ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    25 January 2020, Volume 52 Issue 1 Previous Issue    Next Issue

    Reports of Empirical Studies
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    Reports of Empirical Studies
    Effects of aging on the Mandarin lexical tone perception: Evidence from ERPs
    XIAO Rong,LIANG Dandan,LI Shanpeng
    2020, 52 (1):  1-11.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00001
    Abstract ( 3947 )  

    The accurate perception of lexical tones in Mandarin Chinese is an important foundation for successfully understanding spoken Chinese. Previous behavioral studies have shown that the ability to perceive lexical tones in Mandarin declines in elderly individuals. In addition to other research areas related to language and aging, the central issue in phonetic perception during aging concerns whether perceptual changes related to aging are area-specific or area-general. The area-general language hypothesis of aging assumes that changes in language perception related to aging are caused by a decline in both general sensory perception function and high-order cognitive function. In contrast, the area-specific language hypothesis of aging assumes that changes in aging-related language perception are caused by specific deficits in language processing. Previous studies mostly detected the state of attention and focused on how area-general factors affect the processing of segmental phonemes in elderly individuals. The present study examined neurophysiological responses, particularly that of MMN, to explore whether the aging of lexical tone perception is language-specific for Mandarin.
    The current study recruited 22 healthy elderly participants (age range: 55.6~79.6 years) and 18 young participants (age range: 22.7~29.0 years). In a passive oddball task, we used event-related potentials (ERPs) to examine Mandarin lexical tone perception. Three syllables from a lexical tone continuum were chosen as stimuli to form an across-category stimulus pair and a within-category stimulus pair for the ERP oddball task. A non-speech stimulus pair was generated on the basis of the within-category stimulus pair. During the experiment, participants were instructed to ignore the presented sounds while watching a self-selected movie.
    ERP data showed that in the across-category condition, compared with the young group, the elderly group had a smaller MMN, and there was no between-group difference in the within-category condition. In the young group, a non-speech tone elicited a larger MMN amplitude than a speech tone that shared the same pitch contour, while the elderly group did not show a speech enhancement effect. In addition, compared with that of the young group, the amplitude of the MMN elicited by the non-speech contrast in the elderly group was significantly smaller. The results indicated that the general decline in central auditory processing function was not related to the pre-attention processing of lexical tone. In addition, when the level at which the auditory input stimulus could be sensed was controlled according to peripheral hearing abilities, the decline in peripheral auditory function was not related to the preservation of or decline in lexical tone perception in the current study.
    In the current study, there is no evidence that the age-related decline in area-general factors affects tone perception in the pre-attention condition. On this basis, this study further speculated that the ability of elderly Mandarin-speaking individuals to perceive lexical tone in pre-attention conditions was preserved and only declined for specific languages, and the above-mentioned decline in the processing of knowledge of Mandarin tone category and the wider preservation of the processing of speech tones are language-specific. The present study provides evidence for the area-specific language hypothesis of aging.

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    Brain network analysis of cognitive reappraisal and expressive inhibition strategies: Evidence from EEG and ERP
    SUN Yan, BO Siyu, LV Jiaojiao
    2020, 52 (1):  12-25.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00012
    Abstract ( 3679 )   PDF (999KB) ( 426 )  

