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    A new type of mental health assessment using artificial intelligence technique
    JIANG Liming, TIAN Xuetao, REN Ping, LUO Fang
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (1): 157-167.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00157
    The application of artificial intelligence and big data mining technology in the field of mental health has promoted the development of intelligent mental health assessment. Intelligent mental health assessment entails the application of artificial intelligence technology in acquiring and analyzing data and modeling the relationship between behavioral features and mental health problems. Intelligent mental health assessment has broadened the forms of data and the analysis methods of traditional mental health assessment, enabling researchers to obtain multi-modal data based on more simulated situations and achieve more efficient and accurate assessments.
    At present, researchers mainly carry out mental health assessments based on social media data, smart device data, video game data, and wearable device data to explore various features related to mental health and build predictive models. Social media data mainly refer to the text content posted by users on social media, which is widely used in psychological assessment. Researchers have explored text features related to mental health. Foreign researchers mainly predict users' mental health conditions based on the contents posted on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Domestic researchers mostly rely on Weibo and other platforms to conduct related research. Smartphones and other devices record individual daily behavioral data, including application software use, communication, location movement (based on GPS), etc. These behavioral data provided effective information for predicting the psychological characteristics of individuals. Besides, with the widespread use of smartphones and other mobile devices, collecting audio and video data has become more convenient. Researchers can extract features such as actions, voices, and expressions to achieve an immediate and automatic evaluation of participants' mental health. Video game data refers to the log data of the player during the game. It contains a wealth of behavioral performance information of the individual in the virtual environment. Researchers can evaluate the individual's abilities and psychological characteristics based on the data. Game-based assessment is mainly used to assess individual abilities and cognitive impairment. However, there are few studies on mental health assessment based on games, only some assessments of the positive personality. Mental health problems are often accompanied by obvious physiological reactions. Researchers use wearable devices to collect physiological indicators such as brain electricity, eye movements, heart rate, and skin temperature for mental health monitoring. Researchers use EEG data and eye movement data to identify mental health problems related to emotions and attention. Indicators of skin temperature and heart rate reflect the individual's mood and stress state and therefore have the potential to predict the level of individual mental health.
    The future research directions of intelligent mental health assessment mainly include five aspects. First, previous research on intelligent mental health assessment has often used data-driven methods to explore features and construct predicting models, which is hard to explain the complex relationship between behavioral indicators and latent mental health state. Therefore, further improvement of pertinence and refinement is demanded. Researchers should design tasks based on psychological theories, carry out meaningful feature extraction, and gradually refine from rough dichotomous diagnosis to continuous and typed diagnosis. Second, unsupervised data mining is difficult to ensure the validity and interpretability of assessment. To carry out effective assessment and reduce errors in the new simulated environment, the task design of intelligent mental health assessment should be designed based on the evidence center. Third, the current intelligent mental health assessment mainly uses the indicators in the computer field, and the relevant research considering the reliability and validity is very rare. Researchers should select prediction models based on specific tasks and test the generalization and stability of prediction models in different datasets and scenarios. Fourth, different data sources and features have unique advantages. Researchers could obtain multi-modal data for modeling and analysis with the application of the advanced technology of artificial intelligence. Finally, privacy protection and ethical issues are essential for intelligent mental health assessment. Subjects should be notified before data acquisition and use.
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    The influence of oxytocin, progesterone and estrogen on disgust and its neurophysiological mechanism
    ZHANG Xia, LEI Yi, WANG Fushun
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (1): 85-97.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00085
    Disgust, as an important basic emotion, is commonly recognized as a toxin (pathogens) avoidance mechanism to protect individuals from diseases, and has far-reaching evolutionary implications and specific physiological mechanisms. Hormones are chemical messengers synthesized and secreted by endocrine cells, which affect the physiological activities of individuals by regulating the metabolism of various tissue cells. A large number of studies have found that the generation and expression of disgust involve many different hormones, including oxytocin, progesterone, estrogens, testosterone, corticosteroids, arginine-vasopressin, etc. These various systems of neuroendocrine regulations make individuals rapidly evaluate and integrate the information related to toxins and pathogen cues, and thus producing appropriate disgust and avoidance behaviors. In the current researches, oxytocin, progesterone and estrogens are the most widely studied hormones in the field of disgust. Based on animal and human researches, this article reviews and summarizes some evidence that the three hormones affect the processing of disgust and their neurophysiological mechanism and predicts future research direction.
    Oxytocin is synthesized in the hypothalamus and is widely involved in social cognition and social behaviors, such as attachment. Studies have proved that oxytocin affects the generation and acquisition of disgust based on olfaction and taste, and recognition of disgust expression by regulating the activities of several brain regions such as insula, anterior cingulate gyrus, amygdala, piriform cortex, putamen, and middle frontal gyrus. Among them, oxytocin may participate in disgust learning by modulating the activity of serotonin receptors.
    According to the compensatory prophylaxis hypothesis supported by quantities of animal and human researches, progesterone promotes the individuals' sensitivity of disgust to potentially infectious stimuli, thereby producing avoidance behaviors to reduce the risk of infection. At the same time, progesterone also affects the recognition of disgust expressions, but has no significant effect on the disgust learning of rodents. And amygdala activity is the main brain area affecting the processing of disgust and can be both promoted and inhibited by progesterone in the processing of disgust. Estrogens also play regulatory roles in perception and acquisition of disgust and recognition of facial expression of disgust. The amygdala and the anterior cingulate gyrus may also be the neural substrates that progesterone affects the processing of disgust, but further research will be necessary before we can draw firm conclusions.
    It is noteworthy that oxytocin, progesterone and estrogens affect the generation and expression of pathogen disgust to varying degrees, except for moral disgust. This may be because pathogen disgust is more closely related to hormones than moral disgust which has a higher cognitive component, and its physiological basis is more evident in evolution. However, this may be due to current questionnaires used to measure moral disgust making the measurement indicators insensitive enough, which causes no significant effects of the three hormones on moral disgust.
    In short, most of the current studies in this field are still confined to describe phenomena and doing correlational research, but know little about its internal mechanisms. Besides, there are still many contradictions in results. Future studies should explore the effects of these hormones on disgust in different sensory channels and consider their moderating roles in different genders by accurately measuring hormone levels and controlling the task difficulties. In addition, researchers can combine neuroimaging technologies with behavioral studies to clarify the neuroendocrine mechanism of these hormones affecting disgust processing.
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    Understanding mechanisms of prediction error cost in Chinese reading for older adults
    LI Lin, ZHAO Sainan, ZHANG Lijuan, WANG Jingxin
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (1): 1-14.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00001
    An important question for research on reading across the lifespan concerns whether mechanisms of cognitive processing undergo only quantitative changes or also qualitative changes with aging. To process written language effectively, readers use their existing knowledge to make predictive inferences about linguistic information. Quite often this will facilitate the processing of newly acquired information but will sometimes incur a processing cost due to predictive error. As Older adults appear to rely more heavily on lexical prediction during reading (Zhao et al., 2019, 2021). However, it is currently unknown whether, like young adults, they experience a processing cost due to predictive error, and whether the magnitude of this cost differs across age adult groups. Accordingly, the present research aims to understand the processing consequence of predictive error in both young and older adults, using methods that can shed light on both the behavioral and neural bases of these effects. This will be achieved using novel co-registration methods that synchronize the recording of electroencephalographic (EEG) signals with eye movements, so that behavioral and neural indices of language processing can be acquired simultaneously, in real-time, during natural reading. In particular, this approach will enable the analysis of fixated-related potentials (FRPs), which are averaged EEG waveforms time-locked to a fixation on a target word in a sentence during normal reading.
