ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    28 February 2009, Volume 41 Issue 02 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    The Mechanism of Negative Numbers’ Spatial Representation
    GAO Zai-Feng,SHUI Ren-De,CHEN Jing,CHEN Wen,TIAN Ying,,SHEN Mo-Wei
    2009, 41 (02):  95-102. 
    Abstract ( 1416 )  
    The spatial representation of numbers has been intensively investigated in the field of number processing mechanism. To better explore the spatial representation, the mental number line hypothesis has been proposed, which gets support from research on distance effect and SNARC effect. Although much has been done to investigate the spatial representation of positive numbers, studies focused on negative numbers are rather scarce. Moreover, the results on negative numbers are essentially inconsistent, in that there are two major opposite hypotheses on the spatial representation: the phylogenetic hypothesis and the ontogenetic hypothesis. The phylogenetic hypothesis suggests that negative numbers are mapped onto the mental number line according to their absolute numerical value: the small absolute value on the left, and the large absolute value on the right. Conversely, the ontogenetic hypothesis asserts that negative numbers are mapped onto the mental number line according to the numerical value: the small value on the left, and the large value on the right. Further analysis of the two hypotheses reveals that two different paradigms were adopted in previous research, namely the odd-even judgment paradigm and the magnitude judgment paradigm, which might be explicable for the contrasting conclusions. In addition, both paradigms are essentially improper for the research on the representation of negative numbers. Considering the two existing problems, this study adopted the speeded magnitude classification paradigm to further investigate the spatial representation of negative number processing.
    Two experiments were conducted with the numbers ranging from -9 to 9, but excluding 0 as materials. On each trial, a rectangle-frame was firstly displayed in the center of the screen as fixation, then a number was displayed horizontally in the center of fixation. The participant should classify the magnitude as quickly and accurately as possible. The first experiment, which contained half of positive numbers judgment and half of negative numbers judgment, was aimed at investigating the difference between two types of number processing and the direction of spatial representation. The second experiment was aimed at further investigating the direction of negative numbers’ spatial representation through a mixed display method, in which both positive numbers and negative numbers were displayed serially but only negative numbers were targets of magnitude judgment. We varied the consistency between the response key and digit magnitude as the independent variable in Experiment 1 and 2. Each experiment included eighteen participants. ANOVA analyses and regression analyses were performed in both experiments.
    The data analyses showed that SNARC effect appeared in both experiments. Specifically, participants responded faster as to the left-side decision for negative numbers with small absolute value and faster as to the right-side decisions for negative numbers with large absolute value.
    The pattern of decision latencies suggested that negative numbers are mapped onto the mental number line according to their absolute value instead of numerical value, thus supporting the phylogenetic hypothesis
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    Which One Is Better? Based on Categories or Based on Feature Association When Categorization Is Uncertain

    MO Lei,CHEN Lin
    2009, 41 (02):  103-113. 
    Abstract ( 754 )  
    When categorization is uncertain, the inner mechanism of people’s feature induction induced some arguments. In terms of predicting features, Rational Model indicated that people would take all categories into consideration while single-category theory advanced that people only paid attention to the target category. The essential difference between Rational Model and single-category theory is whether people would take the alternative categories into consideration when predicting features. But neither Rational Model nor single-category theory could explain the results of the research by Verde et al in 2005. So Verde et al concluded that the feature prediction in their research might be based on feature association. Therefore, three experiments were designed in this research to investigate how people predicted features when categorization was uncertain.
    Experiment 1 replicated the experiment of Verde et al (2005) in Chinese circumstance so that the effect of language would be excluded. In Experiment 2, the frequency of the feature association in order to find out whether categories were considered. Experiment 3 the variable of category was controlled in order to find out whether people’s induction was based on feature association.
    Seventy subjects were evenly grouped into experiment 1 and experiment 2, and thirty-four subjects in experiment 3. All of the subjects were individually tested on computers, which controlled list generation, stimulus presentation, and response recording. The procedure comprised five phases: (1) study, (2) a training test, (3) study, (4) a training test, and (5) a final test. During the study phase, all exemplars were shown once. Each exemplar was shown for 4000msec. During the training test phase, subjects should categorize all exemplars into their correct categories. During the final test phase, subjects should decide whether or not the to-be-predicted feature was the one that most likely to appear with the given feature and then to make a yes-no judgment.
