ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    25 October 2018, Volume 50 Issue 10 Previous Issue    Next Issue

    Reports of Empirical Studies
    For Selected: Toggle Thumbnails
    Reports of Empirical Studies
    Attentional capture is contingent on attentional control setting for semantic meaning: Evidence from modified spatial cueing paradigm
    Hui-Yuan WANG, Jie SUI, Ming ZHANG
    2018, 50 (10):  1071-1082.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.01071
    Abstract ( 4717 )   PDF (2039KB) ( 88 )  

    Abstract It has been well documented that attentional capture is contingent on the features of attentional control settings; however, whether and how the semantic contingency between cue and target stimuli modulates spatial attention is poorly understood. Here, we tested this question with strict experiment designs by focusing on pure contingent attentional capture for the semantic meaning of feature attributes or semantic concept cues, and we then examined the nature of attentional control in human visual spatial performance.

    A modified spatial cuing paradigm was employed in the current study. In Experiment 1, cues presented in red or green and targets were white Chinese characters “红” (meaning red) or “绿” (meaning green). We had participants discriminate the location of the gap of the target square in different cue-target blocks. Experiments 2 and 3 were identical to Experiment 1, except that in Experiment 2, cue property and target character were randomized, and the task was to discriminate the target as “红” or “绿”; Experiment 3 swapped the cue and target stimuli, where cues were Chinese characters in white and targets were presented in red or green.

    The results showed that semantically congruent color cues exclusively captured attention when participants searched for a specific semantic meaning in Experiment 1. In contrast, cuing effects were observed in Experiment 2 in the two-color cue conditions when participants discriminated two Chinese characters, and the effects were independent of the semantic congruency of cue and target. Experiment 3 replicated the results in Experiment 1; cues with semantically congruent Chinese characters captured attention only when participants were required to search for a specific color.

    It is concluded that (1) the effects of semantic attentional capture were modulated by attentional control setting, consistent with a contingent attentional orienting hypothesis; (2) the perceptional representation of stimuli activated by semantic concept modulated the processing of stimuli on the location of spatial attention, but the magnitude of the effect decreased; (3) the congruent semantic representation was activated by attentional control setting for perceptional feature and subsequently modulated the allocation of attention; and (4) activation of semantic concept and perceptional representation may be bidirectional and resemble each other in traits of attention shift guidance.

    Related Articles | Metrics
    The influence of temporal focus on implicit space-time mappings on the front-back axis: Evidence from Han and Qiang Chinese
    Heng LI,Yu CAO
    2018, 50 (10):  1083-1093.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.01083
    Abstract ( 2311 )  

    According to the Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT), metaphors allow people to rely on concrete, familiar knowledge such as spatial experience to understand abstract concepts such as time. For example, many languages throughout the world tend to associate the front side of space with the future and the back side with the past. Abundant evidence has shown that people think about time according to the space-time mappings in their speech. However, recent lines of research have suggested that people may not spatialize time as their language suggests. According to the Temporal Focus Hypothesis, people’s implicit space-time mappings are shaped by their cultural attitudes toward time. Compared to Han Chinese, Qiang Chinese tend to focus more on past times and older generations and place more values on their tradition and culture. Thus, it can be hypothesized that Qiang Chinese, who focus more on the past, should be more likely to conceptualize the past as in front of them than Han Chinese.

    In Experiment 1, we administered a “time diagram task” in which participants were presented with a sheet depicting a cartoon character seen from above with a box ahead of him and another behind him. Participants were told that the character visited a friend who loved plants yesterday, and tomorrow he would be going to visit a friend who loves animals (or vice versa, as event-to-space assignment was counterbalanced). Participants were asked to place “plant” and “animal” in the boxes. In Experiment 2, we used a Temporal Focus Scale to quantify the proposed difference in temporal focus between Han and Qiang Chinese. It consisted of 8 assertions denoting opinions about past- and future-related topics. In Experiment 3, Han and Qiang Chinese participants were asked to complete a time classification task. In this task, they categorized the words denoting past or future events by pressing a corresponding response key placed ahead or behind a starting point.

