ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R


    15 March 2021, Volume 29 Issue 3 Previous Issue    Next Issue

    Research Method
    Regular Articles
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    Research Method
    Interpreting nonsignificant results: A quantitative investigation based on 500 Chinese psychological research
    WANG Jun, SONG Qiongya, XU Yuepei, JIA Binbin, LU Chunlei, CHEN Xi, DAI Zixu, HUANG Zhiyue, LI Zhenjiang, LIN Jingxi, LUO Wanying, SHI Sainan, ZHANG Yingying, ZANG Yufeng, ZUO Xi-Nian, HU Chuanpeng
    2021, 29 (3):  381-393.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00381
    Abstract ( 100 )  
    Nonsignificant results are common in psychological research and can be easily misinterpreted as evidence for accepting null hypothesis. This misinterpretation may lead to false statistical inferences in empirical research. However, how prevalent this misinterpretation exists in Chinese published psychological studies is unknown. To answer this question, we randomly selected 500 empirical research papers published between 2017 and 2018 in Acta Psychological Sinica, Journal of Psychological Science, Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology, Psychological Development and Education, Psychological and Behavioral Studies, screened articles in which the abstracts contained any sentences that indicated nonsignificant results (we call these sentences “negative statements” hereafter). We then read those articles and extracted negative- statements-related statistics and their interpretations, and evaluated the correctness of each interpretation. Finally, we calculated Bayes factors based on the available t values in these nonsignificant results. The protocol was pre-registered at OSF (https://osf.io/czx6f). We found that (1) out of 500 empirical research, 36% of their abstracts (n = 180) contained negative statements; (2) in those 180 articles, we extracted 236 nonsignificant results and corresponding interpretations, and found that 41% of these interpretations was incorrect, (3) Bayes factor analysis revealed that only 5.1% (n = 2) of available nonsignificant t-values (n = 39) can provide strong evidence in favor of null hypothesis (BF01 > 10). We compared the results with Aczel et al. (2018) and discussed the potential reasons that caused the misinterpretation. These data suggest that Chinese psychology researchers need to improve their understanding of nonsignificant results and statistical inference.
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    Game-based psychological assessment
    XU Junyi, LI Zhongquan
    2021, 29 (3):  394-403.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00394
    Abstract ( 69 )  
    Game-Based Psychological Assessment (GBPA) refers to the evaluation of a person's ability, personality, and other psychological characteristics through games or gamified activities. In the early days, it was mainly used to evaluate the effectiveness of education and training, and later extended to assessing psychological characteristics. As a new technology, game-based assessment has advantages in terms of form, process and outcome. Currently, a paradigm based on evidence-centered design has been developed in game-based assessment to design instruments and to conduct empirical studies. This paradigm has been applied to assessing individual differences in cognitive and non-cognitive abilities. However, this technique is still in its infancy. Future research can be further expanded in task design, data mining, and practical application.
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    Feedback-related negativity: A biomarker for depression
    QIN Haofang, HUANG Rong, JIA Shiwei
    2021, 29 (3):  404-413.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00404
    Abstract ( 52 )  
    Feedback-related negativity (FRN) is an Electroencephalogram (EEG) component that reflects an individual’s reward sensitivity. Depression is usually characterized by decreased reward sensitivity. Several cross-sectional studies have found abnormal FRN in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and in those at risk of depression. Moreover, longitudinal studies have found that abnormal FRN can predict the onset of adolescent depression and the development of depressive symptoms; in this process, stress and sleep are two essential moderators. This suggests that FRN may have potential value in the diagnosis and classification of depression and the screening and intervention of high-risk groups of depression. Presently, some controversies regarding the psychological function of FRN still exist. In future research, the function and measurement of FRN should be further clarified, and the effects of heterogeneity and comorbidities of depression on FRN should be further examined. We should also focus on the relationship between FRN and depression in the elderly.
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    Regular Articles
    The neural mechanism of phonagnosia
    ZHOU Aibao, HU Yanbing, ZHOU Yingxin, LI Yu, LI Wenyi, ZHANG Haobo, GUO Yanlin, HU Guoqing
    2021, 29 (3):  414-424.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00414
    Abstract ( 85 )  
    Human voice recognition is critical for many aspects of social communication. Most people can recognize identity from the voice, but people with phonagnosia seem to have lost this ability. By definition, it means the deficits occurring at different stages of the processing of voice identity. It includes acquired phonagnosia developmental phonagnosia and its subtypes. Acquired phonagnosia patients’ damaged brain regions mainly include the temporal lobe, Heschl's gyrus and temporal pole. Developmental phonagnosia is associated with atypical responses in the right posterior superior temporal sulcus and dysfunction in the functional connectivity between the temporal lobe and the amygdala. Future research can focus on screening methods, scoping and cultural differences for phonagnosia.
