ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    25 June 2015, Volume 47 Issue 6 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    The Effect of Learning in Virtual Path Integration
    GUO Jichengsi; WAN Xiaoang
    2015, 47 (6):  711-720.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00711
    Abstract ( 1138 )  

    Path integration is one type of navigations in which navigators integrate self-motion information to update their current position and orientation relative to the origin of their travel. Human path integration ability is often measured in the path completion task. In this task, participants travel along several segments, make several turns at the intersections of each two segments, and arrive at the end of the outbound path. Then they are asked to directly return to the origin of the outbound path. Previous studies have revealed that athletes showed better path completion performance than general population. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether the path integration ability of general population can be improved if they are repeatedly exposed to outbound paths with the same configurations. In two experiments, we used the Head-Mounted Display Virtual Reality to present hallway mazes, and each outbound path consisted of 5 segments. Participants pressed a button on the gamepad to travel along a segment, so the information about transition was based on optical flow. By contrast, they were asked to actually rotate their bodies at the intersections, so the information about rotation came from both optical flow and body senses. Each participant completed 4 blocks, 6 trials of each. Within each block, they performed the path completion task on 6 different outbound paths. From one block to the next, they performed the path completion task on outbound paths with the same configurations. In Experiment 1, all the 5 segments within each outbound path had the same lengths, and the turning angle at each interaction was always 60 degree, clockwise or counterclockwise. When the participants repeatedly performed the path completion task on these outbound paths with the same configurations, they showed reduced position errors, direction errors, and RTs. By contrast, more complicated path configurations were used in Experiment 2. Specifically, within each outbound path of Experiment 2, each segment was 3 m or 5 m long, and the turning angle at each intersection was 60 or 120 degree, clockwise or counterclockwise. The participants also showed recued RTs and percentage position errors when these complex configurations were repeated. What is more, the absence of the sex difference in both experiments revealed that both males and females can benefit from the exposure to the repeated configurations. Taken together, these results demonstrated that the path integration ability of general population can be improved if they have repeatedly performed the path completion task on the outbound paths with the same configurations, though more repetitions are needed when the path configurations are more complex. These results revealed the influence of previous experience on human navigation, and such influence of spatial configuration on human path integration might be similar to that of implicit learning in visual cognition. Future research is needed to further investigate the training of human path integration ability.

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    Monetary Incentive Modulates the Localized Attentional Interference Effect
    JI Liyan, CHEN Ningxuan, DING Jinhong, WEI Ping
    2015, 47 (6):  721-733.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00721
    Abstract ( 1092 )   PDF (671KB) ( 91 )  

    It is well documented that monetary reward improves performance of cognitive tasks by increasing task concentration and engagement. In the current study, we investigated the effect of reward expectation on the localized attentional interference effect (LAI). LAI occurs when attending to a visual object degrades the processing of nearby objects, with the interference subsiding with increasing distance from the attended item. The reason for LAI is that, as the separation between the attended items decreases, stimuli presented within receptive fields of the same sets of neurons are processed in a mutually suppressive manner, competing for neural representation. We carried out three experiments combining cuing paradigm and visual search paradigm. A cue indicating the reward condition of each trial (incentive vs. non-incentive) was followed by the presentation of a search array containing two target items (in Experiment 1) or a target item and a salient distractor (in Experiments 2a and 2b). In Experiment 1, participants were asked to discriminate whether the two shape singletons among a set of non-target items were of the same shape or not. The results showed that participants’ performance declined as the target separation reduced in both the incentive and the non-incentive conditions. The response accuracy in identifying the two targets was higher in the incentive condition than that in the non-incentive condition when the two targets were distant from each other, but the pattern was reversed when they were close to each other. Namely, the LAI effect was larger in the incentive condition than that in the non-incentive condition. In Experiments 2a and 2b, participants were asked to discriminate the orientation of a target while a salient distractor was presented in the search array. In contrast to Experiment 1, results from Experiment 2b revealed LAI effect in the non-incentive condition, but not in the incentive condition. In addition, shorter reaction times and higher response accuracy were observed in the incentive condition than in the non-incentive condition at any target-distractor separations. These results suggested that reward expectation regulates the LAI effect according to the task set, with improved attentional concentration on task-relevant objects and enhanced inhibition to task-irrelevant ones, although this may intensify local competition when two critical objects are both targets.

