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    The relationship between socioeconomic status and depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis
    ZHANG Yali, ZHANG Jiangen, LI Hongxia, JIANG Yongzhi
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (12): 2650-2665.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.02650
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    Socioeconomic status is an important topic concerned by social class psychology. With the transformation of social development, its influence on individual psychological development has been paid increasing attention. In recent years, scholars in different fields have carried out a series of discussions on the relation between socioeconomic status and mental health, especially depression, but results remain mixed. Some have reported negative correlations between socio-economic status and depression, and others have found weak to nonsignificant correlations. In general, the reported correlation coefficients ranged from -0.45 to 0. At present, no studies have systematically generalized the scattered results on this topic, nor have they dissected the reasons for the inconsistent results. Therefore, it is necessary to gain better insight into the relation between socioeconomic status and depression, and the factors that affect this relation. At the same time, China is in the deep-water area of reform and development. The rapid economic development has made the gap between the rich and the poor increasingly intensified, and it has also made class mobility more difficult. Therefore, exploring the relation between socio-economic status and depression can provide a more detailed basis for the formulation of the current social mental health service system in China.
    In Chinese database (China National Knowledge Infrastructure database), the keywords “社会地位” or “经济地位” were respectively matched with “抑郁”, and the literatures with such keywords in the abstract were searched. In foreign databases (Web of Science Core Collection, Elsevier SD, PsycINFO, PsycArticles, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses), the keywords “socioeconomic status”, “socio-economic status”, “social class”, and “social status” were matched with “depress*” respectively, and the literatures with such keywords in the abstract were searched. In addition, to avoid omissions, literature supplementation was performed through citations during literature reading and Google Scholar. Finally, a total of 11110 studies were obtained. After literature screening, a total of 58 studies (including 65 effect sizes and 76,715 participants) were finally included, with a time span from 1973 to 2022. The correlation coefficient r was used as the effect size, and the random effects model in software Comprehensive Meta-Analysis Version 3.0 was used to conduct the meta-analysis.
    The main effect analysis indicated a small significant negative correlation between socio-economic status and depression (r = -0.15). Further sensitivity analysis showed that the estimated effect size fluctuated between-0.158 and -0.147, indicating that the estimated result was stable. The moderating effect analysis showed that: (a) The moderating effect of the sampling year was significant (b=-0.008, 95%CI [-0.015, -0.001]), and the relationship between socioeconomic status and depression became stronger with the development of the times; (b) The moderating effect of SES measurement tool is significant, and the correlation measured by SSS is the strongest, while the correlation measured by FISS or principal component analysis was the weakest; (c) The moderating effect of SES measurement type was significant, and the correlation between subjective socioeconomic status and depression was higher than that of objective socioeconomic status;. (d) The moderating effect of SES measurement form was significant, and the correlation between family socioeconomic status and depression was lower than that of one's own socioeconomic status; (e) The moderating effect of depression measurement tool was marginally significant, the correlation measured by SCL was not significant, and the correlation measured by CDI or CESD was higher than other tools; (f) Gender, age, individualism index and design form (cross-sectional design vs longitudinal design) had no significant moderating effects on the relationship between socioeconomic status and depression.
    This is the first study to analyze the overall strength of the association between socioeconomic status and depression. The results showed that there was a significant negative correlation between them, indicating that relevant public policies should be formulated and supporting schemes should be provided to care for the socio-economic disadvantaged groups, especially to improve their education and income levels, so as to prevent the occurrence of group depression. In addition, the present study also found that the effect size was affected by many operational characteristics (i.e., socio-economic status measurement type and depression measurement), suggesting that future researchers should pay more attention to the choice of scales when conducting research. Specifically, for socioeconomic status, objective and subjective indicators should be combined as far as possible, and it is best to directly measure the socioeconomic status of the individual rather than the family. For depression, scales that measure too few depressive symptoms should be avoided as far as possible. This study also found that the effect size is affected by the development of the times, suggesting that China should vigorously promote the policy of common prosperity in the new era, promote class mobility, prevent class solidification and the further expansion of the gap between the rich and the poor, so as to reduce the occurrence of depression from the social level. Finally, although age and research design failed to moderate the relation between socioeconomic status and depression, both essentially reflect the long-term effect of socioeconomic status on individual's depression. This suggests that public services and public policies should pay attention to long-term effectiveness in the implementation.

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    The influence of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation on memory in adolescents and the underlying neural mechanisms
    ZHANG Mingxia, LI Yuxin, LI Jin, LIU Xun
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (1): 1-9.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00001
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    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 effects of gender nonconformity on adolescent peer evaluation and related dynamics
    WEN Fangfang, KE Wenlin, FANG Zeming, WANG Yang, LEI Yatian, ZUO Bin
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (8): 1331-1341.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.01331
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    Inherent gender is an important dimension of self-identity and social categorization, and has a huge impact on individual psychology, interpersonal relationships, intergroup behaviors and social development. Gender stereotypes, gender socialization and gender attitudes have been stable themes in disciplines, such as social psychology, developmental and educational psychology and sociology. Gender is the core component of the self-concept and an important dimension of social categorization. Gender Nonconformity is a psychological phenomenon in which individuals display gender norms that do not correspond or are inconsistent with their birth sex. In recent years, the phenomenon of Gender Nonconformity has become increasingly prominent among adolescents, and previous studies have shown that Gender Nonconformity adolescents face challenges in social adjustment such as peer relationships. Although some research paradigms and theoretical findings have been accumulated in the area of Gender Nonconformity and related areas, there are still limitations. Although some research paradigms and theoretical findings have been accumulated in the area of Gender Nonconformity and related areas, there are still limitations. Firstly, previous studies have mainly adopted the traditional binary approach of gender conformity and non-conformity; secondly, there is a lack of cognitive-motivational pathways to examine the prototypical matching and avoidance intentions of Gender Nonconformity in influencing adolescents' peer evaluations; thirdly, previous studies have mainly adopted a static perspective on gender-biased peer evaluations, ignoring the dynamic processes of gender-biased generation and evolution. To address these limitations, this study will break through the gender binary category and explain the psychological mechanisms of static effects and dynamic changes of Gender Nonconformity on peer evaluation from the perspective of the relationship between basic attributes and gender attributes, and provide possible interventions to change the negative peer evaluation of Gender Nonconformity individuals. The specific aims of the study include: firstly, to develop and provide neurophysiological evidence for the basic attributes of Gender Nonconformity; secondly, to reveal the cognitive-motivational dual-path mechanism of prototype matching and avoidance intention in the process of Gender Nonconformity influencing peer evaluation; and thirdly, to explore the dynamic evolutionary mechanism of Gender Nonconformity influencing peer evaluation.