    The ability to regulate emotions is related to psychological, social, and physical health. The two major emotion regulation strategies are cognitive reappraisal (CR) and expressive suppression (ES). Research suggests that CR produces affective, cognitive, and social consequences that are more beneficial to the individual, whereas ES has been consistently linked to more detrimental consequences. Although an increasing number of studies have begun to focus on the neural mechanisms of different types of emotion regulation, there has not yet been systematic research on the spontaneous brain activity associated with CR and ES. Resting activity has been shown to predict performance outcomes, highlight the functional relevance of the brain’s intrinsic fluctuations in response outputs. However, to date, there have been no studies to explore the relationship between the cognitive process of emotion regulation and the brain's resting EEG activity.
    The current study explored the neural mechanisms of spontaneous brain activity during two emotion regulation strategies. Electroencephalography (EEG) enables direct measurement of neuronal activity, allowing characterization of the intrinsic neural cognitive network. Thirty-six college students (17 males and 19 females, aged 17~28 years old) participated in this study. For the first part of the study, EEG data was collected from participants with closed eyes; EEG collection occurred for a duration of 6 minutes. Neurological studies of resting state EEG have identified the predominant role of theta waves in determining cognitive control effort and behavioral performance. In the current study, source localization and graph theory analysis revealed that node efficiency was significantly correlated with the two major emotion regulation strategies, and there were functional connections between brain regions in the theta band.
    Then, in order to improve the reliability of the resting result obtained above, a within subjects experiment was carried out. This experiment required subjects to watch emotional pictures under four emotion regulation conditions (watching neutral, watching negative, reappraisal negative, suppressing negative). The Late-positive potential (LPP) amplitude was obtained when viewing the emotional pictures under the four conditions. LPP is an effective physiological indicator of the emotion regulation effect. It allowed us to explore the emotion regulation effect under different emotion regulation strategies, and the intrinsic functional connections and node efficiency of the brain.
    The results showed that the habitual use of CR was significantly correlated with several brain regions. Specifically, the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, and parietal cortex. Moreover, the brain regions significantly correlated with the LPP amplitude under CR were the parietal cortex, prefrontal cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, and occipital cortex. The brain regions that were significantly correlated with habitual use of ES included the prefrontal cortex, parietal cortex, insula, and parahippocampal gyrus. Finally, the brain regions that were significantly associated with LPP amplitude under ES included the prefrontal cortex, parietal cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, temporal cortex, and occipital cortex. Thus, these findings reveal that many brain regions are involved in these two mood regulation strategies, including the prefrontal cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, parietal cortex, and occipital cortex. In addition, the brain regions related to the different emotion regulation strategies differed slightly; specifically, CR was significantly associated with the anterior cingulate cortex while ES was related to temporal lobe and insula activation.
    In conclusion, the results of this study indicate that use of CR for emotion regulation is associated with activation of multiple brain regions including the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, parietal cortex, parahippocampal gyrus and occipital cortex. On the other hand, the use of ES for emotional regulation was associated with activation of various brain regions including the prefrontal cortex, parietal cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, occipital cortex, temporal cortex and insula. Node efficiency or functional connectivity of these brain regions appears to be a suitable indicator for assessing the effects of the ES and CR emotion regulation strategies.

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    Acute psychological stress impairs attention disengagement toward threat-related stimuli
    LUO Yu, NIAN Jingqing, BAO Wei, ZHANG Jingjing, ZHAO Shouying, PAN Yun, XU Shuang, ZHANG Yu
    2020, 52 (1):  26-37.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00026
    Abstract ( 2415 )   PDF (806KB) ( 166 )  

    Threat stimuli catch our attention when compared with neutral stimuli called attention bias, which includes facilitating attention engagement and difficult attention disengagement to threat. Acute stress influences our attention to threat. However, we do not know whether acute stress can enhance facilitating attention engagement or impair attention disengagement toward threat. Therefore, the present study investigated whether attention engagement to threat is enhanced or attention disengagement to threat is weakened when people are stressed.
    Thirty-six healthy male adults were randomly assigned to a stress group (n = 18) and a control group (n = 18). The stress group underwent socially evaluated cold pressor test (SECPT), whereas the control group underwent a warm water control protocol. The dot-probe task was used to measure the attention bias toward threat. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used in conjunction with reaction time measures to investigate the time course of attention to threat in the dot-probe task. The N2-posteior-contralateral (N2pc) component measured the initial shift of visual attention to the threatening stimulus, whereas the sustained posterior contralateral negativity (SPCN) component measured the maintenance of visual attention to the threatening stimulus. Reaction time, accuracy rate, and the electroencephalography data of the participants were recorded during the dot-probe task. The state anxiety questionnaire and saliva were acquired at five time points, such as 85 and 70 minutes before the SECPT, immediately before and after the dot-probe task, and 70 minutes after the SECPT.
    The SECPT successfully induced stress response. Participants in the stress group showed stronger state anxiety and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis response indicated by increased salivary cortisol concentration after the SECPT than the control group. In addition, no significant differences were found before the SECPT. At the behavioral level, the attention disengagement in the stress group was slower than in the control group. Regarding ERPs, we found a greater amplitude of SPCN (300~600 ms after cue) in the stress group than in the control group. However, no significant effect was found on the amplitude of N2pc between stress group and control group.
    These results indicate that attention disengagement toward threat is impaired under acute stress situations.

