, non-invasive brain stimulation technique that allows us to induce polarity-specific excitability changes in the human brain. Many tDCS studies have confirmed the anodal excitation effect for cognitive functions. However, so far, limited work has been done to explore the tDCS effect on social cognitive function such as moral judgment. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate the anodal excitation effect of tDCS on moral judgment. We hypothesize that exciting the neural activity of RTPJ with anodal tDCS could enhance the role of intention processing in moral judgment. To test our hypothesis, 18 healthy college students were recruited to participate in the study. All subjects underwent two tDCS sessions (anodal and sham tDCS) in random order and counterbalanced across subjects on 2 separate days with 1 week interval between both stimulations. We applied anodal (1.5mA, 20 min) and sham tDCS (1.5mA, 15 sec) on the RTPJ while subjects were introduced to keep a resting state. After stimulation, subjects read stories in a 2 (intention: negative vs. neutral) × 2 (outcome: negative vs. neutral) design and were asked to make moral judgment about how much blame the actor deserves. We analyzed the moral evaluation score and reaction time by a 2 (intention) × 2 (outcome) × 2 (tDCS: anodal, sham) repeated measures ANOVA. Results showed that actors with negative intentions were judged more morally blameworthy than those with neutral intentions, and actors producing negative outcomes were judged more blameworthy than those causing neutral outcomes. The differences between no harm (neutral intention, neutral outcome) and accidental harm (neutral intention, negative outcome) were larger than that between attempted harm (negative intention, neutral outcome) and successful harm (negative intention, negative outcome). For the reaction time, judgments of negative outcomes were faster than that of neutral outcomes. The responses to attempted and accidental harm were slower than the other two conditions. Most importantly, the moral judgment was slower under anodal tDCS than sham tDCS stimulation, especially under the attempted harm and accidental harm conditions. These results highlight the role of intention processing in moral judgment. People will spend more time integrating the intention and outcome information in order to make normal moral judgment. Furthermore, the present research provides us a better understanding about the role of RTPJ in moral judgment. Using anodal tDCS to excite the neural activity of RTPJ enhanced the capacity of mentalizing in moral judgment, especially in the cases of attempted harm and accidental harm.
    The Relationship between Externalizing Behavior Problem and Collective Moral Emotion and Responsibility: The Moderate Effects of Class Climate
    LI Dan;ZONG Lijuan;LIU Junsheng
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (9): 1015-1025.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01015
    Abstract   PDF (466KB) ( 2967 )
    Externalizing behavior problem is a set of behaviors that represent negative response to the social environment. Externalizing behavior problems are moderately stable, yet changeable. Researchers and professionals have considered how parenting styles, parent involvement, and children’s social skills and peer relationships are associated with externalizing problems, but little is known about the relations between children’s academic environment – class climate – and externalizing problems. According to Bronfenbrenner’s ecological system theory, positive class climate may help reduce children’s behavior problems. Class is an important environment for students’ social and academic activities. Class climate influences not only students’ academic achievement, but also their social attitudes and functioning including behaviors, moral emotions, social responsibility, and their relations. The purpose of the study was to examine the moderating effect of class climate on the relations between externalizing behavior problem and collective moral emotion and collective responsibility. Participants included 755 students sampled from 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th grade of three schools in Shanghai. The students were asked to fill several questionnaires concerning the perceptions of class climate, collective moral emotions, and collective responsibility. In this study, class climate was a group-level variable, indexed by standardized total scores of the scale. Students’ externalizing behavior problems were rated, on a 5-point scale, by their head teacher, the scores were standardized within the class to allow for appropriate comparisons. The results first indicated that boys had higher scores than girls on the measure of externalizing behavior problems, but lower scores than girls on perceived classroom climate. No significant gender differences were found on either collective moral emotion or collective responsibility. Second, externalizing behavior problems were moderately stable. No significant grade differences were found. Students in 8th grade had the lowest scores on perceived class climate. Scores on collective moral emotion and collective responsibility decreased with age. Third, class climate moderated the relations between externalizing behavior problems and collective moral emotion and collective responsibility. Positive class climate weakened the negative relations between externalizing behavior problem and collective moral emotion and collective responsibility. The results indicate that positive class climate is a protective factor for children who have externalizing behavior problems. Developing a positive class climate helps children to experience collective moral emotion and display responsible behavior, which in turn may improve their social functioning in school.
