ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R


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    Conceptual Framework
    Psychological mechanisms underlying adopting human-machine collaboration in augmented managerial decision-making: A perspective of Self-Determination Theory
    HUANG Min-xue, LIU Yuan
    2023, 31 (11):  1981-1993.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.01981
    Abstract ( 1014 )   HTML ( 24 )  
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    With the advent of novel technologies, including data science and cognitive intelligence, business information management decision-making enhanced by human-machine collaboration has progressively developed into the mainstream form of organizational decision-making. Further, its potential advantages have garnered significant attention from many practitioners and researchers. In contrast to the traditional manager-centered paradigm of organizational decision-making, the paradigm of human-machine collaborative decision-making enables the machine, once a tool, to evolve into a team-mate with equal status and decision-making power as the manager. For managers, the transformation in the crucial role of machines erodes the importance of managers in the decision-making process, resulting in potential resistance to human-machine collaborative decision-making. To resolve this vital issue, this study proposes to develop a theoretical model based on the self-determination theory to enhance the perception of “creation” (Technology Readiness Index) and “use” (Technology Acceptance Model) of management decision-making systems by systematically optimizing the model design of human-machine system decision-making to satisfy the self-determination needs of managers and increase their willingness to adopt human-machine collaborative and augmented business information managerial decision-making. This theoretical model not only enhances the diffusion speed of the human-machine paradigm in organizations, but also reduces managers’ potential resistance.

    The model explores two progressive levels: (1) Mechanistic analysis: How do the design of the human-computer collaboration model and functional design of the enhanced decision-making system affect managers' self-determination needs and ultimately their willingness to adopt business information management decisions by influencing technology readiness and technology acceptance, respectively? (2) Moderating effects: How do organizational variables moderate the effects of technology readiness and technology acceptance on managers' self-determination needs?

    At the level of mechanistic analysis, according to the importance and control from “human” to “machine” in the human-machine collaborative and augmented business information managerial decision-making, the human-machine collaboration model is built in the order of the communication mode design, interaction interface design, work task design, and intelligence degree design. Each design generates optimism and innovation and reduces the discomfort and insecurity caused by the system to give managers the perception of “creation” (Technology Readiness Index). Meanwhile, in the design of the augmented decision-making system functions, the joint decision-making function, iterative optimization decision-making function, cognitive decision-making environment function, updating decision-making knowledge function, and big data deep mining function are designed in turn, which may increase managers' perception of technology acceptance including perceived usefulness and ease of use, and can also enhance managers' perception of the “use” of technology acceptance. With increased optimism and innovation, decreased discomfort and insecurity, and increased perceived usefulness and ease of use, managers experience higher levels of behavioral mastery (Agarwal & Prasad, 1998), self-efficacy (Zeithaml et al., 2002; Meuter et al., 2000), and perceived support control (Dabholkar, 1996). Thus, autonomy, competence, and belonging needs will be met. In this case, managers are intrinsically motivated to adopt the human-machine collaborative and augmented business decision-making. (Jang et al., 2009; Chen & Jang, 2010).

    At the level of moderating effects, this study also examines which contingency factors influence the activation of technology readiness and technology acceptance on managers' self-determination needs. Threatening punishment (Deci & Cascio, 1972), restrictive deadlines (Amabile et al., 1976), coercive goals (Mossholder, 1980), and competition (Deci et al., 1981) in external environmental events can affect individuals' extrinsic motivation, and thus, weaken intrinsic motivation. Conversely, any external event that satisfies people's needs for competence, autonomy, and belonging enhances intrinsic motivation for individual behavior. Therefore, this study hypothesizes that transformational leadership, autonomous organization, organic organization, and individualized decision-making scenarios may lead to higher autonomy, efficacy, and a sense of belonging. Consequently, it contributes to the impact of technology readiness and technology acceptance on managers’ self-determination needs.

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    The effect of team leaders’ Simmelian brokerage on team cooperation from the social network perspective
    CAO Man, ZHAO Shuming, ZHANG Qiuping, LÜ Hongjiang
    2023, 31 (11):  1994-2004.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.01994
    Abstract ( 466 )   HTML ( 14 )  
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    Subgroups within a team can result in differentiation, discord, and even the dissolution of the team. However, previous research has neglected to acknowledge the pivotal role of the team leader in directly coordinating activities among subgroups and has failed to conduct a thorough analysis of the tripartite relationship involving the team leader, subgroups, and the entire team. This study aims to integrate a social network perspective and introduce a novel concept termed “team leaders' simmelian brokerage”. In this concept, team leaders act as intermediaries between two or more subgroups. We suggest that it may help address different conflicts among subgroups and subsequently facilitating team cooperation. Firstly, employing a categorization of social network content, this study classifies simmelian brokerage into instrumental simmelian brokerage and expressive simmelian brokerage. Instrumental simmelian brokerage pertains to the mediation between distinct subgroups within instrumental networks, which are primarily work- or task-oriented networks, such as workflow or advice networks. On the other hand, expressive simmelian brokerage concerns the mediation between different subgroups within expressive networks, which are predominantly friendship or support-related networks. By integrating social network content and structure, this approach enables a more detailed examination of the influence of team leaders' simmelian brokerage of different network content, thereby providing a theoretical foundation for understanding how team leaders' simmelian brokerage promotes teamwork. Secondly, drawing from “The Changing Others' Relationships Framework”, this study explores the mechanisms through which simmelian brokerage in different network content affects subgroup conflicts and subsequent team cooperation. As simmelian brokers operating in various social networks, team leaders can mitigate conflicts between two or more subgroups to a certain extent through their intermediary actions, thereby fostering team cooperation. Specifically, when team leaders occupy the role of instrumental simmelian brokerage in workflow networks, they possess significant advantages in terms of acquiring comprehensive and high-quality job-related information. Armed with this informational and resource advantage, team leaders can effectively coordinate tasks among multiple subgroups towards the team's goals, thereby reducing task-related conflicts and ultimately enhancing team cooperation. When team leaders act as expressive simmelian brokerage in friendship networks, they can alleviate relationship conflicts among subgroups through informal relationships. For instance, they can employ diverse measures to minimize the transmission and proliferation of negative emotional information among subgroups, and adeptly mediate conflicts as soon as they arise. All of these actions can have a positive impact on team cooperation. Thirdly, we identify tertius iungens orientation and political skills as crucial boundary conditions for the effects of simmelian brokerage on subgroup conflicts and subsequent team cooperation. Specifically, when team leaders exhibit a high tertius iungens orientation, they are more inclined to employ multiple strategies to facilitate information exchange and foster emotional connections among several subgroups. Furthermore, when team leaders possess high political skills, they are better equipped to leverage their simmelian brokerage positions and opportunities to exert influence. Consequently, these team leaders can assist the team in mitigating task and relationship conflicts among subgroups, thereby promoting team cooperation. This study not only advances the understanding of subgroup dynamics but also offers practical guidance for subgroup management. Theoretically, we develop a conceptual framework for the tripartite relationship among team leaders, subgroups, and the entire team by drawing on a social network perspective, thereby providing a nuanced understanding of the processes involving simmelian brokerage, subgroup conflicts, and team cooperation. From a practical standpoint, these findings can aid team managers in integrating different aspects of social networks (instrumental and expressive networks) within the team and effectively utilizing their key positions (e.g., as simmelian brokers between subgroups) to manage both subgroups and the entire team.

