20 March 2024, Volume 47 Issue 2 Previous Issue   
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General Psychology, Experimental Psychology & Ergonomics
Influencing Factors in the Allocation of Cognitive Control: Rewards and Costs
Si Shuangqing, Zhou Sihong, Yuan Jiajin, Yang Qian
2024, 47(2): 258-266.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240201
Abstract ( )   PDF (1015KB) ( )  
Cognitive control refers to people’s ability to adaptively employ cognitive resources and adjust cognitive processes in pursuit of goal-directed behavior. Since naturally occurring behavioral situations are constantly changing, people would mobilize their control adaptively. According to the Expected Value of Control (EVC) model, the dynamic adjustment of control can be thought of as value-based decision making, centered on the integration of rewards and costs that can be expected from a control-demanding task. Hence, reward and cost are two key factors jointly modulating people’s motivation and determining the allocation of control. Following this framework but going beyond the EVC model, the current review elucidated the role of various motivation-related factors that can act as rewards or costs in the implementation of cognitive control, and discussed how they collectively adjust cognitive control.
More specifically, money, juice, or emotional/social stimuli are extrinsic rewards that can drive cognitive control and improve task performance, albeit with a few exceptions. Considering this complexity, other factors can further modulate the beneficial effects (e.g., reward-poor vs. reward-rich task conditions, the congruity of reward and task performance, and individual reward sensitivity). Besides, in contrast to extrinsic rewards that are manipulated externally, intrinsic rewards are highly integrated into control-related tasks. It can be reflected in people’s autonomic engagement with certain tasks and the positive emotions they generated. In this sense, the investigation of the influence of intrinsic rewards on cognitive control is relatively indirect, which can be achieved by adjusting effort levels and positive emotions. Relatedly, individual differences in intrinsic motivation, as reflected by the need for cognition (NFC), are also closely tied to intrinsic rewards in driving control. That is, individuals high in need for cognition are more inclined to be involved in control demanding tasks and to persist in difficult or unprofitable cognitive tasks.
Meanwhile, due to the presence of cognitive costs associated with exerting cognitive control, individuals typically show a bias toward opting for “low-effort” tasks, while decreasing the subjective value of the expected value. When discussing the impact of costs on cognitive control, it is necessary to consider the trade-off between rewards and costs. Previous studies have demonstrated that this trade-off process may vary among individuals based on their willingness to invest effort and their capacity to exert effort, depending on whether they place a higher value on rewards or costs. Consequently, we have further delineated the control signal intensity to effort levels and introduced the concept of “Subjective Expected Value of Control”, which is determined by the difference between the Subjective Value of Reward and the Subjective Value of Cost. Furthermore, the reward-cost trade-off is inherently dynamic, with individuals adapting their cognitive control with the automaticity of task performance in a given task, or in response to feature transfer across different task situations.
Nonetheless, some unanswered questions need to be further investigated. Firstly, the mechanism underlying the reward-cost trade-off requires refinement. As individuals persistently allocate control, their instantaneous subjective evaluation of the rewards and costs expected from the current task may change dynamically. Although several theories have introduced dynamic elements to the EVC model in various ways, a fully dynamic representation of the reward-costs trade-off remains a topic of ongoing exploration. Secondly, the subjective trade-off between rewards and costs can be further modulated by additional individual factors closely related to external and internal motivations. Consequently, it is intriguing to explore how individual differences in reward sensitivity, cognitive need, intrinsic motivation, and opportunity costs may dynamically impact subjective evaluation of the rewards and costs of investing cognitive effort.
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The Impairment of Prospective Memory by Alcohol Use: Antecedents and Mechanisms
Xin Cong, Wang Haoyuan, Zhang Xinyu, Lu Dongfeng
2024, 47(2): 267-273.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240202
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Prospective memory refers to the ability to remember to perform a delayed intention at an appropriate time or situation in the future, such as remembering to return a book to the library tomorrow morning or to take a daily medication. Memory failures that occur in the future generate more problems in daily life than memory failures that occur in the past. It has been found that 50~70 percent of real-life memory failures can be attributed to failures in prospective memory. The completion of most activities in daily life is closely related to prospective memory. Previous studies have typically investigated prospective memory using a dual-task paradigm, which included both prospective memory and ongoing tasks. Alcohol is one of the most widely used drugs and has been shown to play a complicated role in mental health and society. The association between alcohol use and cognitive function has drawn attention, and the adverse effects of alcohol use on cognitive function are well-documented. Alcohol use can damage the brain structure and cognitive function, and reduce the individual’s prospective memory performance. More generally, the study of prospective memory failures under alcohol is important to health behavior since many interventions targeted at non-dependent drinkers rely, to some extent, on prospective memory.
The relation between alcohol use and prospective memory is influenced by many factors, including alcohol use patterns and doses, other substance abuse, differences in research measures, and types of prospective memory. Successful completion of prospective memory relies on the coordinated functioning of the subcomponents of executive function (working memory, inhibitory control, cognitive flexibility). Individuals firstly encode and store prospective memory intentions. When prospective memory cues appear, individuals need to retrieve prospective memory intentions, inhibit the ongoing task, remember the task rules and the responses, and flexibly switch from the ongoing task to the prospective memory task. The cognitive mechanisms through which alcohol use affects prospective memory are mainly related to executive function and attentional systems. In terms of neurological mechanisms, where alcohol use affects prospective memory involves the prefrontal and parieto-occipital cortex, the limbic system (hippocampus, anterior cingulate gyrus, and superior colliculus), cerebral cortical, and medullary substance. A systematic analysis of the factors influencing the relation between alcohol use and prospective memory and a summary of the mechanisms through which alcohol use affects prospective memory is of great value. It may inform interventions efforts that aim to improve the performance of prospective memory in clinical samples of alcohol use in the future.
Future research can investigate the effects of alcohol use on prospective memory components by experimental isolation and the separation of prospective memory processing phases in combination with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) brain imaging techniques to understand the specific mechanisms of alcohol use on different prospective memory processing phases. In addition, future research should focus on the differences and improvements in research methods and on factors that improve prospective memory in clinical samples of alcohol use.
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The Influence of Nested Sets Modeling Ability and Numerical Representation on Children's Bayesian Reasoning
Shi Zifu, Chen Xiaohao
2024, 47(2): 274-280.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240203
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Bayesian reasoning plays an important role in children's future development of probabilistic reasoning literacy and better solving practical problems. Despite common in people’s daily life, previous studies have indicated that the adults seem to be unable to solve the Bayesian problem. According to previous studies, preschoolers are able to make qualitative Bayesian reasoning based on prior probability and evidence information before they have been systematically taught literacy and math skills (Girotto & Gonzalez, 2008). Zhu and Gigerenzer (2006) proved that primary school children could quantitatively perform Bayesian inference according to an appropriate number representation format through experiments. Their results showed that, when the natural frequency format was used, half of the sixth-graders answered the Bayesian question correctly. However, Pighin and Girotto’s study (2017) based on an Italian sample failed to replicate the results of Zhu and Gigerenzer (2006), with only 16% answer accuracy in natural frequency representation condition.
Recently, Brase (2021b) combined nested set view and mental model theory (Johnson-Laird, 1983) and proposed the concept of the nested sets modeling ability, which is the ability to conceptually construct mental models of nested sets. The results of their study showed that the nested sets modeling ability can predict the subjects’ Bayesian reasoning performance to some extent, and the reasoning performance of individuals with high nested sets modeling ability is significantly better than that of individuals with low nested sets modeling ability (Brase, 2021b). At the same time, the chance format is also believed to clarify the relationship between the nested subsets in Bayesian problem, thus promoting reasoning performance (Girotto & Gonzalez, 2001). However, Brase (2021a) found that even adopt equivalent natural sampling and integer format, still could not achieve the same promoting effect as the natural frequency. Hence,if using the chance representation can also clarify the set nesting relation, do children with higher nested sets modeling ability perform better in Bayesian reasoning problem than those with low ability?
To sum up, this study proposes the following hypotheses:(1) There are differences in children’s solving Bayesian reasoning problems when problems are represented in different formats; (2) The Bayesian reasoning performance of children with highly nested sets modeling ability is better than that of children with low nested sets modeling ability; (3) Children with highly nested sets modeling ability benefit more from natural frequency representation, followed by chance. In probability format condition, the effect of nested sets modeling ability is not significant.
To test these hypotheses, 285 primary school students were recruited to take part in a 2(highly nested sets modeling ability or low nested sets modeling ability) × 3(probability, chance or natural frequency) between-subjects experiment. The dependent variable was Bayesian reasoning performance, with 2 criteria: the score and the strategy children use on Bayesian problems.
The results were as follows: The main effect of number representation(F(2, 278)=13.890, p < .01, ηp2= .092) and the nested sets modeling ability (F(1, 279)=14.813, p< .01, ηp2= .051) were significant, meanwhile, the interaction effect of those two are also significant (F(2, 278)=4.023, p < .05, ηp2= .028). Based on the results, we draw the following conclusions:(1) Children with highly nested sets modeling ability have better Bayesian reasoning performance. (2) Compared with probability and chance formats, children are more suitable for reasoning in natural frequency format questions. (3)There was no difference in the reasoning performance of the subjects with highly or low nested sets modeling ability under probability format, but under natural frequency and chance format, the reasoning performance of the subjects with highly nested sets modeling ability was better than that of the subjects with low nested sets modeling ability.
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Emotional Arousal and Associative Memory: The Role of Combinatorial Mapping
Zhang Yurong, Niu Yuanyuan, Sun Caihong, Mao Weibin
2024, 47(2): 281-289.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240204
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Previous studies have found that emotional arousal has different effects on associative memory. The object-based framework explains this from the perspective of association type, which believes that emotional arousal will enhance the intra-item associative memory, and will not affect or damage the inter-item associative memory. However, studies which revealed that emotional arousal had different effects on associative memory are not only different in the types of associative memory, but are also different in the combinatorial mapping by reviewing previous studies. In the study of intra-item associative memory, multiple items usually correspond to one source, which is a "many-to-one" mapping, while in the study of inter-item associative memory, one to one item pairs are usually used, which reflects a "one-to-one" mapping. In this study, we intend to investigate whether combinatorial mapping is one of the reasons that emotional arousal has different effects on associative memory. We hypothesize that the influence of emotion on associative memory is not only related to the type of association, but is also related to the combinatorial mapping.
To test the above hypothesis, seventy-four participants from Shandong Normal University were recruited. The number of participants was determined by G*power 3.1 software with reference to the effect size standard in previous studies. The experiments were performed in E-prime 2.10. Experiment 1 explored the effect of emotional arousal on intra-item and inter-item associative memory under the condition of "many-to-one" mapping. Experiment 2 investigated the effect of emotional arousal on different types of associative memory when the combinatorial mapping between the items was "one-to-one". Both Experiments 1 and 2 used a 2 (emotion type, negative, neutral) × (association type, intra-item, inter-item) mixed experimental design. Participants were randomly assigned to intra-item association group or inter-item association group. In each experiment, three phases were included. During the study phase, participants were instructed to remember the association between the item and its character (for example, color, font, and so on) or the association between the item and background picture. Then, there was a distractor task which required participants to do the simple calculation task for two minutes. During the test phase, participants were instructed to decide whether the item had presented during the study phase first. If participants correctly judged the old items as old, they continued to do the associative recognition in which participants were asked to choose which form of item was presented or picture was presented simultaneously with the item in the study phase.