    Study 1 will manipulate whether a target word is predictable from the prior sentence context, using contexts in which the target word is predictable, ones in which it is unpredictable, and neutral contexts containing an unpredictable word. Crucially, comparisons of an unpredictable word in neutral compared to constraining contexts will provide a measure of prediction error, which is the cost incurred when the target word is unpredicted in a constraining context. The study will investigate the behavioral and neural correlates of this prediction error using a combination of eye movement measures and FRPs for target words. Moreover, by investigating age differences in these effects (i.e., for young compared to older adults) the study will reveal whether this prediction error differs across adult age groups.
    Study 2 will test these effects further by examining both the contribution to the prediction error cost of parafoveal information availability and individual differences in visual, cognitive and linguistic abilities. To examine the contribution of these individual differences, we will comprehensively assess the visual, cognitive and linguistic abilities of young and older adult participants prior their taking part in experiments. We will obtain information about participants' educational background, vocabulary knowledge and recent reading experience to match participants in terms of formal educational experience and to obtain indices of linguistic experience. In addition, we will assess processing speed, working memory, and inhibition as measures of cognitive capabilities. The data obtained will be used for the linear mixed-effects modelling of Study 3. Experiment 1 will use the boundary paradigm to investigate age differences in the prediction error cost when parafoveal information is available or not. The aim of this experiment is to establish whether limiting the availability of parafoveal information about an upcoming word differentially impacts lexical prediction by young and older adults. Experiment 2 will use masking text paradigm to investigate the aging effects on prediction error cost under high or low working memory load conditions. The aim of this experiment is to explore the effect of working memory load on prediction processing mechanism of young and older readers. Finally, in Experiment 3, the older adult participants will be divided into good and poor reading skill groups to examine whether there is a difference in the prediction error cost for older participants with good and poor reading skills as compared to skilled young adult readers. This will reveal how reading skills mediates predictive processing by older adults.
    Study 3 will use linear mixed-effects modelling and data-mining methods. All relevant factors will be included in the model analysis as covariates to investigate their effects on the prediction processing of older readers. Moreover, survival analysis and distribution analysis will be adopted to investigate the time course and individual differences of the above-mentioned effects (using data from Study 1 and 2).
    The findings from these studies will provide important insights into the nature of effects of cognitive aging and individual differences in visual, cognitive and linguistic abilities on neural and cognitive indices of word prediction in reading, and will form the basis for future models of these effects in Chinese reading. Moreover, the findings will shed light on the contribution of parafoveal processing, memory load, and reading skill on the predictive abilities of older adult readers.
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    The incubation effect of creative thinking
    LI Ziyi, ZHANG Ze, ZHANG Ying, LUO Jin
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (2): 291-307.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00291
    Incubation effect refers to the phenomenon that when people are confronted with an unsolvable problem, they temporarily put it aside and switch to complete other irrelevant tasks instead, which is beneficial to the ultimate solution of the original problem. In recent years, researchers have conducted extensive studies on incubation effect of creative thinking and its influences, and put forward many theories to explain incubation effect. The representative theories include “selective forgetting theory”, “spreading activation and cue assimilation theory” and “unconscious work theory”. They explain the mechanism of incubation effect from different perspectives and predict different influences and phenomena respectively. For example, the attention-withdrawal theory supposes that the length of incubation will not influence the incubation effect. And the forgetting-fixation theory recommended a longer break to incubate. Furthermore, some factors are mentioned in many theories, such as the length of incubation and the length of preparation period. So the empirical researches about them can be explained by these related theories. While some factors are only mentioned by a few theories. For example, the function of beneficial cues can only be explained by the opportunistic assimilation theory. However, the research field of incubation effect has begun to combine with mind wandering and sleep. Many of the results of these studies are difficult to be well explained by the above theories, but should be explained in the light of the characteristics of mind wandering and sleep. Until now, related researches of mind wandering and sleep further shed light on the mechanism behind incubation effect. For example, mind wandering increases unconscious associate processing to serve creative problem-solving. Sleep, as a special long period of incubation, may promote problem solving through various mechanisms such as the reconstruction of memory representation and the reactivation of memory. But there is also conflicting evidence as to whether mind wandering and sleep promote the incubation effect. There are many studies that have failed to prove the effect of mind wandering and sleep on creative problem solving. The psychological processes underlying the incubation effect includes at least two cognitive components: the transformation of problem representation and the formation of remote associations. Different brain mechanisms are responsible for these two basic components. During the incubation period, memory systems are regulated by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to break the fixation caused by false assumptions. The cooperation of right frontal lobe, temporal lobe and parietal lobe was beneficial to assimilation of beneficial cues. The striatum-hippocampus-prefrontal lobe network continued to catalyze the reconstruction of representations during incubation period. Mind wandering promotes insight through the interaction of the medial temporal lobe, default network and executive network. The research on sleep can reflect the mechanism of long-term incubation in real life, and future research can further investigate the role of different sleep stages and their corresponding brain mechanisms. Future research needs to improve the ecological validity of relevant studies, promote the development of incubation theories, improve reproducibility, explore the positive factors that promote the incubation effect, and pay attention to the relationship between the incubation effect and emotion or other non-cognitive factors.
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    Antisocial punishment in the game
    CHEN Jing, ZHANG Rong, YUAN Jiaqi, SHE Shengxiang
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (2): 436-448.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00436
    Punishment has two sides, the “prosocial” side (altruistic punishment) and the “antisocial” side (antisocial punishment). Antisocial punishment is widespread in human society and seriously undermines cooperation, but it is ignored by researchers because it is difficult to observe and quantify, and does not have a positive effect similar to altruistic punishment. In this article, we systematically reviewed, analyzed, and evaluated the literature in this field; and put forward research prospects and theoretical hypotheses based on the concept and research paradigms of anti-social punishment, influencing factors, and theory hypotheses of production mechanism.
    First of all, combined with the diversified performance of anti-social punishment in the field of non-economic games, the classical concept of anti-social punishment is extended, and defined as: the phenomenon that the game participants implements economic punishment(with monetary cost), negative evaluation, or exclusion and suppression on others who exhibit high contributions or cooperation of prosocial behavior.
    Moreover, we sorted out the corresponding research paradigms and influencing factors; as a complex social behavior, antisocial punishment is affected by a variety of individual and environmental factors. Individual factors include both physical and psychological aspects. Testosterone, social cognition, subjective willingness, the role of the intuitive system, working memory, mental illness, and Dark Triad personality traits all have an impact on antisocial punishment. There are three main aspects in environmental factors, including task contextual factors (i.e., cost-to-impact ratio, information availability, and situational competitiveness), group factors (i.e., differences between internal and external groups, group decision-making, and individual decision-making, etc.), and sociocultural and developmental factors (i.e., social culture and social development level).
    Furthermore, five hypotheses of the production mechanism of antisocial punishment were summarized as follows: (i) the aggression hypothesis regards antisocial punishment as an aggressive behavior, which is derived from malicious motivation or internal negative traits of an individual; (ii) the revenge hypothesis holds that antisocial punishment is a behavioral response based on tit-for-tat strategy, which occurs when individuals themselves are punished by others; (iii) the social comparison hypothesis suggests that antisocial punishment is a defense against threats to reputation and self-concept; (iv) deviant group norm hypothesis holds that antisocial punishment is the maintenance of group norms; (v) the evolutionary strategy hypothesis, based on the perspective of evolutionary psychology, holds that antisocial punishment is a dominant strategy beneficial to individuals and groups, and a way to gain advantages. All the above hypotheses are partial and incomplete claims. By combining the social information processing theories with the dual-process theories of decision-making, we further proposed the dual-process model of antisocial punishment. We deem that antisocial punishment is the result of an individual's further processing and interpretation of social cues, interpersonal interaction, and emotional experience, which is based on one's own internal factors; for different individuals and situations, the deliberative processing system and affective processing system are activated respectively to further dominate decision-making behavior.