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    The Storage Mechanism of Multi-feature Objects in Visual Working Memory
    LI Cuihong, HE Xu, GUO Chunyan
    2015, 47 (6):  734-745.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00734
    Abstract ( 901 )   PDF (766KB) ( 61 )  

    Visual working memory (VWM)is a temporary buffer that maintains a limited set of items (i.e., 3-4 objects) in an “online” state. Luck and Vogel (1997) demonstrated that the capacity was limited by the number of the integrated objects, but not by the number of the individual features. However, with the conjunction of homogenous features served as memory materials, follow-up studies showed that the subjects could retain fewer items than single-feature objects. Some researchers considered that the lower accuracy for conjunction of homogenous features may result from the difference of precision requirement, which was manipulated by the similarity between sample and test array. However, some experiment results showed that higher precision could only affect the accuracy of change detection task, but not the capacity. In present study, we carried out two experiments using change detection paradigm to examine the storage mechanism of multi-feature objects in VWM. In experiment 1, multi-feature and single-feature objects were defined by double-color objects and single-color objects, respectively. To manipulate the precision requirement, we further divide double-color objects into two conditions, that is, a single-change condition in which only one of the two colors changed (high-precision), and a double-change condition in which both colors changed (low-precision). In experiment 2, we focused on the single-change condition, and investigated the units of storage in VWM by manipulating weather there was an arrow indicating the changed color in the test phase. The result would further explain whether the storage mechanism of multi-feature objects is in an integrated manner or in an individual features manner. In experiment 1, we first compared the results of double-color objects and single-color objects to assess the influence of the feature number on the allocation of VWM capacity. Behavioral results showed that double-color objects were responded less accurately than single-color objects. The ERPs results showed that the amplitude of CDA for double-color objects was significantly higher than for single-color objects. Second, we compared the double-change condition and single-change condition to explore the effect of precision requirement. Lower accuracy was found for the single-change condition. CDA amplitudes did not differ between the two conditions. Instead, the amplitude of LPC for the single-change condition was more positive than for the double-change condition. In experiment 2, the accuracy was not modulated by weather there was an arrow or not. These results reveal that the number of features, but not the precision requirement, has an effect on the allocation of VWM capacity. And the units that limit our VWM capacity are the integrated objects instead of the individual features.

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    An ERP Study of Advantage Effect Differences on Task Switching in Proficient and Non-proficient Bilinguals
    JIANG Songxiu, LI Jie, LIU Xingyu, QI Shisan, YANG Yisheng
    2015, 47 (6):  746-756.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00746
    Abstract ( 1073 )   PDF (840KB) ( 124 )  

    Bilinguals have shown an advantage over monolinguals in cognitive functioning. Likely due to their experience of language switching, bilinguals tend to perform better in task switching. Support for such an advantage effect has been obtained by using the task-cueing paradigm. The paradigm, however, may confuse cue-change with task-change. Therefore researchers have developed a modified task-switching paradigm with a 2:1 mapping between cues and tasks. Using this modified paradigm, the present research investigates brain functioning of proficient and non-proficient bilinguals in task switching, and explores whether endogenous preparation accounts for the bilingual advantage in task switching. Two experiments were reported in the current paper. In a behavioral experiment, by using a task-switching paradigm with a 2:1 mapping between cues and tasks, we explored whether proficient bilinguals who constantly switch between two languages in daily life would show advantage over non-proficient bilinguals due to the endogenous preparation of task switching. This experiment, conducted with E-prime, included 30 proficient bilingual and 30 non-proficient bilingual university students. In an ERP experiment involving 11 proficient bilinguals and 11 non-proficient bilinguals, we examined brain activities by observing the wave of D-Pos, as an index of endogenous preparation. The data collection and analyses were conducted with Vision recorder and analyzer Software produced by Brain Products corporation. The experiments found that the reaction time was faster for proficient bilinguals than for non-proficient bilinguals in both task-change and task-repeat sequences, when the cue-stimulus interval was 250 ms, the reaction time and the switching costs were smaller for proficient bilinguals than for non-proficient bilinguals. Most importantly, we observed stronger RISC (Reduction In Switch Cost) effects among proficient bilinguals than among non-proficient bilinguals when the time interval was from 0ms to 250ms. Used event-related potential, we carried out a further study on time-course features of endogenous preparation with D-Pos as the index. According to the analysis of cue-locked D-Pos component, non-proficient bilinguals presented a more positive component than the proficient bilinguals. We conclude that the experience of using two languages in proficient bilingual improves cognition processing in general, and enhances executive functioning in particular.