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    Do high performance work systems impair employee well-being? Evidence from a meta-analysis
    ZHANG Xinggui, HU Xiandan, SU Tao
    2023, 31 (11):  2005-2024.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02005
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    With the rise of employee-centered human resource practices in the last two decades, the relationship between high-performance work systems and employee well-being has become an important topic in human resource management research. However, to date, research findings on the relationship between high-performing work systems and employee well-being remain divergent. The reasons are, firstly, the existing studies on the relationship between high-performance work systems and employee well-being mainly focus on some dimensions and indicators, ignoring the multidimensional nature of employee well-being; secondly, the conclusions on the specific strength and direction of the correlation between high-performance work systems and specific dimensions of employee well-being are inconsistent and require systematic and in-depth analysis; thirdly, the existing studies ignore the context in which high-performance work systems affect employee well-being variables, i.e., the boundary conditions of the relationship between the two, especially the role of cultural context and industry differences.

    Based on 55 independent studies from 53 papers with a total study sample of 51,750, this paper conducted a meta-analysis of the relationship between high performance work systems and employee well-being (subjective well-being, psychological well-being, relational well-being, and health well-being) and examined the moderating effects of cultural differences (power distance, individual-collectivism, and short-term-long-term orientation) and industry differences on the relationship. The results indicate that: (1) there is a significant positive effect of high performance work systems on all dimensions of employee well-being. (2) Cultural contexts moderated the relationship between high performance work systems and employee well-being, and the positive correlations between employees' perceived high performance work systems and subjective well-being, psychological well-being, and health well-being were stronger in high power distance and collectivist-oriented cultural contexts. (3) Industry has a significant moderating effect on the relationship between high-performing work systems and employee well-being. Compared with the production service industry, the positive correlation between perceived high performance work system and subjective well-being was stronger for employees in the health care service industry; however, the positive correlation between perceived high performance work system and health well-being was lower for employees in the health care service industry than in the production service industry.

    The theoretical contributions of this study lies in: First, the relationship between high performance work system and employee well-being dimensions was clarified and found to have a “consistent effect” rather than a “contradictory effect”. Secondly, it was found that high performance work system has a positive effect on health well-being rather than a negative effect. Finally, the research results on the boundary conditions of the relationship between high-performing work systems and employee well-being were expanded, and the cross-cultural and industry research results on the relationship between the two were enriched. The findings contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between high-performing work systems and employee well-being, and enlighten the academic community to re-conceptualize and re-examine the value of high-performing work systems.

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    Regular Articles
    Warm reading: Clarifying the mechanisms of empathy in text reading
    TONG Yuguang, LI Ying, CHEN Jie
    2023, 31 (11):  2025-2039.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02025
    Abstract ( 1459 )   HTML ( 27 )  
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    The Social Processes and Content Entrained by Narrative (SPaCEN) model was proposed in recent years. This model marked a significant shift in the focus of text reading research away from coherent representations and toward the principles and goals of social functions. One of the key social cognitive skills is empathy, which can provide a valuable lens through which to examine how text reading serves a social purpose. Understanding the social role of empathy in text reading necessitates having a thorough understanding of the whole life cycle of empathy in text, including the process of its initiation, its action and the operation of its subsequent influence.

    Empathy during reading can be induced through the linguistic features of the text, textual elements, and self-simulation processes. Specifically, the linguistic features of the text coordinate attentional resources and balance aesthetic experiences by manipulating vocabulary, phonetics and rhetorical techniques to obtain an enhanced empathic experience; the textual elements induce empathic experiences by constructing scenes with different content features; and the self-simulation process emphasizes the reader's awareness and evaluation process of the textual information. The empathy induced by different pathways all include three components of empathy, narrative involvement, emotion and evaluation in different degrees.

    Various writing styles, reader attributes, and text qualities all influence how readers act on their empathic experiences. Specifically, authors may choose writing strategies that aim to evoke empathic experiences of certain readers for specific groups, depending on the intended audience group, including bounded narrative empathy acting on in-groups, ambassadorial narrative empathy acting on out-groups, and broadcast narrative empathy acting on objects of general interest. Readers' internal (e.g., experiences, personality traits) and external characteristics (e.g., reading style, reading medium, reading environment) can also contribute to differences in empathic experiences. Different genre types and text features may induce or enhance readers' empathic experiences through different paths such as arousing attention, activating familiar features, and reducing defensiveness. The arrangement of textual content can also facilitate readers' integration into the storyline from a character's perspective by easing readers' inferences about the psychological theory of textual roles through emotional valence, perspective markers, and protagonist characteristics.

    The distributed elementary processing model of text reading and empathy offers a new view on how empathy in text reading processes from a multidimensional perspective. According to this model, the author, the reader and the text work together to produce empathy. The author's writing strategy, the type and content of the text, and the characteristics of the reader all influence the empathic experience of the reader. With the superposition of the elements in each component, a slow activation of empathy from scratch is gradually achieved. The model further assumes that the empathic experience activated by text reading is reflected at the neural level, the cognitive-emotional level, and the behavioral level. Along with memory, encoding, and retrieval-related brain regions (e.g., dorsolateral prefrontal cortex associated with intertemporal and cross-modal processing), as well as motivational and reasoning-related brain regions (e.g., ventral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate gyrus, temporoparietal junction) being active during reading, explicitly empathy-related brain regions such as the inferior frontal gyrus also exhibit sustained or fluctuating activation.

