ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    25 June 2018, Volume 50 Issue 6 Previous Issue    Next Issue

    Reports of Empirical Studies
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    Reports of Empirical Studies
    Positive effect of intuitive processing is modulated by cognitive resources under different levels of consciousness
    Tingting YU, Yue YIN, Shu WANG, Shujin ZHOU, Xiaochen TANG, Junlong LUO
    2018, 50 (6):  583-591.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00583
    Abstract ( 5182 )   PDF (491KB) ( 124 )  

    It was argued that thinking is characterized by the action of two distinctive cognitive systems, namely, intuitive (Type 1) processing and analytic (Type 2) processing. Intuitive processing is generally described as rapid, automatic, unconscious, and effortless, whereas analytic processing appears to be slow, controlled, conscious, and effortful. Decades of research have established that human judgment is often predisposed to rapid, intuitive processing. However, recent research has indicated that intuitive processing can support reasoning and even enhance it under certain conditions. Recent findings have suggested that intuitive processing should be as affected by cognitive resources and consciousness as analytic processing. However, intuitive and analytic processing will interfere with one another through a series of classical paradigms in which the results of two distinctive cognitive systems are in conflict. To avoid this interference, the present study applied the Chinese character chunking decomposition task, predicting that intuitive processing positively affect problem solving, but that it would disappear under conditions wherein cognitive resources were extremely scarce.

    In the present research, we first drew up the Chinese character chunking decomposition task as materials, and participants were asked to judge whether the target character (e.g., “又”) was a component of the original character (e.g., “支”). Then, the formal experiment was organized into a 2 × 2 × 2 within-subject design. The first variable was the duration time of the target character, consisting of 2 levels: 24 ms and 200 ms; the second variable was the material category, consisting of 2 levels: intuitive material and analytic material; and the third variable was the inclusion relation, consisting of 2 levels: inclusion and exclusion. The inclusion condition meant that the target character was a component of the original character, whereas the exclusion condition denoted that the target character was not a component of the original character.

    The results indicated that participants showed a lower rate of accuracy and a longer response time on analytic materials than on intuitive ones. However, no difference was observed between the two types of materials in terms of response time and accuracy when the duration time of the target character was 24 ms, and the inclusion relation was inclusion. Meanwhile, the accuracy scores of intuitive and analytic processing were approximately 0.5 at the guessing level. Signal detection analysis showed that the results under the unconsciousness condition were not influenced by the response bias.

    The results proved that intuitive processing was rapid and analytic processing was slow. As predicted, intuitive processing positively affects the problem solving process. In addition, the experiment showed that intuitive processing was effortful and relied on cognitive resources, which was inconsistent with prototypical dual-process theories. Therefore, the positive effect would disappear when the cognitive resources were below demand.

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    The influence of perceptual load on gaze perceptual adaptation aftereffect
    Yajun ZHAO, Zhijun ZHANG, Zhifang LIU, Wei LIU, Linlin YAN, Yi TANG
    2018, 50 (6):  592-605.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00592
    Abstract ( 2589 )   PDF (1026KB) ( 93 )  

    During social communication, eyes gaze indicates the focus of people's attention. There are two types of gaze cue: direct gaze (straight) and averted gaze (left or right), which have different social functions. Previous researchers assume that gaze perception involves two different processing stages. The first stage refers to earlier visual feature analysis of eyes such as luminance contrast and geometry of white sclera and iris. The second stage involves the perceptual integration of eyes’ features and the extraction of gaze direction. However, this assumption ignores the differences in processing mechanism between direct gaze and averted gaze. Other researchers hypothesize that perception of direct gaze is mediated by a fast-track pathway via subcortical face processing route. Direct gaze perception has characteristics of automatic process, such as capturing attention and being processed unconsciously. Its automaticity shows that direct gaze has a processing advantage over averted gaze. We inferred that direct gaze perception was independent of attentional resources, while averted gaze perception required more attentional resources. The present study aimed at investigating how attentional resources affect perception of averted and direct gaze.

