ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    30 June 2009, Volume 41 Issue 06 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    ERP Investigation into English Sentence Processing of Chinese ESL Learners:Taking English Active Sentences as An Example
    2009, 41 (06):  471-480. 
    Abstract ( 2328 )  
    Randomly selecting 20 university students (10 female, 10 male) as subjects, who were right-handed and had passed CET-4 and Manipulating different anomaly types (semantically, syntactically or doubly anomalous sentences) and anomaly words at sentence-internal and sentence-final position, the study probed into Chinese ESL learners’ mental mechanisms of English active sentence processing by using ERPs. Specifically, the experimental materials included 360 active sentences whose length ranges from 6 to 8 words and were classified into six types (each type includes 60 sentences): control sentences, sentence-internal syntactic anomalies, sentence-internal semantic anomalies, sentence-final syntactic anomalies, sentence-final semantic anomalies and sentence-internal and sentence-final double anomalies involving both semantic and syntactic difficulties. The task of subjects was to judge whether the sentences were correct. In addition, the indices of the observation were reaction times, the rate of correct responses and ERP indices in the process of the experiments.
    The results indicated: Under sentence-internal syntactic anomalous condition, the ELAN was visible. Under sentence-final syntactic anomalous condition, the P600 was observed. In relation to semantic anomalies, the sentence-final N400 was significantly larger than the sentence-internal. There existed the effect of word position. Under doubly anomalous condition, both the N400 and P600 were detected and the change on amplitude showed an asymmetry compared to single anomalies. To be specific, as for the P600, double anomalies elicited a larger increase in the P600 amplitude. With regard to the N400, double anomalies produced smaller amplitude. The pattern of results showed the interaction between semantic and syntactic processing. Semantic processing had greater impact on syntactic processing.
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    The Effect of Emotion on the Quality of Crisis Decision-making
    YANG Ji-Ping,ZHENG Jian-Jun
    2009, 41 (06):  481-491. 
    Abstract ( 3261 )  
    Research in the field of the relationship between emotion and decision-making has been one of hot topics. Previous research focusing on the relationship found that emotion played an important role in decision-making process. Meanwhile, some other factors, such as gender difference and task difficulty etc., could also influence decision-making. However, the previous research did not focus on the relationship between emotion and crisis decision-making. Accordingly, the purpose of the study was to reveal the impact of emotion as well as some other relative factors on crisis decision-making.
    In the study, we recruited 120 undergraduate students and graduate students as participants. All these participants have normal vision and no dyslexia. A 2(gender) ×2(emotion) ×3 (difficulty) experimental design was adapted. The participants were asked to finish the experimental tasks when their two different emotions (neutral vs. negative) were triggered by two pieces of film-fragments respectively. Dependent variables are the time participants spent on crisis decision-making, the ratio of creating new viewpoints, the degree of confidence during the crisis decision-making process and the degree of the satisfaction for the results in crisis decision-making.
    MANOVA was applied to the data analysis. The results indicated that: (1) the more difficult the tasks were, the more time participants spent on. Meanwhile, females spent more time when the negative emotion was elicited comparing the time in the neutral emotion condition. Also, in the negative emotion condition, females spent more time than males on crisis decision-making; (2) when participants were asked to produce new viewpoints, males performed better than females; (3) during the crisis decision-making, the confidence degree for males was significantly stronger than that for females. Also, in the easy tasks, participants’ confidence degree was higher in the neutral emotion condition than that in the negative emotion condition; (4) in difficulty II & III tasks, males’ satisfaction degree was higher in the neutral emotion than in the negative emotion. In difficulty Ι & II tasks, females’ satisfaction degree was higher in the neutral emotion than in the negative emotion. Meanwhile, in difficulty Ι tasks, males’ satisfaction degree was higher than that of females in the negative emotion condition.
