ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R


    For Selected: Toggle Thumbnails
    Conceptual Framework
    Public service motivation in the Chinese context: Theory construction and workplace consequences
    WEN Bo, TAO Lei
    2022, 30 (2):  239-254.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00239
    Abstract ( 1405 )   HTML ( 107 )  
    PDF (681KB) ( 1876 )  

    Crystalizing the consensual notions of public service motivation (PSM) in the Chinese context serves as a requisite condition for China to forge a committed public workforce and improve its public human resource management strategies. Existing research on PSM, albeit copious, overlooks its massive conceptual divergence between Chinese and Western contexts. Moreover, current PSM studies have paid scant attention to the micro-intervention mechanisms of PSM and its negative behavioral impacts. This research hence aims to develop an integrated PSM theory in the Chinese context through investigating its core components, activation mechanism and workplace consequences. Specifically, this study conceptualizes PSM as a mixed-motives construct. By virtue of a grounded theory approach, we will then identify the core components of PSM among front-line employees and subsequently develop a measurement scale fitting the Chinese context. Through the lens of micro-interventions, additionally, this study will examine the effects of beneficiary contacts, self-advocacy, and idea reflections on activating public servants’ PSM. Finally, this study will investigate the mechanisms underlying both desirable and undesirable effects of PSM on public employees. In a nutshell, the furtherance and completion of this study will not only echo an enduring scholarly call for the establishment of localized PSM theories cast against the Chinese background, but also generate ample evidence-based policy implications about the approaches through which the work motivation and job performance of Chinese public employees can be viably augmented.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Neuroplasticity induced by working memory training: A spatio-temporal model of decreased distribution in brain regions based on fMRI experiments
    CHEN Xingming, FU Tong, LIU Chang, ZHANG Bin, FU Yunfa, LI Enze, ZHANG Jian, CHEN Shengqiang, DANG Caiping
    2022, 30 (2):  255-274.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00255
    Abstract ( 862 )   HTML ( 51 )  
    PDF (4027KB) ( 1039 )  

    Working memory training (WMT) induces neuroplasticity, but its specific mechanism remains unclear. In order to explore the spatio-temporal characteristics of brain function changes induced by WMT, the findings of 37 fMRI papers on WMT in normal population over the last 20 years were investigated with a step-by-step approach, including 5 methods and the following 6 steps, as well as with two assumptions based on the two theories— “Extended Parieto-Frontal Integration Theory” (ExtPFIT) and “neuro efficiency hypothesis”. Step 1, the changes of activation pattern and function connectivity in various brain regions before and after WMT among the 37 papers were compared using descriptive review, frequency analysis and Chi-square test. It was found that 5 association areas, 7 macro regions and 3 sub-regions of the brain were changed by WMT. Especially, the number of articles reporting decreased activation in 3 sub-regions—superior frontal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule and cingulate gyrus was more than that reporting increased activation in them, and this difference was statistically significant. Step 2, 26 out of the 37 papers were used to conduct meta-analysis with activation likelihood estimation method, and it showed that 3 sub-regions with the statistically significant effects in their decreased activation were middle frontal gyrus (BA6 and 8), superior frontal gyrus (BA6) and anterior cingulate gyrus (BA24 and 32). Step 3, based on the comprehensive results of qualitative and quantitative research analyses, a spatio-temporal model of decreased distribution in brain regions of WMT was proposed, and there were 5 results and their discussions obtained with the said model. Step 4, 31 out of the 37 papers were analyzed using non-parametric tests to check the factors that possibly regulated the training effect of WMT, which showed that the respective effect of task type and time of the training on brain activation had statistically significant. Step 5, according to the above analyses, 3 conclusions were drawn regarding the spatio-temporal characteristics of the neuroplasticity induced by WMT in normal population, i.e. 1) WMT can either weaken or enhance the brain activities, and the weakening effect appears more prominent. In addition, updating and shorter time of WMT tend to induce more weakening effects; 2) Such changes occur mostly in the frontal-parietal association area, but also possibly in the temporal lobe, occipital lobe, cingulate gyrus, striatum and other association areas, which reflects the whole brain functional association within a certain range. It highlights the spatial characteristics of the neuroplasticity, which fits in easily with ExtPFIT; 3) The 4 sub-regions of the middle frontal gyrus, superior frontal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule and cingulate gyrus (anterior in particular) in decreased activation mainly reflect the spatial characteristics of the neuroplasticity which fits in easily with “neural efficiency hypothesis” and “smarter brains may be slightly lazier”. Step 6, it was proposed that further research of the neuroplasticity induced by WMT was to possibly focus on low brain activity on its plasticity, distinguish the temporal characteristics of the training effect reflected in 4 sub-regions of middle frontal gyrus, superior frontal gyrus, inferior parietal lobule and cingulate gyrus (anterior in particular), as well as to probe the comprehensive influencing factors that increase or decrease the brain activities.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    The association between peer victimization and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents: A three-level meta-analysis
    CHEN Jing, RAN Guangming, ZHANG Qi, NIU Xiang
    2022, 30 (2):  275-290.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00275
    Abstract ( 837 )   HTML ( 145 )  
    PDF (823KB) ( 1242 )  

    Aggressive behavior plays an important role in the social, emotional and psychological adjustment of children and adolescents. Children and adolescents with aggressive behavior are prone to violate social moral norms, and even commit crimes in serious cases. It is noted that peer victimization is an important predictor of aggressive behavior. Peer victimization refers to that individuals have experienced attacks by peers, such as physical and verbal victimization, attacks on property and social manipulation. Children and adolescents who have been victimized by peers will characterize the attacker as hostility, which will be generalized to the whole peer group, thus showing more aggressive behavior in future interpersonal communication. Several previous studies have examined the relationship between peer victimization and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents. However, due to differences in research design and inconsistent results, there is still some uncertainty about the relationship between peer victimization and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents, and the moderating effect on this relationship is not fully clear. Therefore, the present study employed a three-level meta-analysis to quantitatively synthesize the results of original literatures to obtain reliable estimates of effect sizes and examined a range of moderators (sample, publication, study design, outcome, and assessment characteristics). Through the retrieval of articles published before October 2020, the current meta-analysis identified 40 studies, with 25,605 participants (range of mean age: 6 ~ 19 years) and 333 independent effect sizes. The funnel plot and Egger's test results suggested an absence of publication bias in current meta-analysis. Analysis revealed a significant positive association between peer victimization and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents (r = 0.295, p < 0.001), implying that children and adolescents showed a higher level of aggressive behavior when they experienced higher level of peer victimization. In addition, the present study found a significant moderating effect of peer victimization variable. Compared with physical victimization (r = 0.219, p = 0.005), the association between relational victimization (r = 0.298, p = 0.005) and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents was stronger. Moreover, the overall association was influenced by region. Aggressive behavior in children and adolescents was more strongly associated with peer victimization in Asia (r = 0.351, p = 0.006) than in South America (r = 0.149, p = 0.006). Study design was also a significant moderator. The association between peer victimization and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents was smaller in longitudinal (r = 0.234, p = 0.014) than in cross-sectional studies (r = 0.339, p = 0.014). Finally, the moderator analyses also showed that the informant of peer victimization was a significant moderator. The strength of the association between peer victimization and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents was significantly stronger when peer victimization was reported by teachers (r = 0.476, p = 0.023) than by peers (r = 0.290, p = 0.023). In addition, the present study found that the overall association between peer victimization and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents did not differ in strength across gender, age, publication, variable and informant of aggressive behavior. Moreover, to eliminate the multicollinearity between moderators, the current study built a multivariate model by including all significant moderators that had been identified in the bivariate models. The result indicated that at least one of the regression coefficients of moderators significantly deviates from zero (F (12, 316) = 3.973, p < 0.001). In sum, the results of the current meta-analysis contribute to a better understanding of the association between peer victimization and aggressive behavior in children and adolescents. These results also provide a reference for future empirical studies on explaining aggressive behavior in children and adolescents.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Regular Articles
    The incubation effect of creative thinking
    LI Ziyi, ZHANG Ze, ZHANG Ying, LUO Jing
    2022, 30 (2):  291-307.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00291
    Abstract ( 1120 )   HTML ( 122 )  
    PDF (786KB) ( 1489 )  