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    Effects of episodic foresight on intertemporal decision-making
    WANG Panpan, HE Jiamei
    2020, 52 (1):  38-54.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00038
    Abstract ( 3370 )   PDF (1278KB) ( 196 )  

    The flexibility of individual decision-making behavior is at least partly the result of people’s ability to travel mentally in time and entertain potential future scenarios. It has been proved that episodic foresight has great effect on intertemporal decision-making. However, the reasons for such effect are controversial. The self-relevant information and emotional characteristics of an imagined event could change the perceived waiting time, which is an important factor affecting the preference of intertemporal decision-making ( Zauberman, Kim, Malkoc, & Bettman, 2009). We propose the hypothesis that the perceived waiting time may mediate the effect of episodic foresight on intertemporal decision-making.
    Based on the delay discounting task paradigm, we designed two experiments to explore the mediating role of perceived waiting time between episodic foresight and intertemporal decision-making, which from the perspective of the self-relevant information of the imagined event and the emotional characteristics of the imagined event that occurs in the future time intervals successively. We tested our hypothesis in two laboratory experiments with approximately 93 participants each. Between-subjects study design with pretest and post-test was employed. In the experiments, participants were randomly assigned to different groups and they were asked to complete the subjective perception of the waiting-time task in the pretest and post-test and the episodic-foresight task in the post-test. Participants were also asked to imagine that the given event on the screen occurs on the 15th day from today as much detail as possible, including the time, place, and characters of the event, and write down the contents of the first imagined event. Participants were also required to imagine the event that appear on screen before making a choice every time. Moreover, the current emotional state and the current level of urgent need for money of the participants were recorded and analyzed in the pretest and post-test.
    Results of two experiments showed that the perceived waiting time mediated the effect of episodic foresight on intertemporal decision-making. Imagining self-relevant future events and future events with positive or neutral emotional valence revealed that participants perceived delayed waiting time as short and were more inclined to choose delayed rewards. However, imagining future events with negative emotional valence showed that participants perceived delayed waiting time as long and were more inclined to choose immediate rewards. The current emotional state, the current level of urgent need for money, and other additional environmental variables had no effect on the experimental results.
    In conclusion, this study reveals the psychological mechanism that episodic foresight mediates participants’ intertemporal decision-making through the perceived waiting time, and two experiments demonstrate its robustness. Our research provides a new perspective for explaining why episodic foresight affects intertemporal decision-making and, for the first time, focuses on the process of delayed waiting time in delayed rewards, which has considerable theoretical value.

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    The pursuit of fame at the expense of profit: The influence of power motive and social presence on prosocial behavior
    WANG Jianfeng, DAI Bing
    2020, 52 (1):  55-65.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00055
    Abstract ( 4841 )   PDF (942KB) ( 405 )  

    Power motive often aims at status and superiority and has been associated with antisocial decision-making, dehumanization of others, infidelity, and aggressive behaviors. In light of such findings, it is not surprising that the power motive has acquired a bad reputation. However, there is also a benevolent, prosocial side to power that has not received equal attention. From the beginning, researchers have emphasized the dual nature of power motive: people realize their power motive in either an antisocial or a prosocial direction. Although the stereotypical picture associated with power implicates a kind of offensively aggressive and imperious behavior, such behavior is unlikely to result in sustainable strategic condition beneficial to attaining and maintaining dominance, and cannot typically characterize individuals mainly driven by power motive. Instead of self-serving or egotistical actions, behavioral strategies in a socially preferable manner would advantage power motivated individuals to achieve the ultimate goal. On the contrary, egocentric behavioral strategies can impress other individuals with antisocial characters, such as imprudence and arbitrariness. 
    Research has shown that social presence (e.g., a subtle cue of being watched) has a significant influence on individuals’ behavior in social dilemmas. Specifically, it has been observed that individuals’ tendency to engage in prosocial behavior increases when acting under conditions of a social presence. With respect to social presence, reputation has been discussed as a critical factor determining individuals’ tendency to contribute to a public good and to behave prosocially. The relevant argument holds that individuals are willing to invest private resources under conditions where they can expect to build a positive reputation that may be beneficial in (future) social interactions involving indirect reciprocity. For example, research has demonstrated the status benefits of selfless behavior. Individuals pursue status by enhancing the apparent value they provide to their group and compete for status not by bullying and intimidating others, but by behaving in ways that suggest high levels of competence, generosity, and commitment to the group. This seemingly selfless behavior leads to them being perceived as more generous in their groups and, in turn, leads to a higher status and a good reputation. Therefore, individuals who sought reputation and status attained them by acting strategically prosocially.
    The present work builds on previous research on social presence and reputation and addresses the question of whether the effect of power motive on prosocial behavior is dependent on social presence. In essence, the current work put the assumption to the test that, under conditions where a subtle cue of being watched (study 1) or public situation (study 2) render reputational concerns salient, individuals are more likely to act in fairness (study 1) or cooperation (study 2) if they have a higher level of power motive. In contrast, under anonymous conditions, individuals’ power motive should not be related to fair and cooperative behaviors. The results confirmed our hypothesis that under conditions where a subtle cue of being watched or in a public situation, high power motive individuals, relative to low power motive participants, allocated more money to interactive partners in the ultimatum game and provided higher provision levels of public goods in the public good game. On the contrary, under anonymous conditions, no significant relationship was found between individuals’ power motive and fair and cooperative behaviors.
    The results suggest that people with high power motive also exhibit prosocial behaviors in consideration of strategies of reputation and status. The present work demonstrates that power motive can play a critical role in social dilemma situations. Moreover, the findings emphasize that one must take the specificity of a situation into account (particularly, whether social presence as a situational factor influences individuals’ decisions) in order to explain individuals’ behavior in dilemma situations.