    The results showed that there is obvious main-effect of task difficulty on time of crisis decision-making; moreover, there was significant interaction effect between gender and emotion. About the confidence degree, the performance of male was superior to that of female; meanwhile, there was significant interaction effect between emotion and task difficulty. The satisfaction degree was affected significantly by interaction effect among gender, types of emotion, and task difficulty.
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    Autonomic Nervous Arousal and Behavioral Response of Punishment and Reward in Extroverts and Introverts
    BAI Xue-Jun, ZHU Zhao-Hong, SHEN De-Li, LIU Nan
    2009, 41 (06):  492-500. 
    Abstract ( 1714 )  
    Few studies have examined the underlying mechanism that links social behavior to reward and punishment systems in different personality types. The current study was designed to investigate this mechanism by examining autonomic nervous arousal and behavioral responses to both rewarding and punishing stimuli in extrovert and introvert personalities.
    The stop signal task, including dominant process and non-dominant process, and the monetary incentive delay task (MID)were performed by twenty extroverted and twenty introverted undergraduates. In the MID task, both potentially rewarding and potentially punishing stimuli were shown to the participants, and then they were required to make an adaptive response to obtain a positive outcome or to avoid a negative outcome.
    The behavioural results showed that both extroverts and introverts responded more quickly to rewarding stimuli compared to punishing and neutral stimuli in dominant process, while only introverts made disinhibitory responses in non-dominant process in the stop signal task. Moreover, arousal data also showed that both groups of participants had faster heart rates and higher skin conductance levels to rewarding and punishing significant stimuli than to neutral stimuli; however, introverts had a higher skin conductance level to rewarding and punishing significant stimuli compared to extroverts.
    The results suggested that extroverts exhibited BAS activation, while introverts exhibited BIS activation in the context of both rewarding and punishing stimuli. Therefore, the two groups produced different response modes during the dominant process and non-dominant process.
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    Challenge Stressor-Hindrance Stressor and Employees’ Work-Related Attitudes, and Behaviors: the Moderating Effects of General Self-Efficacy
    ZHANG Yun-Li, LU Chang-Qin
    2009, 41 (06):  501-509. 
    Abstract ( 2639 )  
    In stress research area, although some scholars (e.g., Selye,1974) suggested that stress could be appraised as “bad” (distress) or “good” (eustress), most of the studies paid more attention to the negative outcomes of stress. Recently, Cavanaugh and his colleagues (2000) found that some stressors might result in positive outcomes, and perceived stressors could be differentiated into two types: challenge stressors and hindrance stressors. Based their definitions, challenge stressors refers to “work-related demands or circumstances that, although potentially stressful, have associated potential gains for individuals, including high workload, time pressure, job scope, and high responsibility”, whereas hindrance stressors refers to “work- related demands or circumstances that tend to constrain or interfere with an individual’s work achievement, and do not tend to be associated with potential gains for the individual, including organizational politics, red tape, role ambiguity, job insecurity” (Cavanaugh et al., 2000). It has consistently been found that challenge stressors associated positively with desirable outcomes, such as job satisfaction and performance, while hindrance stressors associated negatively with these same outcomes. However, both types of stressors were founded harmful to well-being. The purpose of this study is to extend the previous studies to investigate the moderating effects of general self-efficacy (GSE) among the challenge-hindrance stress process.
    A self-administered questionnaire survey method was used to collect data from 309 air dispatchers. A series of hierarchical regression analyses were conducted for data analyses. The results consistently showed that ⑴hindrance stressors were negatively related to job satisfaction, and positively related to turnover intention, while challenge stressors were negatively related to turnover intention. However, the positive relation between challenge stressors and job satisfaction was not significant; ⑵both challenge and hindrance stressors were positively related to strains; ⑶GSE buffered the relations between hindrance stressors and strains, and job satisfaction. However, GSE did not have any moderating effect on the relation between hindrance stressors and turnover intention. That is, individuals with higher GSE would react less negatively to hindrance stressors than those with lower GSE; ⑷GSE strengthened the relations between challenge stressors and job satisfaction, and turnover intention. Nevertheless, GSE did not have any moderating effect on the relation between challenge stressors and strains. Specifically, when dealing with increasing challenge stressors, individuals with higher GSE had higher job satisfaction, and lower turnover intention, whereas for those with lower GSE, there were adverse trends.