    Incubation effect refers to the phenomenon that when people are confronted with an unsolvable problem, they temporarily put it aside and switch to complete other irrelevant tasks instead, which is beneficial to the ultimate solution of the original problem. In recent years, researchers have conducted extensive studies on incubation effect of creative thinking and its influences, and put forward many theories to explain incubation effect. The representative theories include “selective forgetting theory”, “spreading activation and cue assimilation theory” and “unconscious work theory”. They explain the mechanism of incubation effect from different perspectives and predict different influences and phenomena respectively. For example, the attention-withdrawal theory supposes that the length of incubation will not influence the incubation effect. And the forgetting-fixation theory recommended a longer break to incubate. Furthermore, some factors are mentioned in many theories, such as the length of incubation and the length of preparation period. So the empirical researches about them can be explained by these related theories. While some factors are only mentioned by a few theories. For example, the function of beneficial cues can only be explained by the opportunistic assimilation theory. However, the research field of incubation effect has begun to combine with mind wandering and sleep. Many of the results of these studies are difficult to be well explained by the above theories, but should be explained in the light of the characteristics of mind wandering and sleep. Until now, related researches of mind wandering and sleep further shed light on the mechanism behind incubation effect. For example, mind wandering increases unconscious associate processing to serve creative problem-solving. Sleep, as a special long period of incubation, may promote problem solving through various mechanisms such as the reconstruction of memory representation and the reactivation of memory. But there is also conflicting evidence as to whether mind wandering and sleep promote the incubation effect. There are many studies that have failed to prove the effect of mind wandering and sleep on creative problem solving. The psychological processes underlying the incubation effect includes at least two cognitive components: the transformation of problem representation and the formation of remote associations. Different brain mechanisms are responsible for these two basic components. During the incubation period, memory systems are regulated by the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to break the fixation caused by false assumptions. The cooperation of right frontal lobe, temporal lobe and parietal lobe was beneficial to assimilation of beneficial cues. The striatum-hippocampus-prefrontal lobe network continued to catalyze the reconstruction of representations during incubation period. Mind wandering promotes insight through the interaction of the medial temporal lobe, default network and executive network. The research on sleep can reflect the mechanism of long-term incubation in real life, and future research can further investigate the role of different sleep stages and their corresponding brain mechanisms. Future research needs to improve the ecological validity of relevant studies, promote the development of incubation theories, improve reproducibility, explore the positive factors that promote the incubation effect, and pay attention to the relationship between the incubation effect and emotion or other non-cognitive factors.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Identifying people based on physiognomy: Explanations from cognitive perspective
    ZHANG Chao, WEI Xuhua, LI Yingming
    2022, 30 (2):  308-323.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00308
    Abstract ( 2402 )   HTML ( 139 )  
    PDF (952KB) ( 2986 )  

    Physiognomy is an important factor in identifying and inferring the individual traits and behaviors. However, its internal mechanism still needs to be further explored. Physiognomy usually refers to individual facial features, mainly including partial features and overall features. The partial features of facial features include the size and shape of the five sense organs, and the thickness of hair, while the overall features of facial features include objective facial width-to-height ratio and subjective facial attractiveness. Based on general cognitive perspective and evolutionary cognitive perspective, then combined with the local and overall features of physiognomy, this paper expounds the process and effect of judging people by physiognomy.

    The general cognitive perspective emphasizes that people study the process of cognition from the perspective of information processing, which emphasizes the process of perception. The individual’s response to physiognomy is mainly a by-product of the brain’s processing of information, which is the processing mechanism for general information. Based on stereotypes, halo effects, status generalization theory, and social information processing theory, scholars use different cognitive processing systems to illustrate the process of getting to know people and their effects. Specifically, local features such as the size and shape of the five sense organs, the thickness of the hair, and overall features such as the facial width-to-height ratio and facial attractiveness can affect individual recognition of traits such as empathy, friendliness, extroversion, self-confidence, narcissism, aggression, dominance and criminological inheritance through different cognitive processing systems. Observers’ subsequent behaviors is based on the individual traits’ information recognized by the physiognomy. On the one hand, people will judge their income, ability, and social level based on the identified individual traits. On the other hand, these individual traits play an important role in the trust decision-making, the recruitment and promotion decision-making process. All in all, physiognomy affects the recognition of individual traits through various cognitive processing systems, and these traits play important roles in judgment (ability, income, social hierarchy) and decision-making (trust, recruitment, promotion).

    Compared with the general cognitive perspective, the evolutionary cognitive perspective emphasizes that in the process of processing information, people will identify which cues are related to health, survival, propagation and adaptation to the environment according to the evolutionary needs. Based on evolutionary theory, evolutionary intrasexual competition theory and the good genes theory, scholars have discussed how to know people and its effect through two different evolutionary selection mechanisms: natural selection and sexual selection. The observer uses the gene as the driving force to identify the observed physiognomy. Observers assessed marital satisfaction, life satisfaction and happiness based on the health and genetic status they identified. In order to meet the needs of evolution and survival, people will choose a mate according to the health and genetic status of the individual identified when observing facial features, combined with the evolutionary law of "survival of the fittest". In conclusion, physiognomy plays an important role in evaluating individual health and genetic status through various evolutionary selection mechanisms, and thus has an important influence on judgment (marriage satisfaction, happiness, life satisfaction) and mate selection decision.

