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
2023, Volume 31 Issue 1 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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Conceptual Framework
The influence of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation on memory in adolescents and the underlying neural mechanisms
ZHANG Mingxia, LI Yuxin, LI Jin, LIU Xun
2023, 31 (1):  1-9.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00001
Abstract ( 1175 )   PDF (1052KB) ( 1953 )  
Motivation is the core of all behaviors. Motivation can be classified as the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. The processing of the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation involves the reward, value, and control systems that would interact with the hippocampal memory system to facilitate memory performance. During adolescence, the brain develops rapidly, making it a critical period for memory development. Meanwhile, the subsystems of motivation develop unbalanced during adolescence (i.e., the reward system is sensible and the control system is immature), making it a special period for the motivation development. However, so far, the investigation of how extrinsic and intrinsic motivation impact teenage memory is on the start stage. There is a lack of systematic exploration and comparison of the behavioral rules and neural mechanisms of the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation's impact on memory during adolescence. It remains unclear whether the rules and mechanisms of the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation's impact on memory are common or specific and how the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation interacts with each other to affect memory during adolescence.
As the monetary reward is easy to operate and quantify, previous research always used monetary reward to manipulate extrinsic motivation. In addition, intrinsic motivation is a hotspot in recent neuroscience research. Autonomy is the core concept of intrinsic motivation, which is often induced by self-determined choice. The current research will focus on monetary reward (extrinsic motivation) and self-determined choice (intrinsic motivation). We will integrate psychological and neuroscience methods and conduct a series of experiments to systematically reveal the impact of the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation on memory during adolescence on multiple levels (cognitive level, neural activity level and neural network level). Specifically, the current research will directly compare the mechanisms via which the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation affects memory and we will also examine how the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation interacts with each other to affect memory, so as to reveal the unique behavioral rules and neural mechanisms via which the two types of motivation (the extrinsic and intrinsic motivation) affect memory during adolescence. This research will greatly enrich the theory and improve the level of the field of motivation and memory. It has important theoretical significance for us to understand the nature of motivation, the underlying mechanisms of how motivation affects memory and the brain development during a very critical period in our life, the adolescence. It also has important practical significance for promoting adolescents' motivation and learning.
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The functional mechanism of oxytocin in anxiety detection and extinction among anxiety-susceptible groups
MA Yuanxiao, CHEN Xu
2023, 31 (1):  10-19.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00010
Abstract ( 464 )   PDF (603KB) ( 724 )  
Anxiety detection and extinction of anxiety-susceptible groups have long been a hot topic of anxiety research. However, the current studies on anxiety detection and extinction lack objective and direct techniques, and are also unclear in terms of the it's functional mechanism. To generate new insight, using a multi-methods approach involving questionnaire, behavior, hormone, and fMRI, the present project aims to explore the mechanism of oxytocin in the detection and extinction of anxiety in individuals with high attachment anxiety. To this end, anxiety detection and extinction are creatively integrated into the framework of oxytocin research with the hope of conducting this project from three aspects. This project aims to provide a new approach to anxiety detection and extinction from the perspective of physiological measurement and pharmacological intervention. Specifically, the details of the research program are as below:
Firstly, is there a direct relationship between endogenous oxytocin and anxiety response? To answer this question, Study 1 intends to investigate whether endogenous oxytocin can accurately identify anxiety responses induced by dynamic angry faces, and to clarify the validity of endogenous oxytocin in anxiety detection. We predicted that dynamic angry facial expressions will evoke lower endogenous oxytocin levels than those in static angry and neutral facial expressions during the task period.
Secondly, how does oxytocin act on anxiety detection and extinction in individuals with high attachment anxiety? And what is the corresponding brain mechanism? For this purpose, Study 2 design two experiments to explore the neural mechanism of oxytocin in anxiety detection and extinction in individuals with high attachment anxiety from both endogenous and exogenous sources. Experiment 1 mainly focuses on the role of endogenous oxytocin on anxiety detection in individuals with high attachment anxiety, hypothesizing that individuals with high attachment anxiety would exhibit greater amygdala activity and lower endogenous oxytocin levels during the viewing of dynamic angry facial expressions. Experiment 2 mainly focused on the anxiolytic effect of exogenous oxytocin, hypothesizing that intranasal oxytocin will significantly attenuate the amygdala activity during the viewing of dynamic angry facial expressions.