    Dual Motives of Harmony and Negotiation Outcomes in an Integrative Negotiation
    ZHANG Zhixue;YAO Jingjing;HUANG Mingpeng
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (9): 1026-1038.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01026
    Abstract   PDF (448KB) ( 1343 )
    Individuals may consider negotiation as either an interpersonal process with conflicts or an effective approach to resolve conflicts. How individuals consider negotiation and how they engage in the negotiation process are closely related to their internal motives, particularly, their harmony motives. Recent scholars have defined two kinds of harmony motives--harmony enhancement and disintegration avoidance. Individuals with the two kinds of harmony motives are found to resolve conflicts in different ways. The major purpose of this study was to examine the influences of the two harmony motives on negotiation outcomes. Negotiators with high harmony enhancement motive are likely to view their counterparts in a positive way and play a proactive role in initiating and facilitating information sharing with their negotiating partner. In contrast, negotiators with high disintegration avoidance motive consider harmony as a means to protect and obtain profits, thereby acting passively in sharing information with the negotiating partner. We predicted that negotiators’ harmony enhancement motive would positively relate to both their economic gain and the assessment of the relationship between the negotiating parties; in contrary, negotiators’ disintegration avoidance motive would negatively relate to the two negotiation outcomes. As an integrative negotiation consists of both integrative issues and distributive issues, we attempted to examine both individual gain at the individual level and the joint gain at the dyad level as the measures of economic gain. A simulated one-to-one negotiation was used to collect data, and 212 undergraduate students forming 106 negotiation dyads participated in the negotiation exercise. Four weeks before the negotiation, their harmony motives were measured. After the negotiation, participants were requested to fill out a questionnaire which measured the relationships between the negotiating parties. Data from both negotiating parties were used to create the variables at the dyadic level. The Actor-Partner Interdependence Model (APIM) was employed to test our hypotheses. The results supported most of our hypotheses. Individual negotiators’ harmony enhancement motives were positively related to their individual gains, whereas their disintegration avoidance motives were negatively related to their individual gains. We also found that, negotiators’ harmony enhancement motives were positively related to the assessments of the relationships between negotiation partners, but the disintegration avoidance motives were negatively related to the assessments of the relationships between negotiation partners. Finally, the dyadic harmony enhancement motives of negotiation pairs were positively related to the joint gains from the two negotiation partners, but the dyadic disintegration avoidance motives were not significantly related to the joint gain. Harmony and negotiation are two important areas in conflict resolution literatures. By incorporating these two areas of research, this study contributes to both harmony and negotiation literatures by: 1) showing how harmony motives affect the way individuals deal with conflicts in a negotiation context; 2) providing meaningful insights on how negotiator achieve both economic and relational gains in negotiations. In addition, this study also provides empirical evidence on the distinction between the two harmony motives which were theoretically conceptualized in recent research. In sum, the present study not only provides empirical evidence for the conceptual validity of the two harmony motives, but also suggests the mechanism of the relationship between harmony motives and negotiation process. The findings have practical implications for negotiators.