    In conclusion, reading with empathy not only improves readers' comprehension of others' thoughts and feelings and their ability to draw inferences about the theory of mind underlying texts, but it also serves to dispel prejudices and encourage actions that assist animals and the environment. Future research should concentrate on how to maximize the effectiveness of text reading in triggering empathy, creating a strong spiritual motivation for readers, and promoting the development and improvement of their healthy personalities at the application level, in addition to identifying which idiosyncratic text elements can effectively trigger empathy at the basic processing level.

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    The effect of musical experience on second language processing
    DENG Shanwen, YANG Hao, ZUO Kangjie, ZHANG Jingjing
    2023, 31 (11):  2040-2049.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02040
    Abstract ( 585 )   HTML ( 10 )  
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    The influence of music on language is a widely researched topic and an important issue in interdisciplinary research. In recent years, research evidence from behavioral and cognitive neuroscience has further shown that musical experience can be transferred across domains to second language acquisition, which is manifested in the promotion of second language processing in three aspects: (1) musical experience can enhance the understanding of a second language, specifically the perception and vocabulary acquisition of the second language. Future research could further take the types and duration of musical training as variables for the aim of revealing such a transfer effect more precisely; (2) musical experience can facilitate the production of a second language, which may be related to different types of musical experience and dimensions (e.g., pitch perception and rhythm perception). However, current experimental tasks are relatively limited, usually using speech imitation tasks and phonology scoring tasks, and future studies can investigate the relationship between individual second language production ability and musical experience in scene dialogue and actual communication; (3) musical experience can promote second language learning and evidence has been found among different age groups with regard to vocabulary and syntax learning. However, there is still insufficient research on exploring the impact of early musical experience on second language learning for adults at different ages.

    As research deepens, some researchers have begun to explore the internal mechanisms of music in second language processing. Their research conclusion can be summarized into following two pathways: (1) musical experience promotes language processing by enhancing the processing of shared acoustic clues between music and language; (2) musical experience improves individual general cognitive processing abilities, especially auditory attention and memory, thereby enhancing language processing abilities. However, it should be noted that existing research on mechanisms has mostly revealed the commonalities of three levels of music on second language processing and has not yet deeply explored the possible differences on these three level mechanisms.

    Finally, we point out that existing research still has some limitations and they can be directions for future research: (1) The study of how musical experience enhances second language processing can be further explored from language, music, and participant group perspectives, such as enriching the study of musical experience on second language production and learning, conducting more rigorous variable controls when examining participants' musical experience(for instance, richness of the musical environment of childhood can be an important factor to be considered when assessing the individual musical experience) and studying special groups with language processing disorders; (2) It is necessary to strictly distinguish the role of innate musical talent and acquired musical experience in research. We suggest longitudinal studies to be used more frequently in the research. By comparing the performance of individuals with different musical talents in second language processing before and after receiving music learning, longitudinal studies can be helpful to clarify the internal mechanism of innate musical talent and acquired musical training affecting second language processing; (3) Explore the extent of the relationship and differences between musical experience and second language processing as well as native language processing. Some studies have found that musical experience may have different effects on the understanding of native language and second language, revealing that the promotion of musical experience on language processing may be moderated by language familiarity. Future research can extend to the fields of language production and learning. In the process of experimental design, it is necessary to combine the characteristics of native language and second language, set up appropriate experimental materials and tasks, and avoid the ceiling effect in the mother tongue processing as well as the floor effect in the second language processing. At the same time, the age selection of participants also needs to be carefully considered.

    Overall, this article can provide some insights for the interdisciplinary study of music and language at the behavioral and cognitive neuroscience levels. Meanwhile, the topic also has application values in education and clinical treatment.

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    Visual world paradigm reveals the time course of spoken language processing
    WEI Yipu
    2023, 31 (11):  2050-2062.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02050
    Abstract ( 387 )   HTML ( 10 )  
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    The visual world paradigm (VWP) is a widely used tool in psycholinguistics to study the time course of spoken language processing (Cooper, 1974; Tanenhaus et al., 1995). In this paradigm, eye movements are tracked while participants listen to spoken language and view visual scenes, providing precise temporal information about the processing of words and sentences. As acoustic input unfolds, comprehenders’ focus of attention on particular entities in the mental representations of spoken language changes, and their visual attention also shifts accordingly (Altmann & Mirkovi, 2009). Such allocation of attention can be manifested in eye movements as overt behavioral data.

    Linking hypotheses of this field link eye movements in visual contexts with the mental representations of linguistic input. The coordinated interplay account proposed by Knoeferle and Crocker (2006, 2007) defines three phases in visually situated spoken language comprehension: integrating new words, searching for referents in visual contexts and matching linguistic input with objects and actions in the visual contexts. These three phases may take place sequentially or overlap with one another in time. An alternative linking hypothesis raised by Altmann and Mirkovi (2009), however, suggested that the processes of interpreting linguistic input and comprehending visual scenes are intertwined, as linguistic meanings and non-linguistic information (e.g., visual information and world knowledge) are stored in one unitary system and jointly contribute to the dynamic representation of situations. Salverda et al.’s (2011) goal-based linking hypothesis introduces a task-goal dimension into the theoretical model. That is, the goal of the task also affects language processing: Visual objects that are directly related to this goal would attract more attention; and additional tasks such as clicking or moving objects contribute to the goal structure of the task and directly influence eye movements.

    The assets visual world paradigm has brought to the field—(i) the possibility to include a visual dimension in linguistic processing; (ii) a fine-grained time course measure of eye movements in real-time language comprehension—have greatly expanded the range of experimental designs for language studies. As the VWP relies primarily on listening tasks and does not require subjects to have full literacy skills in reading, it can be applied to examine language processing in young children, second language learners, and people with specific language impairments.

    Dependent variables in a VWP experiment include fixation proportions, target ratio, latency of saccades, etc. Factors such as areas of interest, groups and experimental conditions can be included as independent variables. To make use of the fine-grained time-course data provided by the VWP, including a temporal dimension to the analytical models is crucial. While traditional analyses evaluate fixation/saccade differences between conditions during a time window (using t-test, ANOVA, and mixed-effect models), the divergent point analysis and cluster‑based permutation analysis are informative in detecting and comparing the emergence time of effects (Ito & Knoeferle, 2022). The growth-curve analysis, on the other hand, models the changes of looks to an interest area over time (Mirman, 2008).

