Loading...
ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R
主办:中国科学院心理研究所
出版:科学出版社

Current Issue

    For Selected: Toggle Thumbnails
    Conceptual Framework
    The holistic representation of facial attractiveness and the attractiveness enhancement mechanism of dynamic faces
    ZHOU Guomei, ZHENG Ruoying, LIN Jia, LIU Xinge
    2022, 30 (7):  1429-1438.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01429
    Abstract ( 623 )   HTML ( 1 )  
    PDF (641KB) ( 1003 )  

    Face, as a high-level visual stimulus, has an irreplaceable role in interpersonal interaction. In particular, facial attractiveness influences major social decisions in our daily life, such as mate selection, hiring judgment, and social exchange. For a long time, researchers have been exploring the perception of static facial attractiveness from the perspectives of facial features, social information, and observer factors, and they have for the most part adopted an evolutionary approach. However, regarding the representation of facial attractiveness and the attractiveness enhancement effect of dynamic faces, very little is known about the underlying mechanisms. The current project attempts to answer these questions through two studies that focus respectively on the holistic representation of facial attractiveness and attractiveness enhancement effect of facial motion through its influence on holistic processing, attention to holistic/local features, and social information of faces. In Study 1, we will explore the cognitive representation of facial attractiveness from a holistic processing perspective. Study 1.1 adopts a rating task and the adaptation paradigm to examine the effects of high spatial frequency (more local features) and low spatial frequency (more holistic features) on facial attractiveness. If the representation of facial attractiveness is holistic, then faces with low spatial frequencies will naturally be found more attractive than faces with high spatial frequencies. Study 1.2 manipulates facial symmetry and facial normality to examine the mediating effect of facial normality between facial symmetry and facial attractiveness, which will reflect the holistic normality representation of facial attractiveness. Study 1.3 introduces the traditional Chinese aesthetic theory "Three Forehead and Five Eyes" to explore the holistic representation of facial attractiveness. We will use a rating task and the adaptation paradigm to investigate whether this "Three Forehead and Five Eyes" facial configuration matches Chinese people's representation of attractive Chinese faces. Study 1.4 examines whether partial face masking facilitates overall facial attractiveness and whether this facilitation effect is due to people imagining the intact face through its parts. In Study 2, we will explore the attractiveness enhancement mechanism of dynamic faces in terms of holistic processing, attention, and vitality. Study 2.1 uses a composite face paradigm to measure the holistic processing of dynamic and static facial attractiveness, which delves into whether differences in attractiveness between static and dynamic faces arise from differences in their holistic processing. In Study 2.2, using a dual-task paradigm and incorporating eye-movement techniques, we will explore whether there are differences in the attention patterns of dynamic and static faces and whether such differences could explain the attractiveness enhancement of dynamic faces. Study 2.3 combined the use of questionnaire, behavioral experiment, and structural equation modeling to examine the effect of vitality on the attractiveness of dynamic and static faces. This project aims to explore the cognitive representation of facial attractiveness and the attractiveness enhancement mechanism of dynamic faces, which will further our understanding of the cognitive mechanism of facial attractiveness and the high-level intelligence required for human aesthetic perception. Furthermore, the results of this project will have potential applications elsewhere, such as facilitating daily interpersonal interactions, optimizing algorithms related to facial attractiveness and so on.

    References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Inaccurate mind reading: The misprediction in conflicts and its mechanisms
    LU Jingyi, QIU Tian, CHEN Yuqi, FANG Qingwen, SHANG Xuesong
    2022, 30 (7):  1439-1447.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01439
    Abstract ( 493 )   HTML ( 1 )  
    PDF (579KB) ( 662 )  

    Conflicts are antagonistic states where the actions taken by one party may cause direct and obvious harm to the other party. Therefore, conflicts may lead to interpersonal tensions. Rejections, raising different views, and competitions are instances that may induce conflicts. Effective conflict management can help to reduce negative impacts of conflicts and bring out potential positive impacts. However, the prevalence of misprediction hinders conflict management. Therefore, it is imperative to explore mispredictions in conflicts to facilitate effective conflict management. Extant researches have mainly shed light on mispredictions in non-conflicts from an information-driven perspective. In this line of researches, mispredictions are regarded as biases or even mistakes caused by cognitive constraints and the negative consequences of misprediction are mainly discussed. Although research on misprediction in non-conflicts is fruitful, misprediction in conflicts was largely ignored. In conflicts, people are more motivated to protect themselves and avoid interpersonal harm. To satisfy these motivations, people may strategically make mispredictions. Thus, mispredictions in conflicts may have motivational accounts. From this perspective, these mispredictions are not totally biases but sometimes adaptive because they help satisfy people’s needs.
    In this project, we will investigate mispredictions in conflicts and their mechanisms and consequences. Specifically, the aim of this project is fourfold. First, we will contrast mispredictions in conflicts and non-conflicts to explore the uniqueness of mispredictions in conflicts. We propose the bias-amplification effect of conflicts: mispredictions will be larger in conflicts than in non-conflicts. For instance, the opinion responders who have raised a different view to opinion proposers will mispredict the reactions of opinion proposers more than the opinion responders who have raised a similar view. Second, on the basis of motivated reasoning theory, we will investigate the negativity-driving mechanism of the bias-amplification effect. Since people worry about negative consequences of conflicts, they will process the potential outcomes of conflicts during the cognitive process (including attention, perception, and thinking) toward the negative direction to prepare for the worst results. Third, we will examine the consequences of mispredictions in conflicts such as interpersonal withdrawals or inactions. Last, we will develop effective and feasible de-biasing interventions to eliminate these mispredictions in conflicts. The mispredictions should be attenuated if people are less motivated to protect themselves and avoid harm others.
    This project will establish a new theoretical model of mispredictions in conflicts. This model, based on motivated-reasoning theory, reveals the bias-amplification effect of conflicts and extends the negative bias theory to interpersonal interactions. It also shifts from the cognitive constraint perspective to the motivational perspective and shows the impact of motivated reasoning on interpersonal interactions. In addition, this model contributes to the idea of ecological rationality and analyzes the adaptive functions of mispredictions.
    In sum, our work combines theories of mispredictions, negative bias, and motivated reasoning to establish a comprehensive theoretical framework. This project helps to extend theories on behavioral decision making as well as guide the public and social governors to make accurate predictions about others, to improve conflict management, and to reach high-quality decisions.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    The development of employees’ feeling trusted by their supervisors
    ZHU Ningyi, JIANG Ning, LIU Yan
    2022, 30 (7):  1448-1462.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01448
    Abstract ( 324 )   HTML ( 0 )  
    PDF (766KB) ( 466 )  