Experiment 1 showed that when the combinatorial mapping was "many-to-one", emotional arousal enhanced the intra-item associative memory and damaged the inter-item associative memory, which was consistent with the prediction of the object-based framework. Experiment 2 found that when the combinatorial mapping was "one-to-one", emotional arousal impaired intra-item associative memory and did not affect inter-item associative memory, which is not consistent with the prediction of the object-based framework. According to the result of two experiments, it can be found that when the combinatorial mapping changed, the influence of emotional arousal on the association memory would change, too. Moreover, the influence of emotional arousal on associative memory was connected with both the type of association and related to the combinatorial mapping.
The result showed that although the object-based framework can better explain the different effects of emotion on associative memory, the explanatory power of the theory still had boundary conditions. That is, the effect of emotion on associative memory was influenced by the type of association and the combinatorial mapping. The findings of this study can be used to further improve the theory that explain the different effects of emotion arousal on associative memory.
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The Influence of Immersion on Navigating Performance under Different Display Clutter Conditions: The Role of Spatial Reference Frame
Li Yiqian, Ji Ming, Song Xiaolei
2024, 47(2): 290-299.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240205
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With the increasing complexity of the road traffic system, GPS has become indispensable for many people, especially car drivers. However, using a GPS device while driving can be distracting and increase the cognitive load on the driver, leading to decreased navigation performance and potential safety hazards. To improve navigation performance and reduce the cognitive load caused by using GPS navigation, it is important to design a user-friendly interface. Numerous studies have examined the effects of physical factors, such as visual clutter, on drivers' navigation performance, but less attention has been paid to mental factors such as drivers' sense of immersion. According to the Embodied Cognitive Theory, immersion in the environment provides people with a spatial reference representation of the world, thus affecting their performance on tasks. As a result, it is important to consider both physical and mental factors when designing a user-friendly GPS interface.
In this study, we used static images of driving scenes to simulate real-world driving scenarios and recruited 30 and 28 participants for Experiments 1 and 2, respectively. In Experiment 1, we aimed to examine the effects of visual clutter and immersion on participants’ navigation performance. We manipulated visual clutter by varying the amount of detail in the picture and manipulated immersion by adjusting the angle of view with the horizon. In Experiment 2, we further examined the effect of participants' spatial reference frames (egocentric or allocentric) on navigation performance, while manipulating the level of immersion under the condition of low clutter. In both experiments, navigation performance was assessed using several indices, including reaction time (RT), number of fixations, time spent on areas of interest (AOIs), heart rate (HR), skin conductivity (SC), and subjective rating scores.
In Experiment 1, we observed that regardless of the level of immersion, participants performed better when the interface had low clutter, as indicated by faster response times, fewer fixation points, and lower cognitive load. This suggests that participants were more focused on extracting effective navigation information. However, when the interface had high clutter, performance improved with higher levels of immersion, as shown by faster response times, shorter duration of Areas of Interest (AOIs), and a higher preference level. Building upon these findings, Experiment 2 further demonstrated the beneficial effects of high immersion levels. Participants performed better when using an egocentric reference frame, as evidenced by faster response times, lower cognitive load, and higher preference. These results are consistent with the theory of embodied cognition.
In conclusion, our study demonstrated the impact of visual clutter, level of immersion, and spatial reference frame on navigation performance. The results suggest that designers could consider developing GPS interfaces with low display clutter and high levels of immersion to improve navigation performance. These findings contribute to our understanding of the cognitive mechanisms and human-computer interaction processes involved in navigation interfaces, and they may have practical implications for improving navigation performance. Future studies can be conducted in tasks that more closely replicate real-world driving scenarios, such as driving simulations or on-road experiments, to increase ecological validity and explore the influence of immersion on navigation performance in more detail.
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Developmental & Educational Psychology
Developmental Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms among Middle Adulthood: Based on Growth Mixture Modeling
Liao Youguo, Zhang Benyu
2024, 47(2): 300-307.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240206
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Middle-aged people's depressive symptoms have negative impact on children and adolescents' mental health, family harmony, and the whole social mentality. Identifying the developmental trajectories of depressive symptoms can help to design effective prevention programs. Previous studies have reported 3 to 5 developmental trajectories of depressive symptoms among adolescents, early adults, and the elderly. However, whether this pattern can be generalized to Chinese middle adulthood needs to be studied further, based on the findings that the prevalence and influence factors associated with depressive symptoms are culture-dependent.
To date, studies on the developmental trajectories of depressive symptoms among middle adulthood are far from consistent. In addition, many cross-sectional studies have proved that depressive symptoms were also affected by gender, residence, the level of education, and other factors. Nonetheless, there are few longitudinal studies conducted to explore the risk factors for developmental trajectories. Therefore, the aim of the present longitudinal study is to examine developmental patterns of depressive symptoms in Chinese middle adulthood. In addition, we also examined whether the developmental patterns would differ by gender, residence, and the level of education.
Participants were 10654 middle adulthood (53.4% females; Mage = 43.2 years, SD = 4.4 years) from the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) project conducted by China Social Science Survey Center of Peking University, recruited from 25 provinces in Mainland China. This study adopted longitudinal design at 3 times over the course of 6 years. The data were collected in 2012 for the first time, four years later for the second time, and two years later for the third time. Longitudinal data on depressive symptoms were measured by the short version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), and the internal consistency reliability of the three measures was between .75 and .79.
The growth mixture modeling was used to explore the developmental trajectories, while logistic regression was used to examine the effects of gender, residence, and the level of education. The data were analyzed using SPSS18.0 and Mplus17.4, including descriptive analysis, correlation analysis, logistic regression, latent growth curve model, and growth mixture modeling. The results showed that: (1) The developmental trajectories of depressive symptoms among Chinese middle adulthood were identified with three different patterns: consistently low group (87%), low-sharp increasing group (5%), and moderate-slow decreasing group (8%). (2) Predictors of developmental trajectories with greater symptom burden included female gender, rural resident, and lower education, a larger percentage of the low-sharp increasing group, and moderate-slow decreasing group were females, rural residents and those with lower level of education.
The study made contributions to the knowledge on the development of middle adulthood's depressive symptoms in China. It was the first study to examine the developmental trajectories and risk factors of depressive symptoms among Chinese middle adulthood. Our findings have certain guiding significance for the improvement of middle adulthood's depressive symptoms.
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Task Switching Affects Word Pairs Memory Performance: The Compensatory Effects of Retrieval Practice
Xiao Jingjing, Zhang Lijuan, Chen Dengshui, Luo Shuang, Zhang Jinkun
2024, 47(2): 308-315.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240207
Abstract ( )   PDF (651KB) ( )  
The widespread application of mobile intelligent terminals has enhanced the efficiency of individual task switching in learning and work. Studies have shown that repeated practice can effectively alleviate the impairment of judgment task switching on both reaction speed and accuracy. For example, repeated practice can reduce the response time and error rate associated with switching from Task A to Task B. Considering that both judgment tasks and memory tasks involve the engagement of executive functions during task switching processes, it remains uncertain whether the practice effect extends to memory switching tasks. Studies on retrieval practice have shown that repeated retrieval of learning content is more conducive to facilitating memory retention than repeated learning at the same time. However, whether this efficient learning method can reduce the impact of task switching on learning costs across different tasks remains to be investigated. This study aims to explore the effect of different practice methods on memory during task switching.
This study adopted a mixed experimental design of 2 (learning method: re-learning, retrieval practice) × 2 (task switching: yes, no) × 2 (test time: initial, delay), and recruited 52 college students. The results showed that the memory performance of the retrieval practice group was significantly higher than that of the re-learning group. The memory performance of the group without task switching was significantly higher than that of the mixed group with task switching. Memory performance on the initial test was significantly higher than those on the delayed test. Importantly, there was no significant difference in switch costs between the retrieval practice group and the re-learning group. However, the mixing cost (the difference between the average response time and correct rate on the repeated task between the switch group and the non-switch group) was significantly different, and the mixing cost of the relearning group was significantly higher than that of the retrieval practice group.
Based on the results of this study, we obtained three interesting findings. First, memory task switching generates learning costs. In the process of memory, task switching requires learners to spend time activating a new task set in order to complete the task successfully. That is, the activation of task switching takes up more cognitive resources and eventually produces learning costs. Secondly, compared with re-learning, retrieval practice has advantages in the learning process. The retrieval process is not only the process of recalling the content, but also the process of reconstructing the memory content, which is conducive to the improvement of the learning effect. Finally, different from the learning cost of the judgment task, this study found the phenomenon of cost reversal. Previous research on judgment tasks has found that repeated practice eliminates the mixing cost, while the switching cost still exists. However, this study finds that the mixing cost is greater than the switching cost. This discrepancy may be attributed to variations in the nature of the learning materials. Memory tasks have higher requirements for memory load, and the randomness of task presentation makes it impossible for learners to predict the form of the next task. Consequently, it becomes challenging to eliminate the impact of number recognition tasks on memory tasks.
In conclusion, this study confirms the impairment of memory caused by task switching and suggests that this may be attributed to the activation of the corresponding task set and their secondary tasks during task switching, resulting in a reduction of memory encoding resources. However, the advantages of retrieval in memory construction and search strengthen memory traces and compensate for the learning costs associated with repeated tasks in task switching.
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The Influence of Mobile Phone Dependence on the Development of Social Anxiety in Junior High School Students: Longitudinal Mediating Effect of Body Shame
Zeng Yixin, Zhang Bin, Xiong Sicheng, Long Zhuan, Zhang Anqi, Zeng Chengwei, Liu Jiaxi, Yang Ying
2024, 47(2): 316-324.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240208
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Social anxiety is a common emotional feature in the growth of children and adolescents. It mainly refers to the emotional experience of tension and anxiety when individuals interact with others in real life, which has a certain degree of negative impact on interpersonal skills, personal growth, development potential, and life attitude. In view of the multiplicity of social anxiety and its extensive influence, researchers have paid close attention to it in recent years, and it is particularly important to explore its influencing factors and developmental mechanisms. In particular, indulging in mobile phones may lead to the degradation of individual social skills, which in turn may induce social anxiety and other adaptation problems. At the same time, the propaganda of the ideal body image in media may cause the conflict between the ideal and reality among junior high school students, and deepen the shame of their own bodies. Previous studies have also shown that physical shame may play a mediating role in the relationship between mobile phone dependence and social anxiety.