    Studies fueled by the VWP have revealed that language processing is incremental or even predictive, in contrast to the findings of earlier studies supporting delayed integration of language. At the early stage of word recognition, phonological cohorts compete with the target, and listeners may use phonetic information to anticipate upcoming words. The processing of semantic information in verb-argument and classifier-noun structures, for example, is highly incremental or anticipatory. Discourse processing, including referential processing and the comprehension of coherence relations, is also found to be immediate. In addition, the VWP has shown that the syntactic and pragmatic processing is in accordance with the constraint-based account (Trueswell et al., 1994)—multiple types of information including syntactic structures and pragmatic implicatures, form constraints to language processing at the very early stage, alongside other constraints such as contextual features, visual information, world knowledge, etc.

    The VWP is limited in the sense that it cannot provide data on processing time and therefore cannot answer questions related to processing difficulties in language comprehension. Moreover, the VWP experiments can only present a limited number of static objects in visual space, which also differs from the complex visual environment of natural conversation. In experimental settings where only a limited number of objects are presented, listeners may anticipate linguistic input in advance and look strategically at certain objects (Henderson & Ferreira, 2004; see counter-argument in Dahan & Tanenhaus, 2004).

    Developments of the VWP are driven by both theoretical and technological advances. For future studies, investigating the role of task-goal in real-time language processing situated in visual contexts is important. Technological innovations such as virtual reality (VR) create comparatively natural communication scenarios while maintaining precise experimental control, largely improving the ecological validity of eye-tracking experiments using the VWP.

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    Mechanism of competitive development of hemispheric lateralization complementary pattern for word and face recognition
    GAO Fei, CAI Houde, QI Xingliang
    2023, 31 (11):  2063-2077.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02063
    Abstract ( 324 )   HTML ( 8 )  
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    The left visual word form area (VWFA) of the brain in adults is more sensitive to orthographic information, whereas the right fusiform face area (FFA) is preferentially involved in the processing of facial information. The cognitive neural processing mechanism of the competitive development of the complementary pattern of hemispheric lateralization in word and face recognition is systematically examined using the neuronal recycling hypothesis and the distributed account of the hemispheric organization, combined with the multidimensional computational model composed of posterior-anterior axis and medial-lateral axis in the fusiform gyrus (FG). The posterior-anterior axis distinguishes regions within a domain and is associated with hierarchical transformation. The medial-lateral axis differentiates regions across domains. Along the posterior-anterior axis in FG, area FG2, which is posterior lateral to FG, receives mainly bottom-up incoming information from the early visual cortex. Additionally, both word and face recognition require fine discrimination between highly similar stimuli, relying on high-acuity visual information from the fovea. Therefore, word and face representation should share processing resources for early perception and compete for neural space in FG2. These areas are sculpted further over development and begin to emerge being labelled the VWFA-1 in the left hemisphere (lateral to the medial-lateral axis) and the FFA-1 in the right hemisphere (medial to the medial-lateral axis). Moreover, as learning to read words and face recognition experience accumulated, the processing of word or face information transformed from VWFA-1 and FFA-1 in FG2 to VWFA-2 (lateral to the medial-lateral axis) and FFA-2 (medial to the medial-lateral axis) in FG4 located in the lateral middle part of FG, respectively. Because learning to read words improves the connectivity between VWFA-2 and the left hemisphere language network, this top-down lateralization modulation strengthens the competitive processing between words and faces, resulting in stronger leftward lateralization of VWFA-2 and accelerating rightward lateralization of FFA-2. At the same time, the face learning experience also improves the right-sided connectivity between FFA-2 and related brain networks, and this top-down modulation results in stronger right-lateralized FFA-2.

    Future studies should examine the following five aspects. First, some researchers propose a revised model of the neuronal recycling hypothesis, known as the blocking model, in which they suppose that in literate children, the progressive dedication of an increasing number of neuronal patches to words in the left FG prevents the expansion of the nearby object and face patches, resulting in face recognition being gradually replaced by right FG. Therefore, future studies could use high-resolution (<1mm) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine whether words directly compete with faces or block the development of faces. Second, while cytoarchitectonic similarities between FG2 and FG4 are found, the differences between them may help explain the fine-scale functional heterogeneity of FG. Based on differences in cell types, receptor densities, laminar distribution patterns, synaptic connections, and myelination between FG2 and FG4, further research could provide insight into the functional role of both fusiform areas subserving face and word recognition. Third, research has shown that preschool children's learning to read Chinese characters requires the right hemisphere to distinguish character form, and use the left hemisphere to access orthography and phonological and semantic information, so their early reading experience may compete with faces for processing resources in the right and left hemispheres. It is necessary to adopt the intertemporal study design of preschool and school-age children and use event-related potentials (ERPs) with high temporal resolution and fMRI with high spatial resolution to systematically investigate the unique mechanism of children's early reading experience affecting the competitive processing of Chinese characters and faces. Fourth, the development of right-lateralized face recognition may be influenced by factors other than learning to read words. The development of right-lateralized face recognition will experience a long time delay, which is influenced not only by brain development and learning to read but also by the gradual accumulation of facial experience. Therefore, future studies should not only focus on how learning to read words competes with face representation for processing resources in left FG, but also examine how face perception experience affects the right-lateralized development of FFA and its processing mechanism in competition with other cortical areas for space resources. Finally, visual numbers and musical notations are also cultural inventions, and learning to read them can cause brain plasticity changes similar to words. The brain structures and functional networks of learning to read words, numbers, and musical notations are both separated and overlapped, competing and coordinating with each other. Importantly, children can learn to read these three visual symbols synchronously or asynchronously. Therefore, exploring the temporal dynamics and brain mechanisms of the interaction between children's learning to read words, numbers, and musical notations not only has theoretical significance for deepening the understanding of brain plasticity of cultural learning, but also has practical significance for guiding the early teaching of language, mathematics, and music.

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    Precision functional magnetic resonance imaging reveals individual brain functional network organization
    ZHOU Guang-Fang, JIN Hua
    2023, 31 (11):  2078-2091.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02078
    Abstract ( 298 )   HTML ( 6 )  
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    Precision functional magnetic resonance imaging (pfMRI) refers to a data acquisition strategy that collects large amounts of fMRI data in single individuals. Compared with traditional fMRI research, which collects a small amount of data for each participant and then reveals the underlying brain mechanisms of cognitive process or the shared brain function features of a specific population through the group average, the advantage of this method is that it can reveal the individual brain features, so it has been increasingly recognized and applied by researchers.

