ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B


    28 February 2013, Volume 45 Issue 2 Previous Issue    Next Issue

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    Guidance of Working Memory on Attention: The Effects of Inhibition Incentive
    HU Yanmei;ZHANG Ming;XU Zhan;LI Biqin
    2013, 45 (2):  127-138.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00127
    Abstract ( 1430 )  
    Although items matching the contents of visual object working memory (VOWM) could automatically capture attention, whether it is obligatory remains an opening question. With two experiments, we aimed to investigate whether this guidance effect could be affected by top-down inhibitory control. The participants were instructed to remember a visual object item for a change-detection test after a short delay. During the retention interval, the participants were required to seek a target stimulus among five distractors. One of the crucial manipulations was the presence or absence of distractors in the search array matching the memory items. In Experiment 1, we varied the proportion of matching trials across different experimental groups to induce different levels of inhibition incentive. As the memory item would never match the search target, it’s highly likely that the participants would draw attention away from the memory-matching distractors. And this effect would be more pronounced in the condition of high inhibition incentive. In Experiment 2, we instructed different proportions of matching trials to different groups while keeping the actual proportion constant across groups to further ruled out the interference of practice. The main results showed, when the level of inhibition incentive was relatively low, search RTs were shorter in matching trials in comparison of that in control trials, demonstrating a classical memory-based attention capture effect by the memory-matching distractors. However, when the level of inhibition incentive was high enough, search RTs were faster in matching trials, suggesting a memory-based attention inhibition effect by the top-down control. Furthermore, the effects of the top-down inhibitory control were more in evidence and appeared earlier, when the inhibition incentive was extremely high. The results, thus, demonstrates: 1) the VOWM guidance effect is not obligatory. Instead, it’s a flexible mechanism that could be modulated by the top-down inhibitory control. And 2) this top-down control can be modulated by the level of inhibition incentive in terms of its effectiveness, efficiency and time course.
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    Working Memory Representation Does Guide Visual Attention: Evidence from Eye Movements
    2013, 45 (2):  139-148.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00139
    Abstract ( 963 )  
    Whether the working memory representations could guide visual attention to select the matching stimuli in visual search is still controversial. By requiring the participants to perform a visual search task while online keeping some objects in working memory, some researchers have observed a stronger interference from the distractor when it was identical or related to the object held in memory. But other researchers did not observe such attentional guidance effect even using similar procedures. Olivers (2009) examined several possible influencing factors through a series of experiments and finally attributed the discrepancy to the search type whether the search target was varied or not across trials throughout the experiment. However, according to our analysis, there were several factors might confound the results in the critical experiment of Olivers (2009). So here, we used the classic dual task combined with eye movement tracking technology to reexamine and evaluate the effect of the search type on the top-down guiding process of visual attention from working memory representations. Experiment 1 aimed to reexamine the effect of search type on attentional guidance via counterbalancing the perceptual difficulty of the search array in two types of the visual search task. The experimental procedure was similar to that used in the Experiment 5 of Olivers (2009) except making the perceptual difficulty of search array to be equal between visual search tasks. The eye movement data showed that, both in fixed- and varied-target visual search task, the distractor which was identical to the working memory representation was more easily to capture visual attention than the control distractor which was irrelevant to the working memory representations. It is suggested that the attentional guidance would appear no matter which visual search type used. However, we also found that the magnitude of attentional guidance was greater in the fixed-target visual search task than in the varied-target visual search task. Experiment 2 aimed to examine whether search type or working memory load was the real fact which caused the difference of guidance effect between visual search tasks in experiment 1. In the present experiment, we counterbalanced the working memory load between two types of visual search task. Consistent to experiment 1, the results also showed significant attentional guidance in both visual search task, however, the magnitude of the attentional guidance between visual search tasks became equivalent. In conclusion, these results disobeyed the explanation that the visual search type was the determinant factor for whether the attentional guidance has been observed or not in the previous studies, and suggested that the attentional guidance from working memory was to some degree affected by the factors of working memory load.