However, most literature still uses the traditional analysis method of comparing the change of mean value, which is unable to provide information of the complete development rate of variables, and it is difficult to accurately grasp the dynamic development process among variables. Therefore, this study intends to take junior high school students as the research subjects, using the two indicators of initial level and development rate in the latent growth model, to examine the developmental trend of mobile phone dependence in junior high school students, body shame, and social anxiety from a dynamic perspective, and further explore the internal mechanisms of the three.
Using the Mobile Phone Dependence Scale, the Body Shame Scale, and the Social Communication Anxiety Scale, 339 junior high school students from two middle schools in Hunan Province were followed for three times in a year. All data were analyzed using SPSS 26.0 and Mplus 7.0. The first step is to use SPSS 26.0 for descriptive statistics and correlation analysis. Secondly, using Mplus 7.0 to build an unconditional latent growth model to examine the development trend of each variable, in which the intercept represents the initial state and the slope represents the development rate. The third step is to establish a conditional latent growth model to test whether the development track of social anxiety is directly affected by mobile phone dependence. The fourth step is to construct a structural equation model to explore the relationship between intercept and slope of mobile phone dependence, body shame, and social anxiety.
The results showed that: (1) Mobile phone dependence, body shame and social anxiety in junior high school students all showed a steady upward trend, and the initial level and development rate of social anxiety were significantly negatively correlated. (2) The initial level and development rate of mobile phone dependence can directly predict the initial level and development rate of social anxiety respectively. (3) The initial level and development rate of body shame played a complete longitudinal mediating role in the mechanism of the influence of mobile phone dependence on the development of social anxiety.
Based on the longitudinal time course and the latent growth model, this study systematically explored the changing track, characteristics, and dynamic relationship among junior high school students' mobile phone dependence, body shame, and social anxiety, and accurately described the development and possible mechanisms of adolescent social anxiety and its risk factors. The results supported the Social Replacement Hypothesis, the Tripartite Influence Model, and the Cognitive Model of Social Anxiety, which has practical guiding significance for deepening the understanding of junior high school students' social anxiety, establishing effective detection and intervention measures, and promoting the mental health development of junior high school students.
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Childhood Emotional Maltreatment and Early Adolescents’ Smartphone Addiction Severity: The Mediating Roles of General and Social Anxiety and the Moderating Role of Family Socioeconomic Status
Zhou Nan, Zang Ning, Wang Shaofan, Li Zixuan, Chen Ling, Li Beilei, Cao Hongjian
2024, 47(2): 325-333.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240209
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In recent years, researchers have paid increased attention to the developmental sequela of early maltreatment experiences, including addictive behaviors. Emotional abuse and neglect are particularly influential in shaping children’s later socioemotional functioning because, compared to the other types of early maltreatment, they are more pervasive and their consequences are often not immediately observable. Notably, research on the link between emotional maltreatment and early adolescents’ addictive behaviors is limited in its primary focus on the direct associations, leaving the underlying mechanisms underexamined, and in its lack of differentiation between emotional abuse and emotional neglect.
Based on the addiction compensation theory, this study sought to examine the links between early emotional abuse and emotional neglect and early adolescents’ smartphone addiction severity using data from a sample of 844, 7th graders from H province, China. This study also tested the mediating roles of general and social anxiety given that they may exhibit differential roles in explaining how early emotional maltreatment may elevate the risk of early adolescents’ smartphone addiction. Specifically, early emotional abuse and emotional neglect may contribute to the formation of individuals’ shame-based cognitive-emotional scheme, which results in individuals’ habitual hiding from others and ultimately leads to social anxiety. Further, family socioeconomic status (SES) may also factor into the associations among early emotional abuse and emotional neglect, general and social anxiety, and early adolescents’ smartphone addiction. On the one hand, early adolescents from low SES families have limited resources that are unfavorable for development and thus the negative impact of early emotional abuse and neglect, such as anxious symptoms, would be stronger than those from high SES families. On the other hand, the lack of social support in family settings with low SES also may diminish adolescents’ resilience to cope with the consequences of early emotional maltreatment. Thus, the moderating role of family SES was examined in this study.
The present path models revealed that early adolescents’ social anxiety only mediated the positive associations between early emotional abuse and their smartphone addiction severity. Moreover, the mediating effect of social anxiety was only present in early adolescents from families with high SES. These results delineated how early emotional abuse and emotional neglect may uniquely relate to early adolescents’ smartphone addiction via their associations with general and social anxiety. The incorporation of social anxiety beyond the general anxiety highlighted the importance of differentiating the two types of anxiety as well as documenting their respective roles. Further, the results also point to the necessity of moving beyond the average population to further explore the potential heterogeneity in the currently examined associations across different subgroups. The findings provide insights for future trauma-informed interventions that aim to reduce the incidence of early adolescents’ smartphone addiction. Specifically, for early adolescents with early emotional abuse and neglect experiences, practitioners should attend to their potential anxious symptoms. Moreover, for early adolescents from high SES families carrying the burdens of early emotional maltreatment, special attention is needed because of their potential social anxiety issues.
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The Reciprocal Relationship between Morphological Awareness, Structure Awareness and Idiom Comprehension among Chinese Children: A Longitudinal Study
Li Ruiying, Li Liping, Wu Xinchun
2024, 47(2): 334-341.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240210
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Idioms are a unique historical product of Chinese. And idioms are not only of great significance to the development of language and culture, but also of great value in improving children’s language learning ability in teaching. Idioms are an important part of modern Chinese vocabulary, which refer to concise and incisive phrases in Chinese. The development of idioms involves a variety of low-level cognitive skills, such as morphological awareness and structure awareness. Some linguists believe that compound words are mainly affected by the meaning of morphemes and the structure between morphemes. Morphological awareness refers to the perception and operation of the smallest unit of meaning, which plays an important role in the development of compound words. In addition, children’s decomposition of structural relations is conducive to the processing of the meaning of compound words. Thus structure awareness promotes the understanding of compound words to a certain extent. The Verbal Efficiency Theory believes that the underlying language cognitive skills (morphological awareness, structure awareness) can improve the efficiency of vocabulary processing, and high-quality vocabulary representation promotes the understanding of the meaning of compound words. Therefore, morphological awareness and structure awareness could be of great significance to the development of idiom comprehension. And as children are exposed to a rich language environment for a long time, they can have access to a large number of fresh language materials, and the learning of compound words and idioms may also help children improve their ability to decode morphemes and better grasp the structure rules among morphemes. Therefore, the acquisition of compound words also promotes the development of morphological awareness and structure awareness to some extent. The main aim of this study is to survey the reciprocal relationship between morphological awareness, structure awareness, and Chinese idiom comprehension.
The four-year longitudinal study was conducted to explore the reciprocal relationship between morphological awareness, structure awareness, and Chinese idiom comprehension over time. Participants included 136 third-grade primary school children in Shanxi Province, China, who were tracked from third to sixth grades. Morphological awareness (including homophone awareness and homograph awareness), structure awareness, idiom comprehension, phonological awareness, and IQ were measured in the study. The structural equation model was used to determine the reciprocal relationship between morphological awareness, structure awareness and idiom comprehension.
After controlling IQ and phonological awareness, the results demonstrated that: (1) Morphological awareness in the third, fourth, and fifth grades had a significant predictive effect on the idiom comprehension in the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades respectively; the idiom comprehension in the fifth grade significantly predicted the subsequent morphological awareness. However, the idiom comprehension in the third and fourth grades did not significantly predict the morphological awareness one year later. (2) The structure awareness in the third and fourth grades had a significant predictive effect on the idiom comprehension in fourth and fifth grades; the idiom comprehension in third, fourth, and fifth grades significantly predicted structure awareness in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades respectively. The results showed that the reciprocal relationship between morphological awareness, structure awareness, and idiom comprehension varied with different grades.
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Social, Personality & Organizational Psychology
Stereotype Threat Triggers Avoidance of Social Comparison: The Role of Self-Esteem and Social Value Orientation
Chen Qing, Zhao Yufang, Bao Yan, Zhang Chao, Xiong Weiyang, Wang Weichao, Huang Jinhua
2024, 47(2): 342-349.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240211
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Stereotype threat stigmatizes the target group and its members and may induce social defense. As a protective mechanism against threats, self-esteem may influence the relation between stereotype threat and social defense, but the direction of this effect may be related to social value orientation. This study examines the effect of stereotype threat, relative to no threat, on the strategies stigmatized individuals use to protect themselves (i.e., the adoption of avoiding social comparison) and the moderating effect of intrinsic self-protection structures (i.e., self-esteem and social value orientation).
Two parallel experiments using the gender-mathematics stereotype investigated the impact of self-concept threat (Experiment 1) and group-concept threat (Experiment 2) on social comparison avoidance and its boundary mechanisms, under the theoretical underpinnings of the Multi-Threat Framework. A total of 534 female college students took part in Experiments 1 and 2. Students of non-mathematics and non-psychology majors were selected as participants. Social value orientation and self-esteem were measured 1~2 weeks prior to the experiment. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all official experiments were made available via web links (programmed in JavaScript) and administered individually by a female experimenter. Participants were assigned randomly to either a threat group (Experiment 1: self-concept threat; Experiment 2: group-concept threat) or a no threat group. Participants first completed threat (or non-threat) manipulation and its checks, and then took a standardized math test and social comparison avoidance measure in order. The threat manipulations used a news digest about “men’s outstanding achievements in mathematics” and test instructions of “anonymous diagnosis of math ability”. In the self-concept threat manipulation, the test instruction was “diagnosis of individual math ability”; and in the group-concept threat manipulation, the test instruction was “diagnosis of group math ability”. The standardized math test with a time limit of 10 minutes was administered, with one question per minute and 4 seconds pause between each question. The avoidance of social comparison was measured by the test-selection paradigm in Experiment 1, which required participants to choose 5 out of 20 Derivative math problems for themselves and 5 for others. Experiment 2 required participants to choose 5 out of 20 derivative math problems for females and 5 for males.
The results showed that: (1) both self-concept threat and group-concept threat triggered avoidance of social comparison (p < .05), but the social defense effect of self-concept threat was relatively weak. Self-concept threat only reduced the degree of comparison, but did not affect individuals’ choice of engaging in social comparison. (2) Self-esteem and social value orientation played a co-moderating role (p < .05). As shown in Figures 1 and 2, the self-esteem of individuals with a prosocial-value orientation increased social defenses against threats to self-concept and group-concept, whereas the self-esteem of individuals with a proself-value orientation did not affect social defenses against threats to the self-concept and decreased social defenses against threats to group-concept. This research shows that stereotype threat triggers the avoidance of social comparison, and that the threat defense effect is limited by self-esteem and social value orientation.