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    The Cultural Differences of Imam-reference Processing: Based on the Retrieval-induce Forgetting Paradigm Discussed
    ZHOU Aibao; ZHAN Fen; MA Xiaofeng; LI Jiansheng; XIA Ruixue
    2015, 47 (6):  757-764.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00757
    Abstract ( 910 )  

    Self-referential encoding affects retrieval-induced forgetting (RIF). However, little research has been conducted to explore whether it can be generalized to different culture and religion contexts, especially whether significant others in real world are involved in self-concept in religion. The present research used retrieval-induced forgetting paradigm to investigate the regional cognition in the references (self, imam, others) by ethnicity (Han vs. Hui). Participants included 99 Hui college students (53 males and 46 females; ranging from 17 to 31 years old; average age = 20.08) from Muslim communities and 90 Han college students (including 31males, 59 females; ranging from 18 to 26 years old; average age = 21.63). Before the experiment began, the Muslim participants were asked to indicate their religion beliefs. And only those who have religion belief took part in. For the Han participants, only those who did not believe in any religion were included in the experiments. Hui subjects were divided into different conditions by self, imam and others. Han subjects were also divided into the three conditions. The results showed that RIF was observed neither under the self-referential encoding nor under the imam-referential encoding in hui culture contexts. While for Han participants, RIF was observed in the imam-referential and the other-referential but not in the self-referential. These suggest that self-referential effect has a cross-cultural generalizability. The imam as an important others to Muslim can be integrated in Hui’s self-concept and therefore lead to imam-referential effect in retrieval-induced forgetting.

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    Brain Correlates underlying Social Creative Thinking: EEG Alpha Activity in Trait vs. State Creativity
    GU Chuanhua, WANG Yali, WU Caifu, XIE Xianglong, CUI Chengzhu, WANG Yaxian, WANG Wanzhen, HU Biying, ZHOU Zongkui
    2015, 47 (6):  765-773.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00765
    Abstract ( 1083 )   PDF (374KB) ( 196 )  

    Creativity is commonly defined as the ability to simultaneously produce novel (original, unique) and useful work within a social context. Social creativity, as a new domain of creativity, is observed when one proposes and solves social problem in the original, appropriate and effective ways. Creativity can be studied from the perspective of state and trait, as many psychologists have studied the psychological variables such as anxiety and self-esteem. With the fast development of neuroscience, research on the brain mechanism of creativity has recently attracted great attention in psychology. Most EEG studies about creativity focused on the alpha activity in the process of creative idea generation. In current study we examined brain mechanisms of social creativity from the perspective of state and trait by recording the EEG of 38 college participants in the social problem scene. We measured participants’ state social creativity using the Questionnaire of Social Creativity for College Students and their trait social creativity using open-ended questionnaire of social problems. The repeated measures ANOVA design in the lower and upper alpha frequency band was used, with state social creativity (high vs. low), hemisphere (left vs. right), and area (prefrontal, frontal, central, parietal, temporal, occipital) as the within-subject factors, and with trait social creativity (high vs. low) as between-subject factor. We found the alpha synchronization in the process of creative social problem solving. A significant main effect of state social creativity was observed on the upper alpha band and the lower alpha band, suggesting that high state social creativity showed a lower alpha synchronization as compared with the low state social creativity. The main effect of hemisphere, area, and the level of trait social creativity failed to reach statistical significance. Moreover, there was the interaction of trait creativity with state creativity, and when presenting high state social creativity, individuals of high trait social creativity showed higher alpha synchronization than their counterparts. However, when they presented low state social creativity, no significant difference was found in alpha synchronization between individuals of high trait social creativity and their counterparts. Furthermore, the interaction between state social creativity and trait social creativity was moderated by the hemisphere. For individuals of low trait social creativity, when manifesting high state social creativity, the alpha synchronization on the right hemisphere was stronger than that on the left hemisphere. However, when manifesting low state social creativity, no significant difference was found between right hemisphere and left hemisphere. For those with high trait social creativity, whenever they presented high or low state social creativity, no significant difference in upper frequency band alpha synchronization was found between left hemisphere and right hemisphere. Similarly, with regard to the lower alpha band, the main effects of state social creativity and the interaction between the state social and trait social creativity were observed, while main effects of other factors failed to reach statistical significance. The simple effect analysis of the interaction indicated the same result as the upper band alpha. Besides, we failed to find the main effect of the brain areas or their interactions with other variables. For future studies, we recommend applying time-course analysis (Schwab, Benedek, Papousek, Weiss, & Fink, 2014) for classifying the cognitive phrases during participants’ creative social problem solving while investigating their EEG. Moreover, we recommend applying longitudinal designs and neuroimaging techniques, such as fMRI and NIR, to explore the brain mechanisms of social creativity from the perspective of trait and state.