    The extant literature suggests that employees' perception of being trusted by their supervisors is important in the workplace, as such perception can lead to many positive work-related outcomes. Although we have understood how and why feeling trusted has consequences, little is known about its development. Overlooking how feeling trusted develops may limit its effective application to managerial practices, because it is only when felt trust is successfully triggered that it could lead to the establishment of trust relationship and ultimately affect employee behavior. As a perception derived from the processing of trust-related information, employees’ feeling trusted by their supervisors may not necessarily fit the supervisors' actual trust. Therefore, to better manage employees by making them feel trusted, supervisors as the trustors, should not only take the initiative to engage in trusting behaviors, but also consider how to make employees perceive their trust accurately.
    Drawing on the symbolic interactionist view and social information processing theory, we develop a conceptual model about the development of employees’ feeling trusted by their supervisors. According to the model, delegation and coaching are identified as two of the critical factors that influence employees’ feeling trusted by their supervisors. The effects of delegation and coaching on feeling trusted depend on the employee’s goal orientation, on the supervisor’s trustworthiness, and on the level of team anxiety. While employees’ perception of being trusted influences their loyalty and dedication, the amount of influence exerted is conditional on the management risks faced by their supervisors.
    By delineating how and when supervisory trusting behavior can make employees feel trusted and accordingly influence their work behaviors, the current research makes three important contributions both theoretically and practically. First, feeling trusted is not determined by the trustor or the trustee alone, but develops through interactions between the two parties. Although previous studies have examined the influence of leadership on feeling trusted by supervisors, they have not explained it from the perspective of trust interaction. We identify delegation and coaching as two types of supervisory trusting behaviors, through which supervisors can convey symbolic trust cues. By doing so, our study, theoretically, extends the understanding about the antecedents of feeling trusted by supervisors and, practically, offers new insights into what supervisors can do to make employees feel trusted. Second, although the development of feeling trusted by supervisors relies on social information processing, few studies have explored its internal mechanism. Based on social information processing theory, our research initiates a new dialogue on the mechanisms and boundary conditions regarding the development of feeling trusted by supervisors. We do not only focus on potentially positive and negative paths regarding trust information processing but also explore how information relevance (employee goal orientations) and credibility (supervisor trustworthiness) moderate those paths. The study of employee goal orientations is conducive to identifying the target employees for whom supervisory trusting behaviors are more likely to be effective, while the study of supervisor trustworthiness further clarifies the positive or negative influence that supervisors may have in trust information delivery and processing. Practically, this study provides important guidance for supervisors to manage the target employees by facilitating their feeling trusted in an effective manner. Third, by exploring the moderating effects of two negative team-level factors (team anxiety and management risk), our study enriches the understanding about the contexts of trust interactions between supervisors and subordinates. Practically, we provide implications for how supervisors can adopt trust management strategies in an environment full of high uncertainty and challenges.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    The antecedents and consequences of workplace loneliness: A regulatory focus theory perspective
    CHEN Xiao, XIE Bin, PENG Jian, NIE Qi
    2022, 30 (7):  1463-1481.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01463
    Abstract ( 314 )   HTML ( 0 )  
    PDF (878KB) ( 479 )  

    Abstract: With the use of information technology and increased work intensity, employees have less frequent face-to-face and sincere social contact with coworkers; thus, workplace loneliness has become a common problem for employees, which has attracted attention from management practitioners in organizations. Our literature review of workplace loneliness studies suggests that most previous studies have revealed the negative outcomes of workplace loneliness, thus highlighting the importance of focusing on this issue. However, based on the existing literature, we only have a vague understanding of how to prevent and cope with workplace loneliness. To guide employees to cope with workplace loneliness properly, we believe it is necessary to focus on how employees proactively cope with workplace loneliness rather than simply treating them as passive recipients of negative feelings. Understanding how employees cope with workplace loneliness will help propose constructive suggestions for managing it. In addition, to uncovering employees’ coping behaviors related to workplace loneliness, we still need to develop systematic thinking about how to prevent the occurrence of workplace loneliness by addressing the causes of workplace loneliness. Previous studies on workplace loneliness suggest that it is a type of negative emotion derived from a deficiency in high-quality workplace interpersonal relationships. Similarly, Wright and Silard (2021) believe that when employees' actual workplace interpersonal relationships fail to reach the expected level, employees will think that there are deficits in workplace interpersonal relationships and experience loneliness. Wright and Silard’s (2021) view reflects that workplace loneliness is a psychological experience caused by employees' failure to achieve expected social goals. Following this logic, this paper applies regulatory fit theory related to individuals’ self-regulation during the goal-chasing process to understand the generation and coping process of workplace loneliness. Based on the tenets of regulatory fit theory, this paper aims to answer three questions: 1) whether the effects of (in)congruence between leader and follower regulatory focus impact workplace loneliness through the mediating effect of leader-member exchange; 2) whether the effects of (in)congruence between employees and team regulatory focus impact workplace loneliness through the mediating effect of team-member exchange; and 3) how employees choose different social behaviors to cope with experienced workplace loneliness based on different team regulatory focus climate and how different social behaviors impact subsequent job performance. By applying polynomial regression and responding surface analysis methods, we hope to contribute to the studies of workplace loneliness and provide novel understanding about the causes of workplace loneliness. In addition, we hope to contribute to the studies of workplace loneliness by introducing regulatory fit theory to the research field. We believe that understanding individuals’ self-regulation during the process of chasing social goals will help enhance dynamic and systematic knowledge about how employees encounter workplace loneliness and how they cope with such feelings under different situations.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Understanding local community customers: Perspectives from place attachment and customer satiation
    ZHANG Sha, XU Mengchen, JIANG Peiqi, ZHAO Hong
    2022, 30 (7):  1482-1495.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01482
    Abstract ( 212 )   HTML ( 0 )  
    PDF (788KB) ( 320 )  

    Because of the decline of traditional shopping centers and malls and the diminishing customer shopping radius caused by COVID-19, local neighborhood businesses have begun attracting increased patronage from customers, more capital investment, and enhanced attention from policymakers. However, research on local neighborhood businesses and their local community customers is lacking in mainstream marketing and consumer behavior literature. Specifically, existing research does not reveal the unique characteristics of local community customers compared with nonlocal customers. As a result, the picture of local community customers is still unclear.
    To fill in this gap, the current study first seeks to provide a clear definition and conceptualization of “local community customers.” This paper proposes a six-dimensional characterization of local community customers: proximity, a high willingness to join a loyalty program, more susceptible to word-of-mouth effects, a propensity for place attachment, a propensity for customer satiation, and family-related consumption. We thus provide a brand-new framework for local community customer research. Then, considering the proximity of local community customers to neighborhood stores with a high frequency of consumption, we further propose that local community customers may develop place attachment to local stores because of frequent and long-term interactions, yet they may also become satiated with local stores because of repeated consumption. These two opposing mechanisms may trigger complex cognitive and emotional responses of local customers, which in turn may affect their repurchase behavior.
    Based on these two contradictory mechanisms, this paper offers a series of propositions and a theoretical framework regarding “how to enhance local community consumers’ place attachment” and “how to alleviate their satiation”. Specifically, in terms of improving place attachment, this paper proposes that local community customers have a higher intention to purchase from local stores whose brand name contains (vs. does not contain) the Chinese character “home” or “family”, whose salespeople exhibit a warm (vs. competent) image, that offer (or do not offer) additional services, or that organize experiential (vs. material) membership activities. This is because the former options help form higher place attachment. In previous studies, place attachment has often been used to describe the emotional connection between individuals and families, communities, cities, regions, countries, or even entire continents, but less attention has been paid to the possible emotional relationships between customers and retail spaces. We expect that the findings of this paper would significantly promote place attachment theories.
    In terms of reducing the satiation of local community customers, this study proposes that local community customers are more willing to buy from local stores that adopt a cross-industry alliance loyalty program (vs. non-cross-industry alliances), offer rich (vs. single) product lines, or launch shareable (vs. non-shareable) coupons, because the former options can more effectively relieve local community customers’ satiation. In this part, we explored the influence of resource endowment factors (cross-industry alliances), situational factors (social experience in which coupons can be shared), and product factors on customer satiation, thus enriching customer satiation theories.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Regular Articles
    Cognitive neural mechanism of boundary processing in spatial navigation
    HAO Xin, YUAN Zhongping, LIN Shuting, SHEN Ting
    2022, 30 (7):  1496-1510.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01496
    Abstract ( 191 )   HTML ( 0 )  
    PDF (1084KB) ( 271 )  