    Focusing on the above three research aims, this study systematically examines the influence of Gender Nonconformity on peer evaluation and its evolutionary psychological mechanisms according to a progressive research hierarchy of "realization layer - algorithmic layer - computational layer". The study includes three aspects. (1) A polymorphic refinement examines the effects of Gender Nonconformity on peer evaluation, constructs a view of the underlying attributes of Gender Nonconformity and provides behavioral and neurophysiological evidence of the layers of realization. (2) A dual cognitive-motivational pathway mechanism for Gender Nonconformity to influence peer evaluation is revealed at the algorithmic level. The social cognitive paradigm is used to explore the cognitive activation of "prototype matching" and the motivational activation of "intention to avoid" in the process of Gender Nonconformity influencing peer evaluation through questionnaires, behavioral experiments and situational experiments. (3) Exploring the dynamic evolutionary mechanisms of Gender Nonconformity in peer evaluation from the abstract computational level. Using reinforcement learning paradigms, computational modelling, implicit measurement, contextual experiments and live experiments, the prototype formation process of Gender Nonconformity peer evaluations is simulated using reinforcement learning models based on a dual pathway of cognition and motivation to explore the dynamic evolutionary mechanisms of gender-biased peer evaluations and possible intervention pathways for negative peer evaluations of gender-biased individuals. The findings of this study can provide some managerial and educational insights into the effective promotion of youth gender development, peer relationships and mental health based on a gender perspective.

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    The relationship between disgust and suicidal behavior
    XIAO Tingwei, DONG Jie, LIANG Fei, WANG Fushun, LI Yang
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (1): 87-98.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00087
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    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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    The big data analysis in cultural psychology
    WU Michael Shengtao, MAO Yunyun, WU Shuhan, FENG Jianren, ZHANG Qingpeng, XIE Tian, CHEN Hao, ZHU Tingshao
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (3): 317-329.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00317
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    With the further development of computers and big data technology, human society and its cultural forms are undergoing profound changes. The production and interaction of cultural symbols have become increasingly complex, and cultural members and their social networks have left numerous texts and behavior footprints, which makes it necessary to describe, predict, and even change the culture, so that computable cultural symbols and their interaction process have gradually become the research object of cultural psychology. In this vein, Computational Cultural Psychology (CCP), which employs big data and computation tools to understand cultural symbols and their interaction processes, has emerges rapidly, making large-scale or even full sample cultural analysis possible. The key variables of CCP are mainly about individualism and collectivism, and the analysis technologies include feature dictionaries, machine learning, social networks analysis, and simulation.
    New research avenues of CCP involve the cultural change effect from the temporal perspective and cultural geography effect from the spatial perspective. For the former, Google Ngram Viewer, Google News, Google Search, name archives, pop songs, and micro-blogs were used to analyze the cultural changes after the long-term historical development and the short-term economic transformation. For the latter, both social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, and Weibo) and large-scale survey were used to analyze the cultural differences of various countries or regions in different geographic spaces, as well as the relationship between culture and environment, such as cultural diversity along the "Belt and Road", person - environment fit and cultural value mismatch across different regions in a country or all over the world.
    It should be noted that there are several limitations in CCP, including decoding distortion, sample bias, semasiological variation, and privacy risk, although new methods and paradigms are provided. In future directions, theoretical interpretation of variables, cultural dynamics, interdisciplinary integration, and ecological validity should be seriously concerned. In particular, accurate definition and theoretical interpretation of big data measurement are needed; a variety of big data corpus (e.g., historical archives) should be used for the evolutionary analysis of dynamic cultures; deep integration, but not conflict, should be encouraged between culture psychology and the sciences of computer, communication, and history; and the "scenarios" of big data should be considered in promoting the ecological validity of cultural psychology.
    Taken together, a review of the emergence of CCP, as well as the empirical research on the big data analysis of cultural change and cultural geography, is helpful in understanding the advantages, limitations, and future direction of this new field, which sheds light on theoretical and methodological innovation of cultural psychology.