Thirdly, whether the effect of oxytocin on anxiety detection in individuals with high attachment anxiety from an intervention perspective could be verified? To further validate the relationship between oxytocin and anxiety response, Study 3 aims to conduct an attachment security intervention for individuals with high attachment anxiety by adopting attachment security priming. During this intervention, the change of endogenous oxytocin and amygdala activation in anxiety response of individuals with high attachment anxiety under intervention training is investigated. Attachment security priming was predicted to significantly attenuate amygdala activity and increase endogenous oxytocin levels during the viewing of dynamic angry facial expressions in individuals with high attachment anxiety.
The above three studies were designed to construct a closed-loop of endogenous—exogenous—endogenous to systematically investigate the mechanism of oxytocin in anxiety detection and extinction in individuals with high attachment anxiety. The findings of the project attempt to provide a possible explanation for the mechanism of anxiolytic effects of oxytocin, which is of great scientific implications for understanding the neurohormonal mechanism in the anxiety response. Moreover, the project provides a new approach to anxiety assessment and intervention for high attachment anxiety groups, which is of great value in maintaining and improving the mental health of individuals.
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The social motivation theory of autism spectrum disorder: Exploring mechanisms and interventions
KOU Juan, YANG Mengyuan, WEI Zijie, LEI Yi
2023, 31 (1):  20-32.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00020
Abstract ( 480 )   PDF (670KB) ( 638 )  
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) comprises symptoms including social communication deficits and unusual repetitive and restrictive sensory-motor behaviors. Social motivation deficits play a central role in ASD social function impairment, which has been proposed in the social motivation theory. Social motivation may be parsed into four components, including social orienting and social reward (seeking and liking), social reward learning, and social maintenance. Previous studies emphasized the necessity of exploring its components systematically and structurally. However, research on early age children with ASD is rare. Objective hallmarks of the social motivation theory of autism and exploring interventions based on it are limited. To produce robust behavioral hallmarks and uncover its brain mechanisms, in the current study we will explore social motivation theory's components and the relationship among them and develop effective intervention methods. Study 1 we will apply an experimental design to explore early neural and atypical eye movements brain bio-markers using social reward and orienting paradigms by means of eye-tracking and functional near-infrared spectroscopy tools. Ninety ASD and typically developing children will be recruited. Then, based on valid markers detected in Study 1, we will investigate the effect of a social reward-based learning strategy in Study 2 to determine whether it is helpful to strengthen social rewards and other components' functions, and to improve the relationships among them. Ninety children with ASD will be recruited for Study 2. Forty-five children will undergo Gaze-Contingent Music Reward Therapy (12 weeks). The other 45 will perform a non-rewarding music listening control task. All participants in Study 2 will be evaluated for valid social rewards and social orienting from Study 1 and an assessment of social maintenance before and after the interventions. Thus, the findings may detect unusual hallmarks based on social motivation theory and identify treatment strategies to enhance social motivational processing.
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Safety management actions improvement as leverage for safety climate promotion in high-risk industries
LI Yongjuan, XU Yuanyuan, WANG Moran, XUE Junti, FENG Yuting, XU Yaoshan
2023, 31 (1):  33-44.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00033
Abstract ( 168 )   PDF (545KB) ( 220 )  
Workplace safety is a crucial issue in high-risk industries around the world. Statistics show that with the improvement of engineering and technical reliability, more than two-thirds of accidents are at least partly caused by human factors. Unsafe behavior is the trigger of system failure, and the latent situational factors are the “resident pathogens”. Therefore, improving the situational factors is one of the effective ways to promote safety performance. Safety climate, which is defined as the employee shared perceptions with regard to safety policies, procedures, and practices in the organization, is well-documented as a robust predictor of safety behavior and safety outcomes. The effect size of safety climate on safety performance (e.g., safety behavior, accidents, and injuries) exceeds that of all other identified safety risk indicators. Nevertheless, its intervention study is relatively limited. Focusing on the core dimension of safety climate: management commitment to safety, we propose that direct safety management actions are an important way to reflect supervisors'/managers' commitment to safety. Based on this, the current research has three aims: (1) examining the impact of supervisors' and managers' critical safety management actions on the group and organizational safety climate, respectively; (2) examining the impact of the supervisor-targeted intervention on group safety climate promotion by improving supervisors' direct safety management action; (3) examining the impact of the manager-targeted intervention on organizational and group safety climate promotion by improving managers' direct safety management action. We designed three studies to explore the questions above mentioned. Study 1 is a time-lagged survey to explore the impact of supervisors' and managers' critical direct safety management actions on group safety climate and organizational safety climate, respectively. As for supervisors, we supposed there are two critical direct safety management actions to influence their employees' safety climate perception: supporting and guidance, involving workers. As for managers, the critical direct safety management actions could be managerial participation and communication. Additionally, given the importance of supervisors in cultivating group safety climate, at the group level, we developed a quasi-experiment study (Study 2) to enhance the group safety climate by improving the critical direct safety management actions of the supervisors. Furthermore, a quasi-experiment (Study 3) was designed to promote both group and organizational safety climate by improving critical direct safety management actions of the managers. We plan to adopt an intervention technique named Safety Management By Walking Around (SMBWA), which was found to be positively associated with the patient safety climate in the healthcare industry. The contributions of the current research are as follows. First, signaling theory is introduced into the theoretical framework of safety climate formation. It's proposed that the managerial staff's direct safety management action is a highly observable signal, which can convey their commitment to safety. As an important information source of employees' perception of safety climate, managerial staff's direct safety management action could be an effective strategy for safety climate promotion. The application of signaling theory can provide theoretical support for the research on the formation and change of safety climate. Second, we adopt a multi-level perspective to simultaneously explore the effect of the critical direct safety management actions of both supervisors and managers on the corresponding level of safety climate, highlighting the role of supervisors' and managers' critical direct safety management actions in enhancing the group and organizational safety climate. In addition, the current research sheds light on the impact of the manager-targeted safety climate intervention strategy on safety climate improvement at both group and organizational levels. The research results are expected to be applied in safety management practice.