Stereotype threat is based on stigmatized identities and rooted in the social structure. Its threat effects span time and place, which is very noteworthy. Compared to previous studies, this study extends the effect of stereotype threat from internal negative experiences (such as poor performance, emotion exhaustion, cognitive impairment, etc.) to the level of social connection, and details the differences between the social defense effect of self-as-target and group-as-target stereotype threat, to provide scientific basis for future psychological interventions. Research focuses on the female identity, which is border impermeable, and contributes to the social defense effect of gender identity and even border impermeable identity threats. In addition, this study examines the boundary mechanism of the social defense effect of stereotype threat from the inner self-protection structure. It turns out that the relations between self-esteem and defense is not unitary and that social value orientation plays an essential role in predicting the internal and external value basis of self-esteem, which highlights the importance of considering the value basis of self-esteem in future research.
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Nonverbal Cues for Personality Judgment: A Lens Model Analysis Based on WeChat Communication
Lin Zhipeng, Chen Shaohua, Lu Zhen
2024, 47(2): 350-357.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240212
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Computer-mediated communication (CMC) refers to the cluster of interpersonal communication technologies that are based upon the transfer and storage of information among interconnected networks of computers. Common CMCs include email, instant messaging, social networking sites, etc. WeChat is one of the most common CMC forms in China. It is generally believed that CMC lacks abundant nonverbal cues, which makes it difficult to conduct effective emotional communication and to form accurate personality impression. However, numerous studies have found that there is no lack of non-verbal communication in CMC, and users have created many emotional cues to adapt to this new communication situation, such as “emoticons”, “word repetition” and so on.
Emoticons and other nonverbal cues can be used to enhance the perceived richness of CMC, and increase the accuracy of message interpretation. CMC nonverbal helps avoid the effects of ambiguity in online communication, by supporting interactors decipher intent from ambiguous messages. The purpose of this study is to explore the use of CMC nonverbal cues and whether they can affect the accuracy of personality judgment in WeChat communication situations by using the WeChat software platform.
Procedure: In the experiment, 146 participants were divided into three groups (50, 46, 50) and conducted pair-to-pair WeChat instant chat for 5min, 10min, and 20min respectively. All 146 participants evaluated each other's personality after the chat and were asked to submit screenshots of the chat transcripts via e-mail. Finally, we conducted classified statistics and lens model analysis on the non-verbal cues in chat materials, including “word count”, “message amount”, “emoticons”, “punctuation”, and “word repetition”.
The results showed that: (1) Except for neuroticism, the total self-other agreement (SOA) of the other four traits reached a significant level, and the average SOA increased with the length of interaction; (2) The frequency of non-verbal cues in WeChat communication was 55.8%; (3) In the 10min and 20min groups, “word count” and “message amount” were diagnostic cues of extroversion, while “emoticons” and “word repetition” were diagnostic cues of agreeableness and openness; (4) The sensitivity of observers to cues of agreeableness and extroversion in the 10min group and to cues of all traits in the 20min group were significant, and improved with the increase of interaction duration.
These results suggest that WeChat communication-based personality judgments have certain accuracy, and the non-verbal cues are closely related to the accuracy of personality judgments, especially extroversion, openness, and agreeableness. Non-verbal cues are common in WeChat communication. Individuals will use a lot of non-verbal information during WeChat interaction, and observers will infer the level of personality traits of the target based on this information. However, only by providing a long enough communication time(20min) can the target present effective nonverbal cues, which can be used by the observer to infer relevant traits and make accurate judgments.
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The Too-Much-of-a-Good-Thing Effect of Job Autonomy
Dong Rui, Wang Ping
2024, 47(2): 358-366.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240213
Abstract ( )   PDF (1203KB) ( )  
Nowadays, more and more employees are granted job autonomy. According to the job characteristics model and the job demands-resources model, job autonomy is defined as the degree of freedom given to employees to decide on their own work schedules and procedures (Hackman & Oldham, 1976). The existing research showed mixed findings on the relation between job autonomy and employees' attitudes and behaviors. Some research has found that job autonomy fosters employees’ work engagement, work performance, organizational citizenship behavior, voice behavior, creativity, work-family balance, job satisfaction, mental health, and well-being, while others found that job autonomy decreases the turnover rate. However, a small body of empirical work indicates that too much job autonomy may be detrimental to employees and work-related outcomes, such as reducing employee well-being, job satisfaction, work performance, and even inducing their unethical behaviors.
The effects of job autonomy on employees’ attitudes and behaviors might be more complex than linear positive or linear negative effects. There may be curve relations between job autonomy and work-related results. However, it is difficult to explain the negative impact of job autonomy based on job demands-resources model. Then Warr (1990, 1994) proposed the Vitamin model, which challenged the assumption that job autonomy is generally beneficial. The model proposed that the effects of job autonomy on mental health are analogous to the effects of vitamins on physical health. Whereas some vitamins are generally positive regardless of the extent to which they are consumed (i.e., vitamins C and E), others become detrimental to people’s health with excessive consumption (i.e., vitamins A and D). The Vitamin model provides a new perspective to understand the positive and negative effects of job autonomy. However, the Vitamin model is phenomenon-oriented rather than theory-driven. It is difficult for researchers to clarify how the impact of job autonomy on work-related results changes from positive to negative.
Therefore, we propose a too-much-of-a-good-thing effect (TMGT effect) of job autonomy on work-related results, which means that the role of "positive" job autonomy is not always positive (i.e., the inverted U-shape). We further identify two types of underlying mechanisms of job autonomy’s TMGT effect. One is “additive benefit and cost” mechanism, the other one is “interactive motivation and ability/opportunity”. Specifically, TMGT effect of job autonomy on work performance and work well-being can be explained by “additive benefit and cost” mechanism; and TMGT effect of job autonomy on workplace deviance behavior can be explained by “interactive motivation and ability/opportunity” mechanism.
In addition, we discuss several suggestions for future research: (1) Clarify the scope of TMGT effect of job autonomy; (2) Improve the research design of TMGT effect of job autonomy; (3) Clarify the internal mechanism behind TMGT effect of job autonomy; (4) Identify the threshold points of TMGT effect of job autonomy based on the contextual factors; (5) Identify the moderators and boundary conditions of TMGT effect of job autonomy.
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Aggression and Malevolent Creativity: A Moderated Mediation Model
Wu Jiaqi, Ren Xiao, Gong Zhe
2024, 47(2): 367-374.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240214
Abstract ( )   PDF (876KB) ( )  
Creativity, involving individual ability improvement, social development, and national core competitiveness, has drawn a lot of attention in the social sciences. Creativity could have a dark side in its nature, which is termed as malevolent creativity. Malevolent creativity is the application of creativity to intentionally generate products that do harm to others and society. Prior studies have investigated a significant positive correlation between aggression and malevolent creativity. The present study has taken two theoretical perspectives by adopting the General Aggression Model (GAM) and four stages of creative thought. According to the GAM, aggression may increase the risk of malevolent by increasing anger rumination. Anger rumination may play a role of reappraisal in GAM. That is, aggression can lead to anger rumination, which in turn will predict malevolent creativity. From the perspective of four stages of creative thought, anger rumination is similar to the preparation period, analyzing and reflecting on the object of attack or the angry event, in an attempt to solve the problem by means of malevolent creativity. Furthermore, individual differences in effortful control (EC) may moderate this mediation process, in which high EC individuals may be more vulnerable to anger rumination than low EC individuals. In sum, we proposed a moderated mediation model to account for malevolent creativity. Specifically, we test the relationship between aggression and malevolent creativity, the mediating effect of anger rumination, and the moderating effect of EC, in a sample of college students.
Participants of this study were 428 college students (Mage = 19.44 years, SD = 1.39 year; 100 males, 328 females). They completed a battery of questionnaires, including the Buss & Perry aggression questionnaire, the Anger Rumination Scale, the Effortful Control Scale, and the Malevolent Creativity Behavior Scale. The proposed moderated mediation model was tested using regression analysis and the PROCESS macro. Previous studies have suggested that malevolent creativity may differ by gender. Hence, the effect of gender was controlled in all analyses. Results showed that: (1) Aggression positively predicted malevolent creativity in college students. (2) Anger rumination partially mediated this association. (3) This mediating effect was moderated by EC, such that it was stronger for students with high EC than those with low EC.
The present study is the first to demonstrate the detrimental impact of aggression and the moderated mediation effect of anger rumination and EC on malevolent creativity based on the GAM and four stages of creative thought. Our study provides evidence for the emergence of malevolent creativity through anger rumination. They also indirectly support the dual pathway to creativity model (DPCM), in which anger rumination promotes malevolent creativity through the persistence pathway. Furthermore, different from previous studies, effortful control plays a positive moderating role between angry rumination and malevolent creativity. We infer that effortful control may help the angry rumination individuals to continue processing the task at the unconscious level.
These findings have significant theoretical and practical values and can contribute to reducing individual's malevolent creativity. Firstly, the mediating effect of anger rumination suggests that we can intervene in anger rumination from the perspective of negative emotions or cognition by some methods (such as mindfulness meditation), to further prevent malevolent creativity. Secondly, the moderating effect of effortful control indicates that effortful control, as a means of self-regulation, cannot effectively inhibit malevolent creativity, but will make it worse instead. With that in mind, we may consider adopting ways such as catharsis, theorized to be a safety valve, to defuse malevolent creativity.
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Perspective Differences of Moral Cognition in Close Others’ Moral Transgressions
Xu Wentao, Zhang Kaili, Wang Fengyan
2024, 47(2): 375-383.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240215
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Western psychologists are examining how social relations shape personal moral cognition. Within this field, one significant question relates to one’s moral cognition and reaction tendencies toward close others’ moral transgressions. This question can be framed from the perspective of the Chinese cultural tradition surrounding “concealment between relatives,” which caused widespread controversy within the Chinese ethics circle at the beginning of this century. Confucius believed that it is morally right to protect and hide a family member if that person breaks the law. Many studies on this question have shown that people are not only more inclined to make moral decisions to protect close others when witnessing them committing a crime, but also more likely to recognize the moral legitimacy of protection. In fact, studies have shown this as a basic moral cognitive tendency with cross-cultural consistency among American, Japanese, and Chinese people.
Unlike trolley dilemmas, concealment between relatives, buttressed by a rich social relationship, is embodied as a self-centered moral problem in which it is difficult to avoid the influence of egocentrism. In particular, when existing research generally adopts a first-person perspective based on authorities, the corresponding self-centered deviation becomes more prominent. However, in some cases, the perspective of the authorities is conducive to a deeper understanding of the complexity of human moral cognition. A typical example is the “Veil of Ignorance,” with which Rawls further introduced the basic principle of protecting the rights of the disadvantaged with the help of the first person on the basis of the principle of absolute fairness formed in the third person. Similarly, a more direct but neglected question is: Do people have different moral cognitions toward the issue of kin concealment from the two perspectives of authorities and bystanders when facing the moral transgressions of their close others?