    Results from Experiments 1 and 2 showed that Qiang participants, who tend to be more past-focused, were also more likely to place the future event in the box behind the character and the past event in the box ahead of him. By contrast, Han Chinese showed no preferences for past-in-front mapping or future-in-front mapping, as predicted by their equally high agreement with past focus and future focus items. Experiment 3 showed that Qiang Chinese showed a response facilitation when processing temporal words in a direction compatible to their implicit space-time mappings as shown in Experiment 1 (i.e., past is front and future is back). However, Han Chinese did not show a response facilitation because they may have the same preference for both past-in-front and future-in-front mappings.

    There are two contrasting views on how people implicitly associate the past and future with the front and back. Metaphor Structure View posits that people think about time the way they talk about in their spoken metaphors. However, we found no evidence in current studies for supporting this view since the directions of implicit space-time mappings in Han and Qiang Chinese were different despite both using the same spoken metaphors; thus, it suggests a striking dissociation between temporal language and temporal thought. Our results appear to support the Temporal Focus Hypothesis, which suggests that people’s implicit space-time mappings are shaped by their cultural attitudes. Taken together, this research contributes to the exiting literature that within-cultural differences (e.g., ethnicity) should be considered when studying the relationship between temporal focus and implicit space-time mappings.

    Related Articles | Metrics
    Effect of ecological environment and mode of production on the visual-spatial working memory of Oroqens
    Ting WANG,Yuxia GUAN,Hongying GUAN,Jijia ZHANG
    2018, 50 (10):  1094-1104.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.01094
    Abstract ( 2136 )  

    Working memory refers to a system of temporary holding and manipulation of information during the performance of a range of cognitive tasks, such as comprehension, learning, and reasoning. According to Baddeley (1974), the architecture of working memory comprises four separated components, namely, phonological loop, visual-spatial working memory, central executive, and episodic buffer. The visual-spatial working memory is involved in the temporary retention of visual-spatial information.

    The Oroqen is one of the oldest ethnic groups in northeast China. Most Oroqens live in the Oroqen Autonomous Banner in the Greater Hinggan Mountains. The area is bestowed with rich resources with a variety of wild animals. For generations, the Oroqens lived a life of hunting and fishing in the forests. They went on hunting expeditions in groups. Researchers explored the ecological environment and mode of production that affected the performance of cognition. The present study aims to explore whether the natural environment, which has formed the Oroqen’s hunting culture and hunting-gathering stage of economic production, affects their visual-spatial working memory.

    In Experiment 1, four experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of the ecological environment and mode of production on the visuospatial working memory Oroqens. Oroqen (n = 32) and Han (n = 30) high school students performed simple storage and complex visual-spatial span tasks. Simple storage tasks were distinguished into three presentation formats: (i) visual, which involved maintaining irregular figures; (ii) spatial-sequential, which involved maintaining sequentially-presented locations; and (iii) spatial-simultaneous, which involved maintaining patterns of locations. The results proved that Oroqens performed significantly better than Hans in all the four visual-spatial working memory tasks.

    In Experiment 2, the Corsi block test presented in a computer was employed to investigate whether the structural, quantitative, and path complexity influenced the visual-spatial working memory of Oroqen (n = 30) and Han (n = 30) students. Results showed that superiority of the Oroqen on visual-spatial working memory still persisted when the memory materials differ in terms of difficulty.

    In summary, the ecological environment and mode of production have a significant impact on visual-spatial working memory. The Oroqen people’s ecological environment and traditional mode of production have become a genetic factor that may affect the visual-spatial working memory of their offspring.

    Related Articles | Metrics
    Cognitive and emotional benefits of emotional dual dimension n-back training based on an APP
    Dong-ni PAN, Daotuan WANG, Xue-bing LI
    2018, 50 (10):  1105-1119.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.01105
    Abstract ( 3678 )   PDF (986KB) ( 224 )  

    Audiovisual dual channel n-back training offers the ability to transfer to basic cognitive processes that are closely related to the working memory process. However, dual-channel training based on a computer is highly demanding for a training environment. Thus, it is not conducive to its application promotion. Moreover, emotional working memory training is developed to enhance the emotional control ability of individuals. Only negative material working memory training has been examined. Thus, the general problems of emotional working memory training have not been clarified. A new type of emotional dual dimension n-back training based on smartphone applications was designed in this study. The general applicability and emotional effects of emotion (both positive and negative) and neutral working memory training were examined through the design of a randomized controlled group.

