ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    25 February 2018, Volume 50 Issue 2 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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     The mechanisms of contextual cuing effect based on objects’ topological properties
    MA Jie, DOU Haoran, ZHUANG Qian, YIN Dongxue, LEI Ming, GAO Chao, ZHANG Yin, LIU Qiang, ZHAO Guang
    2018, 50 (2):  143-157.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00143
    Abstract ( 2134 )   PDF (782KB) ( 77 )  
     When the associations among objects in the scene tend to remain unchanged as the time progressed, the repeated associations would guide attention to the target’s location more efficiently compared with the new context that changed across blocks, which is known as the contextual cuing effect. Though the process of the spatial layout has been widely interpreted, some studies that has investigated the role of object’s identities in contextual cuing effect were limited to the Euclidean property. The topological property, one of the most important objects’ identities referring to visual perception, was largely neglected. In this study, we aimed to manipulate configurations with topological property, Euclidean property, combined property as well as random configurations to test whether the predictability of the target associated with the topological property has the superiority relative to the Euclidean property. In Experiment one, a classic contextual cuing task was performed. Four types of configurations were randomly presented in the experiment. Experiment two was divided into two sessions, the studying session and the testing session. In the studying session, 24 configurations were repeated throughout the entire session, which was used to develop the learning effect. In the testing session, the previous 24 configurations were transformed into three groups, the topological repeated configurations, the Euclidean repeated configurations and the combined configurations. Meanwhile, eight random configurations were introduced as the baseline to measure the contextual cuing effect. In Experiment three, after the regularities of contexts had been learned, the topological properties of the target (experiment 3a) or distractors (experiment 3b) had been changed respectively. We explore whether topological changed configurations could capture attention by generating “new object” or lift the bound between topological regularities of the context and corresponding spatial layouts. In Experiment one, the main effects and the interaction between configuration and epoch were significant, indicating that all the three different repeated configurations obtained a remarkable contextual cuing effect. Further analysis showed that the reaction time in topological repeated configuration was faster than that in the random configuration in the 1st epoch, while the Euclidean repeated configuration had faster RTs than the random configuration from the 2nd epoch. In Experiment two, only the main effect of epoch was significant for the studying session, revealing an obvious learning effect. After configurations transformed, compared to the matched configurations in the learning session, RTs in both the topological repeated configuration and the Euclidean repeated configuration were significantly increased. Furthermore, the RTs of the topological repeated configuration were faster than the random configuration, while the RTs of the Euclidean repeated configuration were slower than the random configuration. The results demonstrated that the object’s property played an important role in contextual cuing effect, and the stability of topological-target associations made a greater contribution than Euclidean-target associations did in maintaining the contextual cuing effect. In Experiment three, both sub-experiments showed a significant learning effect in the studying session. For the testing session of Experiment 3a, the reaction time was not affected when the topological property of the target has changed. However, the accuracy of the topological changed configuration was significantly decreased than the topological repeated configuration of the Experiment 3b. Thus, Experiment three clarified the increased reaction time in the Euclidean repeated configuration, suggesting that contextual regularities of topological properties were bound to corresponding spatial layout. When topological regularities distorted, the "contextual confusion" came forth and made participants unable to utilize the context to guide attention to the target location effectively. For the first time, we have verified that the associations between objects’ topological property and the target could produce behavioral benefit than the Euclidean associations do. The association could probably be regarded as an informative cue to guide attention to the target location more efficiently. Nevertheless, the predictability of topological configuration takes priorities over Euclidean configuration during the learning course, and the association between objects’ topological property and the target has a more important significance in maintaining the contextual cuing effect.