    Boundaries are obstacles with extended surfaces in the spatial environment and significantly contribute to the spatial navigation of humans and animals. Extensive behavioral literature has revealed that boundary cues contribute more than landmark cues to spatial navigation, in multiple species, which is considered as the superior boundary effect. However, the dynamic developmental process of boundary perception and its underlying neural mechanisms in spatial navigation remain unclear. Therefore, this study reviewed the last decade of research systematically and put forward several possible future directions for boundary-based navigation. On the one hand, we summarized the cognitive developmental mechanisms of boundary-based navigation. Specifically, most reorientation studies have reported that children could reorient successfully by using the geometry of the boundary after they disoriented at 1.5~2 years old, and gradually using the vertical information until they were 3.1~4.7 years old, length information until the age of 4~5, and visual opaqueness information until the age of 5 years old in navigation. On the other hand, a body of neuroimaging studies in adults found that the medial temporal lobe and parietal lobe play different roles in boundary processing. First, the geometry of the boundary and its constituent elements (i.e., vertical structure, length, and angle) are represented in the parahippocampal place area (PPA) and the retrosplenial complex (RSC). Furthermore, although both PPA and RSC could represent the geometry and vertical structure of the boundary, only the PPA was sensitive to changes in boundary length and angle between boundaries. Second, the encoding and retrieval of the boundary-based object’s location were associated with the hippocampus. When the structure of the hippocampus was damaged, boundary-based learning was accompanied by impairments. Third, research on the cognitive neural mechanism of navigational affordance is. The present study first distinguished navigational affordance, the hot topic in spatial navigation, into physical affordance and visual affordance. Recently, functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown that the physical affordance for boundaries is represented in the occipital parietal area (OPA) or transverse occipital sulcus (TOS), and the OPA may be mainly responsible for egocentric information representation in spatial navigation. Howver, it’s not yet explored the neural basis of visual affordance for boundaries, which would provide new insights into visual-guided navigation. Together, previous studies preliminarily examined the behavioral and neural basis of boundary-based navigation, which enriched our knowledge and understanding of spatial navigation. However, several issues are unaddressed that should be investigated in future. First, future studies should explore the comprehensive cognitive processes of boundary-based navigation and its development trajectory. A vast cognitive network or computational model to investigate the role of each cognitive function in boundary-based navigation should be considered. Second, further research could explore the functional interaction between the medial temporal lobe and the posterior parietal cortex in boundary-based navigation and its neural developmental changes in children. Third, we could pay attention to the distinctions and associations between the cognitive neural mechanisms of the boundary and geometry center encoding. Forth, further study could investigate specific behavioral and neural impairment of boundary-based navigation in individuals at genetic risk and preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, we could concern about the boundary influence mechanisms in long-term memory, time estimation, visual space, and social networks.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Presupposition processing in language comprehension
    YANG Qi, JIANG Xiaoming, ZHOU Xiaolin
    2022, 30 (7):  1511-1523.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01511
    Abstract ( 268 )   HTML ( 0 )  
    PDF (675KB) ( 345 )  

    Presupposition refers to the non-explicit assumption or belief held by both the listener and the speaker (the “common ground”). When encountering a presupposition message, the listener is required to infer what the speaker implies from the specific linguistic marker (or presupposition trigger) and its constrained object (or computational point). For instance, the sentence “Zhang Ming published a papercomputational point againtrigger” generates a presupposition “Zhang Ming published a paper before”. The listener relies on the trigger to access the common ground of both sides of the communication, and infers the presupposed content based on the computational point; subsequently, the listener relates the generated presupposition to the common ground and then updates their mental representation. These processes may be modulated by the word order between the presupposition trigger and the computational point, which would not change the critical role of the presupposition trigger in generating presupposition, but may affect the difficulty of presupposition processing.
    Presupposition comprehension was often considered as involving the processing of pragmatic felicitousness. According to whether the presupposition generated by the listener is consistent with the common ground, the processing of felicitousness can be classified as “presupposition satisfaction” and “presupposition violation”. In the former, the presupposed content is consistent with common ground, while in the latter, the presupposed content is inconsistent with the common ground. According to whether the listener can rationalize the violated presupposition, the presupposition violation is further divided into “presupposition failure” and “presupposition accommodation”. Presupposition failure refers to the understanding person’s lack of ability to rationalize the inconsistent presupposed content, let alone integrate it into an existing mental representation. Presupposition accommodation means that the inconsistent presupposed content can be rationalized. The mental model can be updated and reconstructed. This categorization lays the foundation for investigating the cognitive processes of presupposition comprehension.
    Numerous studies have demonstrated that the perceived common ground has an immediate impact on presupposition trigger and computational points. Accordingly, we propose a two-stage processing hypothesis regarding the contextual effect on presupposition comprehension. Specifically, in the first stage, the listener integrates the common ground with the presupposed meaning at the presupposition trigger; in the second stage, the concrete presupposed content is integrated with the common ground in the preceding context. Different processing stages may involve distinct cognitive processes. Furthermore, we reviewed several factors affecting the processing of presupposition at different cognitive stages, such as the linguistic types of the trigger, the semantic relatedness between the common ground and the presupposition, the forms of common ground presented, and the level of involvement in the experiment. Firstly, these triggers introducing similar and specific event structures may lead to similar cognitive efforts. Secondly, when integrating the common ground with the presupposed content, the listener does not simply judge whether the common ground and presupposed content are matched but carries out a more fine-grained processing according to the degree of matching between them. Therefore, the difficulty of integrating the two components may be affected by the degree of matching. Thirdly, the common ground of interlocutors can be established by linguistic co-presence (linguistic materials presented to the listener), visual co-presence (visual scene presented to the listener), or general world knowledge/community membership (common sense formed by the community). These manipulations differed in the modality of providing common contextual information and in the memory (such as short-term memory and the long-term memory) for retrieving these common grounds. Therefore, these specific cognitive processes are different when the listener integrates different types of common grounds and presupposed content. Finally, different experimental paradigms, such as those facilitating reading and those demanding interpersonal interaction, which demand different levels of motivation and engagement, may affect the extent of presupposition processing.
    Future studies can explore the cognitive basis of presupposition processing from the following three perspectives: (1) using computational modeling to quantify the processes (such as perspective-taking) of the listener’s understanding of presupposition during language communication; (2) using brain imaging to reveal the neural basis of presupposition processing; (3) to validate and, when necessary, to modify the neurocognitive models of presupposition processing with data from special populations.