    In addition, the effect of physiognomy on individual life depends on the situations and individual traits. The decision situation of the face viewer, the cultural context of the face owner, and the individual traits of the face viewer and the face owner all influence the effect of physiognomy’s identification. Future research should investigate the interaction among different physiognomy features, and explore the boundary conditions that influence the effect of facial recognition. Furthermore, it is necessary to improve the external validity of the research through big data analysis, and pay more attention to physiognomy features modified by epigenetics on individuals. It is also important to conduct research within the domestic context. In doing so, it will help enrich physiognomy-related research and build a more systematic physiognomy theory.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Affective function of touch and the neurophysiological mechanism
    YANG Yi, LI Dong, CUI Qian, JIANG Zhongqing
    2022, 30 (2):  324-332.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00324
    Abstract ( 1263 )   HTML ( 96 )  
    PDF (609KB) ( 1357 )  

    Touch is an important sensory channel for individuals to explore the external world in everyday life. The sense of touch helps us to discriminate the location of a stimulus on the skin surface, to identify the shape, size and texture of objects. However, touch can also be affective. The motivational-affective dimension of touch is involved in coding its valence and motivational relevance. This aspect of tactile sensation plays an important role in maintaining social bonding and promoting interpersonal communication.

    The affective function of interpersonal touch can be achieved through unimodal presentations or multimodal information integration processing. That is, tactile action itself, either a strong handshake or a tender hug, can directly convey emotions. Although the accuracy of decoding six basic emotions (anger, fear, happiness, sadness, disgust, and surprise) from interpersonal touch are slightly less than from the facial expression and vocal information, interpersonal touch has advantages in conveying social emotions such as "love", "gratitude" and "sympathy". Such advantages reflect the important significance of affective touch in establishing social bonding and promoting cooperative relationships. Further more, the affective meaning and social attributes carried by interpersonal touch can provide social background for emotion of other modal (e.g., visual or auditory) information processing, so as to enhance participants’ attention and to sharpen their social evaluation of emotional cues.

    Compared with sensory-discriminative subsystem, the motivational-affective subsystem has a special neurophysiological mechanism. For example, C-tactile (CT) afferents are strongly implicated as the neurobiological substrate underlying the affective property of touch. CTs, a class of slowly conducting mechanoreceptors, are specially tuned to the properties of human physical contact. They fire maximally to skin-temperature, light-pressure stroking at a rate of 1-10 cm per s. C-tactile-mediated affective tactile stimulation project in spinothalamic tract (STT) pathway (the spinal signaling of orofacial C-fiber mediated affective touch is still unclear), bypass the primary somatosensory cortex, directly project to the insular cortex, and then process in the amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) and other core areas of the “social brain” neural network. In addition, evidence from EEG research shows that, beta oscillation at parietal scalp sites, may be related to the affective representation of tactile stimuli, and theta oscillation at frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital scalp sites, may reflect an attentional-emotional regulatory mechanism of affective touch.

    Another complex facet of touch is that, affective touch would be complicated by its inextricable links to context, gender and sexuality, culture, and other individual, interpersonal, and societal factors. Moreover, learned from the previous research on facial emotion perception, a considerable body of work about affective touch are also around the topic of coding-decoding of basic emotions, so that the results fail to fully reveal the specificity of tactile channel in transmitting social emotions. Therefore, we should pay more attention to top-down contextual factors in the future researches, such as personal relationship, cultural difference, and social context, that may influence how to define and interpret the emotion and motivation of interpersonal touch. Meanwhile, although the time course of emotional touch perception was explored with electrophysiological measures, however no clear index has been identified till now. In addition, in order to reveal the relevance and independence between the sensory-discriminative and motivational-affective subsystems, such as activation likelihood estimate (ALE) meta-analysis and meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) analysis can be used to reveal the cortical functional neuroanatomy supporting a distinction between affective and discriminative touch.

    References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Neural mechanisms and time course of the age-related word frequency effect in language production
    ZHANG Lina, XUAN Bin
    2022, 30 (2):  333-342.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00333
    Abstract ( 423 )   HTML ( 32 )  
    PDF (605KB) ( 464 )  

    The word frequency effect refers to the phenomenon of processing high-frequency words faster and more accurately than processing low-frequency words in language production. As the age increases in adulthood, the word frequency effect will also change. The Transmission Deficit Hypothesis suggests that ageing weakens the connection between the stored language information nodes, and the word frequency effect increases further. In contrast, according to the Rank Frequency Account, the relative word frequency and the word frequency effect remain unchanged; thus, it can be deduced that ageing does not change the word frequency effect. Furthermore, the Logogen Model assumes that the word frequency decreases with an increase in experience and contact, thereby predicting a reduction of the word frequency effect as the age increases.

    There are differences in the age-related word frequency effect in language production. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the word frequency effect among the elder is greater than that among the young. However, some studies have shown that elderly people have less or no difference in the word frequency effect in comparison with young people, suggesting that the differences in the word frequency effect depending on age may be caused by differences in tasks, stimuli, and individual cognitive abilities. However, the word frequency effect is relatively stable throughout the life cycle. More precisely, it is more difficult to name low-frequency words than high-frequency words for both the young and the elder. There is an age difference between the young and the elder in processing low-frequency words. Compared with the elder, the younger people have higher accuracy and higher activation levels in language-related brain areas (e.g., insula and middle temporal gyrus) and cognitive control-related brain areas (e.g., cingulate cortex). Moreover, there are differences in the word frequency effect between the verb naming task and the noun naming task. In the action picture naming task, high-frequency words activate specific brain regions, whereas in the object naming task, only low-frequency words activate of specific brain regions.

    The word frequency effect may occur in different stages of language production. Previous studies have demonstrated that the word frequency effect may occur in the lemma selection, the connection stage between lemma selection and phonological code retrieval or in the phonological code retrieval in spoken language production. The word frequency effect in writing production appears later than in spoken language production and may occur in the orthographic word form. In addition, there are differences in the time course of the word frequency effect between the younger and older individuals. For the elder, with an increase in age a decline in general cognitive ability, the time course of the word frequency effect is slightly delayed when compared with the young.