    The present study contributes to challenge-hindrance stressors literature by elaborating the different moderating effects of general self-efficacy. GSE tends to strengthen the relations between challenge stressors and outcomes but buffer the relations between hindrance stressors and outcomes. In terms of practical implications, work stress should be discriminated when stress managements and coping strategies are proposed. Hindrance stressors should be eliminated. Regarding to challenge stressors, instead of reducing or moving them, organizations or managers might be open to encourage employees to meet such challenges as long as they can endure the levels of stressors.
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    Abusive Supervision and Employee Performance: Mechanisms of Traditionality and Trust
    WU Long-Zeng,LIU Jun,LIU Gang
    2009, 41 (06):  510-518. 
    Abstract ( 2546 )  
    Abusive supervision has attracted increasing attention in Western academy of management. In mainland China, there is no such academic investigation though, in practice, abusive supervision is prevailing due to Chinese cultural root that is characterized by hierarchy and high level of power distance. To fill the gap, the study aims to address: within the context of Chinese organizations, what are the major mediating and moderation mechanisms linking abusive supervision and employee performance? Drawing on the social exchange theory, we propose that employee’s trust in the supervisor will mediate the relationship between abusive supervision and employee outcomes. We also propose that employee traditionality will moderate the process that abusive supervision exerts negative influence on employee outcomes. Theoretically, this echoes the call for examining the role of followers in the process of leadership (Howell & Shamir, 2005).
    In total, 338 employees and 128 their supervisors from 6 electronic manufacturing enterprises located in Beijing were sampled. To avoid the common method variance problem, two waves as well as two sources of survey were administrated. In the first wave, employees were asked to provide ratings of abusive supervision and self-reported traditionality. In the second wave, employees provided ratings of trust in supervisors. In both waves, supervisors provided ratings of employee performance including task and organizational citizenship behaviors. Time 1 performance data was controlled when predicting Time 2 performance, which was the outcome of the study. The final matched sample included 283 employees and 112 direct supervisors, resulting valid response rates 83.7% and 87.5% for employees and supervisors, respectively. Among the major measures, the 15-item abusive supervision scale was adopted from Tepper (2000) study; trust in supervisor was measured via 6 items that was adopted from Wong et al. (2002) study. The 5-item task performance scale and the 14-item organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) scale were adapted from Williams and Anderson (1991). Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for above measures were from 0.85 to 0.95, indicating acceptable measurement reliabilities.
    Hierarchical Regression Modeling (HRM) was employed to analyze the data. Results show that: in the Chinese organizational context, trust in supervisor mediates the relationship between abusive supervision and employee performance, demonstrating that social exchange is a unique angle for explaining how abusive supervision leads to negative employee outcomes. Comparing to non-traditional ones, traditional employees will more likely comply with abusive supervisors. They will respond less distrust in abusive supervisors. This finding could, to a large extent, offer insights why abusive supervisor is prevailing in Chinese organizations.
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    Interaction of Shared Mental Models in A Complex Task
    XU Han-Yi,MA Jian-Hong,YANG Kai,FANG Hui-Zhen
    2009, 41 (06):  519-533. 
    Abstract ( 1629 )  
    Shared Mental Model is a shared, organized mental representation of the key factors of a team’s state which helps teammates to explain and expect the requirements of team’s task and of its members. Share mental model facilitates the communication and coordination within a team and improves a team’s performance. But it’s extremely hard and risky to overlap all the mental models, which may leads to group thinking. What teammates share more may make up for what they share less. Moreover, the function of SMMs depends on how teammates deal with difference between mental models within a team. When sharedness of certain belief is low, the difference between mental models leads to misunderstanding, conflicts and low performance. But with a shared belief held by teammates, a much more effective teamwork is reinforced through various thoughts, intercommunication and global understanding. Team spirit is such a belief that stands for shared team targets and shared team values. This study hypothesized that as moderator(s), some SMM(s), especially shared Team Spirit Mental Model, would strengthen the positive relation between other SMM(s) and performance in a complex task.