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     The primary visual cortex modulates attention oscillation
    CHEN Airui, WANG Aijun, WANG Tianqi, TANG Xiaoyu, ZHANG Ming
    2018, 50 (2):  158-167.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00158
    Abstract ( 1971 )   PDF (461KB) ( 126 )  
     It has been well documented that the spotlight of attention is intrinsically rhythmic, which discretely samples a single or multiple objects. Adopting high resolution behavioral approach, attention oscillation has been revealed. However, neural mechanism of attention oscillation remains poorly understood. In the present study, basing on functional anatomy of the primary visual cortex, we aimed to investigate the role of primary visual cortex (V1) in attention oscillation, by using a modified high temporal resolution cue-target paradigm in a 4AFC task. In the present study, behavioral oscillations in visual attention under ordinary (binocular; not dichoptic) viewing condition (exp. 1) and binocular dichoptic (exp. 2) condition were examined. In experiment 1, 16 paid participants were asked to detect target at either the previously cued (valid condition) or uncued location (invalid condition). The cue-target SOA varied from 0.1 s to 1.08 s in steps of 20 ms. Performances were evaluated in a 4AFC task. If they saw target, they were instructed to judge the location of the target (1 for target on the upper left; 2 for upper right; 4 for lower left; 5 for lower right) on the keypad. While, 16 paid participants were recruited to detect target at either cued or uncued locations under binocular dichoptic condition. Target could occur in the same or different eye of cue stimuli. Amplitude of target contrast decrement was determined with QUEST procedure before cue-target experiment. Except that no cue stimuli were presented, threshold procedure was identical to the cue-target experiment procedure. Results showed that when grating locations were presented under ordinary viewing condition, a theta rhythm was visible. While targets were presented in the same or different eye under binocular dichoptic condition, attention oscillation was clearly seen at 12.5 Hz with antiphase relationship between cued and uncued conditions. The findings under ordinary viewing condition are in general consistent with previous studies. While, under binocular dichoptic condition, attention oscillation increased to a higher frequency. This study indicates that attention oscillation may occur at or beyond primary visual cortex where binocular integration begins.
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     The adaptation to Kanizsa-type illusory contours
    ZHANG Xiuling, HOU Yanan, ZHANG Fuxu, MEI Songli, KANG Jingmei
    2018, 50 (2):  168-175.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00168
    Abstract ( 2564 )   PDF (482KB) ( 100 )  
     One grouping principle of visual perception is to integrate spatially separated and partially occluded local parts into whole object representations. For example, in the processing of Kanizsa-type illusory contours (ICs), a subjective shape contour is perceived despite the inducers being isolated. The shape discrimination of the Kanizsa illusory contours depends on feedback signals in the brain. Thus, investigations of the adaptation to Kanizsa illusory contours can help us understand the temporal properties of top-down signals in the visual system. In the present study, four experiments were conducted to explore the adaptation to Kanizsa illusory contours. Participants adapted to +5° and −5° illusory contours in experiments 1a and 1b. In experiments 2a and 2b, in order to eliminate the possibility that the adaptation effect could be explained by the lines on the inducers, the inducer lines (experiment 2a) or the whole shape (experiment 2b) was used as the adapting images. For all of the experiments, illusory contours of varied degrees were used as test images. Subjects were instructed to respond as accurately and quickly as possible to the test images to judge whether they were fat or thin. When adapting to fat illusory contours, the participants tended to perceive the following tests as thin; on the contrary, when adapting to thin contours, they tended to perceive the test images as fat. These results showed significant adaption effect of Kanizsa contours. Further control experiments (2a and 2b) indicated that the adaptation effect was mainly caused by the illusory contour itself, rather than by the lines on the Pac-Man. These results revealed that adaptation effect existed in voluntary construction processes, indicating that the strength of feedback signals from higher-level visual cortex could become weak over time.
