ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B
25 July 2022, Volume 54 Issue 7 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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Reports of Empirical Studies
A method for studying unconscious motion processing based on the camouflage principle
ZHAO Jiaxu, BAO Min
2022, 54 (7):  725-735.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00725
Abstract ( 714 )   PDF (1005KB) ( 987 )   Peer Review Comments
Continuous flash suppression (CFS) is one of the common methods to study unconscious visual processing. In the regular CFS paradigms used in previous studies, dynamic or high contrast image sequences (such as the Mondrian pattern sequences) are presented to one eye as masks. Meanwhile, a static or lower contrast target is presented to the opposite eye, which can be rendered invisible by the masks for a short period of time. The present study was designed to explore whether the CFS can effectively block the conscious processing of multiple moving targets. Inspired by the camouflage of chameleons in the nature, we proposed a novel CFS paradigm (which we call the “chameleon” paradigm). By using the alpha blending algorithm, we ensured the color of the targets to be consistent with the corresponding regions of the CFS masks at any moment. We then tested whether the “chameleon” paradigm can obscure the targets' motion information from awareness more effectively than the regular CFS paradigm.
We randomly recruited eight participants. Their dominant eyes were presented with the regular CFS masks, meanwhile the nondominant eyes were presented with ten spatially non-overlapping squares as the targets which moved either upwards or downwards at a constant velocity. Each square had one second of lifetime. Thus, for each square, after every one second of movement, its position was reset, and then it continued to move in the same direction at the same speed. In each trial, the target squares were presented for ten seconds (refreshing their positions ten times) at most. By manipulating the degree of color consistency between the targets and the masks, a total of four experimental conditions were included, with a “chameleon” condition and three control conditions. Participants were instructed to report the moving direction of the targets on seeing the targets by pressing a corresponding button. The program recorded both the response accuracy and the response time since the start of a trial (i.e. the time required for the targets to break into awareness, aka the breakthrough time). We also calculated the percentage of trials where the targets broke into awareness, which was called the breakthrough rate.
The results showed that the “chameleon” paradigm allowed the CFS masks to efficiently block the conscious processing of multiple moving targets. Specifically, as compared to the three control conditions with less degree of color consistency between the targets and the CFS masks, the breakthrough rate was significantly lower under the “chameleon” condition where the color of the targets was fully consistent with the CFS masks. No significant differences were found for the breakthrough rate between the three control conditions. Moreover, according to the grand average data, in the “chameleon” condition the moving targets could break into awareness within 10 s in only ~25% of the trials. For the three control conditions, this probability increased to more than 80%, suggesting an overwhelming advantage of the “chameleon” paradigm in rendering multiple moving targets invisible.
Another advantage of the “chameleon” paradigm is that it does not require the CFS masks to contain any motion information resembling the targets, thereby it ensures that the measurement of unconscious visual motion processing is exclusively from the target. Compared with the idea of modifying CFS masks in the literature, our method is believed to have broader applicability. Therefore, we recommend the “chameleon” paradigm a useful tool for future investigations of unconscious visual motion information processing.
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Flavors bias attention toward associated colors in visual search
PENG Yubin, WAN Xiaoang
2022, 54 (7):  736-747.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00736
Abstract ( 730 )   PDF (686KB) ( 975 )   Peer Review Comments
People tend to associate colors with specific flavors, establishing color-flavor associations, and people can generate flavor expectations about foods and beverages based on color. Recent research has shown that participants can generate color expectations about packaged food based on a flavor label to guide the visual search for this flavor. However, it remains unclear how flavors modulate color processing. Here, we conducted two visual search experiments to address this issue.
In Experiment 1, we used a peristaltic pump to deliver a dose of fruit-flavored beverage or flavorless purified water to the participants' mouths, followed by a shaped-based visual search task. Half of the participants were informed that the strawberry and pineapple flavors were always followed by targets in the associated colors, while the rest of them were informed that the strawberry and pineapple flavors were always followed by targets in the non-associated colors. The flavorless water was not predictive of the color of the target. Their visual searches were faster when the target appeared in a flavor-associated color or when the target appeared in a non-associated color but the flavor-associated color was absent from the display. By contrast, the flavor cue did not facilitate visual search if the distractor was presented in the flavor-associated color, thus indicative of prioritized attention to this associated color.
