Sponsor(s): Chinese Psychological Society; Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
12 issues per year
Current Issue: Issue 03, 2020
Journal official website:http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/0439-755X/home.shtml
Acta Psychologica Sinica is a scholarly journal sponsored by Chinese Psychological Society and Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, co-sponsored by Department of Psychology, Chinese University of HongKong, published monthly by the Science Press. It is to publish original empirical studies and theoretical papers in the broad field of psychology including cognitive and experimental psychology, developmental and educational psychology, physiological and medical psychology, management social psychology, psychological measure, psychological history and method et al.
ZHANG Kan, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
FUNG Helene Hoi Lam, Department of Psychology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
HAU Kit-Tai, Department of Educational Psychology, Chinese Univ
Acta Psychologica Sinica,2020,Vol 52,No. 03
Inhibition of return (IOR) has been greatly explored in the visual or auditory modality. Investigations on spatial IOR even have extended to the cross-modal link between visual and auditory information processing. The present study examined the generation and variation of IOR effects when targets from the visual and auditory modalities were presented simultaneously (audiovisual targets). In addition, it explored the effect of bimodal divided attention on IOR with audiovisual targets by directing the attention to different modality to form two conditions of attention. The present study consisted of 3 experiments. In these experiments, we mainly manipulated the target modalities (including visual, auditory, and audiovisual modalities) and cue validities (including cued, neutral, uncued). Thirty-seven college students in Liaoning province were recruited in Exp. 1. The visual (V) target was white horizontal square wave grating (4° × 4°; the spatial frequency was 1 cycle/degree), the auditory (A) target (duration of 100 ms) was a 1 000 Hz sinusoidal tone presented by the speakers. The audiovisual (AV) target was composed by the simultaneous presentation of both the visual and the auditory stimuli. During the experiment the fixation stimulus was presented for 800–1 000 ms in the center of the monitor. Following the fixation stimulus, uninformative exogenous visual spatial cues were presented between 400–600 ms prior to the onset of targets for 100 ms at the left or right location. Then, the probability of the target (A, V, or AV) appeared for 100 ms in the center was 0.6 (No-go trials), the probability of the target may occur on left or right location was 0.2 (Go trials). The participants were instructed to pay attention to both V and A modalities, then respond to the target stimulus in the left or right location by pressing the response button as quickly and accurately as possible. Thirty-two college students were recruited in Exp. 2. The auditory stimuli were unattended and presented peripherally. Thirty-nine college students were recruited in Exp. 3. The auditory stimuli were unattended and presented centrally, the others were identical to that in Exp. 2. Based on the results of accuracy (ACC), it can be seen that the overall ACC was very high in Exp. 1. The mean ACC of AV targets was significantly higher than to either V or A targets. According to the results of reaction times (RTs), the mean RT of AV targets were significantly faster than to either V or A targets as expected, indicating the appearance of the bimodal advancement effect. For V targets, the RTs in the cued condition were slower than those in the uncued condition, demonstrated a typical IOR effect. There weren’t IOR effect elicited by AV targets when paying attention to both V and A modalities (Exp. 1). From the results of the relative amount of multisensory response enhancement (rMRE), we found a larger rMRE in the cued condition than that in the uncued condition. In Exp. 2 and Exp. 3, we found the comparable IOR with V and AV targets when the simultaneous auditory stimuli were unattended and presented peripherally or centrally. In addition, we found the comparable rMRE with V and AV targets when the simultaneous auditory stimuli were unattended and presented peripherally or centrally. These results suggested that the IOR effect elicited by AV targets was reduced when paying attention to multiple modalities. However, when auditory stimuli were unattended, there was no difference between the visual and audiovisual IOR effects. Based on the aforementioned findings, it indicated that bimodal divided attention can influence IOR with audiovisual targets.