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     Storage mechanism of same-dimension features in visual working memory
    WANG Jing, XUE Chengbo, LIU Qiang
    2018, 50 (2):  176-185.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00176
    Abstract ( 1600 )   PDF (598KB) ( 88 )  
     Although visual working memory (VWM) has been studied for decades, the storage mechanism of VWM remains unclear. A strong object-based theory and a weak object-based theory have been proposed for the VWM storage mechanism. The arguments of these two theories focus on whether features from the same dimension can be integrated into the representation of objects stored in VWM. The strong object-based theory claimed that object was a unit of VWM, the capacity of which was not affected by the number of features. However, the recent studies have proved that weak object-based theory because the features from the same dimension (e.g., two colors) cannot be integrated simultaneously into the representation of objects in VWM, and the VWM capacity was constrained by the number of features. The aim of this paper is to explore whether features from the same dimension can be successfully integrated into a representation of objects stored in VWM. Based on the finding of previous study, we proposed that experimental paradigm and stimulus property might be the main factors that influence the integration of same-dimension information into a representation. Two experiments were conducted to test whether these two factors could affect the integration process respectively. Experiment 1 used a recall task to investigate whether experimental paradigm is a main factor to influence the integration of same-dimension features. The results show that, no matter which experimental paradigms, participants were unable to integrated the same-dimension features into a representation. These suggests that experimental paradigm is not a main factor for explaining the failure of the integration of same-dimension features into a representation stored in VWM. Experiment 2 was conducted to explore whether stimulus property could affect the integration of same-dimension features. Two types of stimulus were selected as experimental materials (e.g., meaningless and meaningful objects). We expected that, in meaningful object condition, participants would easily memorize two conjoint colors as one representation because of the integrated clues (the meaningful shapes); in contrast, participants were more likely to memorize the two features separately due to the absence of integrated clues. The results of Experiment 2 show that, the same-dimension features could not be integrated into one representation in both conditions (meaningful and meaningless objects). Thus, Experiment 2 suggests that the same-dimension features could not be integrated into a representation of objects stored in VWM, regardless of the integrated clues. The present study provides supporting evidences for the weak object-based theory by claiming that manipulation of variables such as experimental paradigm and stimulus property exerts no effect on the memorization of same- dimensional features.
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     The processing of negative sentences in different semantic context
    CHEN Guangyao, HE Xianyou, LIU Tao
    2018, 50 (2):  186-196.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00186
    Abstract ( 1780 )   PDF (1548KB) ( 79 )  
     Affirmation and negation are two main semantic and grammatical categories in any language. The propositional theory and experiential-simulations view were proposed to explain the processing mechanism of negative sentences. Both of their supporters have supplied plenty of empirical evidence, but neither of them can beat each other. Thus, the comprehensive theories, such as dual coding theory, LASS and symbolic interdependency hypothesis have been proposed to fill the gap. In the present study, we design two eye-tracking experiments to lend further support to comprehensive theories. In the two experiments, eye-tracking technical was adopted to explore the processing mechanism of negative sentences in different semantic contexts. In Experiment 1, the alternative choices (e.g., outspread arm) presented to the participants have close semantic connection with the negated events of the sentences (e.g., the arm isn’t crooked); In Experiment 2, the alternative choices (e.g., black skirt) presented to the participants have relatively weak semantic connection with the depicted negative events (e.g., the skirt isn’t blue). In summary, ‘blue-black’ has relatively weaker semantic connection than that of ‘outspread-crook’. In these two eye-tracking experiments, voice was used to present the negative sentence, and the corresponding pictures were presented at the moment of reading the words depicting the negated state (e.g., crook/blue). And the participants’ task was to choose which picture matched the sentence. The results demonstrated that, at the early stage of processing, there was no difference between the fixation probabilities to pictures depicting the negated state of affairs (crooked arm) and their alternative (outspread arm) in experiment 1 at time window 201~600 ms. In contrast, participants had higher fixation probabilities to pictures depicting the negated state of affairs (blue skirt) than that to pictures depicting the alternatives in experiment 2 at time window 401~600 ms. Then at the later stage, participants showed higher fixation probabilities to the pictures depicting alternatives to the pictures depicting the negated state of affairs from 601 ms in experiment 1 and 801ms in the experiment 2. Besides, the fixation probabilities to the pictures depicting the negated states were lower than the random level after 1001 ms in both of the two experiments. The results from the two experiments showed that, both propositional process and simulating process are necessary when processing negative sentences. Compared with processing negative sentence in weak semantic context, it’s easier for participants to get the actual state of event with the help of strong semantic context. In addition, participants will not keep the simulation of the negated state of event in his mind, which supports suppression hypothesis. In summary, the results support the symbolic interdependency hypothesis as well as suppression hypothesis.