    This study developed an app based on n-back task, which is a visual single-channel with two dimensions. A total of 66 healthy college students (34 males and 32 females) participated in the experiment and were randomly divided into control, negative training, neutral training, and positive training groups. All participants were trained with their smartphones. Participants in the training groups must remember the Chinese characters and the position of the Chinese characters in the 3*3 matrix and make two independent n-back tasks on the characters and the position. In the neutral, positive, and negative training groups, the valences of Chinese characters were neutral, positive, and negative, respectively. The participants in the control group completed the digital parity task in an interface similar to a training task. Before and after the training session, participants were asked to complete the visual-spatial working memory task, running memory task, Stroop task, digital shifting task, emotion Stroop task, and a profile of mood states.

    Short-term dual-dimension n-back training can make more progress on the visual space work memory task, running memory task, digital shifting task, and classic Stroop task than placebo training. These tasks test the working memory capacity, as well as the update, shift, and inhibit the function, and fully characterize the working memory of the whole picture. However, training based on different emotional materials did not vary greatly across the various types of transfer effects. Short-term training cannot transfer into the emotional Stroop task, which is unable to produce specific emotional control benefits.

    The dual-dimensional n-back training app can produce a favorable basic cognitive transfer. This indicates that the cognitive training app has a wide application prospect, and the dual-dimensional training paradigm is worthy of improved employment. For the invisible emotional benefits of the emotional version of n-back training manifested that simply incorporate emotional material into the work memory task must be examined carefully in the future.

    Related Articles | Metrics
    The processing advantage of self-positive expression: Evidence from an ERPs study
    Qun TAN, Yueyang YIN, Shen LIU, Shangfeng HAN, Qiang XU, Lin ZHANG
    2018, 50 (10):  1120-1130.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.01120
    Abstract ( 3761 )   PDF (596KB) ( 121 )  

    It is well established in a number of studies that there is a cognitive advantage for self-related information, which is called “self-reference effect”. Some researchers have found that the processing of self-related information and the processing of emotional valence information are not only independent, but also interactive. However, these previous studies lacked the investigation of how individuals processed self-related information with different emotional valence. It is difficult to reveal the interaction between self-attribute and emotional valence of stimuli. Moreover, the influence of emotional valence of self-related information on “self-processing advantage” and the cognitive processing of self-expression performs are unclear. So, we used self-expression as stimulus to investigate the processing of self-related information with different emotional valence, and to explore the interaction between self and emotion in the self-face perception process.

    In the present study, we adopted the visual search paradigm and the event related potential technology to investigate the processing of self-expression. We designed a 2 (emotion type: happy VS angry) ×2 (identity type: self VS other) within groups design. A total of 25 college students (11 males, 14 females) participated in the experiment, and 6 of the participants were eliminated because of too much artifacts in EEG. We gathered the happy and angry faces of each participant in advance, and selected other people's emotional faces from the Chinese Facial Affective Picture System. All photos were processed in a unified manner, and only the main features of the face were retained. In the visual search task, participants were asked to search the target expression and to ignore other faces in the 6 faces (1 target expression face with 5 neutral faces or 6 neutral faces). When they see the target expression, they should press the "F" as soon as possible; and if all are neutral faces, then press the "J". We record their reaction and corresponding EEG signals.

    Behavioral results showed that, (1) the search of self-expression is significantly faster and better than the others, and it is not influenced by the emotional valence; (2) the search of self-happy expression is significantly faster and better than the self-angry expression, that is, the processing advantage of self-positive expression exist. And the results of ERP showed that the N1, N2 and LPP amplitudes of self-happy expressions were greater than those of self-anger and other people’s expressions. The results reflected that the processing advantage of self-positive expression began in visual coding phase of N1 composition, and there is also displayed in expression decoding stage and behavioral decision stage. It showed that the early attention to self-positive expression is faster, and the middle and later period get more attention resources.

    Overall, these results consistently showed that, there was a processing advantage effect of self-positive expression. According to implicit positive association theory, the self-expression with different emotional valences might have different meanings to individuals. To be detailed, the self-positive expression was related to positive attribute in self-concept, and it could promote individual cognitive processing of such stimuli. The self-negative expression was related to negative property of self-concept and it might weaken the advantages of self-processing, thereby causing individuals to slow down the processing of such stimuli.