    Experiment 1 gained the same results as the experiment conducted by Verde et al (2005). By controlling the variable of feature association, Experiment 2 found that there was no significant difference in feature prediction between two conditions, which indicated that people’s induction was not category-based. Via controlling the variable of category, Experiment 3 found that there was significant difference in feature prediction between two feature association conditions, which indicated that people’s induction was based on feature association.
    The three experiments illustrate that people are inclined to predict features on the basis of feature association when categorization is uncertain. In contrast to the category-based prediction, prediction based on feature association is an economical strategy, which can be adopted to explain many results of the previous studies
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    Asymmetry in Naming and Categorizing of Chinese Words and Pictures: Role of Semantic Radicals
    FANG Yan-Hong,ZHANG Ji-Jia
    2009, 41 (02):  114-126. 
    Abstract ( 1987 )  
    The four different cognitive processes of word-reading, word-categorizing, picture-naming and picture-categorizing imply different mental mechanisms and are widely used in the field of perception, memory and language studies. A large body of research has examined the characteristics of naming and categorizing of words and pictures in alphabetic languages. They showed that word-reading was the fastest of all, followed by picture-naming, picture-categorizing and word-categorizing with increased time cost. Different theories were proposed to explain this phenomenon, but none of them could perfectly explain all the results. Chinese words differ from alphabetic words in that most pictophonetic characters consist of phonetic radicals marking pronunciation and semantic radicals indicating superordinate categories. Many studies have showed that semantic radicals play an important role in Chinese characters’ recognition, serving not only as structural and semantic chunks, but also grammatical and recognition chunks. Semantic radicals may promote the categorization of Chinese words. The naming and categorizing of Chinese words and pictures might be different from those of alphabetic words and pictures. The goal of this study was to explore the role of semantic radicals in naming and categorizing of Chinese words and pictures.
    Thirty-two college students (17 men and 15 women) took part in the experiment. A 2 × 2 × 2 three-factor within-subject design was used: stimulus (pictures and Chinese words) × task (naming and categorizing) × semantic radical (with and without semantic radicals). The materials included 52 pictures (half of the pictures’ names have semantic radicals and half do not) and 52 words (half with semantic radicals and half without) as targets, 12 words and pictures as practice items and 52 words and pictures as fillers. During the naming task, participants were asked to read aloud the words or name the pictures presented on the screen as quickly and correctly as possible. Naming time was collected by a computer and naming correct percentage was recorded by an examiner. During the categorizing task, participants were asked to decide whether a word or picture belongs to a certain category or not by pressing F or J on the keyboard. Stimuli were presented in a total of six blocks (208 trials). Before the experiment, the participants were familiarized with the pictures.
    The results showed that Chinese words and pictures were asymmetrical in naming and categorizing: Word-reading was faster than word-categorizing but picture-naming was slower than picture-categorizing. Semantic radicals had an asymmetry effect on naming and categorizing of Chinese words and pictures. They only affected word-processing but not picture-processing. More specifically, semantic radicals only had a significant effect on word-categorizing but not word-reading: words with semantic radicals were categorized faster than words without them and even pictures. This phenomenon was attributed to the structure characteristics of Chinese words of which the semantic radicals mark the superordinate categories. A comprehensive cognitive model of Chinese words and pictures was proposed to explain all the results.
    Based on above findings, we came to draw the following conclusions: (1) there are both similarities and differences between the naming and categorizing of Chinese and alphabetical words and pictures; (2) Chinese words and pictures were asymmetrical in naming and categorizing; (3) semantic radicals had asymmetry effect on naming and categorizing of Chinese words and pictures
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    The Global Interruption Effect on Stroke Processing for Children with Spelling Difficulties
    YANG Shuang,NING Ning,LIU Xiang-Ping,PAN Yi-Zhong,LU Jia
    2009, 41 (02):  127-134. 