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     Sex differences in fear generalization
    XU Liang, XIE Xiaoyuan, YAN Pei, LI Junjiao, ZHENG Xifu
    2018, 50 (2):  197-205.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00197
    Abstract ( 3576 )  
     Women are more susceptible to disorders of fear and anxiety than men, with the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) two-to three-fold higher in women. Whereas normal fear responses are triggered by trauma-associated cues, in disorders such as PTSD, fear is also elicited in neutral or safe cues. Hence, fear over-generalization has been put forward as a potential etiological factor of PTSD and other anxiety disorders. Therefore, in this study, we examined whether women show stronger fear generalization than men, and are there any differences between women and man in the extinction of fear generalization. The answers to such questions could provide a new perspective on the severe prevalence of anxiety disorders in women. Forty-five college students participated in this study. Three participants’ data were deleted for technical failure, leaving forty-two participants’ (Female: 22, Male: 20) data in analysis finally. The experiment consisted of two phases: acquisition, and generalization. 10 rings of gradually increasing size were served as conditioned stimuli (CS) and generalization stimuli (GS). The rings in the two extreme sizes were as the conditioned danger cue (CS+) and conditioned safety cue (CS−), respectively. The eight intermediately sized rings were served as four classes of generalization stimuli (i.e., GS1, GS2, GS3, and GS4), with GS4 being the most similar one to CS+ in size. A 500ms-electric stimulus served as unconditioned stimulus (US). CS+ was probably paired with US, while CS− and GS were unpaired with US. During the experiment, US online expectancy ratings and skin conductance responses (SCR) were recorded. The results showed that women had longer extinction duration of fear generalization than men, while there were no sex differences in generalization gradient. Such results were proved in the indexes of both online expectancy ratings and SCR. In the index of online expectancy ratings, both women and men generalized fear into GS3 and GS4. In the fear extinction of GS3, there were no sex difference and both genders extinguished generalized fear in Block3. As for GS4, women extinguished fear from Block5 while males were from Block3, which indicted that women need more time in generalization extinction. The conclusions above were also found in SCR. Both women and men transferred fear to GS4, but there had sex differences in the extinction of fear generalization. Men extinguished the fear of GS4 from Block3, while women were from Block4. The results of SCR also indicated that the women had longer extinction duration of fear generalization than men. The theory of behavioral inhibition was supported by this study, for the sex differences of fear generalization only occurring in generalization extinction but not generalization gradient. Given the role of fear generalization in anxiety disorders, our findings suggest that longer generalization extinction may contribute to the higher risk of anxiety disorders in women. Additionally, our findings also have potential value for treatments of anxiety disorders among women in clinical.
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     The developmental trajectories of oral vocabulary knowledge and its influential factors in Chinese primary school students
    CHENG Yahua, WU Xinchun, LIU Hongyun, LI Hong
    2018, 50 (2):  206-215.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00206
    Abstract ( 3626 )  
     The oral vocabulary knowledge is a crucial factor for language development and school success for children, and develops rapidly in childhood. The present study was aimed to extend our current understanding of oral vocabulary knowledge development, at first by examining its growth from grades 1 to 3. Based on such findings, further question was asked about how to explain the individual differences in the growth rate of oral vocabulary acquisition. Therefore, the current research also investigated the additive effects of family socioeconomic status (SES), children’s phonological awareness, homograph awareness and compounding awareness on initial levels and growth rate in oral vocabulary knowledge. Participants were 149 children in grade one, who were followed up for three years from grade one entering to grade three. They were assessed on phonological awareness, homograph awareness, and compounding awareness at Time 1, oral vocabulary knowledge from Time 1 to Time 5. Family socioeconomic status was obtained from parents of these children. Latent growth modeling was conducted to examine: (1) children’s initial levels and growth rate in oral vocabulary knowledge over time; and (2) the predictive effects of family SES, phonological awareness, homograph awareness, and compounding awareness on both initial