This study focused on these perspective differences to further reveal the complex attitudes toward kin concealment and to test the potential egocentric bias in existing studies. To begin, Study 1 directly tested these differences from the perspective of moral cognition. Further, Studies 2 and 3 verified the sensitivity of perspective differences to social relations and consistency across multiple moral fields. In the three studies, the first-person authority and third-person bystander perspectives were manipulated as a pair of intergroup variables. As for moral cognition, in addition to the “should” moral judgment and “would” moral decision-making, this study further included the separation of moral cognition (the difference between “should” and “would”) as an important moral cognition indicator to examine the extent to which the participants will protect their close friends out of selfishness rather than moral considerations.
The results showed that one’s judgment on the moral legitimacy of “concealment between relatives” maintains a stable cross-perspective consistency. Meanwhile, participants from the first-person authority perspective reported a relatively lower degree of moral decision-making intention and moral cognition separation in favor of close people (Studies 1~3). The corresponding differences in perspectives were sensitive to severity (Study 1) and social relationships (Study 2). In addition, the differences were not significantly affected by self-construction (Study 3) or social desirability (Study 2) at the individual level, and existed in many moral fields (Study 3). These results further reveal people’s contradictory attitudes toward kin concealment. That is, although this relationship preference is rooted in human moral cognition, the lower protective intention from the perspective of the authorities proves that punishing one’s own relatives for the cause of justice is a superior motive from the perspective of modern Chinese people. In addition, these differences highlight the importance of examining related moral cognition issues from multiple perspectives, using multiple indicators.
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From the Economic Domain to the Social Domain: Uncertainty in Decision-Making
Xue Jinghua, Zhu Ruida, Liu Chao
2024, 47(2): 384-392.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240216
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Due to the limitation of information and environmental factors, uncertainty widely exists in various kinds of decision-making. Uncertainty refers to the degree of precision with which individuals can make predictions based on available information. In the economic domain, uncertainty revolves around probabilistic information regarding monetary gains or losses and investigates individuals' choices in the face of uncertain financial outcomes. While research on uncertainty in the economic domain is well-established, recent efforts have focused on understanding uncertainty in the social domain. Social interactions often involve numerous uncertain decisions due to challenges in understanding others' intentions and behaviors. Social uncertainty reflects the degree to which individuals' uncertainty about their own future states and actions is influenced by uncertainty about others' states and actions. Uncertainty in both the economic and social domains presents distinct categories of challenges that humans encounter and endeavor to resolve. The "social brain" hypothesis posits that individuals may employ different cognitive and neural mechanisms when processing social information in contrast to non-social information. Hence, it is crucial to investigate the shared and distinctive psychological and neural mechanisms individuals employ when confronted with uncertainty in these separate domains.
This paper will first introduce the fundamental theory of uncertainty research, which categorizes uncertainty into risk uncertainty and ambiguity uncertainty based on the availability of existing information. Risk uncertainty involves explicit probabilities associated with potential outcomes, whereas ambiguity uncertainty involves unknown probabilities associated with potential outcomes. Additionally, important models such as the Subjective Expected Utility Model and the Max-min Expected Utility Model help quantify individuals' cognitive processes in response to uncertainty, with the latter effectively distinguishing and quantifying individuals' attitudes towards risk and ambiguity. Subsequently, this paper will expound upon the shared impacts of uncertainty in the economic and social domains on emotional responses. Faced with uncertainty, individuals tend to exhibit a degree of aversion and often seek to avoid or reduce uncertainty. Furthermore, uncertainty aversion has been correlated with activation in the anterior insula. The distinct influence of uncertainty in the economic and social domains on individual psychology and behavior will be discussed, along with the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms. Through comparing and analyzing the differences between uncertainty in the economic domain and the social domain, it shows that social uncertainty encompasses broader and more complex sources compared to the economic domain. Uncertainty in economic decision-making initially triggers changes in attention and cognitive resources, and facilitates the adoption of corresponding learning mechanisms and behavioral strategies. Ultimately, it influences the evaluation of economic outcomes in terms of rewards and punishments. Conversely, uncertainty in social decision-making affects the initial assessments of others, subsequently influencing interaction strategies, and involving feedback and social learning derived from the outcomes of social interactions.
Regarding the differences in the impact pathways of uncertainty within these two domains, we further integrate them into three stages: the initial stage, the action stage, and the feedback stage. Overall, individuals exhibit distinct cognitive strategies and behavioral patterns across these three stages of economic and social decision-making under the influence of uncertainty, which supports the "social brain" hypothesis to some extent. Individuals aim to reduce uncertainty to make future states and outcomes more predictable. But the specific goals and execution processes differ between the economic and social domains. The "social brain" hypothesis contributes to a better understanding of the differences in the impact of uncertainty in these two domains.
In conclusion, this paper summarizes the limitations of the current study and provides some recommendations for future research. Future research should explore the differential impact of risk and ambiguity attitudes, examine the benefits of uncertainty and related neural mechanisms, draw insights from classical paradigms and models within the economic domain to study uncertainty within the social domain, and investigate the transferability and generalizability of uncertainty effects between the economic and social domains.
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Partner or Servant? The Impact of Anthropomorphism on Consumer Attitudes in the Context of Brand Failures
Xie Zhipeng, Wang Jingyuan, Qin Huanyu, He Yi
2024, 47(2): 393-401.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240217
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Purposes: Previous studies have mainly focused on the positive effects of anthropomorphism. Few studies have examined the negative effects of anthropomorphism on elevating consumer expectations in the context of brand failures. Therefore, grounded in the Expectancy Disconfirmation Theory (EDT), this study aims to explore the detrimental effects of product anthropomorphism and consumer interaction from a social communication perspective. Furthermore, it seeks to address the following 3 questions: (1) what is the impact of anthropomorphism on consumers’ negative attitudes in the context of brand failures? (2) What underlying psychological mechanisms contribute to this impact? (3) What are the boundaries of anthropomorphism’s influence on consumer attitudes?
Procedures and Methods: This research used an experimental approach to investigate the aforementioned questions. Three hypotheses were posited and subsequently tested through two separate sets of independent experiments. In Study 1, we compared two contexts of the same brand (failure vs. non-failure) and utilized one-way between-group experiments and analysis of variance (ANOVA). The results indicated that high-anthropomorphism (vs. low-anthropomorphism) can lead to stronger negative consumer attitudes. To explore the impact of a tangible product (as opposed to the intangible service used in Study 1), Study 2 was designed. This study employed a two-factor between-group experiment, involving the level of anthropomorphism (high vs. low) and the type of brand relationships (servant vs. partner). The mediating effect of social communicative tendency between product anthropomorphism and negative consumer attitudes was tested using SPSS 26. Additionally, the moderating effect of the brand relationship was examined.
Results and Conclusions: The findings of Study 1 indicated that anthropomorphism in brand failures lead to higher negative consumer attitudes (M high-anthropomorphic = 5.01, SD = 1.12; M low-anthropomorphic = 3.69, SD = 1.35, F (1,185) = 52.82, p < .01,ηp2 = .22). In contrast, in the control group (non-failure), the highly anthropomorphic group exhibited lower negative consumer attitudes (M high-anthropomorphic = 1.84, SD = .88; M low-anthropomorphic = 2.71, SD = 1.48, F (1,178) = 23.15, p < .01, ηp2 = .12). The results of Study 2 examined the mediating effect of social communicative tendency (Resample: 5000, Model8, 95% CI = [ .058, .304], not including 0), and the moderating effect of brand relationships. In the partner relationship group, a high-anthropomorphic led to stronger negative consumer attitudes (M low-anthropomorphic = 3.44, SD = 1.47; M high-anthropomorphic = 4.35, SD = .99, F(1, 180) = 24.50, p < .01, ηp2 = .12). On the other hand, in the servant relationship group, a low-anthropomorphic brand resulted in stronger negative consumer attitudes (M low-anthropomorphic = 4.11, SD = 1.23; M high-anthropomorphic = 2.99, SD = 1.37, F(1, 179) = 33.37, p < .01, ηp2 = .16).
In sum, anthropomorphic products can raise consumer expectations and lead to consumer dissatisfaction during brand failures. Specifically, in the context of brand failures, when a product is positioned as a “partner”, consumers exhibit a higher level of social communicative tendency, which results in lowered consumer attitudes. Conversely, when a product is positioned as a “servant”, consumers have a lower level of social communicative demand, which moderates negative consumer attitudes. This suggests that the degree of negative attitudes towards anthropomorphic products varies based on their relationship orientation. This study not only contributes to the existing theories regarding the detrimental effects of anthropomorphic products but also provides insights for companies to effectively manage the direction and magnitude of the anthropomorphic design of their products. This, in turn, can enhance the interaction experience between consumers and products.
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Intention Information Transparency and Reciprocal Intention Promote Interpersonal Trust: Evidence from The Noisy Trust Game
Huang Liang, Li Sen, Chen Yonghui, Huang Wenxin, Zhang Xiusong, Chen Shunsen
2024, 47(2): 402-410.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240218
Abstract ( )   PDF (1173KB) ( )  
Trust is the willingness to accept vulnerability based upon positive exceptions of other’s behavior or intention. At present, most studies assume that both players are in an environment with sufficient information, and behavioral outcomes can perfectly reflect behavioral intentions. However, most daily interpersonal interactions contain elements of uncertainty or ambiguity, and results are not always consistent with intentions. Two theoretical models of interpersonal trust put forward different views. The result-based model emphasizes that people make decisions based on feedback results in a trust game. The intention-based model argues that what matters in interactions is the perception of other people's intentions. Therefore, some studies focus on the influence of the trust intention of the trustor on the reciprocity behavior of the trustee from the perspective of the trustee, and fail to fully characterize how the intention of the trustee affects the trust decision of the trustor in the trust relationship.
This research conducted two studies to explore the effects of intention information transparency and intention types on trust decisions using an adapted Trust Game - Noisy Trust Game (NTG). There is a certain probability that the choice of the trustee will be distorted into the opposite choice. Study 1 was a single-factor within-subject design. The dependent variable was the investment ratios. According to whether the trustee's intent is revealed, intention information was divided into two types: clear intention information and obscure intention information. While the no-noise condition was used as the control condition. Study 2 was a 2 (Intention types: reciprocity vs. violation) × 2 (Decision outcome: gain vs. loss) within-subjects design in the context of clear intention information. The dependent variable was the investment amounts. Because of the noise, The trustee's choice to return(reciprocity) may be distorted to retain keep(lose), and their choice to keep(violation) may be distorted to retain return (gain). The participants invested in any number from 0 to 10. RStudio and SPSS 25.0 were used for data analysis.
The results show that the main effect of information transparency is significant in study 1 (p < .001). After comparison, we find the clear intention group trust level is lower than the obscure intention group (p < .001) and the no-noise condition (p < .001). There is no significant difference in the trust level between the clear intention group and the no-noise condition. This suggests that obscure intention information inhibits trust decisions compared with clear intention information and the no-noise situation. The results of study 2 show that the main effects of intention types (p < .001) and outcome (p < .001), as well as their interaction (p < .01) are significant (p < .001). Simple effect analysis showed that in both gain and loss outcomes, the trust level of the participants in the reciprocal intention group is significantly higher than that in the violation intention group(p < .001). In the case of reciprocal intention, the trust level of the gain group is significantly higher than that of the loss group (p < .01), and there is no significant difference between the trust level of the gain group and the loss group (p > .05).