Considering that the participants were exposed to the flavor labels when they received their instructions at the beginning of Experiment 1, we conducted Experiment 2 to rule out the possible influence of flavor labels. Experiment 2 was performed with the same methods as in Experiment 1 except for one important difference. The participants were not given information regarding the specific flavors. They were only informed that flavors A and B were always followed by red- and yellow-colored targets, respectively. The flavors were always followed by targets in the associated colors for half of the participants and by non-associated colors for the rest of the participants. We obtained similar result patterns as in Experiment 1.
The results of these two experiments consistently revealed an attentional bias toward flavor-associated colors in the shape-based visual search. These findings show how flavor cues could modulate visual information processing. Our findings provide empirical evidence regarding color-flavor interactions by showing the influence of gustatory cues on visual attention, which allows us to further investigate the underlying mechanisms and neural basis of crossmodal influence in future research.
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The impact and mechanism of gaze cues on object-based attention

YAN Chi, GAO Yunfei, HU Saisai, SONG Fangxing, WANG Yonghui, ZHAO Jingjing
2022, 54 (7):  748-760.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00748
Abstract ( 506 )   PDF (716KB) ( 602 )   Peer Review Comments
Eye contact plays an important role in social interaction and can capture and hold attention. Previous studies have shown that eye contact can guide attentional allocation. However, a face with direct or averted gaze is a special object containing social information. The object's guidance for attentional allocation is called object-based attention, in which items in the cued object are processed more preferentially than items in the un-cued object. It is still unclear how eye contact interacts with objects in guiding attentional allocation. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of eye contact and the cognitive mechanism of object-based attention.
We conducted three experiments using the two-rectangle paradigm and objects with different gaze directions. In Experiment 1, faces were used as stimulus and to investigate whether and how eye contact interacted with face to guide attentional allocation. At the beginning of each trial, the fixation cross and two objects originally were displayed for 1000 ms on a screen. Then, a cue appeared randomly at any of the four ends of the two objects for 100 ms. After 0, 200, or 500 ms of inter-stimulus, the target appeared until the participant pressed the “M” key or remained on screen for 1500 ms. A black screen was then presented for 500 ms after each trial. During the experiment, the participants were asked to locate targets by pressing “M” as quickly as possible. We ruled out the influence of low-level features by using contrast reversed faces in Experiment 2. In Experiment 3, cups overlaid with eyes were used to explore whether the effect of eye contact still existed on real objects.
The results of Experiment 1 revealed that there was a significant interaction between gaze directions, cue position, and stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA). Specifically, a larger object-based effect was discovered when the cue appeared on the direct-gaze face compared to the averted-gaze face under 300 ms SOA condition; however, there was no significant difference between them under 100 and 600 ms SOA conditions. Further analysis showed that the differences in object-based effect occurred because the participants reacted more quickly to the target in direct gaze than in averted gaze under the invalid same-object condition, which indicated that direct gaze could capture attention and cause a larger object-based effect. The difference in object-based effect between direct and averted gaze at 300 ms SOA disappeared in Experiment 2. The results of Experiment 3 replicated the results of Experiment 1 and further demonstrated that the influence of eye contact on object-based attention could extend to real objects.
In conclusion, the present study extends the extant literature in several dimensions. First, it provides the first evidence, to the best of our knowledge, that eye contact interacts with objects, including faces and cups, in guiding attentional allocation. The top-down processing of eye contact facilitates the processing of objects under an invalid same-object location, which leads to greater object-based attention and supports the sensory enhancement theory. Second, it also reveals that the influence of eye contact on object-based attention is regulated by SOA.
