ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2020, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (9): 1071-1086.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.01071

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


郭人豪, 王婷, 张积家()   

  1. 中国人民大学心理学系、国家民委民族语言文化心理重点研究基地、教育部民族教育发展中心民族心理与教育重点研究基地, 北京 100872
  • 收稿日期:2019-09-10 出版日期:2020-09-25 发布日期:2020-07-24
  • 通讯作者: 张积家
  • 基金资助:
    * 国家民委民族问题研究重点项目“少数民族学生双语学习认知规律研究”(2017-GMA-004);中国人民大学科学研究基金(中央高校基本科研业务费专项基金资助项目)“社会变迁背景下的社会排斥研究”(16XNLQ05)

The influence of multilingualism and multiculturalism on individual and social switching: Evidence from the Xibe

GUO Renhao, WANG Ting, ZHANG Jijia()   

  1. Key Research Center for National Psychology and Education, the National Education Development Center of the Ministry of Education, Beijing 100872, China
  • Received:2019-09-10 Online:2020-09-25 Published:2020-07-24
  • Contact: ZHANG Jijia


多民族国家由多个民族和族群组成。个体处于各种民族关系或族群关系中, 需要与其他民族或族群的人协作。“西迁”使我国的锡伯族分居于新疆和东北, 走上了不同的发展道路。新疆锡伯族处于多元语言文化中, 不仅保留了本民族的语言和文字, 也汲取了周边民族的语言文化营养; 而东北锡伯族则与汉族融合, 逐渐失去了本民族的语言和文字, 转用汉语和汉字。采用经典认知转换任务和联合认知转换任务, 对比新疆锡伯族和东北锡伯族在个体情境下和社会情境下的认知转换功能差异, 探讨多元语言文化对个体情境下与社会情境下认知转换功能的影响。结果发现, 在个体情境下, 新疆锡伯族的转换代价更小; 在社会情境下, 新疆锡伯族的联合机制更容易被激活, 他们分配认知资源去表征同伴的任务, 自我-他人的整合程度更高, 转换代价更大。整个研究表明, 多元语言文化对认知转换功能具有不同的影响:促进个体情境下的认知转换功能, 降低社会情境下的认知转换功能。本研究的结果为多民族国家的文化和心理建设提供了重要启示。

关键词: 新疆锡伯族, 东北锡伯族, 联合行动, 认知转换功能


Humans are quintessentially social, yet much of cognitive psychology has focused on the individual, in individual settings. The literature on joint action is one of the most prominent exceptions. Joint-action research studies the sociality of our mental representations by examining how the tasks of other people around us affect our own task performance. Executive functions are a family of general-purpose cognitive processes that allow us to regulate cognition. The main executive functions are inhibition, shifting, and updating of working memory. Growing evidence suggests that executive functions can be automatically activated in non-social contexts as well as social ones. It is necessary to test whether people automatically engage in doing the tasks their partners do even when it requires executive functions.

The Xibe is one of the ethnic groups in China, mainly inhabits Liaoning, Jilin, and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The “westward migration” separated the Xibe in Xinjiang and Northeast China and embarked on different development paths. Xibe living in Xinjiang is in a multilingual culture, which not only retains the Xibe language (part of the Tungus-Manchu group of the Altaic phylum), but also absorbs the language and culture of the surrounding ethnic groups, such as the Uigur and Kazak. While the Northeast Xibe merges with the Han ethnic group and gradually loses their own ethnic culture and language. The present study investigates the influence of multi-language and multi-culture on social cognitive function, using a task-switching paradigm to examine one of the core executive functions, which is switching.

In Experiment 1, the classical cognitive switching task was conducted to compare cognitive flexibility between the Xingjiang Xibe and the Northeast Xibe. Participants performed either a parity task (odd or even) or a magnitude task (bigger or smaller than 5), according to the frame around the number (diamond or square). The results showed that Xingjiang Xibe have smaller switch costs in the RT measure and greater accuracy. Experiment 2 employed socially relevant stimuli (faces) to tap into the switching flexibility between 2 types of categories (age and gender) and replicated the cognitive benefits of Xingjiang Xibe. These results showed that Xingjiang Xibe has the switching flexibility advantage in individual setting.

Experiment 3 compared the switching flexibility of Xingjiang and Northeast Xibe using task-switching paradigm. A switching task was distributed between two participants. Each participant performed only one of the tasks, and did nothing on the trials of the other. In the social condition, two participants shared a computer. Each performed his task on his trials, and did nothing on the trials of the other participant. In the solo (control) condition, there was only one participant, who passively viewed the stimuli when it was not his turn. There were evident switch costs in the social condition and Xingjiang Xibe showed bigger switch costs compared with the Northeast Xibe, which meant they were more automatically engaged in this joint-action situation. It might be argued that, in the social condition, participants were distracted by the presence of a partner, or that they were sometimes uncertain about whose turn it was, and these factors lowered their efficiency. These costs are referred as turn-taking costs. In order to address this issue, Experiment 4 isolated turn-taking costs from task-switching costs by adding a condition in which two participants took turns, but they performed an identical task. This condition didn’t result in switch costs, indicating that costs in Experiment 3 should be interpreted as switching costs. Experiment 5 applied eye test to further prove that Xingjiang Xibe had strong individual tendency to understand the others’ intentions.

In summary, the results showed that multilingualism and multiculturalism have different effects on cognitive switching function, positive effect in individual context and negative effect in social context. The results of this study provide important inspiration for the construction of a multi-ethnic country.

Key words: Xinjiang Xibe, Northeast Xibe, joint action, cognitive switching function