    We combined Lavie’s perceptual load task and a short-term gaze adaptation paradigm to investigate how attentional resources influence the gaze adaptation aftereffect of direct gaze and averted gaze. Participants attended to a letter string superimposed on gaze adaptor (200 ms), and identified the target letter (X or N) embedded in the letter string of either 6 identical letters (low load) or 6 different letters (high load). Subsequently, a gaze probe was presented for 200 ms. Participants had to make judgements concerning the direction of probe (i.e. leftward, straight, or rightward). Sixteen na?ve participants (8 females) were tested in Experiment 1, which measured the modulation of averted gaze adaptation effect by perceptual loads. And twenty-two na?ve observers (11 females) participated in Experiment 2, which explored the effects of perceptual loads on direct gaze adaptation effect.

    The results of Experiment 1 revealed that a significant aftereffect of averted gaze directed toward the adapted side in the low load condition. However, such gaze adaptation effect was eliminated under high load condition. Crucially, the gaze adaptation effect in low load condition was significantly greater than that in high load condition. It was suggested that the extraction of averted gaze direction (leftward or rightward) was modulated by attentional resources (perceptual load). When a demanding competing task has exhausted all available processing capacity, the direction of averted gaze could not be extracted. While the load was low, “spill over” capacity was available to the processing of task-irrelevant gaze direction. Results of Experiment 2 showed a significant direct gaze adaptation effect both under low and high load conditions, which were not significantly different from each other. These results indicated that the perceptual adaptation of direct gaze was not influenced by attentional resources. Although limited processing capacity was fully consumed by a high load task, direct gaze could be processed as well. Compared with averted gaze, processing of direct gaze required fewer attentional resources. Therefore, requirements to attentional resources were different between processing of averted and direct gaze.

    In conclusion, the current study demonstrates that the processing of averted gaze direction is not mandatory automatic and it requires some degree of attentional resources. But gaze perception does not require attentional resources for direct gaze. Our findings indicated that processing of averted and direct gaze may be mediated by different underlying mechanisms, although distinct gaze directions are coded by a similar multichannel system with separate channels coding left, direct, and right gaze. Our results replicate and extend recent findings of different processing mechanisms between averted and direct gaze. Moreover, it may promote integration between different gaze perception models, such as multichannel system and fast-track modulator model.

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    Effects of predictability on the time course of identity information and location information in Chinese word recognition
    Erjia XU, Xue SUI
    2018, 50 (6):  606-621.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00606
    Abstract ( 1580 )  

    In the process of word recognition, the encoding of letter identity and letter location information plays a vital role. Many English studies found that the letter location information is more flexible than letter identity information. And context predictability has a different effect on letter location and identity information. Chinese word consists of meaningful morpheme, so the encoding of Chinese character identity and location information may have different features from English letter. In present study, we discussed the effect and the time course of predictability on the encoding of Chinese character identity and location information.

    In order to explore the morpheme processing, the present study recruited 20 students as participants in experiment 1, and instructed them to do the lexical decision task. We used 5 types of word (original word, transposed non-word, initial substituted non-word, final substituted non-word and unmeaning symbol) as prime words when the prime time is 80 ms, 150 ms and 300 ms. We collected reaction time as the index. We found that the effect caused by transposed non-word is significant from that caused by original word under 80 ms and 300 ms prime condition, but it is opposite under 150 ms condition.

    To study the morpheme processing in sentence, 50 participants took part in experiment 2, and was instructed to read high predictability and low predictability sentences. Each sentence included a different target word of 4 conditions which is original word(OR), transposed non-word (TN), first substituted (FS) non-word and end substituted (ES) non-word. The participation’s eye movement was recorded by EyeLink1000 during reading process. The results showed that the TN condition is not significant with FS and ES condition under high-predictability, but it is opposite under low-predictability.

    To explore the time course of encoding of Chinese character location and identity information, we used the same materials as experiment 2 and manipulated parafoveal target word delay time for 0ms, 50 ms and 100 ms. We found that TN condition and OR condition are quite similar when the previewing is 0 ms, and the TN condition is analogy with FS and ES condition when the previewing is 50 ms and 100 ms.