    Related Articles | Metrics
    The regulation effect of the antecedent negative emotion on emotional contagion: Counter and threshold-descent
    Qiyong ZHANG, Zhiying YAN
    2018, 50 (10):  1131-1141.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.01131
    Abstract ( 3665 )   PDF (873KB) ( 101 )  

    According to the previous studies, emotional contagion can be regulated by the subsequent cognition which can be retrieved by unconsciousness or consciousness. Can emotional contagion be regulated by people’s antecedent emotion or not? That is, the receiver’s antecedent emotion, which has existed before the sender’s emotional display, regulates the final effect of emotional contagion. If true, there might be two possibilities in the regulation: counter and threshold-descent. Our goal is to explore the regulation effect of the antecedent negative emotion on emotional contagion with two possibilities.

    We designed two experiments in this study to verify two mental phenomena, viz., counter and threshold-descent emotional contagion respectively. In these two experiments, a within-subject design was employed, and the biofeedback technology was used to measure the participants’ emotional state in them. All participants should accept the baseline measurement after they took psycho-relaxation exercises at the beginning of the experiment. Firstly, we implemented the experiment of counter emotional contagion. Taking hostility as a case of the antecedent emotion, we aroused Chinese participants’ hostility by playing video of The Nanjing Massacre to them, and then let them watch two funny videos about Chinese and Japanese lives. Meanwhile, the participants’ physiological indices were collected. The aim of the experiment was to compare the participants’ emotional experience when they watched the above two funny videos. Secondly, in the experiment of threshold-descent emotional contagion, the restless experience, as the antecedent emotion, was aroused by undergoing repeated several “unsuccessful” experiments. The participants’ physiological indices were collected and compared too when they watched funny video before and after the restless experience elicited which corresponded to the episodes 1 and 2 respectively. The experiments aimed to explore whether the participants’ antecedent emotional state would affect their emotional contagion via different experimental treatment.

    In the first experiment, the results indicated that the funny Japanese video did not infect the Chinese participants after they watched The Nanjing Massacre. Actually, the two funny videos are being earmarked as “Chinese” or “Japanese” at random. The participants’ negative emotion was successfully elicited by watching The Nanjing Massacre. BVP amplitude significantly descended, whereas BVP frequency ascended drastically in comparison with the baseline level. After the experiment, we asked the participants what emotion they experienced while watching The Nanjing Massacre, and their answer was hostility and anger. We compared the participants’ physiological changes when watching the funny Japanese video and The Nanjing Massacre with those of the baseline level respectively. As the results revealed, the participants’ physiological changes when watching the above two videos obtained the same changed trend relative to the baseline level, which proved that the funny Japanese video did not induce the participants’ positive emotional experience successfully. Meanwhile, we compared further the participants’ physiological changes during the process of watching the funny Japanese video with those when watching The Nanjing Massacre. The results showed that their physiological changing tendency in watching the funny Japanese video was the same as that in watching The Nanjing Massacre, and the former’s level of psychological arousal was greater than the latter’s, which further confirmed that the funny Japanese video amplified the participants’ anger rather than the positive emotional experience. We gather, therefore, that the counter emotional contagion appeared in this experiment. Rather, the participants’ positive emotion was aroused when they watched the funny Chinese video, for their physiological changing trend of BVP amplitude and frequency was completely opposite to that when watching the funny Japanese video.

    The repeated measures ANOVA were employed to analyze the data from the experiment of threshold-descent emotional contagion. In the episode 1, the results showed that the participants’ positive emotion was aroused successfully by watching funny video 1, in which BVP amplitude significantly descended, whereas BVP frequency ascended in comparison with the baseline level. Statistical analysis of data suggested that the participants’ emotion was more negative when they were feeling down by the repeated “unsuccessful” experience, but more positive when watching another funny video after the restless experience (episode 2), in which BVP amplitude and SC significantly ascended, whereas BVP frequency descended in comparison with watching funny video 1 (episode 1). That indicated the participants’ negative emotion (restlessness) facilitated the positive emotional contagion by lowering the threshold value of the positive emotion perception, so we call it “threshold-descent regulation”. Subjective ratings of funniness of these two videos were obtained, and the scores were compared by using the t test. The result demonstrated that the score of funniness of video 1, which participants evaluated, was significantly higher than that of video 2.