levels and growth rate in oral vocabulary knowledge. Unconditional latent growth modeling analyses revealed that children’s oral vocabulary knowledge increased in a non-linear trajectory during the follow-up period. In specific, (1) children showed individual differences in the initial levels and growth rate in oral vocabulary knowledge. (2) the initial level of oral vocabulary knowledge was not related to later growth rate. Conditional latent growth modeling was examined with family SES, phonological awareness, homograph awareness, and compounding awareness as time-invariant predictors on both initial levels and growth rate in oral vocabulary knowledge. It was found that (1) children who have higher level of phonological awareness, homograph awareness, and compounding awareness had higher initial levels of oral vocabulary knowledge than others did (β = 0.15, p < 0.05; β = 0.28, p < 0.001; β = 0.20, p < 0.05, respectively); (2) Family SES significantly predicted the initial levels of oral vocabulary knowledge (β = 0.35, p < 0.001); (3) Growth rate in oral vocabulary knowledge was predicted significantly by family SES (β = 0.26, p < 0.05) and children’s homograph awareness (β = 0.30, p < 0.01), respectively. The present findings have an important role in elucidating developmental changes of children’s oral vocabulary knowledge. It also highlights the predictive role of family SES, phonological awareness, homograph awareness, and compounding awareness in oral vocabulary development. More importantly, in the consideration of our findings that family SES and homograph awareness at Time 1 could predict growth rate in children’s oral vocabulary knowledge from T1 to T5. To improve the oral vocabulary knowledge for children, teachers need to pay special attention to children’s homograph awareness.
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     Being a prototypic follower: Burdening or enabling? The paradoxical effect of followership prototype-trait match
    PENG Jian, WANG Zhen
    2018, 50 (2):  216-225.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00216
    Abstract ( 3402 )  
     In recent years, a novel research topic, implicit followership theories, has infused the organizational behavior literature with new vitality. Implicit followership theories refer to the pre-existing personal assumptions about the traits that characterize a follower. Based on the valence of assumed follower traits, implicit followership theories are classified into two types, namely followership prototype and anti-prototype. In the leader-follower interaction process, leaders’ followership prototypes can usually be activated, which in turn may compete with the followers’ actual trait. In line with the results of implicit prototype-actual trait comparison, leaders will identify the ideal followers. According to the traditional viewpoints on implicit followership theories, prototypic followers whose actual traits match their leaders’ followership prototype may experience a high level of well-being in the workplace. However, some scholars recently point out the potential dark side of being a prototypic follower, namely, the suffering of psychological fatigue. Based on the job demand-resource model, the present study aimed to reconcile the contradictory viewpoints mentioned above by proposing a dual process model wherein the congruence between leaders’ followership prototype and followers’ followership trait migh have a paradoxical effect on followers’ well-being. Specifically, the present study hypothesized that beyond an enabling process of followership prototype-trait congruence (represented by the positive mediating effect of self-efficacy), there would be a burdening process (represented by the negative mediating effect of workload). To test our hypotheses, the current study conducted a multi-wave, multi-resource survey. At Time 1, we sent surveys to 204 voluntary leader-follower dyads, requiring leaders and followers to report their followership prototype and demography information. We obtained 171 surveys with effective responses. About two months later, we conducted the Time 2 survey, requiring leaders to rate their perceived workload of the focal followers and requiring followers to rate their self-efficacy, emotional exhaust, affective organizational commitment and job satisfaction. Eventually, we obtained 132 effective respondents. Based on the two-wave data, we conducted path analysis using Mplus 7.0. The results overall supported the contrasting notions, suggesting that followership prototype-trait match could enhance followers’ self-efficacy and consequently well-being (i.e., high job satisfaction), while at the same time increased followers’ workload, which in turn diminished followers’ well-being (i.e., high emotional exhaust, low job satisfaction and affective commitment). These findings not only advance our understanding of the relationship between implicit followership theories and well-being, but also provide further inspiration for managerial practice.