    On the whole, the data of the present study suggested that the encoding of Chinese character identity information and location information are separated. When Chinese words presented alone, the effect of location information is gradually reduced with the processing time increase. In sentence reading, location information is more flexible at the early stage in parafoveal processing. High predictability can promote the encoding of location information at early stage, and promote the encoding of identity information at later stage.

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    Attentional bias towards threatening visual stimuli in a virtual reality-based visual search task
    Xiaojun YUAN, Xiaoxia CUI, Zhengcao CAO, Hong KAN, Xiao WANG, Yamin WANG
    2018, 50 (6):  622-636.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00622
    Abstract ( 2801 )   PDF (1042KB) ( 322 )  

    Ever since ?hman, Flykt and Esteves published their classic study in 2001, many researchers have replicated their findings regarding attentional bias to threatening stimuli in visual perception research. Based on these findings, psychologists proposed a promising theory called predatory fear, in which the attentional bias to threatening animals is interpreted as evolutionarily adaptive behavior of early mammals and the ancestors of modern humans. However, from an evolutionary perspective, the lack of ecological validity of existing experiments inevitably attenuated the interpretation. The present study aimed to fill the gaps by repeating the classic work in a virtual reality environment.

    A virtual reality grove was created with the Virtools virtual reality engine, in which jungles, trees, flowers, and weeds were arranged in the form of a wild grass field. The virtual reality grove was presented with an Oculus Rift DK 2 helmet. Forty participants were instructed to navigate along a path in the grove and search for threatening or non-threatening target stimuli. 3D models of a snake, a spider, a flower, a mushroom, a cicada, and a squirrel were used as stimuli in the search task, among which snake and spider were considered threatening stimuli. All the stimuli were shown in yellow and were assessed by twenty participants not included in the forty participants in search task to ensure they were of similar salience.

    To examine attentional bias to threatening stimuli, two experiments were conducted in the same visual search task as reported by ?hman et al. In Experiment 1, as in ?hman et al., the snake or the spider was selected as a target stimulus, and thirteen copies of the flower or the mushroom were used as distracting stimuli, or other combinations of these. Twenty participants were individually presented with the virtual grove and instructed to passively wander along the path in the jungle to search for target stimuli. A fixed camera was set at a uniform speed to simulate the navigation in visual search task. Given that searching for animals took less time than searching for plants ( Soares et al, 2009), flowers and mushrooms were replaced with cicadas and squirrels in Experiment 2. The other twenty participants repeated the experiment procedure. In addition to response time (RT), response distance (RD) was also computed as a compensatory index.

    In Experiment 1, the results of RTs revealed that the searching for threatening stimuli (snake and spider) is faster than searching for non-threatening stimuli (mushroom, flower). The RD values showed that participants found the threatening stimuli when they were farther away than the non-threatening stimuli. In Experiment 2, the same results were found even when the distracting stimuli were all animals. The RTs and RDs both confirmed that participants were better at finding snakes and spiders than finding flowers, mushrooms, cicadas, and squirrels.

    The total results supported the hypothesis of predatory fear was relatively soundly and the attentional bias to threatening animals, especially snake and spider, was found to be likely to be caused by predatory fear as part of human cognition. These findings provide new evidence for the hypothesis of predatory fear from an evolutionary perspective. In addition, virtual reality was proven to be a suitable technique for assessing the ecological validity of psychological experiments.

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    The deficiency of attention bias to emotional prosody in the teenagers with autism spectrum disorders: A perceptual mode of low efficiency
    Jinsheng HU, Chengshi LI, Qi WANG, Songze LI, Taotao LI, Shuqing LIU
    2018, 50 (6):  637-646.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00637
    Abstract ( 4066 )   PDF (755KB) ( 118 )  