    Some studies also explored the change in the word frequency effect in patients with degenerative diseases, suggesting that it can be used as a sensitive indicator for early detection and diagnosis of related diseases. The word frequency effect and the acquisition age effect both impact on the word processing, however, during different stages. The acquisition age affects the visual and semantic processing of the vocabulary, whereas the word frequency effect merely acts on vocabulary retrieval. In the future, we can further distinguish the influence of word frequency effect from the age of acquisition effect on ageing effect of language production, and extend the studies to patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Developmental dyslexia and cerebellar abnormalities: Multiple roles of the cerebellum and causal relationships between the two
    LI Hehui, HUANG Huiya, DONG Lin, LUO Yuejia, TAO Wuhai
    2022, 30 (2):  343-353.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00343
    Abstract ( 514 )   HTML ( 34 )  
    PDF (593KB) ( 632 )  

    Developmental dyslexia (hereafter referred as "dyslexia") will not only affect the lifelong development of individuals but also impose an additional financial burden on society. Digging into the relevant neural mechanisms contributes to the early prediction and intervention of dyslexia. Established models of the neural bases of dyslexia primarily focused on the cerebrum. In recent years, extensive studies have shown that dyslexia is also associated with cerebellar abnormalities. However, it remains unclear about the relationships between the two.

    By summarizing recent findings, we found that the cerebellum could play multiple roles in reading. First, it could influence reading in different ways. Cerebellar dysfunctions could impair reading by affecting motor or motor-related skills (such as oculomotor control, automatization, or articulation), or by disturbing linguistic-related processes (such as phonological or semantic processing). Second, different subtypes of dyslexia are associated with abnormalities in distinct cerebellar regions. For example, dyslexic readers with automatization deficits showed abnormal neural activities in the anterior parts of the cerebellum, which were responsible for motor processing, whereas dyslexic readers suffering from visual and phonological deficits were associated with the abnormalities in the gray matter volume of the posterolateral areas of the cerebellum, which were mainly responsible for high-level cognitive processing. These results indicate that the relationship between dyslexia and the cerebellum is not unitary. There may exist multiple cerebellar areas being targeted by dyslexia, which also contribute differently to reading.

    The causal relationships between cerebellar abnormalities and dyslexia might be bi-directional. Previous literature found that structural deficits in the posterolateral parts of the cerebellum were only associated with dyslexia compared to other development disorders (i.e., ADHD, autism) that may coexist with dyslexia. This result suggests that neural abnormalities in these areas were due to deficits in reading abilities rather than other comorbidities. Additionally, these regions vary in their causal relationships with dyslexia. For example, activation in the anterior parts of the right lobule VI, responsible for motor processing, showed greater activation or functional connectivity with the cerebrum in dyslexic readers compared to normal readers. These increased neural activities may be the compensatory mechanisms of dyslexia and a by-product of reading difficulties. In contrast, neural activities of the cerebellar areas responsible for linguistic processing (i.e., the right lobule VII) could predict future reading abilities, indicating that the functional state of the cerebellum in early developmental stages may influence reading development. Moreover, functional deactivations in the cerebellar linguistic areas have been observed in preschool readers with a high risk of dyslexia, suggesting that cerebellar abnormalities have occurred before formal reading instruction. These results jointly support that cerebellar abnormalities may be the cause of dyslexia.

    The results mentioned above illustrate that the cerebellum is more than a reading-related hub. There could be multiple cerebellar regions that are engaged in reading, with different regions supporting different cognitive processes and having distinct causal relationships with dyslexia. Accordingly, we introduced the "cerebro-cerebellar mapping hypothesis of word reading", which proposed that reading-related regions in the cerebellum map to their functional correspondence areas in the cerebrum. Regions with the same functions across the cerebrum and cerebellum synchronized in neural activities and collaborated during reading. Dysfunctions of this collaboration may lead to dyslexia. This new framework aims to reveal the relationship between reading, the cerebellum, and the cerebrum from a new perspective, and offers important insights into the neural mechanism of dyslexia and the role of the cerebellum in high-level cognitive processing.

    References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Shared vs. private aesthetic tastes: The cognitive and neural mechanisms
    HU Jia-Bao, LEI Yang, DING Xian-Feng, CHENG Xiao-Rong, FAN Zhao
    2022, 30 (2):  354-364.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00354
    Abstract ( 769 )   HTML ( 77 )  
    PDF (621KB) ( 819 )  

    Shared and private aesthetic tastes represent universal and idiosyncratic aesthetic processing, respectively. The new trending that combines both aesthetic tastes are challenging pre-existing “universal” aesthetic principles. Previous research focused mainly on whether aesthetic principles were statistically universal, neglecting the fact that aesthetic attributes can cause different reactions among individuals. This contradictory relationship between generality and particularity concerns one long-standing but essential topic in aesthetics: is beauty universal and objective or idiosyncratic and highly subjective? If an aesthetic principle is only based on the average aesthetic judgment and is able to ignore the differences of aesthetic experience among individuals, can such an aesthetic principle support the proposition that "beauty is universal"? This is a reflection on empirical aesthetics brought by research on aesthetic tastes. Therefore, if private taste does play a role in aesthetic tastes, then there's no doubt that future studies on empirical aesthetics will have to take into consideration both dependent variables: the average aesthetic reactions and the extent to which such aesthetic reactions differ among individuals. Recent studies on aesthetic tastes have revealed many factors that can modulate the relative weights between shared and private tastes, the most typical of which is stimulus domain. Studies have shown that the proportion of shared taste in artificial stimuli (such as architecture and art) is less than that in natural stimuli (such as faces and landscapes). Other studies further demonstrated that high-level object categories (e.g., faces vs landscapes) can override aesthetic principles based on low-level stimulus features (e.g., symmetry). Besides stimulus domain, other factors, including expertise, cultural backgrounds, previous experience and age, can affect the relative weights between shared and private tastes. Recent fMRI and EEG studies have explored the neural mechanisms of shared and private aesthetic tastes, the basis of which includes sensory pathways and the reward system. Similar sensory “impressions” among individuals triggered by the same aesthetic stimuli may be the prerequisite that aesthetic responses share some commonality among individuals. Meanwhile, the reward system, especially medial orbitofrontal cortex(mOFC), shows homologous activation patterns across different stimulus domains. Therefore, both sensory pathways and the reward system might be the neural basis of shared aesthetic taste. What’s more, studies found that default-mode network (DMN) are suppressed in a task requiring external focus, and are engaged in tasks requiring internally directed thought, such as autobiographical memory and autistic thinking. Given that DMN is typically activated in self-directed thinking, it is possible that DMN is more related to individual differences in aesthetic responses, and plays a more important role in private aesthetic tastes. Furthermore, take example for the PIA model and the VIMAP model, contemporary aesthetic processing models still owe an explanation for aesthetic tastes. And it is yet to clear how different aesthetic processing stages lead to changes in relative weights between shared and private tastes. Two completely opposite predictions and explanations can be reached by these models. The first one is that early stages in aesthetic models are driven more by stimuli, thus leading to more homogeneity in aesthetic responses and greater proportion of shared taste due to the objectivity of stimulus characteristics; in contrast, late aesthetic stages are driven more by perceivers, leading to more proportion of private taste. The other one also makes some sense: in stimulus-driven stages, the general “gist” formed by different perceivers can also be heterogeneous because at these stages individuals process the stimuli incompletely and insufficiently. However, in perceiver-driven stages, individuals process stimuli more intactly and sufficiently, thus it is possible that in these stages perceivers have more similar impressions of the targeted stimuli, resulting in higher proportions of shared taste. In the future, more relevant studies are required to expand stimulus domain of aesthetic evaluation and to explore the corresponding relationship between aesthetic tastes and different aesthetic processing stages.