    Classical pfMRI datasets usually contain data from multiple modalities, such as functional MRI data(resting state, task state), structural MRI data(e.g., T1-weighted images, T2-weighted images), gene expression, etc. Currently, most studies only use resting-state data. There is no consensus on the scanning time required by the pfMRI. Based on the existing studies, it can be found that its requirements of data amount vary greatly with brain regions, metrics, and times of sessions/runs. Summarizing the existing studies, it can be found that the scan time of the resting-state data ranged from 0.4 hours to 32 hours, and the amount of data ranged from 565 volumes to 79360 volumes. In terms of data quality, the pfMRI puts forward higher requirements. For example, in classical studies, volumes with frame-wise displacement greater than 0.2mm are usually censored in preprocessing, which reflects a stricter control of head motion noise.

    Since the pfMRI was proposed, numerous studies (33 studies since 2020 alone) have used this method to reveal the individualized functional network organization from different perspectives, mainly including the following six aspects: (1) In terms of individual differences in functional network organization, researchers have revealed interindividual variability in functional network organization from different data analysis perspectives (node-based functional connectivity and edge-based functional connectivity) and different brain regions (cerebral cortex and subcortical structures), and found that the interindividual variability in the association network was the largest. Moreover, the researchers further proposed the concept of network variation, which represents regions that differ in the individual from the group mean functional connectivity pattern. It was found that network variation existed in all individuals, but there was also interindividual variation in the location, size, and network assignment of network variation. In addition, these network variants showed hemispheric asymmetry and included two types of boundary expansion and ectopic invasion. (2) Based on the findings of individual differences, researchers have successfully identified individuals through the features of functional network organization in the resting state and task state. (3) In addition, some researchers have used pfMRI to conduct more fine functional localization of the default mode network and inferior frontal gyrus and found that there are sub-regions responsible for different functions. (4) In terms of network hubs, the pfMRI was used to identify network hubs in individuals, which excludes the alternative interpretation for network hubs in traditional fMRI studies and proves the interindividual variability of network hubs. (5) In terms of individual functional network development and plasticity, the researchers compared the functional network organization of participants aged 8~23 years and revealed the features of functional network organization among participants of different age groups. It was also found that the characteristics of network organization were affected by hormone levels and had plasticity. (6) In clinical application, pfMRI was found to be able to identify individual stimulation targets during transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) treatment, and targeted functional network stimulation (TANS) was proposed. In addition, pfMRI has been used to explore the functional network organization features of patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and perinatal stroke.

    In summary, pfMRI has made a wealth of research findings in exploring individual differences and individual identification in functional network organization, functional localization of local brain regions, identification of individual network hubs, development and plasticity of individual functional networks, and clinical application. It exhibits unique advantages compared to group-average fMRI studies in Individualized brain function research. It is of great significance to reveal the basic principles of brain cognition and the diagnosis and treatment of major brain diseases. Future research should further explore the relationship between the features of individual functional networks and behavioral performance, and try to overcome the limitation of long scanning time by improving data analysis methods (such as introducing multi-session hierarchical Bayesian model (MS-HBM)) or fMRI imaging technologies (such as multi-echo fMRI and multi-band fMRI), and attempt to introduce this method into task-state fMRI and multimodal research.

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    Application of machine learning in early screening of children with dyslexia
    BU Xiaoou, WANG Yao, DU Yawen, WANG Pei
    2023, 31 (11):  2092-2015.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02092
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    Developmental dyslexia is the most prevalent form of specific learning disorder with a neurobiological basis that not only restricts an individual's academic achievement and career development, but also negatively impacts an individual's psychological and social adjustment substantially. If children with developmental dyslexia are not timely identified and intervened, this negative impact may persist from early childhood into adulthood. Therefore, efficient early screening and effective early intervention are critical to the development of dyslexic children. Machine learning allows “machines” (i.e., computers) to learn and extract patterns from large amounts of data to make predictions or decisions. Recently, machine learning has been gradually applied to the early screening of dyslexic children due to its powerful data processing and mining capabilities. This review paper aims to outline possible development paths and ideas for machine learning research in dyslexia by integrating the recent advances, main applications, and possible future directions of machine learning in dyslexia screening. We searched for studies using machine learning to identify dyslexia since 2016 and ultimately selected 25 articles based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol. These studies have mainly collected data with standardized psychoeducational tests, eye tracking, game testing, and brain imaging techniques. More researchers have begun to not limit to a single modality of data collection. They integrated survey data, behavioral data, and neuroimaging data in an attempt to improve the accuracy of detecting dyslexia and its biomarkers. In the selection of algorithms, Support Vector Machine (SVM) is the most widely used in the field of dyslexia. Recently, there is an increasing tendency for researchers to find the best algorithm among multiple algorithms to obtain optimal parameters. The main trend is to move from a single traditional machine learning algorithm to deep learning algorithms and to compare many different types of algorithms. The evaluation performances (accuracy) of the machine learning models are summarized as follows: standardized psychoeducational tests between 68% and 94.1%, eye tracking tests between 81.25% and 99%, game tests between 74% and 99.9%, brain imaging data (EEG) between 89% and 90%, and brain imaging data (fMRI) between 65% and 94.83%. In practical applications, machine learning can contribute to identify predictors of dyslexia, allowing us to effectively detect children at risk for dyslexia and intervene timely, thereby reducing the likelihood of reading failure after literacy and even in adulthood. Second, machine learning is being used to assist in clinical screening and automate the identification of dyslexic children, which not only incorporates a large number of objective classifiers to improve accuracy, but also is convenient and reduces waiting costs. Third, identifying children at high risk for dyslexia at an early age will enable early prevention and intervention. This early predictive function can be achieved by training machine learning predictive models. This review summarizes the advantages of using machine learning for early screening of dyslexia. For example, machine learning can identify complex nonlinear relationships between variables, providing more accurate screening and prediction of dyslexia. In addition, machine learning avoids the effects of subjective understanding bias on the one hand, and achieves higher accuracy and reproducibility in less time than human methods of identifying dyslexia on the other. Finally, machine learning has powerful high-dimensional data processing capabilities that can detect abnormalities in tiny brain imaging that may reflect important pathophysiological mechanisms that are not visible to the human eye. However, there are still some limitations in machine learning researches on dyslexia, such as small sample size, low clinical transformation rate, insufficient combination of multi-modal data, and threats to data security and privacy protection. Moreover, there is a lack of studies on the optimal intervention period for groups of children, and early screening of dyslexic children is not really achieved. Future researches should first focus on risk identification in preschool children. Second, as dyslexia is not specific to a region, language, or culture, language-independent data collection methods need to be developed to create a uniform standard database of dyslexia. Finally, we need to collect data from multiple sources (e.g., scales, behavioral tests, brain imaging, etc.), mix multiple models, and consider multimodal deep learning frameworks to improve the predictive power of machine learning, continuously optimize the constructed dyslexia screening models, and eventually achieve widespread use in clinical practice.