    References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Can affective pedagogical agent facilitate multimedia learning?
    WANG Yanqing, GONG Shaoying, JIANG Tiantian, Wu Yanan
    2022, 30 (7):  1524-1535.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01524
    Abstract ( 283 )   HTML ( 0 )  
    PDF (1046KB) ( 401 )  

    In recent years, with the development of computer technology and intelligent tutoring systems, educational psychologists have paid much attention to the effect of adding an affective pedagogical agent (PA) to multimedia learning. Affective PA is a type of agent that is designed to elicit certain affective experiences in learners through multiple modalities such as facial expressions, voices, and gestures. Previous studies mainly focused on two types of affective PA: expressive affective PA and empathic affective PA. Expressive affective PAs are agents that affect learners' emotional experiences only through emotional expression (e.g., using smiling facial expressions and enthusiastic voices). Empathic emotional agents are agents with the goal to encourage and persuade learners to make greater effort by giving emotional feedback (such as nodding, encouragement, and additional remarks) according to the learner's emotional states. Although previous studies differed in the specific manipulation of affective PAs, no matter what type of affective PA is designed to increase the positive emotions in learners, improve internal motivation, and ultimately promote learning. Five theories were used to explain the effectiveness of affective PAs in multimedia learning environments. Emotional contagion theory holds that the emotional state of one person is automatically affected by another person's emotional expression. When learning with a smiling pedagogical agent, students are more likely to experience more positive emotions and higher motivation. Emotional response theory proposes that pedagogical agents with enthusiastic voices, smiling faces, and expressive gestures could elicit positive emotional responses in learners and promote them to engage in learning-related activities. The cognitive affective theory of learning with media (CATLM) emphasizes the importance of emotions and motivation in the learning process. Based on the CATLM, the cognitive-affective model of learning with instructional video states that when pedagogical agents display positive emotions during online learning, learners may experience four key steps: (1) the learners first need to recognize the PA’s positive emotions; (2) the learners respond to the PA’s affective stances (such as feeling the same emotions as the affective PAs); (3) the learners’ positive emotions improve the level of motivation to engage in deep cognitive processing; (4) the motivational states lead to better learning outcomes. However, cognitive load theory and interference theory hold the opposite opinion that affective agents may increase external cognitive load and distract learners from relevant information. Accordingly, learners no longer focus their full attention on the learning content and become distracted by the presence of the affective PAs, which may interfere learning. Guided by previous theories, a large number of studies have examined the role of affective pedagogical agents in multimedia learning. Most empirical studies found that affective pedagogical agents positively affect the learners’ emotions (d positive emotions = 0.45) and motivations (d intrinsic motivation = 0.52). Nevertheless, affective pedagogical agents have weak effects on cognitive load(d intrinsic cognitive load = -0.01;d external cognitive load = 0.09;d germane cognitive load = 0.08)and learning performance (d retention = 0.18, d comprehension = 0.32, d transfer = 0.14,d unite = 0.32). Previous studies showed that adding affective PA to multimedia lessons does not lead to stable improvement in learning performance, which may be due to the potential moderating variables. In the current study, we identified several potential factors that may moderate the effects of affective PA, such as learners’ individual characteristics (e.g., learner’s working memory and grade levels), the types of affective PAs, learning domain, and the way of tests. In conclusion, adding affective PA is regarded as a promising approach for education because of its potential to help students keep motivated during learning. Therefore, in educational practice, instructional designers can consider presenting a positive affective PA for learners to help them learn more happily. Further research should focus on the manipulation and evaluation methods, boundary conditions, underlying mechanisms, and ecological validity, etc.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Predictors of continuation and cessation of non-suicidal self-injury in adolescents
    JIANG Jiali, LI Liyan, LI Ziying, LEI Xiuya, MENG Zelong
    2022, 30 (7):  1536-1545.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01536
    Abstract ( 367 )   HTML ( 0 )  
    PDF (671KB) ( 631 )  

    Non-suicidal self-injury is a socially unacceptable behavior whereby an individual deliberately harms themselves without suicide ideation; it is an important risk factor for future suicide ideation, suicidal behavior and long-term psychological disorders. As a high risk group, non-suicidal self-injury behavior in adolescents poses a serious risk to their physical and mental health, and has a significant social “contagion” effect. Understanding the factors that predict the continuation or cessation of non-suicidal self-injury behavior in adolescents is helpful to provide new perspectives for early prevention and intervention.
    This study combed through relevant literature from China and abroad using longitudinal tracking and retrospective studies, and employed Nock’s integrative theoretical model to classify the factors that are predictive of the continuation or cessation of non-suicidal self-injurious behavior in adolescents into three categories: physiological mechanisms, personal traits and social factors. In terms of physiological mechanisms, a neurobiological basis for the continuation or cessation of non-suicidal self-injurious behavior in adolescents was identified. For example, when β-endorphin levels and the resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) between the amygdala and frontal lobes were abnormal in adolescents, these individuals might become dependent on non-suicidal self-injurious behavior as a means of restoring homeostasis in the body, and thus, they perpetuate the behavior.
    In terms of personal traits, adolescents with deficits in emotion regulation were more likely to develop and maintain non-suicidal self-injurious behavior, while those who were good at accepting their emotional responses, and able to use adaptive emotion regulation strategies, were more likely to stop this behavior in the future; adolescents with borderline personality disorder, impulsive personality traits, low levels of self-esteem, and high levels of self-criticism and self-punishment tended to persist in non-suicidal self-injury behavior over a longer period of time, whereas adolescents with high levels of self-esteem, positive beliefs about adversity, and low levels of self-punishment were more likely to stop the behavior. The non-suicidal self-injury function on which the adolescent relied also influenced the course of the behavior, with adolescents who relied on non-suicidal self-injury for intrapersonal functions (e.g., anti-dissociation, self-punishment, and affect regulation, etc.) being highly likely to maintain the behavior over time. However, those who relied on non-suicidal self-injury for interpersonal functions (e.g., peer-bonding, interpersonal influence, autonomy, revenge, etc.) were more likely to stop the behavior after a period of time. In addition, adolescents’ prior experience of non-suicidal self-injurious behavior might also be one of the strongest predictors of future persistence with this behavior, with adolescents with more severe levels of non-suicidal self-injurious behavior being at greater risk of continuing the behavior and, conversely, being more likely to stop.
    In terms of social factors, risk factors such as peer bullying and poor family relationships might weaken an individual's ability to cope with distress, which in turn might trigger or exacerbate non-suicidal self-injurious behavior in adolescents. Conversely, effective social support, such as peer support, family support, psychological counselling and therapy, could provide protective resources for the development of non-suicidal self-injurious behavior and might help adolescents to stop this behavior.
    At present, most of the relevant studies at home and abroad focus on the prevalence, research methods, relevant influencing factors and functions of non-suicidal self-injurious behavior, and relatively little theoretical and practical exploration of the persistence or cessation of non-suicidal self-injurious behavior has been carried out. Future research should pay more attention to the diversification of research methods and measurement techniques for non-suicidal self-injurious behavior, and the expansion of research areas (e.g., personality, cognitive orientation, etc.), as well as to the differences in age groups and cultural backgrounds, in order to further identify risk and protective factors that are significant predictors of the development of non-suicidal self-injurious behavior, and to further explore the interaction between these factors.