Mediating Roles of Gratitude, Social Support and Posttraumatic Growth in the Relation Between Empathy and Prosocial Behavior among Adolescents after the Ya’an Earthquake
Acta Psychologica Sinica,2020,Vol 52,No. 03
Empathy refers to the traits, or tendencies, of a person to affectively experience emotions of concern at the suffering of others and to cognitively adopt another person’s perspective. Possession of empathy has been assumed to encourage prosocial behavior. The mechanisms by which empathy affects prosocial behavior for adolescent survivors of disaster, however, are unclear. Posttraumatic growth (PTG) is considered a common positive change following trauma events and is identified as having a high prevalence rate in various trauma types. After experiencing natural disasters, individuals with high empathy are more vulnerable to their adverse environment and the traumatic situations of others. This results of more psychological pressure and fear, and these pressures and negative emotions force individuals to think about the meaning of trauma, thus promoting the generation of PTG. The emergence of PTG brings positive behavior change among survivors after the disaster. Therefore, it is suggested that empathy may exert indirect effects on prosocial behavior through PTG. According to current theories, empathy has different emotional and cognitive components. When individuals empathize with others, these components are activated, which may lead to gratitude and, in turn, result in prosocial behavior. As a moral barometer, gratitude informs the beneficiary that a benefactor has bestowed a gift. The prosocial behavior of a benefactor toward a beneficiary is thought to produce gratitude within the beneficiary. This then stimulates the beneficiary's prosocial behavior, further strengthening the benefactor's own prosocial behavior. Furthermore, traumatized survivors with greater empathy may improve communication with others, increase the sense of intimacy, and perceive more support from others, meaning that empathy may lead individuals to have more social support. Social support refers to an individual’s perception of the support provided by others. That perception can be influenced by gratitude. Adolescents with low social support are more likely to interpret other people’s ambiguous actions as aggressive. Thus, stable social relationships seem to promote PTG and prosocial behavior. Taken together, it is possible that empathy can promote prosocial behavior through gratitude, social support, and PTG in post-disaster contexts. The utility of these predictions, however, was unclear. To examine the relation between empathy, gratitude, social support, PTG and prosocial behavior, this study used an interpersonal reactivity index scale, gratitude questionnaire, social support questionnaire, posttraumatic growth inventory and prosocial behavior questionnaire to assess 542 adolescents following Ya’an earthquake. The results indicated that after controlling the trauma exposure, empathy has a positive association with prosocial behavior through the following routes: three one-mediator paths of gratitude, social support and PTG, respectively; three two-mediator paths of gratitude via PTG, social support via PTG and gratitude via social support, and one three-mediator path from gratitude to PTG via social support. These findings suggested that following a natural disaster, adolescent survivors’ empathy may have an indirect and positive relation with prosocial behavior by gratitude, social support and PTG.
Empathy for pain in individuals with autistic traits influenced by attention cues: evidence from an ERP study
Acta Psychologica Sinica,2020,Vol 52,No. 03
Previous studies have found that the behavioral patterns of individuals with autistic traits are similar to those of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). That is, individuals with autistic traits show empathy deficit in daily life, but the severity of such deficit does not meet the clinical diagnostic criteria for ASD. The similar behaviors between the two mean that studying individuals with autistic traits can help us understand the empathy characteristics of individuals with ASD. At present, the results of studies on the empathy for pain of individuals with autistic traits are not consistent. It is possible that attention cues and specific face processing may affect their empathy processing. Therefore, in this study, pictures of painful faces were used as stimulus materials, and the event-related potentials (ERPs) technique was adopted to explore the effect of attention cues on the pain empathy processing of individuals with autistic traits. The study randomly selected 30 healthy undergraduates (15 males) as the autistic traits group, and 30 healthy undergraduates (16 males) as the control group. The experiment, based on a three-factor mixed design (2 × 2 × 2), included two tasks: 1) pain judgment task: the participants were required to judge whether there was pain in the pictures of painful faces (with a needle on the cheek) and the pictures of non-painful faces (touched gently with a cotton swab), where the participants’ attention was directed to pain cues. 2) Attractiveness judgment task: the participants were required to judge whether the faces were attractive or not, where the participants’ attention was not pointed to pain cues. EEG during the observation of pictures under different experiment tasks was recorded by a 64-channel amplifier with a standard 10–20 system (Brain Products). The ERP results revealed that the attention cues would influence component P3 in the late-stage cognitive processing, but not the early automatic component. Compared with the control group, the autistic traits group showed a larger P3 amplitude induced by the pictures of painful faces in the attractiveness judgment task; however, in the pain judgment task, there was no significant difference between the two groups. This suggests that top-down attention to visual pain cues may moderate the late-stage processing of empathy for pain in individuals with autistic traits, as manifested in the following fact: when individuals with autistic traits pay attention to pain cues, they have similar empathic neural responses to the control group; when they do not pay attention to pain cues, they process other people’s painful faces to a higher degree. This result also suggests that individuals with autistic traits may avoid other people’s facial information, and provides evidence for their empathy deficit. This conclusion is helpful for understanding the cognitive processing characteristics and influencing factors of empathy for pain in individuals with ASD.