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    Prosodic boundaries in speech: A window to spoken language comprehension
    FANG Lan, ZHENG Yuanyi, JIN Han, LI Xiaoqing, YANG Yufang, WANG Ruiming
    2021, 29 (3):  425-437.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00425
    Abstract ( 52 )  
    The perception of prosodic boundaries is critical to spoken language comprehension, and it has become a primary research topic among psychologists and psycholinguists in the past decade. Utterances are chunked into prosodic units of different strengths. The boundaries between prosodic units are mainly signaled by acoustic cues like pitch change, final lengthening, and pause. Previous cognitive, linguistic, developmental, and neuroimaging studies have significantly advanced our understanding of the processing of prosodic boundaries. We now know that listeners use a perceptual weighting strategy to process prosodic boundary cues, and there are specific brain mechanisms for prosodic boundary processing. The ability to processing prosodic boundaries steadily develops with age in young children and transfers to a second language, but it generally decreases with age in older adults. Future studies should expand the investigation of prosodic boundaries to more pragmatic genres and focus on revealing the cognitive mechanisms underlying prosodic boundary processing, the relationship between prosodic boundary and syntax processing, and the development of prosodic boundary perception in second language learners.
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    The processing mechanism of morphologically complex words for second language learners
    CONG Fengjiao, CHEN Baoguo
    2021, 29 (3):  438-449.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00438
    Abstract ( 39 )  
    Most languages of the world have a high proportion of morphologically complex words that are composed of two or more morphemes. When processing morphologically complex words, readers can choose to access the whole word meaning directly from the mental lexicon, or to use morphological rules to construct the word semantics. There is a general consensus that native speakers can access the whole word meaning by combing morphemes, however, despite increasing amount of second language research, the morphologically complex word processing mechanism for L2 learners is still in debate. Based on Complementary Learning Systems account and Episodic L2 Hypothesis, the processing mechanism of L2 morphologically complex words is proposed. Future research needs to explore the influences of morphological family size on the processing of L2 morphologically complex words, as well as reveal the neural mechanism underlying L2 morphologically complex words.
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    The mechanism of representational alignment in spatial dialogue
    YU Meng, LI Jing
    2021, 29 (3):  450-459.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00450
    Abstract ( 31 )  
    How do people process and communicate spatial information with others in spatial dialogue is a widely studied issue in the domain of spatial cognition. The scholars have found that there is a common phenomenon in spatial dialogue that people who communicate with their partners in spatial dialogue will achieve alignment at different representational levels, such as spatial terms, spatial frames of reference, and viewing perspectives. The physical characteristics of the spatial scene and the collaboration between people will affect the degree of representation alignment. The physiological basis for realizing representational alignment is the consistency of the neural activities of the speakers and listeners. In the future, we can continue to explore the mechanism of representation alignment, such as the relationship between representational alignment and individual spatial preferences, and how partners’ characteristics affect the degree of this alignment.
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    Behavioral oscillations in attentional processing
    ZHANG Xiaodan, ZHANG Lijin, DING Yulong, QU Zhe
    2021, 29 (3):  460-471.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00460
    Abstract ( 53 )  
    Behavioral oscillations are periodic changes of behavioral performance which result from rhythmic mental processes. Through behavioral methods that have high temporal resolutions, prior studies have provided a unique perspective to investigate the temporal dynamics of visual attention. Phenomena of behavioral oscillations were observed in many types of attentional tasks. There was much evidence supporting that attentional sampling showed periodic changes mainly at two different rhythms: α (8-13 Hz) band which reflects attentional suppression and θ (4-8 Hz) band which reflects attentional shift. These results help revealing the temporal dynamics of attention and provide a new approach for the controversy between serial- and parallel-search theories of attention. Some potential factors, including task difficulty and cue validity, were found to be able to influence the rhythmic characteristics of behavioral oscillations. Behavioral oscillations showed consistent rhythms with neural oscillations in some attentional tasks, suggesting that they might involve similar mental processes. To systematically reveal the temporal dynamics of attention, future studies are needed to investigate the specific patterns of behavioral oscillations under various attentional control processes, as well as in multimodal attentional tasks.