    Abstract ( 1225 )  
    Spelling difficulty is a major type of learning disorders. It refers to children who possess normal reading ability but have poor spelling ability. The orthographic representation deficit of children with spelling difficulties might stem from the global interruption of stroke processing, which is unique to Chinese characters. The current study aimed to examine whether two kinds of global interruption, namely global orthographic and phonological interruptions, would influence Chinese stroke processing respectively.
    All participants came from the No. 1 primary school of Guyuan, Ningxia. 564 students took part in the screening, 32 of whom were diagnosed with spelling difficulties. Finally, 29 students with spelling difficulties and 30 healthy controls were chosen for further experiments. Their Raven scores, age, gender and grade were all matched.
    Two 2 by 2 factor-designed experiments were conducted respectively. In the first experiment, a “+” was presented on the screen for 150 ms, followed by a target stroke; 300 ms later, a mask was presented for 300 ms, and then a probe pseudo-word was presented, which required the subjects to judge whether it contained the same stroke as the target. There were two kinds of probe pseudo-words with high and low global orthographic integrality. The second experiment was the same as the first one except that the two kinds of pseudo-words were of high and low global phonological accessibility.
    The first experiment showed that the judging of stroke was influenced by global orthographic process, which applied to all children but more significantly to children with spelling difficulties. In contrast, the second experiment showed that the stroke judgment was prominently interrupted by disruption of global phonological accessibility for control group, but not significant for children with spelling difficulties.
    Based on above findings, the authors proposed two hypotheses about spelling difficulties: global orthographic processing deficit (GOPD) hypothesis and stroke visual processing pattern (SVPP) hypothesis. According to the GOPD hypothesis, the global processing deficit would lead to two results: (1) In order to get legible global orthographic representation, children with spelling difficulties may heavily rely on orthographic process so that their stroke judgment would be much influenced by global orthographic processing. (2) Duration of global phonological accessibility would be prolonged. According to the SVPP hypothesis, the stroke judgment of children with spelling difficulties mainly depends on visual processing. This could also lead to two results: (1) Stroke judgment would be easily interrupted by global orthographic processing. (2) Children with spelling difficulties would not be affected by global phonological processing. However, the reliability of these two hypotheses needs further investigation
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    Relations between Judgment of Others’ Memory and Theory of Mind in Preschoolers
    LU Hui-Jing,SU Yan-Jie
    2009, 41 (02):  135-143. 
    Abstract ( 2424 )  
    Previous research has shown that talking about others in reminiscence facilitates the development of Theory of Mind (ToM) in 4-year-old Chinese preschoolers. The present study provides one potential interpretation for those findings by exploring the relations between ToM and judgment of other’s memory. We assume that children who have talked more about others during recall have represented more information regarding others. They should therefore perform better when judging other’s memory because they possess more knowledge about others. Processing views and situations related to others involves perspective-taking, which includes various levels of perspectives, such as perceptional (simple visual and complex visual) and cognitive (intentional and emotional) ones. In this study, different levels of perspective-taking were used to assess children’s representation and judgment of others’ memories, and the relations between ToM and memory judgment were examined.
    Forty 4-year-old children completed a verbal productive task and four ToM tasks including two Mistaken Location tasks and two Content Change tasks. They also completed a series of memory tasks in which their memory ability and judgment of others’ memory were examined. In each task, participants first experienced a scenario; two days later they were required to recall the scenario and judge others’ views about the scenario. The views included others’ visual perception and perspectives on intention and emotion of the story characters. These views sometimes pertained to reality, but they were always not consistent with the participant’s own views.
    Results showed that memory ability, judgment of others’ memory and ToM correlated with one another, and the judgment of others’ memory could still explain ToM when age, memory ability, and verbal ability were statistically controlled. Further examination showed that, in the case of others’ views not pertaining to reality, performance related to judging others’ memory was positively correlated with ToM scores once age, verbal abilities and memory ability had been statistically controlled. However, this correlation was absent in the case of others’ views pertaining to reality.