    In the experiment of counter emotional contagion, the findings suggested that, the antecedent negative emotion not only prevented the subsequent positive emotional contagion, but also intensified the participants’ antecedent negative emotion experience. So we conclude that the result that “the observer gets ‘infected’ by the emotion he or she perceives” is not always attained as people think. In the experiment of threshold-descent emotional contagion, the antecedent negative emotion could intensify the positive emotional contagion. Hence, the participants’ antecedent emotion did not weaken the effect of emotional contagion, but magnified their subsequent positive emotional experience, instead.

    Related Articles | Metrics
    Will the deficit in inhibition increase the rates of tip-of-the-tongue among the elderly?
    Huamao PENG, Xiaofei MAO
    2018, 50 (10):  1142-1150.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.01142
    Abstract ( 4151 )   PDF (367KB) ( 147 )  

    The tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) refers to when a speaker seems to have accessed a word’s meaning adequately but is unable to complete the sound form or phonological label of the word. Both diary studies that document TOT episodes and experimental methods designed to generate TOT have demonstrated that older adults experience more TOT than young or middle-aged adults. With regard to the aging mechanism, the inhibition deficit theory supposed that older adults are more likely than young adults to fail to retrieve the words due to the activation the irrelevant information, which interfere with the retrieval of the target name. The contents of inhibition include limiting access to irrelevant information (access), deleting information that is no longer relevant (deletion), and restraining the production of dominant responses (restrain). This study consisted of two experimental tasks, which were designed to explore the roles of access and deletion functions respectively in TOT among the elderly.

    In experiment 1, a 2 (age group: old and young) × 2 (interferential condition: with/without interference) mixed design was adopted to examine the role of access function in TOT among the old adults. In order to investigate the impact of deletion function, 30 young people (aged 18 to 33 years) and 30 older adults (aged 60 to 79 years) were recruited. Participants in interference condition were asked to not pay attention to the interferential stimuli when performing the TOT task. To examine the role of deletion function in TOT among the elderly, a 2 (age group: old and young) × 2 (activating condition: activate interferential stimuli or not) mixed design was adopted in experiment 2. Thirty young people (aged 19 to 27 years) and 30 older adults (aged 61 to 78 years) were recruited for experiment 2 and they were presented the interferential stimuli before the TOT task in the condition of activating interferential stimuli.

    A two-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to analyze the data. In experiment 1, the interaction between age and interference condition were significant. Only the old group had significantly higher rates of TOT in the condition with interference than that of those without interference. In order to analyze the role of access function further, we compared the age difference between the 2 conditions, and the age difference in the interference condition was significantly larger. This result indicated that the access function influences the rates of TOT among the old people. In experiment 2, the interaction between age and activating condition was significant. The old group had higher rates of TOT in the condition of activating interferential stimuli, rather than the young group.

    The results demonstrated that the deficits in access and deletion functions of older adults may be responsible for the higher rates of TOT, which provided supportive evidence for the inhibition deficit theory. The study implied that intervention on inhibition may be useful in improving the TOT of old adults.

    Related Articles | Metrics
    The mediating effects of hope and loneliness on the relationship between social support and social well-being in the elderly
    Ruosong YAO,Mengshi GUO,Haosheng YE
    2018, 50 (10):  1151-1158.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.01151
    Abstract ( 6701 )  

    Aging is a complex process of physical, psychological and social changes. With the advent of the era of China’s aging, the physical and mental health of the elderly has drawn more and more attention by our society. Aging is set of unavoidable and irreversible processes, but it is possible to age gracefully. Successful aging has always been an important subject in positive psychology. It focuses on the development of the mental health of the elderly.

    Based on the theory of positive psychology, the current study investigated the mediating effects of hope and loneliness on the relationship between perceived social support and social well-being in the elderly via a questionnaire survey. In addition, the indirect effect model of hope was verified to establish the relationship model among these three variables and to explore the internal mechanism that enhances the development of psychological well-being among the elderly.

    The findings indicate the following: (1) social support, hope, and loneliness are all related to social well-being; (2) social support plays a vital role in social well-being among the elderly; (3) hope plays a partial mediating role in the relationship between social support and social well-being; (4) loneliness plays a partial mediating role in the relationship between social support and social well-being; and (5) hope and loneliness play part of the mediating role of the multiple mediating effects that social support affect social well-being.

