ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    30 January 2010, Volume 42 Issue 01 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    Independent Thinking: A Path to Outstanding Scholarship
    Xiao-Ping CHEN
    2010, 42 (01):  4-9. 
    Abstract ( 1925 )  
    This paper addresses the importance of independent thinking in the process of developing outstanding scholarship. Through analyzing the difficulties of keeping independent thinking in the Chinese culture, the paper proposes four approaches: Understanding the power of minority, transforming outside pressure into intrinsic motivation, and listening with an open mind.
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    The Contextualization and Multilevel Issues in Research of Organizational Psychology
    Zhi-Xue ZHANG
    2010, 42 (01):  10-21. 
    Abstract ( 1382 )  
    As organizations have clear goals and specific tasks, the psychology in organizations is different from that in general social context. The psychology and behavior in organizational contexts are affected by multiple factors at the levels of the individual, group, organization, and even society, organizational psychology scholars need to identify the relationships between these contextual variables and the targeted phenomena. This paper starts with the trend of contextualization in organizational research, and examples are used to illustrate the contribution of contextualization to theory building. Then, the multilevel issues in organizational psychology research are addressed, with an emphasis on the necessity of defining the level of constructs and theories. The underlying rationale of defining the level of theories is explained. Taking the research at the group level as the example, the paper addresses the methods of developing the group level constructs and the questions regarding measuring the group level constructs. Given that dependent variables at the individual level may be influenced by independent variables at both individual and higher levels, the paper describes multilevel theory in organizational psychology research. Recent organizational psychology studies published in top journals are cited to illustrate how to contextualize research and how to develop multilevel theories.
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    Building and Testing Theories: Experiences from Conducting Social Identity Research
    Ying-yi Hong,Melody Manchi Chao,Yung-Jui Yang,and Jennifer L. Rosner
    2010, 42 (01):  22-36. 
    Abstract ( 1426 )  
    Theory building and testing is the core of scientific investigation. Based upon the lessons we have learned from conducting research in social identity and intergroup relations, we propose a four-step approach in building and testing psychological theories: (1) selecting phenomena: observing events that happen around us and around the world; (2) finding critical commonalities: identifying common components across the different events; (3) abstracting (theorizing): extracting the underlying psychological processes inform the observed commonalities, and relating the processes to new or existing theories; and (4) hypothesis testing: examining and testing the theories empirically. These four steps allow researchers to base their scientific investigation on real-life social events. We illustrate this four-step approach with examples from our research on hierarchical identity, identity hegemony, and bridging identity/symbol, and we suggest guidelines for conducting programmatic research in social and personality psychology.
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    Six Issues in Methodology of Behavioral Research
    Xiao-Tian WANG
    2010, 42 (01):  37-40. 
    Abstract ( 1271 )  
    The paper provides reflections on taxonomy of complementary research methods, tradeoffs between statistical methods and research ideas, the relationship between reliability and validity, data contamination by expectancy of the subjects or experimenters, the need for avoiding methodological and statistical rituals that may hamper research development, and the synergy of theory and data.
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    Cross-Cultural Research Methods: Review and Prospect
    Kwok LEUNG,Fan ZHOU
    2010, 42 (01):  41-47. 
    Abstract ( 1360 )  
    The study of cultural phenomena is a major topic for behavioral sciences. Cross-cultural research adopts a comparative perspective in analyzing cultural phenomena, and is confronted with several unique problems in research methods. This paper reviews the major methodological issues in cross-cultural research, covering topics in research design, measurement, and data analysis. From a design perspective, the paper begins with the use of consilience methods to strengthen causal inferences in cross-cultural research. The paper then explores issues of measurement invariance/equivalence in cross-cultural research and the associated analytic procedures. Finally, the paper reviews the application of hierarchical linear modeling in cross-cultural research as well as trends in the development of cross-cultural research methods.
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    Culture and Socially Desirable Responding: An Individual-in-Society Perspective
    Chi-yue CHIU,Zhi-Min ZOU,Sheng-Dong LIN
    2010, 42 (01):  48-55. 
    Abstract ( 1848 )  
    When dealing with cross-cultural differences in socially desirable responding, researchers often employ experimental and statistical control to isolate and eliminate the impact of socially desirable responding in the data. In this article, we offer a different approach to understanding socially desirable responding in cross-cultural research. In a review of the pertinent research literature, we posit that cross-cultural differences in socially desirable responses may reflect how people in different social conditions and their attendant cultural expectations develop different ways of expressing their self to support their personal strivings. This active negotiation between the society, culture and personal strivings is a defining issue in culture and psychology research. Artificially excluding the variance symptomatic of this process with experimental and statistical controls from cross-cultural data will generate results with little cultural significance. Therefore, we recommend against treating socially desirable responding as noise in cross-cultural research. Instead, we encourage cross-cultural researchers to seriously consider the social and cultural meanings of socially desirable responding, and use this phenomenon as a window to grasp the reciprocal influence of society, culture, and individual psychology.
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    Serial Reproduction: An Experimental Simulation of Cultural Dynamics
    Yoshihisa Kashima,and Victoria Wai-Lan Yeung
    2010, 42 (01):  56-71. 
    Abstract ( 1265 )  
    The method of serial reproduction is an experimental method by which to investigate social psychological processes involved in cultural dynamics, namely, the formation, maintenance and transformation of culture over time. In particular, it is useful for examining how cultural information is transmitted through social networks, what type of cultural information is likely to diffuse through social networks, and how it is transformed as it travels from one person to another. This paper outlines its methodological strengths and weaknesses, discusses the theoretical framework in which the method is embedded, and outlines an example of its systematic use in a research program about cultural stereotypes. Finally, the paper concludes with discussions about future research directions with regard to potential cultural differences in cultural dynamics as well as interaction between cultural dynamics and social network processes.