    Finally, the research prospects were put forward from five aspects. (i) Further clarify the concept and measurement indicators. (ii) Further innovate research methods, such as developing real-life decision scenario simulation tasks with more ecological validity, and developing implicit association tests. (iii) Expand studies of influencing factors. Specifically, further explore the impacts of demographic variables, interpersonal factors, and Chinese native culture on antisocial punishment. (iv) Further clarify the mechanism of antisocial punishment from the level of neuroscience, construct the psychological model to explain the mechanism of antisocial punishment and verify its effectiveness. (v) Conduct targeted intervention research.
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    The mechanisms of histone modification in post-traumatic stress disorder
    ZHANG Yingqian, ZHAO Guangyi, HAN Yuwei, ZHANG Jingyi, CAO Chengqi, WANG Li, ZHANG Kunlin
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (1): 98-114.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00098
    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder with complex etiologies that usually occurs after people are exposed to traumatic events. In the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the criteria for PTSD included symptoms of intrusion, avoidance, negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity. The World Mental Health Surveys on Trauma and PTSD showed that more than 70% of individuals would experience traumatic events at least once in lifetime, while only a few would develop PTSD, suggesting individual differences in the genesis and development of PTSD.
    Previous studies have proved that both genetic and environmental factors could influence the risk of PTSD, thus epigenetics, as a discipline investigating the interaction between environment and genes, has attracted the attention of researchers. Among the epigenetic mechanisms, histone modification has received widespread attention and has been researched in depth. Modification of histones by adding one or more chemical groups (such as acetyl group, methyl group, etc.) can lead to changes in chromatin structure and gene transcriptional activity, consequently regulating the level of gene expression. In recent years, histone modification has been implicated as an essential part in the pathogenesis of PTSD for the following reason: the development of PTSD is usually related to the maladaptation of fear memory induced by traumatic events, and histone modification plays an important role in the consolidation and extinction of fear memory correspondingly.
    At present, techniques commonly used for the measurement of histone modification are Western Blotting and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), both based on the antibody technology. By combining ChIP with quantitative PCR (qPCR) technology, DNA microarray (also known as gene chip) technology or deep sequencing (Seq) technology, researchers can study the relationship between various types of histone modification and gene expression. What's more, animal models are the main methods to explore the association between histone modification and PTSD, using electric shocks (e.g., inescapable foot shock, tail shock, and tone shock), social stress (e.g., predator exposure), and single prolonged stress (SPS) to simulate symptoms of PTSD in the laboratory.
    We systematically searched and screened the literatures of histone modification in PTSD through PubMed (, PsychINFO (, and PsychArticles (, with finally 16 literatures selected for detailed integration and discussion. In spite of the nonnegligible heterogeneity among these studies, they proved the overall effect of histone modification was closely associated with the development of PTSD. Histone modification that enriched in the promoter regions of candidate genes like the Bdnf and Cdk5, could significantly increase the risk of PTSD. Alterations in levels of histone acetylation and methylation in hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex are associated with PTSD, playing key roles in the consolidation, reconsolidation, and extinction of fear memory in PTSD-like animals. It is worth noting that histone modification is mainly involved in the regulation of the immune system, the serotonergic system, the neuropeptide Y-ergic system, and the NMDA receptor-related pathways. In addition, histone modification can be regulated by a variety of enzymes, leading to flexible regulation of PTSD, making drugs that target histone modification good choices for clinical treatment of PTSD.
    Studying the neurobiological mechanisms of PTSD in human patients has been blocked by many factors; moreover, applying the results of animal models of PTSD to clinical research is a long way off. Therefore, using animal models to investigate the role of histone modification in the etiology of PTSD will remain a mainstream approach for some time to come.
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    Moral foreign language effect and its moderating variables: A systematic review and meta-analysis
    ZHU Lin, LIU Jinru, LI Jing, LIU Conghui
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (1): 32-50.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00032
    Individual decisions in the field of moral judgement are often related to "hurting or sacrificing the innocent" and "tolerating immoral behaviors." Previous studies have shown that when presented with the moral decision-making situation within a foreign language context, the individuals will show a stronger utilitarian and a more tolerant moral evaluation tendency compared with the same situation within the native language context. This phenomenon is defined as the moral foreign language effect. The influence of the language context on the moral judgement has been investigated by numerous studies. However, the results were far from consistent. To this end, we used meta-analysis to explore the effect of the language type (native language vs. foreign language) on the individuals' utilitarian tendency in moral judgments, and we analyzed several moderating variables.
    A total of 19 papers were retrieved from literature, with 46 independent samples, 97 effect sizes and 9672 participants that met the inclusion criteria of the meta-analysis. First, we analyzed the effect of the language type (native language vs. foreign language) on the utilitarian tendency in moral judgments using the ‘metafor' R package. Next, the potential moderation effects of several factors were examined, including the moral dilemmas story type (personal moral dilemmas vs. impersonal moral dilemmas vs. daily moral evaluation situations), sex, scoring method (two-point scoring vs. multi-point scoring) and language family type (same vs. different). In addition, we used Bayesian factor estimation for secondary exploration of the results that had a nonsignificant moderating effect.
    Our meta-analysis resulted in the following findings. First, the main effect test indicated that the language type has a significant effect on the utilitarian tendency in moral judgment, with a small but stable moral foreign language effect (g = 0.23). Second, the moderation analysis indicated that the moral foreign language effect was influenced by the story type; there was a small but stable effect of the language type for personal moral dilemmas (g = 0.32), but not for impersonal moral dilemmas (g = 0.11) or daily moral evaluation situations (g = 0.12). The foreign language effect under impersonal moral dilemmas was affected by the scoring method; a significant effect was found under multi-point scoring (g = 0.27), but not under two-point scoring (g = 0.05). On the other hand, there was no significant moderating effect for the sex or language family type. In addition, Bayesian analysis showed only moderate evidence for the absence of moderating effect regarding the factors of sex, scoring methods and language family type. The stability of these conclusions can be further verified in future research.
    In summary, this study used meta-analysis to systematically explore the robustness and influencing factors of foreign language effects in moral judgment and answered the disputes about the stability of the moral foreign language effect. The results showed a small but relatively stable effect of the language type on the utilitarian orientation in moral judgment. We analyzed the moderating effects of multiple variables, including variables that have not been well-considered in previous studies, such as the scoring methods (two-point scoring vs. multi-point scoring). Our work did not only find the moderating effect of the type of moral dilemmas, but it also revealed the potential impact of the scoring method on the effect size. This provides certain enlightenment and guidance for future empirical studies when selecting the experimental materials and statistical methods. Finally, we used a variety of data processing methods to increase the robustness of the results. For example, robust variance estimation (RVE) was used to control the correlations between dependent effect sizes and compare our results with those of traditional meta-analysis, so as to understand how the results of the meta-analysis are influenced by the correlations between multiple dependent effect sizes.