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    The Role of Spatial Shift in Constructing Situation Model of the Narrative Reading
    XIA Tiansheng;MO Lei;CHEN Lin;WANG Yuhan;LI You;RU Taotao
    2013, 45 (2):  149-160.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00149
    Abstract ( 767 )  
    Situational model is one of the most intensively investigated topics on discourse comprehension. Up to date, it is widely agreed that narrative comprehension includes mental representation that is based on text description. Event-indexing model explains situational model in detail. The former model proposes that events are the core units of the mental representation, which are defined in five situational dimensions: time, space, character, causality and intentionality. Space is an important dimension for constructing situational model, and a number of studies have shown that readers track spatial information while reading texts. In addition, some studies provided evidence supporting that readers use spatial shift to segment the consecutive narrative. Radvansky and Copeland (2010) explored the influence of spatial shift on the processes of situational model updated in narrative reading by multi-index detection paradigm, which integrated the previous study on spatial situational model updating. However, after scrutinizing their experiment, we found that they did not separate the factors spatial shift and event shift, which actually are not consistent. Based on the above consideration, event segmentation and probe words paradigms were adopted to investigate the function of event shift and spatial shift in narrative reading by four experiments. Experiment 1a repeated a previous study, exploring the effect of spatial shift on situational model updating and reading time, and further verified the rationality of using multi-index detection paradigm in our study. Experiment 1b investigated the influence of spatial shift on situational model updating under the separation of spatial shift and event shift. Experiment 2a studied the effect of spatial shift on event segmentation, and further verified the rationality of using event segmentation paradigm in our study. Experiment 2b explored the influence of spatial shift on event segmentation under the separation of spatial shift and event shift, which can verify the affect of spatial shift to situational model updating. The results showed that the separation of spatial shift and event shift did not cause the updating of situational model. Event unit was the core unit of constructing the narrative’s mental representation. Only when the event shift was identified could spatial shift cause readers to update situational model.
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    Sex Differences in Inhibition of Return in Face-gender Discrimination
    XU Danni;ZHANG Jiayue;LI Xianchun
    2013, 45 (2):  161-168.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00161
    Abstract ( 1296 )  
    The inhibition of return (IOR) promotes the exploration of new and previous unattended objects in the scene during visual search or foraging by preventing attention from returning to already-attended objects. Many lines of evidence have shown that the different kinds of emotions have significant influence on the magnitude of inhibition of return (IOR) in the cue-response paradigm. Human faces, as the social and biological stimulus, play an important role in our social life, and face-gender information is also important in our social activity, especially during face-to-face communications. However, it still remains largely unknown how the face-gender information affects IOR and what the difference is between sexes in IOR effects. Using the cue-target paradigm as used in other studies, in the present study we explored the sex difference in IOR effect in the face-gender discrimination task. During the cue period, a green colored box (cue) was first shown on either the right or left side of a monitor screen with equal probability for 200 ms, which was followed by a central cue. Then, the target face (either a male or a female face with neutral emotion, randomly arranged) was then appeared on the valid position (the same position the cue had been) or invalid position (the position in the other side of the cue) with equal probability after the offset of central cue. Subjects were asked to discriminate the gender of the target face by pressing a button out of two as accurately and quickly as possible. We collected behavioral data from each subject, including correct rate and reaction time. Forty-six college participants including 22 males and 24 females were recruited in the present study. Our data showed that the reaction time to face-gender in valid-cued locations was significantly longer than that in invalid-cued locations, which indicates that there exists IOR in the face-gender discrimination task. Furthermore, the male subjects did not show any difference in the magnitude of IOR between male and female faces, which indicates that face-gender has no effect on IOR effects in the face-gender discrimination task. However, the average magnitude of IOR for male faces in female participants in their follicular phase was smaller than those participants in their luteal phase, which suggests that the magnitude of IOR is related to the interaction of face-gender and the menstrual period of the female subjects. Our data show that IOR in the face-gender discrimination task does not show any sex difference. We therefore provide evidence for the ‘blind’ mechanism of IOR in the present study. However, the difference in magnitude of IOR between different menstrual periods of female subjects suggests that the effect of face-gender on IOR relies on the participants' sensitivity to gender and sex information.