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     Effects of post thematic characteristics on knowledge sharing in the virtual community: The bystander effect perspective
    HUANG Feng, DING Qian, WEI Hua, HONG Jianzhong
    2018, 50 (2):  226-234.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00226
    Abstract ( 2339 )  
     One of the major challenges in fostering a virtual community is the supply of knowledge, more specifically, the willingness and behavior to share knowledge with other members. Most virtual communities exhibited the participation inequality phenomenon that 90% of users were lurkers who never contributed, 9% contributed a little, and 1% contributed most of the messages (Nielsen, 2006). The bystander effect — the influence of the lurkers on other virtual community users’ knowledge sharing behavior, however, is very common but under-investigated. We proposed that the bystander effect would hinder knowledge sharing in virtual communities. Moreover, it was hypothesized that the bystander effect would decrease when the level of emergency and concreteness of posts thematic in virtual communities increased. Three situational experiments were conducted to examine the hypotheses. Experiment 1 studied the bystander effect on knowledge sharing in virtual communities using a one-factor between-subjects design. One-hundred twenty-one university students participated in the experiment. Experiment 2 examined the moderation effect of the emergency of posts thematic. A total of 177 university students participated in an experiment with a 2 (Number of bystanders: 1 vs. 54) × 2 (Emergency level of posts thematic: urgent vs. not urgent) between-subjects design. Experiment 3 examined the moderation effect of the concreteness of posts thematic. A total of 136 university students participated in an experiment with a 2 (Number of bystanders: 1 vs. 54) × 2 (Concreteness level of posts thematic: concrete vs. not concrete) between-subjects design. The results of these three experiments provided support for our hypothesis: (1) There was a bystander effect in the virtual community knowledge sharing: participants in the fewer-bystander (0 or 1) condition shared more knowledge in the virtual community than the more-bystander (14 or 54) condition. (2) Experiment 2 and Experiment 3 indicated that the bystander effect could be relieved or even reversed if the posts thematic appeared to be urgent or concrete. In the non-urgent or non-concrete condition, the classic bystander effect was found. Participants in the 1-bystander condition shared knowledge significantly more than participants in the 54-bystander condition. But when the posts thematic were made to be urgent, the bystander effect was reversed: Participants in the 1-bystander condition posted fewer messages than in the 54-bystander condition (Experiment 2). Similarly, when the posts thematic were made concrete, the bystander effect was relieved: In the 1-bystander condition, participants shared the same quantity of knowledge as in the 54-bystander condition (Experiment 3). The theoretical contributions and managerial implications of our findings were discussed. First, we broadened the understanding of bystander effect in virtual community knowledge sharing, which supports the social influence model and the non-linear relationship between the number of bystanders and knowledge sharing behaviors. Second, we demonstrated that changing the emergency and the concreteness of posts thematic could effectively change the bystander effect in virtual community knowledge sharing. This was an empirical evidence for the arousal: cost-reward model and the social influence theory. Third, results offered critical insights for managers. To change participation inequality and promote knowledge sharing, it is advised that managers should undo displaying the number of lurkers and ask users to concretely describe their questions with details in virtual community.