    These results are discussed in relation to the ability to simultaneously process two different perspectives, which is required in both ToM tasks and memory judgment tasks. When judging others’ memory, participants should be aware of others’ views about a previously experienced scenario and distinguish others’ perspectives from the self’s perspective. Children who pass false belief tasks have to process the true belief by themselves and the false belief of others at the same time. The correlation between judging others’ memory and ToM helps to account for the findings that talking about others during reminiscence facilitates the development of ToM. The nature of first-order and second-order false belief tasks is used to discuss the minor finding that children’s performance on false belief tasks correlated with judgment of others’ memory only in the case of others’ views that do not pertain to reality
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    Agreement among Different Informants over Ratings of Adolescent Externalizing Behaviors
    CHEN Guang-Hui,ZHANG Wen-Xin,WANG Shu-Qiong
    2009, 41 (02):  144-155. 
    Abstract ( 1898 )  
    Research on children and adolescent problem behaviors have traditionally relied on single informants. These normally are self-reports by the child or adolescent participants or evaluations from the participants’ teachers or parents. Such single source data often yield inconsistent and even unreliable findings. Recent years have seen an increasing awareness of the advantage of the multiple-informant approach in data collection. An increasing number of studies have used this multi-informant approach that yield low to moderate agreement among different data sources. However, these multi-informant studies mainly used teacher ratings in addition to adolescents’ self-reports. Existing studies have seldom used peer reports. Because adolescents interact with their peers on a daily basis, not using peer evaluation as a data source will have missed important insight into adolescent behaviors including problem behaviors such as externalizing and misconduct. Most of the existing studies have only examined concurrent agreements among different informants which have been low to moderate. Cross-time stability and agreement across multiple informants remain to be issues for investigation. Studies on problem behaviors have focused mainly on the more severe forms of problem behaviors, such as aggression and antisocial behavior. Little attention has been paid to the less serious forms of problem behaviors such as rule opposition, property vandalism, and status violation.
    The present paper reports a short term longitudinal study in which adolescent externalizing behaviors were repeatedly rated by the adolescents themselves, the adolescents’ teachers and their classmates. The interval between the two times of assessment was three months. The Clustering Child Behavior Checklist by Frick et al. (1993) was used, which contains four clusters of externalizing behaviors, namely, aggression, opposition, property vandalism, and status violation. The participants were 529 adolescents from 14 classrooms and their head teachers in three junior middle schools of Shandong Province. Multiple analyses were used. These include correlation, multi-traits multi-methods analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, and detectable-rates analysis.
    Only low to moderate correlations existed among the ratings of different informants (rs range from -0.01 to 0.46), with the correlation between adolescent self-reports and teacher ratings being the lowest (rs range from -0.01 to 0.17) and that between teacher ratings and peer ratings being the highest (rs range from 0.28 to 0.46). Further analysis indicate that the correlations among the four clusters of externalizing behaviors from peer reports were greater than those from adolescent self-reports or teacher ratings. Correlations among the four clusters of externalizing behaviors from adolescent self-reports were the lowest. The cross-time stabilities of the ratings by the three types of informants as indexed by the correlations coefficients between the two waves of assessment also varied significantly across different informants. Compared with self-reports and teacher ratings, peer ratings yielded most stable and consistent results across the two waves of data over a period of three months. Results from confirmatory factor analysis demonstrated that peer ratings had higher coefficients of determination on the constructs of the four behavior clusters than did either teacher ratings or self-reports. There were also differences across the three types of informants in the identification of adolescents with some kind of problem behavior but these differences did not form any clear patterns. Only on peer ratings, the detectable ratios decreased when a stricter detectable criterion was adopted
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    The Influence of Different Kinds of Reference Groups on Self-brand Connections
    DU Wei-Qiang,YU Chun-Ling,ZHAO Ping
    2009, 41 (02):  156-166. 
    Abstract ( 1371 )  
    Self-brand connections (SBC) measure the extent to which consumers have incorporated brands into their self-concept. Reference groups and their “typical brands” play an important role during this process. Brands with images consistent with an ingroup enhance SBCs whereas brands with images consistent with an outgroup have lower SBCs. However, previous research does not investigate the influence of different categories of outgroups and ingroups and brands with images consistent or inconsistent with all kinds of reference groups on SBCs.