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The formation of user perspective taking and its influence on opportunity belief performance
ZHANG Hao, ZHANG Yu, ZHAO Shuang, SUN Xinbo
2023, 31 (1):  45-59.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00045
Abstract ( 188 )   PDF (635KB) ( 262 )  
User perspective taking is a critical way in which entrepreneurs can identify opportunities and cope with market competition. However, existing studies have ignored its modes, formation mechanism and impact on opportunity belief performance. Considering these issues, first, by introducing structural alignment theory and the attentional engagement model, we identify and deconstruct the modes of user perspective taking from the two perspectives of "the main characteristics of the thinking process" and "the immersion degree of user perspective taking", and these four modes are absorptive, inductive, heuristic and analytical user perspective taking. Second, based on the dual perspective of the “individual-user”, we refine the influencing factors of user perspective taking, which include user-related prior knowledge, flexible role orientation, cognitive complexity, and the uncertainty and fragmentation of user needs. Then, we analyze the positive effects of these factors on the formation of user perspective taking. Third, taking the formation speed and innovativeness of opportunity beliefs as performance indicators, we explain the impact of the modes of user perspective taking on opportunity belief formation performance. This research finds that absorptive and inductive user perspective taking have positive effects on opportunity belief formation speed, while heuristic and analytical user perspective taking have negative effects on opportunity belief formation speed. Moreover, inductive and analytical user perspective taking have positive effects on opportunity belief innovativeness, while absorption and heuristic user perspective taking have negative effects on opportunity belief innovativeness.
Finally, we examine the moderating effects of cognitive management strategies involving adaptation to new information environments and the invocation of the entrepreneur's own knowledge structure on the modes of user perspective taking and opportunity belief formation performance. This research finds that a cognitive management strategy that adapts to a new information environment strengthens the positive effects of absorptive and inductive user perspective taking on opportunity belief formation speed and weakens the negative effects of heuristic and analytical user perspective taking on opportunity belief formation speed. Moreover, a cognitive management strategy that adapts to a new information environment strengthens the positive effects of inductive and analytical user perspective taking on opportunity belief innovativeness, while the moderating effect of this type of strategy on the relationship between absorptive and heuristic user perspective taking and opportunity belief innovativeness is not significant. A cognitive management strategy that invokes the entrepreneur's own knowledge structure weakens the negative effects of absorptive and heuristic user perspective taking on opportunity belief innovativeness and strengthens the positive effects of inductive and analytical user perspective taking on opportunity belief innovativeness, while the moderating effect of this type of strategy on the relationship between absorptive, heuristic, inductive and analytical user perspective taking and opportunity belief formation speed is not significant.
This study enriches the understanding of user perspective taking and deeply explores the formation mechanism of user perspective taking and its impact on opportunity beliefs. The theoretical advancement of this research mainly relates to the following aspects. First, the identification and deconstruction of user perspective taking modes have certain reference significance for promoting the operational development of this vague concept. Second, the clarification of the influencing factors of user perspective taking lays a foundation for subsequent research on the antecedents of user perspective taking. Third, this study clarifies the impact of the modes of user perspective taking on opportunity belief formation performance and introduces two different cognitive management strategies that have certain enlightening significance regarding the cognitive process and the boundary conditions of user perspective taking. Moreover, it promotes the development of research related to user perspective taking and opportunity belief.