    References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Cognitive neural mechanisms underlying the impact of oxytocin on fear acquisition and extinction
    FENG Pan, YANG Ke, FENG Tingyong
    2022, 30 (2):  365-374.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00365
    Abstract ( 421 )   HTML ( 35 )  
    PDF (583KB) ( 604 )  

    Fear is a biologically adaptive response to environmental threats, and fear learning plays a key role in adaptive function. However, maladaptive fear learning underlies emotional disorders, such as anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Together with the development of cognitive neuroscience and the integration of multidisciplinary research, the study on the cognitive neural mechanism of fear has become a hot topic in the field of emotion. Using the classical fear conditioning paradigm, researchers have identified the brain circuits of fear learning and extinction. Specifically, extensive imaging researches have revealed several key regions involved in fear acquisition, including the amygdala, insula, dorsal anterior cingulate (dACC) and thalamus. Moreover, the amygdala, hippocampus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) served key roles in fear memory consolidation and reconsolidation, and the amygdala, hippocampus, vmPFC, and dACC are required for fear extinction. Cumulative evidence has suggested that oxytocin plays a crucial role in the process of fear acquisition, fear consolidation and fear extinction. Therefore, firstly, we summarized the paradigms of fear acquisition and fear extinction as well as the cognitive neural mechanisms of fear acquisition and fear extinction based on the fingdings of corresponding meta-analyses. Secondly, we focused on the cognitive neural mechanisms underlying the impact of oxytocin on fear acquisition and fear extinction. Next, we summarized the neurobiological circuits of oxytocin influence on fear emotion processing. Finally, we prospected the future researches on the cognitive neural mechanisms underlying the impact of oxytocin on fear processing. The present study sheds insights into the cognitive neural mechanisms underlying the impact of oxytocin on fear processing. Moreover, the present study provides an potential treatment for the fear-related disorders.

    Oxytocin has been shown to facilitate fear acquisition as it affects brain activity in several regions including amygdala, prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate gyrus, insula and hippocampus, as well as the functional connectivity between them. Oxytocin also enhances fear extinction by regulating amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex activity, as well as enhancing the functional connectivity between prefrontal cortex and amygdala. Furthermore, oxytocin can regulate the activity of the amygdala, anterior cingulate gyrus, insula, hippocampus, vmPFC and other fear-related brain regions, thus affecting the processes of fear acquisition and extinction. Specifically, cumulative evidence has indicated that intranasal oxytocin attenuates amygdala (hyper)activity and enhances functional coupling of the amygdala with the vmPFC and hippocampus, resulting in increased top-down control over the fear response. In addition, intranasal oxytocin has also been found to attenuate amygdala—brainstem connectivity and to change activity and connectivity in nodes of the salience network (i.e., insula and dACC). Furthermore, oxytocin administration may enhance social behavior through modulating the hypothalamus—pituitary—adrenal (HPA) axis and autonomic nervous system (ANS) function, which may provide a potential treatment for the fear-related disorders. However, it should be noted that the dose, time and location of oxytocin injection might have different effects on the processes of fear acquisition and extinction.

    Future studies should focus on gender differences, neural network underlying the impact of oxytocin on fear consolidation and reconsolidation and the pathological study examining oxytocin effect on fear emotion processing to better reveal the cognitive neural mechanisms underlying the impact of oxytocin on.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    The potential role of bone-derived factor ucOCN in the anti-depressive effects of exercise
    CHEN XiangHe, LI WenXiu, LIU Bo, YIN RongBin
    2022, 30 (2):  375-388.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00375
    Abstract ( 395 )   HTML ( 13 )  
    PDF (1354KB) ( 369 )  

    Depression is a major problem in the modern society. The pathogenesis of depression is a research hotspot in the field of neuroscience. The proved mechanisms of depression include monoamine neurotransmitter hypothesis, gene-environment interaction, neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, immune activation and suppression, etc. With the deepening of research, the roles of "brain-gut interaction", "muscle-brain crosstalk", and adipocytokines in the sports antidepressant field has been discovered. As an endocrine organ, the role of bone tissue in anti-depressive exercise remains to be revealed. Based on this, this research innovatively explores the biological effects and mechanisms of uncarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOCN) in exercise anti-depression from the perspective of “bone-brain crosstalk”, and further reveals the relationship between bone endocrine activity and the molecular regulation of sports antidepressant. ucOCN is a specific non-collagen protein secreted by osteoblasts (OB). After entering the blood, it acts on the hippocampus, cingulate gyrus and other brain tissues, and triggers a cascade reaction through targeting cell membrane receptors to regulate neurodevelopment, neuroplasticity and bone endocrine-nerve response system. Exercise promotes the secretion of ucOCN and has a significant antidepressant effect, but there are few studies focusing on the molecular mechanism. Based on integrated biological theory and bone endocrine function, through analysis of current research, we found several mechanisms by which ucOCN mediating exercise antidepressant. Firstly, ucOCN regulates neurotransmitters expression: exercise induces high expression of ucOCN which inhibits γ-amino groups butyric acid (GABA) expression to improve depression-like behavior. Secondly, ucOCN regulates neuroendocrine secretion: ucOCN activates the HPA axis to promote adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), mineralocorticoid, cortisol and other secretions to improve depression-like behavior. In addition, ucOCN also activates G protein-coupled receptors 158 (Gpr158)/brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) pathway to promote neurotransmitter secretion and further regulate depression occurring. Thirdly, ucOCN regulates neuroimmunity: ucOCN activates the ERK and STAT pathways and down-regulates the expression of IL-6 and IL-8 in the hippocampus, and then through malondialdehyde (MDA)/super up-regulation of superoxide dismutase (SOD)/nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2(Nrf2)/heme oxygenase 1(HO1) pathway to increase expression of VGF and BDNF, which further improve depression-like behaviors. Taken together, these results provide a solid theoretical basis for the mechanism of ucOCN in sports anti-depression. We also provides new research directions and ideas for sports anti-depression, and provide a new perspective for enriching the biological mechanism network of sports brain.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Effects of ambient light on mood and its mechanism
    LI Yun, RU Taotao, LI Siyu, CHEN Hanyu, XIE Shuya, ZHOU Guofu
    2022, 30 (2):  389-405.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00389
    Abstract ( 1955 )   HTML ( 186 )  
    PDF (796KB) ( 2180 )  

    As an essential timing factor, ambient light plays a vital role in synchronizing internal biological rhythms with external lighting and dark environments. Meanwhile, ambient light is also a critical mood regulator; its non-image-forming (NIF) effects on mood are especially concerned by researchers. Previous studies have demonstrated that illuminance, correlated color temperature (CCT), and wavelength of ambient illuminance are key physical factors affecting mood. Moreover, unusual lighting patterns such as short lighting periods, artificial lighting during the night, and constant lighting/darkness have destructive effects on emotion and mood that may induce affective disorders such as depression and anxiety.