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    The cognitive characteristics of and the brain mechanisms underlying social interaction processing from a third-person perspective
    CHENG Yuhui, YUAN Xiangyong, JIANG Yi
    2021, 29 (3):  472-480.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00472
    Abstract ( 33 )  
    The ability to recognize and decipher social interaction of others from a third-person perspective is critical for our daily life. There are two cognitive characteristics accounting for the processing of social interaction: configural integrity and action contingency. A hierarchical neural basis underpins social interaction processing in which the person perception network, the action observation network and the mentalizing network are concurrently engaged, wherein the posterior superior temporal sulcus plays a crucial role. Future research needs to explore the heredity of social interaction, to elucidate its underlying cognitive and neural mechanism by combining various technological methods, and to focus on its application in real life.
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    Homeostasis and transition of well-being: A new integrative perspective
    SUN Junfang, XIN Ziqiang, BAO Hugejiletu1,, LIU Min, YUE Heng
    2021, 29 (3):  481-491.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00481
    Abstract ( 39 )  
    Previous empirical and theoretical studies hold different views on the stability and variability of well-being (or subjective well-being). Set-point theory holds that well-being usually remains at a set-point, and dynamic equilibrium theory (and its variant—subjective well-being homeostasis theory) further emphasizes that well-being fluctuates in a dynamic equilibrium state within a certain set-point range. Similarly, hedonic adaptation theory considers the reasons for the stability of well-being from the perspective of emotional adaptation based on dynamic equilibrium theory. In sum, all three theories focus on how a certain equilibrium level of well-being is maintained. In contrast, sustainable happiness theory emphasizes that well-being can be improved and can undergo long-term changes. The essence of the difference between these theoretical perspectives lies in how the stability and variability of well-being are viewed. On the basis of the concepts of homeostasis and allostasis in biology and the concept of transition in physics, we believe that well-being has not only homeostasis, but also allostasis which can cause well-being homeostasis to adjust. This integrated perspective provides a new explanation framework for well-being research and has enlightening implications for the continuous improvement of well-being.
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    Controversies in terror management theory research and its implications for research on the psychology of death
    MENG Xianghan, LI Qiang, ZHOU Yanbang, WANG Jin
    2021, 29 (3):  492-504.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00492
    Abstract ( 91 )  
    Psychology of death remains a complex psychological state of cognition, emotion and behavioral intention in the face of death and death-related events. Currently, the most comprehensive and scientific death psychology research is the Terror Management Theory (TMT). However, TMT has the following controversies: (1) In terms of three basic cognitive aspects of death, the theory presents inconsistent research results on whether death is independent of uncertainty, whether death causes fear, and whether individual survival is a central issue for human beings; (2) On the socio-cultural level, the cultural background of the Terror Management Theory was that there was a general denial of death. However, cross-cultural studies demonstrate that other cultures treat death with attitudes such as acceptance and contempt; (3) Finally, there exist a lot of contradictions in the research results of fear management theory. This indicates that there are important regulatory factors which are not involved in the present study. On this basis, the possible research directions of death psychology can be summarized from the aspects of cognition, behavior, and society. In the future, the death psychology can consider the research attitude that attaches equal importance to science and culture, combine the content and process of death psychology, pay attention to the psychological laws of the group in the face of death as well as carry out the intervention research of physical and mental health under the influence of death psychology.
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    Reconsideration of Schadenfreude and a proposal of an interactive process model
    ZHANG Yan, WANG Junxiu, XI Juzhe
    2021, 29 (3):  505-519.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00505
    Abstract ( 51 )  
    Schadenfreude is a social emotion involving feelings of satisfaction or joy arising from learning about other people’s misfortunes. Although it is regarded as universally prevalent there has been very little research about it. While it used to be posited immoral, recent scholars have considered it to be meaningful and have undertaken research about it. In this essay, Chinese and international studies were reviewed, concepts and measurements of Schadenfreude were summarized, and an interactive process model (IPM) was proposed. The strength of the model lies in that it integrated factors of both parties in interaction (the self and the others) based on an interactive perspective and it clarified the process of and the changes after the occurrence of Schadenfreude based on a process perspective. According to the model, researchers should pay attention to the contexts and interactions before and after the occurrence of Schadenfreude. The model may also assist our understanding of studies on other social emotions.