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Online construction of spatial representation of numbers: Evidence from the SNARC effect in number processing in interferential situations
WANG Qiangqiang, ZHANG Qi, SHI Wendian, WANG Zhiwei, ZHANG Pengcheng
2022, 54 (7):  761-771.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00761
Abstract ( 233 )   PDF (447KB) ( 280 )   Peer Review Comments
When randomly and centrally presenting different numbers on the display and asking participants to classify the probe numbers by pressing specified key of keyboard according to numerical magnitude or parity or numerical other natures, participants invariably respond faster to small numbers with the left key pressing than the right key pressing. However, participants respond faster to large numbers with the right key pressing than the left key pressing. This phenomenon was the spatial-numerical association of the response code (SNARC) effect. Although previous studies believed that the SNARC effect was the product of the spatial representation of numbers in individuals' brains, it is unclear whether the spatial representation of numbers takes place in individuals' long-term memory or their working memory. The spatial representation of numbers in long-term memory was caused by individuals' early cultural experience, especially their reading and writing direction, and even influenced by genetic factors; however, the spatial representation of numbers in working memory was influenced by situational factors such as the provisional order of numbers, cognition tasks, interferential stimuli and was constructed online. When randomly presenting the numbers and other symbols in one experiment and asking participants to classify the numbers and other symbols depending on specific natures, the spatial representation of numbers in long-term memory was not influenced by the randomly presented context. However, the spatial representation of numbers in working memory was influenced by it. Therefore, it can be inferred that the SNARC effect was induced by other spatial representations of numbers in long-term memory or the spatial representation of numbers in working memory in the numbers and symbols randomly presented context.
Therefore, this study randomly presented numbers and letters or Chinese characters and explored the rapid presentation stimulus classification paradigm, in which participants were asked to classify numbers depending on the numerical magnitude and classify letters depending on the letters' sequence in the alphabet or classify Chinese characters depending on the Chinese characters' composition among the two experiments to investigate the encoding mechanism of the SNARC effect in processing numbers in the numbers and letters or Chinese characters randomly presented context to reveal whether the SNARC effect was caused by either the spatial representation of numbers in the mental number line of long-term memory, or the spatial representation of numbers in working memory. In addition, both the ratio of numbers to letters and to Chinese characters were manipulated in this study to investigate whether the SNARC effect on processing numbers in interferential situations was moderated by either the ratio of numbers to letters or to Chinese characters. The results show that (1) when both the ratio of numbers to letters were equal, no SNARC effect was captured in the processing of numbers in interferential situations; however, when both the ratio of numbers to letters were “6 to 1” and “1 to 6, ” the SNARC effect appeared in the processing of numbers in interferential situations. That is, an inverted U-shaped relationship existed between the alphanumeric ratio and SNARC effect. (2) The inverted U-shaped relationship between the alphanumeric ratio and SNARC effect can also extend to the processing of numbers in mixed number and Chinese character situations.
In conclusion, these results show that (1) randomly presenting the interference stimulus and numbers in one experiment can influence the SNARC effect in processing numbers by task switching. (2) The SNARC effect in processing numbers was moderated by the ratio of numbers to interference stimuli in interferential situations, regardless of the interference stimulus used. These results imply that spatial representations of numbers are constructed online by humans through statistical learning, and the results support the working memory account for the SNARC effect.
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The effect of secondary task on power-space interactions during the performance of a semantic category judgment task
ZHU Lei, SAI Xueying, Mulati Jiadela
2022, 54 (7):  772-778.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00772
Abstract ( 232 )   PDF (385KB) ( 284 )   Peer Review Comments
There is much evidence suggesting that power is represented as vertical space in our brain, specifically, verbal-spatial coding (amodal representation) and visuospatial coding (modal representation). Both codes are context-dependent, and the activation of which depends on the concurrent task. Studies using the dual-task paradigm have revealed that the explicit power judgment task activates both codes, whereas the semantic category judgment task mainly activates the verbal-spatial codes. However, it is still unclear whether the semantic category judgment task can activate the visuospatial codes when excluding the verbal-spatial codes. Thus, the aim of the present study is to explore whether the semantic category judgment task can activate the visuospatial codes when excluding verbal-spatial information.
Using the dual-task paradigm, the present study tested the effect of visuospatial and verbal secondary task on the power-space interactions after excluding the verbal-spatial codes. In the experiment, a power word was presented in the center of the screen with two response labels (“human” and “animal”) at the up or down side of the target word. The response labels were mapping to the up and down cursor keys in the keyboard. The locations of the two labels exchanged from trial to trial. This manipulation could exclude the activation of the verbal-spatial codes. Participants were required to judge the semantic category of the word in three task conditions: the single task, the visual dual task, and the verbal dual task. It is hypothesized that the power-space interactions would be affected by the visual secondary task, but not by the verbal secondary task.
Consistent with our prediction, the results showed that the power-space interactions during the semantic category judgment task were affected by the visual secondary task, but not by the verbal secondary task.
The findings suggested that (1) the semantic category judgment task could activate visuospatial codes (modal representations) individually after excluding the verbal spatial-codes and (2) the visuospatial codes were only interfered by the visuospatial secondary task.