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    Applications of cognitive appraisal theory of stress in managerial psychology research: Scenes, methods, and myths
    JIANG Fubin, WANG Zhen
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (12): 2825-2845.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.02825
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    Stressors are everywhere in the workplace. How do individuals respond to stressors? The cognitive appraisal theory of stress provides an integrated framework for explaining this question from the perspective of cognitive appraisal and coping. This theory has become the mainstream framework for describing individuals’ reactions to stressors during the past 40 years. However, because the theory did not provide the precise relationship among theoretical elements, empirical research applied the theory quite differently, resulting in various and even inadequate applications.
    We conduct this study to present the application and development of the cognitive appraisal theory of stress. 125 empirical studies in the field of managerial psychology were systematically reviewed to identify the scenarios, methods, and myths in applying the theory. The results showed that, (1) The cognitive appraisal theory of stress explains “what is cognitive appraisal?” “what factors influence cognitive appraisal?” “how individuals cope with stressors?” and “what are the consequences of stressors?”. Questionnaires are often used to collect data of theoretical elements. (2) The cognitive appraisal theory of stress can explain the impacts of six categories of stressors (physical stressors, task-related stressors, role stressors, social stressors, career-related stressors, and traumatic events) on employees’ work attitude, behavior, health, and work-family relationship. (3) The application of this theory can be considered from aspects of primary appraisal, secondary appraisal, and coping. There are two perspectives to analyze the application of primary appraisal - outcome-perspective and process-perspective. Both individual and situational factors can affect individuals’ primary appraisals of stressors. Secondary appraisal involves individuals’ appraisal of their own coping potential, and its influencing factors can be divided into individual and situational aspects, too. Coping refers to individuals’ cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage internal or external demands exceed their own resources, which contains problem-focused and emotion-focused forms of coping. (4) There are myths in using this theory among existing empirical research. For example, some studies hold the views that stressors always lead to negative consequences, certain stressors lead to certain cognitive appraisals, certain cognitive appraisals lead to certain coping styles, and problem-focused forms of coping are more effective than emotion-focused forms of coping.
    This study has several significant implications. First, we present the core ideas of the cognitive appraisal theory of stress and the measurements of theoretical elements. More importantly, we clarify some controversies about this theory, which contributes to the correct application and future development of the theory. Second, we integrate the application scenes and methods of the theory in managerial psychology research. By doing so, we broaden current understandings of this theory and then, shed light on theoretical application. Third, the myths about theoretical application are clarified. Based on this, we provide some suggestions for future research in applying this theory, which are beneficial to theoretical development and further applications. Moreover, it is important for future research to optimize the measurement of the core theoretical construct, expand the application scenarios of the theory, and enrich the influencing factors of the cognitive evaluation process.

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    Can learning by non-interactive teaching promote learning?
    CHENG Meixia, KUANG Ziyi, LENG Xiaoxue, ZHANG Yang, WANG Fuxing
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (5): 769-782.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00769
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    As a generative learning activity, learning by non-interactive teaching refers to learners play the role of teachers and teach what they have learned to others, and the activity is designed to help learners actively engage in knowledge building and improve their academic performance. For example, learners face a video camera to explain the learning material to imaginary, non-present peers in their minds (i.e., recording an instructional video). Given the vastly different ways in which learning by non-interactive teaching was implemented (e.g., video, audio, and text), the effectiveness of learning by non-interactive teaching in facilitating learning might be different. By summarizing the relevant studies, it was found that learning by non-interactive teaching in oral form with a tutor figure (e.g. video) was more effective in improving learner’s performance (d immediate comprehension = 0.56, d delayed comprehension = 0.63, d immediate transfer = 0.35, and d delayed transfer = 0.76) compared with simple learning activities such as restudy and retrieval practice, which was probably a better implementation. Learning by non-interactive teaching in oral form (e.g. audio only, d immediate comprehension = 0.09 and d immediate transfer = 0.02) or written form (e.g. text, d immediate comprehension = -0.16, d delayed comprehension = 0.39, d immediate transfer = 0.08, and d delayed transfer = 0.19) without a tutor figure had a smaller positive effect on learning outcomes. Learners with non-interactive teaching also experienced higher motivation (d = 0.44) and enjoyment (d = 0.76) and were willing to invest more mental effort (d = 0.47). The retrieval practice hypothesis and the generative learning hypothesis focused on different subcomponents of cognitive processing (e.g., retrieval, generation, or monitoring) to explain the positive effects of learning by non-interactive teaching on learning, respectively. The social presence hypothesis emphasized that social presence might facilitate whole cognitive processing and thus improved learning. Our results supported these three hypotheses to some extent. In addition, the cognitive theory of multimedia learning (CTML) may provide a supplementary explanation for differences in the effectiveness of different implementations of learning by non-interactive teaching. On the one hand, learning by non-interactive teaching (e.g., video) might successfully create teaching situation that stimulated a moderate sense of social presence and leaded learners to be more engaged and think more deeply about the material, i.e., increased their essential processing and generative processing, and thus facilitated learning. On the other hand, learning by non-interactive teaching (e.g., text) might distract learners from focusing too much on the typos, the standardization and rigorousness of written language, i.e., increased their extraneous processing. Due to the inherently high demands for processing capacity in generative activities, too much extraneous processing might cause learners' limited processing capacity being insufficient for adequate essential processing and generative processing, which in turn impaired learning. While learning by non-interactive teaching in the audio-only format might neither successfully facilitate learning with essential processing and generative processing because of the weaker teaching situation created, nor hinder learning with extraneous processing because of the automated spoken language. Research is needed to test and integrate theories, identify boundary conditions, and enhance the effectiveness of learning by non-interactive teaching in the future.