    To date, the conclusion that short-time light affects emotion is not quite consistent. Studies have found that the NIF effects of short-term light on mood was not only affected by the intensity and spectrum of light, but also modulated by exposure duration, timing, individual characteristics, subjective preferences, and gene types. In a period of time, the longer the subjects received bright light exposure and the earlier they received morning light exposure, the lower their depression score. However, in the short-term lighting experiment of simulating office lighting, prolonged exposure of bright light was not conducive to individuals’ subjective emotional experience; while the positive effect of CCT on emotion may depend on prolonged exposure. It is worth noting that receiving light exposure at different time in a day can advance or delay the circadian rhythms; thus, the timing could also regulate light’s emotional function. In addition, women were found to prefer higher illuminance and lower CCT than men; while young subjects were more sensitive to polychromatic light with shorter wavelength than older subjects. Compared with individuals with PER34/4 genotype, individuals with PER35/5 genotype were more sensitive to light exposure and had a higher risk of depression; the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism was also proved to regulate the effect of light on the functional connectivity of the prefrontal cortex in healthy subjects. Lastly, the mechanisms by which light affects mood are shown from two aspects. On the one hand, the intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells may project light signals to the brain areas responsible for emotion regulation. On the other hand, ambient light may affect mood by altering circadian rhythms, regulating hormone secretion, neurotransmission, and sleep.

    Future research can employ neuroscience technology to simultaneously examine the changes of subjective emotional experience and objective neural activity under multi-levels of illuminance and CCT; and combine multimodal data such as subjective rating, behavioral measurement, physiological response, and neural activity to track the effects of ambient light on mood. Besides, except for the NIF of light, ambient light may convey specific emotional meanings via the visual system, thus leading to various visual experiences transmitted by illuminance or wavelength, or lighting mode (direct or indirect lighting). Therefore, whether the visual perception of light, dominated by rods and cones, also potentially contributes to light's emotional function and how to separate it from the non-visual effects could be a promising direction in future research.

    References | Related Articles | Metrics
    The impact of social media on executive functions: Beneficial or harmful?
    MA Yajie, ZHAO Xin, HE Xiangchun, REN Liping
    2022, 30 (2):  406-413.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00406
    Abstract ( 1446 )   HTML ( 172 )  
    PDF (547KB) ( 1632 )  

    The effect of social media on executive functions remain controversial. Some studies have shown that the use of social media promotes an individual’s executive functions, and some studies have found that social media use has a negative impact on executive functions. Recent studies have shown that, there may be an inverted U-shaped relationship between social media use and individual's executive function, and that social media use does not necessarily impair or promote executive function, but there is an optimal tipping point between the two. Moderate-intensity use of social media is the best level to promote executive functions. This is related to the moderating role played by the intensity of use. The paper first introduces the behavioral evidence that the effect of social media on executive functions, including three parts: positive effects, negative effects, and inverted U-shaped relationships. Secondly, it analyzes the moderating effect of intensity of use in the inverted U-shaped relationship between social media use and executive functions, and attempt to reveal the debate over the pros and cons of social media use on executive functions. Moderate-intensity use of social media will produce a social media flow experience, allowing individuals to filter out various distracting information when faced with various complex information stimuli in social media, focusing on useful information, and target information is constantly being affected. With storage and update, the individual's executive functions (especially the shifting function) get long-term and repeated exercise under such requirements, and finally improve. In addition, the flow experience generated by the use of social media can be used as an intrinsic motivation to increase the interaction of social networks to make positive changes in interpersonal relationships. This provides individuals with continuous social rewards and emotional support. To a certain extent, it buffers the negative impact of excessive use of social media on cognitive function, and slows down the decline of age-related executive functions. However, high-intensity use of social media causes individuals to worry about their performance in the task, which tends to maintain a wider range of attention and is more susceptible to interference from irrelevant information, while low-intensity use of social media causes individuals to be in a state of lack of proactiveness, the psychological effort process of information processing is reduced or even disappeared, which has a negative impact on executive functions.

    Future research in this area should examine the dose-effect of social media use affecting executive functions. The positive impact of social media use on the executive function may require a relatively long and continuous process of using social media. Whether an optimal social media can be determined the level of media usage maximizes individual's executive functions? In addition, previous research mainly focuses on the impact of social media usage frequency on individual's executive functions in daily life, but lacks a single sub-component of the type of social media usage on the executive function investigation of development and changes. In the future, the relationship between different types of social media usage and sub-components of executive function should be further clarified. Finally, the lifting effect of social media may be more significant in groups whose brain structure is in a period of change. Most previous studies only show that the use of social media can change individual's neural pathways or brain response patterns (and little is known about whether changes in the physiological structure of executive function have an impact on the cognitive level of social media users. Future research should combine behavioral and cognitive neurological methods to examine the brain regions of social media users with different cognitive levels in performing specific tasks. The difference in activation makes the neural mechanism of social media use affecting executive function more precise and comprehensive.

    References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Cultural difference in ideal affect and its impact
    ZHOU Xiaoyu, Dannii YEUNG, WANG Danjun, ZHENG Wen, PENG Kaiping
    2022, 30 (2):  414-424.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00414
    Abstract ( 633 )   HTML ( 68 )  
    PDF (763KB) ( 707 )  

    Different from actual affect, ideal affect refers to the emotions that people desire to have (Tsai, 2007). For example, while some individuals want to feel calmness, others want to feel enthusiasm. Affect valuation theory (AVT) differentiates two types of affective experiences, namely ideal affect and actual affect (Tsai, 2007). Actual affect is shaped mainly by temperament, whereas ideal affect is shaped mainly by cultural factors.

    Previous cross-cultural research (e.g., Bencharit et al., 2019) found that compared with Americans who want to feel high arousal positive (HAP) affective states (e.g., excitement), Chinese people want to feel low arousal positive (LAP) affective states (e.g., calmness).

    Culture shapes ideal affect mainly through cultural exposure, cultural values, and social cultural changes. Specifically, previous research demonstrated that ideal affect, which is emphasized by culture, can be demonstrated in cultural products (e.g., storybooks). Experiencing these cultural products can therefore shape one’s ideal affect (Tsai et al., 2007). With reference to Schwartz’s (1992) basic human value system, two cultural values—namely self-enhancement (including achievement and power) and openness to change (including self-direction and stimulation)—can account for Americans’ preference for HAP, whereas conservatism (including tradition and conformity) can account for Chinese people’s preference for LAP. In addition, social cultural change, such as a significant national event (e.g., the 9/11 attack in the U.S.), can explain changes in one’s ideal affect (Tsai, 2013).