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    Cognitive neural mechanisms underlying the impact of oxytocin on fear acquisition and extinction
    FENG Pan, YANG Ke, FENG Tingyong
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (2): 365-374.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00365
    Fear is a biologically adaptive response to environmental threats, and fear learning plays a key role in adaptive function. However, maladaptive fear learning underlies emotional disorders, such as anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Together with the development of cognitive neuroscience and the integration of multidisciplinary research, the study on the cognitive neural mechanism of fear has become a hot topic in the field of emotion. Using the classical fear conditioning paradigm, researchers have identified the brain circuits of fear learning and extinction. Specifically, extensive imaging researches have revealed several key regions involved in fear acquisition, including the amygdala, insula, dorsal anterior cingulate (dACC) and thalamus. Moreover, the amygdala, hippocampus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) served key roles in fear memory consolidation and reconsolidation, and the amygdala, hippocampus, vmPFC, and dACC are required for fear extinction. Cumulative evidence has suggested that oxytocin plays a crucial role in the process of fear acquisition, fear consolidation and fear extinction. Therefore, firstly, we summarized the paradigms of fear acquisition and fear extinction as well as the cognitive neural mechanisms of fear acquisition and fear extinction based on the fingdings of corresponding meta-analyses. Secondly, we focused on the cognitive neural mechanisms underlying the impact of oxytocin on fear acquisition and fear extinction. Next, we summarized the neurobiological circuits of oxytocin influence on fear emotion processing. Finally, we prospected the future researches on the cognitive neural mechanisms underlying the impact of oxytocin on fear processing. The present study sheds insights into the cognitive neural mechanisms underlying the impact of oxytocin on fear processing. Moreover, the present study provides an potential treatment for the fear-related disorders.
    Oxytocin has been shown to facilitate fear acquisition as it affects brain activity in several regions including amygdala, prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate gyrus, insula and hippocampus, as well as the functional connectivity between them. Oxytocin also enhances fear extinction by regulating amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex activity, as well as enhancing the functional connectivity between prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Furthermore, oxytocin can regulate the activity of the amygdala, anterior cingulate gyrus, insula, hippocampus, vmPFC and other fear-related brain regions, thus affecting the processes of fear acquisition and extinction. Specifically, cumulative evidence has indicated that intranasal oxytocin attenuates amygdala (hyper)activity and enhances functional coupling of the amygdala with the vmPFC and hippocampus, resulting in increased top-down control over the fear response. In addition, intranasal oxytocin has also been found to attenuate amygdala—brainstem connectivity and to change activity and connectivity in nodes of the salience network (i.e., insula and dACC). Furthermore, oxytocin administration may enhance social behavior through modulating the hypothalamus—pituitary—adrenal (HPA) axis and autonomic nervous system (ANS) function, which may provide a potential treatment for the fear-related disorders. However, it should be noted that the dose, time and location of oxytocin injection might have different effects on the processes of fear acquisition and extinction.
    Future studies should focus on gender differences, neural network underlying the impact of oxytocin on fear consolidation and reconsolidation and the pathological study examining oxytocin effect on fear emotion processing to better reveal the cognitive neural mechanisms underlying the impact of oxytocin on.
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    Moral injury: A review from the perspective of psychology
    AI Pan, DAI Yan
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (1): 168-178.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00168
    Moral injury refers to the long-lasting psychological, biological, spiritual, behavioral and social impact on an individual after the exposure to morally injurious events, which entail “perpetrating, failing to prevent, bearing witness to, or learning about acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations” (Litz et al., 2009). Since Litz et al. (2009) redefined this concept from the perspective of psychology, moral injury has attracted extensive attention in the fields of psychology, ethics, psychiatry, and sociology. The present article reviews and summarizes the concept, relevant mechanisms, measurements, and interventions of moral injury and offer recommendations for future research. We first review the background of moral injury. Moral injury can be traced back to survivor guilt, which has long been regarded as one of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, Litz et al.(2009) pointed out that moral injury and post-traumatic stress disorder are two different concepts, and Shay(2014) listed the five differences between moral injury and post-traumatic stress disorder in detail. Next, we review the mechanisms of moral injury. Under the influence of individual and social factors, potentially morally injurious events that severely violate an individual's moral code can lead to cognitive dissonance and intrapsychic conflict, and eventually produce lasting shame, guilt, and anxiety. In addition, different types of potentially morally injurious events may lead to different types of moral injury, but the specific mechanism is still unclear. Self-oriented events (e.g., committing a crime, failing to prevent a crime, etc.) are more likely to result in negative internal emotions and cognitions (e.g., guilt, shame, inability to forgive oneself), whereas other-oriented events (e.g., witnessing an act of violence, betrayal by a trusted person) are more likely to lead to negative external emotions and cognitions (e.g., anger, loss of trust, inability to forgive).Third, we summarizes the existing moral injury scales, with a focus on the scope of application and each scale's advantages and disadvantages. These scales can be divided into two categories according to their contents, with one group assessing moral injury symptoms alone, and another assessing both the moral injury events and symptoms. Researchers or clinicians can choose these scales according to their practical needs. Moreover, current interventions for moral injury include Cognitive Behavior Therapy, CBT-based Adaptive Disclosure Therapy, CPT-based Spiritually Integrated Cognitive Processing Therapy, etc. While being commonly used in the treatment of PTSD, those therapies are equally effective in treating the core symptoms of moral injury. We concluded this article with limitations of existing research and suggestions for future research. Moral injury events and moral injury outcomes need to be further distinguished, moral injury mechanisms need to be further studied, and the diagnostic criteria of moral injury need to be established. Researchers also need to pay attention to the differences of moral standards in different cultures, expand research on moral injury to more groups, and widen the application of research on moral injury.
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    The effect of attachment on the process of emotional regulation
    HUANG Yufei, SHI Pan, CHEN Xu
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (1): 77-84.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00077
    Previous studies based on attachment theory have proved the influence of attachment on emotion regulation. These influences can be manifested in many aspects, such as the choice of emotion regulation strategies, the effect of emotion regulation, and some cognitive processing related to emotion regulation. However, these studies ignore the complexity and diversity of emotion regulation as a process, and therefore cannot answer how attachment can affect emotion regulation. The extended process model divides emotion regulation into three stages, and clearly describes the process of emotion regulation and the relationship between various factors in the process. Combining the extended process model and the attachment theory to look back to previous studies is helpful to find out the relationship among these studies and expand new research directions. From the perspective of the extended process model, it can be found that there are individual differences related to attachment in all the three stages of emotional regulation. Specifically, in the recognition stage, the influence of attachment on emotion regulation is mainly reflected in the cognitive processing related to emotions. Both higher attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance are related to lower emotion recognition ability. At the same time, higher attachment avoidance is related to lower emotion recognition ability, and higher attachment anxiety is related to lower emotion regulation self-efficacy. In the selection stage, individuals with different attachment styles have different preferences for the choice of emotion regulation strategies. Most studies have found that individuals with secure attachment prefer to use highly adaptable and efficient strategies (such as cognitive reappraisal), and individuals with insecure attachment styles prefer to use strategies which are less adaptable and efficient(such as hypo-regulation or hyper-regulation). In the implementation stage, most studies have found that both attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance are significantly positively correlated with emotion regulation difficulties or disorders, but in some studies, high attachment avoidance individuals may not have problem with emotion regulation. In general, many factors are influenced by attachment in the process of emotion regulation, and the extended process model provides a theoretical framework for describing the sequence and causal relationship between these factors. However, there are still many key issues that have not yet been resolved. Future research can be expanded from the following aspects: The influence of attachment on emotional regulation should be explored while paying attention to the impact of environmental factors; New experimental paradigms need to be designed to confirm the continuity of the three stages and explore the reasons why attachment could affect emotional regulation. It is necessary to explore the influence of attachment on the emotion regulation flexibility. In addition, future intervention studies should design more targeted interventions to improve the emotion regulation of insecurely attached individuals.
