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Dr. Wang Jianxin, Young Teacher of Central South University, Published Research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
March 10, 2017Click:

Dr. Wang Jianxin, a young teacher and a core member of Professor Rao Yulei’s team from the School of Business, CSU, published his paper “An experimental analysis of acquired impulse control among adult humans intolerant to alcohol”(the first author: Wang Jianxin, the second author: Rao Yulei, the corresponding author: Daniel Houser) in Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).


The influence of this paper ranks top 3% among 7,219,034 papers, and the level of attention received by it ranks top 11% among 42,984 papers published in PNAS, one of the top three journals in the world (another two are Nature and Science. Most of papers published by them are reviewed by the academicians of National Academy of Science and their impact factors are maintained between 9.5 and 10), according to Altmetric, an evaluation and scoring system for international journals and papers. This paper is the first non-medical research paper in CSU that has been published in one of the world’s top three journals.

This paper conducted a pioneering research on whether adult humans can acquire self-control capability in the natural environment. In the Southeast Asian countries, about one third of people are intolerant to alcohol (with symptoms like a red face and allergic reactions after drinking). Due to a lack of enzyme in their bodies to break down alcohol effectively, they tend to feel sick after drinking and are easily affected by alcohol. Moreover, in China, drinking has become a kind of social pressure, because Chinese liquor culture makes drinking an unavoidable activity in social contact, especially for males. Do those subject to alcohol intolerance pay more attention to self-control in normal social life? Psychologist Muraven and Baumeister put forward the famous strength model of self-control. However, no convincing evidence to support the conclusion of this model is available yet. Therefore, an experiment on 477 volunteers who are undergraduates in CSU was conducted for the study, showing that males that are subject to alcohol intolerance are better than those who are not at controlling their drinking and selfishness impulses (but this is not applicable to females). It suggests that long-term regular self-control behaviors in daily life can help improve self-control ability.

An anonymous expert from a review panel spoke highly of this paper and said that the paper extended the understanding of academic communities on the problems relevant to self-control through an intelligent, pure and creative experimental design, and answered a long-neglected academic question: whether the strength model of self-control is right, based on convincing experimental data obtained from simple and intelligent experimental design. As the editor of the paper, the famous psychologist Roy Baumeister said that the author made outstanding contributions to this field which is an attractive direction worth the participation by researchers and other knowledgeable people. After publication of the paper, Yasmin Tayag, a biologist and columnist from America, wrote on INVERSE, an American science website, that the research of a scientist from Central South University in China indicated that after long-term self-control training, weak-headed people were easier to say no to alcohol and protect themselves from other bad habits. Medical Press, a medical journal website, also published an article related to this paper: Study suggests practicing acts of self-control can make you better at it. Up to now, this paper has been forwarded and commented on through twitter or Reddit, a news website, by more than 20 people, including James C. Coyne, an American psychology professor, and UtaFrith, a famous psychologist from London University.

Paper link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1610902114

Source: Scientific Research Department


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