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    The mechanism of “cool”/“hot” executive function deficit acting on the core symptoms of ADHD children
    WANG Xueke, FENG Tingyong
    2023, 31 (11):  2106-2128.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02106
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    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a persistent neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity, which is closely related to the executive function deficits resulting from the dysplastic of prefrontal cortex. However the underlying psychological mechanisms behind neurological abnormalities leading to core symptoms in children with ADHD remain unclear, particularly how executive function deficits, which are related to abnormal prefrontal development as the underlying cognitive deficit and endophenotype, influence the emergence of core symptoms of ADHD. To address this scientific question about why and how executive function affect the two core symptoms of ADHD, the following aspects are analyzed and discussed. Firstly, based on the neuro - cognitive - behavioral developmental path, it can be inferred that executive function deficits may be the pathogenesis of the core symptoms of ADHD at the cognitive level and act as a cognitive bridge connecting neuro-developmental abnormalities to the core symptoms. Secondly, executive function can be divided into two distinct components: “cold” and “hot”, which may be the two cognitive pathways leading to different core symptoms of ADHD. And these deficits can result in different behavioral manifestations and have diverse effects on developmental outcome. Among that, the “cool” executive function deficits rooted in the dorsal prefrontal cortex might be the dominant factor affecting inattention symptoms, while the “hot” executive function deficits linked to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex might be emerge as the primary contributor to the symptom of hyperactivity and impulsivity. Building upon this understanding, the present study combines empirical and theoretical evidence to investigate the specific mechanisms through which deficits in the subcomponents of “cold” and “hot” executive function influence the two core symptoms of ADHD. And a graph is presented to illustrate the relationships between the abnormal behavioral manifestations and key executive function deficits observed in children with ADHD under these two core symptom categories. Specifically, on the one hand, the deficits in “cool” executive function mainly results in failures in working memory representation, lack of inhibitory control, and difficulties in cognitive flexibility, and further lead to limitations in attention maintenance, selection, and switching. On the other hand, the deficits in “hot” executive function bring problems like delay aversion, reward abnormality and motivation disorders, which make one fail to inhibit behavior and more likely to make impulsive decision, thereby displaying more symptoms of hyperactivity or impulsivity. In addition to elaborating the specific mechanisms of action of executive function deficits affecting core symptoms of ADHD from the perspective of cognitive and neural correlations, further empirical evidence is provided to support and refine the mechanisms from the perspective of causal manipulation of cognitive interventions and neuroregulatory techniques. Finally, future studies are expected to examine and improve the theoretical model of “cold” and “hot” executive function deficits affecting the core symptoms of ADHD, and provide more empirical evidence at the cognitive neural level. Meanwhile, future studies need to examine this influence the mechanism mentioned above in ecological backgrounds, and further develop intervention projects with personalization, precision and long-acting to alleviate the core symptoms of ADHD based on executive function. To sum up, examining the impact and mechanisms of “cold” and “hot” executive function deficit on the two core symptoms of ADHD children from the perspectives of neuroscience, cognition, and behavior is of great scientific value and practical significance. This exploration offers evidence at the cognitive and neuroscience levels, enabling a deep understanding of the pathogenesis of ADHD. Additionally, it provides an evidence-based foundation for individualized interventions and precise treatments for children with ADHD by examining the effectiveness of interventions through causal manipulation of cognitive interventions and neuroregulatory techniques.

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    Prediction of depression onset and development based on network analysis
    ZHANG Weixia, XI Min, YIN Tiantian, WANG Cheng, SI Shubin
    2023, 31 (11):  2129-2141.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02129
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    Depression is a public health issue that needs to be addressed urgently in modern society, and prevention is one of the most effective ways to tackle this problem. The key to effective prevention is to accurately identify potential depression patients, capture warning signals of changes in depressive states, and take preventive measures timely. Traditional models of common cause consider depression as potential factors resulting from multiple symptom manifestations, neglecting the dynamic relationships among symptoms. From the perspective of a complex system, depression is a network system composed of multiple symptoms interacting with each other, and the structural and dynamic characteristics of this network can provide new theoretical perspectives and measurable indicators for predicting the occurrence and evolution of depression. Structural characteristics refer to the topological properties of symptom networks, while dynamic characteristics refer to the patterns that the network system exhibits during evolution. Starting from the key issue of predicting the occurrence and evolution of depression, this paper discusses the relationship between symptom networks and depression from a theoretical perspective, and further examines the performance of topological structure features and critical phenomena-related indicators of depression symptom networks in predicting depression onset and mutation. In terms of the structural features of symptom networks, connectivity, density, centrality, and hubs are able to predict the onset of depression. In terms of dynamic features, the presence of critical slowing down and critical fluctuations provides the basis for predicting phase transitions of depression system. However, there are some urgent problems to be solved in current research: (1) In the construction of symptom networks, the determination of node content is relatively single, often only including emotion, and other manifestations of depression are often ignored; (2) The biggest challenge of critical phenomena in depression research is that the appearance of relevant indicators is not synchronous with the change of symptoms. That is to say, there is no clear mapping relationship between clinical manifestations and warning indicators. In empirical research, the relationship between the occurrence of critical phenomena and phase transitions in depression systems is complex, and the occurrence of critical phenomena does not necessarily mean that phase transitions occur, and phase transitions may not necessarily be accompanied by the occurrence of critical phenomena. (3) The dynamics of the system include self-dynamics and interaction dynamics, and dynamic analysis is based on network structure analysis. However, in current empirical research, predictions based on network structure and those based on critical phenomena are artificially “divorced”, and there is no research on dynamic analysis based on network structure analysis. To increase the accuracy of early warning signals in predicting depression, future research should construct more systematic and comprehensive networks, and optimize the method of determining depression states by using integrated or machine learning-based warning indicators.