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    Identifying people based on physiognomy: Explanations from cognitive perspective
    ZHANG Chao, WEI Xuhua, LI Yingming
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (2): 308-323.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00308
    Physiognomy is an important factor in identifying and inferring the individual traits and behaviors. However, its internal mechanism still needs to be further explored. Physiognomy usually refers to individual facial features, mainly including partial features and overall features. The partial features of facial features include the size and shape of the five sense organs, and the thickness of hair, while the overall features of facial features include objective facial width-to-height ratio and subjective facial attractiveness. Based on general cognitive perspective and evolutionary cognitive perspective, then combined with the local and overall features of physiognomy, this paper expounds the process and effect of judging people by physiognomy.
    The general cognitive perspective emphasizes that people study the process of cognition from the perspective of information processing, which emphasizes the process of perception. The individual's response to physiognomy is mainly a by-product of the brain's processing of information, which is the processing mechanism for general information. Based on stereotypes, halo effects, status generalization theory, and social information processing theory, scholars use different cognitive processing systems to illustrate the process of getting to know people and their effects. Specifically, local features such as the size and shape of the five sense organs, the thickness of the hair, and overall features such as the facial width-to-height ratio and facial attractiveness can affect individual recognition of traits such as empathy, friendliness, extroversion, self-confidence, narcissism, aggression, dominance and criminological inheritance through different cognitive processing systems. Observers' subsequent behaviors is based on the individual traits' information recognized by the physiognomy. On the one hand, people will judge their income, ability, and social level based on the identified individual traits. On the other hand, these individual traits play an important role in the trust decision-making, the recruitment and promotion decision-making process. All in all, physiognomy affects the recognition of individual traits through various cognitive processing systems, and these traits play important roles in judgment (ability, income, social hierarchy) and decision-making (trust, recruitment, promotion).
    Compared with the general cognitive perspective, the evolutionary cognitive perspective emphasizes that in the process of processing information, people will identify which cues are related to health, survival, propagation and adaptation to the environment according to the evolutionary needs. Based on evolutionary theory, evolutionary intrasexual competition theory and the good genes theory, scholars have discussed how to know people and its effect through two different evolutionary selection mechanisms: natural selection and sexual selection. The observer uses the gene as the driving force to identify the observed physiognomy. Observers assessed marital satisfaction, life satisfaction and happiness based on the health and genetic status they identified. In order to meet the needs of evolution and survival, people will choose a mate according to the health and genetic status of the individual identified when observing facial features, combined with the evolutionary law of "survival of the fittest". In conclusion, physiognomy plays an important role in evaluating individual health and genetic status through various evolutionary selection mechanisms, and thus has an important influence on judgment (marriage satisfaction, happiness, life satisfaction) and mate selection decision.
    In addition, the effect of physiognomy on individual life depends on the situations and individual traits. The decision situation of the face viewer, the cultural context of the face owner, and the individual traits of the face viewer and the face owner all influence the effect of physiognomy's identification. Future research should investigate the interaction among different physiognomy features, and explore the boundary conditions that influence the effect of facial recognition. Furthermore, it is necessary to improve the external validity of the research through big data analysis, and pay more attention to physiognomy features modified by epigenetics on individuals. It is also important to conduct research within the domestic context. In doing so, it will help enrich physiognomy-related research and build a more systematic physiognomy theory.
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    Public service motivation in the Chinese context: Theory construction and workplace consequences
    WEN Bo, TAO Lei
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (2): 239-254.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00239
    Clarifying the consensual notions, measurement properties, and performance-related effects of public service motivation (PSM) in the Chinese context is an essential prerequisite to help China establish a committed public workforce and improve its public management strategies for personnel. Previous research on PSM, albeit copious, has overlooked a massive conceptual divergence between Chinese and Western contexts and therefore undermines its applicability in cross-cultural environments. In addition, our knowledge of how to inspire PSM in employees and its negative performance impacts remains limited. Hence, the purpose of this research is to develop an integrated PSM theory within the Chinese context through investigating its core components, activation mechanisms, and associated outcomes in the workplace. To begin with, we propose that PSM in the Chinese context ought to include three essential components: instrumental, norm-based, and affective motivations. Specifically, the first is the scaffolding that comprises individuals' self-interested reasons for seeking employment in the public sector. It encompasses two subdimensions: political efficacy and an attachment to the governance regime. The former can be characterized as aspirations or predilections towards becoming high-ranking politicians whereas the latter epitomizes allegiance to the system under which one lives and functions. The second is norm-based motives that emphasize the socialized influence of public organizations on civil servants. In China, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, democratic centralism, a focus on the big picture, and preeminence of the government constitute the primary public values that are firmly held by civil servants. Affective motivation denotes one's impetus for reflecting one's family and social identity. Under collectivism and Confucianism, bringing glory to one's family or ancestors as well as patriotic self-sacrifice are two crucial aspects of civil servants' affective motives. Based on the abovementioned conceptualization, in this study, PSM is conceived as a mixed-motives construct. By virtue of a grounded theory approach primarily consisting of semi-structured interviews and observational fieldwork, we will further identify and refine the core and substantive components of PSM held by front-line public employees, thus laying a solid groundwork for the subsequent development of a PSM measurement scale that is highly relevant to the Chinese context. Second, through the lens of micro-interventions, we will draw on self-efficacy and predisposition-opportunity theories to design a series of behavioral experiments to examine whether and the extent to which beneficiary contacts, self-advocacy, and idea reflections activate PSM among Chinese public sector workers. Finally, we will rely on psychological contract and moral disengagement theories to investigate the underlying mechanisms of both the desirable and undesirable effects of PSM on the attitudes and behaviors of public sector employees. In sum, by developing a localized PSM quantification tool with specific consideration for the Chinese cultural, bureaucratic, and social reality, analyzing the micro-activation mechanisms of PSM, and exploring the mixed effects of PSM on organizational performance at the individual level, this study strives to comprehensively extend the existing PSM literature in the Chinese context. Findings stemming from this study will not only fill an enduring scholarly need for the establishment of locally-adaptive PSM theories but also will generate ample evidence-based policy implications regarding the approaches to increase the work motivation and job performance of Chinese public employees.
