ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (3): 304-315.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.00304

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The language and cultural differences of father-reference processing: Based on the retrieval-induced forgetting

YANG Qun,FENG Yiran,ZHANG Jijia()   

  1. Key Research Center for National Psychology and Education, the National Education Development Center of the Ministry of Education, Beijing 100872, China
  • Received:2018-07-17 Published:2019-03-25 Online:2019-01-22
  • Contact: Jijia ZHANG


Remembering some material can cause forgetting of related information, which is known as retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF), but it has some boundary conditions, such as “self” in western culture and some important others such as mother in Chinese. In such boundary condition, RIF was eliminated when material was encoded to be related to self (known as self-referential) or significant others. Name is a symbol and important to the self, but it has different constitution forms in different language and culture. In Uygur nationality culture, the name constitution is known as father and son joint, that is after the first name is the father name, which is different form the Han nationality. In Han nationality, the first name comes after the family name. All these differences may lead to the different constructions of the self, so this study intend to compare self-referential, father-referential and others-referential for the two nationalities.
90 Ugyur participants and 90 Han participants from Xinjiang district took part in the experiments. The experiment was a 3 (Conditions: Self-reference, Father-reference, Other-reference) × 3 (Retrieval Factor: Rp+, Rp-, Nrp items) design. The condition was manipulated as a between-subjects factor, while the retrieval factor was manipulated as a within subject factor. The study has four phases: (1) Study phase: the participants were shown the Chinese characters in computer of a series of 32 category exemplars in a random order with the form of “category-exemplar” and were instructed to memorize the exemplars while associating them with the paired category; (2) Retrieval-practice phase: The participants were sequentially presented with word pairs form of 8 cues that probed their memory. Each cue comprised a category name and a first initial character of an exemplar and the participants were asked for written recall of the target exemplar in response to each cue; (3) Distractor phase: The participants were asked to perform mathematical operations within 3 minutes; (4) Final test phase: The participants were required to retrieve written recall as many exemplars as possible in response to each presented category name. And the self-inflation test was used for more accurate results.
The results showed that in Uygur culture contexts, RIF was not observed under the self-referential and father-referential but in other-referential encoding. While in Han culture, RIF was observed in father-referential and the other-referential but not in the self-referential.
All these indicated that the constructions of self are different for Uygur and Han nationalities. For Uygur nationality, father is included in the self; but for Han nationality, though father is important, but it is not included in the self, and the boundary between others is significant. Thus, language is the way how culture affect the self, such as patronymic linkage naming system, religion culture and kinship terms.

Key words: retrieval-induced forgetting, self-referential processing, father-referential processing, patronymic linkage naming system

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