    Emotional attention bias refers that emotional stimuli usually get priority of attention over the neutral stimuli, which has been frequently replicated in normal participants. However, previous studies reported that teenagers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) had atypical attention patterns of processing emotional faces and pictures, that is, their first attention was located at the neutral stimuli instead of the emotional stimuli. According to the perceptual load theory, some studies demonstrated the deficiency of attention bias to emotions in the teenagers with ASD was due to the perceptual load of the main task was too high for them, so that they can’t process the emotion. Till now, little has been known about the ASD teenagers’ attention in processing auditory emotional stimuli, although emotional expression also actually depends on the changes of acoustic cues in the speech prosody. To testify the generality of attention bias to cross-model emotions in the teenagers with ASD, we extended the experimental materials to emotional prosody. In present study, 14 teenagers with ASD and 17 typical developing (TD) people were recruited in two experiments. The participants were required to complete a main task while the emotional prosody voices were presented as the deviated task-irrelevant stimuli. In Experiment 1, the participants were instructed to ignore sounds and to classify the pictures. In Experiment 2, we adopted a dual-task paradigm, which required participants to respond to the target letters first and then to point whether they hear the novel emotional prosody. And in experiment 2, we also manipulated the level of perceptual load through changing the similarity between the letters in virtual round.

    Results showed that: (1) Reaction time of ASD subjects were longer than TD subjects under any different emotions rhyme categories. (2) Whether in high or low perceptual load, reaction times and error rates of the main task as well as accuracy of emotional prosody detection task between two groups of participants have no significant differences. In providing notice indicating conditions, even in a high perceptual load level, ASD subjects of emotional rhythm detection capability and error rates are similar to TD subjects, but for emotional rhythm react time with neutral rhythm no difference. These findings revealed that ASD have the similar attention processing level with TD in attention conditions.

    The results of two studies strongly suggested that the attention bias to emotional prosody was deficient in the teenagers with ASD, which was consistent with the results from visual channels and the teenagers with ASD have defect on emotional attention bias in auditory channel, main showed low perception efficiency on emotional rhythm perception.

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    Excitation of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex with transcranial direct current stimulation influences response inhibition
    Hui Hui WANG, Yu Dan LUO, Bing SHI, Feng Qiong YU, Kai WANG
    2018, 50 (6):  647-654.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00647
    Abstract ( 2220 )  

    Response inhibition is a cognitive process required to cancel an intended movement and can protect from danger. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) studies showed that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) is a crucial brain region for response inhibition. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a technique that can determine the contribution of specific cortical regions to behavior. Previous studies have found that repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation of the dlPFC affects response inhibition. In the current study, we used transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), a non-invasive, painless brain stimulation technique with no known side effects, to alter neuronal excitability. A number of tDCS studies have suggested that tDCS may affect response inhibition. However, to date, limited work has been done to explore whether tDCS over the right dlPFC could alter response inhibition. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the anodal stimulus effect of tDCS on response inhibition. We hypothesized that exciting the neural activity of the right dlPFC with anodal tDCS would enhance the ability of response inhibition.

    A total of 34 healthy subjects (15 males, 19 females) participated in this within-subjects study. Stop-signal task (SST) was established with E-prime software. Participants received both active and sham stimulation on separate days. SST was used to measure the participants’ capacity for response inhibition. In the active stimulation condition, we delivered a 1.5 mA direct current for 25 min (fade-in/fade-out time: 8 s); in the sham condition, we delivered a 1.5 mA direct current for 30 s at the beginning and 30 s at the end of the stimulation time. Anodal and cathodal stimulation electrodes were placed on F4 and FP1, respectively. Participants completed the SST, Stroop color-word matching task, Verbal Fluency test, and Digit Span test before and after the stimulation.

    We first calculated the mean reaction time (RT)in the go trials and stop-signal delay for each participant using ANALYZE-IT software. To calculate the individual stop-signal reaction time (SSRT), ANALYZE-IT first computes the mean RTs for all trials without a stop signal and then subtracts the mean stop-signal delay from this value. We performed a series of paired samples t-tests to compare the SSRT of each experimental condition with the SSRT of the sham and active conditions. There were no significant differences in SSRT pre-stimulation in sham or active stimulations, indicating equal response inhibition capacity among the participants. Interestingly, the difference in SSRT before and after stimulation was statistically significant in the active condition, t(33) = -2.25, p < 0.05, Cohens d = 0.38. This demonstrates that participants who received anodal stimulation over the right dlPFC had significantly reduced SSRT change scores on the SST compared to participants in the sham condition.