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    Cognitive neural characteristics of professional action video game players
    MIAO Haofei, CHI Lizhong
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (1): 127-144.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00127
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    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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    Impact and application of affective touch on mental health
    YANG Xue, ZHU Xu
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (12): 2789-2798.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.02789
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    Daily human touch varies in its forms, frequencies, and experiences. While some types of touch are pleasurable, others can be undesirable. The pleasure of affective touch relies on C-tactile afferents, a class of low-threshold mechanosensitive neurons that innervate the hairy skin. The affective aspect of touch is encoded by C-tactile afferents, and an interpersonal gentle touch is within the sensitive stimulus range of C-tactile, which is commonly applied to express or believed to transmit positive emotions such as love, care, and appreciation. Affective touch refers to these types of touching behaviors, and has positive impacts on individual mental health. Affective touch has the physiological capacity to monitor psychological stress by regulating the level of endogenous hormones such as oxytocin, β-endorphin, dopamine, and serotonin. Affective touch can also be seen psychologically as an adaptive social function that fosters relationships, brings about positive feelings, and enhances subjective well-being.
    Human has the inherent ability to experience the pleasure of touch, but the acquired environment also plays a critical role. Touch is a type of sensory experience that is closely tied to psychology and culture, and our perceptions of touch are influenced by our subjective cognitive processes. Early experiences of touch and sociocultural factors work together to shape an individual's internal pattern of touch processing. Individuals may interpret touch behaviors in a more prosocial way when they have a positive internal pattern of touch processing, and they can actively engage in affective touch to foster closeness and strengthen social bonds. On the contrary, individuals' subjective aversion and avoidance of touch behaviors are related to negative internal pattern of touch processing, which is shaped by adverse early experiences such as tactile deprivation and childhood abuse. A lack of pleasant touch experiences is related to insecure attachment and various mental disorders especially personality disorders and autism spectrum disorders. Individuals with inadequate functioning of affective touch or a negative internal pattern of touch processing may likely feel disgusted by and thus avoid touch activities, which can compromise the social benefits that come with touch, lead to chronic social withdrawal, and result in aberrant social development.
    Touch can aid the treatment of people with mental disorders in addition to safeguarding the mental health of the general population. It is likely that people's lifestyles lack affective touch, and the value of affective touch as an embodied social relationship may be underestimated in daily life. However, affective touch is barred from playing an appropriate significant role in treatment because of the ethical concerns with touching behaviors. Distinct from traditional types of touch, mediated touch and virtual touch elicit touch-like sensations through either other sensory information or other devices as the medium. They can be applied as a transitional or alternative intervention to help people avoidant to real touch correct their negative internal pattern of touch processing so that they can gradually adapt to and accept affective touch, and eventually use affective touch as an effective way to improve their interpersonal functioning and mental health.

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    The effect of sleep on fear learning and its cognitive neural mechanisms
    ZHANG Jie, ZHANG Huoyin, LI Hong, LEI Yi
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (4): 631-640.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00631
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    Sleep problems may induce fear-related mood disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and phobias, among others. Studying the cognitive cognitive and neural mechanisms involved in the relationship between sleep problems and fear learning can help enhance the prediction, diagnosis, and treatment of fear-related mood disorders. Previous studies have shown that sleep deprivation affects fear acquisition mainly by inhibiting the activity of the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and blocking its functional connections with the amygdala, resulting in impaired safe learning that fails to inhibit fear of threatening stimuli, thus enhancing fear acquisition. In contrast, sleep deprivation during the fear memory consolidation phase impairs the activity of the amygdala and hippocampus, thereby impairing fear memory. On the other hand, sleep deprivation during the extinction learning phase results in delayed activation of brain regions associated with extinction learning, which in turn impairs fear extinction memory. Further studies have reported that different stages of sleep have distinct effects on brain regions associated with fear learning; in particular, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep deprivation (insufficient) and complete sleep deprivation have similar effects on the cognitive and neural mechanisms of fear learning. Deprivation of REM sleep suppresses vmPFC activity, enhances amygdala activation, and thus enhances fear acquisition. In addition, reduced functional connectivity in the limbic cortex disrupts fear memory consolidation. Deprivation of REM sleep after extinction learning phase increases amygdala, insula, and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) activity and diminishes mPFC, thereby impairing extinction memory. Therefore, after clinical treatment, quality of sleep, particularly REM sleep, should be ensured at night. In addition to reinforcing recently acquired memories, REM sleep is involved in integrating new information into existing knowledge structures, reorganizing these structures, and generalizing recently acquired memories; therefore, improving REM sleep can promote fading retention and generalization. In contrast, the slow-wave sleep (SWS) stage facilitates fear extinction learning through target memory reactivation, which allows the hippocampus to re-code threatening stimuli and accelerate the consolidation of new safety information in the amygdala. During the SWS stage, participants are not conscious and therefore do not have to directly face the threatening stimulus, thus avoiding some of the drawbacks of traditional extinction therapy applied during wakefulness for patients with fear-related mood disorders, such as anxiety disorders and (PTSD). Clinically relevant studies have found that individuals with insomnia also exhibit delayed activation of the fear extinction brain regions, with related activation occurring only during extinction recall. At the same time, individuals with insomnia have stronger learned fear which causes their insomnia and can easily develop into pathological anxiety or PTSD. Furthermore, sleep immediately following exposure therapy can optimize the therapeutic effect and may even promote extinction generalization; therefore, sleep should be used in combination with traditional exposure therapy. Future research should be conducted to further the study of the neural mechanisms by which sleep affects fear generalization and the effect of circadian rhythm disruption on fear extinction, as well as clarifying the problems in the translation of animal sleep studies to human sleep studies.