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    The debate between inhibition and attribution of egocentric bias in visual perspective taking
    WU Menghui, XIE Jiushu, DENG Zhu
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (1): 179-187.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00179
    Visual perspective taking indicates that people understand whether others can see an object or what they have seen. In visual perspective taking, people see things from others' perspectives. Visual perspective taking is the foundation of cognitive development and also the starting point and premise of social interaction. However, ones' information usually interferes with others' perspectives. As a result, people who take others' perspectives would use their perspectives to understand others. This will result in biases in visual perspective taking. These biases are usually induced by ones' information, which is known as the egocentric bias. Egocentric bias plays an important role in unsuccessful social interaction. However, its inner mechanisms are still under debate. Specifically, the inhibitive selection model and fluency misattribution theory hold different statements on the emergence of the egocentric bias. The inhibitive selection model holds that when understanding others' perspectives, participants need to inhibit their perspectives and deal with the conflicts between their perspectives and others' perspectives. This inhibitive selection is related to the executive function, especially the inhibitory control. The fluency misattribution theory holds that when understanding others' perspectives, people tend to erroneously attribute their perspectives to others' perspectives, as their perspectives are more fluency in their minds. These two theories focus on different processes of visual perspective taking and then construct completely different theoretical approaches. The inhibitive selection model mainly focuses on the information inhibition process in the egocentric bias while ignores the information extraction and integration processes. On the contrary, the fluency misattribution theory focuses on the influence of extracting and integrating misinformation in the egocentric bias while ignores the influence of the information inhibition process. Therefore, this divergence in their theoretical approaches also suggests that the above-mentioned theories may not fully reveal the mechanisms of the egocentric bias. The present review will try to integrate the debates between the inhibitive selection model and fluency misattribution theory. Specifically, we first review the paradigms of the level-1 and level-2 visual perspective taking according to the processing level and complexity of visual perspective taking to examine the mechanisms of the egocentric bias. We found that the level-1 visual perspective taking is usually measured by the dot-probe paradigm. The level-2 visual perspective taking is usually measured by the own-body transformation task, director task, and ambiguous number paradigm. Then, we examine what factors may affect inhibitive selection and misattribution to find what factors may affect the egocentric bias. Furthermore, the inhibition-attribution collaboration model is proposed for the first time to bridge the gap between the inhibitive selection model and fluency misattribution theory. The inhibition-attribution collaboration model hypothesizes that the inhibitive selection model, which emphasizes the inhibitory process, and the fluency misattribution theory, which emphasizes the integration process, may not be mutually exclusive. These processes may jointly result in egocentric bias. Specifically, when taking others' perspectives with high uncertainty, people have difficulty in inferring others' views and perspectives correctly. In this case, the inhibitive selection model and fluency misattribution may result in egocentric bias through three processing pathways. Future studies should further test this model using the sophisticated paradigms on special groups of participants to explore how to improve social interaction by reducing egocentric bias.
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    The decision-making process of offering help in the workplace
    YANG Jianfeng, GUO Xiaohong, MING Xiaodong
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (1): 15-31.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00015
    This project addresses the limitation of traditional literature on helping decision-making, which excessively focuses on transient "helping behavior." This project considers helping decision-making in the workplace as a social venture investment decision process, which involves a series of steps corresponding to dynamic psychological contracts. This includes preparation, strategic conception, and follow-up adjustment when the help giver and the help seeker sign contracts for help in the workplace. Simultaneously, a crucial task of managers is to create an environment that promotes employees' mutual help in the organization. Furthermore, the project proposes that human resource management practice can create and maintain an appropriate investment environment within the organization. This environment can boost social venture investment decision among staff and encourage them to accept social investment risk in workplace helping decision-making.
    Based on the above ideas, this project will be conducted in two parts, comprising of four studies. In the first part, based on the dynamic psychological contract theory, the interview and case study methods will be used to develop the process model of workplace helping decision-making (Study 1). The workplace helping decision-making process proposedly includes six steps: heeding the dilemma of the help seeker, explaining the help seekers' dilemma, confirming whether and how much responsibility individuals have to assist the help seeker, formulating strategies to assist the help seeker, implementing helping behavior, and adjusting further helping decisions based on the reflection of previous helping results. This project then focus on the last step, which is the main difference between our workplace helping decision-making model and those of previous research. This project will use a daily-diary survey to explore how help givers would reflect the feedback of help seekers and adjust further help based on their reflection (Study 2). In the second part, based on the above proposed six-step model of helping decision-making in the workplace, human resource management practice is regarded as an important environmental factor that influences individuals to conduct social venture investments, such as helping decision-making in the workplace. Using the multi-wave survey method, this project focuses on the influential mechanism of two key variables of human resource management practice on helping decision-making in the workplace: job design (Study 3) and salary management (Study 4). Specifically, Study 3 examines the mediating role of work engagement between job characteristics and workplace helping decision-making, and the moderating mechanism of task interdependence on this mediating process. Study 4 explores the mediating role of team identity between team performance payment and workplace helping decision-making, and the moderating mechanism of organizational identity on the mediating role of team identity.
    Through the above four studies, this project will make the following theoretical and practical contributions. Theoretically, from the dynamic psychological contract perspective, this project regards the workplace helping decision-making process as a social venture investment decision process, thus providing a new theoretical perspective for literatures in the field of help. Thus, this project addresses the limitation of previous literatures focusing on "helping behavior," which is a transient behavior, and instead regards help in the workplace as a decision-making process. Therefore, future researchers could further explore this process and find more effective ways to encourage workplace helping behavior. Moreover, previous studies conventionally applied the psychological contract theory to explain the relationship between organizations and employees. This project is the first to adopt the psychological contract theory to elucidate the relationship between employees in the workplace, thus expanding the boundaries of the psychological contract theory. Regarding practice, this project examines the antecedents of the decision-making process of help in the workplace from different modules of human resource management, which can guide the practice of human resource management and promote employees' mutually helping behavior.
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    The relationship between children's reading and theory of mind
    ZHAO Lihua, YANG Yunmei, LI Jing
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (1): 65-76.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00065
    Reading and theory of mind (ToM) both play important roles in the development of children. A large number of previous studies reveal that reading and ToM may have two-way promotion effects. On the one hand, shared reading with parents or teachers enables children to initiate joint attention. In this process, children and storytellers use a lot of terms of mental state to communicate with each other, and they can also construct an alternative social situation through social imagination and perspective-taking ability. In daily life, children will also understand stories by guessing and inferring the thoughts, intentions, desires and emotions of the characters through simulating real social activity, which promotes the development of children's ToM. On the other hand, numerous studies have shown that ToM can also promote the development of children's reading ability in a lot of aspects. For example, in the process of reading, ToM can help children to improve their abilities to establish a macro view of reading, use metacognitive reading strategies, construct story situation models, and even promote their micro ability to understand specific phrases, sentences, discourses and multi-text materials. What's more, ToM may increase the reader's ability to express and monitor the characters' thoughts and emotions during the reading process. When readers can understand and express the mental states and emotions of the characters in the story, it indicates that they may have made some inferences and judgments about the mental states which are unclearly stated in the story. In this case, readers can understand the story more easily and are more likely to find the fun of reading, which may trigger more reading behaviors, thus leading to more frequent use of ToM and promote its development. Both reading and ToM show a good trend of mutual promotion and common development. In addition to behavioral research, further neurophysiological evidence shows that there is some overlap between the neural activity of reading and ToM. In the reading process, the default network shows strong activation. As the main support network for social cognition, default network also plays an important role in the development of ToM. In addition, the mirror nervous system contributes to the interaction between reading and ToM as well. The mirror nervous system enables individuals to understand or experience the actions, thoughts, intentions, and feelings of others. In addition, reading literary works, especially literary novels, can improve the individual's ToM by enhancing the mirror nervous system. Both behavioral and brain mechanism studies support that there may be a potential two-way promoting relationship between reading and ToM. In the future, it is necessary to pay more attention to the potential relationship between ToM and reading. Further in-depth and long-term longitudinal follow-up studies are needed to provide abundant empirical evidence for the relationship between reading and ToM. In addition, more attention should be paid to the development of ToM in school education and its positive influence on children's self-protection and compliance with moral norms. In line with the development of science and technology, it is also necessary to pay more attention to the influence of multimedia reading on children's ToM. Besides, in daily home reading or school teaching, parents and teachers should make efforts to increase intervention training to improve children's ToM and reading comprehension ability. For example, feedback training in reading is beneficial to promote children's perspective-taking and ToM, which includes emboldening children to talk deeply about their mental states and desires, asking children more questions, and encouraging children to play pretend games. All of these interventions may, to varying degrees, promote children to think about different views and mental states in various ways during reading process.