Through the noisy trust game task, this study reveals the influence of behavioral intention on trust decisions. Clear intention information and reciprocal intention are important basis for individuals to make trust decisions in interpersonal communication. This study supports the integration model of trust and verifies the significant influence of benevolence on trust decision-making. This study improves the application of interpersonal trust model in different situations. When others express reciprocal intention, individuals adjust their trust decisions based on their profit and loss. However, when the subjective intention of others is to violate trust, individuals' trust level is the same regardless of the result or loss. An important practical revelation is that, in social activities involving trust decisions (e.g., interpersonal communication or business transactions), some strategies to increase intention information transparency and reciprocal intention are positive to establish a good trust relationship.
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The Effects of Competitive Situations and Reward Motivation on Self-Deception: Evidence From Eye Movements
Fan Wei, Yang Ying, Dong Yanqiu, Zhang Wenjie
2024, 47(2): 411-423.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240219
Abstract ( )   PDF (1582KB) ( )  
Self-deception permeates social communication in domains such as finance, medicine, politics, and religion. It is intricately connected to human self-perception and emotional well-being. Self-deception occurs when one convinces oneself of an opinion that contradicts their existing beliefs, persisting in a positive belief despite of evidence to the contrary. When individuals encounter interpersonal competition, time constraints, or the potential for increased benefits, they tend to focus on their own abilities using cognitive strategies (e.g., self-suggestion and self-deception). This approach enhances motivation and performance andleads to success in competitive situations. Self-deception can stem from internal motivations, such as the pursuit of achievement, power, aesthetics, and personal growth. It can also arise from external motivations, including monetary gains, basic needs, reputation, and challenging circumstances. Previous studies examining the impact of motivation on self-deception did not incorporate any social context. However, according to the Social Influence Theory, individuals' survival within society is inevitably shaped by the influence of others. When a monetary reward is placed within a competitive backdrop, it is likely to exert a greater influence on individuals' tendencies towards self-deception.
This study examined the impact of reward motivation and competitive situations on self-deception. Experiment 1a investigated the influence of self-deception using the prospective paradigm. The findings revealed that participants in the answer prompt group exhibited higher scores in the first stage and higher predicted scores in the second stage (self-deception) compared to those in the no-answer prompt group. Experiment 1b investigated the impact of reward motivation on self-deception. The results indicated that participants in the motivation group had lower prediction scores in the second stage, indicating a decrease in self-deception, when compared to the group without motivation. Experiment 2 examined the impact of reward motivation and competitive situations on self-deception. The results indicated when reward motivation is induced, the competitive group exhibited higher predicted scores compared to the non-competitive group. However, in the absence of reward motivation, there was no significant difference in predicted scores between the competitive and non-competitive group. The competitive situation weakened the inhibitory effect of reward motivation on self-deception, but the synergistic effect of reward motivation and competitive situation increased self-deception. Experiment 3 employed the eye movement technology to investigate the visual cognitive mechanism underlying the impact of reward motivation and competitive situations on self-deception. Compared to participants who were only primed with reward motivation or a competitive situation, the reward-competition group exhibited shorter average fixation times in the True and False interest areas.
In conclusion, these findings indicate that financial incentives inducing reward motivation can decrease self-deception, but the presence of a competitive situation can counteract the reduction in self-deception caused by reward motivation. These results contribute to the enrichment and development of the theoretical model of self-deception through the lens of visual cognition mechanisms. By examining self-deception from the perspective of motivation, considering the conditions and effects of reward motivation and competitive situations on self-deception, this study offers valuable insights for further exploring the nature of self-deception, drawing from the self-service bias theory and motivation theory. Contrary to dominant perspectives suggesting that monetary rewards lead to increased self-deception, our study demonstrates that it is not the mere presence of money but rather the motivation to acquire monetary rewards that influences the occurrence of self-deception. We found that the closer individuals' predicted test 2 scores were to their actual performance level, indicating reduced self-deception. Additionally, our findings underscore the importance of considering the competitive situation as a variable, as it weakens the inhibitory effect of reward motivation on self-deception.
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Message Framing in Public Service Advertisements and Food-Saving Intention: The Perspective of Anxiety
Dai Jiatong, Sheng Guanghua
2024, 47(2): 424-431.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240220
Abstract ( )   PDF (407KB) ( )  
With the promotion of the concepts of resource conservation and sustainable development, the issue of food waste has received increasing attention. Governments and enterprises commonly communicate with the public through public service advertisements (PSA) to advocate saving food. Message framing is a crucial tool to improve the effectiveness of advertisements. Existing studies believe that message framing has a significant impact on individual decision-making, but little attention has been paid to its impact on food saving. Especially, the previous studies have generally ignored the possible influence of anxiety, which is an important psychological factor that determines individual information processing, psychological response, and behavior. In the context of food-saving PSAs, this study firstly proposes a matching effect between anxiety and message framing on food-saving intention. On the basis of the Processing Efficiency Theory and the Limited Capacity Model of Motivated Mediated Message Processing (LC4MP), it explores the influence of message framing (approach-framed vs. avoidance-framed) on food-saving intention combining with anxiety from the perspective of limited cognitive resources. This study further discusses the underlying mechanisms in the view of both information processing and affective reaction, putting forward that the depth of processing and self-evaluation mediate the matching effect between anxiety and message framing on food-saving intention.
This study examines the hypotheses with 3 experiments. Experiments 1 and 2 tested the matching effect between message framing and anxiety on the food-saving intention by measuring (Experiment 1) and manipulating (Experiment 2) the anxiety level of the subjects. Experiment 3 examined the mediating roles of the depth of processing and self-evaluation and their serial mediating effect. The results of three experiments revealed that: (1) message framing and anxiety have a significant interaction effect on food-saving intention. Specifically, approach-framed (versus avoidance-framed) PSAs could increase the food-saving intention of individuals with a high level of anxiety. On the contrary, individuals with low anxiety show a higher food-saving intention when the PSAs employ avoidance-framed (versus approach-framed) messages. (2) The depth of processing and self-evaluation play significant mediating roles in the matching effect between anxiety and message framing on food-saving intention. (3) The interaction effect could be serially driven by the depth of processing and self-evaluation.
This study reveals that anxiety serves as a critical factor that influences the effectiveness of PSA message framing on food-saving intentions. This study is among the first to systematically elaborate on the influence of message framing on food-saving intention under different levels of anxiety. The conclusion contributes a new perspective to understanding the relationship between message framing and food-saving intention. It also expands the research of anxiety and message framing by combining the two research streams. This study further investigates the internal mechanisms from the lens of depth of processing and self-evaluation. It provides new explanatory mechanisms for the influence of message framing and anxiety on food-saving intentions and enriches existing research on depth of processing and self-evaluation. The conclusions also have important practical significance to guide the government and enterprises to formulate effective PSA strategies and to comprehensively advocate for the public to practice food-saving.
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The Effect of Construal Level on Cultural Confidence
Li Xueke, Huang Wei, Bi Chongzeng
2024, 47(2): 432-439.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240221
Abstract ( )   PDF (517KB) ( )  
Under the multicultural background, cultural conflicts may lead to the crisis of cultural related self-concept, especially in cultural identity. Cultural self-confidence refers to the positive emotions and evaluation of group culture by cultural subjects, which encourages individuals to understand, choose, and evaluate cultures in a multicultural environment to cope with psychological threats. The formation of cultural self-confidence depends a great extent on the individual’s understanding and acceptance of cultural information. However, the processing of culture information is multi-layered. The core and stable consensus of cultural elements such as beliefs and values need abstract thinking. While the external elements of culture (e.g., language and cultural norms), can be easily updated with changes in the situation concretely. The diversity of culture and the complexity of expression and processing require individuals to choose both comprehensive and specific ways of thinking when understanding cultural information. The construal level not only reflects the individual's cognitive preference and habitual processing, but also shapes the cultural self-confidence of individuals and groups from the cognitive perspective.
According to the Theory of Construal Level, with the increase of psychological distance from an object, people will describe the object with a higher level of explanation. Cultural self-confidence focuses on the attribution of cultural values and cultural significance. Individuals tend to adopt an abstract way of thinking when they understand and express cultural elements and complete the construction of cultural meaning, which is consistent with the effect of matching interpretation levels. Regardless of abstract customs, values, and beliefs, or specific cultural behaviors, languages, and systems, cultural self-confidence can be reflected through significance to individuals, groups, and society, and highlights the necessity of high-level cultural construction formed by cultural self-confidence. This study uses the Behavior Cognitive Scale and the Cultural Confidence Questionnaire to explore whether the differences in cultural confidence are related to individual construction levels (Study 1). Studies 2a and 2b explore abstract thinking (vs. concrete thinking) could enhance one’s cultural confidence. Meanwhile, it conducts a mini meta-analysis to determine whether this manipulation paradigm has a universal impact on cultural confidence in the separate way from cultural cues.
In Study 1, there is a small but significant correlation between the construal level and cultural confidence with construal level positively predicting individual cultural confidence. People with a high level of understanding will have a positive attitude and evaluation towards culture, but it is only reflected in the cognitive and behavioral levels of cultural confidence. In the Study 2a, it uses the "why-how" paradigm to manipulate the interpretation level, however, this manipulating has no significant impact on cultural confidence. In the study of 2b, using the "why-how" paradigm, participants are required to write down three reasons (high construal level) or measures for celebrating a Chinese festival (low construal level). The results indicated that the construal level and cultural confidence is not directly related, but is also indirectly related through cultural content. In other words, cultural confidence can only be enhanced by manipulating a high levels culture, and a higher level of cultural interpretation ability could stimulate higher cultural confidence. However, this enhancement is only shown in the domains of cognition and behavior. This study contributes to understanding the cognitive basis of cultural self-confidence in that it helps people to choose appropriate cultural expressions in the process of spreading and promoting cultural confidence.
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The Psychological Effects and Influencing Factors Of Common Ingroup Identity
Zhu Ting, Li Lingzhi, Wen Fangfang, Zuo Bin, Ju Yiyan, Long Jiahui
2024, 47(2): 440-449.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240222
Abstract ( )   PDF (503KB) ( )  
Social categorization is a labeling cue for identity in people's lives, and it is also a way for people to develop psychological identity. When individuals gain membership in a group, they tend to compare their in-group with out-group, identify positively with the group they belong to, and give more positive evaluations to in-group members. Common ingroup identity is the positive identification emotion that group members feel toward the new superior group after constructing a new superior group for members of different groups. It can produce positive effects such as promoting psychological integration, reducing intergroup prejudice, and increasing prosocial behavior. Yet, some studies have also found that the effects of common ingroup identity can be short-lived in the face of categorizations that have strong social identity significance (e.g., race and religion). However, previous studies have mostly focused on the positive effects of common ingroup identity, its negative effects have been less addressed. Therefore, this paper summarizes the different effects of common ingroup identity from both positive and negative perspectives, explores the various factors that influence its role, and puts forward directions for future research on common ingroup identity in the context of Chinese ethnic groups.