    We interviewed 9 enterprisers in different new venture programs. A coding manual based on which we compiled a questionnaire was derived from the interviews. Using the questionnaire we then conducted an ERP simulation game in order to collect mental models and performances. 31 teams of 127 subjects of different backgrounds participated. We used Path Finder to get the closeness index C of teams’ SMMs for later analysis.
    Analysis based on Ground Theory showed a reliability of 0.92 of the coding manual with 35 concepts sorted in 4 SMMs (task model, teammate model, teamwork model and team spirit model). Stepwise regression analysis showed that sharedness of Teamwork Mental Model had a significant positive effect when regressed on performance; ANOVAs showed that team composition did not influence the closeness of each SMM; hierarchical regression analysis showed that as a moderator, sharedness of Task Mental Model strengthened positive relation between sharedness of Teamwork Mental Model and performance; sharedness of Team Spirit Mental Model strengthened the positive relation between sharedness of Teamwork Mental Model and performance.
    The study implies that Teamwork Mental Model is a robust indicator of performance. Team composition didn’t influence sharedness of SMM, indicating that experience has little impact on the development of SMM. The study also shows that Task Mental Model and Team Spirit Model have moderating effects. Finally, the moderating effect of Team Spirit Mental Model implies that belief has a function of alleviating conflicts between team members. Due to shared belief people think of, care about and understand others with a result of improved performance and better decision-making. Future research should pay more attention to the role of SMM in conflicts and in understanding with other teammates.
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    Cultural Differences in the Impacts of Conflict and Support on Romantic Partner Attachment
    LU Ai-Tao,ZHANG Ji-Jia,Michael Harris Bond,ZHANG Xue-Xin,Michael Friedman,CHAN Ching
    2009, 41 (06):  534-544. 
    Abstract ( 2557 )  
    Secure intimate personal relationships play an important role in psychological adjustment and quality of life. So far, a growing body of evidence has supported the idea that the quality of intimate social relationships is highly associated with commitment, satisfaction, conflict, social support, etc. It was found that the hypervigilance of more anxiously attached individuals could intensify the monitoring and appraisal of relationship, which resulted in higher vulnerabity to experiencing distress. Recently, it has been suggested that the frequency and intensity of daily emotions experienced in relationships (i.e., conflict) was a good barometer of how close individuals feel to their partners. Moreover, when highly anxious individuals realize that support is being offered from their romantic partners, no significant decline occurs in satisfaction of their romantic relationships across time. Obviously, the associations between attachment and conflict as well as social support have been extensively-studied, little is known about how romantic partner attachment is affected by conflict and social support cross-culturally. The purpose of the present study was to further investigate the relationships among romantic attachment, conflict, and social support, as well as the modulating effect of culture in these relationships.
    153 HK university students (71 male and 82 female, age: M = 20.44 years). Most of them participated in the present study in order to partially fulfill a course requirement, while some of them volunteered to participate with a HK$50 monetary reward. Their romantic relationships had lasted at least 3 months at that time as well (M = 23.47 months). 210 US university students (99 male and 111 female, age: M = 19.04 years) participated in the present study as part of a course requirement. All participants were currently involved at that time in a romantic relationship not less than 3 months (M = 17.22 months). Participants received a battery of questionnaires which included the Experiences in Close Relationships Scale, the Conflict Measurement and Social Support Questionnaire. They completed the battery individually. The order of the questionnaires was randomized across the participants.
    The results indicated that conflict, social support and culture × conflict × social support were significant predictors of attachment anxiety. Such salient effect of culture × conflict × social support showed that in HK conflict × social support had little impact on attachment anxiety which indicated that the effects of conflict and support were more likely to counterbalance with each other, while in terms of US the negative effect of conflict was stronger than the positive effect of support. Therefore, in US the more conflict × social support increased, the more significantly attachment anxiety escalated. Regarding to attachment avoidance, the effects of culture and culture × social support were significant. That is, the effect of social support on attachment avoidance in HK is much stronger than that in US.
    The findings of the present study suggested culture modulated the relationships between different attachment styles, conflict, and support, which argued against the proposal of culture universality.
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    Job Burnout Scale for Competition Sport Coaches
    YIN Xiao-Chuan,XUE Zu-Mei
    2009, 41 (06):  545-556. 
    Abstract ( 1749 )  
    Job burnout is defined as “a psychological syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment that can occur among individuals who work with other people in some capacity”. Since the competition sport coaches work in a very unique environment, their health and burnout are different from ordinary person, a different scale to measure their job burnout is needed. The present study reports the development of a job burnout scale for competition sport coaches in China.
    In developing the job burnout scale for completion sports coaches, several previous burnout scales for other professions have been collected and carefully reviewed. In addition, 28 sports coaches were interviewed for obtaining their feelings and details of their working environments. Based on the above information and serious consideration of characteristics of the sports profession, the first edition of Job Burnout Scale for Competition Sports Coaches, which includes 50 items, was compiled.
    The first edition of the scale was tested on 274 competition sports coaches and an exploratory factor analysis was performed. According to the item loadings on different factors, finally 31 items were selected and four factors were identified. These factors can be named as emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, reduced personal accomplishment, and knowledge exhaustion. The follow up test shows these factors have acceptable reliability, their corresponding Cronbach’s α coefficients are 0.81, 0.67, 0.59, and 0.67. The total reliability of the scale is 0.79.
    For validating the new edition of the scale, another 240 competition sports coaches were tested. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to test the postulated four factors model. By using covariance structure model with maximum likelihood method, the results show a rather good fit between the data and the theoretical model: χ2/df equals 1.91, the goodness-of-fit (GFI) is 0.82, the absolute anastomosis index (AGFI) is 0.80, the value fitting index (NNFI) is 0.88, and the CFI fitting index is 0.88. All these results confirmed the present scale reaches the standard requirements of psychological measurement.
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    Social Constructionism and the Future of Theoretical Research in Psychology
    Ye Hao-Sheng
    2009, 41 (06):  557-564. 
    Abstract ( 1706 )  
    Social contructionism is an important academic movement in psychology in Western countries. Social contructionism claims that what we take to be knowledge of the world and our selves is not the discovery we make, nor is it a product of induction or the testing of general hypotheses, instead, it is a social construction, and takes place in historically situated interchanges among people. Traditionally, psychological science was based on three assumptions: the centrality of individual rationality, the determination of experiential observation and language as a truthful representation. Social constructionism, instead, criticizes the three modernist assumptions, and has brought three transformations into psychological science: (i) from individual reason to communal rhetoric. The individual deemed rational only if he or she has taken the language or discourse common to his or her particular culture at a particular times. (ii) from experiential observation to social construction. Because observation always loaded with theory, the observation does not guarantee what we get is a truth. Therefore, we should take the world as the socially constructed. (iii) from a language as a truthful picture to a language as a action. Language does not mirror or map the reality, instead, language constructs the reality and language also has effects on social practices. From the point view of social constructionism, theory is not a product of experiential induction, nor does theory come from observation. Theory, as social constructionism suggested, is a social construction, which has enormous implications for the future of theoretical rsearch. As a social construction, theory comes before observation, and all the observations are confined by theory. Just because theory is a product of cultural construction, theory is different in different culture at different historical periods, which also means theoretical research in psychology is not value-free science. It is value-loaded and serves the society and culture where it is grounded. As a social construction, not only does theory serve the function of rethinking and criticism, theory also has the power of action, it does has effects on psychological research.
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