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    The social motivation theory of autism spectrum disorder: Exploring mechanisms and interventions
    KOU Juan, YANG Mengyuan, WEI Zijie, LEI Yi
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (1): 20-32.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00020
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    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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    The influence mechanism of emotion on intuitive and analytical processing
    YE Shuqi, YIN Junting, LI Zhaoxian, LUO Junlong
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (5): 736-746.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00736
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    Dual process generally refers to intuitive processing and analytical processing. Given the progress in transformation and collaboration mechanisms of dual process, emotion has gradually become the key variable for influencing the dual process. It is clearly pointed out that emotion is closely related to intuitive processing (Type 1) in dual process theory, which does not need cognitive efforts, but many empirical findings have shown that emotion also has a significant impact on analytical processing (Type 2). However, how emotions affect intuitive and analytical processing remains controversial in related studies. Relevant researches mainly focus on the influence of emotion on the single pathway of Type 1 processing or Type 2 processing, while the comprehensive influences of emotion on dual processes are rarely studied, these researches only are carried out at the superficial level, less dig deep into the differences of cognitive processing mechanism. In addition, different perspectives have resulted in the obscurity of emotions' function. Therefore, it is important to clarify the mechanism of emotion influencing on dual-processing from the perspectives of emotional valence and emotional arousal. The results show that positive emotions and emotions with high arousal tend to promote intuitive processing, while negative emotions with low arousal prefer to adopt analytical processing, but it will be affected by knowledge and experience, surface information, task characteristics and processing conditions. Consequently, emotions with different valence and arousal also have different impacts on processing. Positive emotions or negative emotions with high arousal can promote Type 1 processing, while negative emotions with low arousal will lead to Type 2 processing. In addition, a dual processing model which helps us make clear of thread about emotion influences, is used to explain the mechanism of emotional influence on dual processing. Type 1 and Type 2 are regarded as two relatively independent and successive processing stages in this model. In the startup phase of cognitive processing, positive emotions will broaden one’s attention, which means an increase in available information cues and enable individuals to retrieve information faster, thus facilitates Type 1 processing, individuals in high affective arousal will be directed attention by highly relevant information and reduce the attention to irrelevant information, thus tend to choose Type 1 processing, while negative emotions will narrow attention, which let the individuals pay more attention to the detailed information instead of the main information and let them consume more cognitive resources in Type 2 processing. In the Type 2 processing intervention stage, on the one hand, motivation is the individuals' subjective condition of whether to enter the Type 2 processing stage. The motivation to maintain positive emotions will trigger Type 1 processing that takes less cognitive effort, while the motivation to improve negative emotions will make the individual invest more cognitive resources in Type 2 processing. The individuals will choose the appropriate arousal level for the motivation of maintaining the current positive emotion and repairing negative emotion. On the other hand, cognitive resources are the individuals' objective condition of Type 2 processing, which are needed in Type 2 processing. Cognitive resources are also the core part of cognitive load theory, which includes intrinsic cognitive load, extraneous cognitive load and germane cognitive load. Emotions can be used as the three kinds of load to directly allocate cognitive resources and determine whether Type 2 processing can be involved. It is worth doing future exploration on verifying the effect of emotion on specific dual processing models by cognitive neuroscience techniques, the association between emotional arousal and dual processing, recent developments in emotion theory, and the strategies for optimizing dual processing under emotional load.

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    The cognitive neural model of procrastination and related interventions
    FENG Tingyong, ZHANG Biying
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (3): 350-359.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00350
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    Procrastination is defined as a voluntary but irrational delay of an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay. The previous studies have indicated that chronic procrastination exists in different cultural backgrounds, which 15% to 20% adults are chronically procrastinators, and more than 70% students admit to academic procrastination, with approximately 16% of them experiencing severe procrastination problem. Procrastination not only impacts people's study, work performance, but also impairs physical and mental health. However, procrastination has complex psychological process, including at least three stages, such as evaluation, decision-making and execution. To date, the cognitive neural mechanism of procrastination behavior was still unclear with a lack of causal evidence. Therefore, based on the time decision model of procrastination and the triple neural structure network model, this project intended to build a cognitive neural model of procrastination, then using cognitive interventions and neural regulation techniques to test it. According to the cognitive neural model of procrastination, this project tried to develop precise intervention plans for procrastination.
    This project was divided into three parts: (1) From the perspective of recording and association research, cognitive behavioral experiments, multimodal neuroimaging methods, such as task state, resting state, structural state, and cognitive neural computational modeling was used to construct a cognitive neural model of procrastination. In the process of building the model, we systematically investigated the corresponding cognitive components and characteristics of neural circuits in the evaluation, decision and execution stages of procrastination. (2) From the perspective of causal/quasi-causal studies, this project manipulated core competencies including episodic prospection, self-control and emotion regulation, in which to investigated the changes before and after the intervention, such as the functional connectivity of the brain network of episodic prospection, and network efficiency. This part intended to further examine and develop the cognitive neural model of procrastination behavior. (3) From the perspective of clinical application, this project developed a screening-diagnosis system for patients with clinical procrastination behavior disorder according to the psychiatric symptom diagnosis system and the criteria of psychosocial impairment. This system would be applied to distinguish patients with mild, moderate and severe procrastination. Based on this, effective intervention programs with distant migration effect for procrastination behavior disorder patients were developed, including cognitive intervention and neuroregulatory treatment strategies.
    To sum up, this project has built a cognitive neural model of procrastination from the perspective of the dynamic psychological process of procrastination, and improved it through the causal manipulation of cognitive intervention and neural regulation. This study not only reaped important theoretical contribution to the exploration of the core cognitive neural mechanisms of procrastination, but also obtained practical implications for the effective prevention and precise treatments of procrastination.