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     Moderating effects of conflict types on disappointment in interpersonal conflict
    TAO Aihua, LIU Yonghe, WANG Pei
    2018, 50 (2):  235-242.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00235
    Abstract ( 3713 )  
     Disappointment arises when the progress towards a goal is below expectation or when a desired outcome has not been achieved. The experience of disappointment is associated with the feeling of weakness more so than the experience of other emotions, accompanied by a tendency to do nothing and get away from the situation. Disappointment influences the expresser,s through sending messages that the negotiators have high expectations and demands. This may also evoke sense of helplessness. All of them make people have a strong feeling of competition. The way people cognitively appraise a performance situation is important because it may affect people’s levels of attack. Thus, for example, “threat” appraisals are central to interpersonal conflict. Disappointment also has an effect on the threat appraisals. Conflict types can broadly divide into those interest-based conflicts and value-based conflicts. Interest conflicts are conflicts about the division of scarce resources such as time, territory, or money. Value conflicts are conflicts about issues in which personal norms and values play a role. Values are people’s beliefs about what is important in life, of what is right or wrong, and how the world should be. In contrast to resources, values are often more central to people’s identities, they are often more abstract and cannot be traded off. As values are often more closely tied to people’s identities, the conflict types have an effect on intrapersonal effect of disappointment. The intrapersonal effect of disappointment means disappointment expressions influence expressers by cognitively appraising a performance situation. As mentioned above, Disappointment play an important role in conflict resolution. Disappointment generates helping and compensation behaviours for self. Previous work has shown that negotiators tend to concede when confronted with disappointment. We postulated that this effect occurred in conflicts on interests, but not on values. Value conflicts are more closely related to a person’s values, norms, and identity, expressions of disappointment are likely to backfire. In two experiments, we used “the ultimatum game” and “assurance game” paradigm to investigate the moderating role of the type of conflict. Results indicated that: (i) people expressed disappointment with higher threat scores in value conflict than in interest conflicts, (ii) but people were less likely to engage in revenge and escalatory behaviours when confronted with an disappoint reaction in value conflict than in interest conflict. In addition, the current series of studies provide some useful strategies to resolve interpersonal conflicts. On practical implications, this research examines the social psychological mechanism underlying interpersonal conflicts in China and would help managers and administrators understand ways to resolve interpersonal conflicts.
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     Social class and social perception: Is warmth or competence more important?
    WEI Qingwang, LI Muzi, CHEN Xiaochen
    2018, 50 (2):  243-252.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00243
    Abstract ( 6525 )  
     Warmth and competence are the two fundamental dimensions (i.e. Big Two) in social cognition. According to the Dual Perspective Model (DPM), warmth is the primacy of the Big Two and the Big Two are differentially linked to the actor (self) vs. observer (other) perspectives. In the observer perspective, warmth is more relevant and more important; whereas in the actor perspective, competence is more relevant and more important. Another domain of literature on social class psychology suggested that lower-class individuals were more sensitive to external environment and valued interdependent self; whereas upper-class individuals were more self-focused and valued independent self. The current study combined these two domains of literature and examined possible moderating role of social class on the link between the Big Two and the actor vs. observer perspectives. Specifically, we hypothesized that both lower-class individuals and upper-class individuals would value warmth more than competence in evaluating others, and this primacy of warmth would be more evident for lower-class individuals (H1). In contrast, lower-class individuals would also value warmth more than competence whereas upper-class individuals would value competence more than warmth when evaluating themselves (H2). Two studies were carried out to test these hypotheses. In Study 1, 122 undergraduate participants were presented with a list of 8 sentences each describing a behavior of a stranger. The behavioral acts were deliberately chosen to be amenable to both warmth and competence traits. Participants were asked to use a single word to describe the character of the subject in each sentence. Information on participants’ objective socioeconomic status (SES, family income and highest parental education level) was also collected. In Study 2, 137 community participants were asked to rate the importance of 12 traits (6 on warmth dimension, 6 on competence dimension) in evaluating themselves. The MacArthur scale was used to assess participants’ subjective social class rank. In Study 1, more warm words (as compared to words on the competence dimension) were chosen to describe the character of the subjects in the sentences. This pattern was consistent among both lower- and upper-class individuals. In addition, lower-class individuals used significantly more warm words than upper-class participants. In Study 2, lower-class individuals scored significantly higher on warmth than competence. Contrary, upper-class individuals scored significantly higher on competence than warmth. Taken together, findings from these two studies provided evidences to support our hypotheses. The current study contributes to the social cognition literature by integrating the DPM and social class psychology. Social class does influence the primacy of warmth vs. competence as demonstrated previously in DPM. The primacy of warmth in evaluating others is more typical for lower-class individuals and the primacy of competence in evaluating themselves is more typical for upper-class individuals. Moreover, DPM further develops the ideas of social class psychology. Lower-class individuals showing contextual social cognitive tendencies and upper-class individuals showing solipsistic social cognitive tendencies are reflected very well in the primacy of warmth vs. competence in evaluating others vs. themselves. Uncovering the nuances in social cognition between lower and upper classes also provides important practical implications to promote healthy inter-class communications.
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