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    An Eye-tracking Research on the Other Race Effect During Face Processing in Preschool Children
    WANG Qiandong;HU Chao;FU Genyue
    2013, 45 (2):  169-178.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00169
    Abstract ( 1310 )  
    Processing faces is important for our adaptation in human society because perceiving others’ thoughts and emotions through their faces are necessary for social communication and cooperation. Exploration into this issue provides a better understanding of the role of experience in the formation of visual processing expertise and the origin and establishment of racial prejudice and stereotypes. In this field, there is an effect confirmed by many research studies: the Other Race Effect (ORE). That is, individuals generally recognize own-race faces more accurately and faster than other-race faces. The existing behavioral and neural imaging studies have provided a great deal of insights into ORE, yet little is known about how individuals visually scan own- and other-race faces. Eye-tracking is one of the ideal methodologies for exploring this problem because it allows for recording the fixation of various observers on various parts of the face in real time with relatively high temporal and spatial resolution There have been several recent studies on ORE that have used the eye-tracking methodology. However, there exists a marked difference between the findings. Caldera, Kelly and their colleagues found that although Caucasian and Chinese adults use differently scanning strategies (the eye centric strategy by Caucasians and the nose centric strategy by Chinese), their scanning strategies for both own- and other race faces were the same. However, Fu and his colleagues (2011) found that the Chinese adults’ scanning strategies used for own- and other race faces were different. It should be noted, participants used in the research studies of Caldera, Kelly and their colleagues, the Chinese participants are all studying abroad, they may have enough visual experience to affect their eye-movement model before they attend the experiments. In order to confirm Fu and his colleagues’ results, and explore preschool children’s face processing strategies for own and other race faces, we did a face-recognition research on native Chinese children aged from 4~7 years and native Chinese adults as controls. They had never had direct contact with other-race individuals. We first showed the participants a set of Chinese and Western Caucasian faces, instructing them to remember these "acquaintance". Then these photos will be mixed with other "no-acquaintance" photos in the following testing period. The participants should judge whether the photos were acquaintance one by one. We used a Tobii eye tracker to record the participants’ fixations on the faces. The present results showed that: (1) Chinese participants (no matter preschool children or adults) were more inclined to scan the nose and mouth region of Chinese faces than that of Caucasian faces, and more inclined to scan the eye region of Caucasian faces than that of Chinese faces; (2) Adults showed more holistic perceptual strategies (scanning the nose region of the faces) than preschool children. The results confirmed Fu et al’s finding and supported the expert-novice hypothesis.
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    Developmental Trajectories of Loneliness During Middle and Late Childhood: A Latent Growth Curve Analysis
    LIU Junsheng;ZHOU Ying;LI Dan
    2013, 45 (2):  179-192.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00179
    Abstract ( 1442 )  
    Loneliness is typically defined as the subjective experience of dissatisfaction with one’s social and relational life. Children as young as preschool-age can reliability report feelings of loneliness. The experience of loneliness is associated with a wide range of socio-emotional difficulties from early childhood to adolescence. Most previous research has focused on contributing factors and mechanisms that may underlie the development of loneliness. However, much less is known about the developmental trajectories of loneliness, particularly during middle childhood. It has been postulated that loneliness arises as a result of unmet social needs (Social needs theory). From a cognitive perspective, loneliness is thought to be influenced primarily by subjective perceptions of one’s personal relationships. However, children’s social needs and cognitive capabilities do not remain static across development. Accordingly, the purpose of the present study was to examine the developmental trajectories of loneliness across middle childhood. Participants were 884 primary school students, who were followed up for three years from grade two to grade five. Assessments of children’s loneliness and peer acceptance were obtained from both self-reports and peer assessments at four time points. Latent growth modeling was used to examine: (1) initial levels and change in loneliness over time; and (2) the prediction of both initial levels and growth in loneliness from child gender and peer acceptance. Among the results, children’s loneliness decreased in a non-linear trajectory from grade 2 (Mean age = 8.5years, SD=3.06 months) to grade 5. As well, although boys had higher initial levels of loneliness than girls, there was no gender difference in the change of loneliness over time. Finally, results from latent growth curve modeling indicated that peer acceptance as a time-variant variable influenced children’s feeling of loneliness. Peer acceptance at given testing point could reduce children’s feeling of loneliness at that time. Our findings suggest that developmental trajectories of loneliness are influenced by changes in the forms and functions of social contacts, activities, and relationships at different developmental stages. A better understanding of the causes and consequences of change in loneliness across the critical age period of middle childhood can help to ameliorate intervention programs designed to assist lonely children.
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    The Working Memory Features of Junior Students with Mathematics Learning Disabilities: Domain General or Domain Specific?