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    A meta-analysis of the relationship between perceived social support and student academic achievement: The mediating role of student engagement
    WU Jiahui, FU Hailun, ZHANG Yuhuan
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (4): 552-569.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00552
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    Academic achievement can be considered as a measure of student's knowledge level and adaptation to school. As a valid indicator for quantitatively assessing the effectiveness of national education, academic achievement has become a key concern for students, parents, schools, and society. While intrinsic motivation is important in the process of increasing academic achievement goals, extrinsic support is equally essential for students. In recent years, empirical studies based on social cognitive theory have analyzed the relationship between social support and academic achievement, revealing that perceived social support is more predictive and functional. With continuing advances in developmental psychology, current research is increasingly focusing on the mediating mechanisms between perceived social support and academic achievement. Student engagement is a specific indicator of student involvement in the learning process and an important measure of learning competence; thus, it can positively and significantly predict academic achievement. However, there are no uniform findings on how perceived social support and its sub-indicators affect academic achievement, and the extent to which both are influenced by student engagement factors has not thus far been definitively addressed. In addition, the current meta-analysis failed to comprehensively validate the correlation between perceived social support and academic achievement, exploring only the relationship between the three indicators of perceived social support and academic achievement, and the study tended to focus on a single dimension such as autonomy support. Moreover, current meta-analyses have not yet comprehensively revealed the mediating role of student engagement, with most studies focusing on integrating effect sizes and exploring possible moderating variables, using samples that do not involve mediating variables or the studies have devoted themselves to exploring the effects of multiple factors (e.g., individuals' cognitive and non-cognitive factors) and their chained relationships on academic achievement, with inclusion samples covering multiple mediating variables. In light of this, the current study classified perceived social support based on the microsystems that most directly influence student development in ecological systems theory and used meta-analysis to obtain reliable estimates of effect sizes, mediating effects of student engagement, and a range of moderating effects in conjunction with self-system processes theory. A total of 41 empirical research and 78 studies were included through literature retrieval. The results were as follows: (1) There was a significant positive correlation between perceived social support and its sub-indicators and academic achievement; however, because the effect values were small, a weak correlation was indicated, with perceived social support as a whole having the strongest correlation, followed by perceived teacher support, perceived parental support, and perceived peer support. In addition, perceived social support and its sub-indicators were found to be positively related to student engagement. The effect of perceived social support and its sub-indicators on student engagement was higher than academic achievement. (2) Student grade moderated the relationship between perceived teacher support and academic achievement only. Academic achievement indicators moderated the link between perceived social support and its sub-indicators and academic achievement, while the moderating effects of economic level and cultural background on the relationship between perceived social support and its sub-indicators and academic achievement were not significant. (3) The direct effect pathway between perceived social support and its sub-indicators and academic achievement showed a significant positive correlation. Student engagement partially mediated the effect of perceived social support and its sub-indicators on academic achievement. In addition, the partial mediating effect of student engagement was only significant for students in the junior high school group and not for the senior high school group.

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    The effect of external rewards on declarative memory
    WANG Songxue, CHENG Si, JIANG Ting, LIU Xun, ZHANG Mingxia
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (1): 78-86.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00078
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    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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    Human-agent collaborative decision-making in intelligent organizations: A perspective of human-agent inner compatibility
    HE Guibing, CHEN Cheng, HE Zetong, CUI Lidan, LU Jiaqi, XUAN Hongzhou, LIN Lin
    Advances in Psychological Science    2022, 30 (12): 2619-2627.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.02619
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    The era of artificial intelligence has already arrived. With the rapid development of intelligent technology, more and more companies are adopting this technology into their business processes to enhance their core competitiveness. Subsequently, human-agent collaborative work is becoming common, and human-agent collaborative decision-making (HACDM) is evolving as a new form of organizational decision-making. However, evidence shows that HACDM still faces challenges, such as low trust and controllability toward agents, low transparency of agents, and low collaboration between humans and agents. Therefore, how these challenges can be overcome to improve the decision quality, decision efficiency, and user experience of HACDM is crucial to the field of organizational decision-making.
    This project suggests that human-agent compatibility, especially human-agent inner compatibility (HAIC) which consists of cognitive, affective, and value compatibility, might be the fundamental factor affecting the performance of HACDM. Following the perspective of HAIC theory and using the multi-disciplinary methods from psychology, cognitive science, and organizational behavior, we intend to 1) reveal the existing problems within HACDM; 2) explore the impact of HAIC on the process and performance of HACDM; 3) propose methods to improve the performance of HACDM. Thus, this project consists of three studies. Study 1 aims to investigate real-world intelligent organizations to uncover the current usage of agents, the willingness of human employees and managers to collaborate with agents, and the possible problems within HACDM. Based on the findings of study 1, study 2 adopts HAIC theory as its framework and explores the influence of cognitive, affective, and value compatibilities on the process and performance of HACDM. Finally, study 3 tests the effectiveness of the several methods suggested by HAIC theory for improving HACDM, such as increasing the transparency of agents’ decisions and providing decision feedback to human employees.
    This project’s findings will contribute both theoretically and practically. Theoretically, this project examines the components of HAIC (i.e., cognitive, affective, and value compatibilities) and investigates their influence on HACDM. Thus, it will contribute to the further development of human-agent compatibility theory and human-agent collaboration theory. Practically, the project proposes several methods that can effectively improve the performance of HACDM. Therefore, it will improve the performance of intelligent organizations and promote the intelligentization progress of HACDM.

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    Tainted or elegant? Sexy effect on marketing
    XIE Zhipeng, QIN Huanyu, WANG Ziye, WANG Jingyuan, HE Yi
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (11): 2200-2218.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02200
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    Sexiness refers to an individual’s outward sexual charm or inner sexual attractiveness that is able to attract attention and induce sexual thoughts in others. As one of the most important forms of advertising, sexual advertisements trigger consumers’ sexual associations, emotions, or impulses by incorporating sexual content to promote brands and products. With the development of technology and the economy, the construct of sexual advertisements has become more complicated. New market trends such as “de-sexualization”, “sexual innuendo” and “over-sexualization” have emerged. However, existing theories regarding sexual advertisements cannot meet the needs of the rapidly growing market. Scholars have not yet reached a consensus on the classification of sexual advertisement. In addition, there are many contradictions in the theory and practice of the sexy effect in marketing, accompanied by a fragmented distribution of research fields. Drawing on studies from psychology, sociology, management, and other fields, this paper reviews the categories, effects, mechanisms and boundaries of sexual advertisements. This paper comprehensively and systematically studies sexual advertisements to provide a reference for both scholars and practitioners alike.