    This study demonstrated that transcranial electrical stimulation of the right dlPFC can regulate response inhibition, in that anodal stimulation improved participants’ response inhibition. We confirm previous work suggesting that the right dlPFC is an important brain region of response inhibition.

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    The relationship between the caudate nucleus-orbitomedial prefrontal cortex connectivity and reactive aggression: A resting-state fMRI study
    Qi JIANG, Lulu HOU, Jiang QIU, Changran LI, Huanzhen WANG
    2018, 50 (6):  655-666.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00655
    Abstract ( 1692 )   PDF (752KB) ( 316 )  

    Reactive aggression has been widely concerned by researchers because of its serious impact on society, such as violent crimes. Existing neuroimaging studies using patients with high levels of aggression indicated a network of brain regions subserve reactive aggression, including amygdala, caudate nucleus, and orbitofrontal cortex. Furthermore, researchers believed that reduced prefrontal activity along with heightened subcortical activity in the context of provocative stimuli poses an increased risk for reactive aggression. However, evidence for this theory in healthy population is lacking, especially this independently of the experiment task.

    In this study, the modified TAP was used and the punishment levels selected for the virtual opponents serve as indicator of reactive aggression. Based on the previous researches, Orbitomedial Prefrontal (OMPFC) was selected as the seed to investigate the relationship of reactive aggression and the connectivity between OMPFC and other brain regions using resting state fMRI. Thirty-night undergraduates (mean age = 20.05 ± 0.92 years old) were enrolled in the experiment. The resting state functional magnetic resonance (rs-fMRI) data was acquired using Echo Planar Imaging (EPI) sequence from a 3-T Siemens Magnetom Trio scanner (Siemens Medical, Erlangen, Germany). This scanning acquired 242 volumes with TR = 2 s (lasting 8 min and 8 sec). rs-fMRI data was processed and analyzed using the REST (Resting-State fMRI Data Analysis Toolkit) toolbox to calculate Functional Connectivity (FC) and Granger Causality Analysis (GCA), which reflects the functional and effective connectivity among different areas, respectively. The results of FC indicated that the functional connectivity between the left OMPFC and right angular gyrus, left OMPFC and bilateral caudate nucleus, right OMPFC and right caudate nucleus were significantly correlated with the reactive aggression. Furthermore, the follow-up GCA indicated that the effective connectivity of right caudate nucleus to the right OMPFC was correlated significantly with reactive aggression, especially in the provocative condition.

    The caudate nucleus plays an important role in flexibly responding to the environment. It is activated in response to reward. When the individuals thought the aggression was valuable and seemed to receive reward after the aggression, the caudate nucleus was also activated. Furthermore, a study combined PET and fMRI and revealed a strong relationship between the caudate nucleus and cortical areas associated with executive functioning (i.e., the function of prefrontal cortex). Another study demonstrated that violent offenders behaved more aggressively and showed significantly higher brain reactivity to provocations within the caudate nucleus, as well as reduced caudate nucleus-prefrontal cortex connectivity. To sum up, these results suggest that the connectivity between OMPFC and caudate nucleus is closely related to reactive aggression. It provides some evidence for further revealing the neural mechanism of reactive aggression, and firstly made a systematic analysis of reactive aggression using resting state functional connectivity and effective connectivity.

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    The impact of supervisor’s creativity expectation on team creativity
    Weiguo LIU, Yanran FANG, Junqi SHI, Shenjiang MO
    2018, 50 (6):  667-677.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00667
    Abstract ( 3494 )  

    Team creativity is becoming more and more essential for organizations to adapt to dynamically changing environment. Previous literature on team creativity was mainly focused on the impact of leadership behavior on employees’ creative motivation and subsequent creative performance. Less attention has been paid to employees’ cognitive response to leaders’ expectation on creativity. Therefore, based on normative reference group theory and process-oriented theory of knowledge emergence in teams, the current study attempted to examine the mediating effects of employees’ behaviors in response to supervisor’s creativity expectation (i.e., team knowledge exchange behavior and team boundary spanning behavior), and investigate the moderating role of supervisor’s creative role identity.