    CAI Dan;LI Qiwei;DENG Ciping
    2013, 45 (2):  193-205.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00193
    Abstract ( 1190 )  
    Mathematics learning disability (MLD) is an important area of learning disability. Now there emerging a leading paradigm for carrying out research on MLD from the viewpoint of online information processing, and more and more studies focused on discussing the cognitive processing mechanism of MLD. The definition and screening methods of the MLD are still in dispute, therefore it needs further research to explore the different information processing features of different kinds of mathematics. Based on the three-factor model put forward by Baddeley and Hitch (1974), this study designed the experiment tasks of central executive system, visuo-spatial sketchpad and phonological loop, exploring the differences of the three components of working memory between the 55 MLD students and 56 students who are good at math (with 48 male students and 63 female students, average age was 11.97-year-old). Then, according to the criteria of national math curriculum, math learning was further divided into two parts, that is, (a) counting and algebra, (b) space and geometry. The cognitive processing mechanism of various kinds of mathematics study was investigated. In the first study, a serial cognitive-behavior computerized tasks were composed to test the three components of working memory, such as, the stop signal task and Flanker’s tasks testifying the central executive function, N-back and Spatial Figure Position tasks testifying the visuo-spatial sketchpad, and the digit span and sentence span tasks which tested the phonological loop. The cognitive characteristics of the MLD students in some specific math leaning area were analyzed. In the second study, the author chose the specific math knowledge, Axial Symmetry and Centro Symmetry tasks from the space and geometry, which was learned by grade seven students, to discover the cognitive feature between the MLD group and the group who were good at math. The results showed that: (1) the MLD group performed poorer than the normal group in central executive system, visuo-spatial sketchpad and phonological loop, indicating the WM deficits among the MLD students was domain-general. (2) the working memory deficit in the MLD students was domain general, but various kinds of math learning belonged to different cognitive processing mechanism. The tasks of counting and algebra were influenced by the combined role played by the central executive system, visuo-spatial sketchpad and phonological loop; the tasks of space and geometry were influenced by the central executive system, visuo-spatial sketchpad instead of phonological loop. (3) visuo-spatial sketchpad predicted the performance of Axial Symmetry and Centro symmetry tasks, then followed by central executive system, and phonological loop had little effect to this task. The second stud testified the specificity of phonological loop, and the impact to geometry exerted by visuo-spatial sketchpad was obvious. This indicated that during math learning, working memory was not only domain specific but also domain general. The central executive system, visuo-spatial sketchpad were characterized by domain generality and phonological loop was characterized by domain specificity.
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    The Moderating Effect of Product Type on the Shopping Momentum Effect
    YAO Qing;CHEN Rong;DUAN Suhuan
    2013, 45 (2):  206-216.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00206
    Abstract ( 1200 )  
    Recent research suggests that consumer purchase behavior can be systematically affected by their prior purchase. For example, Dhar, Huber and Khan (2007) show that buying an initial item can often increase the purchase likelihood of unintended and unrelated items, a phenomenon known as the shopping momentum effect. Despite acceptance of shopping momentum in consumer behavior, little is understood about the boundaries of the momentum effect and particular conditions under which it arises. The current research is an initial foray into investigating the antecedents and outcomes of such purchase acceleration. We propose a framework to examine when an initial purchase (Driver) makes it easier or harder to buy a second item (Target). We posit that whether a driver induces purchase momentum or not depends on whether the driver item is hedonic or utilitarian in nature (utilitarian items are sought for practical and functional purposes; hedonic items are desired for fun and fantasy; Strahilevitz & Myers, 1998; Dhar & Wertenbroch, 2000). Our prediction is based on research findings that hedonic items often induce feelings of guilt and can spontaneously activate long terms goals (Fishbach, Freidman, & Kruglanski, 2003). Guilt can in turn trigger a motivation to justify choices (Kivetz & Simonson, 2002). Thus, we posit that a hedonic driver can activate a justification mindset and make people more likely to focus on an option’s justifiability rather than its desirability. As a result, a hedonic (vs. a utilitarian) driver should reduce purchase momentum. Two experiments test these predictions. Study 1 varied the nature of the driver item and compared the daily sales of items except the driver product at a cosmetic and accessory shop in the marketplace. As predicted, a utilitarian driver significantly increased the purchase likelihood of other items compared to the hedonic driver. Study 2 replicated the results and provided support for the notion that a hedonic driver triggers a justification mindset in the laboratory. Participants were randomly assigned to hedonic, utilitarian or a no driver condition. Half of the participants in each condition were asked to indicate reasons for buying the target item before their decision. As predicted, compared to the control condition, purchase of the target was significantly higher after a utilitarian driver but significantly lower after a hedonic driver. Moreover, when the driver was utilitarian, significantly fewer participants bought the target when prompted to consider reason for their purchase compared to when reasons were not sought. However, when the driver was hedonic, asking participants to consider reasons for buying the target did not shift their likelihood to buy the target item. The findings systematically demonstrated that the shopping momentum effect is moderated by the product type of the driver item. The research enriches sequential choice studies by classifying different product nature of the prior choice. From the perspective of hedonic-utilitarian product paradigm, the results provide a new theoretical cue for examining how hedonic goods differ from utilitarian goods in affecting subsequent decisions. Finally, the findings have important managerial implications in successful display design of shelves in stores.