Common ingroup identity is the positive feeling of identification with a new group, which is the result of the process of reclassifying individuals who were previously viewed as members of different groups into a common and superior in-group identity. On the one hand, this reclassification of groups has been shown to be positive. It promotes intergroup psychological integration and thus, increases satisfaction with each other. It plays an important role in reducing intergroup prejudice and easing intergroup relations. It also increases prosocial and helping behaviors. On the other hand, common ingroup identity can also be negative. There is evidence that it can reduce trust, increase intergroup hostility and prejudice, and reduce prosocial behavior due to the emergence of superiority complexes. Based on the two diametrically opposite effects, and combined with some perspectives from ongoing research by related scholars in recent years, the key influences on shared in-group identity are further summarized: individual psychological attributes such as perceived similarity to different groups and motivation to form common ingroups, group attributes such as group size and group status, different situation types, and the methods of reclassification.
Common in-group identity provides an important pathway for promoting positive interactions between groups, but it can have both positive and negative effects under different conditions. We need to further advance and explore the areas related to common ingroup identity in the future. We should repeatedly test the contradictory results of the common ingroup identity effect in the and explore the causes behind it. Future studies could explore the interaction of various factors to find the boundary point for different effects and could adopt a new reclassification method to study the important direction of the common group identity of the floating population in combination with the current realistic background.
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Dependence or Separation: The Relationship between Ingroup Favoritism and Outgroup Derogation
Qiao Yalan, Wen Fangfang, Zuo Bin, Ke Wenlin, Song Shijie, Wang Jing
2024, 47(2): 450-457.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240223
Abstract ( )   PDF (349KB) ( )  
Intergroup relation has always been the cornerstone of social psychology research. Some studies have found that the existence of ingroup favoritism depends on outgroup derogation, while the others have found that ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation are separated, and the vagueness of the relationship between ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation has led to a constant debate among researchers. Based on the psychological needs of group members and the intergroup factors of group interaction, this paper attempts to find the important factors that influence the relationship between ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation. This paper summarizes the essence, relationship and factors of ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation, which mainly includes the following three aspects.
First of all, the research shows that ingroup favoritism is widespread, and the researchers mainly explain the psychological mechanism of ingroup favoritism according to social identity theory, social projection theory and the theory of bounded generalized reciprocity. These three theories respectively focus on group identity, self and group similarity perception, and the value of group cooperation to explain ingroup favoritism. As for outgroup derogation, the researchers mainly explain its psychological mechanism from the perspective of the realistic group conflict and the integrated threat theory. According to the theory of realistic group conflict, hostility among groups occurs more due to the competition for resources, which leads to prejudice against opposing outgroup. The integrated threat theory focuses on conflicts caused by perceived symbolic threats.
Secondly, this paper expounds the relationship between ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation from two aspects of dependence and separation. On the one hand, some evidence has shown that ingroup favoritism depends on outgroup derogation, that is, ingroup favoritism can be driven by outgroup derogation. The essence of ingroup favoritism depending on outgroup derogation might improve individual self-esteem and maintain advantage. On the other hand, the relationship between ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation may be separated. Pure ingroup favoritism (without outgroup derogation) does not involve injustice towards outgroup members, whereas pure outgroup derogation is rarer. Pure outgroup derogation may exist in people who have experienced social isolation or negative experiences both in their ingroup and outgroup, and therefore has difficulty developing ingroup favoritism but holds significant hostility to outgroup.
Finally, from the perspective of the psychological needs of group members and intergroup factors of group interaction, this paper sorts out the important factors that influence the relationship between ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation. The relationship between ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation is influenced by different degrees of group identity. Specifically, when the group identity is slight and no other influencing factors are involved, an individual only shows ingroup favoritism; However, when the group identity is highlighted, the relationship between ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation increases. Besides, the motivations of outgroup derogation and ingroup favoritism are different. The motivation of ingroup favoritism is to help ingroup members, which is related to the degree of closeness and importance of group members, while the motivation of outgroup derogation may be to harm outgroup members. The main situational conditions to increase the relationship between ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation are group threat and resource competition.
In conclusion, future research can adopt empirical study to find out the role of influencing factors in the relationship between ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation, and it is also suggested to clarify the boundary between ingroup favoritism and outgroup derogation by combining social cognitive paradigms and strategy manipulation.
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Research on Social Psychological Service in the New Era
The Chinese Thinking Style and Mental Health: The Role of Mental Resilience and Self-Esteem
Huang Lianqiong, Luo Xi, Hou Yubo
2024, 47(2): 458-466.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240224
Abstract ( )   PDF (1319KB) ( )  
Extensive empirical studies have revealed the significant impact of mental health on individual psychosocial adaptation. However, with the acceleration of the pace of life and the intensification of competition, Chinese people are confronted with a sharp increase in the pressure from different aspects, followed by mental health problems that are increasingly prominent. According to the Blue Book of Mental Health: Report on National Mental Health Development in China (2019~2020), Chinese people scored significantly lower in emotional experience, self-knowledge, interpersonal communication, and adaptability in 2020 than in 2008. Therefore, it has become an urgent obligation for psychological researchers to deeply explore the factors affecting mental health and to put forward suggestions to meet people's needs for mental health services. Previous studies have pointed out that culture is an organic factor that constitutes mental health problems, and it is necessary to make efforts from the perspective of Chinese culture in order to solve Chinese mental health problems effectively. In view of this, the present study surmises that the Chinese thinking style, which reflects the characteristics of national culture, may be an important factor affecting mental health.
The purpose of this study was to examine how the Chinese thinking style, which is influenced by eastern culture, affects individuals’ mental health, as well as the role of mental resilience and self-esteem. In the present study, participants were recruited to participate in the online questionnaire survey through the online platform Questionnaire Star. The data were collected in two waves. Participants completed the Chinese Holistic Thinking Style Scale, the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale, and the demographic questions at time 1. After an interval of one week (time 2), they completed the Mental Resilience Scale and the General Health Questionnaire. Totally 630 valid questionnaires were collected.
The results indicated that (1) the connectedness dimension of Chinese thinking style significantly positively predicted mental health, while the contradiction dimension significantly negatively predicted mental health. (2) Mental resilience partially mediated the relationship between the Chinese thinking style and mental health. (3) Self-esteem not only played a significant moderating role in the relationship between the Chinese thinking style and mental health, but also moderated the relationship between thinking style and mental resilience, as well as between mental resilience and mental health. That is, self-esteem played a core role in the present model.
These findings not only revealed the significance of Chinese thinking style in affecting the level of mental health but also showed the underlying mechanism of Chinese thinking style on mental health, especially the core role of self-esteem in the model. The results of this study enlighten us that enhancing mental resilience by training and strengthening people's holistic thinking style will contribute to improving their mental health status. Future researchers should further explore the positive influence of thinking style training on mental health. In addition, self-esteem exerts great influence upon Chinese psychosocial adaptation and behaviors, thus it is necessary to pay sufficient attention to the cultivation of Chinese people’s self-esteem in the future.
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Psychological statistics, Psychometrics & Methods
Sibling Jealousy: Concept, Measurement and Theory
Qian Guoying
2024, 47(2): 467-473.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240225
Abstract ( )   PDF (445KB) ( )  
During the transition from one-child to multi-child families, sibling competition and jealousy have become high-frequency social concerns and a real problem for many young parents. The birth of a younger child often leads to adaptation issues for the first-born child. Parents of the only-child families need to pay more attention to a new relationship that emerges after the birth of a second child, namely sibling relationships, which often lead to a series of problematic behaviors among siblings due to jealousy. Therefore, clarifying the concept, measurement methods, and theoretical mechanisms of sibling jealousy is of great theoretical and practical importance in seeking strategies for healthy child development in the context of the multi-child policy.
This article begins with a brief overview of the concept and development of sibling jealousy.
Sibling jealousy refers to the complexity that arises when one child's close relationship with a parent in the family is threatened or challenged by another child. Many studies have shown that infants up to 1 year of age exhibit a variety of expressions of sibling jealousy. As children grow and develop cognitively, sibling jealousy undergoes developmental changes in childhood. Sibling jealousy in infancy is triggered by instinct and sibling threats to caregiver resources, sibling jealousy in early childhood is due to protests made by young children when they do not receive full parental attention, and sibling jealousy in adolescence arises primarily because of differential parental treatment.
Second, we discuss the measurement of sibling jealousy, including the interviews and the triadic experiment.
The interviews focus on jealous behavior and its severity in daily life. One is the Sibling Jealousy Interview by Thompson and Halberstadt, which measures the frequency, duration, and intensity of children's sibling jealousy as well as children's views and reactions to jealousy events. The other is the Sibling Inventory of Differential Experience, which measures siblings' perceptions of differential parental treatment, including six dimensions: privileges, chores, conflict, emotions, punishment, and time spent together. The triadic laboratory paradigm, a common situational experimental observation method for assessing sibling jealousy, is designed with a 9-minute jealousy scenario coded for emotional jealousy and behavioral dysregulation.
Finally, theoretical mechanisms on sibling jealousy are described from the perspectives of individuals, families, and interrelationships, respectively. Directions for future research are also proposed. In terms of research contents, the psychological mechanism of sibling jealousy is revealed in depth. In terms of research methods, the virtual scenario experiment paradigm should be created. In terms of research value, the transformation mechanism and positive significance of sibling jealousy are examined in depth.
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Evaluation of Item-Level Fit in Cognitive Diagnosis Model
Gao Xuliang, Wang Fang, Xia Linpo, Hou Minmin
2024, 47(2): 474-484.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240226
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The goal of cognitive diagnosis model (CDM) is to classify participants into potential categories with different attribute patterns, which provide diagnostic information about whether the student has mastered a set of skills or attributes. Compared with single-dimensional item response models (e.g., item response models), CDM provides a more detailed assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of students. Although CDM was originally developed in the field of educational evaluation, it has now been used to evaluate other types of structures, such as psychological disorders and context-based ability assessment. As with any model-based evaluation, a key step in implementing the CDM is to check the model data fit, that is, the consistency between model predictions and observed data. Only when the model fits the data, the estimated model parameters can be reliably explained. Item fit is used to evaluate the fit of each item with the model, which helps to identify abnormal items. Deleting or modifying these items will improve the overall model data fit for the entire test.