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    The role of different sensory channels in stress contagion and its neural mechanisms
    ZHAO Rong, HUANG Yujie, KE Libinuer·aierken, LI Jingjing, GAO Jun
    2023, 31 (11):  2142-2154.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02142
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    Stress contagion refers to the phenomenon where people unconsciously absorb stress reactions from another individual in the stressed state, through observation or direct contact, and match their own physiological and psychological state to that individual. In experimental settings, individuals who experience stress are commonly referred to as demonstrators, while those who observe the demonstrator undergoing stress are referred to as observers. Sensory channels are important factors that influence the process of stress contagion, as different sensory channels transmit social information in varying ways. The experimental paradigm for stress contagion can be categorized into two types: vicarious stress and stress crossover. In the vicarious stress paradigm, the observer receives stress information transmitted by the demonstrator through one or multiple sensory channels, such as images, sounds, or pheromones that are emitted by the stressed demonstrator. In the stress crossover paradigm, the observer comes into direct contact with the demonstrator and receives stress information through multiple sensory channels after the demonstrator undergoes stress. Studies have found that different sensory information elicits similar behavioral responses during stress contagion, which are accompanied by decreased autonomic activity, increased anxiety-like behavior, and elevated cortisol levels. However, the underlying neural circuit and key regions differ depending on the type of sensory information. In stress contagion induced by visual information, the anterior cingulate cortex and insular cortex play crucial roles as key brain regions. On the other hand, in stress contagion induced by auditory information, the basolateral amygdala and periaqueductal gray are the key brain regions involved. The olfactory system’s primary receptors that receive stress pheromones are the grueneberg ganglion cell, while the basolateral amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex are the key areas responsible for stress transmission. Additionally, significant activation of the amygdala was observed in different types of stress contagion paradigms, suggesting that the amygdala may be a hotspot brain region for stress contagion. To date, no studies have investigated stress contagion induced by touch alone, and future research should explore the neural mechanisms underlying touch-induced stress contagion by developing new experimental paradigms. Additionally, future studies should aim to identify the specific brain regions that should be investigated based on the sensory channels that influence the neural mechanisms of stress contagion.

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    The sex ratio of suicide risk in China: Relevant theories, risk factors, coping strategies and social expectancy for stress coping
    WANG Zhonghan, WANG X.T. (XiaoTian)
    2023, 31 (11):  2155-2170.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02155
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    Globally, suicide is universally among the top twenty leading causes of death. Suicide risk, referring to the probability of occurrence of suicide attempts, has been widely studied, yet still lacks a reliable explanation as to the mechanisms of the suicide risk and its effective intervention. In the present article, we focus on a phenomenon that is both prevalent, culturally distinct, and challenging to the existing theories of suicide: In most countries in the world, males have a higher suicide rate than females; however, the sex ratio of the suicide of the Chinese population is markedly different and sometimes even reversed, meaning the male/female suicide ratio is less than one. Extant popular theories of suicide, such as the diathesis-stress model (Zubin & Spring, 1977), social integration and regulation theory (Durkheim, 2005), and interpersonal theory of suicide (Joiner, 2005; van Orden et al., 2010) do not provide ready explanations of this phenomenon. The present discussion aims to sort out the psychological theories and risk factors related to suicidal behavior, focusing on identifying risk factors and possible mechanisms that may contribute to sex differences in suicide.

    Most previous explanations of the sex ratio of suicide held the following two viewpoints: (1) Males were more aggressive, more success-orientated, and more risk-taking with a higher rate of injury-producing behaviors than females, resulting in more males choosing lethal suicide methods, resulting in a higher suicide rate than females; (2) Cultural and social norms allow females to engage more in help-seeking behaviors but discourage males from showing their soft sides. In addition, suicide is reviewed more as a masculine behavior. Considering the challenging Chinese sex ratio of suicide rates, a recent theory of suicide has proposed four psychological strains as causes of suicide: conflicting values, conflicts between desires and realities, relative deprivation, and poor coping skills in the face of a life crisis.

    In an attempt to search for psychological mechanisms of suicide in general and of the sex ratio in suicide risk in particular, we identified, from previous theories and research findings, two possible pathways leading to sex-specific suicide risks: (1) the number and quality of coping methods males and females use differentially to deal with psychological stress, and (2) cultural-specific social expectations for stress coping. The number of methods and socially available means for coping psychological stress may vary for males and females. For instance, men in China may have more effective social means to copy with psychological stress than women. In addition, social expectations regarding ability to cope with and tolerance to stressful events may also differ depending on the sex of the respondent. If men expect women to be more resilient to stressful events in life more than women actually do, such sex-specific expectancy may aggravate the stressful experience of women, reducing their chance of being helped and increasing their risk of suicide. From the perspective of domain-specific risk-taking, suicide risk is a unique domain of risk that is sensitive to life-history factors such as age, sex, birth order, and childhood family experience. Based on the predictions derived from life-history theory, we suggested several directions for future research to understand the sex ratio of suicide risk and to identify sex-specific and effective intervention strategies.

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    Awe’s prosocial effect: The mediating role of the small self and the authentic self
    ZHAO Yue, HU Xiaoyong, MA Jiaxin
    2023, 31 (11):  2171-2182.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02171
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    Awe is an emotional response to vast stimuli that challenge the current frames of reference and require a new schema to accommodate. A large body of empirical studies have highlighted that awe engenders various forms of prosocial behavior. Regarding the psychological mechanisms implicated, the small-self hypothesis posits that the vastness of stimuli that evokes awe elicits feelings of self-smallness, which diverts the individual's attention away from the self and towards others, thus promoting prosocial behavior; the authentic-self hypothesis suggests that awe helps to facilitate a shift in the individual's attention from regular mundane concerns to a larger spiritual presence, which stimulates the individual's pursuit of his or her authentic self, thus promoting prosocial behavior. Though these two hypotheses present distinct viewpoints regarding the psychological mechanisms through which awe fosters prosocial behavior from the perspectives of attention and transformation, relatively. Nevertheless, the relationship between the two suppositions in the promotion of prosocial behavior via awe remains unclear. An organized theoretical framework is wanting to clarify and integrate this inquiry, which can potentially be resolved by considering the “Big Two” perspective. Based on the Big Two framework, the agentic and communal dimensions are considered as the fundamental aspects of the self. The small self, which is affiliated and submissive, is part of the communal dimension of the self-concept. On the other hand, the authentic self is seen as unique and self-determined, and is part of the agentic dimension of self. Positive awe can enhance prosocial behavior through two parallel pathways, the agentic dimension (authentic self) and the communal dimension (small self) of self. The Big Two framework is also beneficial in comprehending the recent discoveries in the field of threat-based awe. Although threat-based awe can promote prosocial behavior on the communal dimension of the self (small self), it also impedes prosocial behavior on the agentic dimension of the self (powerlessness). As opposed to the consistent findings obtained in the field of positive awe, threat-based awe produces contrasting effects on prosocial behavior.