    References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Therapeutic metaphors: Theories, empirical efficacy and underlying mechanisms
    YU Guanlin, LIU Ruixuan, ZHANG Wencai
    2022, 30 (7):  1546-1560.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01546
    Abstract ( 291 )   HTML ( 1 )  
    PDF (745KB) ( 497 )  

    Metaphor is a unique form of language and way of cognition, with which people use concrete or familiar concepts to express and understand abstract or unfamiliar ones. As metaphors usually work effectively in transmitting therapeutic information, they are extensively used in psychotherapy. Fundamental theories of linguistics and psychology state that metaphors possess cognitive processing superiority because they are high in creativity and has memory retention functions. Though different schools of psychotherapy have varied emphasis on using metaphors generated by either the client or the therapist, they all agree that metaphors can help with effectively processing, transmitting and preserving therapeutic information through highly creative content, better long-term memory and high cognitive involvement, with psychoanalysis focusing on unconscious meaning exchanges, CBT on schema restructuring, and ACT on intuition experiences. For empirical research, a majority of studies focused on whether adding metaphors to a certain therapy (mostly CBT) could improve the effects of treatment, and as a result, some studies found that therapies with metaphors have greater intervention effects compared with conventional ones, while some others found that the two kinds of therapies are equally efficient. These studies generally demonstrate that metaphor use in psychotherapy is overall efficient, as the potential mechanisms proposed in theories had also been observed. Studies have shown that metaphor-triggered creative insight (with significant activation of amygdala, hippocampus and fusiform gyrus), enhanced long-term memory, and greater cognitive involvement could play important roles between metaphor use and therapeutic effects. In conclusion, therapeutic metaphor is an effective tool with unique advantages in cognitive processing and transmitting therapeutic information on both theoretical empirical perspectives. Future research should examine the advantages of metaphor use by setting more rigorous control groups, using metaphor-related measurements of treatment effects and exploring mechanisms further. Finally, practical applications on applying metaphors in psychotherapy practices and developing cost-efficient public mental health service programs with therapeutic metaphors are suggested.

    References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Neural mechanism of NSSI and comparative study with comorbidities
    DENG Xun, CHEN Ning, WANG Dandan, ZHAO Huanhuan, HE Wen
    2022, 30 (7):  1561-1573.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01561
    Abstract ( 225 )   HTML ( 0 )  
    PDF (789KB) ( 322 )  

    Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a major mental disorder whereby one deliberately and rapidly hurts himself/herself without a clear suicidal intent, but which may lead to severe damage to one’s body and mind. This review researched studies from the last ten years to examine the mechanism underlying NSSI from the perspectives of neuropsychology as well as for comparative study. Based on this research, we attempted to build an integrated model of the cognitive and neural mechanisms of NSSI.
    Neural studies have shown that the emotion system of NSSI patients may not function well (e.g., over-activation of the amygdala), causing emotional dysregulation in patients, which in turn is a major cause of NSSI. Thus, damage to the control system, such as the abnormal activation of prefrontal cortex, may also play an important role in NSSI and may lead to the loss of inhibitory control, making it hard for NSSI patients to resist the impulse to hurt themselves. Meanwhile, dysfunctional reward systems, such as the orbitofrontal cortex, may attach NSSI behavior to relief or something good. As such, patients fail to understand that hurting themselves is a bad ideal, thus causing the recrudescence of NSSI. In addition, abnormal pain perception, which is related to the HPA axis, may also contribute to NSSI behavior by reducing the level of pain felt, thereby increasing eagerness for pain. We also discussed the role of possible neurotransmitters or genetic shortages in NSSI. For example, the short alleles of the 5-HTT gene-linked polymorphic region weaken the regulatory function of the transmitter and induce emotional regulation disorders in the individual. Another example shows that endogenous opioid peptides, which are involved in the process of pain and mood regulation (and whose levels may be reduced due to individuals’ frustrating early-life experiences and genetic factors), can promote the act of NSSI. Similarly, after the opioid receptor is stimulated, the level of dopamine in NSSI patients increases, and one may obtain a sense of pleasure from self-harming behavior.
    With regard to comorbidities, NSSI had some partially overlapping mechanisms compared with suicide, addiction, eating disorders, and mood disorders. Self-injury and suicide attempts showed different performances on EEG indicators, but they also showed some similarities from the perspective of behavioral research and functional imaging. In addition, NSSI behavior is significantly related to substance addiction, and both are accompanied by impairment of inhibition control as well as the desire for certain substances or behaviors caused by abnormalities in the opioid and dopamine systems. Meanwhile, eating disorders and self-harm behaviors have high comorbidity rate. Eating disorders can be seen as indirect self-harm, and the EEG and functional imaging indicators of both are similar in part. Finally, depressive disorder is also a disorder that has a high comorbidity rate with NSSI. Patients with depressive disorder may regulate their emotions through self-harm, and the two have common risk factors and partially overlapping neural mechanisms. Studying the similarities and differences between the above-mentioned comorbid conditions and NSSI behavior can help us understand self-injury from different angles and implement early warning and intervention in multiple directions.
    Therefore, we built a model that explained the cognitive process combined with the neural mechanism of NSSI, matching every step of NSSI with its neural bases, as well as presenting the neural correlations between NSSI and comorbidities. Further research may focus on longitudinal studies, such as building models that describe the development of NSSI; explore gender differences from a prospective of neuroscience (whether and why more women hurt themselves than men); discuss treatments for NSSI (whether there are any more effective treatment methods); and examine whether there’s a correlation between the dysfunctional attention system and NSSI behavior.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    The role of genes in altruistic behavior: Evidence from quantitative genetics and molecular genetics
    LI Haihong, SHANG Siyuan, XIE Xiaofei
    2022, 30 (7):  1574-1588.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01574
    Abstract ( 209 )   HTML ( 0 )  
    PDF (1142KB) ( 290 )  