    First, this paper classifies sexual advertisements based on three aspects: direct representation, indirect representation, and social relationship representation. We found that sexual advertisements with direct representation may be perceived as immoral by consumers. And indirect representation may be difficult to perceive. Besides, sexual advertisements of social relationship representation can signal social connection and emotion, which can be utilized by the brands. Compared to direct and indirect represented sexual advertisements, the form of social relationship representation is more easily accepted by consumers. That’s why sexual advertisements of social relationship representation are becoming more and more common in recent years.

    Second, sexual advertisements are a powerful tool in marketing, but it is also a double-edged sword. On the one hand, sexual advertisements meet consumers’ compensatory needs by attracting their attention, enhancing their positive attitudes, and promoting manufacturers to realize their marketing goals. On the other hand, advertisements that are focused excessively on sexual content may result in attention loss for the brand. In this case, sexual content may be counterproductive to the brand’s long-term image. Direct sexual arousing advertisements and excessive sexual innuendo are easily perceived by consumers as lacking morality, and more importantly, carry certain legal risks.

    Finally, sexual advertisements influence consumers’ perceptions in different ways. The explanatory mechanism of sexual advertisement has shifted from consumer cognition and physiological impulses to social benefits. This paper specifically explores the mediating mechanism of the effect of sexual advertisements from four aspects, including consumer cognition, physiological motivation, sexual self-schema and social presence. The study shows that sexual advertisements can evoke consumers’ sexual thoughts and change their attitudes toward the advertised brands. However, these effects vary in different contexts. Accordingly, different product types, advertising contexts and individual traits also have an impact on the boundaries of the effects of sexual advertisements.

    As a whole, the concept of sexiness has gone through dramatic changes in recent years. Specifically, consumers are more open towards sexiness due to the changes in social trends and regulations, and the rising social status of women. In addition, the introduction of sub-cultural elements such as anime and manga has enriched the definition of sexiness. In the future, we can focus on these newly-emerged types of sexual advertisements. Moreover, the psychological and social mechanism and moderating effect of sexual advertisements can also be explored in future research. For example, future researchers may pay attention to the perceptual differences in sexiness under different cultural contexts. They may also focus on other interaction effects that could arouse sexual impulses, for example, specific colors and color saturation in advertisements. Also, future research can also explore new channels of sexy content, including AR and VR, etc.

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    Using word embeddings to investigate human psychology: Methods and applications
    BAO Han-Wu-Shuang, WANG Zi-Xi, CHENG Xi, SU Zhan, YANG Ying, ZHANG Guang-Yao, WANG Bo, CAI Hua-Jian
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (6): 887-904.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00887
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    As a fundamental technique in natural language processing (NLP), word embedding quantifies a word as a low-dimensional, dense, and continuous numeric vector (i.e., word vector). This process is based on machine learning algorithms such as neural networks, through which semantic features of a word can be extracted automatically. There are two types of word embeddings: static and dynamic. Static word embeddings aggregate all contextual information of a word in an entire corpus into a fixed vectorized representation. The static word embeddings can be obtained by predicting the surrounding words given a word or vice versa (Word2Vec and FastText) or by predicting the probability of co-occurrence of multiple words (GloVe) in large-scale text corpora. Dynamic or contextualized word embeddings, in contrast, derive a word vector based on a specific context, which can be generated through pre-trained language models such as ELMo, GPT, and BERT. Theoretically, the dimensions of a word vector reflect the pattern of how the word can be predicted in contexts; however, they also connote substantial semantic information of the word. Therefore, word embeddings can be used to analyze semantic meanings of text.
    In recent years, word embeddings have been increasingly applied to study human psychology. In doing this, word embeddings have been used in various ways, including the raw vectors of word embeddings, vector sums or differences, absolute or relative semantic similarity and distance. So far, the Word Embedding Association Test (WEAT) has received the most attention. Based on word embeddings, psychologists have explored a wide range of topics, including human semantic processing, cognitive judgment, divergent thinking, social biases and stereotypes, and sociocultural changes at the societal or population level. Particularly, the WEAT has been widely used to investigate attitudes, stereotypes, social biases, the relationship between culture and psychology, as well as their origin, development, and cross-temporal changes.
    As a novel methodology, word embeddings offer several unique advantages over traditional approaches in psychology, including lower research costs, higher sample representativeness, stronger objectivity of analysis, and more replicable results. Nonetheless, word embeddings also have limitations, such as their inability to capture deeper psychological processes, limited generalizability of conclusions, and dubious reliability and validity. Future research using word embeddings should address these limitations by (1) distinguishing between implicit and explicit components of social cognition, (2) training fine-grained word vectors in terms of time and region to facilitate cross-temporal and cross-cultural research, and (3) applying contextualized word embeddings and large pre-trained language models such as GPT and BERT. To enhance the application of word embeddings in psychological research, we have developed the R package “PsychWordVec”, an integrated word embedding toolkit for researchers to study human psychology in natural language.