    Ideal affect also has culturally diverse influences on one’s preference and choice behaviors, mixed emotional experiences, physical and mental health, and social judgment. Specifically, people tend to make choices based on their ideal affect, which is encouraged by their culture (Sims et al., 2017). Ideal affect can also explain the cultural differences in mixed emotional experiences (Sims et al., 2015). People may attain healthy mental and physical states if their own ideal affect is consistent with the ideal affect that is emphasized in their culture (Tran et al., 2017). In interpersonal interaction, people prefer social partners who display the types of emotions that match their own ideal affect (Tran et al., 2017).

    Four future directions can be drawn for this line of research. First, ideal affect should be investigated from a longitudinal perspective. To further understand how culture shapes ideal affect, it is necessary to use longitudinal research methods to examine the impacts of cultural changes on ideal affect. For example, future research could explore whether changes in Chinese values would influence the types of ideal affect valued by Chinese people. Second, antecedents of ideal affect could be investigated. In addition to the shaping effect of cultural values on ideal affect, another important cultural factor, holistic-analytic cognition (Nisbett et al., 2001), may also account for the cultural variations in ideal affect. The individual-level cultural factors (e.g., gender role or social class) may explain the individual differences in ideal affect. Third, future researchers should develop the criteria for mental health assessment that is suitable for Chinese culture. Future research could further examine the roles of calmness and harmony in Chinese people’s mental health. Fourth, it is necessary to reduce cultural misunderstandings by increasing the awareness of ideal affect. If people are aware of the ideal affect that is emphasized in their culture, then adjust their daily life to match this ideal affect, they may avoid social exclusion or financial losses due to the failure in “ideal affect match”. Moreover, people could reduce their biased choices by realizing the impact of ideal affect on their social cognition judgments.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Examining food choice of human females from the evolutionary perspective: The role of sexual selection
    ZHANG Kuo, SU Jinlong
    2022, 30 (2):  425-435.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00425
    Abstract ( 661 )   HTML ( 58 )  
    PDF (655KB) ( 846 )  

    From the perspective of evolutionary psychology, sexual selection played important roles in the evolution of human psychology and behavioral phenotype. For example, studies showed that both risking behavior in males and prosocial behavior in females were partly shaped by sexual selection. However, the influence of sexual selection on females’ food choice has not been given much attention or systematically examined. As we know, food choice plays an important role in body shaping. Body mass is directly related to intake of high-fat food. To lose weight or shape body figure, many females look to dieting and healthy food intake. Also, females’ body mass and body shape are related to health and reproductive value. All the evidence suggest that food choice might be strongly selected by sexual selection in females.

    To systematically explore the role of sexual selection in female food choice, two kinds of studies would help. The first kind of study is to experimentally manipulate mating motive and then record the change of food choice in females. This kind of study makes us possible to understand the causal relationship between mating-related cues and female food choice, which helps understand the role of sexual selection in female food choice. Theoretically, the salience of mating motive would make both males and females show signals that enhance their attractiveness in the eyes of the opposite sex. Since a low BMI and an attractive body shape are essential indexes of body attractiveness as well as signals of females’ reproductive value, and food choice contributes to fluctuation of BMIs and body shaping, it is not hard to speculate that priming of mating motive would cause an effect on female food choice. Meanwhile, we should diversify methods used to manipulate mating motive and explore the types of food that might be influenced by mating motive, so as to have a better understanding of the relationship between mating motive and female food choice. The second kind of study relies on examination of the fluctuation of female food choice across menstrual cycle. Female menstrual cycle is largely shaped by sexual selection and is accompanied by fluctuation of hormones such as estrogen and estradiol, which means relevant studies would contribute to understanding the neurobiological mechanisms underlying the link between sexual selection and female food choice. However, the neurobiological basis of the relation between menstrual cycle and food preference has seldom been explored. Besides, sex hormones are regulated by human brain. Examining the brain substrates underpinning the above relation would be invaluable for further understanding the mechanisms involved. Also, human brain might interact with sex hormones in affecting the relation between female menstrual cycle and food choice.

    In future studies, we need to examine the role of sexual selection in female food choice from different perspectives and explore the moderating roles of other psychological components in the relationship between mating motive, menstrual cycle and female food choice. For example, previous studies have showed that dinning environment, affective state, cognitive and social factors all contribute to food choice in females. The above factors might interact with mating motive and menstrual cycle to cause an effect on female food choice. Moreover, oxytocin and vasopressin are also neuropeptides that play important roles in maintenance of intimate relationship. Future studies need to explore whether these two neuropeptides also play roles in female food choice as well as potential interacting effects involved. Owing to the difficulty of directly unveiling the dynamics of sexual selection, we have to look to some indirect evidence to understand the true nature of the roles of sexual selection in female food choice. Meanwhile, a brain-hormone-behavior framework would help a lot to systematically understand the role of sexual selection in female food choice.

    References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Antisocial punishment in the game
    CHEN Jing, ZHANG Rong, YUAN Jiaqi, SHE Shengxiang
    2022, 30 (2):  436-448.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00436
    Abstract ( 648 )   HTML ( 61 )  
    PDF (741KB) ( 853 )  