    Altruistic behavior is a behavior that benefits others at a cost to oneself, which is of great significance to groups and individuals. People differ significantly in their everyday altruistic behaviors, which is partly influenced by genetic factors. Recently, researchers have focused on the role of genes in altruistic behavior.
    First, the heritability of altruistic behavior was explored based on the method of quantitative genetics. A large number of studies have confirmed that altruistic behavior is indeed affected by heredity, and heritability estimates vary among studies (0~0.87). The heritability of altruistic behavior may be influenced by factors such as age, the method of measurement, and some environmental factors (e.g., culture, family environments). Second, based on molecular genetic research, researchers have found four categories of altruism-related candidate genes, including dopamine receptor genes, serotonin transporter genes, oxytocin receptor genes, and vasopressin receptor genes. These findings confirmed that altruistic behavior was correlated with some gene loci. Taken together, both quantitative and molecular genetic studies have provided abundant genetic evidence of altruistic behavior.
    Furthermore, according to the aforementioned studies, the environment has been proven not only to affect the heritability of altruistic behavior but also to play a key role in the influence of genes on altruistic behavior in both quantitative and molecular genetic studies. On the one hand, genotype is associated with an environment that jointly influences altruistic behavior, known as gene-environment correlation. There are three types of gene-environment correlations: passive, evocative and active. On the other hand, the effect of genetics on altruistic behavior is influenced by the environment, known as the differential susceptibility model; that is, the environment affects the development of the altruistic behavior of susceptibility gene carriers in a manner of “strengthening or weakening.” Accordingly, a large number of findings regarding the interactions between genes and the environment on altruism have been found in oxytocin receptor genes and dopamine receptor genes.
    The current studies have some problems, such as speculative selection of altruistic candidate genes and inconsistent conclusions. Future research needs to expand on and further explore the effect of neurobiological systems on altruistic behavior, which may focus on genome-wide research, meta-analysis, mechanism exploration, and systematic environmental intervention practice.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Structure and effects of motivation: From the perspective of the motivation continuum
    JIAN Yunlong, LIU Yuan
    2022, 30 (7):  1589-1603.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01589
    Abstract ( 349 )   HTML ( 1 )  
    PDF (762KB) ( 462 )  

    Motivation is an important non-cognitive factor affecting students’ academic achievement. Despite motivation is generally considered conducive to learning, researchers have long recognized the necessity to differentiate various kinds of motivation in that not all of them are desirable. There is not much dispute on the benefits of intrinsic motivation on academic achievement. In contrast, extrinsic motivation which has been believed to be undesirable since the seventies, was considered more recently by some researchers to be positive and indispensable under certain circumstances.
    The present research postulated the "motivation continuum" to resolve the discrepancies from the two directions. In the first direction, the popular theories related to motivation were united under one grand theory. We used the motivation continuum based on the self-determination theory to connect different related theories, including, the interest theory, the goal theory, the expectancy-value theory, the self-worth theory, the reinforcement theory, the social cognitive theory. Each of these theories could help to explain one or more types of motivation on the continuum, from the intrinsic end to the extrinsic end.
    In the second direction, we summarized these theories and their applications by analyzing how the motivation structure influenced the outcomes. In brief, there are at least four main perspectives on the structure and effects of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations are antagonistic to the unidimensional structure believers in that intrinsic motivation enhances performance while extrinsic motivation reduces it. To those believing in a multiple-dimensional structure, these two motivations are additive in that both can facilitate performance and work independently.
    Recently, more complex structures have been proposed to integrate both the unidimensional and multiple-dimensional hypotheses. The third perspective is a semi-radex structure with a general factor reflecting all types of motivations and specific factors representing various sub-domains. This semi-radex structure leads to a bi-factor model: it extracts it extracts an autonomy element added to the controlling end of the “self-determination factor” while still allows each sub-domain to have a unique influence. In the fourth perspective, the multiplicative model postulates that the two types of motivation work interdependently in an interactive way in that the effect of extrinsic motivation would vary with the level of intrinsic motivation, and vice versa.
    In the present research, we summarized the pros and cons of different theories in the motivation continuum model. We also reviewed different perspectives of various motivational structure hypotheses and their corresponding applications. The motivation continuum could be extended and applied to different situations such as in the different measures and perspectives of motivation, different outcomes and their nuanced effects, and different contexts. For context, we have specific interest in the Chinese culture and its related research findings. As the structure of motivation remains topics of great concern, in-depth analyses on the structure of the motivation continuum would facilitate researchers’ application of different theories in the appropriate context.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    How to cope with the threat to moral self? The perspectives of memory bias in moral contexts
    WANG Xiuxin, SHEN Yifan
    2022, 30 (7):  1604-1611.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01604
    Abstract ( 242 )   HTML ( 0 )  
    PDF (509KB) ( 361 )  

    People sometimes behave unethically, which may threaten their self-concept of being moral. To cope with the threat to the moral self, people would forget these past unethical actions or related information more easily. Recent research employing autobiographical memory paradigm, game paradigm, take-in paradigm, and self-reference memory paradigm provides evidence for this moral memory bias. Moreover, research further suggests that moral memory bias results from people’s need to cope with the threat to their moral self. That is, people forget their unethical behaviors to maintain a positive moral self.
    Notably, the findings on the phenomenon of moral memory bias show some inconsistency. Future research should seek possible moderators to integrate these inconsistent findings, revealing the contextual factors at play or individual differences in people's propensity of moral memory bias. In addition, according to the interpretation of moral self-threat, the moral memory biases only occur under certain conditions. That is, when people commit intentional unethical behavior, they should be able to realize that their behavior violates moral standards, experience moral self-threat, and then exhibit a moral memory bias. However, when the unethical behavior was committed unintentionally, people may not experience moral self-threat, therefore, exhibit no moral memory bias. The severity of the moral transgression may also influence the moral memory bias. Moral memory bias can help people cope well with moral self-threat when they engage in less serious unethical behavior but not serious moral violations, in which case, the moral memory bias may not be sufficient to deal with moral self-threat, and may cease to exist.
    There may be a link between moral memory bias and other strategies for coping with moral self-threat. One possibility is that moral memory biases and other strategies are complementary and work together. It is also possible that other strategies are the upstream mechanisms and pave the way for the emergence of moral memory biases. After having committed unethical behaviors, people may lower their moral standards by means of moral disengagement and self-serving justifications, and change their evaluation of the event, which makes it easier to obscure unethical behaviors and show moral memory bias. In addition to responding to moral self-threats, there are other possible motivational explanations for the moral memory bias. Moral memory bias may originate from people's impression management motivation. That is, people may exhibit moral memory bias in order to maintain their moral image in front of others. From a cognitive perspective, moral memory bias could arise from different stages of the memory process. For example, this phenomenon may occur in the encoding stage, that is, people may limit the encoding of unethical events rather than moral events; storage stage, that is, the memory traces may be affected by positive self-schemas, and details of unethical events are forgotten more easily; or the retrieval stage, that is, people may actively suppress the retrieval of unethical events. Future research should provide much more convergent evidence for the phenomenon, examine its underlying neural and cognitive mechanisms, and explore its relationship with other strategies that people use to cope with the threat to their moral self.