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    Children’s Attention Detection to Snakes: Evidence from Eye Movements
    WANG Fuxing, LI Wenjing, YAN Zhiqiang, DUAN Zhaohui, LI Hui
    2015, 47 (6):  774-786.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00774
    Abstract ( 1281 )   PDF (637KB) ( 127 )  

    Previous research shows that preschool children detect snakes quickly than non-threating stimuli (e.g. flowers). In this study, we used eye tracking technology to provide direct evidences about the superior detection about threat-relevant stimuli. Two experiments were designed to testify whether the snakes would be fixated faster and quickly by preschool children and adults. In addition, we also used line drawing snakes and flowers as stimuli to control the shape of snakes and to testify the perceptual template hypothesis. In experiment 1, sixteen 4- to 6-year-old preschool children and 22 undergraduates were recruited as participants. A revised 3 × 3 matrices of color photographs of threat-relevant (snakes) and threat-irrelevant (flowers) stimuli were presented to both preschool children and adults. All participants were asked to find the threat target (snake) among seven non-threat distractors (flowers) and vice versa. Sixteen matrices with 8 pictures (1 target and 7 distractors) were presented to the participants. We changed the standard visual search task that did not present stimuli in the middle of the 3 × 3 matrices to control the central location effect and make the procedure appropriate for eye tracking calibration. It’s a 2 (age: children, adults)× 2 (target: snake, flower) mixed design, and age was the between subject variable. In experiment 2, we improved the stimuli with line drawings to pop out the continuous curvilinear contour of snakes. The design, presentation method was the same as experiment 1. In two experiments, Tobii T120 Eye tracker was used to record the viewing behaviors of adults and children. The results of experiment 1 indicated that both the preschool children and adults fixated snakes faster and with less fixation counts than flowers, and their first fixation duration was shorter on snakes than flowers. Adults performed faster fixation, much less fixation counts than children. As distractors (flower was target), snakes were also fixated quickly than flowers (snake was target). In experiment 2, the same results were found that both children and adults located line drawing snakes quicker than line drawing flowers. And the first fixation duration to snakes were much shorter than flowers. Adults still fixated faster than children. For the snakes as distractors, we found the same results as experiment 1. Compared to the fixations of the line drawing snakes without color and pattern in experiment 2, real and colorful snakes in experiment 1 were fixated faster. The real and colorful snakes were detected faster and with less fixation counts before they were located as distractors. In conclusion, even preschool children who have little snake experience also show faster attention orienting and shorter attention holding. Based on the eye movements evidences, the continuous curvilinear shape plays an important role in the snake relevant threat detection. The eye fixations of line drawing snakes provide direct evidence to the perceptual template theory. To be a special reptile, the color, patterns can boost the quick detection.

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    Development of Young Adolescents' Self-esteem and Influencing Factors: A Longitudinal Analysis
    PAN Yingqiu
    2015, 47 (6):  787-796.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00787
    Abstract ( 2357 )  