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    The influence of loneliness on consumption behavior and its theoretical explanations
    LI Ting, KONG Xiangbo, WANG Fenghua
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (6): 1078-1093.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.01078
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    Loneliness has become an increasingly common social phenomenon that is widespread at all ages and has an impact on people's daily lives in modern societies. Loneliness is a painful emotional experience that individuals subjectively perceive when the quality of intimate or social relationships does not meet ideal expectations or when they cannot satisfy their need to belong. Recent research findings regarding the impact of loneliness on consumption behavior have contributed greatly to the field of consumer behavior. However, the results of existing research are inconsistent and it is still unclear how loneliness affects consumption behavior. As a consequence, the field of consumer behavior is rather constrained in terms of research development and marketing strategy. In light of the importance of loneliness in the field of consumer behavior, this article systematically reviews the research findings of the influence of loneliness on consumption behavior in order to solve the above problems.
    First of all, this article summarizes and generalizes the widely used manipulation methods (including the feedback-evoked method, recall-evoked method, imagination-evoked method, and cue-evoked method) and measurement tools (i.e., the UCLA loneliness scale) for loneliness. Secondly, this article summarizes the effects of loneliness on consumption behavior from four aspects, including compensatory consumption behavior, avoidance consumption behavior, irrational consumption behavior, and uniqueness consumption behavior, respectively. Thirdly, this article analyzes and sorts out the triggering mechanisms and situational factors of loneliness-induced consumption behaviors, respectively. According to the Evolutionary Theory of Loneliness, this article contends that, the psychological needs (e.g., seeking social connection, restoring a sense of control, and seeking a sense of meaning in life) activated by transiently lonely consumers, who are influenced by the approach motive for restoring self-difference, will induce compensatory consumption behaviors. The social avoidance tendency activated by chronically lonely consumers, who are influenced by the avoidance motive for self-preservation in the short term, will induce avoidance consumption behaviors. At the same time, constant vigilance for social threats and the negative emotions it produces (e.g., anxiety) due to social avoidance may deplete lonely consumers’ self-regulatory resources, which will induce irrational consumption behaviors. The need for uniqueness activated by chronically lonely consumers, who are influenced by the avoidance motive for self-preservation in the long term, will induce uniqueness consumption behavior. In addition, loneliness motivates consumers to induce these above consumption behaviors will be influenced by factors such as consumers' intimacy status, marketing strategies, product attributes, and consumption contexts. Finally, the article explains the influence mechanisms of loneliness on various types of consumption behaviors based on different perspectives such as social surrogacy theory, sense of control theory, compensatory consumption behavior theory, self-regulation theory, and personality trait theory.
    Although many valuable results have been obtained from existing research on the effects of loneliness on consumer behavior, there are still some key issues that need to be addressed by future research. This article proposes that future research shall pay more attention to the impact of loneliness on altruistic consumption behavior (e.g., examining the effects of loneliness on pro-social consumption behavior or sustainable consumption behavior), the differential effects of type and degree of loneliness on consumption behavior (e.g., examining the differential effects of transient and chronic loneliness on consumption behavior), the potential moderators of loneliness-induced consumption behavior (e.g., exploring the boundary variables of loneliness-induced consumption behavior in terms of consumers' physiological activities, personality traits, and social characteristics), the internal mechanisms of loneliness-induced consumption behavior (e.g., attempting to explore the internal mechanisms of loneliness-induced consumption behavior from the cognitive-emotional dual processing path), as well as the reverse impact of consumption behavior on loneliness (e.g., clarifying the differential effects of consumption behavior on individual loneliness in the short and long term).

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    The influence of social identity on depression and its theoretical explanation
    YAN Lei, YUAN Yiren, WANG Juan, ZHANG Yanhong, YANG Linchuan
    Advances in Psychological Science    2023, 31 (4): 657-668.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.00657
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    In recent years, researchers have begun to study the causes of depression from the perspective of social identity (The Social Identity Approach). These studies suggested two broad categories: single-multiple and static-dynamic. Single-multiple refers to whether researchers focus on the degree of individual identification with a particular group or the number of groups that individuals identify with when examining social identity. Static-dynamic focuses on an individual’s identity at a specific time or an identity change before and after life transitions (such as further education, immigration, and others). Therefore, the investigation of social identity can be divided into four situations: static single (identity degree), dynamic single (identity importance), static multiple (identity group number), and dynamic multiple (identity change). They had a positive effect on depression overall. However, the importance of identity in stigmatized groups and its loss in changes worsen depression. Regarding mediating mechanisms, researchers believe that social identity can alleviate depression by satisfying needs. Furthermore, it can reduce it by changing individuals' cognition and behavior. These mediating factors can be divided into three aspects: need, cognition, and behavior.
    Regarding theoretical explanation, Haslam et al. (2009) were the first to propose using the social identity perspective to explain mental health phenomena explicitly. They regarded this field as an important research trend. Four theories have been proposed to explain the relationship between social identity and depression. First, the Social Cure proposes that the psychological resources associated with group identity have a protective effect on individual mental health. Second, the Social Identity Model of Depression is the first to define it from a social identity perspective, proposing four key psychological resources (meaning, social influence, social support, and belonging) for depression. Third, the Social Identity Model of Identity Change shifts to a dynamic perspective, arguing that social identity continuity and gain pathway plays an essential role in life change. Finally, the hierarchical interaction model emphasizes that social identity has different levels, and these have various underlying psychological mechanisms.
    Future research should be carried out from three aspects. (1) In the deep influence mechanism of social identity on depression, we should examine whether it increases an individual's interpersonal support and sense of belonging. However, more importantly, we should examine whether the meaning (target, significance, and values) and influence (such as group norms) are beneficial to physical and mental health. When the group’s meaning and influence are detrimental to an individual's physical and mental health, social support and a sense of belonging can increase this detrimental effect, leading to increased depression. (2) Use empirical research to test the moderating factors proposed by previous theoretical explanations from three aspects: individual, group, and intergroup. Examples include group type (category/interaction group), normative content (positive/negative), identity compatibility, and the role of group performance. (3) Construct an agency-communion model of social identity affecting depression. This model could simultaneously explain the four pathways of social identity’s influence on depression, simplifying psychological resources into agency (meaning and social influence) and communion (social support and sense of belonging). Their mediating effects correspond one-to-one with the four situations of social identity. The model proposes the moderating role of the content of agency psychological resources, such as the meaning and social influence are detrimental to individual physical and mental health, the performance of group "failures," and the conflict of multiple identities.

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