    Research in this domain will facilitate the examination of the pivotal position of emotions in relation to human sociability. Future research endeavors could develop into the following domains: primordially, scrutinizing the universality of the effects of awe on prosocial behavior, with particular emphasis on threat-based awe tinged with fear, which has elicited inconsistent and heterogeneous findings in extant research and warrant further exploration with greater depth in the future. Secondly, the prevailing hypotheses suffer from certain inadequacies. The notion of “small-self” lays emphasis on the act of shifting attention, which results in a stark dichotomy between self-directed and other-directed attention. Similarly, the “authentic-self” hypothesis warrants refinement regarding the mechanisms involved in the generation of prosocial motivation. In due course, there is a pressing need for both theoretical and empirical advancement aimed at redressing the deficiencies that currently exist. Lastly, although interventions aimed at facilitating awe have been proposed, very few initiatives target the core mechanism through which awe engenders transformation of small and authentic selves. Hence, future studies ought to construct intervention programs focused on self-transformation for this mechanism, imparting a scientific psychological insight to progress a philanthropic-based third distribution strategy.

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    The antecedent mechanisms of successful aging at work
    XIN Xun, LIU Tingting
    2023, 31 (11):  2183-2189.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02183
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    In the context of a rapidly aging global workforce, the concept of successful aging at work has garnered considerable scholarly attention due to its pivotal role in promoting productivity improvement, career development, and the realization of work values among older workers. Following the PRISMA statement, 74 papers screened from domestic and foreign databases were reviewed, focusing on four key aspects: content analysis, classification of influencing factors, proposing a comprehensive model of antecedent mechanisms, and outlining future research prospects. First, through content analysis, the research trends and overall overview of successful aging at work are visually presented, encompassing both the research development lineage and the theoretical basis of antecedent research. Second, focusing on the antecedent studies of successful aging at work, the role of four types of factors—organizational and work environment, adaptive strategies, proactive strategies, and personal characteristics—on the achievement of successful aging at work by older workers is summarized and explored, while presenting the theoretical applications of these antecedent studies. Specifically, with regard to organizational and work environment factors, the role of job characteristics guided by the job demands-resources model has been frequently examined in current research, while the influence of specific organizational environment factors such as human resource management practices, organizational support, and leadership has been analyzed based on other organizational behavior theories such as resource conservation theory and organizational support theory. As for adaptive strategies, the impact of selection, optimization, and compensation strategies guided by selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC) theory and other adaptive work adjustment behaviors on successful aging at work is explored. Specifically, two types of studies are conducted on SOC strategies: qualitative approaches are utilized to explore the specific content of older workers' SOC strategies, and empirical studies are performed to test the predictive effect of SOC strategies as variables on successful aging at work. Regarding proactive strategies, the current research focuses on the role of multiple forms of job crafting and career-developing series of strategies employed by older workers in achieving successful aging at work. Although job crafting is an active behavior, older workers' job crafting specifically emphasizes the adaptive process of individuals to changes in the work environment as they age, in comparison to universal job crafting. Hence, certain studies that explore the forms, contents, and effects of job crafting among older workers have incorporated perspectives from lifespan developmental theories that emphasize adaptive functions, such as SOC theory and MTLD theory. Antecedent studies on personal characteristics primarily involve age, cognition, motivation, and emotionality aspects of individuals, with socioemotional selectivity theory (SST) and emotion regulation theory being widely used as guiding frameworks. Third, a comprehensive model of the antecedent mechanisms of successful aging at work is proposed by systematically summarizing the mediating role of adaptive and proactive strategies, as well as the specific situations in which organizational and work environment and individual characteristic factors assume a moderating role. This provides researchers with a more complete, explicit, and actionable research framework for exploring how successful aging at work can be achieved. Fourth, based on the aforementioned analysis and conclusions, future research can be approached from the following perspectives. To begin with, an exploration of the influence of “structural” factors on individuals' lifespan developmental process can be undertaken from an interdisciplinary standpoint, aiming to enhance the explanatory validity of theories by incorporating additional theories from the fields of lifespan developmental psychology and organizational management. Furthermore, future research should strengthen the ongoing exploration of the antecedent mechanisms of successful aging in the workplace. This includes: further expanding and deepening the understanding of the scope and mechanisms of work and organizational factors; systematically comparing the dimensions of different proactive and adaptive coping strategies in promoting successful aging, and exploring how to integrate these two types of coping strategies in theory and practice; further examining the relationships among various subjective age and time-related individual characteristic variables, and their combined effects on the selection, process, and outcomes of coping strategies in response to the challenges of aging in the workplace. By doing so, a more comprehensive and insightful understanding of both the theory and practice of successful aging at work can be achieved. Lastly, future research is encouraged to make certain optimizations and improvements in research sampling and methodology. This includes the need for greater attention to the mid-career employee population, emphasizing the utilization of qualitative research methods, longitudinal quantitative methods, and the application of experimental and intervention studies. Additionally, it is recommended to enhance the measurement of age-related changes in work and individual behaviors by incorporating independent observations, peer evaluations, archival data, and other methods in addition to subjective assessments.

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    Tainted or elegant? Sexy effect on marketing
    XIE Zhipeng, QIN Huanyu, WANG Ziye, WANG Jingyuan, HE Yi
    2023, 31 (11):  2200-2218.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2023.02200
    Abstract ( 1662 )   HTML ( 12 )  
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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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