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    The impact of social media on executive functions: Beneficial or harmful?
    MA Yajie, ZHAO Xin, HE Xiangchun, REN Liping
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (2): 406-413.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00406
    The effect of social media on executive functions remain controversial. Some studies have shown that the use of social media promotes an individual's executive functions, and some studies have found that social media use has a negative impact on executive functions. Recent studies have shown that, there may be an inverted U-shaped relationship between social media use and individual's executive function, and that social media use does not necessarily impair or promote executive function, but there is an optimal tipping point between the two. Moderate-intensity use of social media is the best level to promote executive functions. This is related to the moderating role played by the intensity of use. The paper first introduces the behavioral evidence that the effect of social media on executive functions, including three parts: positive effects, negative effects, and inverted U-shaped relationships. Secondly, it analyzes the moderating effect of intensity of use in the inverted U-shaped relationship between social media use and executive functions, and attempt to reveal the debate over the pros and cons of social media use on executive functions. Moderate-intensity use of social media will produce a social media flow experience, allowing individuals to filter out various distracting information when faced with various complex information stimuli in social media, focusing on useful information, and target information is constantly being affected. With storage and update, the individual's executive functions (especially the shifting function) get long-term and repeated exercise under such requirements, and finally improve. In addition, the flow experience generated by the use of social media can be used as an intrinsic motivation to increase the interaction of social networks to make positive changes in interpersonal relationships. This provides individuals with continuous social rewards and emotional support. To a certain extent, it buffers the negative impact of excessive use of social media on cognitive function, and slows down the decline of age-related executive functions. However, high-intensity use of social media causes individuals to worry about their performance in the task, which tends to maintain a wider range of attention and is more susceptible to interference from irrelevant information, while low-intensity use of social media causes individuals to be in a state of lack of proactiveness, the psychological effort process of information processing is reduced or even disappeared, which has a negative impact on executive functions.
    Future research in this area should examine the dose-effect of social media use affecting executive functions. The positive impact of social media use on the executive function may require a relatively long and continuous process of using social media. Whether an optimal social media can be determined the level of media usage maximizes individual's executive functions? In addition, previous research mainly focuses on the impact of social media usage frequency on individual's executive functions in daily life, but lacks a single sub-component of the type of social media usage on the executive function investigation of development and changes. In the future, the relationship between different types of social media usage and sub-components of executive function should be further clarified. Finally, the lifting effect of social media may be more significant in groups whose brain structure is in a period of change. Most previous studies only show that the use of social media can change individual's neural pathways or brain response patterns (and little is known about whether changes in the physiological structure of executive function have an impact on the cognitive level of social media users. Future research should combine behavioral and cognitive neurological methods to examine the brain regions of social media users with different cognitive levels in performing specific tasks. The difference in activation makes the neural mechanism of social media use affecting executive function more precise and comprehensive.
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    Cultural difference in ideal affect and its impact
    ZHOU Xiaoyu, Dannii YEUNG, WANG Danjun, ZHENG Wen, PENG Kaiping
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (2): 414-424.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00414
    Different from actual affect, ideal affect refers to the emotions that people desire to have (Tsai, 2007). For example, while some individuals want to feel calmness, others want to feel enthusiasm. Affect valuation theory (AVT) differentiates two types of affective experiences, namely ideal affect and actual affect (Tsai, 2007). Actual affect is shaped mainly by temperament, whereas ideal affect is shaped mainly by cultural factors.
    Previous cross-cultural research (e.g., Bencharit et al., 2019) found that compared with Americans who want to feel high arousal positive (HAP) affective states (e.g., excitement), Chinese people want to feel low arousal positive (LAP) affective states (e.g., calmness).
    Culture shapes ideal affect mainly through cultural exposure, cultural values, and social cultural changes. Specifically, previous research demonstrated that ideal affect, which is emphasized by culture, can be demonstrated in cultural products (e.g., storybooks). Experiencing these cultural products can therefore shape one's ideal affect (Tsai et al., 2007). With reference to Schwartz's (1992) basic human value system, two cultural values—namely self-enhancement (including achievement and power) and openness to change (including self-direction and stimulation)—can account for Americans' preference for HAP, whereas conservatism (including tradition and conformity) can account for Chinese people's preference for LAP. In addition, social cultural change, such as a significant national event (e.g., the 9/11 attack in the U.S.), can explain changes in one's ideal affect (Tsai, 2013).
    Ideal affect also has culturally diverse influences on one's preference and choice behaviors, mixed emotional experiences, physical and mental health, and social judgment. Specifically, people tend to make choices based on their ideal affect, which is encouraged by their culture (Sims et al., 2017). Ideal affect can also explain the cultural differences in mixed emotional experiences (Sims et al., 2015). People may attain healthy mental and physical states if their own ideal affect is consistent with the ideal affect that is emphasized in their culture (Tran et al., 2017). In interpersonal interaction, people prefer social partners who display the types of emotions that match their own ideal affect (Tran et al., 2017).
    Four future directions can be drawn for this line of research. First, ideal affect should be investigated from a longitudinal perspective. To further understand how culture shapes ideal affect, it is necessary to use longitudinal research methods to examine the impacts of cultural changes on ideal affect. For example, future research could explore whether changes in Chinese values would influence the types of ideal affect valued by Chinese people. Second, antecedents of ideal affect could be investigated. In addition to the shaping effect of cultural values on ideal affect, another important cultural factor, holistic-analytic cognition (Nisbett et al., 2001), may also account for the cultural variations in ideal affect. The individual-level cultural factors (e.g., gender role or social class) may explain the individual differences in ideal affect. Third, future researchers should develop the criteria for mental health assessment that is suitable for Chinese culture. Future research could further examine the roles of calmness and harmony in Chinese people's mental health. Fourth, it is necessary to reduce cultural misunderstandings by increasing the awareness of ideal affect. If people are aware of the ideal affect that is emphasized in their culture, then adjust their daily life to match this ideal affect, they may avoid social exclusion or financial losses due to the failure in “ideal affect match”. Moreover, people could reduce their biased choices by realizing the impact of ideal affect on their social cognition judgments.
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    Conservation of resources theory in the organizational behavior context: Theoretical evolution and challenges
    LIAO Huahua, HUANG Lei, HU Bin
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (2): 449-463.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00449
    Over the past three decades, the conservation of resources theory (COR) has become one of the most widely applied theories in organizational behavior (OB).
    Hobfoll (1989) proposed COR as a new attempt at conceptualizing the stressor-strain relationship. It highlights that stress is not construed by individual perception but a reaction to objective stressful circumstances; coping in reaction to stress is a dynamic process of exchanging resources between individuals and the environment. Imprinted by Hobfoll's background as a clinical psychologist studying stress disorder, COR is recognized as a resource-oriented stress model with environmental roots After several major revisions, COR has developed from a stressor-strain model into a motivational theory and built a theoretical framework with several extensions. The dynamic process regarding how people strive to acquire, protect, and build resources helps to explain individual behaviors in reactions to stressors across many organizational contexts. COR also shed light upon how organizations cope with stress.