    References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Social distancing during a respiratory disease pandemic
    SUN Shiyue, ZHANG Yu
    2022, 30 (7):  1612-1625.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01612
    Abstract ( 165 )   HTML ( 0 )  
    PDF (758KB) ( 247 )  

    Since the COVID-19 outbreak, social distancing in epidemic or pandemic contexts has become an emerging issue of concern. Both the public’s high level of adherence to social restrictions and its proactive social distancing behaviors are instrumental in containing respiratory infectious disease outbreaks. However, people’s engagement in social distancing fluctuates throughout a pandemic, and it can change based on pandemic severity, pandemic or disease-related perceptions and emotional responses, social and cultural backgrounds, and individual differences in psychological traits. First, regarding pandemic severity, the level of severity and the public’s reported social distancing behaviors are not simply linearly correlated and may be moderated by the time course. Moreover, social distancing adherence varies across geographical regions. Among people from the initial epicenter of the pandemic, social distancing behaviors seem to be more proactive and persistent. Second, social distancing is influenced by factors related to cognition and emotion such as knowledge of the pandemic, perceived susceptibility to and severity of the disease, belief in the effectiveness of social distancing practices, and subjective norms regarding pandemics. There is also evidence that negative emotions such as fear and concern significantly predict social distancing. Third, socio-cultural factors, such as the degree of uncertainty avoidance and individualistic-collectivist values, may have direct or indirect influences on the public’s psychological reaction and social distancing behaviors during the pandemic. Finally, individual differences in psychological traits affect social distancing behavior. Recent studies have shown that people who have a higher level of self-control or need for cognition better adhere to social distancing. The feeling of self-efficacy is also associated with greater engagement in social distancing, suggesting that certain cognitive processes requiring individual efforts to make decisions are involved in social distancing. There is also evidence that emotional or motivational traits, including health risk avoidance tendency, aversion sensitivity, and pro-social motivation, as well as social cognition such as trust in science and in government or authority institutions, can influence social distancing. Additionally, social distancing and time course patterns are also related to and moderated by the level of interpersonal trust.
    The theory of planned behavior (TPB), the protection motivation theory (PMT), and the theory of the behavioral immune system (BIS) were discussed to explain the correlates and determinants of social distancing during the pandemic. First, the TPB, PMT, and BIS all highlight the influence of feelings and reactions to threat in determining the behavioral response. Both the TPB and PMT emphasize the conscious perception and deliberate computation of behavioral situations, costs, outcomes, and consequent reactions of others, which are highly cognitively demanding. Conversely, the theory of BIS focuses on perceptual and behavioral changes at an automatic level under the threat of infectious diseases. Therefore, threat management mechanisms in social distancing are supported by the three theories at both the levels of automation and conscious processing. Second, the coping assessment proposed by PMT and perceptual behavioral control emphasized by the TPB both propose a role of self-efficacy in social distancing behaviors. Primary evidence has shown that a sense of self-efficacy is another major source of behavioral compliance, and that it could moderate the effect of fear, suggesting that this independent mechanism could facilitate social distancing without fear. Lastly, the subjective norms construct in the TPB has the advantage of explaining the influence of social background and factors such as pro-social motivation and social trust. Based on previous findings and the social identity theory, we propose that an additional mechanism regarding social identity could influence social distancing behavior.
    The role of fear or threat attitudes in social distancing during a pandemic is supported by ample empirical evidence. However, further investigations should be conducted to clarify the relationship between the emotional and cognitive processes underlying social distancing behavioral decisions, as well as the interaction between social and cultural backgrounds and individual psychological traits. Future research should also strengthen theory-driven studies on the determinants of social distancing. To summarize both rational and irrational processes and group and individual perspectives, it is necessary to construct a dual-system model, such as one that integrates social identity theory and the theory of planned behavior. Furthermore, most previous studies on social distancing relied on self-reports of behavior and were cross-sectional in design. Therefore, it is important to conduct behavioral research with an experimental design or longitudinal surveys to further explore the causal relationships among the influencing factors and to confirm the underlying mechanisms of social distancing behaviors in the context of epidemics or pandemics.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Compensate others or protect oneself ? The difference of the effects of guilt and shame on cooperative behavior
    HAO Na, CUI Liying
    2022, 30 (7):  1626-1636.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01626
    Abstract ( 317 )   HTML ( 0 )  
    PDF (618KB) ( 551 )  

    As two common and easily confused self-conscious emotions, many researchers have studied the antecedents and aftereffects of guilt and shame. In recent years, researches have gradually focused on the effect of both on cooperative behavior. By combining the existing studies, we found that there are differences in the impact and mechanism of guilt and shame on cooperative behavior. The effect of guilt is more stable and universal, and the impact of shame, which is more vulnerable to other factors, is complex and diverse. The motivation and regulation mechanisms explain the different effects of guilt and shame on cooperative behavior. First, the motivation mechanism includes the compensation and repair motivation of guilt to others and the protection and repair motivation of shame to self. The compensation and repair motivation of guilt to others is mainly reflected in maintaining fairness in social interaction; making up for the harm caused to others and reducing the pain; repairing interpersonal relationships and regaining the acceptance and recognition of others or oneself. The protection and repair motivation of shame to self is mainly reflected in releasing negative emotional state; maintaining a positive self-image and reputation to repair self; protecting oneself to prevent subsequent injury and adverse consequences. Generally speaking, guilty people pay attention to negligent behaviors and consequences, focusing on compensating for the injured others or repairing the relationship with others. In contrast, the ashamed people pay attention to the damage of the overall self, focusing on protecting the self and repairing their social image. Based on this and previous research, we constructed a comparative model of the motivation mechanism of guilt and shame affecting cooperative behavior. Second, the regulation mechanism involves individual and situational factors. Individual factors include cognitive factors, social value orientation, self-control ability, emotional traits and state. Situational factors include the following situations: exposure and masking; experimental and daily; related and unrelated. Specifically, the influence of guilt on cooperative behavior is less limited by the situation, while shame is more limited by situational factors. It can promote the emergence of cooperative behavior in the exposed or related situations, while in the masked or unrelated situations, shame has difficulty affecting individual cooperative choice. In both experimental and daily situations, guilt affects cooperation more than shame. Finally, there are some deficiencies in previous studies. The effectiveness of the induction and measurement methods of guilt and shame still needs to be tested. The process and physiological mechanisms of the impact of the two emotions on cooperative behavior are still unclear. The research on the impact of individual factors is insufficient, and cross-cultural research is relatively lacking. Therefore, future research can expand and investigate the effectiveness of guilt and shame induction and measurement methods, the internal process and physiological mechanism of emotional effects, and the individual and cultural differences in emotional effects.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Exploring the effect of social inequality on system-justifying beliefs of the disadvantaged
    ZHANG Yue, DING Yi, YANG Shenlong, XIE Xiaona, GUO Yongyu
    2022, 30 (7):  1637-1650.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01637
    Abstract ( 289 )   HTML ( 0 )  
    PDF (752KB) ( 433 )  