    The concept of “contingent self-esteem” emphasizes that self-esteem derives from living up to external standards, such as interpersonal expectations and achievement in a perceived important field. The concept of “true self-esteem” argues that self-esteem derives from the satisfaction of fundamental human needs, such as autonomy and relatedness. To understand how external factors and internal needs work together and shape the development of self-esteem among Chinese young adolescents, a three-year longitudinal study was conducted to investigate the role of external factors, including adolescents’ perceived parent-child relationship, teacher- student relationship, and academic pressure, and the internal need of cognitive autonomy in the development of adolescents’ self-esteem. A total of 321 seventh-grade adolescents were recruited from three public middle schools and participated in the study. 258 adolescents (128 females and 130 males) participated in three consecutive years..The average age for the adolescents was 13.26 years (SD = 0.55). Sample attrition was primarily because students were not available at the time when the questionnaires were administered. To check whether the attrition was selective and affected the results, mean differences in adolescents’ perceived parent-child relationship, teacher-student relationship, academic pressure, cognitive autonomy, and self-esteem were examined between the attrition sample and the longitudinal sample. No significant differences were found. Participants who attended all the three waves of data collection were included in the further data analysis. Repeated Measures Analysis of Variance was used to examine the developmental patterns of independent variables of adolescents’ perceived parent-child relationship, teacher-student relationship, academic pressure, cognitive autonomy, and the dependent variable of self-esteem. Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) was used to analyze the prediction of independent variables (e.g., perceived parent-child relationship) to the dependent variable of self-esteem. Results showed that adolescents’ perceived parent-child relationship and academic pressure were overall stable across the three years of middle school and showed a positive and negative prediction to the development of self-esteem, respectively. Adolescents’ perceived teacher-student relationship declined with grade and had no impact on the development of self-esteem. Adolescents’ self-esteem and cognitive autonomy significantly increased with grade and cognitive autonomy had a significant and positive prediction to the development of self-esteem. No gender difference was found in the development of self-esteem. The findings of the present study provided empirical support for both the concept of “contingent self-esteem” and “true self-esteem”. Self-esteem is not only contingent on the external factors of adolescents’ perceived parent-child relationship and academic pressure but also dependent on satisfactions of internal psychological needs, such as cognitive autonomy. Specifically, the internal need of cognitive autonomy stabilizes and promotes the development of young adolescents’ self-esteem while the external factors of adolescents’ perceived parent-child relationship and academic pressure play a role of facilitator and inhibitor in the process, respectively.

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    The Regulation Effect of Antecedent View on Emotional Contagion: With Examples of Teaching Activities
    ZHANG Qiyong; LU Jiamei
    2015, 47 (6):  797-806.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00797
    Abstract ( 1185 )  

    Past research on conscious emotional contagion has implied that emotional contagion can be regulated by subsequent perception, which can be retrieved by unconsciousness. Similarly, can emotional contagion be regulated by antecedent view or not? That is, perception exists before emotional contagion and regulates the final effect of emotional contagion. In the research, the experiment condition was classroom activities. We adopted within-subjects design. We guided students to set up two antecedent views through pre-experimental instruction: authoritative teacher and novice teacher, and then we played three kinds of videos to students, namely neutral emotional, positive emotional, and negative emotional teaching videos. The students’ physiological data were recorded by eight-channel biofeedback instrument when students watched videos. After the experiment, each student was required to finish a questionnaire, i.e., the evaluation scale of teaching’s emotional contagion in class (for students). The experimental results demonstrated that students could maintain a high level of attention and could not transfer when they were watching the authoritative teacher’s videos. As a result, students’ high level of attention improved the effect of authoritative teacher’s positive emotional contagion, i.e., munity regulation, for it was connected with the more attention that students paid to the authoritative teacher. Students’ maintained a low level of attention while watching the novice teacher’s videos, therefore, the effect of novice teacher’s positive emotional contagion was less than that of authoritative teacher’s. we name this is immunity regulation. Students’ attention was lower under exposure to the novice teacher’s negative emotion than to that of the authoritative teacher’s. Students always pay high-powered attention to the authoritative teacher no matter what emotion the authoritative teacher appeared. In other words emotional contagion was modulated by the focus of attention. The novice teacher had a stronger negative emotional (i.e., burnout) contagion than the authoritative teacher, which was due to students’ rationalization to the authoritative teacher’s negative emotion, thus immunizing the authoritative teacher’s negative emotion. Furthermore, Surveying with a questionnaire the evaluation scale of teaching’s emotional contagion in class, we gained an important result that students made more positive evaluations of the authoritative teacher than that of the novice teacher regardless of watching both teachers’ neutral, positive, or negative teaching videos. As shown in Table 9, there existed significant differences between the evaluation to the authoritative teacher and that to the novice teacher (p < 0.01). Thus, when individuals felt a certain emotion (e.g., joy), memories and judgments consistent with that emotion were stimulated. When applied to teacher-student relationship, this conclusion suggested that when a teacher expresses positive emotions, students would feel more positive (through mood contagion), and be more likely to make more positive evaluations to the teacher. It is especially true of the authoritative teacher, because students’ positive antecedent view to the authoritative teacher improved their evaluations to him. For the novice teacher, students’ negative antecedent view lowered their evaluations. These results indicated that student’s antecedent view could regulate teacher’s effect of EC. A teacher’s effect of EC was weakened when students could not reasonably explain the cause of his/her emotional expression. When students perceived the authoritative teacher's emotional display as a need for teaching, it could maintain students’ high evaluations to him/her. Therefore the authoritative teacher’s negative emotional contagion was less likely to occur. However, students would interpret the novice teacher’s negative emotional display as incompetence, thus his/her negative emotional contagion was more likely to take place. Hence, two conclusions could be drawn: (1) there are two methods of antecedent view regulating emotional contagion: concentration and rationalization. (2) there exist two results of antecedent view regulating emotional contagion: munity and immunity.

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    The Motivational Hierarchy between Self and Mother: Evidence from the Feedback-related Negativity
    ZHU Xiangru, ZHANG Yan, YANG Suyong, WU Haiyan, WANG Lili, GU Ruolei
    2015, 47 (6):  807-813.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00807
    Abstract ( 848 )   PDF (347KB) ( 110 )  

    Self not only represents individual distinctiveness, but also internalizes and integrates with closed others, such as mother. The importance of closed others for self conception is shaped by culture difference, which could be reflected on the neural level. For instance, previous studies on Western people have observed significant difference in the activation of medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) between the judgment of self and that of mother, which is a region involved in self-relevant processing. In contrast, for East Asians, there is a shared neural representation between self and mother in Chinese people. However, it remains unknown whether self and mother have the same motivational hierarchy among East Asians. Eighteen college students (22.1 ± 0.8 years of age, ranged 20~24, 10 males) participated in this study. Informed consent was obtained prior to the experiment. All had normal vision (with correction), and none had a history of neurological disease or brain injury. All of them were right-handed. The subjects were paid for their participation. The subjects were asked to finish the simple gambling task. Each trial started with a 3000 ms presentation of the a notice about the beneficiary of the ongoing bet (i.e. either ‘for yourself’, ‘for your mother’ or ‘for stranger’). The subjects were told that the stranger was someone selected from the subject pool. Each participant was paid 20 Chinese yuan for their participation. In the gambling task, there was a separate account for each beneficiary. Based on the gained points for each beneficiary, the final revenue or losses were added to the separate account. Finally, the money were put on the mother's or stranger's cell phone. The current findings replicated the well-established ERP pattern that losses evoked a larger FRN than gain in the gambling task. Also, the FRN amplitude was sensitive to the beneficiary factor. That is, the FRN was larger when the subjects made choices on behalf of themselves and their mothers than for strangers, but there was no significant difference between self and mother conditions. These ERP results provided evidence that self and mother share the same motivational hierarchy in Chinese brain.

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    Routines in Three-Person Problem Solving: Measurement and the Effect of Different Collaborative Level
    ZHANG Mei; XIN Ziqiang; LIN Chongde
    2015, 47 (6):  814-825.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00814
    Abstract ( 939 )  

    Routines are some kind of patterned behaviors or strategies when solving the same problem repeatedly. This issue has gained wide concern in different fields of social science. Since 1994, this phenomenon has been studied experimentally by Cohen and Bacdayan (1994) using the task of Transform The Target (TTT). However, this task has not gained as much attention as Tower of Hanoi in problem solving because of its complexity and uncontrollability. Searching for appropriate experimental task of routines is necessary. The “sum 10” game, which was developed by Novarese (2003) for group learning research is one of the appropriate. Based on the sum 10 game, the purpose of this research was to: (1) verify and depict the phenomenon of routines in three-person problem solving, and develop the index of routinization; (2) investigate the effect of different cooperation levels on routinization. According to the requirements of the study purpose, two electronic programs were developed based on a software development technology called LAMP, which is the combination of software Linux, Apache, Mysql and PHP for building network platform. In Experiment 1, 93 undergraduates were randomly assigned into 31 groups to complete 28 rounds of the sum 10 game cooperatively. After the experiment, we interviewed all these 93 participants to learn about the process of the cooperation in the sum 10 game among the three group members. In Experiment 2, 96 undergraduates were randomly assigned to three treatment levels: full cooperation, conditional cooperation and noncooperation levels. Participants completed 28 round of the sum 10 game with two fake participants in three game rooms on the internet platform. Computer automatically recorded all performance of the participants in two experiments. The results of Experiment 1 showed that the phenomenon of routines existed obviously in the sum 10 game. Routines were confirmed and measured by two methods. Firstly, it can be confirmed and described by the following 7 indexes in three categories (behavior, cognition and emotion): increasing reliability, increasing speed, repeated action sequences, occasional suboptimality, patterned behaviors based on defined strategy, satisfaction and expectation. Secondly, routines were verified according to whether a number has been chosen more than 10 times at the individual level or whether a strategy has been chosen more than 11 times at the group level. Correspondingly, routinization could also be depicted at the individual and group level. The results of Experiment 2 showed that there were significant differences of the routinization under three different cooperation levels. The degree of routinization was the highest under the noncooperation condition, whereas it was the lowest under the full cooperation condition. Combined with previous research results, the present study constructed a new index system for routines and routinization, which could be applied to future studies. The effect of cooperation levels on routinzation indicated that routines have positive effects in problem solving, providing new ideas to investigate routine and routinization in such problem solving groups.

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    The Effect of Workplace Ostracism on Proactive Behavior: The Self-Verification Theory Perspective
    LIU Xiaoyu; LIU Jun; HUI Chun; WU Rongrong
    2015, 47 (6):  826-836.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00826
    Abstract ( 2007 )  

    Employee proactive behavior and workplace ostracism have received increasing attention nowadays. Extant studies which have empirically tested the relationship between workplace ostracism and employee in-role behavior (e.g., job performance) or extra-role behavior (e.g., contextual performance and organizational citizenship behavior) mostly based on social exchange or social identity theory. Few studies have investigated the relation between workplace ostracism and employee proactive behavior. Drawing on the self-verification theory perspective, the present study aimed to examine the influence mechanism of workplace ostracism on employee proactive behavior, especially the mediating role of organization-based self-esteem and the moderating role of neuroticism. The participants of this study were 403 employee-supervisor dyads from three large engineering machinery manufacturing enterprises in Fujian province. Three waves of data collection with two-month intervals were conducted to reduce the potential common method bias. In the first-wave survey (T1), employees reported their neuroticism, conscientiousness, perceived workplace ostracism and demographic variables. In the second-wave survey (T2), employees who had completed first wave questionnaires were surveyed again and were required to rate their organizational-based self-esteem. In the third wave survey (T3), employees’ supervisors were surveyed in order to obtain the employees’ proactive behaviors. The final sample was 403 employee-supervisor dyads with a response rate of 49.75%. We conducted hierarchical regression modeling to test the hypotheses. Results showed that workplace ostracism was negatively related to organization-based self-esteem; organization-based self-esteem was positively related to employees’ proactive behavior; workplace ostracism was negatively related to employees’ proactive behavior and organization-based self-esteem fully mediated the relation between workplace ostracism and proactive behavior; neuroticism strengthened the relation between workplace ostracism and organization-based self-esteem, such that the higher the level of employee’s neuroticism, the stronger the negative relation between workplace ostracism and organization-based self-esteem. This study offers following major contributions. First, this study fills in the gap of the research on the relation between workplace ostracism and employee proactive behaviors, investigates the influence mechanism of workplace ostracism on employee proactive behavior and broadens the research on the antecedents of employee proactive behavior. Second, previous research often explored the effects of workplace ostracism on employee attitude and behavior from the social exchange theory or social identity theory perspective, this study explores the influence mechanism of workplace ostracism on employee proactive behavior based on self- verification theory, which broadens the research perspectives of the influence mechanism of workplace ostracism. Third, this study combines the moderating role of neuroticism and the mediating role of organizational-based self-esteem to explore the influence mechanism of workplace ostracism on employee proactive behavior, thus it contributes to understanding the black box between workplace ostracism and employee proactive behavior.

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