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Exploring the representational mechanism of implicit sequence learning: Evidence from eye movements
LU Zhanglong, LIU Mengna, LIU Yujie, MA Panpan, ZHANG Ruiping
2022, 54 (7):  779-788.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00779
Abstract ( 309 )   PDF (437KB) ( 422 )   Peer Review Comments
The representational mechanism of implicit sequence learning is one of the basic problems in the field of implicit learning, and it remains unclear. Three key theories have been proposed to demonstrate the representational mechanism of implicit sequence learning: stimulus-stimulus association learning (S-S), response-response association learning (R-R), and stimulus-response association learning (S-R). Most studies of implicit sequence learning employed reaction time as a dependent variable to investigate the representational mechanism. However, using reaction time directly in the model may not be ideal as the measured reaction time has several limitations that may confuse the results. For example, the baseline of reaction time may vary across different age groups. In order to overcome the shortcomings of reaction time, the present research applied an eye movement tracking technique and used the saccadic response time as the dependent variable.
In the current study, prosaccade and antisaccade trials in single or mixed tasks were investigated with eye movements, which were recorded using an EyeLink 1000 plus eye-tracker (SR Research inc., Canada). In a prosaccade trial, the subject was asked to look towards a newly appearing target, while in an antisaccade trial, a saccade of the subject to the location opposite to the appeared target was required. Three sets of experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, forty (40) college students completed the mixed tasks which included both the prosaccade tasks (red target) and the antisaccade tasks (green target). The participants were randomly assigned to a stimulus sequence group (i.e. stimulus followed the sequence) or a response sequence group (i.e. response followed the sequence). In Experiment 2, thirty-eight (38) college students completed either the prosaccade tasks or antisaccade tasks by the instruction of experiment 2. In Experiment 3, two distractors which had one of the same features as the target (color/shape) were added in the trial.Thirty-eight (38) college students completed the distractor task or the no distractor task.
The results showed that: (1) In the mixed saccadic tasks, there was implicit sequence learning in the stimulus sequence condition and in the response sequence condition; (2) in the single saccadic tasks, there was implicit sequence learning in the prosaccade condition and in the antisaccade condition. However, significant difference in the sequence learning scores between the mixed saccadic tasks and the single saccadic tasks was observed; (3) in the distractor tasks, there was implicit sequence learning in the distractor task condition and in the no distractor task condition.
The results of the current three experiments indicate that the representational mechanism of implicit sequence learning includes learning of multiple sequences: stimulus-stimulus associations learning (S-S); response-response associations learning (R-R); and stimulus-response associations learning (S-R).
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Influence of voluntary action, nature of outcomes on sense of agency under different predictability
BU Yubo, LI Lihong, LV Xiangling, GUO Hongyuan, AN Canling, WANG Lingyun
2022, 54 (7):  789-798.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00789
Abstract ( 204 )   PDF (911KB) ( 230 )   Peer Review Comments
Sense of agency (SoA) is the feeling of having control over an external event through one's own actions. SoA is a result of the connection between one's intentions, actions and outcomes. In addition, predictability of outcomes can also have an effect on SoA. Previous studies have found that threats can reduce agency, but these results are mostly limited to aggressive behavior. A pro-social outcome is often attributable to one's own action. However, it is unclear whether a person can change their perception of their actions and results. In this study, we used the Temporal Estimates method to examine the effects of voluntary action and outcome intention on the sense of agency under predictable and unpredictable conditions.
We used the temporal binding paradigm in order to measure the interval time in a card game task. The intensity of the sense of agency was linked with the estimated interval time. Self-interested and altruistic monetary rewards or neutral outcomes were presented to the participants. In both experiments, a neutral tone emerged by pressing buttons on their own initiative (voluntary action) or following instructions (involuntary action), respectively, under predictable conditions (experiment 1) and unpredictable conditions (experiment 2). Time interval from the action to the outcome was set to 200 ms, 500 ms, and 800 ms. Each interval was chosen randomly. In the experiments, participants were asked to estimate the time interval between the keys and the sound or picture, which was expressed as a number between 100 and 1000(ms). As the time interval increased, the sense of agency lessened.