    The Application of Many-Facet Rasch Model in Leaderless Group Discussion
    YAO Ruosong;ZHAO Baonan;LIU Ze;MIAO Qunying
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (9): 1039-1049.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01039
    Abstract   PDF (442KB) ( 1529 )
    Many-Facet Rasch model (MFRM) of Item Response Theory (IRT) is applied to performance assessment. Domestic and foreign researches applied MFRM in many fields such as analysis of various examinations, medical diagnosis, judgments of life quality and so on. In these assessment tests, ratings were influenced by a variety of factors among which judges played the most important part. This thesis mainly probed into issues covering subjects, judges, rating scales and rating deviation in Leaderless Group Discussion (LGD) of personnel assessment center in personnel assessment to improve the effectiveness and stability of assessment. This study adopted the FACETS software, a MFRM computer statistics program, to establish 3 facets of subjects, judges and rating dimensions to analyze subjects’ abilities, rater severity, inter-rater reliability, dimension difficulty and rating scales. Meanwhile, this study got results of deviation analysis of subjects and judges, judges and dimensions, deviation among judges, subjects and dimensions. The results illustrated significant differences existed among levels of subjects’ ability, rater severity, dimension difficulty and the rating scale. Differences of rater severity generally did not affect the test scores of subjects. Except some judges, other judges’ ratings had good internal consistency. Dimension difficulty could better distinguish subjects’ ability but judges tended to concentrate on using an intermediate rating scale; The results of deviation analysis of judges and subjects, judges and dimension showed that untrained judges E, F had more rating deviations, so it was necessary to monitor their scores and strengthen the training of the two judges. The application of MFRM, IRT’s expansion, to assessment center evaluation could enable evaluators to make the employment decision by estimated ability level of subjects, design tests according to dimension difficulty, set the standards for training and selection referring to examine judges’ ratings rater severity and inter-rater reliability, improve the assessment process based on a variety of deviation analysis, and finally promote scientific, standardized and precise development of evaluation system of assessment center.
    A Discussion on Testing Methods for Mediated Moderation Models: Discrimination and Integration
    YE Baojuan;WEN Zhonglin
    Acta Psychologica Sinica. 2013, 45 (9): 1050-1060.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.01050
    Abstract   PDF (507KB) ( 3995 )
    Moderation and mediation are frequently used in the research of psychology and behavior. Moderation occurs when the effect of an independent variable on a dependent variable varies according to the level of a third variable, termed as moderator, which interacts with the independent variable. Moderation focuses on factors that influence the strength and/or direction of the relation between the independent variable and dependent variable. Mediation indicates that the effect of an independent variable on a dependent variable is transmitted through a third variable, which is called mediator. Mediation addresses how that effect is produced. It is not uncommon for hypotheses about moderation and mediation relationships to occur in the same context. Models in which interaction effects are hypothesized to be mediated are appearing with increasing frequency. When a moderating effect is transmitted through a mediator, the effect is termed mediated moderation and the model is mediated moderator model. For example, stressful life events moderated the effect of sensation seeking on tobacco and alcohol use, and this moderation effect is mediated by affiliation with deviant peers. There are at least five methods for testing mediated moderation models. But some of the methods are difficult to be understood and explained. After discussing the merits and demerits of different methods, we propose a procedure for testing mediated moderation models. The newly proposed procedure is likely to be better than any single testing method in terms of the sum of type 1 and type 2 error rates. The procedure is summarized as below: (1) Regress Y on X, U, and UX. A significant coefficient (c3) associated with UX implies that U is the moderator of the relation between Y and X. Stop if the coefficient (c3) associated with UX is not significant. (2) Regress W on X, U, and UX. Regress Y on X, U, W, UX and UW. The moderated effect of U on the relation between Y and X is mediated by W if the coefficient (a3) from UX to W and the coefficient (b1) from W to Y are both significant, or/and the coefficient (a3) from UX to W and the coefficient (b2) from UW to Y are both significant. U indirectly moderates the effect of X on Y by moderating the effect of W on Y if the coefficient (a1) from X to Y and the coefficient (b2) from UW to Y are both significant. In other cases, we should go to step (4). (3) The moderated effect is completely mediated if the coefficient ( ) from UX to Y is not significant in step (2). The moderated effect is partially mediated if the coefficient ( ) from UX to Y is still significant in step (2). Testing is over. (4) Compute the confidence intervals of a3b1, a3b2 and a1b2, by using bias-corrected percentile Bootstrap method (if no prior information is available) or Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method (if prior information is available). The mediated effect of W is significant if at least one of the confidence intervals of a3b1, a3b2 and a1b2 does not contain 0. In this case, we should go to step (3). Otherwise, the mediated moderation effect is not significant and testing is over. As an illustration, the procedure is applied to an empirical study in which stressful life events moderated the effect of sensation seeking on tobacco and alcohol use, and this moderation effect is mediated by affiliation with deviant peers. The procedure can be extended to the situation where latent variables are used. When a standardized solution is pursued, we should use appropriate standardized solution rather than a standardized solution obtained directly from software output, which is usually inappropriate when a moderation effect is involved in the model.
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