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    Qualitative research on the endogenous power mechanism for poverty elimination
    FU Anguo, ZHANG Zaisheng, ZHENG Jianhong, YUE Tong, LIN Zhaohong, WU Na, HUANG Xiting
    2020, 52 (1):  66-80.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00066
    Abstract ( 3432 )   PDF (8244KB) ( 294 )  

    Poverty remains one of the most pressing and vexing issues facing the world today. Although progress has been made in alleviating poverty in China, more efforts are needed to manage the intractable generations that have been affected by poverty. Endogenous power is the core psychological resource for low-income individuals to move out of poverty. However, there is a lack of a research framework for the endogenous power of poverty elimination in the Chinese context, which may result in a scarcity of relevant empirical research and the neglect of psychological factors in the formulation of poverty alleviation policies. This study deploys qualitative research methods to explore the psychological structure and key influencing factors of endogenous power of generations of low-income individuals with a goal of providing proposals on psychologically targeted poverty alleviation.
    The researchers utilized an intensity sampling method to obtain study participants, and grounded theory, based on in-depth interviews, was adopted as research methodology. Participants comprised individuals who had successfully (seven people) or unsuccessfully (ten people) pulled themselves out of poverty as well as poverty alleviation cadres (four cadres) from a deeply impoverished village on Hainan Island. This study attempts to construct an integral endogenous power depletion model for intergenerational poverty from the perspectives of endogenous power for poverty elimination and the integration of endogenous and exogenous driving forces. The study followed the standard procedure of grounded theory, and we analyzed the data with Nvivo 11.0. Based on grounded theory, preliminary analysis, generic analysis, and theoretical construction of the collected data were conducted. Inspections of the participants and non-participants were used to verify the research results’ validity.
    The findings of the study fall into three categories. First, the “Three-factor Onion Model” with negative values, negative self-concept, and the behavioral tendencies of passive anti-poverty as the core factors was found to be the endogenous driving force of generations of low-income individuals. Second, perceived control loss as a psychosocial driving force is an important cause of the lack of endogenous power among those poverty-stricken people for generations, and the combination of a lack of market rationality and campaign-style poverty alleviation are external causes of perceived control loss. Third, under the influence of the construction of inner capacities, parenting capabilities become an important internal driving force, as they take an intermediate role during the promotion of endogenous powers to their offspring and help cultivate positive psychological resources for the family.
    This paper attempts to place the internal psychological factors and external key factors that lead to generational poverty into a holistic research framework. Although some enlightening views have been obtained, the results are constrained by the complexity of the theme and the limitations of the data, and only a general exploration could be made. In the future, quantitative research methods may be adopted to verify the accuracy of the Internal Motivation Depletion Model for intergenerational poverty.

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    The influence of idiosyncratic deals on employee proactive career behavior and creativity
    LUO Ping,SHI Junqi,ZHU Yanni,FANG Yanran
    2020, 52 (1):  81-92.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00081
    Abstract ( 2263 )  