In Experiment 1, there was a significant main effect of actions. The time estimate for the voluntary action (self-initiative) was significantly shorter than the time estimate for the involuntary actions (following instruction). The main effect of outcome intention was not significant. The estimates for self-interest, altruism, and neutral outcomes were similar. However, there was a significant interaction between involuntary action and intention. It was estimated that altruistic and neutral outcomes would take longer than self-interest outcomes, meaning self-interest outcomes would have a stronger SoA. In Experiment 2, there was a main effect of actions. The SoA was weaker in the involuntary action. The main effect of the outcome intention was significant. The time interval estimation of self-interest and altruistic outcomes was longer than that of neutral outcomes. There was less SoA in self-interest and altruistic outcomes, and there was no significant difference between the two outcomes. No significant interaction was found.
The results of our study show that voluntary action plays a significant role in the process of SoA. Individual agency is primarily determined by voluntary action and outcome intention. Involuntary action can reduce individual agency. Predictability can change the individual's perception of the outcomes, especially when the self-interest outcome is more predictable than the altruistic outcome. The agency of self-interest and altruistic outcomes had no difference under unpredictable conditions and was weaker than the neutral outcome. The results show that outcome intention (self-interest and altruism) has a top-down effect on SoA and the effect is more prominent in voluntary action.
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Toddlers' anxiety predicts their creativity at the age of five: The chain mediation effects of general cognition and mastery motivation
CHENG Tong, CHENG Nanhua, WANG Meifang, WANG Zhengyan
2022, 54 (7):  799-812.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00799
Abstract ( 751 )   PDF (503KB) ( 926 )   Peer Review Comments
Anxiety is an aversive emotional and motivational state occurring in threatening circumstances, mainly including general anxiety and separation anxiety in early childhood. General anxiety is a kind of trait anxiety relating to general susceptibility to anxiety, while separation anxiety belongs to the state anxiety determined interactively by trait and situational stress. Previous studies have demonstrated the negative effects of anxiety on creativity, but less is known about the mechanisms of these effect, particular the longitudinal effects of anxiety on creativity from toddlerhood to preschool period. Processing Efficiency Theory and Attentional Control Theory explained the effect of anxiety on cognition from the perspective of cognitive processing. Moreover, childhood anxiety may longitudinally affect later development of creativity through neuroendocrine system. That is, anxiety activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) with releasing glucocorticoids, which are associated with the development of higher-order cognitive function. Thus, we assumed that anxiety in early childhood had a longitudinal adverse effect on later development of creativity. Further, the present study explored the mechanisms between early childhood anxiety and creativity in preschool period. The general cognitive ability, a foundamental component of creativity, and motivation may be candidate mediated variables. According to Piaget's cognitive development theory, a necessary precondition for the development from one cognitive stage to a higher stage is that the individual encounters with discrepancies between the previous schema and the current stimulus, which lead to the motivation to achieve a new cognitive balance. These views suggested that cognition and motivation may be two closely intertwined processes, and general cognitive functions play a decisive role in motivation activation. For younger children, the motivation is reflected in the persistence on objects and people and so on, namely mastery motivation. Accordingly, a longitudinal study was designed to examine the relation between anxiety of toddlers and their creativity when they were 5 years old, and investigate the underlying mechanism by chain mediation effects of general cognitive function and mastery motivation.
96 families (42 boys and 54 girls) were recruited from the local communities and child care clinics in urban areas of Beijing. At 14 and 25 months, infants' general anxiety and separation anxiety were reported by their mother with the Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (ITSEA-Chinese version). When children were 25 and 38 months, children's general cognition and master motivation were evaluated using the Bailey Scale of Infant Development and Dimensions of Mastery Motivation Questionnaire in the laboratory respectively. Children's creativity was assessed by Thinking Creatively in Action and Movement (TCAM) when they were 61 months.
Results showed that: (1) Both general anxiety and separation anxiety in the first two years of life negatively predicted motor creativity at preschool years directly. (2) The chain mediation effects of general cognitive ability at toddler period and mastery motivation at 3-year-old were significantly linking both types of anxiety to creativity. (3) The general anxiety could negatively predict mastery motivation, which in turn led to the decreased performance of creativity.
Overall, our findings indicated the long-term impact of both general and separation anxiety in early childhood on creativity in preschool years. Path analysis confirmed the interwined process of cognition and motivation in the development of creativity. These results suggest that early identification of child anxiety as well as intervention for general cognition and master motivation would be conducive to the development of creativity.