    From 1989 to 2020, OB literature has accounted for most citations of the 1989 paper that initially introduced COR theory. A great number of empirical studies in the OB field, covering a variety of themes such as job stress, work engagement, creativity, and leadership, investigated the major propositions in COR. These propositions include resource loss and gain spirals, salience of resource gain in the process of resource loss, and more. As a result, COR has become one of the most influential theories for understanding employees' psychological processes and behavioral motivation. However, OB scholars share concerns about COR that the concept of resource is fuzzily defined and therefore that nearly anything good can be considered a resource. We acknowledge the substantive value of COR in OB literature though it may not sound novel, but we also recommend OB scholars be conscious with its conceptualization while applying COR and not take the value of applying it by granted because of its high citations.
    Applying COR in OB research also faces challenges from other theoretical perspectives. For example, the stress-appraisal theory and the adaption theory provide some contrasting viewpoints on stress. Its origin in clinical psychology also invites problems for OB scholars that they tend to ignore the integrative perspective of COR regarding how the sources of stress and the structure of individual resources evolve in a dynamic process.
    We propose that OB researchers should avoid tailoring COR's propositions to OB research questions, which often means neglecting its overarching perspective and purposely selecting isolated viewpoints to serve their own research questions, but try to seek balance between the integrative perspective in COR theory and the behavior-focused tradition in OB research in the future.
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    The flexibility of spatial-numerical associations and its internal mechanism
    YAN Lizhu, CHEN Yanxiu, LIU Xun, FU Shimin, NAN Weizhi
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (1): 51-64.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00051
    Spatial-numerical associations (SNAs), showing that small numbers have stronger associations with left space and large numbers have stronger associations with right space, are a hot topic in the field of cognitive psychology. An important index to explore SNAs is the spatial-numerical association of response codes (SNARC) effect (i.e., faster responses to small numbers using left effectors, and the inverse for large numbers), which provides strong evidence for the existence of SNAs. Previous studies have verified the universality of the SNARC effect. This effect could be observed across a wide range of numbers, diversified materials, different sensory channels, different ways participants react, and various reaction indexes. Importantly, the SNARC effect is also flexible in direction and the processing stage at which it occurs. First, the direction of the SNARC effect is flexible. Previous studies showed that the direction of the SNARC effect could be influenced by different reading habits (e.g., left-to-right or right-to-left), varying ranges of numbers (e.g., 1~9, 0~4, and 4~9), different representations (e.g., ruler or alarm clock), serial position in working memory, and reference numbers for comparison. The mental number line, working memory account and other theories have been proposed to explain the directional flexibility of the SNARC effect. Second, the processing stage in which the SNARC effect occurs is flexible. Researchers have tried to determine the processing stage in which the SNARC effect occurs from three perspectives: the relationship between the SNARC effect and other effects occurring at different stages (e.g., the Simon effect, Stroop effect, numerical distance effect, and switch cost), changes in the SNARC effect in different response effectors (e.g., hand response and eye movement), and the event-related potentials (ERPs) components induced by the SNARC effect. Three views of the processing stage in which the SNARC effect occurs have been proposed, but the conclusions are still discordant. The first view supports that the SNARC effect occurs at the semantic representation stage, the second view supports that it occurs at the response selection stage, and some recent studies have proposed a third view that the SNARC effect occurs flexibly at both stages. This dispute may be caused by the following four reasons: (1) disparities in the comprehension of additive-factor logic, which led to indirect inference; (2) observation from a single point, which led to indirect inference; (3) different types of Simon effects were adopted as the measure index, which led to different results; and (4) different tasks were adopted, which led to different results. Combining the above reasons, a new two-stage processing (spatial representation of magnitude, spatial representation to response selection) model was proposed. This model distinguished the different processing pathways of magnitude information in the magnitude comparison task (task-relevant) and in the parity judgment task (task-irrelevant). Also, it was proposed that different interference factors acting on the two stages might be the core reason for the flexibility of the SNARC effect. This model covered and explained the flexible variation in the SNARC effect observed in most previous studies. Future research could focus on comparisons of different tasks and the adoption of various interference factors to verify the two-stage processing model and combine cognitive neuroscience technologies to further elucidate the neural mechanism underlying the flexibility of SNAs.
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    From solicitation to responses: Managers' roles in employee voice behavior chain
    SHI Lixiaoyun, ZHU Yue, DUAN Jinyun
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (1): 206-215.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00206
    As an important form of employee engagement in organizational decision-making, voice has an unignorable influence on employees themselves, managers and organizations. Since Hirschman raised the concept of voice, scholars have contributed to exploring the antecedents and consequences of employee voice, managerial evaluation and endorsement, as well as voice solicitation. Moreover, accumulating attention has been paid to the managerial roles in promoting employee voice and amplifying the positive effects of voice. However, research on managerial roles in voice remains unsystematic and leaves lots of issues to be addressed.
    Based on Input-Process-Output (IPO) model, we summarize managerial roles in the voice process, as well as their premises and outcomes. At first, we integrate voice solicitation, employee voice, and managers' reactions toward voice (i.e., managerial endorsement and voice/voicer evaluation) into a comprehensive concept, entitled as voice behavior chain. Voice behavior chain reflects the Process component of the IPO model and portraits managerial roles in the voice contexts. In the voice behavior chain, as initiators, managers consult employees about their work-related ideas and opinions, which can facilitate employee voice. Then, as reactors, managers would decide whether to endorse employee voice or not, and meanwhile, they also evaluate voice and corresponding voicers. However, it is notable that voice behavior chain could be incomplete; that is, except for employee voice, neither of the managerial roles is a must to constitute the chain. The order of the elements within the behavior chain may also change under certain circumstances. Moreover, we provide fine-grained arguments about the distinctiveness and connections between voice solicitation and employee voice and between managerial endorsement and voice/voicer evaluation.
    We also conclude that in the IPO model, voice behavior chain shares similar Input and Output components (i.e., similar antecedents and consequences), which are across individual-level, team-level and organizational-level. Regarding the Input component, managers' affective states, openness toward change, motivations, self-regulatory resources, self-efficacy, and face threat directly influence their performance in voice behavior chain. Managerial endorsement and evaluation also depend on employees' communication skills, credibility and expertise. Team-level (e.g., power distance, leader-member exchange, goal consistency and the involvement of third party) and organizational-level factors (e.g., change climate and voice norms) can also activate voice behavior chain. Since researchers tend to adopt self-regulatory theory or image/ego threat theory to trace the sources of voice behavior chain, we call for further studies to consider other potential theoretical explanations and input factors, such as managers' attributions. Regarding the Output component, voice behavior chain may have effects on individual perceived organizational support, organizational commitment, performance and promotion. It also serves as a catalyze to promote team performance and problem-solving skills and to build organizational creative climate. However, the managerial roles cannot be limited in strengthening the effects of employee voice. For instance, managerial solicitation may induce managers' emotional exhaustion if their proactive behaviors aren't followed by employee voice and support.
    Drawing on the IPO model in the voice context, we emphasize the managerial roles in voice behavior chain. Thereby this study comprehensively incorporates the existing literature, identifies important issues neglected by previous research and sheds light on future studies. Researchers need to be more scrupulous of the application of the related theory when conducting cross-cultural research. Also, the constructs and dimensions of the behavior elements can be explored furtherly, and we are looking forward to more objective measurements of managerial roles. Last but not least, the research on managerial roles in voice behavior chain can be enriched by investigating spillover effects and corresponding mechanisms. We hope this review can make theoretical and practical contributions by integrating those scattered topics and guiding managers to facilitate and respond to employee voice efficiently.
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