    “Dirty work” refers to occupational activities that are physically disgusting, that symbolize degradation, that wound the individual’s dignity, or that run counter to the more heroic of our moral conceptions. Firstly, the definition of dirty work is defined from the perspective of objective work characteristics, subjective cognition and contingency, and individual stigma, occupational stigma and organizational stigma are differentiated from the three dimensions of generation, management and dissemination. Secondly, a process model of perceived threat of occupational stigma was constructed based on cognitive evaluation theory, including :(1) antecedents and characteristics of occupational stigma. Antecedents of occupational stigma can be divided into macro factors (laws/regulations/social policies and socio-cultural environment), medium factors (media) and micro factors (public, dirty workers and dirty characteristics of work). The characteristics of occupational stigma are concealability, controllability, centrality and Disruptiveness. (2) Strategies for managing occupational stigma. According to the object and level of change, management strategies can be divided into four categories: individual/behavioral strategy, individual/cognitive strategy, collective/behavioral strategy and collective/cognitive strategy. Individual/behavioral strategies, including personal mobility, information management and confronting or countering outsiders' perceptions of taint and outsiders' behaviours, mainly refer to the strategies used by dirty workers to avoid damage to their own image by keeping a distance from negative occupational groups and distracting the attention of the audience, or to change others' negative evaluation of dirty work by taking active actions. Individual/cognitive strategies, including individualized strategies, acceptance, and emotional labor, mainly refer to the strategies used by dirty workers to reduce the negative impact of occupational stigma by reconstructing their individual cognition. Collective/behavioral strategies, including social competition and realistic competition, mainly refer to the strategies used by dirty workers to improve their professional status and protect their self-esteem from threats associated with occupational stigma through inter-group competition. Collective/cognitive strategies, including occupational ideologies and social weighting, mainly refer to the strategies used by dirty workers to improve their job evaluations by challenging the validity of occupational stigma.; (3) The impact of occupational stigma on dirty workers. The results can be divided into three categories: based on mental health, attitudes and behaviors at work, and relationship outcomes. The effects on mental health are reflected in the stress and negative emotions experienced by dirty workers. The influence on work attitude and behavior is manifested in low job satisfaction, low job meaning perception, high relative deprivation, high dimission behavior, counterproductive work behavior, job burnout and low task performance. The influence on interpersonal relationship is reflected in the perception of social isolation, disrespect and discrimination of dirty workers in interpersonal communication. Potential future research directions are proposed: (1) To explore the sources of occupational stigma from a dynamic perspective; (2) To explore the path and effect of occupational stigma management based on individual and situational factors; (2)To consider diverse cultural backgrounds.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    Conservation of resources theory in the organizational behavior context: Theoretical evolution and challenges
    LIAO Huahua, HUANG Lei, HU Bin
    2022, 30 (2):  449-463.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00449
    Abstract ( 1186 )   HTML ( 61 )  
    PDF (847KB) ( 1089 )  

    Over the past three decades, the conservation of resources theory (COR) has become one of the most widely applied theories in organizational behavior (OB).

    Hobfoll (1989) proposed COR as a new attempt at conceptualizing the stressor-strain relationship. It highlights that stress is not construed by individual perception but a reaction to objective stressful circumstances; coping in reaction to stress is a dynamic process of exchanging resources between individuals and the environment. Imprinted by Hobfoll’s background as a clinical psychologist studying stress disorder, COR is recognized as a resource-oriented stress model with environmental roots After several major revisions, COR has developed from a stressor-strain model into a motivational theory and built a theoretical framework with several extensions. The dynamic process regarding how people strive to acquire, protect, and build resources helps to explain individual behaviors in reactions to stressors across many organizational contexts. COR also shed light upon how organizations cope with stress.

    From 1989 to 2020, OB literature has accounted for most citations of the 1989 paper that initially introduced COR theory. A great number of empirical studies in the OB field, covering a variety of themes such as job stress, work engagement, creativity, and leadership, investigated the major propositions in COR. These propositions include resource loss and gain spirals, salience of resource gain in the process of resource loss, and more. As a result, COR has become one of the most influential theories for understanding employees’ psychological processes and behavioral motivation. However, OB scholars share concerns about COR that the concept of resource is fuzzily defined and therefore that nearly anything good can be considered a resource. We acknowledge the substantive value of COR in OB literature though it may not sound novel, but we also recommend OB scholars be conscious with its conceptualization while applying COR and not take the value of applying it by granted because of its high citations.

    Applying COR in OB research also faces challenges from other theoretical perspectives. For example, the stress-appraisal theory and the adaption theory provide some contrasting viewpoints on stress. Its origin in clinical psychology also invites problems for OB scholars that they tend to ignore the integrative perspective of COR regarding how the sources of stress and the structure of individual resources evolve in a dynamic process.

    We propose that OB researchers should avoid tailoring COR’s propositions to OB research questions, which often means neglecting its overarching perspective and purposely selecting isolated viewpoints to serve their own research questions, but try to seek balance between the integrative perspective in COR theory and the behavior-focused tradition in OB research in the future.

    Figures and Tables | References | Related Articles | Metrics
    The influence of perception of luck on consumers’ behavior and its theoretical explanation
    LUO Ziwei, WU Yuting
    2022, 30 (2):  464-474.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.00464
    Abstract ( 1108 )   HTML ( 106 )  
    PDF (664KB) ( 1281 )  

    The behaviors of pursuing luck have been widely existing in a great many aspects of human social life from the past to the present, among them many manifested as consumer behaviors, and can be explained by the theoretical achievements regarding the effects of perception of luck on consumer behaviors. However, few extant studies systematically reviewed the relevant literature, to some extent which has restricted research efforts and marketing practices in this area. In this paper, we summarized five categories of consumer behaviors: risk-taking, uniqueness seeking, contagion effects, attitude towards product with luck meaning, lucky consumption. Furthermore, we pointed out theoretical explanations which from various perspectives uncover the linkage and reasoning behind the perception of luck and consumer behavior: attribution theory, personality trait theory, cognitive priming theory, the theory of counterfactual thinking, social comparison theory, the theory of locus of control and heuristics theory. To start with, by the lens of attribution theory, luck is viewed as an external and unstable factor that determines personal success. Comparing to attribution theory, the theory of personality trait attaches more attention to the internal and stable aspect of perception of luck and holds that the influence of perception of luck can be unchanged over time and situation, if people believe that they possess lucky disposition or lucky characteristics. Thirdly, the theory of cognitive priming admits the long-term accessibility of perception of luck in individuals, it also underlines the activation of perception of luck by situational factors. Additionally, both counterfactual thinking and social comparison emphasize the role of "comparison", but the difference lies in the objects of comparison: counterfactual thinking proposes that the perception of luck comes from the comparison of results of before and after an event. Contrarily, social comparison theory posits that the perception of luck arises from the downward comparison of self and others in a society. This comparison can produce a self-enhancing effect, and affect consumers’ behavior in subsequent purchase. Finally, the common point of locus of control theory and heuristics is that both of them place weighs on the influence of lucky perception on consumer decision, especially when the external environment is highly uncertain. Nevertheless, the difference is yet very distinct. Specifically, the former focuses on the role of perception of luck played to compensate the sense of control. It holds that, in order to gain illusion of control to a highly involved thing, people are more likely to purchase lucky products. The later, however, believes that luck is applied as a shortcut for decision-making of a purchase, the more complex the situation, the more likely consumers are to simplify their decisions through heuristics. In the final part of the paper, we give three suggestions to the further research: to deepen the mechanism of perception of lucky, to expand the boundary conditions, and to examine both the advantages and disadvantages of luck consumption. Specifically, other theories might be inspiring to understand the relationships between the perception of luck and some certain consumer behaviors, such as coping theory and cognitive processing theory. Furthermore, the possible moderator variables might be worth to notice——social norm, impression management, usage scenario of product, and product types. At last, including advantages of luck consumption, another two types of consequence research also are promising: the disadvantages of luck consumption and the tradeoff between positive and negative results set off by perception of luck.

    References | Related Articles | Metrics