    Two studies were conducted. 82 undergraduate students participated in study 1. We employed a 4(group type)×2(match, not match) mixed design. Participants of the four groups were asked to write an ingroup, aspirational group, dissociative group or neutral outgroup respectively. They then wrote down a brand whose image is consistent and inconsistent with the group they had chosen respectively, and estimated the SBCs of the two brands. SBCs were measured by the scale (α=0.90) developed by Escalas and Bettman (2003). 92 undergraduate students participated in study 2. We employed a 2(ingroup, outgroup)×2(match, not match) between subject design. The study is similar to study 1. The scale developed by Ellemerset et al., (1999) was used to measure the consumers’ affective commitment to the ingroups (α=0.712).
    Two ANOVA models were used to predict SBCs in the two studies. The main effects and the interaction effect are significant in study 1 (F(3, 160)=5.64,F(1, 160)=14.44,F(3, 160)=20.08, ps<0.001). In study 2, we find a significant interaction of ingroup type by brand image match on SBCs (F(3, 160)=20.08, p<0.001). The results show that possible selves motivate behavior to achieve the realization of personal goals and brand images consistent with an aspirational group enhance SBCs whereas brands with images inconsistent with an aspirational group have lower SBCs (t =6.41, p<0.001). Brand images consistent with a dissociative group have lower SBCs whereas brands with images inconsistent with a dissociative group enhance SBCs, t =3.79, p<0.001. As for brands whose images consistent or inconsistent with a neutral outgroup, the SBCs are indifferent, t =1.55, p>0.12. Affective commitment is an important part of social identity. When consumers’ affective commitment to the ingroups is high, brand images consistent and inconsistent with an ingroup led to higher and lower SBCs respectively, t=2.41, p<0.02. When consumers’ affective commitment to the ingroups is moderate, brand images consistent and inconsistent with an ingroup led to higher and lower SBCs respectively, t=2.27, p<0.03. However, if affective commitment is low, consumers do not want to be a member of the ingroups, so the conclusion does not hold, t=0.54, p>0.59. The effects of ingroup on SBC are moderated by the consumers’ affective commitment.
    These findings improve our understanding of the influence of reference groups on SBCs. Companies could employ our findings to promote SBCs between consumers and their brands, which is important because high SBCs could promote brand equity, improve customer loyalty and induce positive WOM
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    The Development of Computerized Adaptive Picture Assembling Test for Recruits in China
    TIAN Jian-Quan,MIAO Dan-Min,YANG Ye-Bing,HE Ning,XIAO Wei
    2009, 41 (02):  167-174. 
    Abstract ( 1895 )  
    According to the literature review and references of psychological testing about foreign armies, a spatial ability item bank was developed based on the principles of item response theory (IRT) and theories about spatial abilities.
    At first, we conducted a Paper and Pencil (P&P) test as a pilot study to explore the possibility of developing a picture assembling test using computerized adaptive testing (CAT) form. And correlation of this P&P test and task performance subscale of Soldier Performance Assessment Scale was analyzed. Then at the basis of the pilot study, a computer-administrated test (as a part of Nationwide Psychological Testing for Recruitment) was completed to modify and enlarge the item bank further. In this test, 7 different test forms, which were linked using anchor items, were developed and tested. Data was analyzed under 3 Parameter Logistic Model (3PL) using Bilog-MG software. Qualified items were selected to form the item bank, and a CAT form picture assembling test was developed. At last, we conducted validation test using subtest of block design in WAIS and scores of three curriculums as criterion.
    From the results, we could see that the CAT form picture assembling test could satisfy the three assumptions of 3PL model, including unidimensionality, local independence and no speeding. And discrimination, location and guessing parameters, which were estimated using marginal maximum likelihood estimation (MMLE), were satisfying. So were ability parameters, estimated using Bayes expected a posterior estimation (EAPE). Furthermore, both test’s and items’ information functions were good. On the other side, item exposure can be controlled properly by strategy of using maximum information procedure and a-stratified method in this test. And on the basis of current item bank, using fixed-length stopping rule is appropriate for Nationwide Psychological Test for Recruitment. As for the validation study, we found that results of P&P form of picture assembling test had significant positive correlations with task performance subscale of Soldier Performance Assessment Scale. Scores of CAT form had significant positive correlations with subtest of block design in WAIS and examination scores of math and physics, but had no significant correlation with scores of Chinese.