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The developmental cascades of prosocial behavior tendency, internalizing and externalizing problems for early adolescence in China: A within-person analysis
DUAN Wenting, SUN Qiwu, WANG Ming, WU Caizhi, CHEN Zhenzhen
2022, 54 (7):  813-827.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00813
Abstract ( 739 )   PDF (754KB) ( 989 )   Peer Review Comments
Conceptually, prosocial behavior reduces externalizing problems (e.g., aggression) and internalized problems (e.g., depression) because prosocial behavior promotes positive emotions (e.g., to find delight in helping others). Therefore, understanding the development cascades of prosocial behavior tendency, internalizing and externalizing problems is of great value to the promotion of adolescent mental health.
Developmental cascades model describes the above-mentioned process, that is, the function of one domain (level or system) will affect the function of another domain (level or system); as time goes on, multiple interactions in different domains (levels or systems) will produce cumulative effects that can spill over and affect the functions of other domain (level or system). Researchers usually use longitudinal data to test a developmental cascade model. However, previous studies tend to base their conclusions on Cross-Lagged Panel Models, which cannot sufficiently answer the causally reciprocal relationship the developmental cascade model described because CLPM mixed the between- and within-person effects. The results of the within-person analysis, which takes the person himself as the control, is more likely indicating the within-person changes of studied variables and their temporal relationships, and thus are consistent with the theoretical hypothesis of the developmental cascades model. The current study attempts to test the developmental cascades of prosocial behavior tendency, internalizing and externalizing problems in a sample of Chinese adolescents, and to show how the within-person analysis and the analysis based on traditional CLPM influence the conclusions.
The demographic questionnaire together with Prosocial Behavior Tendency, Depression-Anxiety-Stress Scale and Buss Warren Aggression Questionnaire were administered in two junior schools for three years. Totally 894 students completed the three-wave investigation. Among them, the age ranged from 11 to 15 years old (12.7 ± 0.60), including 517 boys (57.8%) at the beginning of the investigation. In terms of parents' education level, 94.6% of fathers completed nine-year compulsory education, and 56.9% of them completed high school or above level education; 91.5% of mothers completed nine-year compulsory education, and 52.2% of them completed high school or above level education.
Two models of within-person analysis (RI-CLPM and GCLM) were used to analyze the data, compared with the traditional CLPM. The data fitting indexes of the three models are all acceptable, but the results are different leading to very different conclusions. Particularly, GCLM can separate within- and between-person effects; (2) GCLM do not assume continuous development in comparison with RI-CLPM. These advantages of GCLM make GCLM have accurate estimates than other two models. Based on the results of GCLM, the research showed that: (1) at the within-person level, prosocial behavior tendency has a moderate or weak co-movements with internalizing and externalizing problems. The prosocial behavior tendency measured at T1 can predict the internalizing problems measured at T2, and the prosocial behavior tendency measured at T2 can predict the externalizing problems measured at T3; (2) For the girl group, the internalizing problems measured at T2 can predict the externalizing problems measured at T3, while in the boy group, the results did not support the reciprocal relationship between internalizing and externalizing problems; (3) The public, submissive, emotional and altruistic factors of prosocial behavior tendency can negatively predict the next-year internalizing problems, and these four factors can negatively predict the externalizing problems measured at T2. These results suggest the value of prosocial behavior as the potential way to promote adolescent's mental health, within-person analysis in the developmental cascades research, and also indicate that mental health promotion programs should take the gender difference into account.
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The reciprocal relationship between peer victimization and internalizing problems in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis of longitudinal studies
LIAO Youguo, CHEN Jianwen, ZHANG Yan, PENG Cong
2022, 54 (7):  828-849.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00828
Abstract ( 591 )   PDF (637KB) ( 930 )   Peer Review Comments
There is a close relationship between peer victimization and internalizing problems in children and adolescents. According to the interpersonal risk model, negative interpersonal experiences, such as peer victimization, are important stressors, and they leave children with their basic need for belonging unsatisfied and so lead to a series of problem behaviors. The symptom-driven model emphasizes that internalizing problems leaves individuals vulnerable to attack, so internalizing problems are risk factors for predicting peer victimization. The interaction model shows that childhood and adolescence are in high-incidence periods for peer victimization and internalizing problems, and internalizing problems may lead to negative peer reaction (such as peer victimization and peer rejection), which in turn induces more internalizing problems, and vice versa.