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    The psychological model and cognitive neural mechanism of awe
    ZHAO Xiaohong, TONG Wei, CHEN Taolin, WU Dongmei, ZHANG Lei, CHEN Zhengju, FANG Xiaoyi, GONG Qiyong, TANG Xiaorong
    2021, 29 (3):  520-530.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00520
    Abstract ( 42 )  
    The awe is though as a complex awe experience, even a self-transcendent emotion, caused by something mysterious, vast and beyond the current cognitive schema. The psychological research of awe has recently received great attention, but the nature of awe or the psychological mechanism is still unclear. To address the scientific question of “what is the psychological process of awe”, the existing awe-related literature is reviewed and a Psychological Model of Awe is proposed to explain the psychological process of awe and its cognitive neural mechanism on the basis of clarifying the evolution of the concept of aw, related theoretical development and empirical research of awe. It has been discovered that the generation of awe involves the psychological processes including expectation estimate, outcome evaluation and self-transcendent. Vastness and the need for accommodation are the two core factors of awe which also has two dimensions including internal and external vastness, and positive and negative affection. Future research should focus on the development of awe-related assessment, verification of awe theory and comparative analysis of awe behavior in different cultural people by carrying out multi-disciplinary basic and clinical research.
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    The effect of conformity tendency on prosocial behaviors
    WEI Zhenyu, DENG Xiangshu, ZHAO Zhiying
    2021, 29 (3):  531-539.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00531
    Abstract ( 100 )  
    Prosocial behaviors have a significant impact on social cohesion. Previous behavioral studies found that prosocial behaviors can be influenced by conformity tendency, including altruistic behavior, trusting behavior, fairness, generosity and charity. People tend to imitate others’ behaviors and adopt the deeper goals and motives of group in social context. Previous neuroimaging studies found that prosocial conformity are related to brain regions involved in reward processing, such as ventromedial prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex. Brain areas that were related to error processing also play a critical role in prosocial conformity. Prosocial conformity can be modulated by social value orientation, interpersonal trust and interpersonal sensitivity. Future studies can focus on the stability of prosocial conformity, prosocial conformity in children, individual differences, clinical research and cultural diversity.
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    Why do people “sacrifice life for righteousness”? An explanation from the cognitive neural mechanism of protected values
    YUE Tong, HUANG Xiting, FU Anguo
    2021, 29 (3):  540-548.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00540
    Abstract ( 46 )  
    Protected values are those which people refuse to trade for any other value, especially for economic value. The evidence of cognitive neuroscience research in recent years provides two reasons why people exhibit the behavior of “sacrificing life for righteousness” for protected values, such as defying their own interests or even giving up their life. This is because protected values are characterized and constructed by an absolute rule of deontology, which makes people less likely to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a trade; protected values are also closely related to the processes of self-identity and moral identity, and thus are subjectively endowed with the highest value. Further studies are needed to conduct empirical research on the core values of Chinese people based on the research paradigm of protective values, focus on its cultural differences, and carry out the corresponding practical research on intervention and guidance of correct values.
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    Individuals vs groups: Advice-taking in decision making
    REN Xiaoyun, DUAN Jinyun, FENG Chengzhi
    2021, 29 (3):  549-559.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00549
    Abstract ( 45 )  
    External advice is often considered as an effective approach to improve the quality of decision outcomes. However, there is a significant difference in advice-taking performance between individuals and groups. According to the existing research, the main factors causing the above issue include: the presence or absence of initial opinion, the confidence for the initial decision, the subjective evaluation towards advice, and the objective feedback of advice. Furthermore, based on group dynamics theory, the dynamic system comprises cohesive, driving, and dissipative forces. Thus, future studies may explain and predict group advice-taking by investigating the change and transformation among these dynamic factors, with implications for the arrangement and placement of decision-maker in various situations.
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    An investigation of the reciprocal effect between workplace incivility and workplace ostracism
    ZHAN Siqun, YAN Yu
    2021, 29 (3):  560-570.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2021.00560
    Abstract ( 28 )  
    The spiral effect model between uncivilized behavior in the workplace and workplace ostracism can be explained by moral exclusion theory and emotional event theory. According to the theory of moral exclusion, suffering from workplace incivility will lead to the increase of psychological distance between the victim and the perpetrator, which will lead to the workplace ostracism of the perpetrator; From the perspective of bystanders, witnessing workplace incivility will affect the moral sense of justice and interactional justice of the bystanders, which in turn will lead to workplace ostracism of the perpetrator. In addition, the above mediating effect will be moderated by the level of altruism. Based on the emotional events theory, suffering from workplace ostracism will affect the emotional level of the victims of workplace ostracism and will push them to be the perpetrators of workplace incivility.
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