Regarding the practical significance of this research, entrepreneurs can employ user perspective taking to form opportunity beliefs and identify opportunities. On the one hand, entrepreneurs should be good at distinguishing between the characteristics of different user perspective-taking modes and adopt appropriate user perspective-taking modes according to different conditions. On the other hand, entrepreneurs should actively control the user perspective-taking process and make rational use of two different cognitive management strategies to eliminate the negative impact of "cognitive imbalance".
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Regular Articles
The process motivation model of algorithmic decision-making approach and avoidance
XIE Caifeng, WU Jiahua, XU Liying, YU Feng, ZHAND Yuyan, XIE Yingying
2023, 31 (1):  60-77.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00060
Abstract ( 287 )   PDF (723KB) ( 424 )  
With the advantages of objectivity, accuracy, high speed and low cost, algorithmic decision-making has been widely used in human daily life, such as medical, judicial, recruitment and transportation situations. How will people react to the shift from traditional human decision-making to the newly emerged algorithmic decision-making? If people perceive algorithms as social actors, there would be no difference when faced with the same decision made by two different agents. However, researches show that algorithmic decision-making is more related to different responses in individuals than human decision-making on the same content. In other words, people will approach or avoid the same algorithmic decision-making, which is defined as the algorithmic decision-making approach and avoidance. Specifically, the algorithmic decision-making approach means that algorithmic decision-making is considered fairer, less biased, less discriminatory, more trustworthy, and more acceptable than human decision-making. But the algorithmic decision-making avoidance is the other way around. By analogy with the distinct ideologies when facing outgroup members, the process motivation model of algorithmic decision-making approach and avoidance simulates human psychological motivation when facing the same decisions made by algorithms and humans. Based on the premise that quasi-social interaction (relationship) and interpersonal interaction (relationship) develop parallel, the theory summarizes the three interaction stages between humans and algorithms. Namely, the interaction of initial behavior, the establishment of quasi-social relationships and the formation of identity. Furthermore, it elaborates how cognitional, relational, and existential motivation trigger individual approach and avoidance responses in each specific stage. More precisely, it occurs to meet the cognitive motivational needs to reduce uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in the interaction of the initial behavior stage, fulfill the relational motivational needs for establishing belonging and social identity in the establishment of the quasi-social relationship stage, and to satisfy the motivational needs for coping with threats and seeking security in the identity formation stage. In accordance with the three psychological motivations of cognition, relationship, and existence, the process motivational theory introduces six influencing factors, such as cognitive load, decision transparency, moral status, interpersonal interaction, reality threat and identity threat respectively. For future directions, we suggest that more researches are needed to explore how mind perception and intergroup perception influence algorithmic decision-making approach and avoidance. Meanwhile, what is the reversal process of the algorithmic decision-making approach and avoidance from a social perspective and what other possible motivations are associated with it are also worthy of consideration.
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The effect of external rewards on declarative memory
WANG Songxue, CHENG Si, JIANG Ting, LIU Xun, ZHANG Mingxia
2023, 31 (1):  78-86.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00078
Abstract ( 479 )   PDF (448KB) ( 698 )  
Learning and memory are the foundation of individual survival and development. Improving learning and memory is the focus of psychology and neuroscience. Recently, many studies have revealed that rewards facilitate declarative memory, and the influence of reward on declarative memory has become a hot research topic.
Rewards are related to the midbrain dopamine system, including areas such as the ventral tegmental area, the substantia nigra, and the ventral striatum, with dopamine as the relevant vital neurotransmitter. The hippocampus and adjacent cortices play an essential role in the encoding, consolidation, and retrieval of declarative memory. The midbrain reward system and the memory system (i.e., the ventral tegmental area and hippocampus) are connected both structurally and functionally. Rewards can act on memory encoding and consolidation, thus promoting memory performance. During the encoding and consolidation stages, rewards promote memory via the interaction of various brain systems (i.e., the reward system, the attention control system, and the memory system). The impact of rewards during these two stages involves different cognitive processes and neural mechanisms.
During the memory encoding stage, rewards affect both intentional and incidental memories. According to the intentional memory paradigm, participants are explicitly informed that a reward is contingent upon memory performance in a subsequent test when they encode the items. In this paradigm, this performance-dependent reward triggers the reward system and involves the attentional control system, and these two systems modulate the memory system, allocating more cognitive resources to reward-related items, thereby promoting memory with respect to these items. According to the incidental memory paradigm, rewards accompany some items during the encoding phase but are independent of memory performance regarding these items in the subsequent test. In this paradigm, participants are not aware of the subsequent memory test before they process the information; thus, the reward enhancement effect on memory can mainly be explained in terms of the interaction between the memory system and the reward system. However, even though participants do not intentionally allocate cognitive resources in this context, the rewarded items themselves automatically attract attention. Therefore, the influence of attention and the involvement of the attentional control system cannot be excluded entirely.