    The current study validates the impact of social support on social well-being and the partially mediating roles of hope and loneliness. Accordingly, this study enriches positive psychology research and can ease the psychological health of the elderly to provide an effective empirical basis, and it provides suggestions for the well-being education of the elderly. The study is beneficial to improving the mental health of the elderly in practice, to improve the awareness of the elderly for seeking social support, and promote the good mentality of elderly training. In addition, the study is helpful to reduce the negative experience of loneliness, enhance their hope for future life, and so improve the social well-being of older people.

    Related Articles | Metrics
    Modesty brings gains: The effect of humble leader behavior on team creativity from a team communication perspective
    Shengming LIU,Lifan CHEN,Simai WANG
    2018, 50 (10):  1159-1168.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.01159
    Abstract ( 3276 )  

    The development of a dynamic but uncertain environment has recently prompted leadership scholars to shift their attention from relying on leaders to resolve all problems to that of a considerably humble approach that focuses on stimulating the followers’ intention to serve. The current study follows this stream of research and empirically explores the construct of humble leader behavior, which is defined as spotlighting others’ advantage, acknowledging self-limitations, and modeling teachability. However, the existing understanding on humble leader behavior is incomplete because only a few studies have explored this behavior’s influence on team creativity. The present study discusses the influence mechanism and boundary condition of humble leader behavior on team creativity from a communication perspective. We propose that horizontal communication (e.g., reflective communication among team members) and vertical communication (e.g., feedback communication between team members and team leaders) could mediate the relationship between humble leader behavior and team creativity. We also consider team composition as a boundary condition and suggest that the effect of humble leader humble is moderated by team cognitive diversity.

    The research sample included 342 employees and 76 team leaders from 4 large technology companies in China, thereby enabling us to collect multi-source and time-lagged data. At Time 1, the employees evaluated their leaders’ humble behavior and cognitive diversity of their team. After one month, at Time 2, the employees evaluated their reflective communication in teams and feedback communication with team leaders, while the team leader rated the team creativity. We conducted path analysis using Mplus 7.0 to test the theoretical model.

    Results showed that humble leader behavior was positively related to team creativity. Such influence was mediated by team reflective communication among team members and feedback communication between team leaders and team members. In addition, team cognitive diversity moderated the positive indirect effect of the humble leader behavior on team creativity via communication processes. That is, when the team cognitive diversity was high, the positive indirect effect was stronger than the condition when the team cognitive diversity was low.

    Moreover, results enrich the research on the field of humble behavior by advancing a new influence mechanism and exploring a significant boundary condition of the humble leader behavior. The present study also contributes to the creativity literature by determining the important role of the “bottom-up” leader behavior. This process is realized by the team communication processes, which include reflective communication among team members and feedback communication between team members and team leaders. Furthermore, we extend the understanding of team communication processes by integrating horizontal and vertical communication and providing evidence on its influence on team creativity. We also respond to the appeal to obtain a solution to the increasingly prevalent management issue of diversity management. Our study suggests that humble leader behavior is effective in the management of team cognitive diversity through utilizing the positive effect of team cognitive diversity on team creativity. Overall, the current study has immense theoretical and practical implications.

    Related Articles | Metrics
    Self-monitoring in group context: Its indirect benefits for individual status attainment and group task performance
    Qiongjing HU,Xi LU,Zhixue ZHANG
    2018, 50 (10):  1169-1179.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.01169
    Abstract ( 2699 )  

    Self-monitoring, as a personality trait, describes the extent to which an individual is attentive to social cues and regulates and adapts his/her own behaviors accordingly to achieve social appropriateness. In the process of group establishment and development, self-monitoring not only impacts the quality of interpersonal relationships but also influences both group interaction and group outcome. While prior studies have focused on the effects of self-monitoring at the individual level, researchers have generally ignored the effects at the group level and have not examined the role of self-monitoring in group dynamics over time. To fill this gap, this study examined the effects of self-monitoring within the context of group development.

    In general, this research adopts a dynamic perspective to explore the effects of self-monitoring at both individual and group levels. Specifically, at the individual level, we attempted to examine how self-monitoring affects the positive sentiments held by other group members toward an individual and further influences the individual’s status attainment within the group; at the group level, we attempted to examine how group-mean self-monitoring affects group cohesion as well as the group performance in collaborative tasks. In addition, we intended to explore whether the effect of self-monitoring on positive sentiments changes over time and whether the effect of group-mean self-monitoring on group cohesion changes over time.

    To test the hypotheses, we conducted a longitudinal study (three points in time) over one semester, deliberately choosing students from 32 freshmen dorms as the participants, and we collected data through both surveys and a behavioral task at three waves (T1, T2, and T3). The results showed that at the individual level, self-monitoring was positively related to positive sentiments held by other group members toward the focal person, and self-monitoring had a positive indirect effect on the focal person’s status attainment (indicated by status rating and friendship network centrality) via positive sentiments; at the group level, group-mean self-monitoring was positively related to group cohesion, and group-mean self-monitoring had a positive indirect effect on the group performance in a collaborative task via group cohesion. We also found that the positive effect of self-monitoring on group members’ positive sentiments toward the focal person increased over time (from T2 to T3).

    This research makes several contributions to existing literature. First, we contribute to the self-monitoring literature by exploring the effects of self-monitoring at both individual and group levels. Our findings revealed that high self-monitors can not only build high-quality interpersonal relationships for themselves but also enhance group cohesion in a collective way. Second, we introduce a dynamic approach to studying self-monitoring. With the change of interactions among group members and with the group development over time, the effect of self-monitoring may change as well. Adopting the dynamic perspective can capture this changing track and thus deepen our understanding of the role of self-monitoring in the group context. Lastly, we contribute to status research by identifying an important antecedent of individual’s status attainment in group - positive sentiments held by other group members toward the focal person.

    Related Articles | Metrics
    Situational evolution of the relationship between warmth and competence in intergroup evaluation: Impact of evaluating intention and behavioral outcomes
    Bin ZUO,Fangfang WEN,Yang WU,Taotao DAI
    2018, 50 (10):  1180-1196.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.01180
    Abstract ( 2540 )  

    Two critical dimensions, warmth and competence, feature prominently in people’s social cognitive processes, and there is a great deal of research examining the nature of these two dimensions and their relationships. Recently, researchers have become increasingly interested in the situational dependency that may characterize people’s perceptions of these two dimensions. However, past research has only considered the effect of simple and repeated interactions, leaving the nature and outcomes of the interactions unexamined. According to social interdependence theory, the competitive or cooperative interactions between groups may elicit disparate downstream effects on perceptions of group members. Various theoretical perspectives converged on the notion that the outcomes of previous interaction sessions may exercise a crucial but differential impact on the warmth and competence rating of outgroup members. The current work aimed to investigate the joint effect of the competitive/collaborative context and the interaction outcomes on people’s warmth and competence ratings as well as the relationship between the two dimensions.

    The current research explored this problem in two studies. We investigated how the result of success or failure affects intergroup evaluation in different situations of competition and cooperation. A total of 496 undergraduates were recruited. In all four of our experiments, we used the Distant Planetary Paradigm and imagined a four-stage encounter with an alien prospecting team, with the characteristics and outcomes of each session manipulated according to experimental design. After each stage of the encounter, participants rated their perceptions of the warmth and competence of the alien groups.

    The results showed that: (1) a positive relationship between warmth and competence ratings was observed when participants inferred competence from warmth-related information, and when they inferred warmth from competence-related information, the relationship reversed; (2) during the first stage of interaction, knowing the coaction intention of the outgroup exerted an overarching “centralizing” effect over people’s perception of the member of that outgroup, with the ratings on both dimensions showing a compensatory tendency; and (3) the effect of interaction outcome was contingent on the coaction contexts, such that in a competition context, ratings of warmth and competence exhibited an anti-parallel tendency as the four-stage interactions unfolded, such that a successful outcome may cause a rising-warmth-falling-competence tendency and a failure outcome may cause a warmth-falling-competence rising tendency, whereas in a cooperation context, ratings on the two dimensions evolved in a parallel fashion, such that a successful cooperation may cause an overall increase in ratings on both dimensions and a failed cooperation may cause overall falling ratings on both dimensions.

    In conclusion, the current research is the first to explore the situational evolution of the relationship between warmth and competence ratings in intergroup evaluations, and has important implications for the future inter-group relationship research. This line of inquiry makes a novel contribution to the field by examining how social relationships within joint activities could influence behavior and intentions toward members of an outgroup.

    Related Articles | Metrics