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    Five Principles for Studying People’s Use of Heuristics
    Julian N. Marewski,Lael J. Schooler and Gerd Gigerenzer
    2010, 42 (01):  72-87. 
    Abstract ( 1178 )  
    The fast and frugal heuristics framework assumes that people rely on an adaptive toolbox of simple decision strategies—called heuristics—to make inferences, choices, estimations, and other decisions. Each of these heuristics is tuned to regularities in the structure of the task environment and each is capable of exploiting the ways in which basic cognitive capacities work. In doing so, heuristics enable adaptive behavior. In this article, we give an overview of the framework and formulate five principles that should guide the study of people’s adaptive toolbox. We emphasize that models of heuristics should be (i) precisely defined; (ii) tested comparatively; (iii) studied in line with theories of strategy selection; (iv) evaluated by how well they predict new data; and (vi) tested in the real world in addition to the laboratory.
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    Looking at Individual Subjects in Research on Judgment and Decision Making (or anything)
    Jonathan Baron
    2010, 42 (01):  88-98. 
    Abstract ( 1386 )  
    Many questions in judgment and decision-making research, and, indeed, in experimental psychology generally, concern the existence of effects, and the explanation of effects shown to exist. These questions do not concern the prevalence of effects in any particular population. It is thus appropriate to look for effects in single subjects. If one person shows the effect, then it exists. This argument implies that it is sometimes appropriate to test effects across cases or rounds, without testing across subjects. It also implies that, in some experiments, effects in opposite directions may exist. I recommend looking for such effects by carrying out statistical tests on individual subjects. I describe a few methods, varying in formality, that can be used to deal with the inevitable problem of doing multiple tests of the same hypothesis: probability-probability plots; tests of the distribution of p-values; and correction for multiple testing with step-down resampling. I also present a few examples, some of which show effects in both directions and some of which do not.
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    Modern Psychometrics for the Experimental Psychology of Reasoning
    Jean-Franç,ois Bonnefon,and Stéphane Vautier
    2010, 42 (01):  99-110. 
    Abstract ( 1647 )  
    Reasoning tests, as used in the measure of intelligence, are not reasoning experiments, as used in the psychology of reasoning. Tests are meant to capture individual differences in ability; experiments are meant to highlight general mental processes, which all individuals are expected to engage. Reasoning tests assume that everybody is different; reasoning experiments used to assume instead that everybody was the same. In recent years, though, things have changed in the psychology of reasoning. Theoretical evolutions that we briefly summarize have shifted the focus from the modal response in reasoning tasks (the one most people usually give) to issues of individual variability in responses to various tasks, stable individual patterns of response across different tasks, and to considerations of structural differences between reasoners, in addition to quantitative differences. These theoretical innovations must be fueled with refined modelling techniques. We show how modern psychometrics can help us solve three broad research questions pertaining to the new theoretical agenda, which we illustrate with conditional reasoning materials.
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    The Value of Brain Imaging in Psychological Research
    Richard Gonzalez and Marc G. Berman
    2010, 42 (01):  111-119. 
    Abstract ( 1339 )  
    We take the view that commonly used brain imaging techniques add new and informative data to psychological research. As with any new measure, we need to decide how to use it in an appropriate way. How does the measure help answer theoretical questions in ways that existing measures cannot? Is the measure best used as a dependent variable or as a predictor variable? How does it relate to other psychological variables of interest? This new imaging technology provides exciting glimpses into the workings of the brain and its relation to psychology. Researchers need to figure out how the information provided can be used to advance the understanding of psychological phenomena.
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    Brain Imaging Techniques and Their Applications in Decision-Making Research
    Gui XUE,Chuansheng CHEN,Zhong-Lin LU,Qi DONG
    2010, 42 (01):  120-137. 
    Abstract ( 1581 )  
    Advanced noninvasive neuroimaging techniques such as EEG and fMRI allow researchers to directly observe brain activities while subjects perform various perceptual, motor, and/or cognitive tasks. By combining functional brain imaging with sophisticated experimental designs and data analysis methods, functions of brain regions and their interactions can be examined. A nascent field called neuroeconomics has recently emerged as a result of the enormous success of applications of functional brain imaging techniques in the study of human decision-making. In this article, we first provide an overview of brain imaging techniques, focusing on the recent developments in multivariate analysis and multi-modal data integration. We then present several studies on risky decision making, intertemporal choice, and social decision making, to illustrate how neuroimaging techniques can be used to advance our knowledge on decision making. Finally, we discuss challenges and future directions in neuroeconomics.
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    Screening for Learning and Memory Mutations: A New Approach
    C. R. Gallistel,A. P. King,A. M. Daniel,D. Freestone,E. B. Papachristos,F. Balci,A. Kheifets,J. Zhang,X. Su1, G. Schiff,H. Kourtev
    2010, 42 (01):  138-158. 
    Abstract ( 1159 )  
    We describe a fully automated, live-in 24/7 test environment, with experimental protocols that measure the accuracy and precision with which mice match the ratio of their expected visit durations to the ratio of the incomes obtained from two hoppers, the progress of instrumental and classical conditioning (trials-to-acquisition), the accuracy and precision of interval timing, the effect of relative probability on the choice of a timed departure target, and the accuracy and precision of memory for the times of day at which food is available. The system is compact; it obviates the handling of the mice during testing; it requires negligible amounts of experimenter/technician time; and it delivers clear and extensive results from 3 protocols within a total of 7-9 days after the mice are placed in the test environment. Only a single 24-hour period is required for the completion of first protocol (the matching protocol), which is strong test of temporal and spatial estimation and memory mechanisms. Thus, the system permits the extensive screening of many mice in a short period of time and in limited space. The software is publicly available.
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