During the memory consolidation stage, the addition of a reward also affects memory performance, and the influence of attention can be excluded entirely at this stage; thus, the enhancement effect on memory consolidation can be explained in terms of pure reward. During the consolidation stage, the hippocampal memory system reactivates the encoded content. The reward facilitates dopamine release, modulates the hippocampal processing of reward-related items, and enhances the reactivation of reward-related items, thus directly affecting memory performance without the involvement of the attentional control system.
Future research should focus on the following three areas. First, rewards affect behavior not in terms of a simple and pure enhancement pattern but rather according to a complex pattern. The factors and mechanisms that impact the effect of rewards on memory must be clarified, and a more consummate model of the reward effect on memory should be developed to provide more accurate guidance for learning in real life (i.e., a model of when and how rewards should be applied in education). Second, only a few studies have investigated the effects of rewards during the memory consolidation and retrieval stages. More attention should be given to the effects of rewards during these two stages (i.e., the ways in which rewards affect consolidation during different states as well as memory retrieval and subsequent memory). Finally, most studies have investigated the effects of external rewards on memory, and future research should focus on the impacts of internal rewards on learning and memory. We should compare the behavioral patterns and neural mechanisms associated with the effects of internal and external rewards on memory and test the interaction effect of internal and external rewards on memory.
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The relationship between disgust and suicidal behavior
XIAO Tingwei, DONG Jie, LIANG Fei, WANG Fushun, LI Yang
2023, 31 (1):  87-98.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00087
Abstract ( 709 )   PDF (672KB) ( 1067 )  
Suicide is the primary cause of adolescent death, and suicide seriously endangers the life security and mental health of human being. Suicidal behavior includes suicidal ideation, suicidal attempt and suicide. Suicidal ideation refers to serious suicidal thoughts of preparing for a fatal, self-directed, and potentially injurious behavior, or refers to the intension to die without specific plans. Suicidal attempt refers to the intension to commit suicide, including the plans for suicide and even committed suicide; they might attempt to attract attention through bodily harm, but not necessarily causing actual harm. However, suicide is self-directed harm or death. According to suicidal theories which were based on the ideation-to-action framework, self-disgust is a key factor for the formation of suicidal ideation. This article reviews theoretical basis, correlation factor and neurophysiological mechanism of disgust induced suicidal behavior, and predicts future research direction.
Many recent studies suggested that many psychological problems, including suicide, are caused by patients' disgust to the surroundings and the environment. Disgust is a basic emotion, which is a response to disgustful things, and it is a defensive mechanism to keep people away from spoiled foods or from pollutants to prevent potential diseases, viruses and pollution. However, under heavy burdens and pressures, people would feel depressed and self-disgust, and ultimately lead to despair (extreme self-disgust), resulting in suicidal ideation. Under the condition of having suicidal ability, suicidal ideation would turn to be suicidal attempts, and thus suicide.
It is also suggested that early life trauma might be the root for disgust inducing suicidal ideation. And life stress and mental illness might aggravate the induction of disgust to suicide. High-intensity self-disgust has been proved to be the most relevant predictor of suicidal risks in mental illness. Psychoanalysis shows that when people are disgusted by themselves, the aggression behavior induced by disgust would also be directed to themselves, so self-disgust might induce suicide.
The neural mechanism of self-disgust inducing suicide may be related to monoamine (including serotonin) and oxytocin. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are related to the stress response system that plays a very important role in disgust-induced suicidal ideation. Besides, self-disgust may be affected by traumatic stresses in early life, current psychological problems and mental diseases, which might lead to the mal-development of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) system, that determines the pattern of stress response in adulthood, including suicide.
However, there are still some limitations in current suicide studies. First of all, most studies are still limited to cross-sectional design and cannot compare time factors. Therefore, future studies should adopt vertical design and prospective research. Secondly, since most studies are limited to questionnaire studies, future studies could apply neuroscience technologies, such as neuroimaging and electrophysiology, in investigating the neural mechanisms of suicidal behavior, as well as the psychological and neural mechanisms of suicidal behavior affected by disgust.
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Risk communication between doctors and patients: Matching role and information
ZHANG Jing, SUN Qing-Zhou, WU Bao
2023, 31 (1):  99-107.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00099
Abstract ( 187 )   PDF (604KB) ( 196 )  
Distortion of doctor-patient communication often leads to high misdiagnosis rate and conflict. How to scientifically and effectively carry out risk communication between doctors and patients? This is a hot spot in recent years, such as "Nature", "Science" and other journals and it is also an important issue that our country needs to overcome urgently. Two types of risk theories have been proposed to explain this. Among them, the concrete representational of risk communication believes that risk information is difficult to understand, and if the risk information is concreted, risk communication distortion can be reduced; the abstract representational of risk communication believes that abstract risk information is convenient for transmission, if risk information is abstracted, risk communication distortion can be reduced. These two contradictory risk concepts are difficult to provide accurate solutions for clinical doctor-patient communication, and it is also difficult to explain why sometimes the risk concretization is better, and sometimes the risk abstraction is better.
Based on construct level theory, we proposed a mixed model of event experience and probability experience by matching doctor-patient role and information, to reconcile contradictions and provide countermeasures. Specifically, in the event experience of the disease, doctors provide advice to others, and the event is less attractive to them, so doctors have a farther psychological distance from the disease, and are better at representing abstract risk information. When faced with concrete risk information, risk perception bias is large. Patients make decisions for themselves, and the event is more attractive to them, so patients have a closer psychological distance from the disease, and are better at representing concrete risk information. When faced with abstract risk information, the risk perception bias is large; In terms of the probability experience of disease information, doctors have rich experience in diagnosis and are more sensitive to experiential probability information. Therefore, doctors have a closer psychological distance with disease information, and are more inclined to make decisions based on experience, which are easy to underestimate small probability events. Patients lack experience in diagnosis and are insensitive to descriptive probability information. Therefore, patients have a farther psychological distance from disease information, and are more inclined to make decisions based on description, which are easy to overestimate high-probability events. In conclusion, in the risk communication between doctors and patients, the "matching" of roles and information can promote the accurate perception of risk information by doctors and patients, that is, communicating abstract representational risk with doctors and communicating concrete representational risk with patients, which can reduce the risk distortion.
In real life, the process of doctor-patient risk communication is complex, and further research is needed in the future: 1) The impact of individual differences on the matching effect, such as the individual's computing ability, spatial ability, etc.; 2) In the doctor-patient risk communication, ecological validity of matching effect should also be take into account, such as doctor-patient empathy, emotional needs of relatives, etc.; 3) Explore more appropriate education models from a theoretical perspective, and develop more risk experience and risk transformation technologies from a practical perspective, so as to improve the quality of doctor-patient risk communication more scientifically and effectively.
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The influence of power on interpersonal sensitivity
KOU Dongxiao, WANG Xiaoyu
2023, 31 (1):  108-115.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00108
Abstract ( 447 )   PDF (425KB) ( 682 )  
Interpersonal sensitivity reflects one's ability to understand others' feelings and thoughts. Power is one of the factors that could influence interpersonal sensitivity. Up to now, it has been controversial to determine whether people with high power or low power could better understand the feelings or thoughts of others. People with high (vs. low) power status have long been thought to have poorer interpersonal sensitivity. The underlying reason is that people with high power (vs. low) have less willingness to understand others. However, this viewpoint has been challenged by recent findings, which suggest that people with high power tend to have stronger interpersonal sensitivity than those with low power. In some specific circumstances, power could enhance interpersonal sensitivity, such as when people with high power take an other-focused perspective or have a higher prosocial tendency, etc.
These two opposing viewpoints can be explained theoretically in a variety of ways. The approach–inhibition theory suggests that individuals with high power are more likely to adopt a top-down and heuristic information processing mode, which leads to their lower interpersonal sensitivity. However, those with low power tend to use a more elaborated information processing mode, which results in higher interpersonal sensitivity. Nevertheless, when considering from the emotional perspective of approach-inhibition theory, it could lead to an opposite conclusion. For example, some studies suggest that individuals with high power tend to experience more positive emotions, which contribute to their higher interpersonal sensitivity. In addition, social distance theory has also been mentioned. Previous related research indicates that power increases social distance among people, which in turn decreases their motivation to care about others and leads to lower interpersonal sensitivity. Therefore, there is still a dearth of theoretical analysis to clearly explain the relationship between power and interpersonal sensitivity.
This study, embedded within an integrative cognitive framework which also involves emotions and motivations, seeks to unveil the mechanism of how power exerts an influence on interpersonal relationship. From the perspective of cognition, it shows that individuals with high power have greater interpersonal sensitivity in more complex situations, and those with low power are more interpersonally sensitive in less complex situations, which suggests that the relationship between power, cognition and interpersonal sensitivity is situationally dependent. From the view of emotions, research has found that emotional experiences can broaden attention and scope of cognition, leading people to adopt a more elaborated information processing mode, and facilitate their memory ability, which is similar to the explanation for why individuals with high power show greater interpersonal sensitivity in more complex situations from the perspective of cognition. By taking an integral framework of cognitions, emotions and motivations, contradictory views in previous research can be explained in a more general way. In future research, according to this integral framework, how individual and social factors influence the relationship between power and interpersonal sensitivity could be examined.
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The double-edged sword effect of mortality cues on employee performance: A perspective of transactional stress theory
ZHENG Yinbo, LI Xin, HUANG Huadong, LI Bin, LI Aimei
2023, 31 (1):  116-126.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00116
Abstract ( 601 )   PDF (590KB) ( 569 )  
Mortality cues, ubiquitous inside and outside the workplace, are specific events and experiences that trigger individuals' death awareness, whose double-edged effect on employee performance has been supported by a body of studies. Existing studies have explained this effect drawing on terror management theory and generativity theory. Studies from the perspective of terror management have indicated that individuals' death anxiety will induce their self-protection motivations, which in turn predicts their work withdrawal behaviors such as absenteeism, turnover, and so on. On the other hand, studies from the perspective of generativity theory have suggested that individuals will actively reflect on their long-term life meaning in the face of mortality cues, and generate prosocial motivations that motivate them to make profound contributions to society, which in turn promotes their positive work behaviors such as helping others in the workplace. However, given that some studies have found that death anxiety has a positive effect on employee performance, and each of the above perspectives focuses on explaining a single effect of mortality cues, previous studies still fail to provide an overarching theoretical explanation for the key question “how and when does mortality cues have a double-edged effect on employee performance?”. Building on the unified perspective of transactional stress theory, this current review systematically sorts out the double-edged effect of mortality cues on employee task performance, organizational behavior, and counterproductive behavior, then analyzes the psychological mechanism and boundary conditions of this double-edged effect. Specifically, mortality cues can be conceptualized as a stressor both impeding and facilitating individuals' personal goals and well-being, and individual's different cognitive appraisal (i.e., threat-based vs. challenge-based) of mortality-cues-based stressors will produce differential state death awareness (i.e., state death anxiety vs. state death reflection) and work behaviors. When it comes to appraisals of mortality-cues-based stressors, the threat-based appraisal of mortality-cues-based stressors will hinder their task performance and organizational citizenship and cause counterproductive behavior via state death anxiety, and the challenge-based appraisal of mortality-cues-based stressors will facilitate employee's task performance and organizational citizenship behavior via state death reflection. In addition, this double-edged effect is also moderated by personal resources such as trait death reflection, psychological power, trait mindfulness, and promotion focus, as well as organizational contextual factors such as servant leadership and internal corporate social responsibility. Both personal and organizational contextual resources will strengthen the positive relationship between mortality-cues-based stressors and the challenge-based appraisal of mortality-cues-based stressors, and weaken the positive relationship between mortality-cues-based stressors and the threat-based appraisal of mortality-cues-based stressors. Explaining the double-edged effect of mortality cues from the perspective of transactional stress theory has both theoretical and practical implications. In particular, the perspective of transactional stress theory not only captures the interaction between objective mortality cues and individuals' subjective cognitive appraisals, but also provides an overarching explanation for the generation of different state death awareness and its subsequent double-edged effects on employee performance. The divergence between death anxiety and employee performance may also be clarified by the theoretical insight that cognitive appraisals of mortality-cues-based stressors are a dynamic process. Practitioners can also conduct some intervention programs based on the above theoretical framework to help employees cope with mortality cues more adaptively. Future research can further explore antecedents and causality in the mechanism of the double-edged effect of mortality cues, testing the theoretical validity of mortality cues as a new type of stressor and clarifying whether the generation of state death awareness depends on cognitive appraisals of mortality-cues-based stressors or not. In addition, future research can also examine whether there are boundary conditions related to cross-domain contextual resources such as family intimacy, and develop more organizational intervention programs ranging long-term mindfulness intervention to short-term nudge strategies.
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Cognitive neural characteristics of professional action video game players
MIAO Haofei, CHI Lizhong
2023, 31 (1):  127-144.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00127
Abstract ( 1158 )   PDF (1332KB) ( 1325 )  
Action video games (AVG) are probably one of the most popular and mentally challenging games in e-sports. The skill profile of AVG's professional players is unclear. The professional players and players ranked in the top 7% of their games were both of the professionals in this review. The cross-sectional studies incorporating professionals compared to non-professional players and the intervention studies with AVG were searched to analyze the cognitive and neural characteristics of professionals. According to the selected studies, professional action video game players had faster selective attention, better sustained attention and multiple-object tracking performance. Professional players also had better working memory capacity. In particular, the spatial working memory capacity advantage was prominent. In addition, the professionals were less susceptible to the attentional blink effect. However, the current findings for professional players in attentional inhibition and mental flexibility were inconclusive. A little evidence showed potential advantages for action video game players in terms of mathematical and reasoning abilities.
The better attentional performance of the professionals may be related to the higher P3 amplitude of event-related potential (ERP). The working memory capacity of the professionals was associated with plastic changes in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and right posterior parietal cortex. These plastic changes may be the neurological features that are linked to their excellent visuospatial abilities. The ERP results also revealed that the differences in the contralateral delay activity (CDA) component between professionals and amateurs, suggesting that the professionals had better working memory capacity. In addition, professionals also had enhanced resting-state intra-network functional connectivity of the Central Executive Network. And the enhanced inter-network functional connectivity between the Central Executive Network and Salience Network in professionals reflected the advantages of professionals in information integration.
According to the intervention studies with AVG, the attention and working memory capabilities, as well as mathematical skills can be improved by AVG training. The mechanism of improvement may be that the AVG play did not teach any one particular skill but instead increases the ability to extract patterns or regularities in the environment. This enhanced learning capability was termed learning to learn. However, the overall duration of game training in intervention studies tended to be less than 30 days. Accordingly, the degree of cognitive promotion from AVG training is not enough to bridge the cognitive gap between professional players and novices.
In terms of the prediction of game performance by cognitive ability, the relatively basic cognitive abilities such as attention and working memory have low predictive power for the player's game performance. Any kind of cognitive ability could only explain less than 10% of the variance of player's rankings. In traditional sports, sports-specific tasks refer to tests that include information about sports scenarios. And there was a greater discriminating effect for sport-specific task compared to general ones. The cognitive tests in AVG did not incorporate information from game scenarios which still stayed on general cognitive tests. What's more, decision-making ability test is a good way to distinguish the level of players. The weak predictive power in AVG may be limited by the lack of research on decision making or the anticipation task. Therefore, these relatively basic cognitive abilities did not distinguish or predict the player's game performance very well. Whether they were specific cognitive tests or decision making tests, they contained information about real-life sports scenarios. This real-world information in the sports scene is essentially Chunking or patterns. And it was these patterns that experts hold. Chunking theory may explain the phenomenon of the low predictive power of game performance by cognitive abilities. That is, the player's long-term memory of the game lineup, the spatial position of the characters in the game confrontation, etc. The abundant chunking of game confrontation reserved in the long-term memory is the more important cognitive feature of professionals. The basic cognitive ability may not be as important to the player's game performance as the player's chunking reserved in long-term memory. In the future, we can extend the cognitive studies of the decision-making, chunking or patterns recognizing based on the spatial location of characters.
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Research Method
Evaluation of predictors' relative importance: Methods and applications
ZHU Xun, GU Xin
2023, 31 (1):  145-157.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00145
Abstract ( 284 )   PDF (653KB) ( 513 )  
Psychological researches are more concerned with high-dimensional data than ever. The evaluation of predictors' relative importance can explore or test the ordering of predictors' importance, which promotes the effective use of variables with limited resources. This article reviews many aspects of relative importance, including its measures, inference, models, and empirical studies, in order to help researchers select appropriate measures and inference methods and provide directional suggestions for the relative importance studies.
Previous studies proposed various measures of relative importance with different interpretations and calculations. The traditional measure, standardized regression coefficient, considers only the unique effect of a predictor after controlling other predictors but ignores the independent effect of the predictor on the outcome variable. By contrast, the dominance analysis and relative weight measures take into account both the independent and unique contributions of a predictor on the outcome variable. These two measures are recommended because they decompose the R squared such that the contribution to the variation of the outcome variable is attributed to each predictor. Specifically, dominance analysis can be used when the research concerns different importance patterns, whereas relative weight is recommended when evaluating a large number of predictors. After estimating the importance measures, researchers can use the bootstrap sampling or Bayesian testing approach for the inference of the importance of predictors and their orderings. Bootstrap sampling is commonly used to infer the importance of a single predictor or the difference between the importance of two predictors. When comparing the importance of three or more predictors, the Bayesian approach can be used to test the importance orderings.
Besides linear regression models, relative importance analysis has been extended to logistic regression models, multivariate multiple regression models, and multilevel models but not to structural equation models and generalized linear mixed models. Furthermore, the robustness of relative importance has not been analyzed when categorical data is involved in these models. Relative importance analysis can be implemented in many statistical software, such as SPSS, R and Python. However, an integrated software incorporating different measures and inference methods is still absent. Although relative importance analysis has been widely used in psychological studies, researchers may select inappropriate measures and inference methods in different models. Therefore, a real data example is used to illustrate how the relative importance can be evaluated. Finally, we propose that further researches could focus on the applications of relative importance analysis in different models and various types of data together with the software development.
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