    Idiosyncratic deals (simplified as “i-deals”) refer to personalized employment arrangements in order to meet both employees and their employers’ benefits. Drawing on self-determination theory (SDT), the current study investigated the relationship between i-deals and the two important employee work outcomes (i.e., proactive career behavior and creativity) by focusing on the mediating role of psychological needs satisfaction (i.e., competence need satisfaction, autonomy need satisfaction and relatedness need satisfaction) and the moderating role of workload.
    Three time points of data were collected from 230 supervisor-subordinate dyads in 40 work teams within Guangzhou and Shenzhen. At Time 1, subordinates reported i-deals and provided demographic information. At Time 2, subordinates responded to measures of workload, competence need satisfaction, autonomy need satisfaction, and relatedness need satisfaction. At Time 3, supervisors rated their subordinates’ creativity, and employees self-reported their own proactive career behavior.
    Results showed that: (1) i-deals was positively related to all three forms of employees’ psychological needs satisfaction (competence need satisfaction, autonomy need satisfaction, and relatedness need satisfaction); (2) i-deals was positively associated with both employee proactive career behavior and creativity; (3) competence need satisfaction mediated the relationship between i-deals and the two employee work outcomes (i.e., proactive career behavior and creativity), whereas the mediating effect of autonomy and relatedness need satisfaction was not significant; (4) workload strengthened the positive relationship between i-deals and employee competence / autonomy need satisfaction, as well as the indirect effect of i-deals on proactive career behavior and creativity via competence need satisfaction.
    The current study contributes to the literature in two aspects. First, drawing on SDT, we identified the mediating mechanism of psychological need satisfaction (competence need satisfaction in specific) in understanding the influence of i-deals on employee’s proactive career behavior and creativity. Second, in testing the moderating role of workload on the effects of i-deals and its outcomes, we clarified the boundary condition of the positive effects of i-deals. The theoretical contributions and practical implications of the results were discussed.

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    A method of Q-matrix validation for polytomous response cognitive diagnosis model based on relative fit statistics
    WANG Daxun,GAO Xuliang,CAI Yan,TU Dongbo
    2020, 52 (1):  93-106.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00093
    Abstract ( 1060 )  

    Cognitive diagnostic assessments (CDAs) can provide fine-grained diagnostic information about students' knowledge states, so as to help to teach in accordance with the students’ aptitude. The development of cognitive diagnosis model for polytomous response data expands the application scope of cognitive diagnostic assessment. As the basis of CDAs, Q-matrix has aroused more and more attention for the subjective tendency in Q-matrix construction that is typically performed by domain experts. Due to the subjective process of Q-matrix construction, there inevitably have some misspecifications in the Q-matrix, if left unchecked, can result in a serious negative impact on CDAs. To avoid the subjective tendency from experts and to improve the correctness of the Q-matrix, several objective Q-matrix validation methods have been proposed. Many Q-matrix validation methods have been proposed in dichotomous CDMs, however, the research of the Q-matrix validation method under polytomous CDMs is stalling lacking. To address this concern, several relative fit statistics (i.e., -2LL, AIC, BIC) were applied to the Q-matrix validation for polytomous cognitive diagnosis model in this research. The process of Q-matrix validation is as follows:
    First, the reduced Q-matrix is represented by${{Q}_{r}}$, which represents a set of potential q-vectors and contains ${{2}^{K}}-1$ possible q-vectors when attributes are independent. When validating the q-vector of the first category of item j, all possible q-vectors in${{Q}_{r}}$can be used as the q-vector of the first category of item j, and the Q-matrix of remaining items remains intact. From this, the item parameters and the attribute patterns of students can be estimated, and the -2LL, AIC, and BIC can be calculated accordingly. The q-vector with the largest likelihood (or smallest AIC/BIC) is regarded as the q-vector of the first category of item j. The q-vector of the next category of the item j can also be obtained in the same way. The algorithm stops when the validated Q-matrix is same as the previous Q-matrix, or every item has been reached. In order to improve the efficiency of the method, a sequential search algorithm was proposed.
    Several simulation studies were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness and practicality of these methods, and the performance of the methods in this paper was compared with the stepwise method ( Ma & de la Torre, 2019). Three experimental factors were considered in simulation studies, including sample size, Q-matrix error types and CDMs. The results show that (1) BIC method can be used for Q-matrix validation under polytomous response CDMs, and the performance of the BIC method is better than the stepwise method. (2) In general, the performance of the three methods from good to bad is the BIC method, AIC method, and -2LL method. (3) The performance of Q-matrix validation methods is affected by the sample size, and increasing the number of sample size can improve the accuracy of the Q-matrix validation.
    In this study, Q-matrix validation methods for polytomous response CDMs were studied. It was found that the BIC method can be used for the Q-matrix validation under polytomous response CDMs. The method proposed in this paper can not only improve the accuracy of Q-matrix specification but also increase the model-data fit level. Besides, the data-based Q-matrix validation method can also reduce the workload of experts in Q-matrix construction and improve the classification accuracy of cognitive diagnosis.

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