Many studies have explored the longitudinal relationship between peer victimization and internalizing problems, but the results have been mixed. This meta-analysis was conducted to explore the strength and moderators of the longitudinal relationship between these two variables. Through literature retrieval, 99 independent effect sizes were selected, covering a total of 70, 598 participants, which met the inclusion criteria for meta-analysis. After coding the data, we analyzed the main effect and moderating effect using Comprehensive Meta-analysis Version 2.0. Heterogeneity testing indicated that the random effects model was suitable for the meta-analysis. Based on the funnel plot and Egger's test of regression to the intercept, no significant publication bias was found in the included studies.
The main effect test indicated significant prospective pathways from peer victimization to internalizing problems (β = 0.097, 95% CI = [0.083, 0.110]) and from internalizing problems to peer victimization (β = 0.119, 95% CI = [0.104, 0.135]), which suggests that peer victimization and internalizing problems are related in a reciprocal manner. Moderation analysis revealed that the predictive effect of peer victimization on internalizing problems was moderated by age and also by the type of peer victimization. The predictive effect of internalizing problems on peer victimization was moderated by measurement interval, type of peer victimization, method of assessment, and type of internalizing problems. However, whether the participants lived in Chinese or Western cultures did not moderate the relationships observed.
The results supported the interaction model, which suggested that peer victimization and internalizing problems are mutually influencing factors. Future research and intervention program design should look for protective factors outside the individual system to help children and adolescents break the vicious circle between these two variables. Moreover, particular attention should be given to the effects of age, type of peer victimization, assessment method, measurement interval, and type of internalizing problems on the relationship between peer victimization and internalizing problems.
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The hierarchies of good and evil personality traits
JIAO Liying, XU Yan, TIAN Yi, GUO Zhen, ZHAO Jinzhe
2022, 54 (7):  850-866.  doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00850
Abstract ( 920 )   PDF (684KB) ( 1362 )   Peer Review Comments
Researchers found that moral information plays the most important role in the formation of impressions of individuals. In the previous studies on person perception, most of them distinguish moral character from other traits such as ability and sociability, and examined the priority and dominance of moral information. However, in order to understand and predict people's behavior in more specifically, it is not enough to distinguish morality from other types of traits. Five studies were conducted to explore whether different types of traits have different effects on perceptions of other people's moral (good and evil) levels?
The perception of others' moral level is fundamentally to judge their level of good and evil. The concept of good and evil personalities proposed by researchers in Chinese culture, conducts a specific interpretation of moral and immoral characters from the perspective of personality. Study 1 investigated whether there was a hierarchy between good and evil personalities. The results showed that when asked to select which traits belong to morality, the frequency of good personality traits that participants selected was more than evil personality traits. Both good and evil personality traits were selected more often than non-moral traits. In Study 2, two sub studies were conducted to explore the differences in the representativeness (i.e., the degree of usefulness) of different dimensions of good or evil personality in judging whether an individual is “good” or “evil”. The results of study 2a showed that when people judged a person as “good”, the representativeness of each dimension from high to low was: conscientiousness and integrity > benevolence and amicability ≈ tolerance and magnanimity > altruism and dedication. The results of study 2b showed that when people judged a person to be “evil”, the representativeness of each dimension from high to low was: atrociousness and mercilessness > faithlessness and treacherousness ≈ calumniation and circumvention > mendacity and hypocrisy. In Study 3, desirability and the scope of trait were used as the measurement standards to verify the hierarchies of good (and evil) personality traits inference. The scope of trait describes the minimum behavior frequency that people need to identify a trait. Results showed that desirability and the scope of trait of each dimension were consistent to Study 2. The differential patterns were also demonstrated by ranking method in Study 4. When people need to judge the good and evil degrees of a person, they thought that the conscientiousness and integrity dimension was more important than the altruism and dedication; and the atrociousness and mercilessness dimension was more important than the mendacity and hypocrisy.
People always show different patterns of good and evil in thoughts, feelings and behaviors, which can be attributed to personality traits related to good and evil. The study of good and evil personality contributes to people's basic understanding of good and evil. Moreover, the hierarchies model of good and evil personality traits which based on Chinese culture provided a new idea for the integration of the content of good and evil judgment.
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