At present, some commonly used item fit statistics in IRT have been extended to CDM. However, there is no research system to compare the comprehensive performance of these item fit indicators in CDM. In this study, we compared the performance of χ2, G2, S-χ2, z(r), z(l), and Stone-Q1 in the CDM. This study investigated the Type I error rate and power of the above item fit statistics through a simulation study. The factors manipulated include sample size (N=500, 1000), generating model (DINA, DINO, and ACDM), fitting model (DINA, DINO, and ACDM), test length (30 and 60), test quality (high and low), and significance level (.01 and .05). The test examined five attributes. For high-quality and low-quality tests, the guess parameters and slipping parameters of the three generating models are randomly extracted from uniform distributions U(.05, .15) and U(.15, .25), respectively.
The simulation results showed that, in terms of the Type I error, z(r) and z(l) performed best under all conditions. In terms of statistical test power, when the generating model was ACDM, z(r) and z(l) had the highest average power under all conditions. When the generating model was DINA or DINO, in the low-quality test, the power of χ2and G2 was higher; and in the high-quality test, z(r) had the highest power. In short, combining the performance of the Type I error and power, if the data fit A-CDM, z(r), and z(l)performed best; when the data fit the DINA or DINO model, in low-quality test, χ2, and G2 performed the best; however, in high-quality tests, the z(r) performed better among all methods.
This study only investigated the condition that the number of attributes is 5, and the actual test may measure more attributes. Therefore, future research should focus on the influence of the number of attributes. Lastly, the person fit assessment is also an important step in the cognitive diagnostic test, which can help identify the abnormal responses of individual students. More studies on the person fit in cognitive diagnosis model are needed.
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Clinical Psychology & Consulting
Thematic Apperception Test for Suicide Risk Identification: An Audio and Text-Based Machine Learning Study
Yang Jinying, Wu Wen, Li Shijia, Zhang Ya
2024, 47(2): 485-493.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240227
Abstract ( )   PDF (984KB) ( )  
Suicide is not only a personal tragedy, but also has far-reaching effects. Identifying suicide risk is an important part of suicide prevention. Because traditional suicide risk screening methods based on self-report scales have a high rate of misreporting/underreporting, it is important to find an objective and effective identification tool.
Although previous studies on the establishment of suicide risk identification models through audio data have yielded good results, the test materials used lacked theoretical support and were time-consuming. Besides, the lack of a standardized process made it difficult to collect large data to train a model that could be applied. Therefore, this study aims to adapt the widely used Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) by two steps. Firstly, adapting the test materials into an online test to build a model, and then developing a WeChat app to obtain high-quality audio data in a standardized process to build a suicide risk model.
Study 1 began by adapting a standardized process for online administration of the TAT using the Tencent meetings. The audio of 64 subjects (High Risk Group: 34; Low Risk Group: 30) who completed the test was included in the analysis. After pre-processing, speech and text features were extracted for machine learning modeling, and four classifiers (SVM, LR, RF, KNN) were used to build the model. It was found that (1)Three pictures in the TAT test constructed the best performing classification models. Take Picture 5 in TAT for example, the LR model achieved an average ACC= .80 and an average AUC= .90. The best performing models were LR and SVM. (2) The analysis of narrative duration revealed that the subjects in the crisis group in this test generally had longer narrative durations. (3) Word frequency analysis of the full-length text using KH Coder found more words related to suicide, self-injury, and negative emotions mentioned in the narrative texts of the subjects in the crisis group, and more themes about suicide and self-injury in the narratives of the subjects in the crisis group were found through Keyword Co-occurrence Network analysis. The results of Study 1 confirm the feasibility of administering a TAT online and applying speech and text features to identify suicide risk, but the test is still time-consuming and requires a subject to administer it, so there may be experimenter bias.
To further standardize the process, reduce the test time and enhance the convenience of the test, and thus improve the applicability of the adapted TAT, we further conducted Study 2. In this Study, a WeChat app was designed and implemented, and two images from Study 1 (Figure 5 and Figure 10) were used as test materials and administered by the subjects themselves. A total of 58 subjects' audio was included in the analysis (High Risk Group: 29; Low Risk Group: 29). Four classifier models were selected for feature extraction and evaluated for effectiveness. The LR model trained with the data set extracted from the combined audio in Figure 5 and Figure 10 achieved the best results of all models in terms of ACC metrics (mean ACC= .83, mean AUC= .89). The results of the study suggest that modeling using audio data generated from a participant self-administered test can also yield satisfactory results. The constructed model achieved better modeling results with a better composite index compared to previous studies when the test took less time. The short administration time, ease of administration, and standardized procedure of the adapted TAT applet also facilitated the collection of more high-quality samples for the construction of a better generalized model to be used as an aid in the identification of suicide risk.
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Fear Reversal Learning: A New Method of Fear Regulation
Liu Xin, Mei Ying, Wu Qi, Lei Yi
2024, 47(2): 494-501.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240228
Abstract ( )   PDF (436KB) ( )  
Fear reversal learning refers to the process in which fear reaction changes between safe and threatening stimuli after the reversal of reinforcement event. It is a novel learning process combining conditioned fear and reversal learning. It reflects the problem of flexibility in fear learning. It is important to flexibly readjust fear behavior when circumstances change. Failure to adapt to the changing environment may lead to anxiety-related mental disorders. Compared with normal people, patients with anxiety usually generalize safe stimuli as threatening stimuli. These irrational fear responses impede the extinction of fearful memory. Therefore, flexible and appropriate responses to threatening and safe signals play a critical role in the adaptive regulation of emotions.
Although the paradigm of fear reversal learning has been constantly developed and innovated in recent years, the basic experimental principle still involves the reversal of a safe stimulus into a threatening stimulus, and vice versa. In fact, related studies usually use physiological (such as skin electricity), behavioral (such as anxiety arousal or valence ratings), and fMRI indicators to measure the fear responses. Moreover, considering that fear reversal learning can effectively reflect the individual's cognitive flexibility, some researchers have used this paradigm to preliminarily explore the pathogenesis of anxiety-related mental disorders. The results show that not all anxiety-related mental disorders will damage the individual's ability of fear reversal learning, but the specific reasons should be discussed in detail in future research.
To date, fear extinction paradigms are the most common model to study the process of shifting from fear to safety. However, the regulation of fear in fear reversal learning requires more flexible and accurate responses. To be specific, the shift from fear and safety and from safety to fear occur simultaneously. Clarifying the relationship between fear reversal and fear extinction can provide new ideas for the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders.
Studies have shown that fear reversal and fear extinction have different neural substrates. the ventromedial prefrontal cortex(vmPFC), the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex(dACC) and amygdala are their overlapping functional brain regions. However, the orbitofrontal cortex(OFC) is the unique functional brain area of fear reversal while hippocampus is that of fear extinction. In general, vmPFC, dACC, amygdala, and hippocampus play a key role in fear extinction. They affect each other and jointly regulate the extinction effect. And vmPFC, dACC, OFC, and amygdala, can be used as functional brain regions related to fear reversal. Specifically, vmPFC is sensitive to CS-. Yet dACC is sensitive to CS+. OFC, and some amygdala cells can quickly adjust emotions and behaviors according to external changes, while other amygdala cells continue to respond according to the initial reinforcement association. In other words, OFC and amygdala are activated to varying degrees in the process of fear reversal, which may be related to the mutual regulation between them.
According to the analysis of the existing research, there are three potential directions for future research. Firstly, future research should improve and innovate the research design. Secondly, it should explore whether there are other relevant brain regions based on the existing neural mechanisms of fear reversal learning. And hormone regulation affecting functional brain regions should also be discussed.
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Theories & History of Psychology
The Psychological Predicament of The Recipients and Its Solution from A Dual Perspective
Lou Yu, Xie Xiaofei
2024, 47(2): 502-511.  DOI: 10.16719/j.cnki.1671-6981.20240229
Abstract ( )   PDF (497KB) ( )  
Helpers engage in altruistic behavior to increase recipients’ benefits. The extent to which these altruistic behaviors are effective depends on the benefits received by the recipients. However, it is important to note that not all instances of altruistic behavior yield favorable outcomes. While the helpers’ primary objective is to help the recipients overcome practical difficulties, offering help may unintentionally impose negative psychological effects, and thus burdening them with a dilemma comprising practical problems and psychological distress. This predicament contradicts the original intent behind helping. To tackle the above issue and promote the recipients’ benefits, it is imperative to understand the causes of the recipients’ predicament incorporating both the perspectives of the helpers and the recipients.
Helpers offer varying forms of help to recipients based on their perceptions and judgments of the recipients. Unfortunately, some of these helping behaviors may yield negative outcomes for the recipients. Firstly, helpers tend to offer help when they perceive recipients to be incompetent, consequently causing the recipients to feel a lack of ability. Secondly, helpers provide help even in the absence of evidence indicating a genuine need for help. This presumptive help often imposes emotional burdens on recipients who, in fact, do not desire such help. Thirdly, when helpers feel threatened, they sometimes strategically help recipients to maintain their own superior status. Lastly, helpers prefer to provide dependency-oriented help, while recipients would actually benefit more from autonomy-oriented help.
From the perspective of recipients, being inferior to helpers can result in negative outcomes. This perception of inferiority stems from three contributing factors. Firstly, engaging in social comparisons with helpers leads them to see themselves as less competent. Secondly, receiving help without the opportunity to reciprocity fosters a sense of indebtedness towards the helpers. Lastly, recipients cannot decide which forms of help to receive, thereby lacking a sense of autonomy. In addition to perceiving themselves as inferior, holding negative beliefs about accepting help further contributes to negative psychological outcomes. One origin of such negative beliefs is attributing the helpers’ motivations to be self-oriented. This attribution leads to negative psychological experiences after receiving help.
To resolve the dilemma of recipients, we propose two paths: one for helpers and one for recipients. The path for helpers entails two fundamental aspects. Firstly, helpers should better not assume recipients to be incompetent or overly dependent without sufficient evidence, thereby avoiding threats to the recipients' sense of autonomy and capability. Secondly, helpers should cultivate a perspective that regards recipients as ingroup members, enabling the provision of autonomy-oriented help. On the recipient path, proactive engagement is necessary to mitigate the adverse impacts of receiving help. One possible way is to create advantageous circumstances for themselves such as alleviating psychological threats by paying the received help forward to a third party. Additionally, recipients can correct negative beliefs about accepting help by facilitating trust in the helpers. We encourage recipients to mitigate negative psychological outcomes by adopting a more autonomous approach. Future research should further investigate the effectiveness of these two paths and explore strategies to promote positive psychological changes among recipients.
Considering an increasing number of studies have begun to incorporate both the perspectives of helpers and recipients in the realm of helping behavior, future research should first clarify the relationship between distinct types of help to comprehensively integrate previous findings. Secondly, it is essential to consider individual and group differences when examining the divergent outcomes of receiving help. Thirdly, researchers should delve into the interpersonal consequences and long-term effects following the receipt of help. Lastly, the adoption of a dual-path perspective should be encouraged within public welfare and charitable practices to better serve the benefits of the beneficiaries.
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