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    The Mechanism of Employee’s Sense of Power on Speaking-up: A Power Cognition Perspective
    DUAN Jinyun;Huang Caiyun
    2013, 45 (2):  217-230.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00217
    Abstract ( 1265 )  
    Employee’ speaking-up behavior is a kind of voice behavior which points to a supervisor. Voice behavior is a form of constructive, change-oriented communication intended to improve the organization. Owing to the influence of Chinese culture and thinking style of Chinese people, although there are numerous research outcomes in western countries, it is hard to put these conclusions into practice in a Chinese background. Since governmental organization is representative of Chinese condition and culture, our study was conducted with samples taken from Chinese civil servants. Moreover, the psychological mechanism of speaking-up behavior was also investigated. The results have significant theoretical implications for speaking-up research, and are beneficial to the practice of recruitment and management of civil servants. Based on the situated focus theory and the approach/inhibition theory of power, the study was conducted to explore the relationship between employee’s sense of power and speaking-up behavior, as well as the inner cognitive mechanisms which are represented by cognitive flexibility and psychological availability. Furthermore, the moderating effect of employee’s power distance orientation was also investigated. Our sample consists of 306 civil servants and their immediate supervisors from governmental organizations in the southern area of Jiangsu province. To test our hypotheses, we used factor analysis, regression analysis and simple slope analysis. The results showed that, when employee’s sense of power was high, the probability of speaking-up behavior was increased, and this relationship was mediated by cognitive flexibility and psychological availability. Power distance orientation acted as a mediated-moderator which moderated the relationship between the sense of power and the speaking-up behavior. In addition, power distance orientation positively moderated the relationship between the sense of power and the two mediating variables. In other words, the main effect would be stronger when the moderator was high. Implications, limitations and future directions of the study were discussed as well.
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    The Effect of Essentialist Theory of Ethnicity on Ethnic Identity and Stereotyping
    GAO Chenghai;WAN Minggang
    2013, 45 (2):  231-242.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00231
    Abstract ( 1610 )  
    采用问卷法、访谈法和实验法, 考察了少数民族与汉族大学生的民族本质论、民族认同和民族刻板印象的特点, 检验了民族本质论与民族认同和民族刻板印象的关系。研究1结果表明:(1)持有强烈民族本质论观点的个体感知到的群际差异更大; (2)民族本质论影响个体的群际导向, 它使个体有强烈的内群认同和偏好, 但其与外群接触的态度较为消极。研究2结果表明:汉族被试持有的民族本质论观点越强烈, 其对少数民族持有刻板印象的程度就更大, 尤其是消极刻板印象。民族本质论对民族认同和民族刻板印象有重要影响, 在实践中可以将民族本质论作为一个中介, 通过改变人们的民族本质论信念, 减少群际刻板印象与偏见, 改善群体关系。
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    Comparison and Selection of Five Noncompensatory Cognitive Diagnosis Models Based on Attribute Hierarchy Structure
    TU Dongbo;CAI Yan;DAI Haiqi
    2013, 45 (2):  243-252.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2013.00243
    Abstract ( 647 )  
    Attribute hierarchy structure (AHS), which was considered as the basis of cognitive diagnosis, could largely affect the classification accuracy. However, in practical work, it was very difficult to determine whether the specified AHS was rational or not. Thus, it is necessary to explore how the AHS will affect the classification accuracy. This paper investigated the effect of different AHSs on the accuracy of diagnosis. And two AHSs were under investigation, one is the correctly identified AHS and the other is the incorrectly identified AHS. The commonly used Monte Carlo simulation method was employed to generate the data. And five cognitive diagnostic models, Rule Space Model (RSM), Attribute Hierarchy Model (AHM), General Distance Decision (GDD) Model, DINA_HC model and DINA model, were used to fit the same data. The results indicated that: (1) When the AHS was correctly identified, the attribute match ratios (AMRs) under RSM and AHM were both relatively low, while the AMRs under GDD, DINA_HC and DINA models were all relatively high. Furthermore, the AMRs under DINA_HC and DINA models were larger than that of GDD model. (2) When the AHS was incorrectly identified, the AMRs under RSM, AHM and GDD models were all relatively smaller compared to the case in which AHS was correctly identified, which indicated that the AHS significantly affects the accuracy of diagnosis of the RSM, AHM and GDD models. On the other hand, the influence of AHS on the accuracy of the diagnosis of DINA_HC model was moderate. But the accuracy of the diagnosis of DINA model will not be influenced by the AHS because the AHS information was not used in the DINA model.
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