    However, a good CAT test need a good and large item bank to be based on, so the item bank in this study should be enlarged continuously
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    Modification of Tatsuoka’s Q Matrix Theory
    DING Shu-Liang,ZHU Yu-Fang,LIN Hai-Jing,CAI Yan
    2009, 41 (02):  175-181. 
    Abstract ( 1803 )  
    In Tatsuoka’s Rule Space Model (RSM) and in Attribute Hierarchy Method (AHM) (Leighton et al.,2004), attributes and hierarchy serve as the most important input variables to the model because they provide the basis for interpreting the results in this approach to psychometric modeling (Gierl, et al., 2000).The hierarchical relation among the attributes is represented by adjacency matrix. From the adjacency matrix, the reachability matrix could be derived, which may then play an important role for deriving the reduced Q matrix (Gierl, et al., 2000). The reduced Q matrix is used to derive the examinee’s knowledge state vector, which is a core concept in the Rule Space Model.
    In this paper, some flaws of Tatsuoka’s Q matrix theory (1991, 1995) are discussed, and some remedies are proposed, especially through a series of new algorithms. These algorithms are useful in the Rule Space Model and in the Attribute Hierarchy Model to construct a Q matrix when the reachability matrix is given, and are useful to calculate the ideal/expected response patterns without using the Boolean Descriptive Function. These algorithms demonstrate two facts: firstly, the reachability matrix is the most important tool in constructing a cognitive test, and could help increase the diagnosis accuracy; secondly, use of these algorithms can remedy the flaws in the Tatsuoka’s Q matrix theory. Furthermore, the new algorithms have other advantages, such as that they reduce computational burden for some complicated tasks requiring heavy numerical operations. Hence, the proposed methods in the paper may enrich the applications of the Q matrix theory
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    Huang Yi and His Pioneering Research on Child Guidance

    FAN Ting-Wei
    2009, 41 (02):  182-188. 
    Abstract ( 2049 )  
    In the period of the Republic of China, to discipline, named XunYu in Chinese, played an important role together with teaching and administration in high school education. In practical work, what Xun Yu was mainly concerned with were students’ disturbing behaviors, and the main methods to enforce Xun Yu were criticism and punishment. As a result, mental health problems were simply treated as disciplinary problems and handled in the same way.
    Having noticed the problem above, Huang Yi (1903-1944), a professor of Psychology in the National University of Zhejiang, who got his PhD in Psychology from Yale University, supervised by Arnold Gesell, decided to transform Xun Yu. His research includes two aspects.
    In theoretical research, by conducting questionnaires and case studies, Huang Yi pointed out the wrong guiding ideas behind the traditional Xun Yu methods. For example, some people argued that Xun Yu should focus on the students’ disturbing behaviors, and students, who were shy, dependent or introverted, did not need Xun Yu, because they were quiet and would not make trouble. The students’ disturbing behaviors were normally assessed in accordance with the social standards with little consideration of their psychological well-being.
    Different from that, Huang Yi contended that children’s psychological well-being and their character development should be paid more attention to rather than the social standards when dealing with children’s disturbing behaviors. As far as children’s behaviors are concerned, their future development should be given more attention instead of past behaviors.
    Huang Yi defined the concept of child guidance and its scientific nature, arguing that child guidance includes moral education and mental health service, and emphasizing that right child guidance methods should also take mental health principles into consideration. Huang Yi looked at child guidance as an applied science.
    In practice, Huang Yi established an experimental nursery school in Hangzhou (1935-1937), with an aim to improve the mental health of children aged from 2.5-4.5. In his nursery school, children who had developed maladjusted behaviors were given individually tailored treatment. And for the rest of normal children, their mental health was also given much attention. Huang Yi’s establishment of a nursery school put child guidance into practice for the first time in China.
    Huang Yi’s pioneering research on child guidance has shed light on psychological research and practice in China
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