    System-justifying beliefs reflect individuals’ system-supportive attitudes, which comprise perceptions of the fairness, legitimacy, and justifiability of the prevailing social system, as well as supportive and defensive attitudes toward this system. Previous research on the relationship between social inequality and the system-justifying beliefs of disadvantaged individuals remains inconclusive. On the one hand, self-interest-oriented theories (e.g., social identity theory) argue that inequality decreases the system-justifying beliefs of the disadvantaged, given that inequality conflicts with their self-interest. System justification theory, on the other hand, predicts that when inequality in the system is made especially salient, then system justification motivation is activated (or increased); thus, individuals (including the disadvantaged) would be more likely to defend and support the unequal status quo. Previous research has tested these two conflicting views, but failed to reach a consistent conclusion.
    In this article, we intend to advance the debate by proposing a dual-process model. We argue that system justification theory is not, in fact, contradictory to self-interest-oriented theories, but that both of which jointly contribute to explaining the full picture of the relationship between social inequality and the system-justifying beliefs of the disadvantaged. Therefore, the focus of the debate is not whether inequality reduces or enhances their system-justifying beliefs, but rather when (i.e., the cognitive base) and how (i.e., the motivational base) inequality causes them to oppose or defend the status quo.
    First, in terms of the cognitive base, we start our model by focusing on the construction, rather than the level, of inequality. From the constructivist perspective, individuals’ system-justifying beliefs depend on how the unequal system is processed psychologically. For the disadvantaged, inequality may pose different types of threats to them. On the one hand, inequality may threaten the interests of the disadvantaged at the individual or group level, which is termed a realistic threat. On the other hand, the unequal status quo may also conflict with their beliefs about the justice and legitimacy of the system around them, which is termed a symbolic threat. These two kinds of threats of inequality may affect their system-justifying beliefs differently.
    Second, in terms of motivation base, self-interested motivation and system justification motivation cause disadvantaged individuals to oppose or defend the unequal status quo, respectively, and the two motivations conflict with each other. Previous research either examined the two motivations from opposite perspectives or overemphasized the role of one of them. In contrast, we believe that the two motivations are not all-or-nothing but can co-exist with each other. Therefore, it is necessary to clarify the conditions under which they operate, that is, what determines which of them is stronger and which of them plays a dominant role.
    Third, we argue that distinguishing between realistic and symbolic threats of inequality is key to clarifying how self-interested and system justification motivations operate. In other words, different motivations drive the disadvantaged to either oppose or defend the unequal status quo, and which motivation plays a dominant role depends on how inequality is processed psychologically. Specifically, when the realistic threat of inequality at the individual or group level is salient, it is more likely to activate the self-interested motivation of the disadvantaged (and thus inhibit their system justification motivation), and in turn weaken their system-justifying beliefs. However, when the symbolic threat of inequality at the system level is salient, it is more likely to activate their system justification motivation (and thus inhibit their self-interested motivation), thereby enhancing their system-justifying beliefs.
    Our dual-process model offers a new approach to bridging the research gap. Future research is needed to test and develop the dual-process model and to extend our knowledge regarding people’s response to the high and rising level of inequality around the world.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Within-country regional cultural differences and their organizational implications
    ZHU Xiumei, ZHENG Xuejiao, XU Hai, XU Yanmei
    2022, 30 (7):  1651-1666.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.01651
    Abstract ( 217 )   HTML ( 1 )  
    PDF (800KB) ( 296 )  

    In recent years, cross-cultural management research has been paying more attention to within country or sub-national regional cultural differences. For countries such as China, with a multi-ethnic population, vast territorial span and long history, assessing the extent and the nature of regional cultural differences is even more important for effective personnel management and business operation. Rapid economic development has increased geographic mobility of labor force and cross-regional expansion of enterprises. As a result, both employees and managers must face the external challenges of adapting to different regional cultural environments and internal challenges of working with and managing personnel with different regional cultural origin.
    Existing empirical research has reported wide-spread subnational regional cultural differences in Asian, European, and North and South American countries. The type of countries in this list rangs from multi-ethnic and multi-religious countries with large geographic span(such as the United States and Brazil) to those with smaller territory and more homogeneous ethnic and religious composition(such as Japan and Germany), from highly industrialized developed countries to developing countries, and from Southeast Asian and South American countries with higher collectivism to North American and Western European countries with greater individualistic inclination. The dimensions of difference mainly include the cultural value dimension of Hofstede and Schwartz, especially individualism-collectivism values. In addition, the degree of internal regional cultural differences has also been found to vary significantly from country to country.
    Existing literature on mainland China has mainly attempted to classify administrative units (i.e., provinces and counties) into culturally distinctive subnational regions and identify the content dimensions of regional cultural differences. Early research theoretically argues for the presence of cultural value differences and classifies subnational cultural region based on external factors affecting culture (such as geographic characteristics). Subsequent classifications are directly based on the degree of cultural value similarity. A handful more recent research uses multiple indicators to establishes subnational cultural and begins to hypothesize on and verify the dimensions and direction of differences cross regions. More specifically, hierarchical clustering of major existing cultural region classifications of mainland China yields eight cultural regions with high degrees of consensus; significant regional differences have been reported in cultural values such as collectivism, long-term orientation, risk preferences, and Confucian values.
    Very limited research has examined if and how within-country regional cultural differences may influence organizational behavior and performance. From a cross-cultural comparison perspective, different regional cultural values may be associated with variations in local people’s consumption patterns, work behaviors, managerial styles, and inclinations in decision-making (such as investment), which in turn may affect organizational performance and innovation. From a cross-cultural interaction perspective, how parent company corporate culture interacts and integrates with the local culture of subsidiary sites may affect the latter’s operation and performance. Finally, the degree of variation in regional cultures within a country may affect not just the pattern of domestic companies’ cross-regional expansion within the country, but also those companies’ methods of international investment,degree of internationalization and performance of international operation.
    Future research should pay more attention to within country regional differences in cultural dimensions other than individualism-collectivism, and make greater effort to identify dimensions of within country regional cultural differences and develop instrument of measurement from an emic perspective. How regional cultural differences and cross-regional interactions may influence behaviors and outcomes at the individual, team, and organizational level remains a largely open field of research. Finally, cultures constantly evolve with economic activities, political changes, population movements, and cross-cultural exchanges and interactions. In the context of China’s continuous economic development, expanding geographical reach of business activities, increasing personnel mobility, and deepening of reform and opening-up, the evolution of cultural values in various regions of mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and its impact on behaviors and outcomes across multiple levels of analysis are important and promising areas for future research.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics