ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R
2024, Volume 32 Issue 2 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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Conceptual Framework
How can entrepreneurial failure experience serve as an open sesame for subsequent job-seeking? An impression management perspective
CHEN Yi, ZHANG Xinyi, LI Yajie
2024, 32 (2):  191-205.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00191
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Despite the high failure rate and inherent risk involved in entrepreneurship, many entrepreneurs continue to pursue it. However, most entrepreneurs who experience entrepreneurial failure quit entrepreneurship and return to the labor market in search of a paid job. Job-seeking not only is a turning point for entrepreneurs who seek to start afresh as salaried workers and thus recover from entrepreneurial failure but also potentially avoids wastage of the entrepreneurial resources of society as a whole. Although the transition from entrepreneurship to employment is fairly common, the phenomenon has, surprisingly, not received sufficient attention from researchers of entrepreneurial failure.

Studies on entrepreneurial failure have largely viewed entrepreneurs’ failure management as a psychological process of self-healing. They have suggested that negative emotions hinder entrepreneurs’ recovery and learning from failure and further erode their confidence to embark on a new business. This line of studies has neglected the processes of social interaction in entrepreneurial failure management and given little consideration to the social motivation of entrepreneurs who quit entrepreneurship and return to the job market.

Research has shown that entrepreneurs often perform better than other employees in the workplace. However, the barrier to their entry into the job market is high. Recruiters appreciate entrepreneurs’ outstanding capabilities and innovative spirit but are concerned about their commitment and stability and the likelihood of their resignation. This reluctance among recruiters regarding entrepreneurs raises an important research question: how can entrepreneurs who have experienced failure tell their “failure stories” to open the door to finding jobs?

This study focused on the population of entrepreneurs who seek paid jobs after entrepreneurial failure. These entrepreneurs’ social motivation to manage entrepreneurial failure was explored, and the fundamental research question of how entrepreneurs can use impression management strategies to support their job-seeking after entrepreneurial failure was addressed. Based on impression management theory, the study constructed an integrated framework for the process leading from entrepreneurial failures to impression management strategies and subsequently to job-seeking outcomes. The framework examined how entrepreneurial failures affect entrepreneurs’ choice of impression management strategies and influence their subsequent job-seeking outcomes.

This research focused on three issues: (1) revealing the unique structure and purpose of the impression management strategies adopted by entrepreneurs after entrepreneurial failure, during which two core dimensions of impression management strategies—assertive and defensive strategies—were identified; (2) revealing how the nature of an entrepreneurial failure event affects impression management strategies; and (3) unraveling the mechanism by which impression management strategies influence job-seeking outcomes using signaling theory.

This study clarifies the hitherto opaque process that leads from entrepreneurial failure to success in job-seeking and extends the existing literature and theory in four ways. First, the study departs from the core theme of serial entrepreneurship in the field of entrepreneurial failure research, thus providing a new perspective on entrepreneurial failure management by exploring the future career decisions of entrepreneurs. Second, the study ascertains the definition and structure of the impression management strategies adopted after entrepreneurial failure, providing a measure for further extending research on the antecedents and consequences of entrepreneurs’ impression management strategies after entrepreneurial failure. Third, by utilizing event system theory, the study identifies the mechanisms that prompt entrepreneurs to adopt impression management strategies after entrepreneurial failure. Prior studies have assumed that entrepreneurial failure automatically prompts entrepreneurs to engage in impression management behaviors, and few have explored why different failure events lead to different motivations and behaviors with regard to impression management. Fourth, by utilizing signaling theory, this research reveals how entrepreneurs’ use of impression management strategies supports their subsequent job-seeking from the perspectives of both entrepreneurs and recruiters. In doing so, this study dynamically depicts the decision-making logic of recruiters when hiring entrepreneurs while also providing a new viewpoint from which to study motivations and strategies for the management of entrepreneurial failure.

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How team work passion affects team creativity? An investigation of multi-level causal circle mechanism from a dynamic computational perspective
LI Jingjing, ZHANG Jian, ZHANG Na
2024, 32 (2):  206-227.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00206
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As teams have gradually become the fundamental units of work in organizations, the promotion of team creativity has emerged as a crucial resource for enterprises to establish competitive advantages and achieve sustainable development. However, current studies on the factors influencing team creativity have not given sufficient attention to the team’s psychological factors. They have also overlooked the cross-level influence path from the team to the individual and then back to the team. Moreover, it is challenging for empirical research to effectively test causal relationship. To address these issues, our research introduces the psychological construct of ‘team work passion’ and conducts three studies.

First, Study 1 uses the grounded theory to explore the components of team work passion from the affect, cognition, and motivation aspects. This original items of this measurement base on the studies about team passion in entrepreneurship and innovation fields. And then, it employs the first-hand data to examine the structure of team work passion in Chinese organizations, developing an effective measurement. This study also references the dual work passion model to divide team work passion as team harmonious passion and team obsessive passion. To sum up, study 1 demonstrates the unique characteristics of team work passion in Chinese work context, especially for team obsessive passion, which is driven by external compulsion rather than internal compulsion. It also integrates the dual model of individual work passion into the team level, thus expanding the implication field of this model.

Second, Study 2 identifies the impact pathway of team work passion on team creativity at both team and cross levels. To be specific, at the team level, it implies that team work passion at Time1 influences team creativity at Time 2 through team reflexivity; At the cross level, team work passion at Time 1 improves individual work passion and then enhances individual creativity at Time 1. Furthermore, individual creativity can emerge as team creativity at Time 2, with the moderating effect of team reflexivity. Study 2 test the mechanism from both the team process factor (team reflexivity) and individual factor (individual’s work passion), which make up the research framework of team creativity’s antecedents. It also provides parameters for simulations in Study 3.

Third, Study 3 first establishes a supplementary empirical study to explore how team creativity at Time 2 affects team work passion at Time 3. It clarifies that team creativity at Time 2 can be the input variable for team work passion at Time 3. It also opens the black box that how team creativity at Time 2 promotes team work passion at Time 3. To be specific, team member’s basic psychological needs are satisfied when team creativity is increased. And the satisfaction of basic psychological needs are necessary resources of work passion. Therefore, team creativity facilitates team member’s work passion via basic psychological needs. Furthermore, team individual’s work passion emerges as team work passion during emotional contagion. This study then conducts a multi-level causal loop model of team work passion affecting team creativity, based on the IMOI model and computational modeling. This research breaks through the traditional one-way causal logical framework, both in terms of both its conceptual approach and methodology.

These three studies explain how team work passion promote team creativity, and how team creativity drive further team work passion in the long run. They combine the empirical study and dynamic computational modeling, thus ecologically presenting the mechanism and conditions of the transformation of team work passion and team creativity at both team and individual levels. Therefore, it significantly enhances the research framework for understanding the formation mechanism of team creativity, providing a solid theoretical foundation and practical guidance for cultivating passionate teams and enhancing team creativity.

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The relationship between team reflexivity and team resources development, team resources utilization, and team outcomes: A meta-analysis
YIN Kui, CHI Zhikang, DONG Niannian, LI Peikai, ZHAO Jing
2024, 32 (2):  228-245.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00228
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As the internal and external environment becomes more complex and ambiguous, team reflexivity becomes increasingly important for team development. Team reflexivity refers to the behaviour of team members who reflect together on team goals, strategies, methods and implementation processes so that the team can adapt to changes in the environment.

Team reflexivity is closely related to important team-level variables such as team learning, team knowledge sharing, team task performance, and team innovation. Although research on the impact of team reflexivity has been extensive, several issues still require attention: (1) The direction and strength of the effect of team reflexivity on outcome variables still exhibit inconsistencies. (2) Verification of cross-cultural differences in the effect of team reflexivity has not yet been established. (3) The majority of the current studies concerning the mechanism of team reflexivity's impact have only explored a single mediator in isolation, and there is a lack of comparative and testing studies for multiple mediating mechanisms under the same framework.

We thus conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the correlation between team reflexivity and team resources development, team resources utilization, and team outcomes (team task performance, team creativity, and team innovation performance). We also examined the moderating impact of national culture, specifically collectivism, long-term orientation, masculinity, and power distance. Additionally, we analysed the mediating mechanisms between team reflexivity and team outcomes. In this study, we used four steps to search and screen studies about team reflexivity. Following these steps, 96 independent studies (N = 9,052) from 95 cases were included. Based on these studies, we conducted publication bias analysis, main effect analysis, meta-regression analysis, and meta-analytic structural equation modeling (MASEM). Specifically, we first used Egger’s regression and fail-safe number to test publication bias. Second, Hunter and Schmidt’s method was used to analyze the main effects of team reflexivity. Third, we conducted meta-regression analysis to examine the moderating effects of national culture. Finally, we examined and compared the mediating effects of team resource development and team resource utilisation.

Publication bias analysis suggested that the meta-analytic relationships examined were robust to publication bias. There is a more than moderate positive relationship between team reflexivity and team resources development, team resources utilization, team task performance, team creativity, and team innovation performance. Collectivism positively moderated the relationship between team reflexivity and team resources utilization, team task performance, and team innovation performance. Long-term orientation positively moderated the relationship between team reflexivity and team task performance. Masculinity positively moderated the relationship between team reflexivity and team resources utilization. Power distance positively moderated the relationship between team reflexivity and team resources utilization and team task performance. Both team resources utilization and team resources development can act as mediators between team reflexivity and team outcomes. Team resources utilization exhibited a stronger mediating effect between team reflexivity and team task performance than team resources development. Team resources development exhibited a stronger mediating effect between team reflexivity and team creativity than team resources utilization. No significant difference was found in the mediating effects on the relationship between team reflexivity and team innovation performance.

This study contributes to the team reflexivity literature in several ways. First, we integrated previous empirical studies and reported more precise relationships between team reflexivity and team resources development, team resources utilization, and team outcomes (team task performance, team creativity, and team innovation performance), which advances research on the outcomes of team reflexivity. We then evaluated the impact of cultural contexts, specifically collectivism, long-term orientation, masculinity, and power distance, which increases our comprehension of the variation in cross-cultural influence of team reflexivity roles. Moreover, we tested and compared the dual-mediation mechanism between team reflexivity and team outcomes.

Overall, our contribution is to integrate the literature on team reflexivity and its outcomes, to examine the mediating mechanisms through which team reflexivity affects team outcomes, and to conclude that national cultural context moderates the relationship between team reflexivity and outcome variables. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the complex relationship between team reflexivity and team resources development, utilization, and team outcomes, while considering cross-cultural variations.

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The relationship between school connectedness and depression: A three-level meta-analytic review
MENG Xianxin, CHEN Yijing, WANG Xinyi, YUAN Jiajin, YU Delin
2024, 32 (2):  246-263.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00246
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According to the World Health Organization, depression is a leading contributor to the global disease burden. School connectedness has been defined as the extent to which students feel personally accepted, respected, included, and supported by others in the school social environment and is considered one of the influencing factors for depression. Many studies have discussed the association between school connectedness and depression, but the results have been mixed. Two main theoretical arguments exist regarding the association between school connectedness and depression. Social control sociometer and self-determination theories suggest a negative association between school connectedness and depression. However, the source consistency of the social support theory suggests that this association may not be linear. If sources of stress and social support are consistent, the buffering effect of social support may be ineffective. Although a growing body of research has investigated the association between school connectedness and depression empirically, research findings varied considerably across studies with r values ranging from −0.74 to 0.14, suggesting a need to synthesize the findings to obtain better insight into this association. Therefore, this study utilized a three-level meta-analysis to examine the extent to which school connectedness is associated with depression, and whether these associations differed according to the study or sample characteristics.

A systematic literature review was conducted using the Web of Science, ScienceDirect, PubMed, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wei Pu Date, and Wan Fang Data. Three-level meta-analyses were performed using R to synthesize the effect sizes and conduct moderator analyses. Publication bias was assessed using funnel plots, trim-and-fill analyses, and Egger regressions.

A total of 87 studies were reviewed. The results showed a significantly negative correlation between school connectedness and depression (r = -0.39). This suggests that school connectedness protects against depression. Moderator analysis revealed that the association between school connectedness and depression was moderated by the percentage of female students, mean age of participants, measurement of depression, and data characteristics. The association between school connectedness and depression was enhanced by an increase in the percentage of female students and a reduction in the mean age of participants. This suggests that compared to male students and older individuals, school connectedness has a stronger protective effect on depression in female students and younger individuals. Studies using the children’s depression inventory reported the strongest correlations between school connectedness and depression whereas studies using the orpinas modified depression scale reported the weakest correlations. Regarding data characteristics, studies using cross-sectional data produced larger correlations than those using longitudinal data. This suggests that data characteristics and the measurement of depression should be considered when assessing the association between school connectedness and depression. However, no significant moderating effects were found for the measurement of school connectedness, culture, or publication year, suggesting that the association between school connectedness and depression may be consistent across these measurements. A trim-and-fill analysis revealed an asymmetric distribution of effect sizes in the publication bias test and 55 positive effect sizes were imputed into the funnel plot to restore symmetry. After the estimated “missing” effect sizes were input into the datasets, the correlation between school connectedness and depression became smaller in magnitude but remained significant. Finally, the results of publication bias tests indicated that school connectedness may have contradicting effects on depression. Specifically, school connectedness can play a positive role in decreasing the level of depression but may also play a negative role in potentiating depression when the stress that causes depression comes from school. When school connectedness is used to prevent and intervene in depression, individual differences and school stress should be considered.

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Regular Articles
Is visual consciousness dichotomous or continuous? The integrated perspective based on attentional blink
LIU Yiming, LUO Haocheng, FU Shimin
2024, 32 (2):  264-275.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00264
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Is visual consciousness a discrete or continuous pattern? Although previous research has established the existence of two distinct patterns of visual awareness within perceptual blindness paradigms, subjects often encounter challenges in distinguishing missed stimuli from correct rejections, both in terms of subjective judgments and objective tasks associated with these paradigms. The challenges arise from the mechanisms that restrict consciousness in perceptual blindness paradigms. In contrast, the attentional blindness paradigms offer a better exploration of the visual awareness patterns by circumventing this problem.

In attentional blindness paradigms, the attentional blink paradigm rapidly and sequentially presents multiple stimuli (about 10 stimuli per second) in a fixed spatial position. Subjects are required to identify one or more targets among several distractors. The high-speed presentation of stimuli and the interference from non-target stimuli significantly constrain information processing. Consequently, understanding whether subjects represent the second target in their consciousness as discrete or continuous proves valuable for researchers analyzing the patterns of consciousness. Compared to other paradigms, attentional blink effectively modulates consciousness to varying degrees by controlling the lags, it can not only avert potential confusion in subjects' subjective judgments but also minimizes errors resulting from exogenous attention.

Nevertheless, research using the attentional blink paradigm to investigate visual consciousness patterns have yielded conflicting evidence in both behavioral data and event-related potentials. According to the summary of previous studies, factors influencing visual awareness patterns in the attentional blink can be categorized into the following groups: firstly, measurement methods, with the properties of the scales used in subjective measurements potentially influencing subjects' judgments and leading to impure results. When it comes to objective measurements, the objective index is not equivalent to the complete subjective experience and may only represent a certain dimension of the stimulus experience (such as the duration or intensity of perception). Secondly, stimulating materials, which means stimuli that can change continuously, such as line segments, tend to favor the continuous pattern more than stimuli that are dichotomous, such as words. Furthermore, the response modalities constrained by experimental tasks can influence subjects' judgments. For instance, an orientation discrimination task using gratings, which can be continuously adjusted, may reveal a continuous pattern, while a face gender judgment task may favor a discrete pattern. Therefore, future studies could consider weakening or altering the continuous (discrete) properties of stimuli using technical means (e.g., morphing) and it is essential to distinguish between the level of material processing and subjects' response modalities. In addition, the processing level factor refers to the theory that different processing levels of stimuli lead to distinct visual consciousness patterns. Specifically, subjects tend to perceive low-level stimuli continuously and high-level stimuli dichotomously. Subsequent studies may require subjects to respond to different levels of features of the same stimulus to maintain stricter control over additional variables. Besides, according to the adaptive gating hypothesis based on spatial attention and the attentional set theory based on target feature switching, it can be generalized that as attentional load increases, results tend to shift from discrete to continuous patterns. Therefore, future studies can finely manipulate experimental variables like spatial distance and further investigate attentional load using similar stimuli in high-level dimensions (e.g., semantic). Future research can refine experimental methods and operations based on the aforementioned factors and suggestions. This will enable a more comprehensive empirical exploration of the visual awareness patterns based on attentional blink.

From a neuroscience perspective, due to the diverse interpretation of data resulting from different neural theories, more empirical research evidence is needed to elucidate the relationship between these various theories. Importantly, researchers should empirically differentiate and test these theories a priori rather than attempting to explain results post hoc and in a data-driven manner.

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Neural basis of social concept representation and social semantic integration
SHI Weiting, ZHANG Yaning, LI Xingshan, LIN Nan
2024, 32 (2):  276-286.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00276
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Humans are social animals. The representation and integration of social concepts is the basis of social semantic comprehension and social thinking. In recent years, it becomes a new research hotspot, bridging the gap between the neuroscience of language comprehension and social cognition. This article provides a review of current research on the processing of social concepts, focusing on three aspects: the definition of social concepts, the neural basis of social concept representation, and the neural basis of social concept integration.

The definition and scope of social concepts have undergone dynamic changes in research. Early studies mainly focused on specific social conceptual categories such as personality and mental states. In recent years, researchers have predominantly approached the definition of social concepts through the lens of semantic dimensions, placing emphasis on the degree to which these concepts encompass interpersonal interactions. By using the dimension-based definition of social concepts, these studies have broadened the scope of inquiry to encompass more generalized conceptual categories, including objects and actions.

The studies investigating the neural underpinnings of social concept representation have predominantly centered around two fundamental research inquiries. The first inquiry pertains to identifying the brain regions and networks that are implicated in the representation of social concepts, while the second inquiry seeks to determine whether the neural basis of social concepts is distinct from that of other types of concepts. Functional neuroimaging and lesion studies have consistently suggested that the representation of social concepts relies on a brain network composed of the bilateral anterior temporal lobes, temporo-parietal junction, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, and adjacent precuneus. This network exhibits the following characteristics: first, both activation levels and multi-voxel activation patterns of the brain regions in this network can reflect the distinction between social and non-social concept processing; second, most regions within the network exhibit specificity to social concepts, with only a few areas also sensitive to other types of concepts; thirdly, there are strong functional connections between brain regions within the network; fourthly, damage to specific brain regions within the network can impair social concept processing.

Regarding the neural foundations of social concept integration, the available evidence remains relatively sparse at present. Current studies of social concept integration typically adopt the paradigms that have been used to investigate general concept integration, and manipulate the sociality of experimental stimuli to examine the similarities and differences in neural correlates between social and non-social concept integration. The findings of these studies have provided preliminary indications that social and non-social concept integration have distinct neural correlates, and all of the major brain areas involved in social concept representation participate in one or more levels of social concept integration: phrase-level social concept integration may involve the anterior temporal lobes, discourse-level social concept integration mainly involves the temporo-parietal junction, and sentence-level social concept integration may engage all brain regions of the social-concept representation network. Additionally, the bilateral inferior occipital gyrus and temporal fusiform gyrus were found to be involved in phrase-level social concept integration, and the bilateral middle temporal gyrus were found to play a role in discourse-level social concept integration.

The research in the realm of social concept representation and integration is still in its nascent stages, with numerous aspects yet to be thoroughly explored and examined. The authors have put forth five notable topics that deserve special attention and investigation. These topics include exploring the underlying sub-dimensions of social concept representation, unraveling the intricate sub-components involved in social concept processing, delving into the functional specializations within the brain network that forms the foundation of social concept processing, clarifying the potential confound between social-semantic processing and general semantic and/or linguistic processing in the field of language comprehension, as well as comprehensively understanding the behavioral influences exerted by social concept processing.

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The role of sleep in consolidating memory of learning in infants and toddlers
PENG Zhilin, ZHENG Ruoying, HU Xiaoqing, ZHANG Dandan
2024, 32 (2):  287-299.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00287
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Sleep-dependent memory consolidation refers to the process during sleep in which the brain reprocesses and reinforces newly acquired information or skills, thereby enhancing the stability and longevity of memories. Sleep plays a pivotal role in consolidating recently acquired knowledge into enduring long-term memories. The influence of sleep-dependent memory consolidation varies depending on the type of memory, with different stages and characteristics of sleep exerting distinct effects on various memory processes.

Given the significant differences in sleep structure and physiological mechanisms between infants and adults, it is imperative not to extrapolate findings from adult studies directly to infants and toddlers. Additionally, owing to the remarkable neuroplasticity of the infant brain and its unique sleep patterns, investigating the impact of sleep on memory consolidation in infants can significantly deepen our comprehension of the neural mechanisms underlying sleep-dependent memory consolidation.

Building upon adult research, we present a synthesis of recent studies focusing on infants and toddlers, highlighting the critical role of sleep in memory consolidation during early development. Infants and toddlers who nap or sleep after learning consistently exhibit superior memory retention and enhanced problem-solving abilities compared to those who remain awake. During sleep, brain regions associated with memory, such as the hippocampus and medial temporal lobe, demonstrate significant activation. Distinct electroencephalogram (EEG) features, such as sleep spindles and slow waves, correlate with memory consolidation in infants and toddlers.

This paper addresses two primary forms of memory: declarative memory and procedural memory, shedding light on the impact of sleep-dependent memory consolidation in infants. In the realm of declarative memory, sleep enhances the quantity and accuracy of various episodic memory components, encompassing cartoon faces, toy manipulation, spatial locations, and chronological sequences. Moreover, distinct sleep features, such as sleep spindles and slow waves, make unique contributions to different episodic memories. Sleep also fosters selective memory consolidation, knowledge transfer, and the activation of memory-related brain regions, including the hippocampus, in infants and young children. These findings furnish valuable insights into the neural mechanisms governing sleep's role in early episodic memory development.

Regarding procedural memory, though limited studies exist on the relationship between infant sleep and procedural memory consolidation, some evidence suggests a positive influence of sleep on infant procedural memory. Future research should explore the interplay between sleep and motor skill development in infants, with particular emphasis on the role of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, as adult studies underscore its significance in procedural memory consolidation.

Despite the progress in this field, several unresolved questions persist. Future research should aim to address whether sleep exerts a memory-consolidating effect on newborns, elucidate the distinctions between sleep-dependent memory consolidation in infants and adults, systematically investigate the impact of sleep on infants' social and language learning, and discern how different sleep types, durations, and timings in infants and young children contribute to memory consolidation.

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Judging a book by its cover: The influence of facial features on children’s trust judgments
ZHENG Yuanxia, LIU Guoxiong, XIN Cong, CHENG Li
2024, 32 (2):  300-317.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00300
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Trust judgment refers to an individual’s assessment of whether someone and their viewpoints are trustworthy based on various cues in specific situations. Children’s trust judgments based on faces undergo developmental changes throughout childhood and are crucial for self-protection and social adaptation, garnering extensive attention from researchers. The research on children’s trust judgments primarily utilizes the trust Game, the “conflicting sources” paradigm, and its related variations. This review aims to outline the processes, development, and underlying mechanisms of children’s trust judgments based on facial features between the ages of 3 and 12, in order to better understand the impact of facial features on children’s trust judgments.

Empirical studies have been reviewed to identify facial features that influence children’s trust judgments. These features primarily focus on seven aspects of faces: gender, race, attractiveness, trustworthiness, competence, dominance, and expressions. First, Children tend to trust strangers who resemble themselves (e.g., same gender or same race) and exhibit positive facial features (e.g., positive expressions, high facial attractiveness, and trustworthiness). Second, trust judgments based on facial features are modulated by factors such as informants’ epistemic characteristics, task requirement, and cultural context.

This review outlines the development of children’s trust judgments based on facial features and potential mechanisms, proposing a model (see Figure 1) based on previous research. This model addresses a major issue in the literature, the lack of clarity in the process of trust judgments based on facial features. Many studies have conflated trust judgments with trustworthiness judgments, leading to the confusion of concepts such as feature judgments and trust judgments, which can be misleading to researchers. In the model proposed in this review, the process is divided into two stages: face-feature-trust judgment. The face-feature process relates to the formation of first impressions and influences the feature-trust judgment process.

Children’s trust judgments based on facial features exhibit trends in early childhood that are similar to those of adults, suggesting common mechanisms between children and adults from an evolutionary perspective. However, the ongoing development throughout childhood indicates the presence of unique developmental mechanisms. This development in trust judgments based on facial features in childhood is accompanied by the development of facial perception, general cognitive abilities, and accumulated social experience. In light of this, this review summarizes the following mechanisms: perceptual foundation, emotion and affect, general cognitive abilities, and social experience. First, from an evolutionary perspective, it explains the facial features preferred by humans from a reproductive standpoint, while from a cognitive perspective, it interprets the facial features that align with individual perceptual processing as a means of conserving cognitive resources. Both fundamentally explore the influence of facial perceptual foundations on trust judgments. Second, facial features can trigger emotions in the trustee, and the emotions activated by faces impact trust judgments through two pathways: cognitive reasoning and memory. Third, general cognitive abilities primarily come into play during the feature-trust judgment process. For children to successfully make trust judgments about different faces, they need to remember information provided by unfamiliar individuals with different faces and understand the mental states of others. When different task demands are involved, children must also be able to flexibly switch and match between task requirements and facial features. This process places certain demands on children’s general cognitive abilities, such as memory, language, and executive functions. The continuous development of trust judgments based on facial features in children may also reflect improvements in general cognitive mechanisms, including attention, explicit memory capacity, and task strategy abilities. Third, general cognitive abilities primarily come into play during the feature-trust judgment process. For children to successfully make trust judgments about different faces, they need to remember information provided by unfamiliar individuals with different faces and understand the mental states of others. When different task demands are involved, children must also be able to flexibly switch and match between task requirements and facial features. This process places certain demands on children’s general cognitive abilities, such as memory, language, and executive functions. The continuous development of trust judgments based on facial features in children may also reflect improvements in general cognitive mechanisms, including attention, explicit memory capacity, and task strategy abilities. Fourth, in the process of social interaction, children accumulate knowledge about faces with different characteristics and learn about the associations between faces with different characteristics and social behaviors. This process of social learning is crucial for trust judgments based on facial features.

Finally, the review suggests feasible directions for future research based on existing studies. Methodologically, future research should focus on the impact of facial materials and research designs on research outcomes. In terms of developmental characteristics, future research should delve deeper into the trust judgment features of children of different age groups, contributing to the understanding of the developmental processes and mechanisms of trust judgments based on faces.

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The facilitation effect of audiovisual perceptual training on the cognitive ability in older adults and its mechanisms
YANG Weiping, LI Ruizhi, LI Shengnan, LIN jinfei, REN Yanna
2024, 32 (2):  318-329.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00318
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Along with aging, older adults often experience a significant deterioration in their vision and hearing. Single-channel visual training can enhance older adults' perception of texture features, direction discrimination, contrast sensitivity, stereovision sensitivity, and to some extent, it can also transfer to untrained cognitive abilities such as visual working memory and attention. However, there are drawbacks, including the limited variety of training materials and tasks, as well as incomplete research on the neural mechanisms underlying the transfer of visual training. Single-channel auditory training can enhance older adults' speech perception and recognition, compensating for the decline in their ability to perceive speech in noisy backgrounds and improving their deteriorating auditory abilities. However, it is still uncertain how much training is required to induce changes in older adults' auditory abilities and other aspects, and the transfer effects of auditory training on untrained cognitive functions are relatively limited. Moreover, older adults are exposed to more multimodal stimuli in their daily lives compared to single-modal stimuli, but research has not demonstrated that single-channel visual or auditory training can enhance cross-channel perceptual abilities in older adults. In a word, single-channel perceptual training has relatively limited improvement of cognitive ability in older adults.

Studies have revealed that audiovisual cross-modal interactions have a compensatory and facilitative effect in alleviating the declining perceptual ability of older adults in single modalities. Compared to single-channel training, audiovisual training has shown to be more effective in improving perceptual training efficiency in older adults. Thus, researchers have conducted perceptual training for older adults using a cross-modal approach that leverages the promotion and compensation of information across visual and auditory channels. This approach aims to investigate the effects of such training on improving cognitive abilities in older adults. The simultaneity judgment task and temporal order judgment task are commonly used training paradigms in studies related to cross-modal temporal perception training in older adults. Audiovisual perceptual training in older adults primarily focuses on audiovisual sensitivity, namely the audiovisual temporal binding window. The results indicate that audiovisual perceptual training significantly narrows the temporal binding window in older adults, providing advantages in improving their perceptual discrimination sensitivity. Audiovisual perceptual training enhanced the brain’s neural processing efficiency for audiovisual stimuli, highlighting the advantages of cross-modal training. It even shows potential in enhancing cognitive functions in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, researches predominantly center on audiovisual sensitivity at present, specifically the temporal binding window. There is a shortage of studies targeting the enhancement of audiovisual integration ability, particularly in terms of adaptive compensatory effects in older adults.

In future research, it can be further explored from the following objectives. Firstly, the formulation of precise and efficient audiovisual perceptual training programs, directed towards the targeted enhancement of audiovisual integration abilities, and the elucidation of neural mechanisms underlying compensatory effects in older adults. Secondly, large-scale experiments are to be conducted for a comprehensive examination of key factors contributing to individual variations in training effects. Furthermore, the implementation of long-term training intervention will serve to investigate the population-specificity and durability of these training effects. Thirdly, an exploration of the interplay between brain functionality in healthy older adults and training intensity and duration, with a specific focus on the relevance of intervention load to brain function, is warranted. Additionally, there is a need to probe into the effect of audiovisual perceptual training on integration abilities and transfer effects in individuals afflicted with neurodegenerative diseases. These endeavors are poised to establish a robust scientific framework and furnish novel perspectives for the advancement of perceptual intervention products, thereby bearing profound practical implications for the amelioration of cognitive functions and the overall physical and mental well-being in older adults.

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Understanding the adjustment functions of solitude from a lifespan development perspective: A five-round comparison of benefits and costs
HAIDABIEKE Aersheng, ZHOU Tong, YU Jie, WANG Jiyueyi, CHEN Fei, DING Xuechen
2024, 32 (2):  330-341.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00330
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In the past, researchers have focused most solely on the significance of social interaction and interpersonal relationships for individual development, and relatively less is known about the impact of solitude. In fact, solitude and social interaction are equally prevalent throughout a person’s life, and both are equally important needs that can be used to resolve conflicts and reduce pathology. In fact, every organism needs to seek a balance between intimacy and solitude.

Solitude is an open state in which individuals have noncommunication with others in either real or virtual environment. It is as common throughout life and will bring different effects at different stages of individual development. Previous studies have focused on the adjustment functions of solitude, but have taken different views on it, either positive or negative. Given the current controversy surrounding the adaptive functions of solitude, this study adopted key variables such as psychological adaptation and social adaptation to explore the battle between the benefits (positive impact) and costs (negative impact) of solitude in different age stages of an individual’s life from the lifespan perspective. This approach allows us to have a better understanding of the dynamic changes and development of solitude, as well as an expansion of Coplan, Ooi, et al.’s (2019) theoretical model of the developmental time effect of solitude. In addition, it provides a more comprehensive explanation of the importance of solitude for individuals’ adaptation.

By combing the relevant research results of solitude, this study advances a comparison model of the benefits and costs of solitude from a lifespan perspective and finds that solitude is a double-edged sword, which has both benefits and costs for individual development and shows certain characteristics and different adaptive values from childhood to late adulthood. As children engage in solitary play during their early years, adolescents explore themselves and have fun in solitude, while adults work and rest in their early adulthood, relax and reflect during middle adulthood, and solve problems and regulate emotions during late adulthood.

Specifically, in childhood, children’s solitary play is a bridge to develop their social interaction function, but at the same time, it directly leads to miss out the opportunity to interact with peers, and the cost of solitude comes to the forefront. In adolescence, although individuals have greater social autonomy, they are faced with increased social expectations and norms. At this time, solitude is prone to a variety of internalizing problems and peer pressure, and the cost of solitude reaches its peak. In early adulthood, self-determined solitude is conducive to self-acceptance and personal growth. The benefits of solitude begin to take hold, but individuals may also have some negative emotions due to inconsistent motivation and attitude. In the middle adulthood, with the change of individual identity, there is an enhanced need for solitude and autonomous motivation, but they also face different social and emotional gains and losses. At this time, the benefits and costs of solitude are difficult to judge. In late adulthood, individuals have a high degree of autonomy and begin to enjoy solitude. However, at this stage, the elderly may face social isolation, which will bring great threats to individual cognition, emotion, and life, and the cost of solitude will rise again.

To further develop our understanding of solitude, future studies could: 1) Integrate the multi-dimensional and dynamic development of solitude from a personal-oriented perspective. 2) Collect more cross-sectional and longitudinal data from lifespan perspective. 3) Interpret the development process of solitude based on cultural background. 4) Examine the impact of contemporary digital technology on individual experience of solitude. 5) Explore the cognitive neural mechanisms of solitude. 6) Consider the practical implications of solitude at different developmental stages.

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The application of neurofeedback for positive emotion enhancement in depression treatment
CHE Qiangyan, SUN Yunlin, JIN Jia, ZHU Chunyan, WANG Kai, YE Rong, YU Fengqiong
2024, 32 (2):  342-363.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00342
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Positive emotion plays an important role in the improvement of clinical symptoms and the recovery of social function in patients with depression. In recent years, the development of neurofeedback technology provides an effective approach to enhance the positive emotion of depression. The traditional treatments that target the positive affect are subjective, have a relatively limited impact and lack of objective outcome measures. In contrast, neurofeedback technology based on objective physiological and image indicators has important clinical application value in enhancing positive emotions in depression. Neurofeedback, as a non-invasive technology, uses various electrophysiological methods and neuroimaging technologies to obtain real-time measurements of brain activity and provide feedback signals to subjects, so that the subjects can learn self-control over the activity in a brain area related to emotions through certain strategies. Crucially, it can evaluate objectively and quantitatively the improvement of positive emotions as well as provide more targeted treatments. However, the existing studies have great heterogeneity in experimental paradigms, parameter settings and individual efficacy, especially in the early studies of electroencephalographic (EEG)-neurofeedback training. Adding memory specificity training to the experimental paradigm can more effectively induce positive emotions in patients with depression. Other effectiveness of positive emotion-inducing strategies that may be combined with neurofeedback can be explored, such as psychological intervention that target the positive valence systems (PVS) to increase positive emotions. In this review, training protocols, the influencing factors of the protocols of neurofeedback and target brain regions of neurofeedback training based on imaging biomarkers will be discussed and summarized.EEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are two neuroimaging modalities used for emotion regulation neurofeedback. EEG frontal asymmetry was used in several previous studies for emotion regulation using the power spectrum of frontal EEG channels in the special frequency band(frontal alpha EEG asymmetry). For positive emotion regulation based on fMRI neurofeedback is based on (blood oxygenation level-dependent,BOLD) activity of target affective brain region, as well as two regions’ fMRI functional connectivity or effective connectivity. Due to the fundamental role of the amygdala in the emotional processing of depression makes it a "star brain region" for the intervention of positive emotion deficit in patients with depression. Targeting brain circuits and complex brain networks engaged in the regulation of positive emotions have more powerful application value in the treatment of depression. Clinical populations may benefit from multivariate pattern neurofeedback training.The importance of neurofeedback experiment design and results reporting standards is emphasized, and the validity, feasibility, portability and extensibility of research design should be considered in neurofeedback protocols applied to neurological and psychiatric disorders. The feasibility of turning fMRI neurofeedback into a widely available clinical intervention is questionable. In contrast, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a relatively inexpensive and portable brain imaging technique that can be easily implemented at any location and has more potential for widespread clinical implementation than fMRI neurofeedback. Despite neurofeedback has already been used successfully to change brain responses in depressive patients, some participants never learn to control their brain responses at all. These participants are often referred to in the neurofeedback literature as non-responders. Unfortunately, few studies have focused on the proportion of non-responders. Given the not negligible proportion of non-responders, there is a strong need to understand the inter-individual differences in neurofeedback performance. Analysis of individual differences in neurofeedback training sheds light on successful self-regulation of the affective brain. Those who fail to successfully regulate may be associated with abnormal reward processing. A potential treatment target based on reward circuits and optimization schemes of neurofeedback will be recommended. It is expected to provide an operable reference scheme for positive emotion recovery in clinical depression. It lays a foundation for the clinical translation and popularization of neurofeedback technology in the treatment of clinical symptoms and social function rehabilitation of depression in the future.

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The dynamic features of emotion dysregulation in major depressive disorder: An emotion dynamics perspective
WU Chaoyi, WANG Zhen
2024, 32 (2):  364-385.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00364
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The core feature of major depressive disorder, as defined in the DSM-5, is persistent mood disturbances characterized by excessive sadness and significantly reduced pleasant emotional experiences. Previous studies explored the emotion dysregulation of major depressive disorder by examining the static and trait-related aspects of overall emotional intensity, based on the trait model of personality. However, in real-life contexts, an individual's emotional experiences are not static but dynamically fluctuate in response to intricate social situations. Emotion is a dynamic process influenced by social interaction, individual evaluation processes and the external environment. Emotion dynamics consider the temporal dimension and volatility as the intrinsic features of emotions, to investigate how micro-level emotional fluctuation patterns impact psychological well-being at the macro-level. Researches on emotion dynamics have emphasized that the emotion dysregulation in major depressive disorder goes beyond increased negative emotional intensity and decreased positive emotional intensity. It also manifests as abnormal emotional dynamic patterns, specifically characterized by deviations in indicators of emotion dynamic such as emotion variability, instability, inertia, and others. Therefore, the objective of this systematic review is to summarize the dynamic features of emotion dysregulation in major depression from the perspective of emotion dynamics.

This systematic review conducted a comprehensive search of the Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, and PsycInfo databases from January 1, 2013 to January 1, 2023. A total of 18 studies were included in this review, which utilized ecological momentary assessment to explore the differences in indicators of emotion dynamics between clinical populations with depression and the control group. Consistent with findings from traditional cross-sectional retrospective studies and laboratory research, studies based on ecological momentary assessment indicated that patients with depression experience higher average intensity of negative emotions and lower average intensity of positive emotions in their daily lives. Significantly, this review offered a more nuanced understanding of emotion dysregulation in major depressive disorder beyond average emotional intensity. The key findings were as follows: (1) Patients with depression had greater negative emotion fluctuations compared with the healthy control group. These fluctuations manifested as greater negative emotion variability and instability. Compared to the healthy control group, individuals with depression exhibited a greater overall fluctuation in negative emotional experiences in their daily lives, with more pronounced fluctuations between two consecutive time points. (2) Depressed patients exhibited a rigid and inflexible emotional system, characterized by greater negative emotion inertia and denser emotion networks. Compared to the healthy control group, individuals with depression exhibited a greater tendency for negative emotions experienced in the past to persist into the next moment. Depressed patients had a greater number of connections and stronger linkages between nodes in their emotional networks. (3) Depressed patients exhibited abnormalities in emotional reactivity. This was reflected as the mood brightening effect after positive events and greater negative emotion reactivity after negative events. Compared to the healthy control group, individuals with depression exhibited greater emotional improvement following positive events and greater increase in negative emotions following negative events. (4) Patients with depression experienced decreased complexity in their emotional system. This manifested as a lower level of emotion differentiation. Compared to the control group, individuals with depression tended to perceive and report emotions in a relatively simplistic and generalized manner, lacking the ability to differentiate subtle distinctions between discrete emotions. Furthermore, patients with remitted depression also exhibited some degree of emotion dysregulation, providing empirical support for the complications or scar model and the set-point theory.

This review was the first to comprehensively elucidate the primary features of emotion dysregulation in major depressive disorder viewed from emotion dynamics. The findings of this review provided further theoretical support for recent dynamic models of mental disorders, including complex dynamical system theory and network theory. Research in clinical psychology might benefit from accurately modeling the dynamic feature of psychopathology and approaching psychopathology as a system. As for clinical practice, the results contributed to the identification of potential intervention targets with high ecological validity for individualized treatment and relapse prevention of depression. In accordance with the principles of personalized medicine, psychiatrists could target specific features of a patient's emotion dysregulation as focal points for tailored and precise interventions, thereby enhancing the effective remission rates of depression. Furthermore, the insights from an emotion dynamics perspective inspired clinical practitioners to utilize more digitized and intelligent tools, such as smartphones and wearable devices, for advancing clinical assessments and treatments in the realm of mental disorders. This ongoing progress contributed to innovation and development in remote mental health services within the digital age.

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System-justifying beliefs and mental health: The palliative function and an extension
XU Ronghua, DING Yi, ZHANG Yue, GUO Yongyu
2024, 32 (2):  386-397.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00386
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System-justifying belief refers to the perception that the existing social system is fair, legitimate, and justified. System justification theory proposes that people are motivated to justify the system by adopting system-justifying beliefs, especially when they face stress events caused by social inequality (i.e., a threat and defense process). This has a positive effect on mental health, known as the palliative function. Specifically, it helps people accept their current situation by reducing negative emotions (e.g., anxiety and depression) and increasing positive emotions (e.g., hope), which leads to higher life satisfaction.

In this paper, we propose three main psychological mechanisms that explain how the palliative function can protect mental health, based on the defense perspective from system justification theory. These are: alleviating ideological dissonance, compensating for personal control, and denying or minimizing threats. Specifically, (1) Alleviating ideological dissonance occurs when individuals have a conflict between their beliefs about the reality and the ideal of the existing system. System-justifying beliefs help them restore their cognitive consistency by viewing the social status quo as desirable, which reduces negative emotions; (2) Compensating for personal control relates to the role of system-justifying beliefs in compensating for the lack of personal control and satisfying the need for certainty. They provide a stable external order and personal agency, which alleviates the psychological distress caused by uncertainty; (3) Denying or minimizing threats involves system-justifying beliefs creating psychological barriers for individuals. This mechanism filters and weakens their perception of internal and external threats of the system, and thus preserves their psychological well-being in threatening situations. In addition, we identify three boundary factors that may influence the effectiveness of these mechanisms. The first one is the contextual boundary, which is social inequality. The second one is the individual boundary, which is (low) social status related to wealth, gender, and race. The third one is the temporal boundary, which refers to the difference between short-term and long-term effects. Some researchers have argued that system justification as a psychological defense mechanism can only temporarily reduce the negative impact of the current threat on individuals, but cannot really improve their living conditions. Therefore, the palliative function of system-justifying beliefs may not be consistent over time.

System justification theory has explained how and when system-justifying beliefs protect mental health from the perspective of psychological defense, which is the dominant view in related fields. However, we argue that this defense perspective has two limitations. First, the individual’s perception of system fairness is not only driven by some defensive motivation (i.e., motivational component), but may also reflect the outcome of individual non-motivational processes (i.e., cognitive component), such as a realistic assessment of the social reality or a by-product of some basic cognitive process. We propose that there may be a dual function of system-justifying beliefs on maintaining mental health. While the motivational component provides a temporary and passive psychological defense function, the cognitive component, which indicates the perception and judgment of the fairness of the social system, may offer a more stable and active coping function. Second, based on the research of adaptive processes in clinical psychology, we suggest that system-justifying beliefs maintaining personal mental health can also be divided into two types of patterns: defense and coping. Defense is an unconscious, passive, and unintentional response, while coping is a conscious, active, and problem-solving-oriented response. We propose that system-justifying beliefs, as a cognitive construct, also have the function of influencing the individual’s “coping” response, that is, by enhancing the individual’s coping resources, which can in turn preserve the individual’s mental health. Studies have shown that system-justifying beliefs are positively correlated with many coping resources, such as optimistic mindset, trust and cooperation, group identification and perceived mobility, which help individuals adopt positive coping strategies and lead to better mental health. Based on analyzing and addressing these two questions, we finally construct a defense-coping model, which posits that system-justifying beliefs maintain personal mental health through two paths: the defense path (i.e., palliative function) and the coping path.

We conclude by discussing some key issues that warrant further research attention, including the negative effects of system-justifying beliefs on individuals, groups, and society; the improvement of the measurement of system-justifying beliefs; and the expansion of the inquiry.

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The cognitive and neural mechanism of third-party punishment
ZHENG Hao, CHEN Rongrong, MAI Xiaoqin
2024, 32 (2):  398-412.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00398
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Third-party punishment (TPP) is individuals punish the norm violator as unaffected third parties even at a personal cost. Many studies have provided insight into the neural mechanisms underlying TPP behavior from evidence at the electrophysiological and functional imaging levels. However, this evidence has been restricted to a single component or has focused only on the results of activation in independent brain regions. Moreover, there is still a lack of holistic understanding regarding the connections between the cognitive processes underlying TPP behavior and the functional brain networks. Therefore, this paper reviews the research related to TPP in the past decade. First, we summarize theories that can explain TPP behavior in order to deepen the understanding of the theoretical dimensions of TPP behavior. These theoretical models include the reciprocity model, which reflects individual preferences for cooperation and fairness, the emotion model of intuitive processing, and the dual-systems model, which integrates emotional and cognitive factors under a reinforcement learning perspective.

Second, we conduct a review of functional neuroimaging and electrophysiological evidence that pertains to TPP, with a particular emphasis on the inter- and intra-network connectivity within the brain. Taking into account the functions and activation patterns of the relevant brain networks in previous studies, we suggest that the generation of TPP behavior is divided into three phases: emotion generation, responsibility assessment and punishment selection. The corresponding brain networks are salient network, default mode network, and central executive network. In addition, the reward network collaborates in TPP processing, mainly playing the role of value representation and expected reward.

Finally, in order to explain the occurrence mechanism of TPP behavior from a more comprehensive perspective, we integrate the results of previous studies and propose a cognitive neural network model of TPP. In this model, the affective system and the reward system jointly function as the motivation system for TPP, playing a role in generating motivation for TPP behavior. The corresponding brain networks associated with these systems are the salience network and the reward network, respectively. The cognitive system consists of two subsystems: the social cognitive system and the executive control system. These subsystems play a role in two phases of TPP: responsibility assessment and punishment selection. The default mode network and the central executive network are the respective brain networks associated with these two phases. The components of the model cooperate and interact with each other, and ultimately the executive control system makes the decision of whether to punish and the intensity of punishment. The feedback information generated in turn influences the internal loop, enabling the individual to learn and refine their behavioral strategy based on each feedback. Over time, this process leads to the development of a stable behavioral pattern. The model establishes the connection between TPP behavior-related research at the psychological and cognitive-neural level. Moreover, it provides a more holistic and comprehensive explanation of the mechanisms of TPP behavior and suggests that TPP is a dynamic process with feedback and reinforcement involvement.

In the future, researchers can further explore TPP behavior from the following perspectives: (a) Starting from a more microscopic perspective such as neurotransmitters and hormones to reveal the neurophysiological mechanisms of TPP behavior; (b) Incorporating individual differences to explore the relationship between neurophysiological representations of TPP behavior and personality trait variables; (c) Introducing machine learning algorisms to further optimize and develop the relevant models to provide quantitative explanations and predictions of TPP behavior; (d) Utilizing meta-analysis to provide quantitative data support for the models to increase their reliability; (e) Exploring third-party intervention preferences and the underlying cognitive neural mechanisms in different contextual information or more complex social contexts.

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