    Data was collected from 568 employees working in 116 teams from four IT and software companies in Beijing and Shenzhen, China. Three waves of data collection were conducted. In the first wave, participants were required to report their demographic information (e.g. age, gender, education, and tenure), and their perceptions of supervisors’ creativity expectation. In the second wave, participants assessed team knowledge exchange behavior and team boundary spanning behavior. In the third wave, team supervisors evaluated their own creative role identity and team creativity. We used Mplus 7.2 to estimate our hypothesized models.

    Results showed that: 1) supervisors’ creativity expectation was positively related to both team knowledge exchange behavior and team boundary spanning behavior. 2) Team knowledge exchange behavior was positively associated with team creativity, whereas the relationship between team boundary spanning behavior and team creativity was not significant. 3) Supervisors’ creative role identity significantly moderated the relationship between team boundary spanning behavior and team creativity. Specifically, when supervisors had high level of creative role identity, team boundary spanning behavior did not distract from team creativity, whereas when supervisors’ creative role identity was low, team boundary spanning behavior harmed team creativity. The moderating effect of supervisor’s creative role identity on the relationship between team knowledge exchange behavior and team creativity was not significant.

    The current study contributes to the literature of team creativity in several aspects. First, different from previous team creativity literature, this study demonstrated a cognitive model explaining how team leader’s creativity expectation influences team creativity. Second, this study extended the normative reference group theory by clarifying the roles of leader’s creativity expectation and creative role identity in enhancing team creativity. Specifically, our study implies that both of team knowledge exchange behavior and team boundary spanning behavior are both stimulated by team supervisors’ creativity expectation. More importantly, supervisors’ creative role identity plays an important role in mitigating the negative effects of team boundary spanning behavior on team creativity. Third, this study also contributed to the process-oriented theory of knowledge emergence in teams by demonstrating the essential role of leader in enhancing the collective process of creative knowledge learning and sharing. Accordingly, managerial implications regarding team creativity management are discussed. We suggest that supervisors in knowledge-intensive companies should always be a real creator to enhance team creativity.

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    Spillover effects of strong brands competition
    Xiangdong JIN,Guangling ZHANG,Jing CAO,Chuanhua GU,Hua WEI,Zhaohui DUAN,
    2018, 50 (6):  678-692.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00678
    Abstract ( 4217 )  

    Although there are many studies focusing on competitive advertising, brand advertising, category advertising, advertising clutter, and advertising interference, there has been little research focusing on strong brands competition. The extent literature focuses on Product Crisis Spillover Effect, Umbrella Branding Spillover Effect, Advertising Spillover Effect, and Corporate Social Responsibility Reputation Spillover Effect. However, what is the spillover effect for competition taking place among strong brands on weak brands? What will happen to the weak brands when two strong brands competing in the same category? Is it explained by the spillover effect theory? And what is the mechanism? These are a series of interesting questions that have both theoretical and practical value.

    A total of 855 college students (mean age = 22.6 years, SD = 3.4 years) participated in the experiments. First, advertising repetition and advertising length were used as the stimuli indicating competition strength, and perceived competition was used to represent competition strength. Then, the following focus question was investigated: will there be spillover effect on weak brands when two strong brands competing in the same category? Finally, the moderating role of product involvement and product attribute similarity for the main effect was tested. Experimental methods were adopted in these studies and fictitious brands were used to test the research hypotheses.

    The results of the present study indicates that, advertising repetition is closely related to perceived competition, and the more repetitions of two brand advertisements, the higher the competition level perceived by the subjects is, which indicated that advertising repetition can be used as a specific means of operating the advertising competition. However, the advertisement length has no effect on the perceived competition. Strong brand advertising competition has a spillover effect on weak brands. With the increase in the competition strength of strong brand advertising, the spillover effect on weak brands has also increased accordingly. The degree of product involvement and similarity of product attributes have a moderating effect on the main effect, and the lower product involvement and the higher similarity of product attributes tended to produce the greater spillover effect.

    The current study enriches the existing spillover theory and discovered the spillover effect of strong brand advertising competition within the same category on weak brands for the first time. At the same time, the study found that the product involvement and product attribute similarities have a moderating effect on the spillover effect. The conclusions of the research can be used to guide advertising practice and brand owners and market managers in different market positions.

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